Petavius, Dionysius

Petavius, Dionysius

Petavius, Dionysius, Fr. Denys Pétau, 1583-1652, French Jesuit theologian and philologist. His editions of late-Greek theological works are still important. His chief work (incomplete), on Christian doctrine, was bold in imputing slight unorthodoxy to certain Fathers of the Church and a Jansenist tinge to St. Augustine.

The New Chronology is a rewriting of world chronology, based on the contention that conventional chronology is fundamentally flawed. The central concepts of the New Chronology are derived from the ideas of Nikolai Morozov, although Jean Hardouin can be viewed as an earlier predecessor. The chronology is commonly associated with Anatoly Fomenko, although it is a collaboration between Fomenko and several other Russian mathematicians, including Gleb Nosovsky.

The New Chronology is radically shorter than the conventional chronology, because all ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian history is "folded" onto the Middle Ages. According to the chronology, the history of humankind goes only as far back as AD 800, there is almost no information about events between AD 800-1000, and most known historical events took place in AD 1000-1500.

While some researchers have developed revised chronologies of Classical and Biblical periods that shorten the timeline of ancient history by eliminating various "dark ages", none of these are as radical as that of the New Chronology. The New Chronology is rejected by mainstream historians, and is inconsistent with absolute and relative dating techniques used in the wider scientific community.

History: Fiction or Science? which contains this New Chronology was written in the Russian language but has been translated into English.

History of New Chronology

The idea of chronologies different from the conventional chronology can be traced back to at least the early 17th century. Jean Hardouin then suggested that many ancient historical documents were much younger than commonly believed to be. In 1685 he published a version of Pliny the Elder's Natural History in which he claimed that most Greek and Roman texts had been forged by Benedictine monks. When later questioned on these results, Hardouin stated that he would reveal the monks' reasons in a letter to be revealed only after his death. The executors of his estate were unable to find such a document among his posthumous papers. In the 17th century, Sir Isaac Newton, examining the current chronology of Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Near East, expressed discontent with prevailing theories and proposed one of his own, which, basing its study on Apollonius of Rhodes's Argonautica, changed the traditional dating of the Argonautic Expedition, the Trojan War, and the Founding of Rome.

In 1887, Edwin Johnson expressed the opinion that early Christian history was largely invented or corrupted in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. In 1909 Otto Rank made note of duplications in literary history of a variety of cultures:

...almost all important civilized peoples have early woven myths around and glorified in poetry their heroes, mythical kings and princes, founders of religions, of dynasties, empires and cities—in short, their national heroes. Especially the history of their birth and of their early years is furnished with phantastic [sic] traits; the amazing similarity, nay literal identity, of those tales, even if they refer to different, completely independent peoples, sometimes geographically far removed from one another, is well known and has struck many an investigator.

Nikolai Morozov was the first to claim the existence of correlations between the dynasties of Old-Testament kings and Roman emperors and to suggest that the entire chronology prior to the 1st century BC is wrong.

Fomenko became interested in Morozov's theories in 1973. In 1980, together with a few colleagues from the mathematics department of Moscow State University, he published several articles on "new mathematical methods in history" in peer-reviewed journals. The articles stirred a lot of controversy, but ultimately Fomenko failed to win any respected historians to his side. By the early 1990s, Fomenko shifted his focus from trying to convince the scientific community via peer-reviewed publications to publishing books. Beam writes that Fomenko and his colleagues were discovered by the Soviet scientific press in the early 1980s, leading to "a brief period of renown"; a contemporary review from the journal Questions of History complained, "Their constructions have nothing in common with Marxist historical science." His books range from popular to rather involved, yet accessible to educated readers.

By 2005 his theory had grown to cover all of the Old World, from England and Ireland to China.

Fomenko's claims

Brief summary

In volumes 1, 2 , 3 and 4 of History: Fiction or Science?, Fomenko and his colleagues claim:

