Bühler’s Colophons

Curt F. Bühler (1905-1985) wrote an article about the false information which had been found in the colophons of incunabula. A colophon is a statement found at the end of a manuscript or book which relates information about the “author, title, place, published-printer, and date”.[1, p.398] An incunabula is any book printed before 1501.

Colophons started appearing in manuscripts and then made their way into books. The word colophon originally meant “the head or summit of anything”.[2, p.ix] The earliest use of the word has been traced to the early 1600s. The definition given by Bühler has been traced to Warton’s 1774 “History of English Poetry” quoted in the New English Dictionary.[2, p.x] Possibly this more recent meaning derives from the name of the high altitude ancient Greek city known as Colophon. Put concisely, the colophon is a short bit of important information which summarizes all the information found in a MS or book. The study of colophons had been given very little attention by the turn of the 20th century and it appears to me the study has not made much progress since.[2, p.xvi]

Bühler reported that colophons became increasingly more common after 1457 and that there are a great number of colophons which provide misleading, vague, or incorrect information. Bühler named Alfred W. Pollard as a person who, in 1905, briefly covered this topic of false information in colophons. I don’t currently know of any other people who have spent considerable time investigating this topic, and so it might have been in 1905, around the turn of the 20th century, that anyone decided to pay any mind to this topic.

Bühler identified three main types of false information in colophons: “Accidental, Deliberate, and Dubious”. He identified Accidental as the largest category, and within that category, impossible dates were most common. He reported that out of all the dates he had seen in colophons, 400 CE was the earliest of them. In contrast, he had found a book from the 1400’s claiming to have been printed in 1600.

“Dates such as 1005, 1071, 1099, or 1514, 1519, and 1588 are not uncommon among the incunabula.”
– Bühler (1970)[1, p.399]

Negligence and typographical misprints are two reasons identified for these impossible dates. Roman numerals became problematic when an L (50) or a C (100) was dropped because it resulted in the printing date being 50 to 100 years off from the real date. Transposing Arabic numerals proved sometimes to be problematic too, where 1500 was exchanged for 1005, nearly 500 years off the mark. Bühler remarked that the examples of this are countless and are due to the printer’s lack of care for including the correct dates. All of these are considered by Bühler to be accidental, mechanical errors.

He continued his article by talking about errors caused by sheer ignorance, and commented that these types of errors are possibly even larger in number than the mechanical ones. Ignorance of calendrical systems is one realm of ignorance which resulted in false information. With different calendars being used across the world, and printers uneducated about how these different calendars line up with each other, these types of errors were bound to happen. He pointed out that these issues aren’t limited to incunabula by giving an example of this happening in the 20th century where a single book claimed to be dated to 3 different dates. This is analogous to a person claiming to have been born on 3 different days.

Another issue that was brought up is when a printer copied the date from an older edition of a book and included it in the newer edition. Say a book was originally printed in 1475 but the printer was printing in 1499. The issue arises when the book incorrectly claims to have been printed in 1475 instead of 1499. The same type of issue arises when the printer copies the location in which a book is printed. Say a printer is printer in Rome but is copying a book that was originally printed in Madrid. The issue occurs when the printer in Rome prints a book that says it was printed in Madrid. It becomes doubly confusing when a printer in Rome is printing a book in 1499 which claims to have been printed in Madrid in 1475.

Bühler mentioned an unusual instance where four different versions of the same work were produced. There were four different printers named across the four different versions and so the question as to who the true printer was is raised. He concluded this issue by saying it’s probable that the four men worked together as partners. This does make me wonder what are the full extent of methods available for determining who printed a specific work.

Alfred William Pollard also mentioned in his foundational 1905 essay on colophons that there are issues which can arise when trying to establish the dates in which a book was printed. One such issue based on sheer ignorance can be exemplified by Theodoric Rood thinking that there were 5 years in an Olympiad, not 4. This caused Rood to be off by about 75 Olympiads (300 years) when he claimed that a book printed in 1485 was printed in the 297th Olympiad since Christ.[2, p.170]

The next type of false information is that type which was created on purpose, the intentional falsification. Determining if an error was made on accident or on purpose can be severely difficult. Bühler reported being certain of only one example of a date being intentionally fabricated. It was an edition of Eusebius printed for Octavianus Scotus by Bartholomaeus de Zanis on the 3rd of November, 1497. Due to legal problems, Zanis recalled his books and held onto them until he was allowed to sell them again in 1500. When the time finally came, he rereleased them with the printing date claiming they were printed on the 10th of November, 1500.

