SOME THOUGHTS ON ANATOLY FOMENKO.

Janek Pietron

In 1566 a Spanish Franciscan friar (later bishop) Diego De Landa published his book, .Relacion de las Cosas de Yucatan.., (How Things are in the Yucatan), in which he discussed the Mayan, ....method of counting time and their matters by ages, which they counted by 20-year periods...they call these periods katuns, with these making a calculation of ages that is marvellous ...thus it was easy for the old man ... to recall events which he said had taken place 300 years before. Had I not known of this calculation I should not have believed it possible to recall after such a period...

In other words what impressed the friar was not so much the fact that these Indians could read or write or that they had libraries full of books and scrolls. It was the concept, that by clever manipulation of time periods such as decades and centuries, or by reference to a book tabulating such periods, one should be able to work out, say, exactly when the Black Death was rampant in Spain and how many years later the Moors were driven out. Diego De Landa found this concept marvellous and barely credible, thereby betraying much about the prevailing historiographical paradigm in medieval Europe.

Even later, it is not clear whether De Landa even began to understand the concepts of history, chronology and calendrics as at the time of writing he still seems to think history had something to do with the katuns. History of course can be basically narrative in form, a sort of long-term journalism, similar to that of Herodotus, while chronology seeks to create a long temporal framework using dates and year counts within which to place the historical events. On the other hand calendrics could stem from ritual or taxation needs. For example the 20-day month was used on both sides of the Atlantic. In the Celtic world junior priestesses would officiate on 19 days of the month with the mother superior herself celebrating the 20th day of the cycle. Recognition of the lunar and solar cycles did not require an understanding of history and chronology.

Some decades earlier, reports had already started to appear in Europe on the Aztecs. concept of history and their use of the 52-year catastrophy cycle of the combined 365 and 260-day calendars and its similarity to the Hebrew 50-year Jubilee period. These reports slowly infiltrated a continent where the Church was preoccupied with the Reformation, the appearance of non-Biblical civilisations with long mythological and astronomical traditions, and the new heliocentric theories of Copernicus.

In the analysis of history many dating methods were being followed, and if Fomenko is right - such schemes were still in actual contemporary use in the late Middle Ages. The Anno Diocletian, also abbreviated as AD, and reckoned from the 284 AD ascension of the Roman emperor, was one such scheme as was the 15-year Roman civil indiction cycle. Though the names of the 15 constituent years of this cycle were agreed, the starting dates were not. The 19-year eclipse cycle and the 28-year date-return cycle were other popular dating tools, as was of course the Greek 4-year Olympiad. In the Olympiad system, the dates were expressed solely by the names of the relevent stadion victor. Numbering the Olympiad was a much later innovation. As to the original stadion victor list, in the words of Plutarch, ...it is difficult to be precise about dates, especially those reckoned by the Olympic victors, for Hippias of Elis published the list late, they say, beginning from nothing to compel confidence.. (Alden A. Mosshammer, .The Chronicle of Eusebius and Greek Chronographic Tradition., A.U.P., 1979.)

Vestiges of the so-called finger and toe month are visible in the Roman kalends (from which the word calendar), in Plutarch.s reports on ancient Greece, in the above Celtic religious rituals, and in the 10-day decan .weeks. of Egypt. The seminal work on the calendrical impact of the shoe is yet to be written! Were these old calendars truly ancient, perhaps still being used in parallel with our Roman calendar for over a thousand years, or is today.s calendar a far more recent product of the Holy Roman Empire, as implied by Fomenko?

To understand why the time may have come to reorganise time itself, it is necessary to step back a millennium. According to Anthony Grafton.s 1993 biography ..Joseph Scaliger.., by the fourth century A.D. ..Jewish writers, above all Eupolemus and Josephus, and Christian writers e.g. Tatian and Clement, established a chronology for the Biblical past.., insisting on a ...profound antiquity.. and using ...chronology as a powerful polemical weapon, one which could prove Moses older than Homer, the Bible older than Greek epic, written Hebrew older than literary Greek... But by the late Renaissance, in spite of twelve more centuries of historical scholarship, what actually reached students was history, .....in a condensed form: most commonly in Eusebius.s .Chronicle. of world history from the time of Abraham. This was translated into Latin, emended and extended by Jerome and became both a pre-eminent source and an influential model for all later efforts to reconstruct the chronology of the world...

