Illig’s Theory

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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Phillip » Sat 27 Oct 2012 4:59 pm

In the last chapter of his book, Emmet Scott 'Muhammed and Charlemagne Revisited', the author says there is a problem with chronology. He is looking at the dark ages, and wondering why Muhammed is out of kilter with the supposed date of barbarian inspired recession in Europe - and he presents quite a good argument. The real break-off point, he claims, between Classical civilisation (ending in the collapse of the Roman empire) and the medieval world (the Abbasid empire) is 614ad, the year of the commencement of the Persian War when the last of the Sassanids attacked Roman Syria, the Levant, and eastern Anatolia. It was this event, and in the years immediately thereafter, that the great cities of Asia Minor and Syria were destroyed and abandoned - never to rise again. There was no attempt to repair them he reassures us, even when the war ended in 627. You would have thought some kind of attempt would be made to restore life to those cities as it was not until 638 that the Arab hordes fell upon both the Roman Christian world and the Sassanid rivals. This is roughly a 12 year gap - where has that cropped up before? Scott even suggests the Arabs were actively making mayhem prior to 627 - so is it a 15 year gap?
We know that when the Sassanids took Jerusalem there was a bloodbath against the Christians living there - but this is usually put down to religious differences between the two rival empires. Scott touts the idea the Sassanians had put their cause in an alliance with the Arabs, if not at first, somewhat later - prior to 627. The Sassanians, on the back foot, may have seen the Arabs as worthwhile allies confident they could contain them at a later date. They didn't. However, the Abbasids, he argues, were culturally Persians, something the Omayyad successors went out of their way to suppress. Does the origin of Arab/ Persian animosity go all the way back to the beginnings of Islam? What he is saying is that it is unlikely that Arab bedouin tribesmen, by themselves, could have conquered two empires, the Roman and the Persian. How many bedouin were there scratching a living in the sand dunes? In contrast, we may note the Arabs had been highly successful during the first millennium BC and right up to the rise of Christianity in around 300ad - if only on the trade in myrhh and incense (every temple in the classical world consumed this commodity and when Christianity became dominant that market disappeared). Southern Arabia had quite a large population but in Keys book, Catastrophe, this changed after 536ad - large numbers moving north. In fact, the family of Muhammed appear to have part of that population movement. So, a little bit of leeway here, although the main thrust of Scott might have some mileage. Whether they were backward and illiterate tribesmen is a matter of interpretation, but they had a long history of fighting amongst themselves - and anybody at the peripheries. The orthodox interpretation of the Persian War differs. The Sassanians were in the end not successful and the Romans were able to gain some kind of control over the situation - but then, all of a sudden, came the Arabs. However, if as Scott proposes, the Arabs arrived in the 620s (and Steve has argued about a small error in chronology, elsewhere) this hypothesis might get off the ground, providing us with a quite different view of the past. It would explain, for example, why Roman/Byzantine cities failed to renew in any way after the major battles in 614 and 611ad. By the domino effect there would also be an effect on European chronology, he assures us, but cites just the cessation of European contact with the Mediterranean world (trade and shipping etc). He then claims that it was at this point that the dark ages began - and that is a big difference, more than just 12 or 15 years of revision.
Scott is on better footing when he says, 'it cannot be stressed too strongly that the chronology of this obscure period is much less secure than generally imagined. Often a date is upheld by little more than guesswork, or by analogy. There is a tendency to stretch archaeological finds into the middle or later 7th century' in order to have something to fill what might very well be a gap. Precisely the same thing can be demonstrated at the other end of the dark age where historians have already noted a tendency to assign material of the 10th century to the 9th, in order to plug a gap. This situation, it seems, is panning out in favour of Steve, as a series of small phases of erroneous chronology might add up to something significant.
Scott goes on to outline briefly the Illig theory - which is what this thread is all about. This is where it all gets rather confusing - but I might be biased. Illig's theory requires a revision of about 300 years. Scott then homes in on the so called climatic downturn event in, he says, the 7th century. He claims Clube and Napier in the 1980s and Baillie in the 1990s/2000s have misinterpreted the evidence - but fails to mention the narrow growth tree ring event that is central to this hypothesis. Why he dates the climatic downturn to the 7th century is a puzzle in itself as 536-45ad is clearly in the 6th, and relatively early at that. He seems to have tripped over his own feet as it is him saying the abandonment of sites in the 7th century = the climatic event. As far as I know, he should be saying the 536-45 event weakened the Romans and the Persians, and by fighting amongst themselves they weakened themselves still further, providing the Arabs with a perfect window in which to attack them. If he has taken onboard arguments made by Illig on this issue he has not made that very clear. In addition, he fails to give adequate attention to the Justianian plague, also in the 6th century (and not the 7th as once again he seems to imply), as this could have reduced population numbers considerably. Scott, it seems to me, is arguing for a much larger revision, one along the lines of Illig, but is shifting the 6th century events, most ably outlined by Keys, more so than the others, into the 7th warranted? I don't know. More information is required than what Scott uses in his concluding chapters. The key here, I suspect, and maybe he says it earlier in the book, the European dark age is a century or so too early to fit into the argument he wants to make, it was the Arabs that brought the ancient world to an end, and the introduction of a religion based on pastoralism rather than agriculture.If so, how does he propose to revise Roman chronology in the Near East to fit into such an hypothesis - he must have to delete some considerable parts thereof but he doesn't quite explain how this might come about.
Phillip
 
