New Chronology (Fomenko)

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History: Fiction or Science? Chronology volumes 1–7

The New Chronology is a pseudohistorical theory which argues that the conventional chronology of Middle Eastern and European history is fundamentally flawed, and that events attributed to the civilizations of the Roman Empire, Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt actually occurred during the Middle Ages, more than a thousand years later. The central concepts of the New Chronology are derived from the ideas of Russian scholar Nikolai Morozov (1854–1946),[1] although work by French scholar Jean Hardouin (1646–1729) can be viewed as an earlier predecessor.[2] However, the New Chronology is most commonly associated with Russian mathematician Anatoly Fomenko (born 1945), although published works on the subject are actually a collaboration between Fomenko and several other mathematicians. The concept is most fully explained in History: Fiction or Science?, originally published in Russian.

The New Chronology also contains a reconstruction, an alternative chronology, radically shorter than the standard historical timeline, because all ancient history is "folded" onto the Middle Ages. According to Fomenko's claims, the written history of humankind goes only as far back as AD 800, there is almost no information about events between AD 800–1000, and most known historical events took place in AD 1000–1500.

The New Chronology is rejected by mainstream historians and is inconsistent with absolute and relative dating techniques used in the wider scholarly community. The majority of scientific commentators consider The New Chronology to be pseudoscientific.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

History of New Chronology[edit]

The idea of chronologies that differ from the conventional chronology can be traced back to at least the early 17th century. Jean Hardouin then suggested that many ancient historical documents were much younger than commonly believed to be. In 1685 he published a version of Pliny the Elder's Natural History in which he claimed that most Greek and Roman texts had been forged by Benedictine monks. When later questioned on these results, Hardouin stated that he would reveal the monks' reasons in a letter to be revealed only after his death. The executors of his estate were unable to find such a document among his posthumous papers.[9] In the 17th century, Sir Isaac Newton, examining the current chronology of Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Near East, expressed discontent with prevailing theories and proposed one of his own, which, basing its study on Apollonius of Rhodes's Argonautica, changed the traditional dating of the Argonautic Expedition, the Trojan War, and the Founding of Rome.[10][11]

In 1887, Edwin Johnson expressed the opinion that early Christian history was largely invented or corrupted in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.[12]

In 1909 Otto Rank made note of duplications in literary history of a variety of cultures:

... almost all important civilized peoples have early woven myths around and glorified in poetry their heroes, mythical kings and princes, founders of religions, of dynasties, empires and cities—in short, their national heroes. Especially the history of their birth and of their early years is furnished with phantastic traits; the amazing similarity, nay literal identity, of those tales, even if they refer to different, completely independent peoples, sometimes geographically far removed from one another, is well known and has struck many an investigator.[13]

Fomenko became interested in Morozov's theories in 1973. In 1980, together with a few colleagues from the mathematics department of Moscow State University, he published several articles on "new mathematical methods in history" in peer-reviewed journals.[citation needed] The articles stirred a lot of controversy, but ultimately Fomenko failed to win any respected historians to his side. By the early 1990s, Fomenko shifted his focus from trying to convince the scientific community via peer-reviewed publications to publishing books. Beam writes that Fomenko and his colleagues were discovered by the Soviet scientific press in the early 1980s, leading to "a brief period of renown"; a contemporary review from the journal Questions of History complained, "Their constructions have nothing in common with Marxist historical science."[14]

By 1996 his theory had grown to cover Russia, Turkey, China, Europe, and Egypt.[15]

Fomenko's claims[edit]

According to New Chronology, the traditional chronology consists of four overlapping copies of the "true" chronology shifted back in time by significant intervals with some further revisions. Fomenko claims all events and characters conventionally dated earlier than 11th century are fictional, and represent "phantom reflections" of actual Middle Ages events and characters, brought about by intentional or accidental mis-datings of historical documents. Before the invention of printing, accounts of the same events by different eyewitnesses were sometimes retold several times before being written down, then often went through multiple rounds of translating and copyediting. Names were translated, mispronounced and misspelled to the point where they bore little resemblance to originals. According to Fomenko, this led early chronologists to believe or choose to believe that those accounts described different events and even different countries and time periods. Fomenko justifies this approach by the fact that, in many cases, the original documents are simply not available: Fomenko claims that all the history of the ancient world is known to us from manuscripts that date from the 15th century to the 18th century, but describe events that allegedly happened thousands of years before, the originals regrettably and conveniently lost. For example, the oldest extant manuscripts of monumental treatises on Ancient Roman and Greek history, such as Annals and Histories, are conventionally dated c. AD 1100, more than a full millennium after the events they describe, and they did not come to scholars' attention until the 15th century.[citation needed] According to Fomenko, the 15th century is probably when these documents were first written.