  1. That different accounts of the same historical events are often 'assigned' different dates and locations by historians and translators, creating multiple "phantom copies" of these events; these "phantom copies" are often misdated by centuries or even millennia and end up incorporated into conventional chronology;
  2. That this chronology was largely manufactured by Joseph Justus Scaliger in Opus Novum de emendatione temporum (1583) and Thesaurum temporum (1606), and represents a vast array of dates produced without any justification whatsoever, containing the repeating sequences of dates with shifts equal to multiples of the major cabbalistic numbers 333 and 360;
  3. That this chronology was completed by Jesuit Dionysius Petavius in De Doctrina Temporum, 1627 (v.1) and 1632 (v.2);
  4. That archaeological dating, dendrochronological dating, paleographical dating, numismatic dating, carbon dating, and other methods of dating of ancient sources and artifacts known today are erroneous, non-exact or dependent on traditional chronology; that their use in conjunction as 'confiming' one another is a statistical fallacy - probabilities can't be added.
  5. That there is not a single document in existence that can be reliably dated earlier than the 11th century; that most 'ancient' artifacts may find other than consensual explanation;
  6. That histories of Ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt were crafted during the Renaissance by humanists and clergy mostly on the basis of documents of their own making;
  7. That the Old Testament is a rendition of events of the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries AD in Europe and Byzantium, containing 'prophecies' about 'future' events related in the New Testament, which is a rendition of events of 1152 to 1185 AD;
  8. That the history of religions runs as follows: the pre-Christian period (before the XI century and JC), Bacchic Christianity (XI-XII century, before and after JC), JC Christianity (XII-XVI century) and its subsequent mutations into Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, and Islam;
  9. That the most probable prototype of historical Jesus was Andronikos I Komnenos (allegedly AD1152 to 1185), the emperor of Byzantine; known for his failed reforms, his traits and deeds reflected in 'biographies' of many real and imaginary persons;
  10. That the Almagest of Claudius Ptolemy, traditionally dated to around 150 AD and considered to be the corner stone of classical history, was compiled in sixteenth and seventeenth centuries from astronomical data of the ninth to sixteenth centuries.
  11. That 37 complete Egyptian horoscopes found in Denderah, Esna, and other temples have unique valid astronomical solutions with dates ranging from 1000 AD and up to as late as 1700 AD;
  12. That the Book of Revelation we know of contains a horoscope that is dated to 25 September - 10 October 1486 compiled by cabbalist Johannes Reuchlin.
  13. That the horoscopes found in Sumerian/Babylonian tablets do not contain sufficient astronomical data; consequently, they have solutions every 30-50 yrs on the time axis and are therefore useless for purposes of dating;
  14. That the Chinese tables of eclipses are useless for dating as they contain too many eclipses that did not take place astronomically; that Chinese tables of comets even if they were true can't be used for dating;
  15. That all major inventions like powder and guns, paper and print were made in Europe in tenth to sixteenth centuries;
  16. That Ancient Roman and Greek statues, showing perfect command of the human anatomy are fakes crafted in the Renaissance when, according to Fomenko, such command was for the first time attained;
  17. That there was no such thing as the Tartar and Mongol invasion followed by over two centuries of yoke and slavery because the so-called "Tartars and Mongols" were the actual ancestors of the modern Russians, living in a bilingual state with Turkic spoken as freely as Russian;
  18. That the ancient Russian state was governed by a double structure of civil and military authorities and the hordes were actually professional armies with a tradition of lifelong conscription (the recruitment being the so-called "blood tax");
  19. That the Mongol "invasions" were punitive operations against the regions that attempted tax evasion;
  20. That the tsar Ivan the Terrible to be a collation of four rulers, no less. They represented the two rival dynasties - the legitimate Godunov rulers and the ambitious Romanov upstarts;
  21. That official Russian history is a blatant forgery concocted by a host of German scholars brought to Russia by the usurper dynasty of the Romanovs with the mission of making Romanov's reign look legitimate;
  22. That Moscow was founded as late of mid xiv cy and the battle of Kulikovo has taken place in Moscow;
  23. That Russia and Turkey were once parts of the same empire and that Tamerlane was probably Russian warlord;
  24. That the English history of the alleged years 640-830 A.D.and the Byzantine history of 378-553 A.D. are reflections of the same late medieval original;
  25. That the English history of the alleged years 830 - 1040 A.D.and the Byzantine history of 553 - 830 A.D. are reflections of the same late medieval original;

Detailed description

Fomenko's theory claims that the traditional chronology consists of four overlapping copies of the "true" chronology, shifted back in time by significant intervals (from 300 to 2000 years), with some further revisions. All events and characters conventionally dated earlier than 11th century are fictional, and represent "phantom reflections" of actual Middle Ages events and characters, brought about by intentional or accidental misdatings of historical documents. Before the invention of printing, accounts of the same events by different eyewitnesses were sometimes retold several times before being written down, then often went through multiple rounds of translating, copyediting, etc.; names were translated, mispronounced and misspelled to the point where they bore little resemblance to originals. According to Fomenko, this led early chronologists to believe or choose to believe that those accounts described different events and even different countries and time periods. Fomenko justifies this approach by the fact that, in many cases, the original documents are simply not available: Fomenko claims that all history of ancient world is known to us from manuscripts that are themselves dated with xv-xix centuries, but describing events that allegedly happened thousands of years before, originals regrettably and conveniently lost.