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Phillip » Thu 15 Nov 2012 11:04 pm

Trying to revive this important thread I will try a different angle. The Little Tablet or Laterculis of Augsustilis revolves around the interesting Number of 28 years. Now, I wasn't sure if this should have been placed in the thread on Biblical numbers but here we go as it affects Steve's theory on the idea that perhaps there is a gap in chronology in the Classical or immediate post-Classical period. The idea of 28 years comes from the circular solaris and we may note that 3 times 28 = 84 years, the period in which the same weekday comes back to the same calendar dates in the Julian calendar. I*'m not a mathematician so I am regurgitating information that I have read, so you have to criticise that aspect. In other words, I may be gullible or I may be uneducated (and I wouldn't deny either). The most obvious aspect of this is that 28 = 4 times 7. In Manethos's construct dynasty 28 is of no account, or so it seems at first look. Anyone can comment on this. In 28 years any possible sequence of weekdays within 1.3 days of 1039 lunations can be calculated - and this may have appealed to ancient mathematicians. The Augustalis cycle had the extra benefit as far as the Church in Rome was concerned as it was able to pick out the point in the calendar when the Paschal moon could be plotted in advance, settling on Easter Day well in advance and creating some distance from the Jewish Passover date.
Do we have a point of possible error marking point in 532 - an interesting number. This is the reference point arrived at by either Victorius, Cyril or Dionysius Exigius which we may note = 19 times 28 years. Were the chronologists of somewhat later concerned about achieving some kind of symmetry between Easter calculations and the Birth of Christ? Steve has been attracted to the idea of 7 times 76 years = 532 (76 years being the orbital return of comet Halley). Is it more than likely to be an astronomical luni-solar cycle such as 19 times 28 years. In addition, would they not have wanted to distance themselves from Augustus (formerly Octavian, the son of Caesar). Might there be a clue in the workings to arrive at 44bc (11 times 4 - is that significant?). We may also note that in 40bc Herod the Great became King of Judea and at the same time Hyrcanus II ceased to be HP (a descendant of the Maccabees). The specific meaning of 40 years, whenever it is applied in the Bible, appears to denote an indeterminate period of time, or a period of time when actual records and documents were suspended and an arbitrary number replaced the surviving facts (assuming there were actual palace and court records going back to Solomon). It seems that a number such as 40bc as a reference to Octavian (separating him from the Birth of Christ) may be significant - or I may be barking up the wrong tree. Placing 40 years between Augustus, and his claim of a divine connection, and Jesus, and his divine claim, may simply reflect an attempt at distancing. I am probably wrong here but highly suspicious. W may note that in 28bc Octavian held a census (deep disquiet in the Bible surrounding the holding of a census, see the census of David as an example). In 27bc Octavian became Augustus which is 28 years from plus year 1 of ad = 20 times 28 years (28+532). Now, if we are of a conspiracy train of thought, the whole idea of 532 years is suspect. Prove me otherwise - Barry or Trevor or anybody else.
Phillip
 
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Trevor » Sat 17 Nov 2012 9:36 pm

I've always been a firm believer in the principle that almost nothing can be "proved" to be correct. Something may be "disproved", by showing that it's incompatible with one or, preferably more, significant pieces of evidence, but even if it's consistent with all the evidence currently available, a new piece of evidence may then turn up which changes the situation completely. So, I can't "prove" that all ancient references to the number 532 are meaningful. All I can do is to refer to the evidence, as it currently exists.

