You’re going to want to hear this.
A housewife has been exposed after 12 years of publishing fake Chinese and Russian history on Wikipedia. Using four accounts that added credibility to each other, she wrote millions of words across hundreds of articles. And she might’ve gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for the fantasy novelist Yifan.
In a search for inspiration, Yifan became captivated by the Wikipedia entries relating to a great silver mine in Russia. After hours of reading and checking citations, red flags began to pop up. Sounding the alarm, an investigation was launched by Wikipedia which lead to the fake history being unmasked in June 2022.
The forger has since issued a public apology (translated to English), saying:
“…in order to tell a lie, you must tell more lies. I was reluctant to delete the hundreds of thousands of words I wrote, but as a result, I wound up losing millions of words, and a circle of academic friends collapsed … The trouble I’ve caused is hard to make up for, so maybe a permanent ban is the only option. My current knowledge is not enough to make a living, so in the future I will learn a craft, work honestly, and not do nebulous things like this any more.”
The responses to her actions have been mixed. Some people have praised her efforts and encouraged her to become a novelist. Others have warned that her actions have damaged the credibility of Wikipedia.
But how credible is Wikipedia to begin with?
In 2012, an expert in the history of the 1886 Haymarket Riot attempted to update some false information on the Wikipedia page for this event. Over the course of about two years, he cited verifiable evidence and scholarship to support his revisions but they were denied three times.[3, p.24] The reasoning behind these denials was that:
“…Wikipedia was not “truth”. … If, for example, a consensus among sources was that the sky was green in 1888, the Wikipedia article would state that the sky was green in 1888. If a single historian argued the sky was blue in 1888, that would not merit inclusion in the article, as it would not reflect a consensus of reputable sources.”[3, p.25]
That example and quote are from Jason Steinhauer’s book History Disrupted: How Social Media and the World Wide Web Have Changed the Past. You can find his book on Amazon, linked in the description (https://amzn.to/3yRahpW).
People writing fake history and trying to pass it off as the real deal is a practice that goes back to time immemorial, but the moral of the story here is “don’t believe everything you read on the internet”. Also, credibility is only one of 5 main things people use to judge whether something is true or not. Learn about the other four in this next video.
 – Peiyue, Wu. “She Spent a Decade Writing Fake Russian History. Wikipedia Just Noticed.” (Sixth Tone, 29 Jun. 2022). https://www.sixthtone.com/news/1010653/She. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.
 – Wikipedia. “维基百科:2022年歷史相關條目偽造事件”. https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:2022%E5%B9%B4%E6%AD%B7%E5%8F%B2%E7%9B%B8%E9%97%9C%E6%A2%9D%E7%9B%AE%E5%81%BD%E9%80%A0%E4%BA%8B%E4%BB%B6. Accessed 8 Jul. 2022.
 – Steinhauer, Jason. “History Disrupted: How Social Media and the World Wide Web Have Changed the Past” (2021). Accessed 8 Jul 2022.
Originally I had these on the homepage of my website but I’ve since moved them here. The initial idea was to have a quote about chronology from each century going back to the 1600’s, when modern chronology first began to emerge as a discipline.
“Some say the holy Ghost did obscure some things in Chronology to sharpen mens wits.”
– Edward Leigh (1663)[p.315]
“…Chronology is the Eye, the Light, the Life and Soul of History…”
– John Kennedy (1753)[p.4]
“If history without chronology is dark and confused; chronology without history is dry and insipid.”
– Noah Webster (1828)[x]
“John Locke, in Some Thoughts Concerning Reading and Study, recommended chronology as the proper study for gentlemen wishing to improve their minds and understanding.”
– James William Johnson (1962)[p.124]
“Science is dependent on the accurate measurement of time.”
– Ken Mondschein, On Time (2020)[p.3]
This article is my effort to organize the chapters found in three volumes dedicated to fakes, forgeries, and authorship in and about the ancient world. It’s currently at 3 volumes but I figure more might be on the way.
Cueva, Edmund P., and Javier Martínez, editors. Splendide Mendax: Rethinking Fakes and Forgeries in Classical, Late Antique, and Early Christian Literature. Barkhuis, 2016. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt20d86x1. Accessed 12 Jun. 2022.
Guzmán, Antonio, and Javier Martínez, editors. Animo Decipiendi?: Rethinking Fakes and Authorship in Classical, Late Antique, & Early Christian Works. Barkhuis, 2018, http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctvggx27t.
Lennartz, Klaus, and Javier Martínez, editors. Tenue Est Mendacium: Rethinking Fakes and Authorship in Classical, Late Antique, & Early Christian Works. Barkhuis, 2021, https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv29j3dpf.
The chapters are not numbered in any of the volumes.
Total Chapters: 58
Greek Literature: 20
Latin Literature: 12
Late Antique Works: 4
Early Christian Works: 3
Late Antique & Early Christian Works: 8
Epigraphy & Archeology: 6
Martinez, Javier. “Cheap Fictions and Gospel Truths”
Martinez, Javier. “Classical Fakes and Forgeries: Wisdom from Nobody?”
Lennartz, Klaus. “tenue est mendacium: Introduction”
Doak, Brian R. “Remembering the Future, Predicting the Past: Vaticinia ex eventu in the Historiographic Traditions of the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East”
Stern, Gauis C. “Imposters in Ancient Persia, Greece, and Rome”
Bertolin, Reyes. “The Search for Truth in Odyssey 3 and 4”
Prosperi, Valentina. “The Trojan War: Between History and Myth”
Yamuza, Emilia Ruiz. “Protagoras‘s Myth: Between Pastiche and Falsification”
Filonik, Jakub. “Impiety Avenged: Rewriting Athenian History”
Labiano, Mikel. “Dramas or Niobus: Aristophanic Comedy or Spurious Play?”
Cueva, Edmund P. “ὃ γὰρ βούλεται τοῦθ̓ ἕκαστος καὶ οἴεται: Dissembling in the Ancient Greek Novel”
Hafner, Markus. “Logography Reconsidered: New Issues on Cooperative Authorship in Attic Oratory”
Hernández Muñoz, Felipe G. ““Relative Hapax” in the Corpus Demosthenicum”
Kapparis, Konstantinos. “Forgery as Art in the Documents inserted in the Attic Orators”
Lennartz, Klaus. ““To sound like Plato”: Profiling the Seventh Letter”
Martin, Richard P. “Onomakritos, Rhapsode: Composition-in-Performance and the Competition of Genres in 6th -century Athens”
De Brasi, Diego. “What a Cruel Bee! Authority and Anonymity in Pseudo-Theocritus’s Idyll 19″
Burgess, Jonathan S. “The Periplus of Hanno: Dubious Historical Document, Fascinating Travel Text”
Capasso, Mario. “The Forgery of the Stoic Diotimus”
Kapparis, Kostas. “Fake and Forgotten: The True Story of Apollodoros, the Son of Pasion”
Labiano, Mikel. “The Athenian Decree Contained in the Corpus Hippocraticum”
Lennartz, Klaus. “Two Birds with One Stone: Thuc. 2. 41 and the Nauarchs Monument“
Nesselrath, Heinz-Günther. “From Plato to Paul Schliemann: Dubious Documents on the “History” of Atlantis”
Tempest, Kathryn. “Confessions of a Literary Forger: Reading the Letters of Mithridates to Brutus”
Vatri, Alessandro. “An Interpolator Praising Forgers? Dionysius of Halicarnassus on the Pythagoreans (On Imitation, Epitome 4)”
Sillet, Andrew. “Quintus Cicero’s Commentariolum: A Philosophical Approach to Roman Elections”
Lennartz, Klaus. “Not Without my Mother: The Obligate Rhetoric of Daphne’s Transformation”
Meckler, Michael. “Comparative Approaches to the Historia Augusta”
Elliott, Jackie. “Authorship and Authority in the Preface to Justin’s Epitome of Trogus’ Philippic Histories“
Hendricksonk, Thomas G. “Spurious Manuscripts of Genuine Works: The Cases of Cicero and Virgil”
Pucci, Joseph. “Artistic Authority and the Impotency of Art: A Reading of Ausonius’ Third Preface”
Reichetanz, Paul. “Ea vera clementia erit – The Epistulae ad Caesarem in 1st Century AD Public Discourse”
Stachon, Markus. “Young Vergil’s Very First Poetic Exercises: Some Remarks on the Pseudo-Vergilian Liber Distichon (AL 250-257 Sh. B. = AL 256-263 R.)”
Henderson, John. ““Why Not Cicero?” The Spuriae I. De Exilio“
Hudson, Jared. “Framing the Speaker: [Sallust] Against Cicero“
La Bua, Giuseppe. “The Poet as a Forger: Fakes and Literary Imitation in Roman Poetry”
San Vincente, J. Ignacio. “Mark Antony’s Will and his Pietas“
Late Antique Works
Baudoin, Anne-Catherine. “Truth in the Details: The Report of Pilate to Tiberius as an Authentic Forgery”
Kristi, Eastin. “Virgilius Accuratissimus: The “Authentic” Illustrations of William Sandby’s 1750 Virgil”
Pedroni, Luigi. “The Salii at the Nonae of October: Reading Lyd. Mens. 4.138 W”
Tolsa, Cristian. “Evidence and Speculation about Ptolemy’s Career in Olympiodorus”
Early Christian Works
Brown, Scott. “Mar Saba 65: Twelve Enduring Misconceptions”
Karanasiou, Argyri. “A Euripidised Clement of Alexandria or a Christianised Euripides? The Interplay of Authority between Quoting Author and Cited Author”
Mulke, Markus. “Heretic Falsification in Cyprian’s Epistulae?”
Late Antique & Early Christian Works
Abenstein, Christina. “Facts, Fakes or Fiction? Considering Ancient Quotations”
Clark, Frederic. “Historia and Fabula: Dares Phrygius between Truth and Fiction in the Twelfth Century”
Luca, Grillo. “Tertullian’s Attack on the Valentinians and the Rhetoric of Fake”
Lampinen, Antti. “Forging the Feel of Ancient Ethnography in Pseudo-Jerome’s Cosmography of Aethicus Ister”
Mulke, Markus. “The Author-Translator: Progress or Problem? Augustinus on the Vetus Latina and Jerome’s Vulgata“
Dorda, Esteban Calderón. “Falsehoods and Distortions in the Transmission of the New Testament Text”
Neil, Bronwen. “Forging the Faith: Pseudo-Epistolography in Christian Late Antiquity”
Whiting, Colin M. “Two Forged Letters and the Heirs of Athanasius and Lucifer”
Epigraphy (& Archeology)
Barron, Caroline. “Latin Inscriptions and the Eighteenth-Century Art Market”
Cooley, Alison E. “Fakes, Forgeries and Authenticity: The curious case of Flora”
Graf, Fritz. “Phantom Travels: On the Story of a Lycian Inscription”
Keegan, Peter. “False Positive: Testing the Authenticity of Latin Graffiti in Ancient Pompeii”
Momigliano, Nicoletta. “Minoan Fakes and Fictions”
Temiño, Ignacio Rodríguez & Ana Yáñez. “Considerations on the Judgement of Criminal Court No. 1 of Vitoria-Gasteiz on the Iruña-Veleia Case”
We all have things that we find endlessly fascinating, and for me, one of those things is Fomenko’s New Chronology. This is what brought me to the channel of the Swedish YouTuber historian Mia Mulder. She posted a video about Fomenko’s New Chronology earlier this month (in June 2022) and I have some comments about it.
