CH. 1.3.1.2, VOL. 1, HISTORY: FICTION OR SCIENCE?

This article contains my analysis of Fomenko’s History: Fiction or Science?, Volume 1, Chapter 1, Part 3.1.2. Chapter 1 is titled “The problems of historical chronology”, part 3 is titled “The veracity of the Scaliger-Petavius chronology was questioned as early as the 16th century”, part 3.1 is titled “Who criticized Scaliger’s chronology and where”, and part 3.1.2 is titled “Sir Isaac Newton”.

Not all of the sentences from the selected reading are listed as claims. Some were not relevant for this article, which attempts to establish a grade for the core claims of Fomenko’s narrative.

I established 47 possible points for this part. Out of the 47 points, I have determined 32 (68.08%) to be supported or contradicted. Out of the 32 points, I have determined 28 (87.5%) to be supported and 4 (12.5%) to be contradicted.

Claims 12, 15, 19, and 24 are all split into 2 points. This means that they count for 8 total points instead of 4 total points.

As of right now, Fomenko’s grade on this part is: 87.5% (28/32), which is a B+.[13]

Fomenko’s overall grade is shown on the overview article: Examining Fomenko’s New Chronology.

Fomenko’s Claims:

Claim 1 – ““Isaac Newton (1642-1727), an English mathematician, mechanician, astronomer, and physicist, the creator of classical mechanics, member of the Royal Society of London since 1672 and its president since 1703… had developed differential and integral calculus (independently from G. Leibnitz). He had discovered light dispersion and chromatic aberration, researched diffraction and interference, worked on the development of the corpuscular theory of light, made a hypothesis that combined the concepts of waves and particles, as well as building the reflecting telescope, formulating the principal laws of classical mechanics, discovering the Gravity Law, formulating the theory of movement of celestial bodies and the founding principles of celestial mechanics”(The Soviet Encyclopaedic Dictionary, Moscow, 1979, page 903).”

Claim 2 – “He (Isaac Newton) is the author of a number of profound works on chronology where he relates his conclusions regarding the inveracity of Scaliger’s version in some of its principal parts.”

Claim 3 – “This research remains rather obscure for the contemporary reader despite having provoked major controversy in the past.”

Claim 4 – “Newton made a radical revision of the ancient chronology based on natural scientific ideas.”

Claim 5 – “Some – very few – events were added extra age. This is true of the legendary voyage of the Argonauts, which Newton determined to have occurred in the XIV century b.c. and not in X b.c., as was believed in his time period.”

Claim 6 – “However, the dating of this event is rather vague in later chronological studies of other chronologers as well.”

Claim 7 – “The new chronology offered by Sir Isaac is a lot shorter than the consensual chronology of Scaliger.”

Claim 8 – “Newton moved most of the events dated as preceding the epoch of Alexander the Great, forward in time, closer to us.”

Claim 9 – “The revision isn’t as radical as that contained in the writings of N. A. Morozov, who was of the opinion that the Scaligerian version of ancient chronology was only veracious starting in the IV century a.d.”

Claim 10 – “Let us mark that Newton did not go further in time than the b.c./a.d. mark in his research.”

Claim 11 – “Contemporary historians have this to say about these works of Newton’s: “They are the fruit of forty years of labour, diligent research and a tremendous erudition. Basically, Sir Isaac Newton had studied all of the major literary works on ancient history and all the primary sources beginning with ancient and oriental mythology” ([619], pages 104-105).”

Claim 12 – “Modern commentators invariably come to the conclusion that Sir Isaac was wrong when they compare his conclusions to the consensual Scaligerian chronology. They say that:
“Naturally, without deciphered cuneiform and hieroglyphic writings, having no archaeological data due to the non-existence of archaeology in that age, bound by the presumption of veracity of the Biblical chronology and the belief in the reality of what was told in myths, Newton’s errors weren’t measured in mere tens of hundreds of years – he was thousands of years off the mark, and his chronology is far from being true even in what concerns the very reality of the events described. W. Winston wrote in his memoirs, ‘Sir Isaac often saw the truth in mathematics intuitively, without even needing proof… But this very Sir Isaac Newton had compiled a chronology… However, this chronology isn’t any more convincing than the most ingenious historical novel, as I have finally proved in my refutation thereof. O, how weak, how utterly weak even the greatest of the mortals can be in some regards’ ” ([619], pages 106-107).”