So it was primarily on the works of Eusebius and Herodotus that the Italian-born Calvinist Scaliger and his rival the French Catholic Petau (Latin=Petavius) focused their attention. Scaliger, historian, philologian and theoretical astronomer, published his ..Opus de emendatione tempore.., (A study on the correction of time) in 1583. This work introduces Scaliger.s 7980 year ..Julian Period.., named after his father, and not to be confused with the Julian calendar. It is a combination of the 15, 19, and 28 year cycles and further expanded into a day count for the exact measurement of time between events. (The influence here of Mesoamerican calendrics and it.s use of long day-counts, is quite clear.)

These innovations were born into a world with an attitude that chronology must agree above all with the scriptures. Grafton (ibid.) describes how Fregeville (1582) had insisted that chronology must never be based on secular history, but was to be used only for confirmation of the biblical king lists and events, and relates how the mature Vico was enraged because, .Scaliger and Petavius, for all their .stupendous erudition., had gone wrong by devoting themselves to chronology in place of anthropology. Instead of fixing astronomically precise dates for early history, they should have appreciated the mythical character of the tales that preserved it...

From Abraham to the Ascension, Judeo-Christian chronology had been firmly established, though floating and unanchored to any firm date at either end of the spectrum. Debate continued actively for the next 250 years or so on how to settle the remaining issues, so that, by 1830, the Reverend Hales had carefully tabulated over 120 different Creation dates. At this end of the Old Testament however, Hales encountered only a dozen or so dates for the Nativity, ranging from 7 BC to 3 AD, a very narrow range. Today a 4 BC date is accepted as this has been established as the year of Herod.s death and therefore the latest possible date for the Incarnation.

Assuming De Landa.s amazement at Mayan historical records was not the reaction of an ignorant man, and it should be noted that he published his book while back in Madrid with ample opportunity for peer feedback, then any suggested chronological misalignment implies not only a sixteenth century shift of Greek and Roman historians back a millennium and more, but also that most of these ancient histories and king-lists are a 16th century contrivance in the first place, as otherwise they would be too well known for history to be rewritten so easily, and a countervailing historical paradigm would have been long in place.

Writers of Dark Age chronicles and annalls, who followed ancient Rome.s last historian Marcellinus, also fall under suspicion though these writers may have been individually misdated under the confusion of dating systems, and were probably less known to their contemporaries, with their works, perhaps in single copy editions, often consigned to obscure monastic collections. On the other hand the claim, or suspicion, that a small group of scholarly monks managed to produce a prodigious number of realistic and convincing manuscripts in many languages while maintaining strict secrecy and that this was followed by a conspiracy of silence for the next 400 years, with the truth either forgotten, restricted to a Vatican mafia or the odd brotherhood, just beggars belief. Yet this seems to be exactly what happenned.

Anatoly Fomenko is not a historian. He is not an archaeologist, nor an astronomer. He is neither a philologian nor an anthropologist. He is Professor of Pure Mathematics at Moscow University, specialising in statistical analysis of historical chronologies and has thereby developed a high level of competence in many related disciplines. In the 1970s he decided to re-examine the work of N.A.Morozov (1854-1946) a .universal. scholar, who after astronomical analysis of many a religious tradition concluded that the Christian era was younger by some 2 or 3 centuries. Fomenko claims that Morozov assumed post 300 AD chronology to be basically sound and therefore failed to consider many early and late medieval solutions to ancient astronomical texts and records.

Basing his work on the histories of the last three millennia and subjecting the chronologies, rulers. life-spans, and events to various statistical tests, Fomenko published his .Empirico-Statistical Analysis of Narrative Material and its Application to Historical Dating., vols I & II, (Kluwer 1994), basically an edited collection of various papers published by himself and his colleagues. Most of the original papers are only available in Russian, as are many of the references. Even western sources are often quoted in their Russian editions and then re-translated into English. There is no difficulty however, in absorbing the power of the basic argument.