Central to Fomenko's New Chronology is his claim of the existence of a vast Slav-Turk empire, which he called the "Russian Horde", which he says played the dominant role in Eurasian history before the 17th century. The various peoples identified in ancient and medieval history, from the Scythians, Huns, Goths and Bulgars, through the Polyane, Duleby, Drevliane, Pechenegs, to in more recent times, the Cossacks, Ukrainians, and Belarusians, are nothing but elements of the single Russian Horde. For the New Chronologists, peoples such as the Ukrainians, Belarusians, Mongols, and others who assert their national independence from Russia, are suffering from a historical delusion.[16]

Fomenko claims that the most probable prototype of the historical Jesus was Andronikos I Komnenos (allegedly AD 1152 to 1185), the emperor of Byzantium, known for his failed reforms; his traits and deeds reflected in 'biographies' of many real and imaginary persons.[17] The historical Jesus is a composite figure and reflection of the Old-Testament prophet Elisha (850–800 BC?), Pope Gregory VII (1020?–1085), Saint Basil of Caesarea (330–379), and even Li Yuanhao (also known as Emperor Jingzong or "Son of Heaven" - emperor of Western Xia, who reigned in 1032–48), Euclides, Bacchus and Dionysius. Fomenko explains the seemingly vast differences in the biographies of these figures as resulting from difference in languages, points of view and time-frame of the authors of said accounts and biographies. He claims that the historical Jesus may have been born in 1152 and was crucified around AD 1185 on the Joshua's Hill, overlooking the Bosphorus.[18]

Fomenko also merges the cities and histories of Jerusalem, Rome and Troy into "New Rome" = Gospel Jerusalem (in the 12th and 13th centuries) = Troy = Yoros Castle.[19] To the south of Yoros Castle is Joshua's Hill which Fomenko alleges is the hill Calvary depicted in the Bible.

Fomenko claims the Hagia Sophia is actually the biblical Temple of Solomon. He identifies Solomon as sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1494–1566).

On the other hand, according to Fomenko the word "Rome" is a placeholder and can signify any one of several different cities and kingdoms. He claims the "First Rome" or "Ancient Rome" or "Mizraim" is an ancient Egyptian kingdom in the delta of the Nile with its capital in Alexandria. The second and most famous "New Rome" is Constantinople. The third "Rome" is constituted by three different cities: Constantinople (again), Rome in Italy, and Moscow. According to his claims, Rome in Italy was founded around AD 1380 by Aeneas and Moscow as the third Rome was the capital of the great "Russian Horde".[20] Similarly, the word "Jerusalem" is actually a placeholder rather than a physical location and can refer to different cities at different times and the word "Israel" did not define a state, even not a territory but people fighting for God, for example French St Louis and English Elizabeth called themselves the King/Queen of Israel.

He claims that parallelism between John the Baptist, Jesus, and Old-Testament prophets implies that the New Testament was written before the Old Testament. Fomenko claims that the Bible was being written until the Council of Trent (1545–1563), when the list of canonical books was established, and all apocryphal books were ordered to be destroyed.

Fomenko also claims that Plato, Plotinus and Gemistus Pletho are one and the same person - according to him, some texts by or about Pletho were mis-dated and today believed to be texts by or about Plotinus or Plato. He claims similar duplicates Dionysius the Areopagite, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite and Dionysius Petavius. He claims Florence and the House of Medici bankrolled and played an important role in creation of the magnificent 'Roman' and 'Greek' past.

