Did the early Middle ages really exist?
by Dr. H.U. Niemitz
in itself –and more so the answer 'NO, the early Middle Ages did not
exist' –is surprising, to say the least. It contradicts all basic
knowledge and attacks the historian's self-respect to such an extreme that
the reader of this paper is asked to be patient and benevolent, open to
radically new ideas. I shall argue step by step –and, I hope, you will
follow. With a group of friends (Muller 1992; Illig 1991; Niemitz 1991;
Marx 1993; Topper 1994) I have been doing research on this subject since
1990. This is the reason for using 'we' or 'I' intermittently.
mainly says, with far-reaching implications and consequences:
Antiquity (1 AD) and the Renaissance (1500 AD) historians count
approximately 300 years too many in their chronology. In other words: the
Roman emperor Augustus really lived 1700 years ago instead of the
conventionally assumed 2000 years.
whole well-known historiography of the Middle Ages contradicts this
assertion! The easiest way to understand doubts about the accepted
chronology and 'well-known' history is to seriously systematize the problems
of medieval research. This will lead us to detect a pattern which proves my
thesis and gives reason to assume that a phantom period of approximately 300
years has been inserted between 600 AD to 900 AD, either by accident, by
misinterpretation of documents or by deliberate falsification (Illig 1991).
This period and all events that are supposed to have happened therein never
existed. Buildings and artifacts ascribed to this period really belong to
other periods. To prove this the Carolingian Chapel at Aachen will serve as
the first example.
historians explain and describe artifacts and buildings of this period as
anachronistic –but they never follow up on their assessments. One of the
best examples, intensively surveyed, is the Chapel of Aachen (ca. 800 AD),
which seems to come approximately 200 years too early. The way of
constructing an arch shown in this chapel has no predecessor (Adam 1968,7).
Arched aisles are usual only in the 11th century in Speyer. The construction
of choirs with rising arch and also rising barrel vaulting is not resumed
until 200 years later at the portal of Tournus (Hubert 1969,67). The
vertical steepness of the interior arches of the Aachen Chapel is more
accentuated than those of churches built two centuries later. One of these
is the 1049 AD consecrated Abbey-church of Ottmarsheim. Although missing
some details of the early model, nevertheless it is the "best copy" of
Aachen. However, these and many other arguments implicate that the Chapel of
Aachen has to be regarded as a building of the second part of the 11th
research-problem is the AD way of counting years. How could 300 phantom
years have crept into the accepted chronology and why didn't anyone notice
it? For approximately 2000 years people have been counting years correctly,
In 1582 Pope
Gregory XIII started the so-called 'Gregorian calendar', which is basically
a corrected version of the old Julian calendar of Julius Caesar. The Julian
calendar, after being used for a long time, no longer corresponded with the
astronomical situation. The difference, according to calculations by Pope
Gregory, amounted to 10 days. Now please calculate: how many Julian years
does it take to produce an error of 10 days? The answer is 1257 years. The
question –at which date was the Julian calendar correct –can be
calculated with the following amazing result (Illig 1991): 1582-1257 = 3D
325 (year the "Gregorian" calendar began minus years necessary to produce 10
days of error in the Julian calendar equal the beginning the Julian
calendar. It seems, unbelievably, that Caesar introduced his calendar in 325
AD. This is unbelievable because by then he had already been dead for more
than 300 years. If 16 centuries had passed since Caesar's introduction of
his calendar, the Julian calendar in Gregory's time would have been out of
sync with the astronomical situation by 13 days, not 10.
historians have noticed this contradiction, but they solve it this way: the
scholars in Caesar's time reckoned a different date for the equinox (the day
in spring, where day and night have the same length). Yet it can be proved
that the Romans used the same date for the equinox as we do today, i.e. the
21st of March (Illig 1991 and 1993).
If our thesis
of 300 phantom years is right, then the thesis must also be valid for the
whole of Eurasian-African history for the period between 600 AD and 900 AD.
In this time period Byzantium and the new Islamic realms were supposedly
fighting each other in the Near East and the Mediterranean.