To begin, the title of her video is false. Fomenko’s New Chronology does not say that history isn’t real. This aside, her video is a little bit over an hour long, and the first 40ish minutes of it is a preamble that doesn’t mention Fomenko’s New Chronology at all. Skipping past that intro, let’s hear her opening:
@38:52 – “New Chronology is a conspiracy theory proposed by a man called Anatoly Fomenko. New Chronology is a conspiracy theory that states that all of human history is more recent than we might think.”
It’s true that the conspiracy theory is mainly associated with Anatoly Fomenko, hence the Fomenko in Fomenko’s New Chronology, but it does not state that all of human history is more recent than we might think (human history being everything that’s ever happened to humanity). Fomenko argues that “we know more or less what happened” after 1650, and this date serves as a loose cut-off point for revision. This is less severe than the Last-Thursdayistic picture Mia painted.
@39:07 – “The ancient dates and events of the ancient world going back as far as 3, 4 thousand years ago actually took place in the middle ages…”
Wait, wait, wait. Where is this coming from? What source is Mia pulling this info out of? As of right now, it’s:
“Source(s): Dude trust me”
I think what’s going on here is that Mia is parroting the information from the Wikipedia page for Fomenko’s New Chronology. She uses similar wording and follows a similar structure. “Proposed by [a man called] Anatoly Fomenko”, “Actually occurred [i.e., took place] in the middle ages”.
In the quest to become properly-informed on a topic, it’s important to pay attention to where your information originated. From what I’ve seen, it is not common practice for YouTubers to share their sources. If you’re lucky, they’ll drop a collection of links they used for their content so you can try to sort out where a piece of info maybe came from. This lack of citation isn’t problematic for those who just wish to be entertained, but it is a problem for those who want to fact check, or for those who want more context about how the sources were used.
Mia says a bibliography is on the way but it has yet to appear, so for now it’s just “Source(s): Dude trust me”.
As for the last clip from her, and despite what Wikipedia would have you believe, Fomenko’s New Chronology does not argue that events from the ancient world took place in just the middle ages. It is more nuanced than that. As mentioned before, Fomenko’s cut off point is around the mid-17th century, which is well into the early-modern period, and well-after the end of the middle ages. To give some examples, he places the Ancient Rome described by Josephus in 17th century Moscow, and dates many allegedly ancient horoscopes to the early modern period.
@39:16 – “…it’s just that historians have seen events around their current times and said that they happened thousands of thousands of years ago.”
Kind of but not really. Fomenko argues that the distorters made three main shifts in the history of human civilization, namely 330 years, 1050 years, and 1800 years. However, those are just the main shifts. He also argues for smaller distortions, like 100-150 years, as seen in Chapter 5 of his newest book which redates the sources we have for Joan of Arc.
@39:25 – “In fact, the events of the Old Testament happened just a thousand years ago.”
Maybe my math is a bit off, but I don’t think the 14-1500’s were a thousand years ago. Among other things, Fomenko argues that Noah’s flood is based on the voyages of Christopher Columbus in the late 1400’s, and that the Biblical Esther was Elena of Moldavia of the early 1500’s. Both being about 500 years ago, not a thousand.
The next 40 seconds or so of her video is just a rapid-fire list of claims allegedly made by Fomenko. Some of them I know where they are mentioned in his works, but I’m curious about the ones pertaining to writing in Europe, farming in India, and the Mongols being all Russians.
leave out – @39:31 – “This theory has some claims that I’ll get to. But the main overarching theory is that actually all the world’s great empires and events was actually done by the Russian. Or actually an empire called the Russo-Turko-Horde. This sequence of events completely erases the idea that Russian history is in large part due to the Mongol invasions. In actuality, claims Fomenko, they were all Russians. But not only were the Mongolians Russians, the Russians gave the Europeans the skill of writing. It gave the Indians the technology of farming.”
leave out – @40:11 – “Fomenko claims the Roman empire also didn’t exist but was in fact this Russian horde; that the city of Rome was founded just 600 years ago; and that the Roman empire in the 4th century is actually the same as the kingdom of Israel in the year 1000 BCE. He also claims that the Roman empire of the 3rd century is the same as the Holy Roman Empire of the year 1000. He claims that Old England is actually the Byzantine empire, but the first Roman Empire was based somewhere in Egypt. That this Russian horde essentially dominated all of Eurasia. That Islam and Orthodoxy used to be the same religion. That Plato and Platius are the same person. Essentially all great human civilization comes from the Russians.
Skipping past the buckshot, we arrive at Mia’s favorite claim from Fomenko.
@41:03 – “My favorite claim is that Christopher Columbus was actually a Cossack. He bases this idea of this picture of Columbus from 1493 which depicts him wearing a Cossack outfit. Case closed.”
This image is included in the conclusion of Fomenko’s “History: Fiction or Science?” Volume 6, Book 2, Chapter 6, part 12.8. It is much more complex than “look at this one picture, case closed”. Also, nowhere in this section does Fomenko say that Columbus was a Cossack.
@41:17 – “He also claims that the Russian horde settled the Aztec and Incan civilizations because this one map has a flag with the double-headed eagle on it, and uh, uhhhhh,… evidence.”
This map is found in the same book and chapter, but in part 14. Again, it is much more complex than just “I found this one map therefore Russian-Horde”.
leave out of video – @41:32 – “Fomenko has also argued that Jesus Christ is actually a Byzantine emperor by the name of Andrionocus Comnenus in the year 1150. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that Jesus is older than that.”
She continues on to mention that Fomenko argues that the story of Jesus Christ from the New Testament is based on the story of the 12th century Byzantine Emperor Andronicus Comnenus. She says,
@41:54 – “This Jesus thing is actually a big element of Fomenko’s work too. For example, he claims that the Latin letter for i which is the first letter in the name of the spelling of Jesus could have been used as an abbreviated version of the full name of Jesus.”
Yes, I wonder where Fomenko could have gotten that idea.
cue music and INRI montage. song: Orff – Carmina Burana: O Fortuna
Verdi – Messa da Requim Dies irae
@42:07 – “Which means that the year 1300 might actually have meant i300. That is, 300 years since Jesus written in the Greek way.”
This part comes “History: Fiction or Science?” Vol. 1, Chapter 6, part 13.2. In this part, Fomenko argues that conflicting calendar styles eventually lead to the creation of a thousand years of history that never happened. The “i300” thing is one of many examples he gives to back this hypothesis.
But enough of that, we have to return to Wikipedia, er, I mean, Mia.
@42:18 – “Using this, as well as similar hints that people can’t read, Fomenko argues that Jesus was born on Crimea in 1152 AD and was crucified in 1185 AD on a hill in modern-day Istanbul. And not only was Jesus and this emperor the same guy, Jesus is also Old Testament prophet Elijah, Pope Gregory VII, Saint Basil of Caesarea, and even Emperor Li Jingzong of the Chinese Empire.”
Fomenko does argue this, but his argument goes far beyond that. Here’s a list of over 100 people who he says are either entirely or partially based on the original Christ figure.
@42:47 – “He also argues that the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is actually the Temple of Solomon, and that the King Solomon himself is actually Emperor Suleiman the Great. Suleiman, Solomon, it all makes sense.”
Fomenko does argue this about King Solomon (How It Was In Reality, Chapter 6.13). Over the next 10 minutes or so, Mia discusses some of Fomenko’s conspiratorial claims, the predecessors of Fomenko’s New Chronology, and some of the methods created and employed by Fomenko.
At one point in there she says there are 6 main volumes but in reality there are 7. You can find them all for free on the homepage of their website.
Leave out of video
leave out of video – @43:03 – “More specifically he argues that most of human history was actually doctored in the 17th century by historians who dedicatedly want to undermine Russian’s role in the world history. Partly due to malice and partly by accident. Some of these people, allegedly, were backtracking certain historical dates. They saw an event in history and gave them new dates, new events, new names, and so essentially creating a phantom history. The same event multiplied backwards in time.”
@43:38 – She goes over the history of FNC.
@46:31 – “He uses math to prove his theory. There are a lot of volumes that he discusses here. There are six volumes in total. Only some of which have been translated into English, so I’ve only been able to read some of them. And he is using a lot of complicated mathematical equations that I don’t fully understand. I will grant you this.”
“But he argues essentially that eclipses can be traced historically. Earth, the sun, and moon aren’t affected by what humans write down. They will move no matter what and we can actually calculate when they would have happened in the past because they move in a pretty ordered state. Essentially some people in history claims to see eclipses that Fomenko says are mathematically impossible.”
“This is Fomenko’s prime argument for the age of the modern world and he cites it frequently in his volumes.”
@47:29 – She explains using eclipses to date events and how that ties in with FNC.
@49:44 – “Fomenko then uses Newton’s algorithm but not conventionally understood dates for when those eclipses occurred. Instead using the ones by Morozov.” Is this true? Source plz
@50:08 – She talks about the textual analyses.
@53:25 – “But the thing is, this conspiracy theory isn’t like many conspiracy theories in the west. Where a lot of conspiracy theories in the West talk about, you know, if the earth is flat or vaccines give you autism, a lot of those movements are headed by disgraced academics who everyone agrees is disgraced, or by people who are not academics at all.
Include in video
She continues on with a comparison between Western conspiracy theories and Fomenko’s New Chronology. Saying that while the Western ones are typically lead by disgraced academics and quacks, Fomenko’s New Chronology is different because…
@53:52 – “…a lot of people are academics when it comes to New Chronology.”
Show volume 1 pp.xxvi-xxviii – list of contributors and helpers
@53:57 – “Both historians, mathematicians, even people that you normally might not consider to be very quackjobby. For example, Gary Kasparov. That’s right. The chess man himself. Pretty reasonable guy. Enemy of the Russian state as of like two weeks ago as I made this video. He believes in this theory.”