Another instance of intentional fakery can be seen in the location of printing being faked. In one case, a batch of books was printed in Ferrara but they claimed to have been printed in Venice. I think the point of this was because the books were made for sale in the Venetian market, and so the idea of buying local might have increased the amount of sales.

Pollard’s 1905 essay mentioned that he was only aware of only one example of intentional deceit in the colophons of incunabula. For about 400 years, it fooled bibliographers by containing a false name and false location of printing. The false information is found in an edition of Politian printed by Bernardinus Misinta of Brescia. For short, it can be called “Misinta’s Politian”. I think he is believed to have done so to avoid punishment for copyright violations. Pollard briefly mentioned that imprints containing false information became more and more common throughout the 16th century due to the increase of restrictions crafted by the courts.[2, p.159-160]

“In Italy, too, piracy flourished in the last quarter of the fifteenth century, especially in Milan… and in Venice…”
– Bühler (1970)[1, p.401]

Bühler singled out Uldericus Scinzenzeler as another example of someone who perpetuated intentional deception. Scinzenzeler pirated books from all over Italy. He masqueraded his Lombardian productions as Sienese, Neopolitan, and Venetian ones. It’s no mystery as to why he chose Siena. The city had a large reputable market for legal texts and Scinzenzeler’s books were mostly law books.

Rome, Milan, Florence, Bologna, and Brescia are just some examples of the false printing locations included in the colophons of books printed in Venice. Even a number of famous printers were guilty of such falsifications. This phenomenon is not limited to Italy. Examples can be found in Germany, France, and potentially Spain.

Bühler’s final category contains those books which the information is generally uncertain or dubious. Another issue with Roman numerals was brought up. This issue resulted from the inclusion of the day and month after the year. When this is done, it’s typically difficult to determine if it’s the year or the month which the numerals are being attributed to. There are ways to determine the proper date though. For example, Ghirlandi, Tubini, and Alopa’s Aesop has a date of “MCCCCC.v.Kal.Aprilis”. Due to Alopa not being a part of the trio by April 1st, 1505, the only date possible is March 28th, 1500.

Bühler expressed suspicion towards the multitude of instances of two large works being printed by one printer in a relatively short amount of time, sometimes even on the same day. For example, a pair of editions containing over 600 pages each were issued by Anton Koberger of Nürnberg. Both claim the date of issuing as September 30th, 1494. Bühler’s use of the word issued and not printed throws me off a little bit. I wasn’t able to find any clarity when I looked for some, but I’m curious is issued and printed are synonymous. If they are, perhaps printing two large editions at the same time was an uncommon practice in the 15th and 16th centuries. If not, I’m curious as to what issued means. Bühler gave a few more examples in the footnotes and used the word issued there too.

Bühler was of the opinion that some of the colophon dates are meant to be approximate dates, not literal dates. This means that the information could be accurate, but that this potential issue needs to be kept in mind when conducting research on a book’s origins.

“…this, so far as I am aware, is the first serious attempt to analyze the misinformation contained in the colophons, to discuss the possible origin of such erroneous details, and to classify the results into specific groups.”
– Bühler (1970)[1, p.405]

Bühler mentioned that more recent forgeries would make for an interesting study. He specifically mentioned Chrysostomus Hanthaler, a Lilienfield librarian who created fake lists of rare books which he used to substantiate his intentionally falsified history.[2]

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References:

[1] – Bühler, Curt F. “False Information in the Colophons of Incunabula.” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 114, no. 5, 1970, pp. 398–406. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/985806. Accessed 19 Nov. 2020.

[2] – Pollard, Alfred William. “An Essay on Colophons: With Specimens and Translations” (1905). https://books.google.com/books?id=HkThAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false. Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

[3] – https://exhibits.library.jhu.edu/exhibits/show/fakes-lies-and-forgeries/species-and-genres/falsified-lists-of-impossibly-. Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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The History of Dictionaries

“DICTIONARY, n. A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. This dictionary, however, is a most useful work.”
– Bierce[1]

Dictionaries are most commonly known for being long lists of words and their definitions. This article explores the history of dictionaries. When was the word dictionary coined? And when were the first dictionaries compiled? Keep reading to see my answers to these questions.