Central to Fomenko's New Chronology is his invention of a vast Slav-Turk empire, which he called the "Russian Horde", that played the dominant role in Eurasian history before the seventeenth century. The various peoples identified in ancient and medieval history, from the Scythians, Huns, Goths and Bulgars, through the Polyane, Duleby, Drevliane, Pechenegs, to in more recent times, the Cossacks, Ukrainians, and Belarussians, are nothing but elements of the single Russian Horde. For the New Chronologists, peoples such as the Ukrainians, Belarussians, Mongols, and others who assert their national independence from Russia, are suffering from a historical delusion.

Fomenko claims that the most probable prototype of the historical Jesus was Andronikos I Komnenos (allegedly AD1152 to 1185), the emperor of Byzantine; known for his failed reforms, his traits and deeds reflected in 'biographies' of many real and imaginary persons. The historical Jesus is a composite figure and reflection of the Old-Testament prophet Elisha (850-800 BC?), Pope Gregory VII (1020?-1085), Saint Basil of Caesarea (330-379), and even Li Yuanhao (also known as Emperor Jingzong or "Son of Heaven" - emperor of Western Xia, who reigned in 1032-1048), Euclides, Bacchus and Dionysius. Fomenko explains the seemingly vast differences in the 'alleged' biographies of these figures as resulting from difference in languages, points of view and timeframe of the authors of said accounts and biographies.

Fomenko also merges Jerusalem, Rome and Troy, contrary to the conventional history that places them in different locations of the ancient world separated by hundreds of years, and identifies them as: "New Rome" = Gospel Jerusalem (in the period 12-13 centuries) = Troy = Yoros Castle. To the south of Yoros Castle is Joshua's Hill; (allegedly Gospel Calvary).

The Biblical Temple of Solomon was not destroyed, says Fomenko - it is still known to us as the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople = Old Testament Jerusalem (in the period 14-16 centuries). The biblical Solomon himself is identified as sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1494-1566). The historical Jesus may have been born in 1152 and was crucified around 1185 AD on hill overlooking the Bosphorus. The city that we now know as Jerusalem was known prior to the 17th century as the nondescript Palestinian village of Al-Quds.

On the other hand, according to Fomenko the word "Rome" is a placeholder and can signify any one of several different cities and kingdoms. The "First Rome" or "Ancient Rome" or "Mizraim" is an ancient Egyptian kingdom in the delta of the Nile with its capital in Alexandria. The second and most famous "New Rome" is Constantinople. The third "Rome" is constituted by three different cities: Constantinople (again), Rome in Italy, and Moscow (which Orthodox scholars have long named the third Rome). Rome in Italy was allegedly founded around 1380 AD by Aeneas. Moscow as the third Rome was the capital of the great "Russian Horde". Similarly, the word "Jerusalem" is actually a placeholder rather than a physical location and can refer to different cities at different times and the word "Israel" did not define a state, even not a territory but people fighting for God, for example French St Louis and English called thelselves the King/Queen of Israel.

Parallelism between John the Baptist, Jesus, and Old-Testament prophets implies that the New Testament was written before the Old Testament. Fomenko claims that the Bible was being written until the Council of Trent (1545-1563), when the list of canonical books was established, and all apocryphal books were ordered destroyed.

As another example of history duplicates, according to Fomenko, Plato, Plotinus and Gemistus Pletho are one and the same person - according to him, some texts by or about Pletho were misdated and today believed to be texts by or about Plotinus or Plato. Similar duplicates include Dionysius the Areopagite, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite and Dionysius Petavius. Florence and the princes of Medici bankrolled and played an important role in creation of the magnificent 'Roman' and 'Greek' past.

Fomenko's theory is both Eurocentric and Eurasian, describing an Empire that was spreading worldwide and falling apart simultainiously.

History and its revision according to A.T. Fomenko and G.V. Nosovsky

The enormous “Mongolian” = Great Empire was forged in the XIV-XV century; it comprised the entire territory of Eurasia, the America and North Africa, for one. Therefore, the Western European rulers were de facto the vicegerents (or vassals) of the mighty Czar, or Khan, of the Horde, or Russia. According to Dr Fomenko, there is plenty of evidence testifying to the subservient position of the Western European rulers in old documents, notwithstanding even the biased editing campaign of the XVII-XVIII century. Dr Fomenko cites allegedly relevant and abundant examples in his vol.4 of “History:Fiction or Science?”. His description of the general situation in the XIV-XVI century is as follows:

Remote provinces of the Empire (among them the countries of Western Europe) differed from the metropolitan imperial centre (Russia, or the Horde, and the Ottoman = Ataman Empire) in status, and most considerably so. The centre of the Empire was primarily occupied with military pursuits and fortification construction, which was a vital prerequisite for holding on to the enormous imperial territories. Every now and then, there would be a rebellion, a dispute or a skirmish between different regions of the Empire. The rebellions needed to be quelled, the disputes, settled, and the warring neighbours pacified and judged. Those tasks required an enormous professional army – or even several armies. A great deal of resources were invested in maintaining an extensive communications network that spanned the whole territory of the Empire. Other liabilities included the collection of tax and the organisation of trade between remote imperial provinces. This is why the metropolitan part of the Empire required military men and government officials for the most part, and enormous administrative machinery.

Remote provinces of the Empire were in a different situation. The Khan of the Horde, or the Czar, was very far away from them. His vicegerents ruled as plenipotentiaries, assisted by the nearby “Mongolian” Cossacks garrisons that took care of maintaining order. Therefore, the primary concerns weren’t with the local military problems, which did exist, of course, but rather the task of winning the Emperor’s favour. A lot had depended upon it. For example, one could gain advantage over one’s neighbours without the need to destroy their armies, simply by sending appropriate gifts to the Czar, or Khan, of the Horde. If the gifts were good, the Czar, of Khan, could be kind enough to permit the local ruler the annexation of another ruler’s territory – especially in cases when the Khan was displeased with the latter for one reason or another (territory mismanagement, irregular tax payments, or the mere inability to offer anything of novelty or interest to the royal court and poor quality of gifts).

This is why applied sciences and arts flourished in Western Europe, for instance – and served the purpose of entertainment, among other things. A certain entertainment industry was created, especially in the resort provinces of the Empire with a salubrious climate, such as Italy, France and Spain. The best specimens were sent to the Khan’s court. The French and the Italians made great headway in architecture, literature, history and music. The English were accomplished shipbuilders, and so on.

The Khan’s court in the Horde considered all the cultural and scientific advances of the Western Europe their very own, at the disposal of the Empire at all times. If the court needed a new fleet to be built, for instance, they would send for British shipbuilders, or build the ships on British wharfs. A skilled medic could be summoned from France, for instance, if France was the residence of some renowned representative of the medical profession around that time. If a cathedral needed to be built in Moscow and the deadline was a tight one, Italian craftsmen could be summoned (which was the case with the construction of the Moscow Kremlin, qv above). They arrived right away.

It is vital to realise that such a summons could not be disobeyed. As soon as a province would receive orders from the Empire, the locals hastened to carry them out or send the required specialists to the imperial capital – from Italy, France, Spain, Germany, England and Asia.

One must assume that there were parties comprising the representatives of a variety of provinces at the court of the Khan, or the Czar, in Yaroslavl – English, French, German parties etc. They competed for priority commissioner status and be assigned to carry out the most honourable and profitable orders, each party attempting to prove it to the “Mongolian” Khan and his administration that their specialists were the best ones around. The victorious party would get commissioning priorities and become more important in the eyes of the Khan’s administration, which meant quite a lot in that epoch.

Then, in the XVII century, after the split-up of the Great = “Mongolian” Empire, when the Western European countries declared their independence, the efforts of the independent imperial vicegerents (and their historians, obviously enough) were focussed on the proof of “historical continuity” of the modern status quo (the independence of Western European countries, that is, the main implication being that the Westerners have never been dependent on the Horde, or Russia. They sought to wipe out the very memory of the rebellion and their usurper status (from their epoch’s perspective). This was the very reason why Scaligerian and Romanovian history was created – its primary objective has been to cast the Great = “Mongolian” conquest into deep antiquity under the coy moniker of “The Great Migration” (the Slavic conquest of Europe in the alleged IV-V century A. D.). The very recent Empire was hastily wiped out from the maps of Europe. The history of the “Mongolian” Khan dynasty of the XIV-XVI century was appropriated as the history of the “European Habsburgs”. The latter were declared as “our very own former emperors, and who’s ever heard of Muscovite rule? Such absurd and politically harmful notions should by no means ever be harboured by anyone.

This ‘historical’ activity completely supposedly coincided with the intentions of the pro-Western dynasty of the Romanovs, who seized power in Russia illegally, as a result of a coup d’état. This is why the dynasty of the Romanovs and their rebellious comrades-in-arms, the new rulers of the Western Europe, were completely coordinated. The Ottomans (or Atamans), who had stood in the way of this “civilisation process”, were crushed in a crusade – carried out by Russian soldiers and paid for in Russian blood.