This is false. Kasparov does not believe in Fomenko’s New Chronology and from what I can tell never has. I have an article that lists Kasparov’s statements on New Chronology, and he’s always been critical of Fomenko’s reconstruction, the shortened timeline part, but more open to the idea that history could be wildly different from what’s commonly believed. The next part of her video is a friend of hers reading some quotes from the article I just cited.
@55:53 – She accuses Kasparov of being disingenuous with his skepticism (says he’s JAQing off).
@56:24 – “Which goes to show that it’s not just people on the fringe. A lot of people, even important people within the Russian spheres are supporters of this theory.”
Which important people are supporters of this? I want a couple names.
@56:24 – “In fact, a survey has shown that up to 30% of Russians have some form of sympathy for New Chronology.”
What survey is that exactly? Mia showed a screenshot of Halperin’s publication from 2011, which is not the survey she’s citing. I’ve gone over this in more depth already, but simply put, Halperin is citing Tsadikov’s publication from 2001, which is also not the survey, but a reprint of a supposed newspaper from 1999. The entire thing, to me at least, reads as satire, or some type of humorous writing. It claims that the Fomenko from Fomenko’s New Chronology never existed, and that the New Chronology is a hoax made by twin brothers. It also has tales about Russian UFO’s and Fomenko’s anti-Semitic self-circumcision. For some reason unbeknownst to me, Halperin decided to not make any mention of these stories and chose only to make use of the 30% thing. He didn’t even report on it very well, changing multiple elements of the original quote. Here’s the quote in English:
“Meanwhile, analytical agencies gave alarming signals. At least 30% of capable Russians believed in the “New Chronology” irrevocably.”[16, 3:17]
“One commentator … estimated that 30 percent of Russians are sympathetic to the New Chronology.”
Halperin’s version changes analytical agencies into a single commentator, at least 30% of capable Russians into an estimated 30% of just Russians in general, and irrevocably believe into just sympathetic.
Mia version’s further distorts this, but the changes don’t make sense when given only Halperin and Tsadikov’s publications. There’s another source lurking nearby, just out of sight. If I had to take a guess, I’d bet she was parroting Tristan Alphey’s publication from last September, which I responded to already earlier this year.
“Halperin notes a survey suggesting up to 30% of the Russian population might be sympathetic to the ‘New Chronology.'”
Even with Halperin’s quote on the screen, Mia still went with Alphey’s version for her script.
Overall, as it stands right now, the 30% statistic is dubious at best, and intentionally fabricated at worst.
@57:16 – And that’s pretty much the end of her presentation on this topic.
In conclusion, Mia’s coverage of the New Chronology is mainly a dolled-up version of the New Chronology Wikipedia article. In my experience, this is a pretty standard move for content creators who want to cover New Chronology but don’t know much about it.
I did enjoy watching Mia’s presentation and I encourage her to be thorough with her citations in future videos. It saves a ton of time for anyone curious about where the info is coming from and adds value and integrity to any educational project.
To anyone watching this, if you choose to go over to her channel and comment on her New Chronology video, please do be kind. We all make small mistakes and I don’t think it’s appropriate to bully or harass people over that. I’ve said my piece here mainly to try and slow the spread of the false info, which by looking at her video creeping up to 50k views, is spreading quickly. Also I’ve done this to encourage critical thinking and thorough reporting.
There is one last bit from her video that I wanted to share here:
@59:18 – “While Kasparov is obviously completely wrong in believing that there’s something to Fomenko’s writing he is right that it is important to be skeptical and that lies about history are common today and probably have been common throughout history as well.”
Kasparov is not completely wrong in believing that there’s something to Fomenko’s writings. From my examination so far, the majority of what Fomenko has published is true, even if he gets some core things very wrong. She is right that skepticism is important, and while she has a hunch that lies about history have been common since time immemorial, she doesn’t seem to me to be too familiar with the academic literature on the topic. If you’re curious about what that literature says, check out this other video of mine.
“A Brief History of Medieval Forgery (but also some modern forgery too)”, 14 Mar. 2022. https://youtu.be/JdeHJTqHgFA.
 – YouTube, “Mia Mulder”. https://www.youtube.com/c/MiaMulder/about. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Mia Mulder. “The Russian Conspiracy Theory That History Isn’t Real | Mia Mulder” (YouTube, 3 Jun. 2022). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eICFmaXyPBY. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Fomenko, Anatoly. “How It Was In Reality. Preface”. https://chronologia.org/en/how_it_was/preface.html. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Wikipedia. “New chronology (Fomenko)”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_chronology_(Fomenko). Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Fomenko, Anatoly. “How It Was In Reality. Chapter 6.40”. https://chronologia.org/en/how_it_was/06_35.html#the640. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. “New Chronology Zodiac List” (18 Jan. 2019). https://ctruth.today/2019/01/18/new-chronology-zodiac-list/. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – “FRAGMENTS OF THE GLOBAL CHRONOLOGICAL MAP OF A.T.FOMENKO” http://chronologia.org/en/gcm/index.html. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Fomenko, Anatoly. “Mirages of Europe”. https://chronologia.org/kak_mirages/index.html. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Fomenko, Anatoly. “How It Was In Reality. Chapter 5.18”. https://chronologia.org/en/how_it_was/05_15.html#the18. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Fomenko, Anatoly. “How It Was In Reality. Chapter 6.4”. https://chronologia.org/en/how_it_was/06_01.html#the604. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Fomenko, Anatoly. “Development of America by Russia-Horde”. https://chronologia.org/seven6_2/index.html. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – The New York Public Library Digital Collections. “Discovery of San Domingo (Insula Hyspana) by Christopher Columbus”. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-1f62-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Fomenko, Anatoly. “History: Fiction or Science?, Volume 1”. https://chronologia.org/en/seven/chronology1.html. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Fomenko, Anatoly. “How It Was In Reality. Chapter 2.18”. https://chronologia.org/en/how_it_was/02_18.html. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. “Gary Kasparov and Fomenko’s New Chronology” (11 Oct. 2021). https://ctruth.today/2021/10/11/garry-kasparov-and-fomenkos-new-chronology/. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Ctruth. “Part 1 – 30% Of Russians Believe In Fomenko’s New Chronology According to Tsadikov (1999)” (10 Jan. 2022). https://youtu.be/nXRNY_vmaG8. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Alphey, Tristan (An Oxford Historian). “The ‘New Chronology’ – the world’s craziest conspiracy theory” (21 Sept. 2021). https://www.anoxfordhistorian.com/post/the-new-chronology-the-world-s-craziest-conspiracy-theory. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Ctruth. “Tristan Alphey, AnOxfordHistorian, & Fomenko’s New Chronology” (11 Jan. 2022). https://youtu.be/phU_ir5yANY. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. “Examining Fomenko’s New Chronology” (1 Oct. 2020). https://ctruth.today/2020/10/01/examining-fomenkos-new-chronology/. Accessed 6 Jun. 2022.
5 – A Blacksmith, A Priest, and a Merchant Walk Into a Bar…
About one hundred Christian graves and an ancient Roman commercial center have been discovered during a project to build a new soccer field in Hertfordshire, England. Coins, spearheads, a caltrop, the ruins of buildings, and more have been found so far and all date to the 1st century CE. The cemetery with the hundred graves dates to the 3rd-4th centuries CE, some 200-300 years later. The experts say this is a “once in a lifetime discovery” and that they’re eager to learn more about how this location was used by the ancient Roman military.
 – Havis, Michael. “Ancient Romans’ answer to Roadchef? Archaeologists uncover a 2,000-year-old roadside ‘service station’ in Hertfordshire along with hundreds of Roman artefacts and dozens of bodies” (The Daily Mail, 10 May 2022). https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-10801849/Ancient-Romans-answer-Roadchef-Archaeologists-uncover-2-000-year-old-roadside-service-station.html. Accessed 27 May 2022.
4 – Pompeiian Genome Sequenced
Nobody who was killed by Vesuvius in 79 CE has had their genome sequenced, until now. The report of the first person from Pompeii to have their DNA sequenced was recently released in the journal Nature. Scientists believe future studies can be built upon this one to construct a genetic history of Pompeii’s population, a task which has never been done before.
 – Scorrano, G., Viva, S., Pinotti, T. et al. Bioarchaeological and palaeogenomic portrait of two Pompeians that died during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Sci Rep 12, 6468 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-10899-1. Accessed 27 May 2022.
 – Ferreira, Becky. “Scientists Sequence DNA of Man Who Died In Pompeii Eruption for First Time” (VICE, 26 May, 2022). https://www.vice.com/en/article/93be37/scientists-sequence-dna-of-man-who-died-in-pompeii-eruption-for-first-time. Accessed 27 May 2022.
3 – Ancient Roman Bust Found at Texas Goodwill
A Texan antiques dealer found and bought a 2000 year old ancient Roman bust from Goodwill for $35. It spent about 3 years in her living room and was named Dennis after the TV show It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Experts believe it was looted from Germany and brought to the US during WW2. It’s now on display in the San Antonio Museum of Art and is scheduled to be sent to Germany next year in 2023.
 – Amineddoleh & Associates LLC. “Our Client’s Voluntary Return of Marble Bust to Germany Provides Model for Restitution of Looted Artifacts” (2 May 2022). https://www.artandiplawfirm.com/voluntary-return-of-marble-bust-to-germany-provides-model-for-restitution-of-artifacts-looted-in-wartime/. Accessed 27 May 2022.
2 – Hadrian’s Wall, the Gift that Keeps on Giving
A large engraving of a 1700 year old phallus has been found on Hadrian’s Wall. This is the 13th one of these to be found on this wall but it’s the only one to be accompanied by a public insult against a man named Secundinus, who the author of the willy called a “s***ter”. This find will be a source of entertainment for decades to come and it goes to show that some humans have not changed much over the past 1700 years.
 – Best, Shivali. “‘Secundinus, the s***ter’: 1,700-year-old graffiti is found on Hadrian’s Wall featuring a large phallus and an insult aimed at another Roman soldier” (The Daily Mail, 26 May 2022). https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-10856501/1-700-year-old-phallus-inscription-branding-Roman-solider-s-ter-Hadrians-Wall.html. Accessed 27 May 2022.
1 – Butcher Hits Ancient Roman Jackpot
Over 700 ancient Roman coins were found in Suffolk, England by an Indiana Jones inspired butcher studying satellite imagery. The finds date to a period of roughly 300-400 years, from the 200s BCE to the first century Common Era. They’ve been valued at £65,000, which is a little over $82,000. George Ridgway, the man who discovered them, said this was a childhood dream of his come true.
