The “Missing” Dark Ages
Steven O. Guth
(shortened version of an article in final draft state, now also published in New Dawn Magazine)
(Addendum by Andreas Otte)
Have 300 years been added to our Calendar? Are we really in the 1700’s? Quite possibly.
What evidence is there to support this claim? Who fiddled with the Calendar and why does it matter?
Later in the article I’ll line up the evidence for you; most of it has come of the web from the headings ‘Phantom History’ and ‘The Missing Middle Ages’. There is a group of German scholars who have searched for evidence and explanations for the Calendar adjustments. Their recent discussions are on their German web site http://www.fantomzeit.de/. I’m convinced – almost.
What holds me back? The huge mass of historical material that constitutes the history of the early Middle Ages. Is Charlemagne a phantom? Or Pippin his father? What about the ‘Oaths of Strasbourg’ And what about all the Monasteries, churches, palaces and schools history records as being built at that time?
The Phantom history explorers have looked at the historical data for the years 614 to 911 and concluded that they are later fabrications. Not in a clear 100% of cases but very close to it. The balance being due to uncertainties and confusions.
Let’s just take the example of the ‘Oaths of Strasbourg’. This is a treaty sworn in 842 between two kings in which the phrase, “For the love of God and Christendom” is repeated many times. The conversationally cast sworn pledge is between Louis the German (died 876) and his brother Charles the Bold (died 877) respectively kings of East and West Francia. The complex agreement is well known and of special interests to scholars because it is written in Old High German, Old French and Medieval Latin making it a Rosetta stone for the three languages. ‘The Oaths’ was exchanged in front of the two King’s assembled armies and binds the Kings and every one of their soldiers to stop hitting and spearing each other (warfare was a personal and not a remotely controlled activity in those days). In looking at the Wiki entry for ‘The Oaths’ I wondered if it was a movie script written by a religious author. And, as is common for documents of the ‘missing period’, the Wiki entry informed me that ‘The Oaths’ is “preserved in single manuscript from the 10th or 11th century which rests in the French National Library [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oaths_of_Strasbourg].
Ok so the text of ‘The Oaths’ exists. But was it jotted down as it happened in 842 by a Medieval reporter? Or was it concocted in a scriptorium in the 10th or 11th centuries?
The apparent inaccuracies of Egyptian dynastic dates and abundance of early medieval forgeries lead Heribert Illig to consider that Phantom Years have been added to our calendar dates. It appears that documents from the Dark Ages are clearly, probably or possibly fakes; written hundreds of years after the dates that are placed on them. The example above, ‘The Oaths’ is typical of what Illig discovered.
Now, back to my doubts, my lack of conviction that 300 years have been added to the Calendar.” Why?” I kept asking myself, would anyone bother? And the huge size of the conspiracy project – how was it coordinated so that hundreds of monks in tens of monasteries creating thousands of documents didn’t seriously contradict each other?
I asked my German friend Georg Dehn with whom I translated “The Abramelin” a 15th Century German Manuscript into modern English. Georg is well versed in the problems of old European documents. He assured me that the issue was not as large and complex as I conceived. Georg writes,
“In the 12th Century ancient manuscript scrolls were being rewritten into books with a simple readable Latin script. These books pretend to be collections from separate individual documents – none of which can be found. This was the opportunity for the Ottonian dynasty and the church to create “Phantom History” to its own advantage. This was an illiterate time, only highest aristocrats and a few church people could read. There are practically no books from even the 11th and 12th Centuries, and the ones pertaining to German’s “Dark Ages” period come from only a handful of monasteries in Germany. Yes, the creation of Phantom History would have been easy.”
Now a bit of mathematics. The number of years from 614 to 911 is 297 so why did I say the real time period for the occurrence of events was 79 years? Because 614 minus 79 brings us to 535. So why did I pick 535 as a real date? It probably wasn’t, all dates before 1,000 are highly suspect. The Roman’s kept one set of dates, the Jews another. Indians, Chinese and others kept their own dating systems. All these systems were ‘normalised’ after the first Millennium to match the Christian system.