Let us look
at Byzantium first. Historians acknowledge a special problem for exactly
this period: when did the Empire reform its administration? When and how
did this reform - called by modern historians 'reform of the themes' - come
into being? How did feudalism develop? One group of historians pointed out
that the essentials for this reform were outlined in Antiquity and that for
the 300 years following 600 AD nothing happened. Thus nothing can be said
about this period, because no historical sources exist for the supposed
reform in this period.
interpolates between the years 600 AD and 900 AD a very slow evolution of
Byzantine society. This evolution was so slow, they say, that the actors
themselves hardly noticed it and thus this evolution didn't produce any
written document (no archaeological remains, either, by the way!). The
discussion of both groups is termed the 'debate of continuity'. The gap has
to be filled by speculation. Therefore both groups accuse each other of
misinterpreting historical sources in an anachronistic manner
(Karayannopulos 1959,15; Niemitz 1994). Uwe Topper and Manfred Zeller
pointed out some important riddles and problems of the Islamic and
Persian-Arab-Byzantine world using the thesis of the phantom years.
Firdowsis's well known epic, the Shahname, written around 1010 AD, ends with
the last Persian king Yazdegird III, who died 651 AD. The epic tells nothing
about the Islamic conquest of Persia and has no allusions to Islam at all.
It simply jumps the 300 years of Islamic teaching as if they had never
Parsees in India have been debating their own chronology furiously since
messengers from Iran in the 18th century told them that they made a mistake
in counting the years since their flight from the homeland. Even modern
encyclopedias vary in their assertions between the 7th and 10th century for
the event (Topper 1994).
examination of the architecture of the Omayyades - they were the famous
first Arabic dynasty from 661 AD until 750 AD –detects untypical
characteristics for an Islamic dynasty. These unusual characteristics are
especially visible in their palaces. We see a painting (approximately 725
AD) on a wall (in spite of the Islamic prohibition against portraying human
figures!) showing the Persian king Khosrow II, paying hommage to the
Omayyade sovereign. But by then this Persian king had been dead for
approximately 100 years.
introduction of Arabic coins organized by the caliph Abd al Malik in 695 AD
reveals some remarkable contradictions. The Arabic coins bear the portrait
of the Persian king Khosrow II who died long time before (Zeller 1993).
Manfred Zeller draws the following conclusion from this and other facts: We
have to eliminate two phantom times; the first of approximately 78 years
(from 583 AD until 661 AD) and a second one of approximately 218 years (from
750 until 968). The first phantom time came into being through artificial
separation of the Persian and Omayyade history which in reality was
contemporaneous. Thus Zeller explains the contradictions of the un-Islamic
style and the late appearance of Khosrow II in the Omayyade history. The
second phantom time is a time-stretching repetition of the Persian history
from 528 AD until 661 - now in Islamic style and dated from 750 until 968.
Harun al-Rashid is an invention, as is the whole history of his dynasty
(Muller 1992). Probably Islam did not spread until 10 centuries ago.
way some riddles and research problem can be solved, others will follow.
For instance the miraculous origin of Islam. It is generally known that
historians are astonished at this 'miracle'; we can read this in the
introduction of Fischer Weltgeschichte, Volume I, Der Islam I: "Birth and
success of Islam seem to be a miracle." (Cahen 1968,7). A miracle ("Wunder")
like that is needed for an explanation - this is known to all scientists.
Gunter Luling has suggested a new scenario (Luling 1974 uan 1981).
Fig. 1: The
center of the graph (not included in this text) shows the time
conventionally dated historical events. Upper and lower coordinates
reconstructed time tables. The black triangles mark the phantom years.
of the Jews shows centuries of darkness and discontinuity that support the
thesis of the phantom time. One of the important modern works on Jewish
history bears the descriptive title "The Dark Ages. Jews in Christian Europe
711-1096. Here are two quotations:
that they (the Jews) totally disappeared together with the breakdown of the
Roman Empire. However, we don't find any evidence of their presence until
the Carolingian period." (Roth 1966,162).
Carolingian period historians find only written sources, whereas material
sources like buildings and artifacts exist just for the time after 1000 AD
(Jewish quarter in Regensburg between 1006 and 1028 AD, in Cologne between
1056 and 1075 AD, in Worms around 1080 AD, in Speyer around 1084 AD etc.).
And for the regions outside Germany we are told:
"Of course we
know from inscriptions and other sources about Jewish societies and single
persons in nearly all provinces of the Roman Empire, and we can reasonably
suppose - with or without proof - that there is in fact no district without
Jews. Nevertheless there doesn't exist any evidence and only little
probability that a substantial number of Jews lived anywhere in the western
world at this time." (Roth 1966,4; Illig 1991).