Social and physical scientists had long used statistics as an important analytical tool. Fomenko took the audacious step of applying statistics to chronological analysis. By studying the dependence of many texts on a common primary source, and the statistical independence of .strings. of chronologies and events such as eclipses, star flares, volcanic eruptions, reign durations etc., Fomenko concluded that there was vgical shifts of 333, 1053, and 1778 years, all close to the natural numbers of 360, 1080, and 1800; and often with the 27 year difference between a 1053 year shift and a 1080 year shift accounted for by a 27 year long war say. Other shifts are involved, involving many secular and Biblical chronologies. In the case of the Roman Empire alone, 2000 years may quickly reduce to less than 500. Fomenko doesn.t declare which history or tradition is true, but the staggering number of inter-dependent histories is truly amazing. Much of the minor detail and references of this work are of equally great value and interest. This work will provide a rich source of revisionist ideas for many chronological shifts to come!

Although Fomenko argues elsewhere, that these historical misrepresentations could be accidental, many of his sources suggest that the whole process was not only deliberate but, over the years, impossible to keep secret. For example 16th c. Salamanca Professor de Arcilla ....published two papers in which he stated that the whole of history preceding the 4th century had been falsified.. Whether the concept of the 16th century already existed at that time is unclear. Also quoted is .J. Hardouin (1646-1724) who regarded the entire classical literature as the work of 16th century monks.., and ....the German researcher R. Baldauf (who) was proving on the basis of philological arguments that not only ancient but even early medieval history was a later falsification..

If so much of the ancient history we know was a deliberate falsification, then why was the fraud so blatant, just awaiting future exposure. Considering the effort that must have gone into the creative process, why not just juggle the dates and reign lengths a little, in order to make it a bit more convincing? Fomenko has argued, that after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, vast quantities of ancient documents, in different languages and from many different traditions suddenly appeared in Western Europe - a Europe with poor communications and many independent monastic orders, whose members were poor translators and even poorer historians or chronologists. Much confusion supposedly followed with Rome being confused not only with New Rome (Constantinople), but also confused with Troy, and even confused with Jerusalem itself. Today.s history is supposedly a legacy of those days. However there may yet be another explanation.

Philosophers and scholars of the classical and medieval periods were preoccupied with numbers and cycles. Eusebius had relied on ApolloUranus. Venus.s period is 15 squared or 225 days. Jupiter and Saturn meet every 20 years and every 240 degrees of Saturn.s orbit. Every Great Mutation of 60 years Jupiter and Saturn meet in the original sign of the Zodiac. Saturn and Uranus meet every 45 yrs., Saturn and Neptune every 36. Numbers such as 360, 720, 1800 are higher order numbers and even more sacred than the lower ones. Remember such ideas as, the .Great Architect., the .Great Geometer., and .before God there was Mathematics.. Note the capital M.

These natural numbers are very close to the basic chronological shifts of Fomenko.s history. The original shifts, before centuries of fine tuning by linearly thinking scholars may have been numerologically or astronomically perfect. Some of the West.s greatest thinkers, such as Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton all practised astrology, as did many popes. The illiterate and non-numerate popes often consulted astrologers. In the eyes of the Church, the circle symbolised perfection. The sun could have no blemishes, the moon no imperfections and for many the luminaries were the manifestation of the gods, if not the actual gods themselves. Remember that Christianity is a very recent concept. In the Vatican of the late 16th c. God is still sometimes referred to as Jupiter and Kepler in his seminal 1596 work on the laws of orbital geometry and periodicity cannot reconcile the elliptical orbits of the planets with the .Will and Inclination. of the Gods.. In other words how can Venus and Mars make war on each other, if both deities are constrained by elliptical orbits. This is the mind set of an ancient Greek not an enlightened mind after 1600 years of Christian thought.

Time was cyclical and there existed a concept of the Great Return. Today we say .He who doesn.t study history is doomed to repeat it... If in the past history repeated, was it that, that made it so interesting. When the Church wrote the world.s history the paradigm was cyclical. Therefore history HAD to repeat, and with no past history on which to test linear versus cyclical time, no challenges were possible to the new paradigm. God worked with a geometric master-plan, and as Einstein remarked much later, .didn.t play dice with the universe..

Today.s forger would invent random chronologies and king lists,and then develop the characters and events, keeping one eye on a calendar to avoid mistakes. He would be aware that the odds against a 300 year modern French period closely resembling three centuries in Babylon were so high, as to soon drawrows didn.t fly in circles. Time once did.