For a Kinder, Gentler Society
A Guide to the Phantom Dark Age
  • Emmet Scott
Reviews Table of Contents Introduction «Back
A Guide to the Phantom Dark Age.
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Emmet Scott confronts conventional historians and looks at the evidence, archaeological and textual, for the proposition that three centuries, roughly between 615 and 915, never existed and are 'phantom' years. The author shows in detail how no archaeology exists for these three centuries, and that the material remains of the seventh century closely resemble those of the tenth, and lie directly beneath them. This is the first book on this topic in the English language, though Heribert Illig's books on the same topic, 'Das erfundene Mittelalter' and 'Wer hat an der Uhr Gedreht?' have been best sellers in German-speaking Europe.

About the Author

Emmet Scott is an independent writer and researcher who has published numerous articles and several books taking an alternative view of ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean civilization.

About the Book
The term ‘Dark Age’ was first introduced by historians during the 14th century, denoting that little was known of European history in the centuries between the fall of the Western Empire and the beginning of the 11th century. By the 19th century,...
The term ‘Dark Age’ was first introduced by historians during the 14th century, denoting that little was known of European history in the centuries between the fall of the Western Empire and the beginning of the 11th century. By the 19th century, however, it had become evident that Roman civilization did not come to an end in 476, not even in the West.

The author confronts the conventional proposition that three centuries, roughly between 615 and 915, never existed. The material remains of the 7th century closely resemble those of the 10th, and lie directly beneath them. The very late adoption of a universally-recognized Christian “anno domini” calendar and the Islamic world’s Age of Hijra (AH) calendar aided in masking the deception.

The barbarian princes who had taken control of the Roman Empire’s western provinces were not mindless destroyers. On the contrary, they adopted Roman civilization as quickly as they could and did everything in their power to uphold Roman institutions and customs. They also minted gold coins emblazoned with the image of the emperor in Constantinople. And they continued to build monuments in the Roman style, including luxurious churches and amphitheatres.

At the other end of the scale, the period we now call the High Middle Ages, from the 11th or even late 10th century onwards, could no longer be considered part of a dark age: the great cathedrals and castles of this time still stand in all their glory throughout Europe, revealing an advanced and in some ways astonishing civilization.

Using real evidence, archaeological and textual, Emmet Scott shows in detail that these are ‘phantom’ years, and he suggests why it was that this little fiction was widely accepted and supported, as it served the interests of the ruling elites from Europe to Arabia.


Preface

Foreword 

Using the most up to date mathematics as well as knowledge of celestial mechanics, modern astronomers can calculate very precisely where and when each and every solar eclipse was visible over the past few thousand years....

Foreword 

Using the most up to date mathematics as well as knowledge of celestial mechanics, modern astronomers can calculate very precisely where and when each and every solar eclipse was visible over the past few thousand years. This “retrocalculation,” as it is known, has placed an invaluable tool in the hands of historians. It so happens that eclipses — particularly those that were total — were of great interest to ancient writers, who, though understanding them to be a natural phenomenon, nonetheless invested them with a quasi-religious significance. The writings of the ancients are full of these events. From late antiquity alone, that is, from the beginning of the first century to the end of the eighth, occidental authors reported well over forty solar eclipses and often also included information about precisely where the phenomenon was visible.

As might be expected, modern scholars have examined these reports with great interest. They can, after all, either confirm or refute the accuracy of the ancient writers: Were these men trustworthy reporters of actual events, or were they fabulators who freely indulged their imaginations? What then do the records say?

The astonishing thing is that not a single solar eclipse reported by the ancient authors can be confirmed by modern retrocalculation! One or two come reasonably near, within half a decade or so; but the vast majority show no correlation whatsoever between the ancient report and the modern calculation.

What, we might ask, could possibly be wrong? Were the ancient authors after all fantasists who invented eclipses to spice up their histories? Or were they just ignorant of the events to which they provided such precise chronological information? Modern experts have in fact resorted to both these answers in explanation. However, scholars have now also noted a curious feature of the eclipse record. If three centuries is added to the date of the ancient eclipse, as provided by the Roman (or Greek or Frankish) author, then it fits almost precisely with the modern calculation. In fifteen of the forty-odd reports the discrepancy amounts to precisely three hundred years minus forty-six days. In five, the discrepancy is three hundred and one years, and in two cases it is two hundred and ninety-nine years. In short, if we assume that the events reported by the writers of ancient Rome and Byzantium occurred three centuries closer to our own time, the eclipse record fits perfectly!

What can all this mean?

 

The book that follows starts with the premise that the three centuries between roughly A.D. 615 and 915 never existed at all and are “phantom” years inserted into the calendar during the early Middle Ages. This being the case, we are not now in the year 2014, but in — or around — the year 1714.