How can we
find support in archaeological research for our phantom time? In 1986 a
conference of archaeologists specializing in Medieval towns took place under
the heading: "The rebirth of towns in the west, AD 700 - 1050. The
participants discussed a puzzling problem: does continuity in the evolution
of the town - postulated by historians - exist or not? The archaeologists
could prove that the stratigraphies of towns - adapted to 'normal'
chronology - inevitably involve gaps. Where was continuity? Generally it is
enigmatic to archaeologists if towns in the early Middle Ages had had an
economic sense or function. Historians and archaeologists must maintain that
no civil town building existed in this period and that only church buildings
survived from that time. To justify this they must assert that at that time
towns were not central marketplaces (Hodges 1982,49; Niemitz 1992).
existing stratigraphies of German towns give evidence of the phantom time.
In Frankfurt on Main archaeological excavations did not find any layer for
the period between 650 and 910 AD. Nevertheless it has been assumed that
something had been found in order to avoid empty centuries, which is
unconceivable. Thus the absent period was construed by layers –composed of
waste and ceramic fragments from other locations –which were spread to
fill in the gap and support known chronology (Stamm 1962; Niemitz 1993).
Archaeological research in ceramics encounters big problems for the
projected phantom time. Two quotations: "The evolution of half a century is
unclear" writes Peter Vychitil in his 1991 publication about ceramics of the
8th to 13th centuries from settlements of the Main-triangle. Thirty years
earlier Werner Haarnagel had some troubles with the slow-moving evolution of
vessel forms in the 7th, 8th and 9th centuries at the North Sea coast; it is
impossible to find an order in these ceramic vessels. Even to construct a
relative chronology still seems to be impossible. Therefore the ceramic
experts try to solve their problems with mathematical and statistical
methods (Vychitil 1991,21; Niemitz 1994)).
In the same
manner as archaeologists the researcher of ceramics commits a major mistake
- a mistake, that Gunter P. Fehring warned of:
of the existence of written sources for that period, the medieval
archaeologist should try to date his finds with archaeological means. It is
not permitted to act in a different way than an archaeologist of ancient
history." (Fehring 1992,48).
archaeologists are not permitted to rely on written sources, especially when
the archaeological results and the evidence contradict them –even if
generations of historians have worked on those written sources! For instance
the framework of the ceramics chronology has been elaborated for one hundred
years; the researcher correlated each surprising find in accordance with
known history, although more than 100 years ago in the German science of
Antiquity (Altertumskunde) we can find amazing words that must have been a
warning. For example, the following quotation (1880) deals with the end of
the Merovingian period:
"But we do
miss a reliable milestone of this kind like the one provided by the burial
hoard of Doornick (Childerich I). The boundary leads into uncertainty,
sometimes until the 9th and even 11th centuries." (Lindenschmit 1880,75).
that each specialist refers to the neighboring discipline to solve his
problems of dating - a typical case of circular reasoning. Nobody looks over
the whole situation and therefore nobody is astonished that the same
structural problems occur in different disciplines.
common objection to this idea says that methods of scientific dating are
infallible and beyond the danger of circular reasoning. Of these methods the
best known are RC14 and dendrochronology. As RC14 is now calibrated by and
therefore dependent on dendrochronology it is insignificant for the medieval
period. Horst Willkom (1988) says:
"We use the
C14-method only to correlate a sample of carbon with a certain tree ring.
This method - at least for the post-glacial period - has become a relative
method." (Willkomm 1988,176).
Dendrochronology works, because each time period creates typical sequences
of tree rings. With the help of overlapping sequences of different trees it
is possible to construct a standard sequence that reaches back centuries for
a given region. In this standard sequence you can find for any suitable wood
the corresponding age of growth of this tree. This seems to be a very simple
theory; you have to count the tree rings if you want to find the exact year,
But: as each
individual wood differs from the other and also differs from the standard
sequence, dendrochronologists must work with a tremendous mathematical
"Transformation of the ring-width into logarithmic differences, preferential
treatment of the correlating arithmetic, theoretical derivation of congruent
patterns, distance regression of similarity, regional analysis, test
function with scope of dating, statistics of sapwood and lost tree rings,
distribution of centered differences between dating of art styles and
dendrochronological dating." (Hollstein 1980,11; Illig 1993).
method one easily commits errors. The following demonstrates this:
researchers erroneously construed the interval between 2000 BC and 500 AD by
synchronizing north and central European oak wood. In one of the
synchronizations the error amounted to 71 years. Not only these 71 years are
alarming but also the error by itself. Methodically the error was duly kept
at 71 years because otherwise the wood - dated before with other methods -
would not fit historically. But how was it possible to locate those 71 years
in the standard sequence? Are the mathematical methods so flexible?