It all goes back to an observation by Meton of Athens in the 5th century BC that the pattern of the phases of the Moon observed from the Earth repeated every 19 years. In the following century, Calippus of Athens made observations which showed that the figure of 19 years, although almost correct, wasn't precisely so, and it would be more accurate to regard the repetition as occurring every 76 years (comprising four Metonic cycles). This was the basis of the Calippic cycle, referred to in ancient literature. To suppose, as has been suggested recently, that the Calippic cycle was derived on the basis of the return visits of Halley's comet every 76 years, ignores the following facts (as they currently exist):

(1) the ancient references to the Calippic cycle consistently mention lunar cycles, without any of them referring to comets;
(2) the orbit of Halley's comet does not lead to an exact 76-year periodicity; and
(3) sometimes the orbit of Halley brings it into an environment when, on one of its returns, it appears as a brilliant object to viewers on Earth, whereas on others (as on its most recent return) it is invisible to the naked eye, making it highly unlikely that anyone in the ancient world would have been able to distinguish returns of Halley's comet from appearances of any other comet.

The other relevant factor to the "532 year" situation is the solar cycle, which, as had become apparent by the time of the Roman empire, when a "leap-year" was incorporated into the calendar every four years, resulted in the same pattern of week-days re-occurring every 28 years. Again, this was a topic openly discussed.

What brought the 19-year "lunar cycle" and the 28-year "solar cycle" concepts together was the Christian formula for the dating of Easter, which (in slightly simplified terms) was that Easter had to be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Early in the fifth century AD, it became clear to the monk, Annianos of Alexandria, that, if this formula was followed, the dates derived for Easter Sunday would follow a 532-year (19 x 28 year) cycle. The writings of Annianos have not survived, but his reasoning was explained in the major work of the 9th century Byzantine scholar, George Synkellos. The same reasoning for a 532-year Easter cycle was given in the 8th century by Bede in chapter 65 of his "The Reckoning of Time". Before the time of Bede or Synkellos, and only around half a century after the time of Annianos. without any apparent knowledge of the work of the Alexandrian monk, a 532-year cycle of Easter dates was produced by Victorius of Aquitaine, which became popular in some parts of Europe.

In the early part of the 6th century, scholars in Rome had become aware of errors in the calculations for specific Easter dates made by Victorius, and they relied instead on Easter tables produced under the authority of Cyril of Alexandria, in which each entry was dated on the basis of years since the first regnal year of emperor Diocletian. However, these tables were about to run out. Dionysius Exiguus was prompted to prepare some tables to follow on from them, which he did, but he was unhappy about dating the entries by reference to an emperor who had persecuted Christians, so instead he introduced the AD (Anno Domini) system, dating the first entry of his new tables as AD 532. He never explained his reasoning for doing this, so it remains a controversial issue, although it should be emphasized that the arguments are about matters of fine detail. A theory accepted by many is that, on the basis of the chronicles of Eusebius of Caesarea and others, Dionysius was aware that the new tables would come into operation approximately 532 years after the birth of Christ, so took the view that it was appropriate to make that figure exactly 532 years. Another theory is that, since Dionysius was following the Alexandrian tradition, he may have deemed it appropriate to use the dating system of Panodoros of Alexandria, according to which the new tables would indeed have begun in the 532nd year from the birth of Christ. Whatever the reason for the system he adopted, it was only 2-years adrift from the system of Eusebius of Caesarea, and it's only 4-years adrift from the year of the birth of Christ accepted by many present-day Christian scholars. It's difficult to see anything in this which offers any support to the advocates of phantom centuries.
Trevor
 
