Chronology

Grosseteste

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Hi all. I was asked privately to post again about dating and chronology. The original thread was here Dating and Chronology but got disrupted.

I work on the history of theology in the High Middle Ages (1200-1350) a subject supported by 10s of thousands of documents. There is considerable evidence that the 'official' version of history is the correct one, or at least approximately so.

Happy to discuss that evidence.
 

JohnNada

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Thank you for restarting this thread! I apologize if this was already covered in the previous thread, but at this point, that one is so full of banter and links that there is likely quite a bit lost. I’ll start with this:

In past threads, there has been discussion of missing original documents, with many older documents seeming to be copies of the originals that were created in the 1500’s. With that being said, what is the oldest original document or manuscript you have personally seen and or worked with?

Follow up question is what is the oldest original document that you know of, and is there any way for the public to access the original or a digital copy of the same?
 

Grosseteste

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Thank you for restarting this thread! I apologize if this was already covered in the previous thread, but at this point, that one is so full of banter and links that there is likely quite a bit lost. I’ll start with this:

In past threads, there has been discussion of missing original documents, with many older documents seeming to be copies of the originals that were created in the 1500’s. With that being said, what is the oldest original document or manuscript you have personally seen and or worked with?

Follow up question is what is the oldest original document that you know of, and is there any way for the public to access the original or a digital copy of the same?

Thanks for these great questions. There are really three questions, (1) are many older documents copies of the originals that were created in the 1500s? (2) what is the oldest original document or manuscript I have personally seen and or worked with (3) what is the oldest original document that I know of, and is there any way for the public to access the original or a digital copy of the same

Question 1. Depends on the sense of ‘copy’. With the advent of printing in the mid 1400s there was a big (and profitable) industry of taking old manuscripts and turning them into print. The oldest book I own is dated 1507, but it is a copy of a work written probably in the 1220s. There are a few manuscript copies around, and there was one for sale here Medieval Manuscripts but these go for silly money.

Also, most manuscripts are copies, because without the convenience of printing every single copy of a work has to be, er, a copy that was made laboriously over weeks or months by someone (often a monk) using a quill pen. Most of these copies would be contemporary.

Question 2. The oldest document I have worked with is the so-called Worcester 13 manuscript in the Worcester Cathedral Library which is a witness to the kind of logical and philosophical material taught and discussed at Oxford University in the late thirteenth century. It was written by John Aston, see his signature below. (“Explicunt quaestiones libri physicorum notatae a I(ohanne) Aston post magistrum Ricardum de Clive” – here end the questions on (Aristotle’s) book of physics, written down by John Aston, following the master Richard de Clive).

1623337962779.png


I have been transcribing this manuscript, which involves taking the difficult to read shorthand used by the scribes, into modern Latin script. It’s hard work! How do we know that this manuscript was not written in the 1500s? A number of reasons.

First, why would anyone go to the expense of rewriting a manuscript with a quill pen, when they could print it? There was a short period when the ‘scriptoria’ – sweatshops of poorly paid professional scribes who would churn out handwritten manuscript copies, but there was no way they could compete financially with the printers, and they were soon driven out of business.

Second, there are external references which allow us to date a manuscript. John’s manuscript refers to Richard de Clive and others, who we know from University registers were masters at Oxford around the 1270s. One section of the MS (see below) refers to Simon of Montfort who died on August 4, 1265 at the battle of Evesham. He was notable as the main leader of the baronial opposition to King Henry III of England, so the reference is likely a contemporary one that is fresh in readers’ minds. Another part reads ‘Henricus est rex Angliae’, likely referring to Henry I of England (1068 – 1135).

1623338036273.png


Third, the subject matter often identifies the period. The extract below is about the theory of ‘ampliation’, where a verb refers to an object or person who existed in the past, but exists no more. In this case, our friend Simon of Montfort, who ‘is’ (present tense) praised, but who no longer exists in the present. This version of the theory prevailed in the mid to late 1200s, and explains some of the thought of Duns Scotus, who went to university in that period, and would have learned that theory at an impressionable age.

[Note also my work is in the area of 'the history of ideas', which is not the history of politicians or kings or buildings or are, but rather the history of thought itself. Thought evolves in certain ways just like fashion, art, architecture etc. Thought itself has a sort of timestamp.]

Finally, there is the handwriting itself. The extract below is known as anglicana, a style that prevailed from the mid 13th century to the 14th century.

