Dichotomy of Roman History

by Hans-E. Korth


Isaac Newton: 'The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended':
»..they have made the Antiquities of Greece three or four hundred
years elder than the truth.« [ p.3]
»For reconciling such repugnancies, Chronologers have sometimes
doubled the persons of men.« [p.4]

Roman history appears, so we all were taught at school, as a steady sequence of events, reliably reported by many chronists. However, when compared to the findings of evidence based sciences, this bright picture comes with a massive number of inconsistencies, raising severe doubts against traditional chronology.

A first attempt to find the true chronology of ancient Greece and Rome, has been started by Isaak Newton in 1689. It became published posthumously.

In our days, a Phantom-Time hypothesis has been offered by H. Illig: Some 300 years of the historiography of the early middle-ages do not match physical reality. And, indeed, the constant offset of 300 years observed between archaeology and written history seems to support this idea.1 But this thesis does imply an all-embracing conspiracy, to fabricate a more or less credible system of historical records. Things became worse, when even more centuries were considered fictitious, as proposed by G. Heinssohn: More than one huge conspiracy must now be presumed to explain the chronology mismatch and, likewise, the positively observed offset of 300 years using the means of natural sciences.
Obviously, another approach will be required, to match written tradition with scientific data:
If most reported dates of the first millennium appear some 300 years too old, this may be due to an inter-mixture of the Common Era (CE) epoch with the years counted after the Birth of Christ (Anno Domini, AD).

An elementary mistake mixing two epochs that was overlooked by all chronists and the historians since? This sounds just a bit too simple. But, otherwise, the mixing of AD and CE must have been intentional. Precautions must have been taken to obscure the truth. Who may have done it? And why? Was it feasible with the limited resources of a few protagonists?

Even today, the Holy Seven Sleepers of Ephesus are commemorated every year on June 27th. Their recovery 'after 3092 years' (actually a swap of AD and SE epoch) in a cave (Khoran, 18:25-26) was considered as the by far greatest of God's wonders. Nobody could ever argue against it with some chronist's writings. As there was not the slightest chance to retract the legend, other ways had to be found to match written history.

Originally just a pious legend and not related to historiography, the tale allowed manipulations of history and became quite useful for secular rulers as well as for the leaders of the Christian Church:
- Traditions of the Christian Church and trinitarian dogma now anticipated the Islam.
- The loss of Syria by Romanos in 944 CE could be attributed to emperor Heracleios 636 CE.
- The fabricated Donation of Constantine implied a Christian Rome already in the 4th century CE.
- The legendary recovery of the Holy Cross by a Roman Empress confirmed the Pope's primacy.
- A composite Carolus Magnus filled the gap in history between Chlovis and Louis the Pious.

Once established, it became practically impossible, to unravel the 'improved' chronology:
The coexistence of the Seleucid Era starting 312 BC, called 'Year-count of the Greeks' with the AD count made the risk of a confusion real. Whoever attempted to match reported facts with an offset of some three centuries found some 'evidence':
- 20 Indiction cycles equal 300 years.
- Similar solar eclipses can be observed after 300 years - 46 days.
- 16 Meton cycles repeat the moon of Eastern every 304 years.

However, for historians more and more ad hoc assumptions became necessary to maintain consistency. Here are just a few examples from a virtually endless list:

- Reportedly, Julius Caesar gave order in -45 CE to insert every 4th year the leap day ANTE DIEM BIS VI KALENDAS MARTIAS into the Roman calendar. To get started, he inserted 80 leap days in order to move the equinox back to March 21th. This shifted Jan. 1st, the start of the year until today, away from its prior wise match with the spring equinox - the year's 'natural' synchronization mark within many cultures. To maintain the relation between seasons and months, the calendar-year now ended with December ('the 10th' month).
Really? If the Julian calendar readjustment were shifted backwards from 267 CE to -45 CE (i.e. 267 SE), antedating into the proleptic Julian Calendar would have produced, likewise, 77 additional leap days plus 3 days offset due to Earth's precession.
Note: In 1582 the Gregorian reform skipped 10 days, to match with the astronomical situation 1280 years earlier (i.e. around 300 CE).

- 68 leap days were missing 45 years later, at the birth of Jesus (The Ara Coeli constellation of the Legenda Aurea will be found on Sept. 23th 297 CE). Addtion of 68 days moves the reference for the Advent (ADVENTUS DIVI) to Nov. 30th - its actual place.
In his 33rd year, Jesus died in 330 CE on March 20th. A multitude of records referring to his lifetime can now be confirmed.

- When the elder Agrippina died in 33 CE on Oct. 18th, the offset was 61 days. So she passed away exactly 297 years 'before' empress 'Helena' who died 330 AD on Aug. 18th. However, she was the mother of Caligula and not of Constantine.

- Constantine (306-337 AD) and Heracleios (610-641 CE) ruled for 31 years. In their 19. year, the Holy Cross became recovered by Martina, who held the official title 'Mother of Emperor Constantine' (with respect to her step-son).

- Octavian Augustus and Aurelian both skipped three leap days from the calendar. They rebuilt the Basilica Julia. They defeated Cleo-Patra ('father's pride') and Zenobia (Zain-Abu: 'father's pride'). Both queens committed suicide with poison.

- The list of duplicate leaders will continue up to the middle-ages, where Arnulph the Saint and Arnulph the Evil died on 18.7.640 AD and 14.7.937 CE (Julian date). In England, Æthelred of Mercia died in 709 AD, Æthelred the Unready 1013 CE. Cutbert and Bede were buried twice - separated just by the 297 years between the AD and CE year-count...

As it appears, our history of Antiquity and the Early Middle-ages intermixes different year-counts. In addition to CE (this year is 2014 CE), many events come with an AD year and were indirectly dated by the birth of Jesus, the SE count, or by various periodical events.

More infos about the dichotomy of Roman history can be found here:
The authors homepage:  http://www.jahr1000wen.de/year1000.html
Some pictures:  http://www.pinterest.com/hansekorth/isaac-newtons-chronology-amended/
About scientific dates and traditional assumptions:  http://youtu.be/un7FLa8zdxk
The book (german):  http://www.engelsdorfer-verlag.de/db/werkdetail.php?werk_id=3599&autor_id=1775


1 More than 2000 ad hoc -hypotheses are required, to explain just the deviations between medieval findings of archaeologists in Bavaria and the years from ancient documents [Anwander and Illig, 2002].

2 Antique authors give different figures for the duration of the time in the cave: Assuming the begin under Decius in 250 CE, reported by Jacob of Serugh († 521 AD), a span of 270 years has been concluded. A version in wich the sleepers were found under Theodosius II., implies a span of some 170 years. Due to al Tabari, the Khoran reports an event that happened before the appearance of Christ (630 CE minus 308).