This of course is in line with the thesis first presented by German author Heribert Illig in the early 1990s, who has, since then, published several books as well as innumerable articles and television documentaries to prove his point. I do not in these pages intend to simply reiterate what Illig has said, though a certain amount of repetition will be unavoidable. Some of the most essential evidence for the existence of this phantom time will need to be presented, especially as it is as yet so little known in the English-speaking world. It will be seen that the broad sweep of archaeological investigation over the past century has signally failed — much to the exasperation of the excavators — to produce anything substantial for the three centuries between 615 and 915. Even in sites that were occupied apparently continuously from the Roman period to the medieval (and there are very many of them), material for the three dark centuries is mysteriously missing.

Even worse, the settlements of the early seventh century lie immediately underneath those from the early tenth, without any intermediate gap, and the material culture of the two epochs shows striking signs of continuity. Indeed, were historians not saddled with chronological considerations, they would have had no hesitation in proclaiming the tenth century settlements to be the direct successors to those of the seventh: Tenth century art and architecture, as expressed most eloquently in the early Romanesque, looks to all intents and purposes like the direct successor of the late Roman styles of the Merovingians and Visigoths.

The evidence of archeology proves it and so do the written sources. Everywhere there are retarded echoes, events and characters of the seventh century which reappear in the tenth century, sometimes with a minor name change. The Ural-Altaic-speaking Avars, for example, who take possession of the Hungarian Plain in the late sixth century, look very much like the Ural-Altaic-speaking Magyars who take possession of the Hungarian Plain in the late ninth century. The Langobards or Lombards, whom we find in possession of Italy in the early seventh century, seem very much like the Lombards whom we find in possession of Italy at the start of the tenth. The Frankish Merovingians of the sixth and early seventh centuries seem to reappear in the Frankish Carolingians of the ninth and tenth centuries. Even in the Islamic world we find the same phenomenon: the Muslim conquest of northern India by Mohammed bin Qasim around 710 sounds uncannily like the Muslim conquest of northern India by Mahmud (Mohammed) of Ghazni around 1010. Again, the Christian Reconquista of Spain against the invading Moors is said to have commenced with the victory of Don Pelayo in northern Spain around 718, but the real Reconquista had to wait another three centuries to materialize with the victories of Roger de Tony in 1018. It is as if history had terminated in the early seventh century, then recommenced, without any appreciable disruption or disturbance, in the early tenth.

The gap thus appears both in written history and in archeology, but often it shows itself in a combination of the two. So for example Macbeth, a Scottish king of the mid-eleventh century, was, according to tradition, besieged at Dunsinnan Castle, where he was eventually slain. Yet archaeologists, much to their surprise, could find no eleventh-century castle at the site. What they found was a late Iron Age hill fort that had been abandoned in the eighth century — almost precisely three hundred years before Macbeth was holed up in the place.

The above represents a tiny sample of the manifold evidences strongly suggesting that Heribert Illig is right and that somehow or other three hundred years that never existed have been inserted into our calendar. The first thought that occurs upon being presented with this assertion is: What could possibly have caused such a distortion?


Table of Contents
Foreword 1Introduction 3 Chapter 1: The Dark Age 13 Origin and Development of the Dark Age Idea 13What Caused the Fall of Rome? 19The Revival of Classical Civilizati
Foreword 1
Introduction 3

Chapter 1: The Dark Age 13

Origin and Development of the Dark Age Idea 13
What Caused the Fall of Rome? 19
The Revival of Classical Civilization in the Sixth Century 25
The Revisionist Rejection of the Dark Age Idea 38

Chapter 2: The Archaeological Problem 47

The Archaeological Hiatus in Europe 47
The Archaeological Hiatus in Byzantium and the Islamic World 54
Retarded Echoes 61
Chapter 3: A Mythical Three Centuries 71
A Radical Solution 71
Origin of the Anno Domini Calendar 73
Why Distort History? 77
What about the Dark Age Chronicles? 83

Chapter 4: The Problem of Islamic History 95

The Islamic Calendar 95
The Archeology of Mesopotamia and Iran 99
The Chronology of Islam’s Early Expansion 104
Other Question Marks about Early Islam 108
Towards a Solution 117

Chapter 5: Reconstructing the Seventh Century 123

The Seventh Century Renaissance 123
Reconnecting the Strands 126
Seventh Century Merovingians and Tenth Century Carolingians 131
Spain in the Seventh and Tenth Centuries 135
Byzantium in the Seventh and Tenth Centuries 139

Chapter 6: A Strange New World 145

Consequences 145
Europe and the East 148
Appendix: The Astronomical Evidence 155
Radiocarbon Dating and Dendrochronology 162

Bibliography 169

Index 173



Pages 210
Year: 2014
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