1623337773547.png

[...] Hoc membrum ‘non habens vim ampliandi’
apponitur quia, si sit verbum amplians, potest subiectum supponere pro non
ente, ut ‘homo laudatur’ haec est vera pro symone de mon
teforti
, et est verbum amplians cuius res potest inesse non-existenti.

Third question, “what is the oldest original document that you know of, and is there any way for the public to access the original or a digital copy of the same?” Very old docs not a subject of mine. It is well known that in the Carolingian period they made many copies of old docs, then presumably threw the old docs away. I attach a screenshot of a 9th-century copy of Boethius's Latin translation of Aristotle's De interpretatione (below) owned by Lawrence Schoenberg. There are many older manuscripts, but they get increasingly rare (and expensive) as we go back in time. The really expensive stuff goes to the museums who have the kind of money to afford it. The very oldest ms that exists is the Spitzer Manuscript tentatively dated between 80–230 CE.

1623337819513.png


Hope this helps.


[EDIT] For anyone who actually wants to *see* some old ms, try this link Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana to the Vatican collection, which is one of the biggest. Much of their collection has been digitised.

E.g. this one DigiVatLib a copy of a work by Plato, tentatively IX X century.
 
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JohnNada

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Thank you for the great reply! In your research, have you ever come across any provenance that appeared questionable or incomplete?

Additionally, have you ever come across any wild contradictions between the same events mentioned in two separate documents, i.e. - anything that may indicate some sort of forgery or correction of events between two different parties?

Edit: Wanted to add another bit before I lost the link for the Missing 1000 Years that folks have in question. When you have a chance to review this, I would love to hear your thoughts on the hypothesis provided that 1000 years was added to our calendars.

Thank you for taking the time to address these!
 
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Grosseteste

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Thank you for the great reply! In your research, have you ever come across any provenance that appeared questionable or incomplete?

Additionally, have you ever come across any wild contradictions between the same events mentioned in two separate documents, i.e. - anything that may indicate some sort of forgery or correction of events between two different parties?

Conflicts in the data occur all the time, as you would expect. Most is explained by mistakes. The best forgery (or rather plagiarism) was a long commentary on Aristotle's Metaphysics purportedly authored by Duns Scotus, but actually written by Thomas Aquinas, but heavily edited to disguise the source.

Edit: Wanted to add another bit before I lost the link for the Missing 1000 Years that folks have in question. When you have a chance to review this, I would love to hear your thoughts on the hypothesis provided that 1000 years was added to our calendars.

Thank you for taking the time to address these!

There is absolutely no evidence that 1,000 years was added in the Christian era, and all the evidence that exists is against the idea.

Pre-Christian, there is some evidence that the Chronology of the Hebrew Bible ('Old Testament') was basically made up for religious and political reasons, but that is a separate issue.

The main way we detect falsification is through independent sources. Hoyland has written an excellent history on the early Islamic period using only non-Islamic sources. (In God's Path, Oxford 2015).
 

JohnNada

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Thank you for the quick response, and for addressing the missing thousand years issue. The notion of the Pre-Christian chronology being made up is definitely intriguing. I’m sure that others here, and certainly myself, would love to hear more about it, especially being that it sounds like this notion is accepted by some modern historians. That, however, sounds like it would need it’s own thread. I’m sure I’ll have some more specific questions when I’m not distracted from work. Thank you again! We’re all here trying to find out more about some of the stranger parts of our history, and sometimes the threads can devolve when we have a mainstream historian around to help answer some questions. Thank you for sticking it out with us this long, and I look forward to picking your brain further!
 

Grosseteste

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Thank you for the quick response, and for addressing the missing thousand years issue. The notion of the Pre-Christian chronology being made up is definitely intriguing. I’m sure that others here, and certainly myself, would love to hear more about it, especially being that it sounds like this notion is accepted by some modern historians.
Thanks!

The view that the Bible is a later construction was mooted as long ago as Spinoza (1632-77), who thought that Ezra was the true author of the Pentateuch. Spinoza | My Jewish Learning

[EDIT] For a modern view, the late Philip Daves has written much about biblical 'history.

I can answer the question of what we know about David and Solomon very simply. Archaeologically we know absolutely nothing. Historically we know virtually nothing. All we know about them are stories about them and the stories are all in the Bible. So, the question is can we convert Bible knowledge, stories about them into some other kind of knowledge.