Claim 13 – “Basically, he had analyzed the b.c. chronology of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece.”

Claim 14 – “He must have lacked the time for the analysis of more recent epochs, since this tractate only got published in the last year of his life.”

Claim 15 – “For instance, the contemporary consensual version of chronology ascribes the first years of reign of the Egyptian Pharaoh Menes to approximately 3000 B.C. ([1298]).”

Claim 16 – “Newton suggested that this event could be given a date as recent as 946 b.c. ([1298]). Thus, the shift forward in time comprises about 2000 years.”

Claim 17 – “Nowadays the myth of Theseus is dated to the XV century b.c.”

Claim 18 – “However, Sir Isaac claimed that these events took place around 936 b.c.([1298]). Hence, the shift of dates forwarded that he suggests amounts to roughly 700 years.”

Claim 19 – “The famous Trojan War is dated to roughly 1225 b.c. today ([72]), but Newton claims this event to have occurred in 904 b.c. ([1298]). The shift forward here is one of approximately 330 years.”

Claim 20 – “The history of Ancient Egypt, covering a span of several hundred years according to Scaliger, that is, 3000 b.c. and on, is moved forward in time by Newton and compressed into a time period as short as 330 years, namely, 946 b.c. – 617 b.c.”

Claim 21 – “Newton also moves some fundamental dates of the “ancient” Egyptian history about 1,800 years forward in time ([1298]).”

Claim 22 – “We shall also briefly relate the publication history of Newton’s work as told by the book [1141], which may lead one to certain conclusions.”

Claim 23 – “The book had been re-written numerous times up until his death in 1727.”

Claim 24 – “It is noteworthy that the Short Chronicle wasn’t intended for publication by its author; however, the rumours of Newton’s chronological research had spread far enough, and the Princess of Wales expressed a wish to familiarize herself with it.”

Claim 25 – “Sir Isaac gave her the manuscript with the condition that no third party should learn of it.”

Claim 26 – “The same happened with Abbé Conti (Abbot Conti), who had started to lend the manuscript to interested scientists upon his return to Paris.”

Claim 27 – “As a result, M. Freret had translated the manuscript into French and added his own historical overview to it.”

Claim 28 – “This translation had soon reached the Paris bookseller G. Gavellier, who had written Newton a letter in May 1724 eager to publish his writing.”

Claim 29 – “Not having received an answer, he wrote another letter in March 1725, telling Newton that he would consider Sir Isaac’s taciturnity as acquiescence for the book’s publication, with Freret’s comments. No reply was given to that, either.”

Claim 30 – “Then Gavelier had asked his friend in London to get a reply from Newton personally. Their meeting took place on 27 May 1725, and Sir Isaac answered in the negative. But it was too late. The book had already been published under the following title: Abrégé de Chronologie de M. Le Chevalier Newton, fait par lui-même, et traduit sur le manuscript Angélois (With observation by M.Freret). Edited by the Abbé Conti, 1725.”

Claim 31 – “Sir Isaac received a copy of the book on 11 November 1725.”

Claim 32 – “He had published a letter in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (v. 33, 1725, page 315), where he accused the Abbé of breach of promise and publication without the author’s consent.”

Claim 33 – “When Father Souciet started his attacks in 1726, Sir Isaac had announced the preparation of a more voluminous and detailed work on ancient chronology for publication.”

Claim 34 – “All of these events took place shortly before Newton’s death.”

Claim 35 – “He had sadly lacked the time for publishing a more in-depth book, and none of its traces remain in existence.”

Claim 36 – “Sir Isaac died in 1727, leaving his research of ancient history unfinished. Could all this complicated history of the Short Chronicle’s publication be explained by Newton’s fear of groundless attacks? What was the reaction to the publication of his book?”

Claim 37 – “The mid-XVIII century press had seen a multitude of responses. Most of them were made by historians and philologists, and had voiced such negative opinions as “the blunders of the honoured dilettante” in regard to Newton’s work.”

Claim 38 – “The mid-XVIII century press had seen a multitude of responses. Most of them were made by historians and philologists, and had voiced such negative opinions as “the blunders of the honoured dilettante” in regard to Newton’s work.”