The word dictionary itself was coined in the 16th century, some 400 years ago. It comes from the “Medieval Latin dictionarium “collection of words and phrases””, which itself has origins supposedly in the 13th century. Reportedly, it’s probable that Sir Thomas Elyot’s 1538 “Latin Dictionary” was the first time that the English word was used in a book’s title.[1]

Dictionaries began to be studied systematically in the 20th century. Akkadian cuneiform tablets dated to 2300 BCE are considered the oldest known dictionaries.[2]

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References:

[1] – https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=dictionary. Accessed 22 Nov. 2020.

[2] – https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-world-s-oldest-dictionaries.html. Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio’s AB Live 42: Fomenko & The New Chronology

I was a guest of Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio on November 20th, 2020. This article is my review of my appearance on the show. In this article, I just make some minor comments and provide more information about what I was talking about.

@10:10 – I hadn’t written out my precise history of my interest in history when I was a guest on this show. After the show, I wrote an article titled My Background in History to start mapping out the history of my interest in history.

@c.16:40 – I said I thought I had come across Fomenko’s New Chronology (FNC) at the age of like 20. Then I commented on how I would benefit from writing an official article that lays out my background in history (and I did, linked above). After thinking about it, if I had started looking into FNC when I was 20, it was in the later part of that year. I for sure had begun looking into it when I was 21. I said early 20’s is when I started reading all the books which is true, but more specifically I was 21.

@c.17:15 – The emails I sent were sent in the Spring of 2019 when I was 23. The professor who said FNC is “patently absurd” was the Department of History’s Visiting Assistant Professor at a college in my geographical area.

@c.20:00 – If you want to see a larger overview of who Fomenko and Morozov are, here’s my biography for Fomenko and here’s my biography for Morozov.

@c.21:50 – Here’s the History of Fomenko’s New Chronology.

@c.24:42 – Here’s the article for the Five Capitals of Fomenko’s New Chronology.

@c.26:00 – Here’s my article that crunches all of Fomenko’s horoscopes into one place, New Chronology Zodiacs. I realize now I didn’t really have to explain timekeeping and the eclipses. But the eclipses are important to Fomenko’s New Chronology too. The horoscopes I think are what Miguel was more-so asking about. I finally got around to explaining the horoscopes around 31:00. The main point of them in FNC is that they fit better in the past 1200 years than they do being spread out over the traditional timeline.

@c.29:00 – Fomenko was inspired to look at the eclipses by of R. R. Newton’s 1972 paper.

@c.34:46 – We were talking about Atlantis and the Atlantic ocean and it got me thinking later about the etymology of the word Atlantic. I think I remember looking into it awhile back but I might write an article about it in the future.

@c39:10 – MoonDog brought up Saint Cyril. I don’t have sources on him yet but I might get around to focusing on him in the future. I just wanted to note that here so I’m less likely to forget.

@c.47:47 – Where Julius Caesar fits into all of this is brought up. Here are some links on Julius Caesar in FNC:
Part 5.2 – http://chronologia.org/en/en_history/05.html
Page 642 – http://chronologia.org/en/seven/4N19-EN.pdf
Part 51 – http://chronologia.org/en/car_slav/czar02_50.html

@c.48:15 – The person I was thinking of was James Stevens Valliant on MythVision Podcast.

@c.51:53 – I was showing Fomenko’s map that shows the populating of the world and realized it isn’t super clear on when the America’s were populated. I think I know where to look for more information on that though so I’m making this note as a reminder to go back and figure that out.

@c.55:15 – I realize now that Vance was asking about local records and how they are included in the historical analysis. For Egypt, mostly the sources seem to me to be archeological sources that we use to fill in the narratives for the different ages, which were established by Manetho (according to tradition). Recently some papyri have been used but Manetho is still the main source to my understanding.

As far as how Fomenko deals with local sources, he subjects them to his textual analysis and then works with the results to see how they fit in with the rest of his findings.

@1:00:00 – Fomenko deals with archeology by accepting that things have been dug up. How these dug up items are interpreted depends on the historical frame in which you’re using to make sense of them. Accordingly, Fomenko interprets them within the historical frame which he built upon his foundational textual and astronomical findings.