Directly, we can’t. The only way we can do it indirectly is to find archaeologically or historically some kind of other evidence that makes it plausible for these characters to have existed, though even plausibility doesn’t guarantee anything. But that would be a step forward. Unfortunately on that I have to say also that the archaeological evidence is generally speaking against, rather than for. I think for it to be historically likely that Solomon and David existed, the archaeological evidence would have to be predominately with, given that this is indirect evidence anyway. David and Solomon
I corresponded with Davies a while back for help on my own book on the Bible (and the Quran) published last year. Reference and Identity in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Scriptures: The Same God? (Philosophy of Language: Connections and Perspectives): Amazon.co.uk: D. E. Buckner: 9781498587419: Books
 
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Silveryou

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First, why would anyone go to the expense of rewriting a manuscript with a quill pen, when they could print it? There was a short period when the ‘scriptoria’ – sweatshops of poorly paid professional scribes who would churn out handwritten manuscript copies, but there was no way they could compete financially with the printers, and they were soon driven out of business.

This is a quote from "History: fiction or science Vol.1" by Fomenko (Chapter 1, paragraph 12, page 59 - http://chronologia.org/en/seven/1N01-EN-049-070.pdf):
Handwritten books remained in existence for a long time after the invention of the printing press. They had been made in large quantities in the XV-XVIII century all across Europe ([740], pages 13, 25). In the Balkans,“handwritten books managed to compete with the printed ones” as recently as the XIX century ([740], page 26). Apart from a few exceptions, the entire Irish literature of the VII-XVII century “only exists in the handwritten form” (quoted by [740], page 28). Up until 1500 a.d., 77 percent of all printed books are supposed to have been in Latin, possibly due to the fact that the Latin fonts were easy to make. Other fonts made their way into the printing practice extremely slowly. The diacritic signs were difficult to make, as well as the ones used for stresses, vocalizations, etc. This is why “the scribes had remained without competition in what concerned copying the Greek, Arabic and Hebraic manuscripts” for centuries after the invention of the printing press ([740], page 57).
Fomenko here in #740 is quoting a Russian book called "# [740] "Рукописная и печатная книга". Сборник статей. - М., Наука, 1975." (chronologia.org/lit_nx.html), which translates as ""Handwritten and printed book". Digest of articles. - M., Science, 1975" (more or less).

I have found a brief summary of its content here (СМИ. Сборники (рус.)) and seems it is widely reknown in Russia, so it's difficult to say its informations are not true or inaccurate.
Handwritten and printed book. (Moscow: Nauka Publishing House, 1975. - USSR Academy of Sciences. Scientific Council on the History of World Culture)
CONTENTS:
The tasks of studying the relationship between a handwritten book and a printed one. D.S. Likhachev (3).
To the definition of the concept of "book" in the historical aspect. N.N. Rozov (11).
Questions of studying the late handwritten book. A.S. Mylnikov (19).
Changes in the ratio of handwritten and printed books in Russian libraries of the 16th-17th centuries. B.V. Sapunov (37).
Coexistence of printed and handwritten materials in the development of science. A.I. Markushevich (51).
On the handwritten traditions of the primary source of modern Russian typographic type. A.G. Shitsgal (68).
The relationship between handwriting, typeface and calligraphy. A. Capr (GDR) (79).
On the history of the Russian book mark of the late 15th-17th centuries. Ya.N. Shchapov (85).
Copper engraving in a Russian manuscript book of the 16th-17th centuries. E.L. Nemirovsky (94).
Greek handwritten and printed book of the 15th-16th centuries. and its influence on the bookishness of other peoples. I.N. Lebedev (105).
Printed and handwritten book in 16th century Italy. OH. Gorfunkel (114).
The literary significance of Russian early printed books of the 16th-17th centuries. A.S. Demin (121).
Reflection of the historical and political ideas of Russian writing in the Western European press of the 16th-17th centuries. A.L. Goldberg (127).
The first editions of the Russian Prologues and the handwritten sources of the 1661-1662 edition. V.A. Kuchkin (139).
Moscow early printed Prologues and Bulgarian manuscript books in the 17th-18th centuries. P. Atanasov (NRB) (154).
Unknown Petrovskie "Vedomosti" and their handwritten originals based on materials from TsGADA. S.R. Dolgov (170).
Printed and handwritten book in Russia in the first fortieth anniversary of the 18th century. S.Ya. Luppov (182).
On the question of the Russian book repertoire of the second half of the 18th century. I.F. Martynov (193).
Prehistory of the handwritten and printed Russian mathematical book. R.A. Simonov (205).
Some topical problems of studying the history of Russian (handwritten and printed) illegal revolutionary books. I.E. Barenbaum (213).
Handwriting - printing - bookishness. A.A. Sidorov (227).
Scientific conferences on the history of handwritten and printed books (246).
Ripk75O1.jpg
 