Claim 39 – “Only very few articles appeared that expressed support of his opinion.”

Claim 40 – “After the initial wave of responses subsided, the book was de-facto hushed up and withdrawn from scientific circulation.”

Claim 41 – “In the XIX century, François Arago, the author of the revue ([30:1]), presumed Newton’s chronological research unworthy of more than the following rather flippant remark: “By and large, Newton failed to come up with correct judgments in everything excepting mathematics and its applications… Apart from his theological opuses, the chronology that he had written is there to confirm our statement – the one Freret refuted immediately upon publication.”

Claim 42 – “Cesare Lombroso tries to bring the issue to conclusion in his notorious Genius and Insanity in the following manner:“Newton, whose mind amazed the entire humanity, as his contemporaries rightly state, was yet another one to have gone senile in his old age, although the symptoms in his case weren’t quite as grave as those of the geniuses listed above. That must have been the time when he had written his Chronology, Apocalypse and Letter to Bentley, obscure, involved writings, quite unlike anything that he had written in his youth” ([462:1], page 63).

Claim 43 – “Similar accusations would later be addressed at N. A. Morozov, another one to have dared to revise chronology. They sound most peculiar in a scientific discussion, and, as we think, mask the inability to reply substantially.”

Checking the Narrative:

Claim 1:

Claim 1 is supported. While I have not yet been able to review the source, that information about Newton is fairly common. I have some of it included in my biography on him.

Claim 2:

Claim 2 is supported. Two of Newton’s works on chronology are “A Short Chronicle” (1728) and “The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended” (1728).[2]

Claim 3:

Claim 3 is supported. The overwhelming majority of people that I’ve spoken to about Newton’s works on chronology had no clue Newton ever took an interest in it. Newton today is mainly remembered for his works on physics, not chronology.

The controversy it generated is also mentioned “Newton and the Origin of Civilization – Prof Mordechai Feingold, Prof Jed Buchwald” around the 3:15 mark.[5] Also its obscurity is mentioned just a bit earlier in that video.

Claim 4:

Claim 4 is supported. Newton used astronomy, a natural science, as a basis for his chronological revisions.

Claim 5:

Claim 5 is contradicted. I could be reading Newton’s book improperly, but it does appear to me that Newton places the Argonautic Expedition around 937 BCE.[3, p.26]

Claim 6:

Claim 6 is undetermined. From a brief search, I wasn’t able to locate any sources that dealt with the dating of the Argonautic Expedition. However, the event itself is reported only in one source, the Argonautica (dated to the 3rd century BC). Aside from unprovenanced papyri, the earliest surviving record dates to the end of the 15th century CE.[4]

Claim 7:

Claim 7 is supported. At around 17:35 in the Abrahamic Faith video, the speaker mentions Newton shortened ancient history by about 33%.[5]

Claim 8:

Claim 8 is supported. For example, Newton placed the founding of Rome in 627 BCE while Varro placed it in 753 BCE.[6]

Claim 9:

Claim 9 is contradicted. It appears to me that Morozov revised into the 7th century CE. In Christ Vol. 1, Part 3, Chapter 5, Morozov concludes that “the Abydos hieroglyphic table was compiled no earlier than in the 7th century AD”.[9]

Claim 9 is also contradicted by Fomenko’s chapter itself on page 17 where Fomenko reports that Morozov did not go further than the 6th century CE, which is also short of the 7th century mark that I found. Possibly claim 9 is a typo and it was suppose to be VI instead of IV, but regardless of the reason the information is incorrect.

Claim 10:

Claim 10 is supported. Newton’s chronological revisionism only went to the conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great in 331.[6]

Claim 11:

Claim 11 is undetermined. Fomenko cited #619 as “Orlenko M.I. “Isaac Newton. Biographical sketch”. – Donetsk, 1927″. I have not been able to locate any information on this source yet beyond that which Fomenko provided.

Claim 12:

Claim 12 is split into 2 because the first part is a comment on modern reviews of Newton’s chronological works and the second part is a quote from a specific source.

Claim 12.1 is supported. Although I haven’t found many reviews of Newton’s chronological works, the ones I have found do condemn it as inaccurate. For example, the scholar presenting the information in the Abrahamic Faith video.