Distrust is necessary even more so because the author of that publication
emphasizes that in this case of dating some unfavorable circumstances
accumulated and such might happen in every (sic!) laboratory (Schmidt 1984,
another argument against applying dendrochronology to the Middle Ages. The
number of suitable samples of wood, which connect Antiquity and the Middle
Ages is very small. But only a great number of samples would give certainty
against error. For the period about 380 AD we have only 3, for the period
about 720 AD only 4 suitable samples of wood (Hollstein 1980,11); usually 50
samples serve for dating.
Fig 2: (not
shown in this text) Number of samples in time (middle European oak
argument against dendrochronology consists of its own history: In 1970 Ernst
Hollstein - one of the famous and most active dendrochronologists in Germany
- proclaimed after eight years of research a great success: he had solved
the problem of bridging the early Middle Ages. Now he could date all samples
back to Roman time 'absolutely and exactly'. But he paid a high price - too
high as we know today. He did in fact change his method; instead of using
oak for his oak-chronology he used copper beech wood
(3D Rotbuchenholz) to fill the gap. But ten years later in 1980 it was no
longer necessary to use beechwood for the oak-chronology, he fortunately had
found fitting oak wood - but dates he had defined in 1970 were irrevocable!
This is unusual in science, and he did it only reluctantly as we can see
from the following quotation, where he describes his method:
is unbiased and basically not graphic, because it combines many calculation
operations, and you have to do the more operations, the more the problem of
dating is distant from today and from comparable historically secured dates.
At border-line when totally leaving known history - i.g. analyzing two
completely unknown samples of trees which grew supposedly at he same time -
the a priori probability of finding the right date can become so small that
only a little chance remains of finding it. For trees of the post-glacial
the probability is approximately one in 10000. These hints show clearly the
biggest difficulty of the dendrochronological method." (Hollstein 1970,147).
to get enough tree ring sequences from timber of the Carolingian times have
failed..." - "It is strange, but it proved as extremely difficult to connect
the Merovingian wood samples from excavations with the above mentioned
by an unusually deceptive correlation - as happens from time to time in all
fields of knowledge - I believed that I could date the chamber burial of
Hufingen at the beginning of the 8th century." - " After two years of
intensive studies I can name at last the right dates und put in order all
samples of the early Middle Ages." (Hollstein 1970,148).
misdating of coffins from Hufingen and Oberflacht, that had been calculated
very carefully in accordance with the then valid rules (sic!) suddenly
proved, that the statistical methods must be tightened up the more the event
is distant from the starting point. That has been neglected hitherto - but
is now corrected. Now we don't choose arbitrarily a so called
error-probability at the outset, as has been usual. Now we choose the
probability of the correct approach as a function of the observations and
available hypotheses. The quality of this test method is, if circumstances
permit it, one hundred times better and also more certain than the old one."
Here we can
observe the way Hollstein changes the method, which reveals even more, i.e.
the expectations of waiting colleagues; and those expectations weren't
purely academic as he had to beg for money for his research.
"As I have
been asked time and again to publish my new dates, I feel obliged to give
them in a preliminary way and without proof, be it in contradiction with
scientific tradition. ... From this chronologically arranged summary; one
cannot deduce after how many futile tests the right correlation has been
found. And it still remains a process of searching, which is not altered by
the fact that we use computers." (Hollstein 1970,149).
reports about bridging the critical period of the 8th century; there simply
exist no samples of wood.
moment Dr. R. Gensen discovered on the Christenberg near Marburg/Lahn a well
from Carolingian times, whose heavy squared timbers provided a sequence of
339 years. Although this is wood of red-beech, a type of wood with
occasional tendency to missing rings, still this Marburg sequence coincides
in the decisive period of the 7th, 8th and 9th centuries... with the other
sequences... So early medieval wood samples cannot be regarded as firmly
dated." (Hollstein 1970,150f).
