History Online - Chronology

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Ancient and Medieval History

The 'modern textbook'

Before coming to the thorough analysis of historical texts for the purpose of discovering and systematizing duplicates, we have to construct as complete a table of events of the ancient and medieval history of Europe as possible and also that of the Mediterranean region, Egypt, and certainly the Near East, showing their traditional dating. To this end, the author has investigated 15 basic chronological tables and 228 fundamental primary sources (chronicles, annals, records, etc.). Together, these texts contain the description of practically all the basic events of the period from 4000 B.C. to A.D. 1800. All this information was then represented graphically on the plane. Each historical epoch with all of its basic events was shown on the time axis. Meanwhile, each event was represented by a point or horizontal line-segment in accordance with its duration, with the beginning and end of the line-segment being those of the event (e.g., a king's rule). Simultaneous events were represented one above the other, so that any ambiguity or overlapping would be avoided.

Thus, a maximally complete chart was constructed. We will call it the global chronological diagram (GCD); see Fig. 3, upper line. To see which events took place in a particular year according to modern chronology, we have to draw a vertical line through that year on the GCD and collect all the events being intersected.

We have applied the above dating and duplicate-recognition methods to the enormous historical data recorded on the GCD. The entire period of history on the diagram was broken into epochs, for which, roughly speaking, a set of characteristic graphs was calculated. For example, for each epoch (a line-segment on the time axis) in the history of each region, the volume graphs for all the basic primary sources describing this epoch were plotted, and those for different epochs were compared pairwise. As a result of the extensive experiment in which hundreds of texts were investigated, containing altogether tens of thousands of names and hundreds of thousands of lines, the author unexpectedly discovered pairs of epochs which are regarded as independent in traditional history (in every sense), but with extraordinarily close and sometimes even practically indistinguishable graphs.

We illustrate this with an example. The volume graph of the primary sources describing the history of ancient Rome from 753 to 236 B.C. exhibits peaks practically in the same years as a similar graph constructed for medieval Rome from A.D. 300 to 816. To verify this fact, these two time intervals of 500 years in length should be superimposed first (Fig. 4). The same coincidence of the two seemingly independent series of events (antique and medieval) was also discovered by other methods. The GCD happened to include quite a number of duplicates, i.e., pairs of historical epochs which are as close as are undoubtedly dependent texts describing the same historical period. We once again emphasize that the results obtained by different methods are invariably consistent.

The 'modern textbook' - a composition of four identical pieces

Let us once more carefully consider the upper line in Fig. 3. To represent the set of all the discovered epochs of duplicates clearly, they are marked on the GCD by the same geometric symbols and letters (chosen arbitrarily). More precisely, duplicates are designated by the same letters, and the epochs that are considerably different from one another by different ones.

Some of the letters repeat continually (e.g., T repeats eleven times, and C four times). The length of the geometric figures indicates the duration of the corresponding epoch. Say, the black triangles T are associated with periods that are about 20-30 years long, and the rectangles C with periods approximately 300 years long. Certain intervals of time on the GCD are covered by several figures. Thus, the period from ca. A.D. 300 to 550 is represented by four superimposed rectangles II, K, C, P, which means that part of the chart devoted to this period is composed of four pieces designated by different letters. In other words, in the set of events which occurred in the interval from A.D. 300 to 550, those making up the piece II are first distinguished, then those composing K, and so forth. The events falling into a particular piece are most often associated by what happened in the region. By the way, all the Renaissance epochs noted by the historians are contained in the duplicates on the GCD.

But the main thing is that a rather complicated structure of the GCD is naturally obtained as the result of one quite surprising process. If the four lines (chronicles) Ci, Ca, Cs, CA are distinguished in the chart and are glued together along the vertical line by superimposing, then we shall obtain, as can be expected, the same line on the GCD, consisting of the lettered epochs. But the most surprising fact is that these four chronicles are represented by practically the same series of letters and symbols. The four duplicate pieces differ from one another only by their position on the time axis. Thus, the second chronicle differs from the first one only by a backward shift in time of about 333 years, the third by a shift of already 1,053 years, and the fourth by an approximately 1,778-year-long shift. Admitting a certain liberty, we can say that the 'modern textbook' of the ancient and medieval history of Europe, the Mediterranean region, Egypt, and the Near East is a composite chronicle obtained by gluing together four practically identical replicas of the abridged chronicle C\. Three other chronicles are derived from it by redating and renaming the events described, while the whole of C\ is lowered (i.e., shifted back in time) by about 333, 1,053, and 1,778 years, respectively. Thus, the entire GCD can be restored from its part d.

Another fact to be emphasized is that nearly all the information in the chronicle C\ is concentrated to the right of A.D. 960. The periods P, T, C (to the right of the 10th century A.D.) are very rich in information, whereas K, H, II (from A.D. 300 to 960) contain very few events.

Certain corollaries and interpretations

This formal decomposition of the 'history textbook' into the sum of four chronicles can be interpreted differently. First, that the periodic behaviour I discovered is possibly accidental. It can be calculated, however, that the probability of such a random event is extremely small. Another possible interpretation is that insufficient written evidence casting light on certain periods of ancient history encumbers the application of statistical methods. Finally, a third possible explanation, which seems to me worth notice, is that the existing global chronology of the period preceding the 13th century A.D. requires quite substantial corrections in certain cases. These will require the redating of certain blocks of events now related to earliest antiquity, for which the chronicles d, C'3, C-s of the modern chronological chart should be distinguished and lifted upwards in accordance with the mentioned shifts. After this formal Procedure, the known written history of Europe, the Mediterranean, and so forth, will be abridged, and most of the events now dated as having occurred earlier than the 10th century A.D. will be placed in the interval from the 10th to the 17th century A.D.

This hypothesis can help explain certain long-known paradoxes of traditional chronology, including those mentioned at the beginning of the section. nowever, I do not at all agree with the assumption of N.A. Morozov and some l his predecessors that the information today available regarding ancient his-^y is, allegedly, a later falsification. The results obtained by new methods of dating show that most of the primary sources which have been prescribed are ''ginals describing real events. Almost all the events mentioned in ancient documents did occur; the question remains only where and when.

Generally speaking, the principal result of the work done is of formal statistical character, and no more. Nonspecialists in history have already attempted to interpret this result in a pseudoscientific manner, with the data of social science being ignored. I am decisively against such conclusions.

Learn how and why Ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt were invented during Renaissance.

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