 – Joseph, Claudia. “Raider of the lost coins: Detectorist, 30, inspired by Indiana Jones finds £65,000 Roman hoard after studying satellite imagery near his Suffolk home” (The Daily Mail, 17 May 2022). https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10826573/Detectorist-30-inspired-Indiana-Jones-finds-65-000-Roman-hoard.html. Accessed 27 May 2022.
A priceless 2000 year old Roman bust was bought at a Goodwill for $35 and spent about 3 years in the living room of a Texan couple who named it Dennis, after the character from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Laura Young, the woman who purchased it and brought it home, described Dennis and his ancient counterpart as “…cool, …aloof — no emotion — possibly a little sociopathic.” – cue S3E11
Now, this is all very exciting news for the German historic building soon to reobtain a long lost item from its collection, and for those who love to learn about history, but… insert commercial clip elephant
Forgery. It’s a force to be reckoned with in the world of art. Most fakes enter the pool of genuine artefacts without making a splash at all, blending in well enough to avoid suspicion from scholars and laypeople alike.[9, p.494] In one case, a forgery was deemed authentic for about 7 years by experts who closely analyzed it. The thing that finally exposed it was a few weeks of skepticism and further scientific testing., 
To my knowledge, Dennis has not been tested scientifically at all. The experts judged it to be 2000 years old based on photographs alone.
The way I see it, there are 4 main options for this bust:
1 – It was forged by 2018.
2 – It was forged by the 1830s.
3 – It’s inauthentic but not forged, meaning that the person who made it had no intention for it to deceive anyone.
4 – It’s authentic.
As of right now, every person that I’ve seen post about Dennis is going with option 4. I haven’t seen anyone else even suggest options 1, 2, or 3.
Forged by 2018
Option 1 is based on the obscure history of the object prior to it surfacing in 2018. Experts are saying that it was stolen from the Pompejanum in 1944 or 1945 during World War 2. This could be that bust, or it could be one attempting to imitate it. There’s only been one piece of evidence put forth to support that it was there prior to the war, and it’s this photo.
I’ve zoomed in on the bust that they say is Dennis and I’ve placed a recent picture of it next to it.
There do appear to be some differences in the facial structure but the older image is too blurry to say for certain. The main problem is that the angles of the two photos don’t match. A solution to this problem would be to take a new picture from the same angle as the old one to make for a better comparison. I have many questions about this. One is: are there other pre-war photos or images of the same bust?
Some others are:
1 – How common of knowledge is it that this specific bust has been missing?
2 – How long was it after the war that anybody noticed it was gone?
Moving on to Option 2, let’s grant that the bust we have today is the one that is in the photo.
Forged by the 1830’s
The only other piece of evidence used for its provenance is King Ludwig I of Bavaria’s 1833 inventory list. Here’s a picture of it:
Entry 201 is named “DRUSUS”. It states it’s a head made of white marble and it gives a height of 1 foot and 7 inches. An English translation of the German text “Bruder des Kaisers Tiberius, mit dem er Aehnlichkeit hat” is “Brother of Emperor Tiberius, with whom he bears a resemblance”.
Is this item included in other catalogues? Is it even the same object as the one bought from Goodwill? One thing that stuck out to me is that Entry 201 is labeled as a “head” while Entry 202 is labeled as a “bust”. Is there a notable difference between the two?
To move this along, let’s grant that Entry 201 is the object we have today. It could still be a forgery, but the latest it could have been made would be just before the king acquired it.
The king became heavily involved in collecting arts and antiquities during his reign in the early 1800s, when he acquired the bust (before 1833 but after 1804). This was a time when a steep rise of interest in collecting antiquities was sweeping all across Europe. This craze gave way to a similarly massive increase in forgeries. So many in fact that the 1800s have been called “the great age of faking”.[7, p.161]
Don’t let the name fool you into thinking that forgery wasn’t prevalent prior to this time because it was. In the 19th century, forging Roman busts was a practice already hundreds of years in the making. Italians in the 1500’s forged on a scale that might shock, and among their forgeries, busts of Roman emperors were the most popular.[6, p.79]
All this is to say that there is reason to be skeptical of new historical finds that have not been scientifically tested, this includes especially of Dennis.
To say it one last time, the expert consensus is that this is a Roman bust dating back to around 2000 years old. It’s on display now in the San Antonio Museum of Art and is scheduled to return to Germany next year in 2023.
So, is Dennis an authentic ancient Roman bust, or is he a fake from a more recent age? Tell me what you think in the comments.
Like, subscribe, and check out my video on the history of forgery.
 – Fanning, Timothy. “Texas woman made an unusual find at Goodwill. It turned out to be a Julio-Claudian-era Roman bust.” (San Antonio Express-News, 4 May 2022). https://www.expressnews.com/lifestyle/article/roman-bust-texas-goodwill-san-antonio-museum-17147409.php. Accessed 25 May 2022.
 – Grant, Daniel. “Looted Roman bust, bought from Texas secondhand store for $34.99, will be returned to Germany” (The Art Newspaper, 4 May 2022). https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2022/05/04/roman-bust-germany-goodwill-store-texas-restitution. Accessed 25 May 2022.
 – Edwards, Jonathan. “Shopper pays $34.99 at Goodwill for a priceless ancient Roman bust” (The Washington Post, 10 May 2022). https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/05/10/roman-marble-bust-goodwill/. Accessed 25 May 2022.
 – Philipps, Hannah J. “Ancient Roman treasure found at Goodwill now on display at Texas museum” (CultureMap Fort Worth, 16 May 2022). https://fortworth.culturemap.com/news/travel/05-16-22-ancient-roman-bust-found-at-goodwill-texas-museum/#slide=0. Accessed 25 May 2022.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. “Over 30 Years of Forgery Exposed: Man Charged With Forging Antiquities By The Thousands” (Ctruth, 3 Sept. 2021). https://ctruth.today/2021/09/03/over-30-years-of-forgery-exposed-man-charged-with-forging-antiquities-by-the-thousands/. Accessed 25 May 2022.
 – KURZ, OTTO. “EARLY ART FORGERIES: FROM THE RENAISSANCE TO THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.” Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, vol. 121, no. 5198, 1973, pp. 74–90. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41371017. Accessed 19 May 2021.
 – Jones, Mark, et al. Fake? The Art of Deception. First Edition, University of California Press, 1990.
 – Amineddoleh & Associates LLC. “Our Client’s Voluntary Return of Marble Bust to Germany Provides Model for Restitution of Looted Artifacts” (2 May 2022). https://www.artandiplawfirm.com/voluntary-return-of-marble-bust-to-germany-provides-model-for-restitution-of-artifacts-looted-in-wartime/. Accessed 25 May 2022.
 – Roussin, L. A., & Muscarella, O. W. (2002). The Lie Became Great: The Forgery of Ancient near Eastern Cultures. Journal of Field Archaeology, 29(3/4), 494. doi:10.2307/3250912. Accessed 25 May 2022.
 – Wilding, Nick. Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 67, no. 4, 2014, pp. 1337–40. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.1086/679809. Accessed 26 May 2022.
 – WILDING, NICK. “Forging the Moon.” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 160, no. 1, 2016, pp. 37–72. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/26159243. Accessed 27 May 2022.
 – Miller, Joshua Rhett. “Antiques dealer bought priceless 2,000-year-old Roman bust at thrift store for $35” (New York Post, 5 May 2022). https://nypost.com/2022/05/05/antiques-dealer-bought-priceless-2000-year-old-roman-bust-at-thrift-store-for-35/. Accessed 26 May 2022.
We are bombarded daily with tons of information from a variety of sources. Naturally, we make quick decisions about what’s true, false, or unknowable. Psychologists have been working hard to figure out what methods we typically use to sort this info and I’m here to let you know what they’ve come up with.
Their findings boil down to what is now being called the “Big Five of Truth Judgement”.[1, p.75] These “Big Five” are the checkpoints we stop at to judge whether a claim is true or false. To name them all quickly, they are:
1 – Compatibility
2 – Coherence
3 – Credibility
4 – Consensus
5 – Evidence
I’m going to use a story from my own life to illustrate how these five categories help us decide what’s true and what’s false. A few years ago, in 2018 or 2019, my grandfather was the target of an elaborate scam call.
The caller was somebody pretending to be me. They had a story about how I went to New Jersey for a friend’s wedding, got completely wasted, arrested, jailed, and now I needed $5,000 for bail. The reason given for contacting my grandfather was that I was too embarrassed by the whole situation to contact my dad about it.
It’s unclear just how much of the story my grandfather believed. He wasn’t shaken up by it enough to send any money, but he did call my dad to see if he was “aware of the situation”. Red flags went up immediately for my dad when he heard what was going on. He called the scammers back and was told the same story. When he asked about my height and my eye color, the scammers gave up and dropped the call. After that, he called me and we quickly recognized what was going on.
All of the “big five” can be seen in action here.
The initial story was compatible with my grandfather’s understanding of the world. He said that the first caller sounded like me and called him by his usual nickname. These two elements added credibility to the caller. The story was coherent. There were no internal contradictions. The tale began to fall apart when consensus was brought in. It was less compatible with my dad’s understanding of the world. He tested the credibility of the callers and checked in on me to gather evidence and expand the consensus.
All of these moving parts came together to create an example of how the Big Five can save a person from getting scammed. But that’s not all they can do for you. These five checkpoints can help you understand why you believe what you believe, as well as why other people believe what they believe.
Fundamentally, we decide what’s true based on the amount of green and red flags we get when evaluating information. Info that produces a string of green flags is more likely to be accepted as true than info that produces a string of red flags.
So how do we decide what’s true? Typically it’s by running information through one or more of the Big Five checkpoints.
Here’s a table showing the Big Five with questions that can be asked when evaluating each point:[1, p.74]
The Origins of the Big Five
To my understanding, the “Big Five” concept was originally proposed in 2014 by Professor Norbert Schwarz.
 – Greifeneder, Rainer, et al. The Psychology of Fake News: Accepting, Sharing, and Correcting Misinformation. 1st ed., Routledge, 2021. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/oa-edit/10.4324/9780429295379/psychology-fake-news-rainer-greifeneder-mariela-jaff%C3%A9-eryn-newman-norbert-schwarz. Accessed 13 May 2022.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. The “Big Five” of Truth Assessment (Ctruth, 8 Apr. 2022). https://ctruth.today/2022/04/08/the-big-five-of-truth-assessment/. Accessed 16 May 2022.