Specific claims[edit]

In volumes 1, 2 , 3 and 4 of History: Fiction or Science?, Fomenko and his colleagues make numerous claims:

  • Historians and translators often "assign" different dates and locations to different accounts of the same historical events, creating multiple "phantom copies" of these events. These "phantom copies" are often misdated by centuries or even millennia and end up incorporated into conventional chronology.
  • This chronology was largely manufactured by Joseph Justus Scaliger in Opus Novum de emendatione temporum (1583) and Thesaurum temporum (1606), and represents a vast array of dates produced without any justification whatsoever, containing the repeating sequences of dates with shifts equal to multiples of the major cabbalistic numbers 333 and 360. The Jesuit Dionysius Petavius completed this chronology in De Doctrina Temporum, 1627 (v.1) and 1632 (v.2)

[21] One might wonder why we should want to revise the chronology of ancient history today and base our revision on new empirical-statistical methods. It would be worthwhile to remind the reader that in the XVI-XVII century chronology was considered to be a subdivision of mathematics.

  • Archaeological dating, dendrochronological dating, paleographical dating, numismatic dating, carbon dating, and other methods of dating of ancient sources and artifacts known today are erroneous, non-exact or dependent on traditional chronology.
  • No single document in existence can be reliably dated earlier than the 11th century. Most "ancient" artifacts may find other than consensual explanation.
  • Histories of Ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt were crafted during the Renaissance by humanists and clergy - mostly on the basis of documents of their own making.
  • The Old Testament represents a rendition of events of the 14th to 16th centuries AD, in Europe and Byzantium, containing "prophecies" about "future" events related in the New Testament, a rendition of events of AD 1152 to 1185.
  • The history of religions runs as follows: the pre-Christian period (before the 11th century and the birth of Jesus), Bacchic Christianity (11th and 12th centuries, before and after the life of Jesus), Christianity (12th to 16th centuries) and its subsequent mutations into Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam.
  • The Almagest of Claudius Ptolemy, traditionally dated to around AD 150, and considered the cornerstone of classical astronomy, was compiled in 16th and 17th centuries from astronomical data of the 9th to 16th centuries.
  • 37 complete Egyptian horoscopes found in Denderah, Esna, and other temples have unique valid astronomical solutions with dates ranging from AD 1000 and up to as late as AD 1700.

    [22] The vocabulary of Egyptian astronomical symbols once applied to horoscopes from temples allows for extraction of unique dates of eclipses. Astronomical data therein contained is sufficient for unique dating. There are symbols allowing for astronomical interpretation and the symbols do not change from one temple horoscope to another. The horoscopes from temples sufficient contain data about eclipses visible in Egypt allowing their exact pinpointing on the time axis.

  • The Book of Revelation, as we know it, contains a horoscope, dated to 25 September - 10 October 1486, compiled by cabbalist Johannes Reuchlin.

[23] As we have already noted, the inability of the latter day commentators to comprehend the astronomical symbolism of the Apocalypse is directly resulting from the loss of knowledge about the correct chronology and the distortions introduced by historians of the XVI-XVIII century. Another possibility is that there was an unspoken general taboo on what concerned a subject quite as dangerous, which resulted in the misdating of the Apocalypse. One way or another, the understanding of the astronomical descriptions that the Apocalypse contains got lost at some point. The Apocalypse had lost its distinctive astronomical hue in the eyes of the readers. However, its “astronomical component” is not simply exceptionally important – it alone suffices for the dating of the book itself.

  • The horoscopes found in Sumerian/Babylonian tablets do not contain sufficient astronomical data; consequently, they have solutions every 30–50 years on the time axis and are therefore useless for purposes of dating.

    [22] The vocabulary of Babylonian astronomical symbols once applied to clay tablets don't allow for extraction of unique dates of eclipses. Astronomical data therein contained is not sufficient for unique dating. Either there not enough symbols allowing for astronomical interpretation or the symbols change from one clay tablet to another. The clay tablets contain data about eclipses visible in Babylon that could have taken place every 30-40 years, therefore don’t allow there exact pinpointing on the time axis.