@1:06:06 – “I cannot at all agree with the hypothesis of Morozov, according to which most literary works of antiquity are fabrications of the Apocrypha of the Renaissance, which would mean that what we know today as ancient history is actually the result of premeditated falsification. … My standpoint is different, namely that, due to the results of the application of the new dating methods, almost all surviving ancient documents (of antiquity or the Middle Ages) are authentic and written for the purpose of perpetuating real events rather than leading future historians astray.”
– A. T. Fomenko, Page 196 ~ http://chronologia.org/en/kw1.pdf

The above quote leads me to believe that Fomenko thinks it was just later historians who botched what really happened in the past.

@c.1:14:00 – The reason I brought up Vance’s lack of sources was just to show how little it takes for someone to believe something about history. I liked talking to Vance and Miguel so I hope that didn’t come off the wrong way. It was just the most recent example of a somewhat shallow belief. Also I’ll note that being unable to think of a source name does not mean that a person hasn’t explored a topic more in depth than a surface level understanding. Sometimes the memory is faulty. The point I was going for though showing shallow belief and how those beliefs wiggle their way into our lives. Without thinking more about why we think a thing, I’m not sure the belief can be considered to be beyond shallow. Even typing this out has me thinking more about what makes a belief shallow and what makes a belief deep. I might loop back to this in the future if people keep reminding me to.

@c.1:19:45 – If you want to help me keep going, pledge on Patreon, buy merch from the Ctruth Store, or donate through the PayPal, Venmo, or Cashapp links below. If you can’t help financially, you can help by watching and commenting on the Ctruth YouTube videos or by sharing my content on social media.

@c.1:20:30 – I said half the world is Christian. Upon looking at some statistics, I think it’s more accurate to say that a third of the world is Christian. It could be said that the USA is over 50% Christian, but I was wrong at this part in the show.

@c.1:21:12 – Vance asked me how I deal with getting a history degree. I say I kind of treat it as if the whole class is studying Harry Potter or some other fiction work. That wasn’t to say I think all of history is fake and that what we are learning is fiction but to say that if most of history is fiction, then that’s what I see it as being like. The issue is determining what really happened in the past and the history class I took in the Fall 2020 semester did not focus on how determining such a thing is done. It was mostly just parroting information without understanding exactly how that information came into fruition.

@c.1:24:12 – I said we were basically instructed to go find illegally uploaded material for one of our assignments. I said it like this because we weren’t explicitly told to go find illegally uploaded material, but we were told to go find documentaries from PBS, History Channel, Discover Channel etc. and to use those. There were more historical documentaries from those three channels uploaded not by the companies themselves than what was available for free on their websites or YouTube channels. In retrospect, this is the one criticism out of many which I’ve made which could be considered moderately baseless. However, I still think it is incredibly odd that we were told not to use any types of lectures. Possibly it’s because lectures are typically considered boring and documentaries considered fun. I’d be interested in hearing why this was the case. I do apologize for not being more precise about all of that.

@1:29:13 – Admittedly, I’m a complete idiot sometimes. I forgot that Francis Bacon (1561-1626) is credited with establishing the scientific method and is sometimes known as the father of empiricism. I mentioned I had a biography on him up on my website (which is here) but I’ll need to go in and buff it up more. It doesn’t look like I touched that biography since I posted it mid-2019. As far as his historical contributions, I’m not aware of him doing anything major.

@c.1:30:52 – Here’s the link to Fomenko’s book on Shakespeare.

@c.1:31:32 – This quote about speaking and learning you know nothing. I think I read it in the Making of the Humanities series, volume 1. I’ll have to go check for that to get it verbatim.

@c.1:33:01 – My two articles on Tartaria: Tartaria Facebook Pages and Groups and Tartaria YouTube Channels and Early Videos. If you think there’s merit to some of these Tartaria arguments, comment below or contact me with your best ones and I’ll give them a fresh view. Stuff that wasn’t convincing to me in the past might be convincing to me now.

Also around the last time stamp, I said I thought it was 2016, but it was August 2018, which makes more sense because that’s when the Facebook groups started showing up. There was some discussion in 2016, but it did get more popular in 2018.

@1:38:04, I recognize criticizing the source isn’t the same as criticizing the content, but the content was not sourced much at all. What I’m criticizing is the way the information had been gathered and presented, not the content. Providing sources for your material is important because it’s easy to attach a short citation as to where you got the information and it saves a ton of time for anyone hoping to investigate the validity of your information.

@1:40:20 – Here are some of my articles on the mudflood stuff: Mudfloods (<- This article has the video where I respond to the 1 hour long disinfo video about me), Mudflood Facebook Groups and Pages, Mudflood Youtube Channels and Videos.