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JohnNada

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There is another thread on here that I can’t seem to locate that dives in to the use of an I or a J in place of a 1 on historic dates, but those dates are treated as though there is no difference between the date I736/J736 and 1736. Are you aware of this, and do you have an explanation for the same?

Note: I will continue searching the site for the proper thread to link. If anyone can find it faster than I, please share a link!

Edit to add links:
This link provides a related example of what seems to be an added 1000 years in the Russian archives in the 700 or 1700s, depending on which page you are reading im the document. Not the exact link I was looking for, but still presenting the same type of occurrence. And Extra Millenium in the Russian Archives

I know there is a thread in here for a European example as well, I just can’t seem to locate the little bugger...
 
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Grosseteste

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There is another thread on here that I can’t seem to locate that dives in to the use of an I or a J in place of a 1 on historic dates, but those dates are treated as though there is no difference between the date I736/J736 and 1736. Are you aware of this, and do you have an explanation for the same?

Note: I will continue searching the site for the proper thread to link. If anyone can find it faster than I, please share a link!

Edit to add links:
This link provides a related example of what seems to be an added 1000 years in the Russian archives in the 700 or 1700s, depending on which page you are reading im the document. Not the exact link I was looking for, but still presenting the same type of occurrence. And Extra Millenium in the Russian Archives

I know there is a thread in here for a European example as well, I just can’t seem to locate the little bugger...

This thread SH Archive - 1,000 extra years of phantom time solved? America was not discovered in 1492? claims that 1530 = I530 = 530, right at the beginning. But there is no justification whatever for that claim.

The 'Year of the World' Anno Mundi - Wikipedia is based on the supposed Creation of the world as set out in Genesis. The Year of Rome is based on the supposed founding of Rome.
 

Daniel

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No. There are many documents. But the only thing they are proof of is that they exist.
It would have been very easy for people in the 16th-18th centuries(and beyond) to fabricate both "ancient" and "mediaeval" documents.

A good starting place is "The Mysteries of Chronology" by F.F. Arbuthnot.
I'll search for exact quote, but the style(as mentioned in Grossetste['s link) "Written in northeastern Italy in the last quarter of the fifteenth century as indicated by the style of the script and illumination." is a very good indicator of a forgery.

Both Edwin Johnson and F. F. Arbuthnot(and no doubt others) noticed how absolutely uniform certain styles of certain eras were. That is actually impossible unless these documents were all created at a much later time than their dates would indicate. And if one person was assigned eg. "the late fifteenth century"

Link to PDF of Arbuthnot..
https://ia802305.us.archive.org/10/items/mysteriesofchron00arbuiala/mysteriesofchron00arbuiala.pdf
While someone else was fixating on Easter dating, the link to Edwin Johnson's "Pauline Espistles" throws up a far more interesting quote, from Polydor Vergil.