Part of our cultural personality is our position in historic time; people in 535 didn’t fit themselves into a historical time scale. In traditional Aboriginal culture anything beyond verbally transferred memory – four generations – happened in the ‘Dreamtime’. I expect that with few exceptions it was like that in 535 … and the exceptions had a strange idea. The Christian Monks who thought about dates believed that the world would end on the 7th day of creation. One of God’s Day equalling a thousand human years. Christ was born during the 5th day of creation to save the human race before the 7th day of creation. But conveniently, humans, at least the god appointed humans, could, by changing the dates, alter when the end of the world would occur.
The Religious involved wanted to ensure that the end of the world would be Christian and what we now consider as pan Germanic. The Roman Empire encompassed all living memory and that’s what they tried to emulate. Illig writes that phantom history was created primarily in the 10th century during the Ottonian Dynasty. He may well be right, I lack the German research skills to confirm or reject his suggestion.
But back to 535. Why did I pick on it? Because in our dating system it marks the historical date for the beginning of the ‘Dark Ages’. This is when the world plunged into a dripping wet, stormy, sunless two years which were followed by ten years of crippling drought and subsequent devastating plague. [New Dawn, Steven Guth’s recent Article & “Catastrophe, An Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World” by David Keys. Arrow/Random House 2000.] We now understand that the 535 Climate Change catastrophe was caused by the massive explosion of Krakatoa (http://customers.hbci.com/~wenonah/history/535ad.htm). In 535 the events would have been seen as acts of Divine providence.
The series of Climatic disasters that commenced in 535 were enough to destroy the complex and efficient Roman Empire’s transport system. [New Dawn Steven Guth’s recent Article]. The result was that the less sophisticated Northern tribal people gained ascendancy over the highly urbanised Romans who were utterly dependant on imported food, and once starving they become easy plague victims.
So from 535, for say 15 or 20 years Europe suffered a massive upheaval and population reshuffle. This period redrew the maps and alliances so that 79 genuine years later we reach real history in 911 with Henry the Fowler the first German Emperor. I suspect it was the Ottonian dynasty that took on the project of writing a phantom history to ensure that it and the Holy Roman Empire would be in the ascendancy until the end of the world occurred.
The three year old Otto III was crowned King of Germany in 983, by then the Dynasty’s entourage would have had the phantom history project well in hand. Otto III was to be the new Caesar at the head of the reformed but now Christianised ‘Thousand Year Holy Roman Empire’.
I think that Christianity was able to eclipse the pagan religions so quickly because with the dramatic Climate induced Collapse of the Roman Empire the surviving Christians joined with the tribal pagans as they moved through the now undefended old Empire. I believe Christianity also had a secret weapon, the Eucharist. My reading of mediaeval documents indicates that in those distant days the sacrament was such an effective spiritual drug that people would fight to get it.
Otto III was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 996 by Pope Gregory V and from then on fought and killed rivals so that the Italian Papacy and the huge area of Pan Germanic Europe could stay united as the “Holy Roman Empire.” Otto III had a busy life, travelling to and from Rome and fighting various Military campaigns. He also visited (so the records say) the tomb of Charlemagne in Aachen Cathedral in the year 1,000. He took from the tomb relics of status and power from the archetypical German Emperor to his palace in Rome. Otto III life emulated that of this German folk hero. More about the famous Charlemagne later, suffice to say, that there is no trace of a tomb in the ancient Cathedral [http://www.gadling.com/2010/05/19/archaeologists-reveal-charlemagnes-tomb-is-a-fake/]. Otto III died in 1002 at an early 21, possibly poisoned by the wife of a rival he had beheaded – she seduced Otto for the purpose [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_III,_Holy_Roman_Emperor – see heading ‘Death’].
You see, I’m building for you the image of a Church and a German nation that had the will and the need to rewrite history so as to kick start the thousand year 6th day of creation with the “Holy Roman Empire” which would replace the Roman Empire that collapsed with ‘Dark Ages’ of Climate Change. Pragmatically the historical rewrites enabled the Church to acquire all manner of property and show that they had possessed it for hundreds of years, so justifying Church ownership.
This brings us to Charlemagne, the (probably) phantom Emperor who was scripted to be the precursor of what the short lived Otto III had been set up to do. Otto III did in a human scale what Charlemagne is said to have accomplished on a magnificent, grand and super human scale. So grand in fact that his Wiki entry runs to over 20 tightly packed pages [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne]. I started researching Charlemagne and had to give up, the information on him both complex and contradictory. The prime historical biographical sources by Einhard and others are so charmingly written that it is hard to believe that they may be fairy tales [http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/einhard.asp].