This bibliography contains books organized by topics.
Eade, J. C. The Calendrical Systems of Mainland South-East Asia. Leiden, The Netherlands, Brill Academic Publishers, 1995.
Henning, Edward. Kalacakra and the Tibetan Calendar (Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences). New York, American Institute of Buddhist Studies, 2007.
Hoskins, Janet. The Play of Time: Kodi Perspectives on Calendars, History, and Exchange. Revised, University of California Press, 1997.
Martzloff, Jean-Claude. Astronomy and Calendars – The Other Chinese Mathematics. New York, United States, Springer Publishing, 2016.
Dowd, Anne, and Susan Milbrath. Cosmology, Calendars, and Horizon-Based Astronomy in Ancient Mesoamerica. 1st ed., University Press of Colorado, 2015.
Freidel, David, et al. Maya E Groups: Calendars, Astronomy, and Urbanism in the Early Lowlands (Maya Studies). 1st ed., Gainesville, Florida, University Press of Florida, 2017.
Greene, Candace. One Hundred Summers: A Kiowa Calendar Record. Illustrated, China, University of Nebraska Press, 2009.
Malmström, Vincent. Cycles of the Sun, Mysteries of the Moon: The Calendar in Mesoamerican Civilization. Illustrated, University of Texas Press, 1997.
Milbrath, Susan. Star Gods of the Maya: Astronomy in Art, Folklore, and Calendars (The Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies). 1st ed., Austin, Texas, University of Texas Press, 1999.
Pharo, Kirkhusmo Lars. The Ritual Practice of Time: Philosophy and Sociopolitics of Mesoamerican Calendars (Early Americas: History and Culture). Brill, 2014.
Rice, Prudence. Maya Calendar Origins: Monuments, Mythistory, and the Materialization of Time (The William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture of the Western Hemisphere). Illustrated, University of Texas Press, 2007.
Weeks, John, et al. Maya Daykeeping: Three Calendars from Highland Guatemala (Mesoamerican Worlds). Illustrated, Boulder, Colorado, University Press of Colorado, 2009.
Bickerman, E. J. Chronology of the Ancient World. Ithica, New York, Cornell University Press, 1968.
Croinin, Daibhi, et al. Late Antique Calendrical Thought and Its Reception in the Early Middle Ages. Turnhour, Belgium, Brepols, 2017.
Hannah, Robert. Time in Antiquity (Sciences of Antiquity). 1st ed., Routledge, 2009.
Plunket, M. Emmeline. Ancient Calendars and Constellations. London, John Murray, 1903.
Rosen, Ralph. Time and Temporality in the Ancient World. Illustrated, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2004.
Stern, Sacha. Calendars in Antiquity: Empires, States, and Societies. 1st ed., Oxford University Press, 2012.
Nothaft, Philipp. Dating the Passion: The Life of Jesus and the Emergence of Scientific Chronology (200–1600) (Time, Astronomy, and Calendars). Brill, 2011.
Bagnall, Roger Shaler, and Klaas Anthony Worp. Chronological Systems of Byzantine Egypt: Second Edition. Brill, 2004.
Barak, On. On Time: Technology and Temporality in Modern Egypt. First, University of California Press, 2013.
Clagett, Marshall. Ancient Egyptian Science: A Source Book. Volume Two: Calendars, Clocks, and Astronomy. Illustrated, Philadelphia, American Philosophical Society, 2004.
Parker, Richard. The Calendars of Ancient Egypt. The University of Chicago Press, 1950.
Grafton, Anthony. Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of Classical Scholarship. Volume I: Textual Criticism and Exegesis (Oxford-Warburg Studies). 1st ed., Clarendon Press, 1983.
Grafton, Anthony. Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of Classical Scholarship. Volume II: Historical Chronology (Oxford-Warburg Studies). 1st ed., Clarendon Press, 1994.
Mondschein, Kenneth. On Time: A History of Western Timekeeping. Illustrated, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020.
Nothaft, Philipp. Scandalous Error: Calendar Reform and Calendrical Astronomy in Medieval Europe. Illustrated, Oxford University Press, 2018.
Jensen, Phebe. Astrology, Almanacs, and the Early Modern English Calendar. 1st ed., Routledge, 2020.
Karasawa, Kazutomo. The Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium). Cambridge, D.S. Brewer, 2015.
Champion, Matthew, et al. Peter de Rivo on Chronology and the Calendar (Ancient and Medieval Philosophy–Series 1, 57). Leuven University Press, 2020.
Perovic, Sanja. The Calendar in Revolutionary France: Perceptions of Time in Literature, Culture, Politics. Reprint, Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Shaw, Matthew. Time and the French Revolution: The Republican Calendar, 1789-Year XIV (Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series). Great Britain, Royal Historical Society, 2011.
Aveni, Anthony. Empires of Time: Calendars, Clocks, and Cultures. 1st ed., Basic Books, 1989.
Bellenir, Karen. Religious Holidays and Calendars. Detroit, Michigan, Omnigraphics, 2004.
Ben-Dov, Jonathan, et al. Living the Lunar Calendar. Oxbow Books, 2012.
Evers, Liz. It’s About Time: From Calendars and Clocks to Moon Cycles and Light Years – A History. Michael O’Mara, 2013.
Galison, Peter. Einstein’s Clocks and Poincare’s Maps: Empires of Time. Illustrated, W. W. Norton & Company, 2004.
Gould, Stephen Jay. Time’s Arrow, Time’s Cycle: Myth and Metaphor in the Discovery of Geological Time. Harvard University Press, 1987.
Formichelli, Linda, and Eric Martin. Tools of Timekeeping: A Kid’s Guide to the History & Science of Telling Time (Tools of Discovery Series). Nomad Press, 2005.
Higginbotham, Charles. Precision Time Measures, Their Construction and Repair: A Manual of the Theory and Mechanical Laws Governing the Construction of Timekeeping Machines and Accepted Methods of Their Maintenance and Repairs. Chicago, Hazlitt & Walker, Publishers, 1913.
Macdonald, James Cecil. Chronologies and Calendars. London, William & Andrews Co., 1897.
Nilsson, Martin. Primitive Time-Reckoning; A Study in the Origins and First Development of the Art of Counting Time Among the Primitive and Early Culture Peoples. Lund, C.W.K. Gleerup, 1920.
Reingold, Edward, and Nachum Dershowitz. Calendrical Calculations: The Ultimate Edition. 4th ed., Cambridge University Press, 2018.
Richards, E. Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History. 1st ed., Oxford University Press, 1999.
Rooney, David. About Time: A History of Civilization in Twelve Clocks. W. W. Norton & Company, 2021.
Rosenberg, Daniel, and Anthony Grafton. Cartographies of Time. New York, Netherlands, Princeton Architectural Press, 2010.
Stern, Sacha. Calendars in the Making: The Origins of Calendars from the Roman Empire to the Later Middle Ages. Brill, 2021.
Steel, Duncan. Eclipse: The Celestial Phenomenon That Changed the Course of History. 1st ed., Joseph Henry Press, 2001.
Steele, John. Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World. Illustrated, Oxbow Books, 2011.
Toulmin, Stephen, and June Goodfield. The Discovery of Time. New edition, University of Chicago Press, 1982.
Whitrow, G. Time in History: Views of Time from Prehistory to the Present Day. Barnes & Noble Books, 2004.
Wigen, Kären, and Caroline Winterer. Time in Maps: From the Age of Discovery to Our Digital Era. First, University of Chicago Press, 2020.
Greek & Roman
Hannah, Robert. Greek and Roman Calendars: Constructions of Time in the Classical World. Illustrated, Bloomsbury, 2005.
Meritt, Benjamin. Athenian Year. First Edition, University of California Press, 1961.
Mikalson, N. The Sacred and Civil Calendar of the Athenian Year. Princeton, New Jersey, Netherlands, Princeton University Press, 1975.
Pasco-Pranger, Molly. Founding the Year: Ovid’s Fasti and the Poetics of the Roman Calendar (Mnemosyne, Supplements). Brill, 2006.
Planeaux, Christopher. The Athenian Year Primer: Attic Time-Reckoning and the Julian Calendar. Westphalia Press, 2021.
Pritchett, William Kendrick. Athenian Calendars and Ekklesias. Amsterdam, J.C. Gieben, 2001.
Rand, Christopher. Grecian Calendar. Oxford University Press, 1962.
Rüpke, Jörg, and Richardson. The Roman Calendar from Numa to Constantine. Hoboken, NJ, United States, Wiley, 2011.
Salzman, Michele Renee. On Roman Time: The Codex-Calendar of 354 and the Rhythms of Urban Life in Late Antiquity (Volume 17) (Transformation of the Classical Heritage). First, University of California Press, 1990.
Samuel, Alan. Greek and Roman Chronology: Calendars and Years in Classical Antiquity. 1972.
Turfa, Jean MacIntosh. Divining the Etruscan World: The Brontoscopic Calendar and Religious Practice. 1st ed., Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Blake, Stephen. Time in Early Modern Islam: Calendar, Ceremony, and Chronology in the Safavid, Mughal and Ottoman Empires. Cambridge University Press, 2013.
King, David. In Synchrony with the Heavens, Volume 1 Call of the Muezzin: (Studies I-IX) (Islamic Philosophy, Theology and Science. Texts and Studies). Brill, 2004.
King, David. In Synchrony with the Heavens, Volume 2 Instruments of Mass Calculation (2 Vols.): (Studies X-XVIII) (Islamic Philosophy, Theology and Science. Texts and Studies). Brill, 2005.
Henisch, Bridget Ann. The Medieval Calendar Year. 1st ed., Penn State University Press, 1999.
Near (Middle) East
Cohen, Mark. Festivals and Calendars of the Ancient Near East. Amsterdam, Netherlands, Amsterdam University Press, 1993.
Cohen, Mark. The Cultic Calendars of the Ancient Near East. Capital Decisions, 1993.
Fleming, Daniel. Time at Emar: The Cultic Calendar and the Rituals from the Diviner’s Archive (Mesopotamian Civilizations). 1st ed., Winona Lake, Indiana, Eisenbrauns, 2000.
Miller, Kassandra. Down to the Hour: Short Time in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East (Time, Astronomy, and Calendars: Texts and Studies, 8). Illustrated, BRILL, 2019.
Shibata, Daisuke, and Shigeo Yamada. Calendars and Festivals in Mesopotamia in the Third and Second Millennia BC (Studia Chaburensia). Harrassowitz, 2021.