Hollstein says that he - being in trouble - took a piece of wood predated by
historians to fill his gap (see Fehring above). This cannot be called
scientist in trouble usually sends out signals for help - sometimes
unconsciously - and so does Hollstein. After listing his tree ring dates
secured by what he terms the 'oldest historically documented year-by-year
dates' he says:
"It is good
to know that the West German oak chronology for nearly one thousand years is
exactly under control - year by year. Going back to earlier millenia, the
missing documentary frame has to be substituted by an essentially tightened
correlation." (Hollstein 1970,152).
express this statement thus: It is very difficult to point out the years
before 1000 AD because we do not have any dates supported by written
Why not quote
more recent test results (after 1980)? A Hamburg dendrochronologist
responded to my request for recent literature in December, 1994: today
sequences and dates are no longer published because there exists the danger
of abuse. Hobby-dendrochronologists earned money by dating for example
timbers of houses for private clients with unreliable methods. So
laboratories in Europe and worldwide exchange their dates without publishing
them (Niemitz 1995 - in preparation).
cursory glance over the riddles and research problems two great questions
remain: How was it possible to insert this phantom time into history - or
asked in a provocative manner: Who(and when and how and why) falsified
history by adding 300 years? And the second question: How can it be possible
to discuss the thesis of the phantom time in the scientific community
without being discriminated against as a 'Von Daniken of the Middle Ages'.
Both questions are more closely connected than you might assume at first
One could try
to find the answer to the first question in postulating a theory of
conspiracy (the Freemasons, the Catholic Church or one of the Catholic monk
orders such as the Benedictines or the Jesuits - or any other secret
association). But this - I suppose - will deter scientists. And this answer
is not only far too simple, it is essentially wrong.
question - the question of the scientific community - could be put this way:
why did the 'stupid' scientist and researcher not notice this gap before?
Why did some outsider have to come and ask this question and start finding
the solution? The second question implicitly triggers the threat of changing
of the paradigms, which implies a threat to confidence in the work of all
scientists working in historical research. Thomas S. Kuhn discusses this
situation regarding science in his book "The Structure of Scientific
Revolution". But in our case something new appears: For the historical
period and especially the Middle Ages no paradigms have ever been
challenged. This may sound pathetic or megalomaniacal; and accusations of
this kind will come from specialists, who have to reckon with enormous
shiftings and new structures in their field. But nevertheless this question
can only find an answer through discussions within academic circles if it is
to be answered at all.
Let us go
through some of the questions in detail. First question: Why do we suppose
that three centuries have been faked in medieval history? Our discovery
began when we accidentally learned about the problem of faked documents in
the Middle Ages. Incidentally the German "Monumenta Germaniae Historica" had
just published the papers of its conference "Falschungen im Mittelalter"
(Munchen, September 16th to 19th, 1986) (Niemitz 1991).20
Thus it was
easy to study the last results of this particular research. You can find
medieval falsifications in every kind of documents. The medievalist is
confronted with a "dangerous and confusing host" (Fuhrmann 1988,5) of false
documents and this was the reason for organizing the conference. The
Bavarian state secretary of education and culture, Hans Maier, summarized
the problem - and nobody came to contradict him: 'Falsifications in the
Middle Ages'- are really no minor subject for medievalists. In this
conference we treat the central problem of historical-scientific research,
the 'discrimen veri ac falsi', i.e. the question for authenticity of the
documents and even more - the concept of truth in an important period of
history of mankind." (Maier 1988,63).20
question of the medievalist is: How was history made? Because he knows how
false history can be made. We were really impressed by one of the lectures -
a lecture about the great number of fakes and suspicious documents. It was
at the end of the conference when Horst Fuhrmann, president of the Monumenta
Germaniae Historica, emphasized a special peculiarity of some of the
important faked documents. He demonstrated that the important fakes of the
Roman Catholic Church have an anticipating character (Fuhrmann 1988,89).
These documents had to wait their great moment to come. "Centuries after
being produced these fakes were integrated into the framework of the
clerical and laical world ." (Fuhrmann 1988,90). Fuhrmann's opinion was
that in the first place the surrounding ("Umfeld") must exist before a fake
can be effective.
"It is naive
positivism to argue, that fakes like the ones represented here could have
changed the world. An assertion like this confuses cause and effect: rather
a correspondingly changed world had accepted the fakes. Or in other words:
The evolving Papal centralism didn't need the fakes; but the fakes needed
the evolution of Papal centralism in order to become succesful." (Fuhrmann
But why then
did the church falsify documents, when they were unnecessary? Yet this was
not what aroused our astonishment although this statement, even born from
need to solve a riddle, is a ridiculous explanation. We were shown fakes
from preceding centuries. We divined chronological distortions. Therefore we
inspected the calendar calculation mentioned above with the result of a time
error amounting to three centuries.
looked for 'gaps' in special reports and publications, also for periods of
stagnation or strange events repeated in similar manner after approximately
300 years. I only refer to some of a great number of puzzles: a gap in the
history of building in Constantinople (558 AD - 908 AD); a gap in the
doctrine of faith, especially the gap in the evolution of theory and meaning
of purgatory (600 AD until ca. 1100) Le Goff 1990); a 300-year-long
reluctant introduction of farming techniques (three-acre-system, horse with
cummet) and of war techniques (stirrup) (White 1968, 66); a gap in the
mosaic art (565 AD - 1018 AD); a repeated beginning of the German
orthography etc. etc. (Illig 1991; Niemitz 1991; Zeller 1991). The puzzles
of historiography led the way, pointing out again and again the 'gap' which
we soon termed 'phantom time'.