Yet Charlemagne did so many things that I began to wonder if he had a Lear Jet. I quote (freely) from Illig …
In 44 of his 46 years he goes to war. He has a court of scholars at Aachen. He formulated more than 100 laws. He introduced the Jury system. He administered justice as he travelled. He founded universities, school, libraries … he was a classical philologist, architect, builder, astronomer and so on…
Illig also comments that Charlemagne was recorded as having 5 wives, 5 concubines and about 20 children. A busy man indeed.
The Cathedral at Aachen – supposedly designed and constructed under Charlemagne’s personal supervision – still stands. It is one of the very few structures that exist from the attributed time. (Charlemagne supposedly lived from 742 to 814). The 15 meter wide central dome could not have been built with the skill, techniques and knowledge of the late 700’s. The Romans built in volcanic cement, the locals used wood and the distant Byzantines used light pottery. The Aachen dome is well constructed in heavy meter thick stone. This huge weight needed to be accommodated and prevented from splaying open the supporting walls. The ‘how’ of this was not discovered before the end of the Millennium. Speyer Cathedral, a mere 300 Km down the Rhine, has a similar dome which was built in 1100. It seems likely that Aachen’s dome was built at the same time [http://www.bearfabrique.org/Catastrophism/illig_paper.htm]. So it is not surprising that modern archeologists can’t find any trace of the tomb of Charlemagne which Otto III supposedly ‘visited’ in the important year 1,000 AD.
In fact it is the devastating lack of archaeological evidence that indicates that the phantom years were added to the calendar. Dig in any German city (and many have Roman foundations) and the layer between 600 and 900 is basically missing. For example in Frankfurt the layer between 650 and 910 is missing [http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/volatile/Niemitz-1997.pdf – see bottom of page 4].
Between the disastrous years of the 535 Climate Change and 911 there are a probable 79 real years. It seems that once the recovery from a major climate event has occurred, a Renaissance is to be expected. This is what happened after the Great Famine of 1315 which lead to the surging of Great Renaissance in the 1400’s. Famine and plague leaves intact the physical framework of society and makes it easy for the next generation to expand, rather than just subsist. It is likely that by 911 the European population had recovered sufficiently to allow new political and social avenues to develop. The Church having absorbed paganism became a significant player in the renewal that followed the Dark Ages. I suspect that all this paved the way for Henry the Fowler and the subsequent Ottonian dynasty to create the “Holy Roman Empire” encompassing Germany, France and Italy; an Empire conveniently following in the footsteps of Charlemagne.
This may be a good place to add a note about German Scholarship. Perhaps because of the harsh winters German scholarship is an activity that takes place with books in pleasantly heated libraries with adjacent Cafes. One would think that the lack of archeological evidence – bits lying around on the ground – would cause German Historians to think that something was strange about the life of Charlemagne and the whole of the ‘Early Middle Ages’. But no; it is the other way around, evidence from tree rings, carbon dating and digs has been adjusted to fit into the accepted calendar dates.
It seems that it is only Illig and his associates who have gone out into the real world, looked at the facts and made their deductions. Examples follow.
In the mid 90’s a gas pipeline was built across Poland. Archeologists followed the trench. They found 724 locations in which there were human artifacts. Statistical about 50 places should have yielded artifacts from the Early Middle Ages. Yet not a single artifact was found from that time. The odds of this happening by chance are many millions to one [http://www.jahr1000wen.de/jtw/FAQ_Science_PhTT.pdf see point 7 page 2].
In 2002 Illig and co-author Gerhard Anwander published a book with the results of their Bavarian search for places mentioned in documents pertaining to the ‘Early Middle Ages’ … palaces, monasteries, libraries, schools, etc. Of the 2,200 documented locations only 88 places were found and these had dates ascribed to them that seemed (like Aachen cathedral) inaccurate. This is in a German state replete with earlier Roman remains. It is interesting that the creators of the documents paid so little attention to confirming their forgeries, and it shows the limitations of library based historical research [http://www.bearfabrique.org/Catastrophism/illig_paper.htm].