A revision of old documents, chronicles, memoirs and all sorts of historical evidence in general has been conducted. Many foreigners visited Russia in the XIV-XVI century. Therefore, many authentic documents had still existed in Western Europe, and they reflected the real relations between Western Europe and the Horde perfectly frankly. Documents were discovered and destroyed, rewritten or edited drastically, with new versions published under older dates. In other words, the documents were deliberately backdated in order to confirm the new point of view about the status quo being supported by chronological continuity. Thus, insists Fomenko, one must always retain the awareness that the distant past of the XIV-XVI century is, according to his view, greatly thwarted by the distorting prism of the XVII century editing.

According to Fomenko, abundant unorthodox historical evidence has survived nevertheless, thus some of the documents that deal with Russia and written by West Europeans in the XVI century seem quite unordinary at present, the tendentious editing notwithstanding. In Fomenko's view, some minor details have escaped the attention of the meticulous editors. Some of them may have understood their objective worse than others; also, they weren’t all of equal intelligence. Apart from that, the “authentic picture of history” took a while to form in the heads of what Fomenko considers XVII-XVIII century hoaxers. He suggests much of what would be resolutely removed from old documents by later historians and editors of the XIX-XX century was left intact by an earlier editor of the XVII-XVIII century, providing insights considered valuable by Fomenko.

Fomenko's methods

Statistical correlation of texts

One of Fomenko's simplest methods is statistical correlation of texts. His basic assumption is that a text which describes a sequence of events will devote more space to more important events (for example, a period of war or an unrest will have much more space devoted to than a period of peaceful, non-eventful years), and that this irregularity will remain visible in other descriptions of the period. For each analysed text, a function is devised which maps each year mentioned in the text with the number of pages (lines, letters) devoted in the text to its description (which could be zero). The function of the two texts are then compared.

For example, Fomenko compares the contemporary history of Rome written by Titus Livius with a modern history of Rome written by Russian historian V. S. Sergeev, calculating that the two have high correlation, and thus that they describe the same period of history, which is undisputed. He also compares modern texts which describe different periods, and calculates low correlation, as expected. However, when he compares, for example, the ancient history of Rome and the medieval history of Rome, he calculates a high correlation, and concludes that ancient history of Rome is a copy of medieval history of Rome, thus clashing with mainstream accounts.

Statistical correlation of dynasties

In a somewhat similar manner, Fomenko compares two dynasties of rulers using statistical methods. First, he creates a database of rulers, containing relevant information on each of them. Then, he creates "survey codes" for each pair of the rulers, which contain a number which describes degree of the match of each considered property of two rulers. For example, one of the properties is the way of death: if two rulers were both poisoned, they get value of +1 in their property of the way of death; if one ruler was poisoned and another killed in combat, they get -1; and if one was poisoned, and another died of illness, they get 0 (there is possibility that chroniclers were not impartial and that different descriptions nonetheless describe the same person). An important property is the length of the rule.

Fomenko lists a number of pairs of seemingly unrelated dynasties – for example, dynasties of kings of Israel and emperors of late Western Roman Empire (300-476 AD ) – and claims that this method demonstrates correlations between their reigns. (Graphs which show just the length of the rule in the two dynasties are the most widely known, however Fomenko's conclusions are also based on other parameters, as described above.) He also claims that the regnal history of the 17th-20th centuries never shows correlation of "dynastic flows" with each other, therefore Fomenko insists history was multiplied and outstretched into imaginary antiquity to justify this or other "royal" pretensions.

Fomenko uses for the demonstration of correlation between the reigns exclusively the data from the Chronological Tables of J. Blair (Moscow 1808-1809). Fomenko says that Blair’s tables are all the more valuable to us since they were compiled in an epoch adjacent to the time when Scaligerian chronology. According to Fomenko these tables contain clearer signs of “Scaligerite activity” which were subsequently buried under layers of paint and plaster by historians of the XIX-XX century.

Astronomical evidence

Fomenko examines astronomical events described in ancient texts and suggests that the chronology is actually medieval. For example:

  • He explains the mysterious drop in the value of the lunar acceleration parameter D" between the years 700-1300 AD, which the American astrophycist Robert Newton had explained in terms of non-gravitational forces. By eliminating those anomalous early eclipses the New Chronology produces a constant value of D" beginning around 1000 AD.
  • He associates initially the Star of Bethlehem with the 1140 (±20) AD supernova (now Crab Nebula) and the Crucifixion Eclipse with the total solar eclipse of 1170 (±20) AD. In the course of further research he came to the conclusion that Crab Nebula supernova could not have exploded in AD 1054, but probably in AD 1153. He connects it with total eclipse of AD 1186. Moreover he holds in strong doubt the veracity of 'ancient' Chinese astronomical data.
  • He argues that the star catalog in the Almagest, ascribed to the Hellenistic astronomer Claudius Ptolemy, was compiled in xv-xvi cy, with this objective in sight develops new methods of dating old stellar catalogues and proves that Almagest is based on the data collected between 600 and 1300 AD, whereby the telluric obliquity is well taken into account. The dating method was tested unambiguously on 736 8-star combinations (Prof Dennis Duke, State University of Florida).
  • He refines and completes Morozov's analysis of some ancient horoscopes, most notably, the so-called Dendera Zodiacs—two horoscopes drawn on the ceiling of the temple of Hathor—and comes to the conclusion that they correspond to either the 11th and 13th centuries AD. Moreover he makes in his vol.3 of 'History:Fiction or Science' series final computer aided dating of all 37 Egyptian horoscopes that contain sufficient astronomical data, and shows they all fit into xi-xix(!) timeframe. Traditional history usually either interprets these horoscopes as belonging to the 1st century BC or suggests that they weren't meant to match any date at all.
  • In his final analysis of an eclipse triad described by the ancient Greek Thucydides in History of the Peloponnesian War, Fomenko dates the eclipses to 1039, 1046 and 1057 AD. Because of the layered structure of the manuscript, he concludes that Thucydides actually lived in medieval times and in describing the Peloponnesian War between the Spartans and Athenians he was actually describing the conflict between the medieval Navarrans and Catalans in Greece from 1374 to 1387 AD.
  • Fomenko claims that the abundance of dated astronomical records in cuneiform texts from Mesopotamia is of little use for dating of events as the astronomical information they contain has solutions on the time axis X approx. every 30-40 years.

Rejection of common dating methods

On archaeological dating methods, Fomenko concludes that:

Dendrochronology is rejected on the basis that it, for dating of objects much older than the oldest still living trees, isn't an absolute, but a relative dating method, and thus dependent on traditional chronology. Fomenko specifically points to a break of dendrochronological scales around 1000 AD. Archaeologists however have developed fully anchored dendrochronology series going back over 10,000 years.

Fomenko also cites a number of cases where carbon dating of a series of objects of known age gave significantly different dates. He also alleges undue cooperation between physicists and archaeologists in obtaining the dates, since most radiocarbon dating labs only accept samples with an age estimate suggested by historians or archaeologists. Fomenko also claims that carbon dating over the range of 0 to 2000 AD is inaccurate because it has too many sources of error that are either guessed at or completely ignored, and that calibration is done with a statistically meaningless number of samples. Consequently, Fomenko concludes that carbon dating is not accurate enough to be used on historical scale. Fomenko points out that when not fake the 'ancient' Greek and Roman, Persian, etc.. coins are medieval, their abundance due to the widespread rights of feudal local coinage. The numismatic dating is both subjective and circular as one based on the concensual chronology.

He fully agrees with absolute dating methods for clay tablets or coins like thermoluminescence dating, optically stimulated luminescence dating, archaeomagnetic, metallographic dating, but points out that their precision does not allow for comprehensive pinpointing on the time axis either.

Fomenko formerly condemns the common archaelogical practice of submitting samples for dating accompanied with 'age ideas'. He points out that convergence of uncertainty in archaeological dating methods proves per se strictly nothing. Even if the sum S of probabilities of veracity of event produced by N dating methods exceeds 1.00 it does not mean that the event has taken place with 100% probability.

Popularity

Despite criticism, Fomenko has published and sold millions of copies of his books in his native Russia. His critics have suggested that Fomenko's version of history appealed to the Russian reading public by keeping alive an imperial consciousness to replace their disillusionment with the failures of Communism and consumer capitalism.

Garry Kasparov is a supporter of Fomenko; Billington writes that the theory "might have quietly blown away in the wind tunnels of academia" if not for Kasparov's writing in support of it in the magazine Ogonyok. Kasparov met with Fomenko during the 1990s, and found that Fomenko's conclusions concerning certain subjects were identical to his own. Specifically, regarding the alleged Dark Ages, Kasparov was incredulous towards the commonly held notion that art and culture died and were not revived until the Renaissance. Kasparov also felt it illogical that the Romans and the Greeks living under the banner of Byzantium could fail to use the mounds of scientific knowledge left them by Ancient Greece and Rome, especially when it was of urgent military use.

Criticism

Although Fomenko is a well-respected mathematician, his historical theories have been universally rejected by mainstream scholars, who brand them as pseudoscience. Russian critics tended to see Fomenko's New Chronology as "an embarrassment and a potent symbol of the depths to which the Russian academy and society have generally sunk ... since the fall of Communism. Western critics see his views as part of a renewed Russian imperial ideology, "keeping alive an imperial consciousness and secular messianism in Russia.