In those times Perfect Letters, both Latin and Greek, [12] shut out from Italy by nefarious wars, exterminated, expelled, poured over the Alps, through all Germany, Gaul, England, and Scotland. The Germans first introduced them into their towns, and, having been the most illiterate of all in former times, are now the most learned. To the French, English, Scotch, not to speak of others, the same boon was imparted by the Almighty. For letters alone make our good deeds eternal, and preserve the memory of our name. Therefore many great men and most noble ladies everywhere began to assist the studies of good arts and disciplines. That these might the more earnestly be cultivated among the English, Margaret, Henry's mother, a most holy woman, at the exhortation of John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, a man of the highest learning, grace, and integrity, built at Cambridge, in a noble and celebrated place, two splendid houses, in which she instituted two colleges of disciples, and dedicated one to Christ Saviour, the other to St. John Evangelist ; and she gave large funds for their living. Also, in that academy, John Alcock, Bishop of Ely, a father of illustrious piety and virtue, was a little while before founder of a college which he consecrated to Jesus ; that, under his leadership, they who gave themselves to the culture of good disciplines might not err, but might pursue the right path, and receive the true reward of. glory and praise which he promised to well-doers. About the same time, also, William Smyth, Bishop of Lincoln, led by the example of Margaret, founded a college of youths at Oxon, who should be devoted to good disciplines, and exercises in letters, in the hall commonly called Brasyn Nose, so named because there a brazen figure, with immane face, stands before the doors. Also Richard, Bishop of Winton, did a similar work at Oxon, and he called it the Corpus Christi College. The same stimulus of virtue and glory stirred up John Colet, dean, as they say, of St. Paul's, to the desire of propagating good letters of that kind. " He, adorned partly by the virtue of his mind and soul, partly by the integrity of his life and morals, was held among his fellow Englishmen almost as a second Apostle Paul, because by nature saintly and religious from his early boyhood; he betook himself to the study of divine letters, and chose Paul for his preceptor, and so studied Paul, both at Oxon and Cambridge and in Italy, that when [13] he returned home a finished scholar he began, in his native city of London, to read the Pauline Epistles, and often to preach in the temples. He lived as he taught, and so men acquiesced in his excellent precepts. "A most temperate man, he lived on one meal a day. He thirsted not for honours or wealth; but the riches he fled from pursued and overtook him. It so happened that, of two and twenty children whom his father, Henry Colet, had by his Christian wife, a noble lady, John alone survived, and became his father's sole heir. Then John, seeing that many of his fellow citizens, by the mere habit of their nature, turned out grave and modest men, thought that they would be much much more excellent if they should receive a good education. Therefore, he resolved to assist, at his own expense, the youth of London to acquire learning. He founded, in that part of St. Paul's Churchyard which looks to the east, a splendid school, and appointed William Lily teacher, and a second to instruct the ruder boys. Good Lily, as Horace says, was integer vitae scelerisque purus. Having studied the Perfect Letters some years in Italy, he returned home, and was the first Englishman to teach them in England to his countrymen. Before him Cornelio Vitellio, an Italian, of Corneto, in Tuscany, of a noble stock, was the first of all to teach good letters to the boys at Oxon. John Reighey and Richard Jones followed Lily as masters. The masters were endowed with yearly stipends from Colet's property

Polydore Vergil, "Analica Historia," xxxvi., s. f.
 
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Will Scarlet

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I know there is a thread in here for a European example as well, I just can’t seem to locate the little bugger...

The issue has arisen within many threads. From memory it revolves around the fact that there is/was no symbol for the letter 'J' in Latin script and an 'I' or 'i' was used to represent the 'J' sound. Just to confuse matter even more, often the letter 'I' or the number 'I' (1) were written with a flourish making them look like a 'J' and this has given rise to the notion that it somehow distinguishes dates that refer to the Julian calendar, but it couldn't because it's not a letter 'J' as the 'J' symbol didn't exist and Julian would be written Iulianus.. although it could be an 'I' with a flourish of course. It's a kind of circular argument.

Btw, I'm not stating that any of this is definitive, I'm just explaining the gist of the issue as I recall it.

Interesting thread (y)
 

Grosseteste

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No. There are many documents. But the only thing they are proof of is that they exist.
It would have been very easy for people in the 16th-18th centuries (and beyond) to fabricate both "ancient" and "mediaeval" documents.

Hence the thoughts that they express exist. But there is the problem. My subject area is the history of ideas, i.e. the history of thought, particularly in works of philosophy and theology. The distinctive feature of such works is that the writers refer to other writers. Thus Kant refers to Leibniz, Leibniz refers to Suarez, Suarez refers to Ockham, Scotus and Aquinas, Aquinas refers to Boethius, Boethius to Augustine, Augustine to the Bible and to Aristotle and Plato, Aristotle refers to Plato etc.

All of these writers (and many many more) produced difficult works of great complexity, and it is a lifetime’s work even to understand one of them. So I don’t see why it would be ‘very easy’ for people in the 16th-18th centuries to produce their work. Did these fabricators write as a team? Then one person would have to write the works of Plato, in ancient Greek. After they had finished, another would have to write the works of Plato, also in ancient Greek. Then someone, acting as Boethius, would ‘translate’ the works of Aristotle into Latin, as well as Boethius’ extensive commentaries on Aristotle. Another team would be working in Syriac and Arabic and Latin to reproduce the translations of Aristotle into Syriac, then into Arabic, finally into Latin to get the Latin versions of Aristotle that the ‘early’ Western writers relied on, ‘not having’ Aristotle in the original Greek. (I put the scare quotes in because in fact the team did have all the works of Aristotle to hand, but were pretending that the early Western scholastic team did not have the Greek version used by the Aristotle team).