McLean, Adam. The Magical Calendar: A Synthesis of Magial Symbolism from the Seventeenth-Century Renaissance of Medieval Occultism (Magnum Opus Hermetic Sourceworks Series). 1st ed., Phanes Press, 2008.
Babcok, Bryan. Sacred Ritual: A Study of the West Semitic Ritual Calendars in Leviticus 23 and the Akkadian Text Emar 446 (Bulletin for Biblical Research Supplement). 1st ed., Winona Lake, Indiana, Eisenbrauns, 2014.
Beckwith, Roger. Calendar and Chronology, Jewish and Christian: Biblical, Intertestamental and Patristic Studies (Arbeiten Zur Geschichte Des Antiken Judentums Und Des Urchristentums, Bd. 33.). Brill, 2001.
Finegan, Jack. The Handbook of Biblical Chronology: Principles of Time Reckoning in the Ancient World and Problems of Chronology in the Bible. Revised, Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1998.
Jacobus, Helen. Zodiac Calendars in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Their Reception. Brill, 2014.
Nothaft, Philipp. Medieval Latin Christian Texts on the Jewish Calendar: A Study with Five Editions and Translations. Illustrated, Brill, 2014.
Parry, Donald, and Emanuel Tov. Dead Sea Scrolls Reader: Part 4, Calendrical and Sapiential Texts. Brill Academic Publishers, 2004.
Saulnier, Stéphane. Calendrical Variations in Second Temple Judaism. Leiden, The Netherlands, Brill, 2012.
Stern, Sacha. Calendar and Community: A History of the Jewish Calendar, 2nd Century BCE to 10th Century CE. 1st ed., Clarendon Press, 2001.
Stern, Sacha. The Jewish Calendar Controversy of 921/2 CE. Brill, 2019.
Stern, Sacha. Time and Process in Ancient Judaism. Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2003.
Stern, Sacha, and Charles Burnett. Time, Astronomy, and Calendars in the Jewish Tradition. 1st ed., Brill, 2014.
VanderKam, James. Calendars in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Measuring Time (The Literature of the Dead Sea Scrolls). New York, New York, Routledge, 1998.
Wagenaar, Jan. Origin and Transformation of the Ancient Israelite Festival Calendar (Beihefte Zur Zeitschrift Fur Altorientalische Und Biblische). 1., Aufl. ed., Harrassowitz, 2006.
This bibliography was taken from A Bibliography of Forgery as it was in April 2022.
Abramson, Julia. Learning From Lying: Paradoxes Of The Literary Mystification. 2nd ed., UNKNO, 2005.
Boese, Alex. Hippo Eats Dwarf. 1st ed., New York-United States, United States, Macmillan Publishers, 2009.
Havens, Earle [ed.], Fakes, Lies and Forgeries: Rare Books and Manuscripts from the Arthur and Janet Freeman Bibliotheca Fictiva Collection, Baltimore: The Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University, 2016.
Hector, L. C. Palaeography and Forgery. London: St. Anthony’s Press, 1959.
Miller, Christopher. Impostors: Literary Hoaxes and Cultural Authenticity. First, University of Chicago Press, 2018.
Ruthven, K. Faking Literature. Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Caterson, Simon. Hoax!: A Short History of Fakes, Frauds and Imposters. Hardie Grant Books, 2006.
Chambers, Edmund Kerchever. The History and Motives of Literary Forgeries. Blackwell, 1891.
Katsoulis, Melissa. Literary Hoaxes: An Eye-Opening History of Famous Frauds. Reprint, Skyhorse, 2015.
Katsoulis, Melissa. Telling Tales: A History of Literary Hoaxes. Constable, 2013.
Nobili, Riccardo. The Gentle Art of Faking: A History of the Methods of Producing Imitations & Spurious Works of Art from the Earlies Times Up to the Present Day. Academic Service, 1922.
Ancient (before c.500 CE)
Cueva, Edmund, and Javier Martínez. Splendide Mendax: Rethinking Fakes and Forgeries in Classical, Late Antique, and Early Christian Literature. Barkhuis, 2016.
Ehrman, Bart. Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics. 1st ed., Oxford University Press, 2012.
Guzmán, Antonio, and Javier Martínez, editors. Animo Decipiendi?: Rethinking Fakes and Authorship in Classical, Late Antique, & Early Christian Works. Barkhuis, 2018, http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctvggx27t. Accessed 12 Apr. 2022.
Higbie, Carolyn. Collectors, Scholars, and Forgers in the Ancient World: Object Lessons. 1st ed., OUP Oxford, 2017.
Lennartz, Klaus, and Javier Martínez, editors. Tenue Est Mendacium: Rethinking Fakes and Authorship in Classical, Late Antique, & Early Christian Works. Barkhuis, 2021, https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv29j3dpf. Accessed 12 Apr. 2022.
Martínez, Javier. Fakes and Forgers of Classical Literature. Brill, 2014.
Mheallaigh, Ní Karen. Reading Fiction with Lucian: Fakes, Freaks and Hyperreality (Greek Culture in the Roman World). 1st ed., Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Peirano, Irene. The Rhetoric of the Roman Fake: Latin Pseudepigrapha in Context. Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Peters, Ken. Counterfeit Coins of Roman Britain. Envoy Publicity, 2011.
Rebillard, Éric. The Early Martyr Narratives: Neither Authentic Accounts nor Forgeries (Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion). University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020.
Ancient to Early Modern
Fischer, Klaus-Dietrich, et al. Pseudo-Galenica: The Formation of the Galenic Corpus from Antiquity to the Renaissance (Volume 34) (Warburg Institute Colloquia). New edition, University of London Press, 2021.
Freeman, Arthur, and Janet Freeman. Hoax, Fake, and Fraud: Literary Forgery from Ctesias to Wise. Arthur Freeman Rare Books and Manuscripts, 2013.
Gielen, Erika, and Jan Papy. Falsifications and Authority in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Brepols, 2020.
Grafton, Anthony, and Ann Blair. Forgers and Critics, New Edition: Creativity and Duplicity in Western Scholarship. New, Princeton University Press, 2019.
Ancient to Modern
Arnau, Frank, and Maxwell Brownjohn. The Art of the Faker: Three Thousand Years of Deception. Little, Brown and Co., 1961.
Casement, William. The Many Faces of Art Forgery: From the Dark Side to Shades of Gray. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2022.
Farrer, James Anson. Literary Forgeries. New York, 1907.
Freeman, Arthur, Bibliotheca Fictiva: A Collection of Books & Manuscripts Relating to Literary Forgery, 400BC – AD 2000, London: Bernard Quaritch Limited, 2014
Friedrich, Michael, and Cécile Michel. Fakes and Forgeries of Written Artefacts from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern China (Studies in Manuscript Cultures). De Gruyter, 2020.
Ostrowski, Donald. Who Wrote That?: Authorship Controversies from Moses to Sholokhov. Northern Illinois University Press, 2020.
Hiatt, Alfred. The Counterfeit Text: Falsification in Medieval History and Literature. 1994.
Medieval to Early Modern (c.500-c.1800)
McNicholas, Mark. Forgery and Impersonation in Imperial China. Amsterdam-Netherlands, Netherlands, Amsterdam University Press, 2016.
Kharlamov, Vladimir. The Authorship of the Pseudo-Dionysian Corpus: A Deliberate Forgery or Clever Literary Ploy? 1st ed., Routledge, 2019.
Roach, Levi. Forgery and Memory at the End of the First Millennium. Princeton University Press, 2021.
Hiatt, Alfred. The Making of Medieval Forgeries: False Documents in Fifteenth-Century England (British Library Studies in Medieval Culture). Revised ed., University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division, 2004.
Early Modern (c.1500-c.1800)
Olds, Katrina. Forging the Past: Invented Histories in Counter-Reformation Spain. Yale University Press, 2015.
Russett, Margaret. Fictions and Fakes: Forging Romantic Authenticity, 1760–1845 (Cambridge Studies in Romanticism, Series Number 64). Illustrated, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Stephens, Walter, et al. Literary Forgery in Early Modern Europe, 1450–1800. Illustrated, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019.
Whitehead, John. This Solemn Mockery the Art of Literary Forgery. 1St Edition, Arlington Book Company, 1973.
Wood, Christopher. Forgery, Replica, Fiction: Temporalities of German Renaissance Art. University of Chicago Press, 2008.
Early Modern to Modern (c.1500-present)
Becker, Daniel, et al., editors. Faking, Forging, Counterfeiting: Discredited Practices at the Margins of Mimesis. Transcript Verlag, 2018. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctv1wxr9t. Accessed 24 June 2021.
Haywood, Ian. Faking It : Art and the Politics of Forgery. New York: St. Martins Press, 1987.
Landon, Richard. Literary Forgeries and Mystifications : An Exhibition at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, 17 June to 29 August, 2003. First Edition, Montreal, PQ, Canada: National Film Board of Canada/Office National du Film du Canada, 2003.
Myers, Robin, and Michael Harris. Fakes and Frauds: Varieties of Deception in Print and Manuscript (Publishing Pathways Series). Reprint, Oak Knoll Pr, 1996.
Rosenblum, Joseph. Practice to Deceive: The Amazing Stories of Literary Forgery’s Most Notorious Practitioners. New Castle: Oak Knoll Press, 2000.
Garcia-Arenal Rodriquez, Mercedes. The Orient in Spain: Converted Muslims, the Forged Lead Books of Granada, and the Rise of Orientalism (Numen Books: Studies in the History of Religions). Illustrated, BRILL, 2013.
Rowland, Ingrid. The Scarith of Scornello: A Tale of Renaissance Forgery. 1st ed., University of Chicago Press, 2004.
Loveman, Kate. Reading Fictions, 1660–1740: Deception in English Literary and Political Culture. 1st ed., Routledge, 2018.
Baines, Paul. The House of Forgery in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Routledge Revivals). 1st ed., Routledge, 2021.
Curley, Thomas. Samuel Johnson, the Ossian Fraud, and the Celtic Revival in Great Britain and Ireland. Illustrated, Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Gaskill, Howard, and Elinor Shaffer. The Reception of Ossian in Europe (The Reception of British and Irish Authors in Europe). 1st ed., Continuum, 2008.
Moore, Dafydd. International Companion to James Macpherson and The Poems of Ossian (International Companions to Scottish Literature). Scottish Literature International, 2017.
Groom, Nick. The Forger’s Shadow : How Forgery Changed the Course of Literature. Picador, 2003.
Bak, János, et al. Manufacturing a Past for the Present: Forgery and Authenticity in Medievalist Texts and Objects in Nineteenth-Century Europe (National Cultivation of Culture). Brill, 2014.