But who could
have had an interest in faking so many documents? And why did the 'fakers'
need a phantom time of 300 years? We developed two hypothesis which
basically don't contradict.
Otto III didn't live accidentally around the year 1000 AD; he himself had
defined this date! He wanted to reign in this year, because this suited his
understanding of Christian milleniarism. He defined this date with the help
of his famous and well-versed friend Gerbert de Aurillac, later Pope
Sylvester II. In reality they lived approximately seven hundred years after
the birth of Jesus Christ, but never until then had the years been reckoned
'after Christ'. Perhaps unaware of their error and without intending to
falsify they defined one special year as '1000 AD' (Illig 1991).
Consequently chroniclers had to invent 300 years of history. To fill up
empty periods - what a great occasion for dynasties and kings! You can
design the planned future as a construct of the past, and this apparently
happened: Otto III construed Charlemagne as the model hero he himself wanted
to be. Supposedly he sketched Charlemagne's history only a bit, or it wasn't
even him but the generations after him who lined out a whole full life
picture. Especially the clergy hoped to get advantage in its confrontation
with the emperor which had started in the 11th century.
Constantine VII of Byzantium (905 - 959 AD) organized a complete rewriting
of the whole Byzantine history. The famous German Byzantinist Peter
Schreiner has demonstrated how official historiography interprets this
process: beginning in the year 835 AD monks rewrote piece by piece all texts
which had been written in Greek maiuscula, in the new form of writing hence
called minuscula. Schreiner postulates that each text was produced only
once. Then the originals were destroyed (Schreiner 1991,13). This means that
all existing texts of the then leading culture nation had been changed or
rewritten completely in new script in the lifetime of two generations, or
even faster, and have been well invented, we suppose (Illig 1992).
It is not
important to explain the motivation of the emperor Constantine VII. I only
want to demonstrate, that an action of rewriting and faking like this has
happened. If it could happen in Byzantium, it might have happened at any
other place, too. Moreover Theophanu, mother of Otto III, came from
Byzantium and was a niece of the emperor Tzismiskes (emperor from 969 AD
until 976 AD), a descendant of the same dynasty as Constantine VII. As to
the question who faked and why, there could be many speculations. Its seems
that in this question surprises are ahead which could create trouble for
many academic institutions as well as other social groups.
Question: How is it possible to do research work of this kind inside the
scientific community? Is it perhaps necessary to research outside the
scientific community, because it would demand a big change of paradigms,
which means the end of certainty with regard to chronology. Usually a
program of research relies on given research problems which the general
public defines. What will happen when the new research program in regard
with its thesis or approach is too far from general public interest or too
far from the academic society? (Who shall give financial support?) Then we
don't have the capability of joining 'normal science'. I am aware of
standing on the shoulders of our predecessors and that we work using their
results, I can only emphasize again and again my respect for archaeologists
and other scientists who are able to uncover artifacts and construct
theories on them.
I would like
to repeat that our method consists in questioning specific research problems
of archaeology and historiography. I must emphasize that the thesis of the
phantom years is one proposal for solving those problems. It works
surprisingly well and yields amazing results. It seems that scientists today
do not see the common pattern in all the problems which repeatedly appear,
because there exists an unexpressed and unconscious prohibition against
questioning the chronology as if it were unimpeachable. My request therefore
is: where and how could our research work possibly join? What could we do
together? Until today our research work was done marginally, but from now on
it enters an important stage. The project has became so big that it cannot
be worked out by a few people with small resources. Support from official
institutions has become necessary so that we can continue our work at the
margin of specialty ("im Rand des Faches") as suggests Krohn and Kü
papers in their book "The self-organisation of science(-society): "It is
only through activities in the margin of scientific institutions that
outsiders can amplify the disturbances, so that instabilities will appear,
which in the end will restructure existing research." (Krohn, Küppers
colleagues accuse us of unrealistic or even fantastic behavior, I wish to
express that it could not be a mortal sin in the business of science to
question paradigms and slaughter holy cows. In case we are forced to turn to
the general public in order to raise funds, this strategy will do as well.