Likewise the team would have to produce all the massive literature of all Western philosophy (and Islamic philosophy, and many other works). They would have to reproduce the complex and difficult work of Kant, for example.

1623407548691.png


I don’t see this as ‘very easy’. I would be interested in the views of others on this!

[EDIT] And of course that picture is just of one library (Trinity College Dublin). The same team would have to produce the contents of all the other great libraries, including all the manuscripts in the Vatican Library). Great work.
 

Daniel

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All explained by Johnson over 120 years ago.

Let's take Writer A. He creates a text, and names names. He may even briefly 'quote' one of these people. But none of these people ever existed.

Now that we have names, Writer 2 or Writer 3 can write some more "ancient" material. Maybe use one of these fake names, and even refer to the writings of another fake name. Possibly even another 'quote' or two.

Over time, some people may "flesh out" some of these writings. But it's no concern if they don't. Because then we have "lost" writings.

Certainly, this appears to be the way the Bible was written in the 15th/16th centuries.
 

Grosseteste

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All explained by Johnson over 120 years ago.

Let's take Writer A. He creates a text, and names names. He may even briefly 'quote' one of these people. But none of these people ever existed.

Now that we have names, Writer 2 or Writer 3 can write some more "ancient" material. Maybe use one of these fake names, and even refer to the writings of another fake name. Possibly even another 'quote' or two.

Over time, some people may "flesh out" some of these writings. But it's no concern if they don't. Because then we have "lost" writings.

Certainly, this appears to be the way the Bible was written in the 15th/16th centuries.

As I said, it’s not just that author A mentions author B, it’s also that we have the complete, or near complete, works of B. For example, William of Ockham references Scotus verbatim, and we also have the work of Scotus himself to check. So you haven’t addressed the problem of how a team of people managed to create these great works.

Arbuthnot is writing at a time when the great scholastic works were being rescued from oblivion. I checked for references to Scotus, Ockham and Aquinas, but found none. I did find a reference to Bacon, however.

If the reader cares to examine the books of biography, the many encyclopaedias and other works of reference, he will find under the name of Roger Bacon a voluminous account of this wonder of the age, this author of many works, great natural philosopher and also theologian.
It is curious therefore that Leland could not find much that he had written. Of course it may be urged that many of the books were ordered to be destroyed by the ecclesiastics as being too far in advance of the time. Still, if all these works were really destroyed in the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries, and neither John Boston, Polydore Vergil, nor John Leland could name them in the sixteenth century, how has all the information been obtained about this great genius in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries ?
https://ia802305.us.archive.org/10/items/mysteriesofchron00arbuiala/mysteriesofchron00arbuiala.pdf p211

Bacon’s works were not edited (by Steele) until the 1900s, so would not have been available to Arbuthnot. See here SIEPM Medieval Philosophy Online - virtual library, web resources, e-texts, digitized books, scans under ‘Bacon’.There are more recent critical editions of his work, such as this Roger Bacon's Philosophy of Nature: A Critical Edition, with English Translation, Introduction and Notes, of "De Multiplicatione Specierum'"and "De Speculis Comburentibus": Amazon.co.uk: Bacon, Roger, Lindberg, David C., Lindberg, David C., Lindberg, David C.: 9781890318758: Books .
 
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Silveryou

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This thread SH Archive - 1,000 extra years of phantom time solved? America was not discovered in 1492? claims that 1530 = I530 = 530, right at the beginning. But there is no justification whatever for that claim.

The 'Year of the World' Anno Mundi - Wikipedia is based on the supposed Creation of the world as set out in Genesis. The Year of Rome is based on the supposed founding of Rome.
And the Anno Domini (Anno Domini - Wikipedia) is based on the supposed un-scientific date in which Jesus was born.
 

Daniel

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As I said, it’s not just that author A mentions author B, it’s also that we have the complete, or near complete, works of B. For example, William of Ockham references Scotus verbatim, and we also have the work of Scotus himself to check. So you haven’t addressed the problem of how a team of people managed to create these great works.

Arbuthnot is writing at a time when the great scholastic works were being rescued from oblivion. I checked for references to Scotus, Ockham and Aquinas, but found none. I did find a reference to Bacon, however.