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Steve » Thu 06 Dec 2012 3:42 am

Sorry but I have only just signed up and haven't had a chance to read all of the posts. However, Laurence told me about Gunnar's paper to the Naxos Conference and I wrote a rebuttal which I sent to the de Grazias. Gunnar had made a number of false assumptions and when applied to the British Isles could not be supported by the archaeology. I am converting my 'Response to Gunnar' into a fully worked article for Review in which I revisit the topics of 'dark earth', anomalous gaps in the archaeological evidence and the role of sea-level rise in explaining this.
If there is an error in the dendrochronology then this goes a long way to help explain what I am describing in my paper. I had already latched on to what Laurence had mentioned about the lack of history sources after 237. This is, I think, a crucial break point in the historical chronology.
I am just topping-and-tailing my paper at the moment. I have sifted all of the published archaeological evidence available to me and could not bridge the gap in the archaeological chronology of somewhere between 150 to 240 years. But then I remembered the excavations at Nendrum on Strangford Lough. They dendro dated a single timber - a pile supporting a revetment wall under a tide-mill by the monastery - which yielded a date which bridged the gap!
I do not know if this was made of Irish oak but I would lay money on it being dated by Baillie's 'Belfast Standard'. If Baillie's dendro date is erroneous then the archaeological gap is alive and kicking. I need to contact the excavators straight away.
Steve
 
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Steve » Fri 07 Dec 2012 2:32 am

There is a gigantic anomaly in the dating of archaeological events in Insular Britain. Having pulled together all of the critical excavation reports there is an apparent time gap of between 150 to 240 years. This time gap also appears in Irish Bog butters: in this case between 400 and 610 dated by radiocarbon. I have concentrated on radiocarbon and dendro results as opposed to coins and art historical methodologies. The archaeologists in London recently claimed that had indeed narrowed the gap to 150 years between 440 and 590 (notice the Bede 'Meanwhile' gap) . But this was based partly on radiocarbon and art historical grounds so not strictly admissable. However, I can argue (my essay in prep) that the earliest of the upper limit for London is 620 by taking dendro growth rings - growth not felling dates. This is based on just two samples. That is how tenuous the dating is.
I was rounding up my essay when I remembered the Nendrum timber dendro date of 619. This is a felling date. In order to get a stout oak timber strong enough for piling then the tree should be at least 150 years old - the London timbers were 200 years old. This age might be lowered slightly if the trunk of a very young oak was used. You can now appreciate that the Nendrum timber smashes through the chronological anomaly.
Since my last post I have now been able to round up felling dates for around a dozen other Irish oaks and they all sit within a few decades - from 580 to 620. The samples come from crannogs, tide-mills (such as the Nendrum oak) and a log boat. The Irish archaeologists claim that this has revolutionised their archaeological dating because their chronological gap was larger than London. You bet it has!
Would it surprise you to find out that all of these were dated by Baillie & Pilcher's 'Belfast Standard'. In fact these timbers were used to construct the 'Belfast Standard'. To be frank I smell a rat! No one has access to the Baillie & Pilcher data-sets so it is impossible to check their methodology. Does Mike Baillie drop any clues in his literature (I dont have his Slice through Time)?
Just to restate the problem, apart from the Irish bog-oaks, no-one has found any timber in Insular Britain that can be used to straddle the time gap from roughly 400 to 640 and that also applies to radiocarbon results. Can anyone help?
Steve
 
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Phillip » Fri 07 Dec 2012 4:13 pm

I shall have a look through A Slice Through Time and see what he says about timbers dated 580-620. Baillie is our AGM speaker next year. Have you looked at Douglas Keenan's web site? as he was interested in the Belfast dendro as he thought it obscured a C14 anomaly - he was also interested to see if it showed historic temperatures which Baillie was at pains to emphasize that tree rings are not thermometers - in spite of Michael Mann and Keith Briffa.
Phillip
 
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Phillip » Sun 09 Dec 2012 11:03 pm