Claim 12.2 is undetermined. Fomenko again cited #619. It would be useful to create a list of biographies of Isaac Newton. The list may already exist in various forms but I have not located any yet.

Claim 13:

Claim 13 is supported. Newton did basically analyze Egyptian and Greek chronology.[6]

Claim 14:

Claim 14 is undetermined. This is a must statement which is considered by some as valid and others as a fallacy. What evidence is there that Newton would have revised chronology after the birth of Christ? If any, then this claim is supported. If none, then it’s forever undetermined due to us not being able to predict what Newton would have done if he continued to live longer than he did.

Claim 15:

Fomenko cited #1298 as “Newton Isaac. << The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms amended. To which is Prefix’d, A Short Chronicle from the First Memory of Things in Europe, to the Conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great >>. – London, J. Tonson, 1728. Reprinted in 1988 by Histories and Mysteries of Man LTD. Lavender Walk, London SW11 1LA, 1988.”

I don’t think Newton’s book mentions Menes being dated to around 3000 BC but it is a popular dating today. I will note that the dating of Menes fluctuates quite a bit still depending on which source you use, but 3000 is generally in the range between the highest and lowest dates.

I’m giving the citation a point of its own because it’s important to cite your information properly.

15.1 is supported. The datings for Menes do sometimes fall around 3000 BCE.

15.2 is contradicted. Newton’s book doesn’t mention this (to my knowledge).

Claim 16:

Claim 16 is supported. Newton did place Menes in 946 BCE and that is about 2000 years closer to us than 3000 BCE.[6]

Claim 17:

Claim 17 is contradicted. The only source I have found so far speculates that possibly he was a real person who lived in the 9th or 8th cc. BCE.[7] This is even closer to us than Newton’s 10th century placement.[6] I have yet to find another source that dates the myth of Theseus to the 15th century.

Claim 18:

Claim 18 is supported. Newton does place the events in the 10th century. In 936, Newton says “Theseus is set at liberty by Hercules.”[6]

Claim 19:

Claim 19.1 is supported. Fomenko cited #72 as “Bikerman E. “Chronology of the Ancient World”. – Moscow, Nauka, 1975. Translated from the English edition: Bickerman EJ “Chronology of the Ancient World”. – Thames & Hudson, London, (1968), 1969.”

I did a text search on a newer version of that book but it doesn’t appear to have the words Trojan or Trojans in it. Potentially Fomenko’s edition did mention them, but also it’s possible that this is another faulty citation. The information is supported by other sources though and that’s why I marked it as such.

The Canadian Museum of History reported that if the Trojan War did happen, it occurred between 1250 and 1225.[9] LiveScience reported that the Trojan War is believed to have taken place around or before 1200.[11]

I found a website that looks to be a class from the University of Pennsylvania. In it is a report that the Trojan War was considered to be a myth until around the end of the 19th century when Heinrich Schliemann and his band of archeologists unearthed a citadel where Troy was traditionally believed to have been located. It also mentions that it appeared as though a war took place there around 1250 BCE. They make note that the dating “is compatible with the traditional story of the Trojan War”.[10]

If Fomenko’s edition of Bickerman’s work does mention the Trojan War, I’ll add another point here as supported. If it does not, I’ll add another point here as contradicted. Providing correct citations is important.

Claim 19.2 is supported. Newton does claim the war occurred in 904 and the difference in years is about 330 years.[6]

Claim 20:

I think Claim 20 is supported. Newton places the beginning of the reign of Menes in 946, which I think is the traditional marking point for the beginning of ancient Egyptian history. In 617, Newton reported “Psammiticus dies. Nechaoh reigns in Egypt.” The only other event he listed that mentions Egypt is in 569 when “Nebuchadnezzar invades Egypt.”[6]

If 617 is the end, then the claim is strongly supported. If 569 is the end, then the claim is off by about 50 years, which isn’t much compared to the thousands attributed in the long chronology of Egypt.

Claim 21:

Claim 21 is supported. As already mentioned with the reign of Menes, Newton did move some fundamental events in Egyptian history closer to us than what was popularly believed.

Claim 22:

Claim 22 is undetermined. Fomenko cited #1141 as “Frank E. Manuel. Isaac Newton Historian. – The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1963.” I was able to confirm that this book does exist but I haven’t been able to review it yet.[12]

I think all of the following information is based on this citation, so it will all have to remain undetermined until I can get my hands on a copy of that book.