Bacon’s works were not edited (by Steele) until the 1900s, so would not have been available to Arbuthnot. See here SIEPM Medieval Philosophy Online - virtual library, web resources, e-texts, digitized books, scans under ‘Bacon’.There are more recent critical editions of his work, such as this Roger Bacon's Philosophy of Nature: A Critical Edition, with English Translation, Introduction and Notes, of "De Multiplicatione Specierum'"and "De Speculis Comburentibus": Amazon.co.uk: Bacon, Roger, Lindberg, David C., Lindberg, David C., Lindberg, David C.: 9781890318758: Books .
I'm using phone now, and I'll reply in-depth later, but basically the question is :"When did we first get the complete works of ?"

As stated, a writer can mention another writer by name. But that doesn't mean that the other person ever existed at all. In fact, I believe Johnson was the one who went into detail about how this works.

With the fake historians, all that was needed during the early Tudor Era was names like "Bede", "Gildas" etc. And perhaps a few "quotes". It could all be put together later.

Another excellent read is Edwin Johnson's "The Rise of English Culture", which I'll put a link to later.

In fact it's best to read Johnson, Arbuthnot, and indeed others, because I'm sure there are other key points that I'm forgetting for now.
 

Grosseteste

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As stated, a writer can mention another writer by name. But that doesn't mean that the other person ever existed at all.

You ignored my point that the works attributed to that person exist. It's not just that Ockham refers to Scotus by name. It's that the work he refers to exists. We still have it.

[EDIT] Here is the work that Ockham refers to. https://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Vat.lat.876 There are many manuscripts and printed editions.

I appreciate you are on the phone, but you really ought to read my post more carefully.
 

Silveryou

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Hence the thoughts that they express exist. But there is the problem. My subject area is the history of ideas, i.e. the history of thought, particularly in works of philosophy and theology. The distinctive feature of such works is that the writers refer to other writers. Thus Kant refers to Leibniz, Leibniz refers to Suarez, Suarez refers to Ockham, Scotus and Aquinas, Aquinas refers to Boethius, Boethius to Augustine, Augustine to the Bible and to Aristotle and Plato, Aristotle refers to Plato etc.

All of these writers (and many many more) produced difficult works of great complexity, and it is a lifetime’s work even to understand one of them. So I don’t see why it would be ‘very easy’ for people in the 16th-18th centuries to produce their work. Did these fabricators write as a team? Then one person would have to write the works of Plato, in ancient Greek. After they had finished, another would have to write the works of Plato, also in ancient Greek. Then someone, acting as Boethius, would ‘translate’ the works of Aristotle into Latin, as well as Boethius’ extensive commentaries on Aristotle. Another team would be working in Syriac and Arabic and Latin to reproduce the translations of Aristotle into Syriac, then into Arabic, finally into Latin to get the Latin versions of Aristotle that the ‘early’ Western writers relied on, ‘not having’ Aristotle in the original Greek. (I put the scare quotes in because in fact the team did have all the works of Aristotle to hand, but were pretending that the early Western scholastic team did not have the Greek version used by the Aristotle team).

Likewise the team would have to produce all the massive literature of all Western philosophy (and Islamic philosophy, and many other works). They would have to reproduce the complex and difficult work of Kant, for example.

View attachment 10744

I don’t see this as ‘very easy’. I would be interested in the views of others on this!

[EDIT] And of course that picture is just of one library (Trinity College Dublin). The same team would have to produce the contents of all the other great libraries, including all the manuscripts in the Vatican Library). Great work.

I respect your work but all you are saying is deeply rooted in the commonly accepted chronology. If the current chronology changes, the history of ideas changes too, and historians will find ways to make things work in the same way they are doing now. In fact I agree with you when you say it's not an easy task. And the current history of ideas is the product of generations of historians who "worked" on those texts to make them "work". I am certain many things in those texts must be explained otherwise they could be interpreted in a different way. Those obscure phrases, very abundant in medieval texts, are most probably the remains of a different chronology which didn't found place in the current one. There are books and authors ignored by historians because considered unreliable, all due to chronological errors ignored by historians.

To be more specific, the common practice of dating through internal references is unreliable, because subject to many different factors which require some sort of belief in the correctness of modern chronology and the works based upon it.

In any case I'm not saying that your work has no value. It would require a lot of writing to express my thoughts on this one. My only concern is strictly chronology, which cannot be determined by methods entirely dependent from the one currently accepted
 
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