Baillie, page 29 of A Slice Through Time, has an Irish chronology spanning the dark age period but with a gap in the 9th century AD. In England he had an Exeter chronology that appeared to tie up with his 8th century Irish and the Exeter chronology continued into the medieval period. He also had a chronology from Tudor Street in London from about 700AD to 900AD which he also thought tied into his Irish chronology and therefore he visualised the problem as being 9th century and not 6th or 7th century. In 1980 a new chronology from Co Waterford was discovered that bridged his gap, correlating with Tudor Street. He therefore surmised the Irish chronology overlapped with the others.
Phillip
 
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Laurence » Sat 29 Dec 2012 9:20 pm

Steve.in his contribution dated 15th October, implies that he believes Bede made a mistake in dating the Birth of Christ to AD1 and states it should have been in 150AD. Steve could you clarify what you intended to say? Did you mean 1) the BoC occurred in the reign of the emperor historians say reigned in 150AD, or 2) that the Emperor Augustus and the BoC both occurred approximately 550 years before Bede wrote (using 700 as an approximate date for him writing) or 3) that Bede thought Dionysius dated AD1 by the commencement of the reign of Tiberius or some earlier pagan ruler. If Christ was not born near AD1 there would have to be an alternative reason for starting the Anno Domini system then.
Laurence
 
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Laurence » Sat 29 Dec 2012 9:39 pm

In Barry's post of October 7th he says delta T increases smoothly as we go back in time and that therefore the rotation of the earth has not changed. However if the rotation of the earth had not changed there would be no need for a delta T function, as delta T would be identically zero. It isn't, at least not before 1600AD so before that the rotation of the earth was changing and the fact that delta T increases faster then linearly the further back we look implies the rate of change in the rotation of the earth was much larger in the past. The delta T curve that is presented in books is artificially smooth as it is obtained by fitting cubic splines through ancient observations (mainly Chinese ones), the raw data is not smooth. The first change in rotation rate observed in modern observatories occurred in 1960 and I have read of 2 more since These were all very small. Modern explanations are that they are caused when electromagnetic storms on the sun emit plasma clouds that interact with the earth's magnetic field.
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Re: Illig’s Theory

Postby Steve » Wed 16 Jan 2013 5:27 am

Laurence asks three questions about the Dionysius Exiguus' dating of the Christian Era. I shall try to answer him.
Q: 1) the BoC occurred in the reign of the emperor historians say reigned in AD 150.
A: Bede states categorically that the BoC was in AM 3952. Bede places himself in AM 4680 plus 2 in the year AD 700 (but for technical reasons this should be AM 4680 plus 4). The year AD 150 would be AM4102 when Antoninus Pius was ruling. Bede also sets the date for the BoC in his 'History' as being 60 years after Julius Caesar was Consul with Lucius Bibulus 693 years after the Founding of Rome ie in 753 auc.
Q: 2) that the Emperor Augustus and the BoC both occurred approximately 550 years before Bede wrote (using 700 as an approximate date for him writing).
A: This is more tricky. Bede invites his readers of the Chapter 66 to turn to Dionysius' Easter Tables where they would find a significant error which rip apart his own World Chronology. Bede seems to have ignored the huge discrepancy which would place the Council of Nicaea at least 138 years closer to him in time but is at pains to inform those who understood the inner workings of computus. Was this error a true reflection of the chronology? If so then the year of the BoC moves towards the present by this amount. In reality Bede could not ignore it - the discrepancy shows up as the 'Meanwhile' gap in his 'History' which he dates to AD 440 to 590 in his chronology. I think Bede knew there was a dilemma and left it to his readers to decide - to ardent chronologists and computists the World chronology has to be truncated by 8 x Metonic cycles. To the general reader Christ was born on Christmas day 700 hundred years ago.
Q: 3) that Bede thought Dionysius dated AD1 by the commencement of the reign of Tiberius or some earlier pagan ruler. If Christ was not born near AD1 there would have to be an alternative reason for starting the Anno Domini system then.
A: We have absolutely no idea how Dionysius calculated the year of the BoC. It has been suggested that he somehow knew that he was living in the middle of the millennium and that 500 years had passed - but how? Yes Dionysius would have known his Gospels so he knew about Caesar Augustus but where could he look this up in order to fix the year? There is an entirely separate question as to the provenance of the New Testament and how it is dated or whether it is history at all...
Steve
 
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