But: "One of the strongest but unwritten rules of scientific life is the
interdiction against appealing to statesmen or to the general public in
matters of science" (Kuhn 1979,179). Kuhn supposes:
"As the unity
of the scientific performance is a solved problem and as the group knows
well which problems are already solved, only few scientists would be
willing to take up a standpoint that reopens research on many already
solved problems." (Kuhn 1979,180).
produces new problems and questions - especially seemingly solved ones. But
it promises to solve more problems than ever before in the historiography of
the early Middle Ages.20
What can I
request from the historian, the archaeologist of the Middle Ages, the
philologue and the philosopher? What would I do in their place? Important
is the need for discussion and sponsorship. There exist two attitudes toward
research: One of them is direct professional approach (history, archaeology,
philology); the other is discussing the theory of knowledge and science.
Obviously our project is one of interdisciplinary research. Only in this way
we can produce the expected change of paradigms with the necessary emotional
literature is only a fraction of what should have been named. Some essays of
Illig, Muller, Niemitz, Zeller and Topper are quoted apart at the end of
Epochen der Architektur. Vorromanik und Romanik. Frankfurt/Main 1968
Claude: Der Islam I, Fischer Weltgeschichte Band 14. Frankfurt/Main 1968
Harun al-Raschid. dtv 11312, MFCnchen 1990
GFCnter P.: EinfFChrung in die ArchE4ologie des Mittelalters.
Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Darmstadt, 1992
Horst: Von der Wahrheit der FE4lscher. In: Monumenta Germaniae Historica,
Band 33, FE4lschungen im Mittelalter, Internationaler KongreDF der
MFCnchen 16.-19. September 1986, Teil I:83-98
Werner: Die einheimische frFChgeschichtliche und
mittelalterliche Keramik aus den Wurten "Hessens" und "Emden" und ihre
Gliederung. In: Praehistorische
Richard: Dark Ages Economics, The origins of town and trade A.D. 600-1000,
Duckworth, London 1982
Richard; Hobley, Brian: The rebirth of towns in the west AD
CBA Research Report No.68, Alden Press Ltd, Oxford 1988
(Tagungsbericht von 1986)
E.: Dendrochronologische Untersuchungen an HF6lzern des frFChen Mittelalters. In: Acta Praehistorica 1(1970):147-156
E.: MitteleuropE4ische Eichenchronologie. 1980
Porcher, Jean; Volbach, W. Fritz: Die Kunst der Karolinger. Von Karl dem
GroDFen bis zum Ausgang des 9. Jahrhunderts. MFCnchen 1969
Heribert: Hat Karl der GroDFe je gelebt? Bauten, Funde und Schriften im
Widerstreit. Mantis Verlag, GrE4felfing 1994
Karayannopulos, Johannes: Die Entstehung der byzantinischen Themenordnung. Beck, MFCnchen 1959
Cornelius: Zeiger der Zeit, Neue Datierungsmethoden korrigieren die Geschichte.
In: Bild der Wissenschaft 1/1992:16-20
S.: Die Struktur wissenschaftlicher Revolutionen. stw 25, Frankfurt/Main 1979
Wolfgang; KFCppers, GFCnter: Die Selbstorganisation der Wissenschaft. stw 776, Franfurt/Main 1989
Jaques: Die Geburt des Fegefeuers. dtv, MFCnchen 1990
Johannes: Die byzantinische Reaktion auf die Ausbreitung der Araber,
Studien zur Strukturwandlung des byzantinischen Staates im 7. und 8. Jahrhundert. In der Reihe
Byzantina Monacensia, Heft 22. MFCnchen 1976
Handbuch der deutschen Alterthumskunde. Erster Teil: Die AlterthFCmer
der merowingischen Zeit. 1880-1889
GFCnter: DCber den Ur-Qur'an. AnsE4tze zur Rekonstruktion vorislamischer christlicher Strophenlieder im Qur'an. Erlangen 1974
GFCnter: Die Wiederentdeckung des Propheten Muhammad. Eine Kritik am
"christlichen" Abendland. Erlangen 1981
Levine, I.H. (Hrsg.): The Dark Ages. Jews in Christian Europe 711-1096.
Band 11 der World History of the Jewish People, London 1966
Burghardt: Zur absoluten Datierung bronzezeitlicher Eichenholzfunde. ArchE4ologisches Korrespondenzblatt 14(1984):233-237
Peter: Die byzantinische Geisteswelt vom 9. bis zum 11.