@1:45:45 – My goal is to be able to do this as my career and to be able afford my expenses. I can’t do it without the support of people who want to see me continue learning and sharing. If you’re one of those people, I’d love to see you get more involved.

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My Background in History

“The shortest pencil beats the longest memory.”

My background in history really stretches back to when I was just a few months old and began developing an understanding of object permanence. History is so tightly interwoven into the culture I grew up in that it’s hard to say I was ever unaware of history or free from the application of its study. History allowed me to understand when the events of my day were taking place and how much time I had to do certain things. Regardless of the many days in my life where time seemed to drag on indefinitely as if the hour would never end, the years have gone by in a flash.

This article serves to mark some of the foundational points in my academic studies.

2008-2014 (Ages 13-19) – My main academic focus was in religion and philosophy studies but I also had an interest in physics. It was during these years that I started participating more on Khan Academy.

2014/15 (19/20) – My focus shifted more towards the history of education, specifically the history of American education. For about a year I had been thinking about writing a book on this topic.

2016 (21) – I first began looking into Fomenko’s New Chronology (FNC). For the next two years or so I mostly just read the books in FNC and the arguments against FNC.

2018, August 14th (23) – I created Fomenko Studies, a Facebook group focused on studying and discussing the works in FNC. It was also around this time that I started trying to get the educated professionals in relevant fields to analyze FNC, but I have still to this day had no luck with this.

2019, January 2nd (23) – I created Ctruth to better organize my studies into history and to be able to more easily share those studies with other people.

2020 Summer (25) – This is around the time when I made some serious improvements to my study methods. I started citing my sources much more thoroughly and started being more selective with my sources, mostly just including more academic sources. Prior to this time, I was mostly going over the basics of history. After this time, I began getting into way more of the technical details.

2020 Fall (25) – I began pursuing a BA in History. I started pursuing this for a number of reasons. One reason is because I wanted to connect with others who were serious about studying history. I figure history majors generally aren’t pursuing such a degree for fame and fortune, but for a love for history. I could be wrong about this but so far in my experience this has proven to be true. Another reason is that I wanted to see what it really takes to get a history degree.

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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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The Rosicrucian Order

The earliest mention of the Rosicrucian Order dates to the 17th century.[1, p.210] The Rosicrucian Order is “a worldwide brotherhood claiming to possess esoteric wisdom handed down from ancient times”.[2]

According to Waite, the word Rosicrucian has 3 possible etymologies:
1 – It is derived from Christian Rosenkreuze, the alleged founder of the Order. I think today he is typically considered to have been a myth or an allegory.[1, p.5]
2 – It is derived from the Latin Ros and Crux. Ros meaning dew and Crux meaning cross.[1, p.5]
3 – It is derived from Rosa and Crux. Rosa meaning rose.[1, p.7]

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References:

[1] – Waite, Arthur Edward. “The Real History of the Rosicrucians: FOUNDED ON THEIR OWN MANIFESTOES, AND ON FACTS AND DOCUMENTS COLLECTED FROM THE WRITINGS OF INITIATED BRETHREN” (1887). Last revised 2008. https://thavmapub.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/real-history-of-the-rosicrucians.pdf. Accessed 15 Nov. 2020.

[2] – https://www.britannica.com/topic/Rosicrucians. Accessed 15 Nov. 2020.

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Gnosticism

Gnosticism Definitions

Samuel Johnson’s 1755 A Dictionary of the English Language does not have a definition for Gnosticism.

Webster’s Dictionary 1828 defined Gnosticism as a noun meaning:[1]
“The doctrines, principles or systems of philosophy taught by the Gnostics.”

Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defined Gnosticism as a noun meaning:[3]
“the thought and practice especially of various cults of late pre-Christian and early Christian centuries distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through gnosis.”

Dictionary.com defined it as:[5]
“a group of ancient heresies, stressing escape from this world through the acquisition of esoteric knowledge.”

Lexico’s US Dictionary defined it as a noun meaning:[7]
“A prominent heretical movement of the 2nd-century Christian Church, partly of pre-Christian origin. Gnostic doctrine taught that the world was created and ruled by a lesser divinity, the demiurge, and that Christ was an emissary of the remote supreme divine being, esoteric knowledge (gnosis) of whom enabled the redemption of the human spirit.”

Gnostic Definitions

Samuel Johnson’s 1755 A Dictionary of the English Language does not have a definition for gnostic.