Dendrochronology (establishing dates from tree ring growth rate data) needs to use complex statistical techniques to cope with the variations that collected tree ring growth data exhibits. Adjustments need to be made for locational differences (was the sample growing on the wet or dry side of the hill? Was it from the sunny southern side of the trunk and so on.). Are any rings missing completely (this happens with some tree species.) The list of practical problems is long. To come to grips with these Dendrochronologists use complex systems (like transferring raw data into logarithmic differences) so they can process the data. This makes the butterfly affect an ongoing problem – small inaccuracies in input data can generate huge errors in final assessments. The end result of all this manipulation is that tree ring data is “normalized” by forcing it to match the accepted calendar [http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/volatile/Niemitz-1997.pdf see pages 5 to 8].
Hans Erdmann Korth in his article “Science and the missing Medieval Centuries – FAQ” devotes 17 points in 4 dense pages to explaining how tree data has been forced to fit into the 12C/14C radiocarbon decay curves. Startling is the graph in point #23 which shows two duplicate patterns for tree ring growth in the 600 years between the years 400 and 1,000. The suggestion is clear, 300 real years have been doubled to fit the requirements of the accepted calendar [http://www.jahr1000wen.de/jtw/FAQ_Science_PhTT.pdf]. In point #24 Korth describes how the 12C/14C radiocarbon decay patterns found in the annual deposits that rivers drop into lakes (the varve-count) show that the tree ring measurement standard, the ‘IntCal98’, has an inaccuracy of 300 years.
The astronomical confirmation of the calendar is a confusing issue. Nothing has been proved one way or another. Cross cultural comparisons come up against the fact – mentioned at the beginning of the article – that different calendar systems have all been adjusted to fit the Christian calendar. It is also the likely that other calendar systems contain additions, deductions or jumbled dates. And then there is the problem that the descriptions of stellar events have passed down to us possibly through several translations. As a result it is impossible to say, “At the birth of Christ, there was a worldwide event, a supernova in the sky” and confirm this with cross cultural references. Because of the complex difficulties I have not explored the links between the Phantom history period and astronomical events [http://www.h2g2.com/entry/A84012040] about doubtful accuracy of written astronomical records.
Illig arrived at the figure of 297 missing years by considering the adjustments that Pope Gregory XIII needed to realign Caesar’s 45BC to the astronomical realities of 1582. There is a roughly 11 minute per year error in Caesar’s calendar system. Over the years since 45BC this error should have added up to an astronomical observed deviation of 13 days. But the observed difference was only 10 days. This suggests that Caesar’s calendar started in the 300AD … or that the accepted calendar dates had collected about 300 extra years somewhere along the way. With further work Illig concluded that 297 years were added from 614. I have accepted and worked with Illig’s figures in this article.
The Missing year analysis is important because …
It shows that Climate Change events create confusing vacuums that are likely to result in massive alterations to the structure of society.
It shows political ideas often come out of the need to fulfill a spiritual agenda.
If the written word could form historical perspectives a thousand years ago, how much more so today, in our media saturated world.
Below is a web site for a general, if somewhat superficial, discussion of the Phantom Time concept. It has many good ‘click on’ links with descriptions of contents.
Addendum by Andreas Otte
- The title of the text is highlighting a very common misconception. The years are not missing, they are invented. This is why Illig’s first book about the topic is called “The invented Middle Ages”.
- It should be noted that Heribert Illig found several periods that contributed to the creation of the fictitious years, only the part of moving the clock would have happened during the 7th / 10th century. The first and initial period of the invention can be found at the beginning of the 11th century after the clock was moved to make the year 1000 happen. The period following the Concordat of Worms is another chapter in the story, as well as the time of Frederick I. Barbarossa. The main body of the invention lies in the 12th century.
- There is in my opinion a slight problem in joining the catastrophe story by David Keys with the phantom time theory. The methods used to determine the year of the catastrophe do not return the year 534/535 itself, they return a number of years counting back from a current reference date, which, when applied to the given chronology return the year in question. If you accept the phantom time theory (297 invented calendar years) and also the methods used to determine the date of the Keys-catastrophe, this will push back the catastrophe to the year 238 – the time of the crisis of the Roman empire. Steven Guth’s reasoning with 79 real years between 535 and 911 being tied to the Keys-catastrophe breaks apart because of this unless it can be shown that there is a serious dating error in the Dendrochronology between the time of Justinian I. and us (which might very well be the case). And equating Justinian I. time (around the year 535) with the time of the crisis of the Roman empire – adding roughly 300 more phantom time years in doing so – would push the date of the Keys-catastrophe even further back into the time of the Roman republic.