In: Anton von Euw; Peter Schreiner (Hgrs.): Kaiserin Theophanu.
Begegnung des Ostens und
die Wende des ersten Jahrtausends. Gedenkschrift des KF6lner SchnFCtgen-Museums zum 1000. Todesjahr der Kaiserin. Band II; KF6ln 1991
SpE4trF6mische und frFChmittelalterliche Keramik der
Frankfurt am Main (Schriften des Frankfurter Museums fFCr Vor- und
FrFChgeschichte). Frankfurt/Main 1962
Peter: Keramik des 8. bis 13. Jahrhunderts aus Siedlungen am Maindreieck.
BeitrE4ge zur Anwendung quantitativer Methoden. Habelt, Bonn 1991
Lynn: Die mittelalterliche Technik und der Wandel der Gesellschaft. MFCnchen 1968
Horst: Kalibrierung von Radiokarbondaten. In: Acta Praehistorica 20(1988):173-181
directly related to the phantom time
Vorzeit-FrFChzeit-Gegenwart InterdisziplinE4res Bulletin,
the Mantis Verlag Heribert Illig
Issue 1 from the year 1991.
publications are between five and 23 pages.
Heribert (1/91): Die christliche Zeitrechnung ist zu lang
Hans-Ulrich (1/91): FE4lschungen im Mittelalter
Heribert; Niemitz, Hans-Ulrich (1/91): Hat das dunkle Mittelalter nie existiert?20
Heribert (2/91): Augustus auf dem PrFCfstand
Manfred (3-4/91): Deutsche Literatur im Mittelalter
Heribert (3-4/91): VE4ter einen neuen Zeitrechnung: Otto III. und Silvester
Heribert (3-4/91): Dendrochronologische ZirkelschlFCsse
Heribert (5/91): JFCdische Chronologie. Dunkelzonen, DiskontinuitE4ten, Entstehungsgeschichte
Heribert (2/92): Wann lebte Mohammed?
Heribert (2/92): Der Kruzifixus. Sein "doppelter" Ursprung im 6. und 10.
Hans-Ulrich (3/92): ArchE4ologie und KontinuitE4t. Gab es StE4dt
SpE4tantike und Mittelalter?20
Heribert (4-5/92): 614/922 - der direkte DCbergang vom 7. ins 10.
Angelika (4-5/92): Karl der GroDFe und Harun al-Raschid. Kulturaustausch zwischen zwei groDFen Herrschern?20
Heribert (4-5/92): Alles Null und richtig. Zum VerhE4ltnis von
und europE4ischer Kultur
Heribert (4-5/92): Vom ErzfE4lscher Konstantin VII. Eine "beglaubigte" FE4lschungsaktion und ihre Folgen
Manfred (1/93): Die SteppenvF6lker SFCdost-Europas in der SpE4tantike
und im FrFChmittelalter
Heribert (2/93): Das Ende des Hl. Benedikt? Der andere 'Vater des Abendlandes'
wird auch fiktiv
Heribert (2/93): Langobardische Notizen I. Urkunden, Stuckfiguren und kaiserlose
Heribert (2/93): St. Denis und Suger - zum zweiten. Wie ein Karolingerbau verschwindet und Frankreich entsteht
Christoph (3-4/93): Datieren vor der Gregorianischen Kalenderreform
Heribert (3-4/93): Kalender und Astronomie
Manfred (3-4/93): Das Kalifat der Omaijaden
Manfred (3-4/93): Der Iran in frFChislamischer Zeit
Hans-Ulrich (3-4/93): Eine frFChmittelalterliche Phantomzeit -nachgewiesen
in Frankfurter Stratigraphien
(1/94): Die SiebenschlE4fer von Ephesos. Eine Legende und ihre Auswirkungen
Hans-Ulrich (1/94): Byzantinistik und Phantomzeit
Heribert (2/94): Doppelter Gregor - fiktiver Benedikt. Pseudo-Papst erfindet
Fegefeuer und einen Vater des Abendlandes
Hans-Ulrich (2/94): Die Dauerkrise frFChmittelalterlicher Keramikforschung
(3/94): Zur Chronologie der islamischen Randgebiete. Drei Betrachtungen
Manfred (3/93): Zentralasien im frFChen MIttelalter. Auswirkungen
Rekonstrktion bis nach China
Ullrich (4/1994): 300 Jahre Phantomzeit? Kritische Anmerkungen