Bordier, Henri Leonard, et al. The Prince of Forgers. First Edition, Oak Knoll Pr, 1998.
Briefel, Aviva. The Deceivers: Art Forgery and Identity in the Nineteeth Century. 1st ed., Cornell University Press, 2006.
Carpenter, Scott. Aesthetics of Fraudulence in Nineteenth-Century France: Frauds, Hoaxes, and Counterfeits. 1st ed., Routledge, 2019.
Freeman, Arthur, and Janet Freeman. John Payne Collier: Scholarship and Forgery in the Nineteenth Century. Annotated, Yale University Press, 2004.
Malton, Sara. Forgery in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture: Fictions of Finance from Dickens to Wilde. 1st ed. 2009, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
Madden, Richard Robert. Exposure of Literary Frauds and Forgeries Concocted in Ireland. J.F. Fowler, 1866.
C19th & C20th
Constantine, Mary-Ann. The Truth Against the World: Iolo Morganwg and Romantic Forgery (Iolo Morganwg and the Romantic Tradition). University of Wales Press, 2007.
Löffler, Marion. The Literary and Historical Legacy of Iolo Morganwg, 1826–1926 (Iolo Morganwg and the Romantic Tradition). University of Wales Press, 2008.
Abbott, Craig. Forging Fame: The Strange Career of Scharmel Iris. Northern Illinois University Press, 2007.
Berger, Sid. The Anatomy of a Literary Hoax. First Edition, Oak Knoll Pr, 1994.
Heidenreich, Rosmarin. Literary Impostors: Canadian Autofiction of the Early Twentieth Century. 3rd ed., McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018.
C20th & C21st
Israel, Lee. Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Memoirs of a Literary Forger. Media Tie-In, Simon and Schuster, 2018.
Vice, Sue. Textual Deceptions: False Memoirs and Literary Hoaxes in the Contemporary Era. 1st ed., Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Aldington, Richard. Frauds. First Edition, Heinemann, 1957.
Altick, Richard. Scholar Adventurers. The Macmillan Company, 1950.
Barker, Nicolas, et al. Forgery of Printed Documents. Amsterdam University Press, 2016.
Fomenko’s New Chronology is an argument that human civilization dawned around 1200 years ago and all of recorded history falls between that point and now. If true, this would mean that all of recorded human history stretches back only about 1200 years. Is it true though? I don’t attempt to answer that here, but I do in my Examining Fomenko’s New Chronology articles. What I do address here are the green and red lights that popped up over the years as I looked through New Chronology media.
The green lights represent things that are ok, things that I think have merit. They say “This checks out, pass go and collect $200”. The red lights represent things that are questionable or problematic. They say “straight to jail”. With green meaning “go”, red meaning “stop”, I present to you 4 of each. Here’s a brief overview of what I’ll be covering:
1 – History & Interpretation
2 – Big Fake History
3 – Dating Method Issues
4 – Accessibility
1 – Methodology
2 – Published Information
3 – Unpublished Information
4 – Publications
1 – History & Interpretation
False information has been found in historical records for centuries. Stories that can not possibly conform to reality are common amongst the writings of some of history’s most important historians. Mistakes and distortions happen intentionally and unintentionally. Some collections of manuscripts are riddled with errors to the point of being nearly useless. Other records duplicate and triplicate people and events, thereby artificially extending human history.
Aside from errors popping up in the texts themselves, there is also the problem of interpretation. There can be many contradictory interpretations of a single work. This problem of interpretation is covered academically, among other works, in Umberto Eco’s Limits of Interpretation. This problem is also the comedic fuel for Key & Peele’s Text Message Confusion skit. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naleynXS7yo).
According to Paul Maier, a former Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University, Eusebius is “our principal primary source for earliest Christianity, and his Church History is the cornerstone chronicle on which later historians would build”.[1, p.9] Despite this esteemed position, the surviving manuscripts of his rarely have the “correct” dates and are virtually useless for chronology building.[2, p.88]
Even if the errors were results of the copyists, this doesn’t account for errors made intentionally or unintentionally by the original author. Michael Grant illuminated a collection of these types of errors in his 1995 publication “Greek and Roman Historians: Information and Misinformation”. Reportedly, the C5th BCE Greek historian Hellanicus had taken an event that occurred under one archonship and spread it over three.[3, p.32] In doing so, he tripled the amount of time in which a single event took place.
The famous Roman historian Livy appears to have had a similar habit. He duplicated events and people. One commentator presumes it was a result of not recognizing that the story he was copying was listed in multiple spots in his source. By not recognizing repetition of the story, he duplicated it into multiple different stories, sometimes being separated by a few years, other times by centuries.[3, p.36]
These are just a couple examples among many. I mention them here because they are not all that different from what Fomenko is arguing. He argues that the European histories are based on a forgotten original.[4, p.10] Over the past 400 years or so this original was distorted, historical figures and events were fractured into phantom duplicates. In this fashion, Fomenko argues that some 800 years between the C9th and C17th were stretched into about 5600 years (4000 BCE to 1650ish CE). This latter period is 7 times longer than Fomenko’s proposed timeline.
For Fomenko’s New Chronology to be possible, distortions in and misinterpretations of historical records would have to exist. They do exist, so this was a green light for me to keep reading.
2 – Big Fake History
It’s possible that a gigantic sum of fictional tales have commonly been passing for history. In other words, it’s possible that large portions of “history” are fake.
“Riddled with the inconsistency of compelling yet conflicting preconceptions …
all ‘olden times’ are potentially fraudulent.”
David Lowenthal (1990)[5, p.17]
David has been credited with making heritage studies into an academic discipline. He was a scholar and he made the above statement in the introduction to Mark Jones’ “Fake? The Art of Deception”. There are three main supporting arguments that leave this potentiality open.
The ease with which fiction is created is the first main support. It does not take much time at all to create fictional characters, places, and events. Back in January 2020 I analyzed a handful of popular fictional shows from the past century to see how many fictional characters were created for them. Out of the 30 shows/franchises that I looked at, I tallied up around 37,500 characters. This is a huge amount of fiction that far outweighs almost any collection of historical records. It’s also only a small fraction of the total amount of fiction created over the past 100 years. The fact that fiction can be made so easily leaves the possibility that large portions of history are entirely fabricated.
Another issue is the gap of time between the writing of an alleged original and its copy/copies. The majority of the copies we have today attributed to ancient authors were made hundreds if not thousands of years after the authors wrote them. This case of “copies from hundreds of years or more after supposed first writing” is the norm for Western and (from what I can tell) Eastern historians. The issue here is that we do not have contemporary evidence to say what the text looked like originally, or if there even was an original text.
The late copies problem is intensified by what has been learned through forgery scholarship, the academic study of forgery and its history. What has been noted is that forgery has been constant throughout all of history, giving way to a panoply of forgers. Some forged the works of others from their times, some forged works predating them by decades, centuries, or even millennia. This was especially the case in medieval times. These craftspeople reportedly forged nearly everything imaginable. As Otto Kurz noted back in 1973;
“…medieval people … forged to an extent unsurpassed by any other age relics, legends, charters, chronicles, seals, precious stones, etc.”[7, p.77]
The majority of the earliest surviving “copies” of the ancient texts are believed to have been written around the turn of the second millennium (c.1000). This is also the time when virtually every literary institution across Europe had engaged in copying old scripts and forging documents. Interpolations, redraftings, and “improvements” were being made to older literature. Religious houses were forging their forgotten and absent histories. English archives were being forged en masse. The French were forging legal documents. All this is to say that forgery has consistently been an issue throughout the centuries. The possibility of a large part of history being intentionally fabricated has not been scientifically or academically ruled out.
While Fomenko thinks most historical records are not forgeries, he does believe an interpretation of them was forged in the 1600-1700s. Fomenko has stated;
“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.”[4, p.196]
On the homepage of his website, in the section titled “FROM THE AUTHORS”, he states;
“Our analyses of the chronology and history opened a striking circumstance. Based on the applied by us mathematical methods it was proved, that the Scaligerian chronology, and therefore also the Scaligerian history of the “antiquity” and the Middle Ages, is totally wrong. Moreover, it appeared that our history right up to the end of the XVI century was consciously falsified at the epoch of the XVII-XVIII centuries.”
The light is green for the first part because large swathes of history could be fake. It turns to yellow when he asserts that a massive forgery occurred in the 1600-1700s that has drastically warped the our general view of human history. Forgery was prevalent in those centuries so I think it’s a possibility that such a deception could have been created but ultimately his evidence would need to support his claims and I’m not sure it does (hence the red lights).
In summary; large portions of history could be fabricated. Critical, scientific, and academic approaches to the evidence are our best chance at determining just how much can be and is fake.
3 – Dating Method Issues
For Fomenko’s New Chronology to be possible, the dating methods used by historians, archeologists, and related professionals have to have underlying issues that would allow for a shortening of the timeline of human civilization. Human civilization is commonly believed to have dawned around 4000-5000 BCE. If human civilization dawned in the past 1200 years, and about 800 years of it was misinterpreted, then objects associated with the Roman empire between around 700 BCE and 500 CE (1200 years) must have been misdated by at least 700 and at most 1500 years. Here’s a list of rough estimates to help visualize the errors needed for Fomenko’s hypothesis to be possible:
Roman (c.700 BCE to c.500 CE): misdated by 700-1500 years
Mayan (c.2600 BCE to c.1500 CE): 700-4200 years
Chinese (2200 BCE to c.1700): 900-3800 years
Ancient Egyptian (c.5000 BCE to c.700): 100-6600 years
The dates that go past 800 CE (1200 BP) count for the minimum. Taking the Maya for example, 1500 minus 800 is 700. The Chinese, 1700 minus 800 is 900. For the maximum amount, I calculated the amount of years between 1600 (when the main deception was beginning to be implemented) and the oldest date for the civilization. For Rome, it was 700 BCE to 1600 CE, which is 2300 years.
Examples of Surprises
I give Fomenko the green light here because I think the popular methods used today can err upwards towards 6600 years. One example of this is the approximately 6600 year error when carbon dating a castle’s mortar. The authors reported that “Of the seven samples dated, six produced 14C ages significantly older than the true ages…”. Sometimes carbon dates come back significantly younger than expected, as is the case with a handful of samples reported in 2010 to have been upwards towards 4600 years off the mark. Not directly related to human civilization but still connected to carbon dating is what’s known as the Lehi horse. Its death was initially dated to around 14,000-16,000 BCE but after the carbon results came back they re-dated it to the 17th-20th centuries, some 13,500+ years younger.