In 2004 Anatoly Fomenko with his coauthor Gleb Nosovsky were awarded for their books on "New Chronology" the anti-prize of the Moscow International Book Fair called "Abzatz" (Indent) in the cathegory "Honorary illiteral" awarded for the worst book published in Russia Антипремия «Абзац»

Critics have accused Fomenko of altering the data to improve the fit with his ideas, and have noted that he violates a key rule of statistics by selecting matches from the historical record which support his chronology, while ignoring those which do not, creating artificial, better-than-chance correlations, and that these practices undermine Fomenko's statistical arguments. The new chronology was given a comprehensive critical analysis in a round table on "The 'Myths' of New Chronology" chaired by the dean of the department of history of Moscow State University in December 1999. One of the participants in that round table, the distinguished Russian archaeologist, Valentin Yanin, compared Fomenko's work to "the sleight of hand trickery of a David Copperfield.

Overlooked convergence of uncertainty in archaeological dating

While Fomenko rejects commonly accepted dating methods, archaeologists, conservators and other scientists make extensive use of such techniques which have been rigorously examined and refined during decades of use. While it is known that radiometric dating methods can only provide approximate dates (see also this discussion of radiocarbon dating), the uncertainty associated with each method is known and limited. When several dating methods are used in conjunction, they usually converge to produce similar ages for objects from the same layer of a given archaeological site. Independent scientific absolute dating methods include thermoluminescence dating, optically stimulated luminescence dating, archaeomagnetic dating, and in some cases palaeoentomology, as well as relative dating techniques, relying on stratigraphy or the seriation of different artifact types.

In the specific case of dendrochronology, Fomenko claims that this fails as an absolute dating method because of gaps in the record. However, independent dendrochronological sequences beginning with living trees from various parts of North America and Europe extend back 12,400 years into the past. Furthermore, the mutual consistency of these independent dendrochronological sequences has been confirmed by comparing their radiocarbon and dendrochronological ages. These and other data have provided a calibration curve for radiocarbon dating whose internal error does not exceed ±163 years over the entire 26,000 years of the curve.

Misuse of historical sources and forced pattern matching

Critics of Fomenko's theory claim that his use of historical sources is highly selective and ignores the basic principles of sound historical scholarship.

Fomenko ... provides no fair-minded review of the historical literature about a topic with which he deals, quotes only those sources that serve his purposes, uses evidence in ways that seem strange to professionally-trained historians and asserts the wildest speculation as if it has the same status as the information common to the conventional historical literature.

They also note that his method of statistically correlating of texts is very rough, because it does not take into account the many possible sources of variation in length outside of "importance". They maintain that differences in language, style, and scope, as well as the frequently differing views and focuses of historians, which are manifested in a different notion of "important events," make quantifying historical writings a dubious proposition at best. What's more, Fomenko's critics allege that the parallelisms he reports are often derived by alleged forcing by Fomenko of the data – rearranging, merging, and removing monarchs as needed to fit the pattern.

For example, on the one hand Fomenko asserts that the vast majority of ancient sources are either irreparably distorted duplicate accounts of the same events or later forgeries. In his elision of Jesus and Pope Gregory VII (Book 2, Chapter 2, pg 51} he ignores the otherwise vast dissimilarities between their reported lives and focuses on the similarity of their appointment to religious office by baptism. (The evangelical Jesus is traditionally believed to have lived for 33 years, and he was an adult at the time of his encounter with John the Baptist. In contrast, Pope Gregory VII lived for at least 60 years and was born 8 years after the death of John Crescentius, according to the available primary sources.)

Critics allege that many of the supposed correlations of regnal durations are the product of the selective parsing and blending of the dates, events, and individuals mentioned in the original text. Another point raised by critics is that Fomenko does not explain his altering the data (changing the order of rulers, dropping rulers, combining rulers, treating interregna as rulers, switching between theologians and emperors, etc.) preventing a duplication of the effort and therefore hinting that his results may have a pathological science aspect to them akin to N-rays over a century ago and effectively making this whole theory an Ad hoc hypothesis.

Unaccounted astronomical phenomena

Critics point out that Fomenko's discussion of astronomical phenomena tends to be selective, choosing isolated examples that support the New Chronology and ignoring the large bodies of data that provide statistically supported evidence for the conventional dating. For his dating of the Almagest star catalog, Fomenko arbitrarily selected eight stars from the more than 1000 stars in the catalog, one of which (Arcturus) has a large systematic error. This star has a dominant effect on Fomenko's dating. Statistical analysis using the same method for all "fast" stars points to the antiquity of the Almagest star catalog. Rawlins points out further that Fomenko's statistical analysis got the wrong date for the Almagest because he took as constant Earth's obliquity when it is a variable that changes at a very slow, but known, rate.

