Friday, December 09, 2005

Errors in Roman Chronology - LexiLine Journal 376

On August 27-28, 2001, I posted the following letter concerning "Errors in Roman Chronology" to the Lexiline List:

::::::: the previously posted letter starts here :::::::::

I can now claim with 100% certainty that there is an error in Roman Chronology, as I advanced some years ago without being able to prove it, based on my past analysis of apparent errors in Roman history and chronology and on the erroneous dating of Christ by D. Exiguus.

I have just obtained and examined Ernst Hollstein's book, Mitteleuropäische Eichenchronologie, the chronology of Europe by dendrochronology (study of tree rings). [See Ernst Hollstein, Mitteleuropäische Eichenchronologie. Trierer dendrochronologische Forschungen zur Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte. 1980. XI, 273 S. ISBN 3-8053-0096-4. DM 135,- (Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Mainz which you can find listed at]

As Hollstein states, when you have enough samples - dating to a year by tree rings is no problem.

His massive volume of nearly 300 pages of oversize paper is an astute, detailed synthetic scientific work of the kind which made German scientists famous in past centuries. In Hollstein's book, published in 1980 (he has since passed away), there is found what "mainstream" historians subsequently have erroneously alleged to be a 26-year error in Hollstein's data, since that data diverges from accepted chronology by that amount of time - not by any particular intent by Hollstein, but simply because that is what the tree-ring data gave as results.

No one had any idea "why" the data diverged. Mainstream scholars of course thought Hollstein had erred, never thinking to examine their OWN historical chronology, which in fact is based on less solid grounds than Hollstein's work - and, in the end result, is simply wrong. They have erred.

At page 74, Hollstein discusses his tree-ring data for the Roman Bridge at Cologne, Germany, which according to an analysis of the remains of trees used to build it, was built ca. 336 A.D., whereas the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (the first emperor to adopt Christianity and thus to bring it to the Western world) held a speech in Trier about the building of this very same bridge - by current chronology - at the end of July, viz. beginning of August in 310 A.D. - a full 26 years years PRIOR to the building of the bridge.

Someone had erred - was it Hollstein? No, the tree ring data are clear and there is no serious dispute about these tree ring findings. In fact, as Hollstein himself observes, earlier dendrochronological dates from the nearby grave under the later-built Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) had already pointed to a date of ca. 338 A.D. and since then - underneath the southern "Querhaus" of the Cathedral - twelve [astronomers take note!] wooden posts were found - arranged as Hollstein notes in a "circular stave" fashion, with evidence that they supported a roof. This construction is ALSO dated to ca. 338 A.D.

Hollstein even writes that he regretted (p.5) already in 1972 not having accepted his earlier dendrochronological findings as fact, even though they contradicted the 310 A.D. date used by the mainstream historians for the comparable period. In Hollstein's words in German "Ich hätte das jetzt vorliegende wahre Datum dieser Pfähle 336 n.Chr. (vgl. Köln, Rheinbrücke) bereits 1972 akzeptieren müssen...."

Essentially, Hollstein was by no means thrilled with his dates, since they put him into a scientific quandry, having data which contradicted mainstream chronology, and having no explanation available for the deviation.

For an understanding of the accurate Roman chronology, however, the results of Hollstein are essential, useful and correct.

For an erroneous date of 310 A.D. by current chronology, 310 years have passed since the year 1, erroneously set by Exiguus as the "human birth date" of Christ.

For a "correct" date of 336 A.D., a total of 310 years would have passed as well - starting however in 26 A.D. - thus showing that Exiguus erred in setting the year 1 at the human birth date of Christ.

This - 26.A.D. - is the date of Jesus' death, NOT his birth...and THAT is the 26-year error in the MAINSTREAM chronology based on the error of Exiguus, an error not found in Hollstein's work, whose data is INDEPENDENT of the historians."

::::::: the previously posted letter ends here :::::::::

Let us now continue the analysis.

Most astronomers place the "human birth of Christ by astronomy to 7 B.C. by current chronology, because there was a special conjunction of planets in that year, which astronomers think is referred to as the star of bethlehem. Christ is said to have lived 33 years - so that this 7 B.C. plus the error of 26 years accounts for this period of Christ's life perfectly. When it is stated for example, that Christ was born 754 years after the founding of Rome (the date used by Exiguus and according to Varro 753 BC) then the founding of Rome, obviously, must be redated. How can we do this?

I have been working on matching the early "mythical Roman kings" with those of Egypt - based on my conviction that Herodotus was right in alleging that the founders of Rome came from Lydia, who in turn seemed to have been related to the Pharaohs - their migration surely caused by the Trojan War. This approach has now allowed me to obtain a perfect mesh.

The critical King is Tarquinius, alleged to have ruled from 534 to 510 B.C. but for whom there is no record of rule in Rome. Tarquin is of course the Pharaoh now transcribed as Taharka.


Tarquin ruled, by traditional mainstream chronology, from 534 - 510 B.C. Taharka's reign , as I have previously posted using my solar eclipse data of the Pharaohs [for this dating, see the August version of the Solar Eclipse Newsletter found on the NASA site], was marked by the March 28, 517 BC solar eclipse at Sheratan in Aries.

Since Tarquin of Rome's reign is said to end in 510 BC, we have to correlate for the error of Jesus' birth actually being 7 BC, so that Tarquin correctly ruled as a "mythical" king in Rome until the solar eclipse 517 BC.