Claim 23:

Claim 24:

Claim 24 can be split into 2 parts.

Claim 24.1 is undetermined.

Claim 24.2 is supported. The Princess of Wales did want to familiarize herself with it.[15]

Claim 25:

Claim 25 is supported.[15]

Claim 26:

Claim 26 is supported.[15]

Claim 27:

Claim 27 is supported. Freret added his observations to refute the main results of Newton’s chronology.[15]

Claim 28:

Claim 28 is supported.[15]

Claim 29:

Claim 29 is supported. The letter was written specifically on March 20th.[15]

Claim 30:

Claim 30 is supported. The book itself is available on Google books.[14]

Claim 31:

Claim 31 is supported.[15]

Claim 32:

Claim 32 is supported.[15]

Claim 33:

Claim 34:

Claim 34 is supported. Granting that the above claims are accurate, these events did take place just prior to Newton’s death.

Claim 35:

Claim 36:

Claim 36 is supported. Newton did die in 1727 and his research was cut short. The first of the two questions Fomenko posed is interesting. I do wonder what Newton’s personal thoughts on criticisms made towards his works. The answer to the second question is “negatively”.

Claim 37:

Claim 38:

Claim 39:

Claim 40:

Claim 41:

Fomenko cited #30:1 as “Arago F. “Biographies of famous astronomers, physicists, geometers”. Books 1,2 (volumes 1-3). Translated by D. Perevoshchikov. – Moscow-Izhevsk, Research Center “Regular and Chaotic Dynamics”, 2000.”

Claim 42:

Fomenko cited #462:1 as “Lambroso C. “Genius and Insanity”. – Moscow, publishing house Republic, 1995.”

Claim 43:

Claim 43 is supported. I also agree with Fomenko that typically those who name call don’t produce any substantial criticisms.

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References:

[1] – http://chronologia.org/en/seven/1N01-EN-001-030.pdf. Accessed 22 Sept. 2020.

[2] – http://www.newtonproject.ox.ac.uk/texts/browse-all-texts/by-author?n=25&sr=1851&name=1&ce=0&tr=1&sort=date&order=asc. Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

[3] – https://repository.monash.edu/items/show/83222#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=0. Accessed 15 Nov. 2020.

[4] – https://medieval.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/catalog/work_615. Accessed 15 Nov. 2020.

[5] – Newton and the Origin of Civilization – Prof Mordechai Feingold, Prof Jed Buchwald. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzNzDXzEwZk. Accessed 15 Nov. 2020.

[6] – http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15784/15784-h/15784-h.htm#NtA_214. Accessed 16 Nov. 2020.

[7] – Morford, Mark; Lenardon, Robert J.; Sham, Michael. “Classical Mythology Tenth Edition”. Oxford University Press. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. https://global.oup.com/us/companion.websites/9780199997329/student/materials/chapter23/commentary/. Accessed 16 Nov. 2020.

[8] – https://archive.org/details/chronologyofanci00bick/page/62/mode/1up?q=trojan. Accessed 16 Nov. 2020.

[9] – https://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/civil/greece/gr1200e.html#:~:text=The%20Trojan%20War%2C%20if%20it,of%20the%20mysteries%20of%20archaeology.. Accessed 16 Nov. 2020.

[10] – https://www2.classics.upenn.edu/myth/php/homer/index.php?page=trojan. Accessed 16 Nov. 2020.

[11] – https://www.livescience.com/38191-ancient-troy.html. Accessed 16 Nov. 2020.

[12] – https://www.amazon.com/Issac-Newton-Historian-Frank-Manuel/dp/0674468503. Accessed 16 Nov. 2020.

[13] – https://achs.edu/grading-scale. Accessed 16 Nov. 2020.

[14] – https://books.google.bj/books?id=Vr4GAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=fr#v=onepage&q&f=false. Accessed 16 Nov. 2020.

[15] – http://www.newtonproject.ox.ac.uk/view/texts/normalized/OTHE00084. Accessed 16 Nov. 2020.

[16] – http://imperia.lirik.ru/index.php/content/category/2/36/4/. Accessed 16 Nov. 2020.

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