Webster’s Dictionary 1828 defined gnostic as a noun meaning:[2]
“The Gnostics were a sect of philosophers that arose in the first ages of christianity, who pretended they were the only men who had a true knowledge of the christian religion. They formed for themselves a system of theology, agreeable to the philosophy of Pythagoras and Plato, to which they accommodated their interpretations of scripture. They held that all natures, intelligible, intellectual and material, are derived by successive emanations from the infinite fountain of deity. These emanations they called oeons. These doctrines were derived from the oriental philosophy.”

Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defined gnostic as:[4]
“an adherent of gnosticism”

Dictionary.com defined it as an adjective meaning:[6]
1 – “pertaining to knowledge.”
2 – “possessing knowledge, especially esoteric knowledge of spiritual matters.”
3 – “(initial capital letter) pertaining to or characteristic of the Gnostics.”

Dictionary.com also defined Gnostic as a noun meaning:
“(initial capital letter) a member of any of certain sects among the early Christians who claimed to have superior knowledge of spiritual matters, and explained the world as created by powers or agencies arising as emanations from the Godhead.”

Lexico’s US Dictionary defined it as an adjective meaning:[8]
1 – “Relating to knowledge, especially esoteric mystical knowledge.”
1.1 – “Relating to Gnosticism.”

Lexico’s US Dictionary also defined Gnostic as a noun meaning:
“An adherent of Gnosticism.”

Gnosticism Etymologies

“1664, in the meaning defined above”[3]

“First recorded in 1660–70; Gnostic + -ism”[5]

“1660s, from Gnostic + -ism.”[9]

Gnostic Etymologies

“circa 1587, in the meaning defined above”[4]

“1555–65; <Late Latin Gnōsticī (plural) name of the sect <Greek gnōstikós (singular) pertaining to knowledge, equivalent to gnōst(ós) known + -ikos-ic”[6]

“Late 16th century (as a noun): via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek gnōstikos, from gnōstos ‘known’ (related to gignōskein ‘know’).”[8]

Gnostic as a noun: “1580s, “believer in a mystical religious doctrine of spiritual knowledge,” from Late Latin Gnosticus “a Gnostic,” from Late Greek Gnōstikos, noun use of adjective gnōstikos “knowing, able to discern, good at knowing,” from gnōstos “known, to be known,” from gignōskein “to learn, to come to know,” from PIE root *gno- “to know.” Applied to various early Christian sects that claimed direct personal knowledge beyond the Gospel or the Church hierarchy; they appeared in the first century A.D., flourished in the second, and were stamped out by the 6th.”[10]

Gnostic as an adjective: “”relating to knowledge,” especially mystical or esoteric knowledge of spiritual things, 1650s, from Greek gnōstikos “knowing, good at knowing, able to discern,” from gnōstos “known, perceived, understood,” earlier gnōtos, from gignōskein “learn to know, come to know, perceive; discern, distinguish; observe, form a judgment,” from PIE *gi-gno-sko-, reduplicated and suffixed form of root *gno- “to know.””[10]

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References:

[1] – http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/gnosticism. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

[2] – http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/gnostic. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

[3] – “Gnosticism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gnosticism. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

[4] – “Gnostic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gnostic. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

[5] – https://www.dictionary.com/browse/gnosticism?s=t. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

[6] – https://www.dictionary.com/browse/gnostic?s=t. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

[7] – https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/gnosticism. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

[8] – https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/gnostic. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

[9] – https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=gnosticism. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

[10] – https://www.etymonline.com/word/Gnostic. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.

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The Berlin Codex

The Berlin Codex was discovered in Akhmim, Egypt. Carl Reinhardt purchased it in January 1896. It has been dated to the 5th century CE.

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References:

[1] – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Codex. Accessed 12 Nov. 2020.

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The Askew Codex

The Askew Codex appeared out of obscurity in 1772 when the London doctor A. Askew purchased it. Its provenance is incredibly obscure.[1]

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References:

[1] – https://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/2012/07/23/notes-on-the-askew-codex/. Accessed 12 Nov. 2020.

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The Bruce Codex

James Bruce found this codex around 1769 in upper Egypt. It contains Ethiopic, Coptic, and Arabic manuscripts. It was first published in the 19th century.

Where is it today? When are the MSS dated to?

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References:

[1] – http://gnosis.org/library/bookss.htm. Accessed 12 Nov. 2020.

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