Accordingly, the 754 years since the founding of Rome does in fact run from 7 BC and this is thus the year 761 BC using the current position of year 0, or the year 760 by astronomy! Here we see then that the 760-year cycle (deriving from 40 x the Metonic cycle of 19 years was used for long-term calendration).

We can then similarly match some of the other kings as well, insofar as I have solar eclipse data for some of them.

The Roman king Servius Tullius who allegedly ruled from 578 to 534 A.D. (corrected by 7 to 585 to 541 BC) is then comparable to the reign marked for the Pharaoh Pianchi by the Solar Eclipse of September 21, 582 BC at Spica in Virgo, which was an unusual heavenly conjunction because it involved 5 heavenly bodies. Servius Tullius, according to tradition, divided citizens into "five classes" by wealth - but as noted in the Enc. Brit., "this attribution may be a reading back into the uncertain past of reforms that were not effected until a much later date". The match of the "five" will be an astronomical "memory" of the solar eclipse of 582 BC. The name Tullius however seems not to trace back to Pianchi (who allegedly ruled 747-716 BC) but appears from the hieroglpyhs to be the Pharaoh Takelot III (=Tullius), who allededly ruled 764-757 in the ephemeral 23rd dynasty.

The August 19, 636 BC solar eclipse at Denebola in Leo I have previously ascribed to the Pharaoh Tefnacht. This is 54 years prior to Takelot (Tullius). For the Pharaohs this is the Pharaoh mistranscribed as Pedibastet who allegedly ruled 818-793 BC but for whom the correct date of rule is 636 BC. The TEF is actually represented by the hieroglyphs Di-pe (the p clearly an f in this era). The difference between Takelot III and Pedibastet (both of the ephemeral 23rd dynasty) is 54 years.

In this manner - we have an absolute lock in meshing the dating of ancient Egypt with ancient Rome. Together with my planispheres going back to Lascaux [see the many postings at the Lexiline group on Yahoo], the solar eclipse data back to the first pyramids and Hollstein's dendrochronology, we now have the pillars for an ABSOLUTE dating of the history of civilization.

Accordingly, ALL chronology prior, during, and after the life of Christ will have to be corrected and this means ALL of historical chronology in the Western world.

I might add to Hollstein's proof additional observations about bridge-building on rivers. Obviously, especially in ancient times, when the building of such bridges was far more arduous (recall the Bridge on the River Kwai) than currently, the engineers would have tried to get "dry years" for bridge-building on great rivers, since then the water would be lower, the current would be less strong, and building problems would be lessened. The amount of rain is in fact reflected in tree-rings, with very narrow tree rings shown in rainfall-meagre periods and large tree-rings in periods with much rainfall - although of course there are other factors as well. Nevertheless, in ca. 336 A.D. - significantly - as shown in Hollstein's graph of the width of tree rings in 250 to 350 A.D. (p. 192) there must have been a sharp drop in rainfall starting ca. 332 A.D: which continues for a number of years to an absolute low in ca. 336 A.D. - as judged by the
narrowing of tree rings.


The dendrochronology of Hollstein is supported by a comparable 26-year error in Ptolemy (25 year error plus 1 year difference between historical and astronomical time).


[Ptolemy's Almagest, translated by Gerald J. Toomer, Princeton University Press, 1998, ISBN 0691002606]

There is a great deal of dispute about Ptolemy's chronology, not only in Toomer's book above, but also in Robert R. Newton , The Crime of Claudius Ptolemy, Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 0-8018-1990-3 (available at last look at Z-Shops at Amazaon for $167 !!) and see particularly the following website about Biblical Chronology which discusses Ptolemy's data.

Newton's book alleges that Ptolemy has severe errors in his data and that he either forged his astronomical data to make it agree to an erroneous preconceived historical chronology or copied that erroneous data from Hipparchus.

Newton is no slouch - he is a professional astronomer who was updating the solar system data for NASA and examining Ptolemy's data in the course of his research. Toomer for his part states that Newton is a bit harsh on Ptolemy, but there is much in Ptolemy which to criticize.

As noted about Newton's book at
"It must also be noted that Hipparchus, from whom Ptolemy might have
obtained some of his data, is suspected of having obtained his
information base by working backward from the results he expected.
This would mean that Hipparchus was working only with astronomical
records made in a later period, and that he assigned a king's year
number based on the opinion popular in his time."
- Does he ALSO have a ca. 26-YEAR ERROR? as in the data of HOLLSTEIN?

Edwin R. Thiele - a supporter of Ptolemy by the way - writes in his A Chronology of the Hebrew Kings:
"For many years Old Testament scholars have noticed that a total of
128 regnal years for the rulers of Judah from the accession of
Athaliah to the end of Azariah ... was about a quarter of a century
[i.e. 25 YEARS] in excess of the years of contemporary Assyria ..."
(p. 44).
Indeed, at the following VERY SIGNIFICANT POINT is found:
"But what has been the result of putting faith in the few eclipse indications that agree with Ptolemy's canon of kings? Professor Mitchell has this to say:
"As a result of the Babylonian eclipses, it has been necessary to alter the chronology of the Bible by lowering the dates to the extent of TWENTY-FIVE years (Samuel Alfred Mitchell, Eclipses of the Sun, p.19).""
Both of the above sources thus offer FURTHER PROOF for the 26-year chronological error I have alleged before - based on Hollstein's dendrochronological work.

So we actually have a match of dendrochronology and astronomy. There IS a ca. 26-year error, not just as proven by dendrochronology but also when it comes to reconciling Biblical chronology with Ptolemy's astronomy, in which there is the same consistent ca. 26 year error.

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