I do not believe the existing dating methods are useless but I do believe they need to be explored in much more depth.
Lack of Testing
The majority of objects assigned to the ancient and medieval periods have not undergone scientific testing. This is especially true for manuscripts and other mediums used for writing. There are a wide range of tests that can be applied to written documents so that we can extract objective facts about them. For anything organic, we can obtain carbon information. For anything with ink, we can run cyclotron analyses. I’m not sure if they’ve started doing this yet, but for anything made from animal skin, we could obtain genetic information and see which vellum are from the same families.
Due to the lack of testing and the errors produced by the tests that have been run, I think Fomenko’s shortened timeline is a possibility, and so this is a green light for me to look further. I will say here that it was the looking further bit that brought up the red lights. So while I still think a shortened chronology is a possibility, I don’t think Fomenko’s New Chronology is a good model for it.
4 – Accessibility
Almost all of the core material is available to read for free online. I think overall this is a positive thing and its made it more likable compared to some academic publishers who charge hundreds and thousands of dollars to become familiar with the core literature.
This was a green light to me because it shows an openness to criticism and collaboration. Whereas the academic publishers mostly only publish material that you’d have to pay a decent amount of money to be able to criticize, Fomenko posted his for all to read.
1 – Methodology
“That’s why during 1973-1980 yeas the main attention was given to the creation of mathematical and statistical analysis methods for historical texts. As a result in 1975-1979 years A.T.Fomenko managed to propose and develop several such new methods. Based on them it appeared to be possible to determine a global picture of chronological re-dating in the version of Scaliger, after which mistakes of this version are mainly removed.”
It is claimed that Fomenko developed methods in the 70s that lead to the revelation of a radically different timeline for human civilization. However, these methods not only get very little attention from the critics and supporters, but from the authors as well. Ideally, the methods would be clear and easily repeatable. That is to say that you could learn the methods, apply them to the source material, and arrive at the same conclusions. This ideal scenario does not appear to be the reality.
The fact that these were not clearly laid out is a red flag to me. That and the fact that they don’t advertise these new methods on the Russian or English homepages of their website. The methods don’t even appear to be well-defined in the works themselves. In July 2020, I started putting together a “Glossary of Fomenko’s New Chronology”, where I listed out the terms used in their literature. There are a number of principles and methods listed, but hardly any of them are appropriately articulated. If I’m wrong about this, just point out where the methods and principles are well-articulated and I’ll update the glossary and this section of this article.
The methodology used for their astronomical calculations is also somewhat obscure. It appears to me to not be very rigorous, which is a red flag. I want to create a program that could do what they wanted to do but better, as well as clearer so that people could see exactly what they need to learn to be able to verify it.
To sneak a green flag in amongst these red ones, I do think it’s possible to date events through horoscopes. The planets will only align in certain orders every so often and this can be used to figure out when someone could have seen what they depicted. Fomenko’s New Chronology claiming to use this was a green flag. The way he went about executing and explaining is more of a yellow flag, meaning I think there’s huge room for improvement, but I’m not educated enough to make those improvements myself and have not been persuasive enough to get an educated-enough someone to make them. For me, as well as the vast majority of people on this planet, the horoscopes are unverifiable. To verify them would take a great deal of learning and coding.
2 – Published Information
The works that they have published contain a plethora of factually incorrect information. I have lists of the errors in my examination articles. This is a red flag because some of their conclusions are based on this verifiably false information. For example, in part 8 of my exam, they claim that Jesus lived in the 12th century and that carbon dating supports that. The claim that carbon dating supports this is false.
However, Fomenko being wrong about the carbon dating doesn’t mean he’s wrong about Jesus living in the 12th century. The shroud could be a fake and Jesus could have still lived about 800 years ago. For example, Pirro Ligorio (c.1512-1583), known as the “prince of forgers”, once forged an inscription to debunk the common belief of his time that Verrius Flaccus wrote the Fasti Capitolini. Reportedly, the scholarly consensus today agrees with Ligorio on the question of authorship.[20, p.3] While I cannot say one way or the other if Fomenko intentionally lied to support his argument, the parallel can be seen in “the wrong argument but correct conclusion”.
While they still get most of their information correct, the bulk that isn’t is a big red flag. Also the fact that they have not corrected any of these errors over the past 20 years or so is another red flag. If corrections are made in future publications, the flag will go down. As long as the false information stands, the flag stays up.
3 – Unpublished Information
They have not published all of the research they’ve supposedly conducted. Reportedly, from 1974 to 1982, he applied his methods to historical records and produced a work about 6,000 pages long entitled Global Chronology of the Ancient and Medieval World: An Experiment in Statistical Research. Methods and Applications.[4, p.88] However, as far as I can tell, this book has never been published. If it has been published, where can I find it? They claim the first book published on this topic was published in 1990, some 8 years after the results were already collected. Was the 6000 page work published after that?
4 – Publications
The bibliography on the Russian homepage of their website states:
“If we talk about all the books on the New Chronology in general, then some of them are outdated and are no longer reprinted, some repeat the previous ones in an updated and revised form, some are popular or abridged presentations of other books, some are full-color illustrated editions.”
A red flag pops up in that there is no summary of the outdated information (how it became outdated, where it was published, etc…). For such a radical reconstruction, a work that summarizes what they got wrong, how they realized they were wrong, and then what they did to remediate the problem would be a useful work. As far as I’m aware, this work does not exist.
Unfortunately for my own sake, I cannot find any reference to support this memory that I have of seeing somewhere on their website that one of the main goals of the New Chronology was to develop reliable dating methods. If this memory is accurate and the evidence has been deleted with changes to the website, then a red flag pops up for me when looking at their recent publications.
Since the publication of their 7 volume series, it does not appear they’ve done much of anything to refine and apply their methods of textual analysis to new materials. It appears to me that their main focus, maybe even their only focus, is to write narrative histories based on the results they allegedly got through their studies and methods.
Suggestions for Fomenko & Co.
1 – Clarify your methods and place them somewhere easy to find. For example, on your website’s front page, in an article linked on your website’s front page, or in your books at the end or beginnings.
2 – Publish online the c.6000 page book.
3 – Correct the errors I’ve pointed out in my examination articles and release a fixed version of your text that acknowledges the previous mistakes.
4 – Create a summary of the errors and corrections you’ve made, listing out the works with outdated material and where in those works the outdated material is.
 – Maier, Paul L. “Eusebius–the church history : a new translation with commentary” (1999). https://archive.org/details/eusebiusthechurc00euse/page/9/mode/1up. Accessed 18 Oct. 2020.
 – Bickerman, E. J. “Chronology of the ancient world” (1980). https://archive.org/details/chronologyofanci00bick/page/81/mode/1up?q=roman+dates. Accessed 18 Oct. 2020.
 – Grant, Michael. Greek and Roman Historians: Information and Misinformation. 1st ed., Routledge, 1995.
 – Fomenko, Anatoly. “Empirico-Statistical Analysis of Narrative Material and its Applications to Historical Dating, Volume I: The Development of the Statistical Tools” (1994). https://chronologia.org/en/kw1.pdf. Accessed 13 Apr. 2022.
 – Jones, Mark, et al. Fake? The Art of Deception. First Edition, University of California Press, 1990.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. “Ctruth Transmission Studies” (2 Jan. 2022). https://ctruth.today/2022/01/02/ctruth-transmission-studies/. Accessed 13 Apr. 2022.
 – KURZ, OTTO. “EARLY ART FORGERIES: FROM THE RENAISSANCE TO THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.” Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, vol. 121, no. 5198, 1973, pp. 74–90. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41371017. Accessed 19 May 2021.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. “A Brief History of Medieval and Early Modern Forgery” (30 Sep. 2022). https://ctruth.today/2021/09/30/a-brief-history-of-medieval-and-early-modern-forgery/. Accessed 13 Apr. 2022.
 – Main Website for Fomenko’s New Chronology. https://chronologia.org/. Accessed 13 Apr. 2022.
 – Canadian Museum of History. “Maya Timeline”. https://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/civil/maya/mmc09eng.html. Accessed 15 Apr. 2022.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. “Chinese Timeline Comparisons” (5 Mar. 2019). https://ctruth.today/2019/03/05/chinese-timelines-comparisons/. Accessed 15 Apr. 2022.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. “Comparing Timelines of Ancient Egypt” (6 Mar. 2019). https://ctruth.today/2019/03/06/comparing-timelines-of-ancient-egypt/. Accessed 15 Apr. 2022.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. “Carbon Dating Mollusks, Seals, Trees, & Other Material. Also Criticizing Methodology” (27 Mar. 2021). https://ctruth.today/2021/03/27/p-2-fomenkos-carbon-dating-ch-1-15-1-2-vol-1-history-fiction-or-science/. Accessed 15 Apr. 2022.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. “Radiocarbon Dating, Ancient Egypt, and Some Commentary on Relevant Scholarship” (19 Dec. 2021). https://ctruth.today/2021/12/19/radiocarbon-dating-ancient-egypt-some-commentary-on-relevant-scholarship/. Accessed 15 Apr. 2022.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. “Lehi Horse Misdated by Over 13,000 Years” (6 Mar. 2022). https://ctruth.today/2021/03/06/lehi-horse-misdated-by-over-13000-years/. Accessed 15 Apr. 2022.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. “Glossary of Fomenko’s New Chronology” (26 Jul. 2020). https://ctruth.today/2020/07/26/glossary-of-fomenkos-new-chronology/. Accessed 15 Apr. 2022.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. “Examining Fomenko’s New Chronology” (1 Oct. 2020). https://ctruth.today/2020/10/01/examining-fomenkos-new-chronology/. Accessed 16 Apr. 2022.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. “The History of Fomenko’s New Chronology” (26 May. 2019). https://ctruth.today/2019/05/26/the-history-of-fomenkos-new-chronology/. Accessed 16 Apr. 2022.
 – The New Chronology Bibliography. https://chronologia.org/bibliography.html. Accessed 16 Apr. 2022.
 – Loffredo, F., & Vagenheim, G. (2019). Pirro Ligorio’s Worlds. doi:10.1163/9789004385634. Accessed 20 Dec. 2021.
 – Sorensen, Stephen. “The Creation of Fictional Characters Over the Past 100 Years” (13 Jan. 2020). https://ctruth.today/2020/01/13/the-creation-of-fictional-characters-over-the-past-100-years/. Accessed 24 Apr. 2022.
 – Main Website for Fomenko’s New Chronology. “THE HISTORY OF NEW CHRONOLOGY”. https://chronologia.org/en/history.html. Accessed 28 Apr. 2022.