Fomenko's studies ignore the abundance of dated astronomical records in cuneiform texts from Mesopotamia. Among these texts is a series of astronomical diaries, which records precise astronomical observations of the Moon and planets, often dated in terms of the reigns of known historical figures extending back to the sixth century BCE. Astronomical retrocalculations for all these moving objects allow us to date these observations, and consequently the rulers' reigns, to within a single day. The observations are sufficiently redundant that only a small portion of them are sufficient to date a text to a unique year in the period 750 BCE to 100 CE. The dates obtained agree with the accepted chronology. In addition, F. R. Stephenson has demonstrated through a systematic study of a large number of Babylonian, Ancient and Medieval European, and Chinese records of eclipse observations that they can be dated consistently with conventional chronology at least as far back as 600 BCE. In contrast to Fomenko's missing centuries, Stephenson's studies of eclipse observations find an accumulated uncertainty in the timing of the rotation of the earth of 420 seconds at 400 BCE, and only 80 seconds at 1000 CE.

Magnitude and consistency of conspiracy theory

Fomenko claims that world history prior to 1600 was deliberately falsified for political reasons. The consequences of this conspiracy theory are twofold. Documents that conflict with New Chronology are said to have been edited or fabricated by conspirators (mostly Western European historians and humanists of late 16th to 17th centuries). The lack of documents directly supporting New Chronology and conflicting traditional history is said to be thanks to the majority of such documents being destroyed by the same conspirators.

Consequently, there are many thousands of documents that are considered authentic in traditional history, but not in New Chronology. Fomenko often uses "falsified" documents, which he in other contexts dismisses, to prove a point. For example, he analyzes the Tartar Relation and arrives at the conclusion that Mongolian capital of Karakorum was located in Central Russia (equated with present-day Yaroslavl.) However, the Tartar Relation makes several statements that are at odds with New Chronology (such as that Batu Khan and Russian duke Yaroslav are two distinct people). Those are said by Fomenko to have been introduced into the original text by later editors.

Many of the rulers that Fomenko claim are medieval doppelgangers moved in the imaginary past have left behind vast numbers of coins. Numismatists have made innumerable identifications of coins to rulers known from ancient sources. For instance, several Roman emperors issued coinage featuring at least three of their names, consistent with those found in written sources, and there are frequent examples of joint coinage between known royal family members, as well as overstrikes by kings who were known enemies.

Ancient coins in Greek and Latin are unearthed to this day in vast quantities from Britain to India. For Fomenko's theories to be correct, this could only be explained by counterfeit on a very grand and consistent scale, as well as a complete dismissal of all numismatic analyses of hoard findings, coin styles etc.

Reviews of Works on the New Chronology

James Billington, formerly professor of Russian history at Harvard and Princeton and currently the Librarian of Congress placed Fomenko's work within the context of the political movement of Eurasianism, which sought to tie Russian history closely to that of its Asian neighbors. Billington describes Fomenko as ascribing the belief in past hostility between Russia and the Mongols to the influence of Western historians. Thus, by Fomenko's chronology, "Russia and Turkey are parts of a previously single empire. A French reviewer of Billington's book noted approvingly his concern with the phantasmagorical conceptions of Fomenko about the global "new chronology.

H. G. van Bueren, professor emeritus of astronomy at the University of Utrecht, concluded his scathing review of Fomenko's work on the application of mathematics and astronomy to historical data as follows:

It is surprising, to say the least, that a well-known (Dutch) publisher could produce an expensive book of such doubtful intellectual value, of which the only good word that can be said is that it contains an enormous amount of factual historical material, untidily ordered, true; badly written, yes; mixed-up with conjectural nonsense, sure; but still, much useful stuff. For the rest of the book is absolutely worthless. It reminds one of the early Soviet attempts to produce tendentious science (Lysenko!), of polywater, of cold fusion, and of modern creationism. In brief: a useless and misleading book.

See also

References

Vol.1: The Development of the Statistical Tools. Vol.2: The Analysis of Ancient and Medieval Records. – Kluwer Academic Publishers. The Netherlands, 1994.

  • Geometrical and Statistical Methods of Analysis of Star Configurations. Dating Ptolemy's

Almagest. Together with V. V Kalashnikov., G. V. Nosovsky. – CRC-Press, USA, 1993.

Notes

External links

Search another word or see Petavius, Dionysiuson Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;