  • The Chinese tables of eclipses are useless for dating, as they contain too many eclipses that did not take place astronomically. Chinese tables of comets, even if true, cannot be used for dating

    [24] Chinese eclipse observations can neither confirm nor refute any chronology of China at all, be it veracious or erroneous.

  • All major inventions like powder and guns, paper and print occurred in Europe in the period between the 10th and the 16th centuries.
  • Ancient Roman and Greek statues, showing perfect command of the human anatomy, are fakes crafted in the Renaissance, when artists attained such command for the first time.
  • There was no such thing as the Tartar and Mongol invasion followed by over two centuries of yoke and slavery, because the so-called "Tartars and Mongols" were the actual ancestors of the modern Russians, living in a bilingual state with Turkic spoken as freely as Russian. So, Russia and Turkey once formed parts of the same empire. This ancient Russian state was governed by a double structure of civil and military authorities and the hordes were actually professional armies with a tradition of lifelong conscription (the recruitment being the so-called "blood tax"). The Mongol "invasions" were punitive operations against the regions of the empire that attempted tax evasion. Tamerlane was probably a compilation of Russian and Turkish warlords.
  • Official Russian history is a blatant forgery concocted by a host of German scholars brought to Russia to legitimize the usurping Romanov dynasty (1613–1917).
  • Moscow was founded as late as the mid-14th century. The battle of Kulikovo took place in Moscow.
  • The tsar Ivan the Terrible represents a collation of no fewer than four rulers, representing two rival dynasties: the legitimate Godunov rulers and the ambitious Romanov upstarts.
  • English history of AD 640–1040 and Byzantine history of AD 378–830 are reflections of the same late-medieval original.

Fomenko's methods[edit]

Statistical correlation of texts[edit]

One of Fomenko's simplest methods is statistical correlation of texts. His basic assumption is that a text which describes a sequence of events will devote more space to more important events (for example, a period of war or an unrest will have much more space devoted to than a period of peaceful, non-eventful years), and that this irregularity will remain visible in other descriptions of the period. For each analysed text, a function is devised which maps each year mentioned in the text with the number of pages (lines, letters) devoted in the text to its description (which could be zero). The function of the two texts are then compared.[25]

For example, Fomenko compares the contemporary history of Rome written by Titus Livius with a modern history of Rome written by Russian historian V. S. Sergeev, calculating that the two have high correlation, and thus that they describe the same period of history, which is undisputed.[26] He also compares modern texts which describe different periods, and calculates low correlation, as expected.[26] However, when he compares, for example, the ancient history of Rome and the medieval history of Rome, he calculates a high correlation, and concludes that ancient history of Rome is a copy of medieval history of Rome, thus clashing with mainstream accounts.[27]

Statistical correlation of dynasties[edit]

Sample Fomenko parallelism

In a somewhat similar manner, Fomenko compares two dynasties of rulers using statistical methods. First, he creates a database of rulers, containing relevant information on each of them. Then, he creates "survey codes" for each pair of the rulers, which contain a number which describes degree of the match of each considered property of two rulers. For example, one of the properties is the way of death: if two rulers were both poisoned, they get value of +1 in their property of the way of death; if one ruler was poisoned and another killed in combat, they get -1; and if one was poisoned, and another died of illness, they get 0 (Fomenko claims there is possibility that chroniclers were not impartial and that different descriptions nonetheless describe the same person). An important property is the length of the rule.[28]

Fomenko lists a number of pairs of unrelated dynasties – for example, dynasties of kings of Israel and emperors of late Western Roman Empire (AD 300-476) – and claims that this method demonstrates correlations between their reigns. (Graphs which show just the length of the rule in the two dynasties are the most widely known; however, Fomenko's conclusions are also based on other parameters, as described above.) He also claims that the regnal history from the 17th to 20th centuries never shows correlation of "dynastic flows" with each other, therefore Fomenko insists history was multiplied and outstretched into imaginary antiquity to justify this or other "royal" pretensions.

Fomenko uses for the demonstration of correlation between the reigns exclusively the data from the Chronological Tables of J. Blair (Moscow 1808–09). Fomenko says that Blair’s tables are all the more valuable to us since they were compiled in an epoch adjacent to the time of Scaligerian chronology. According to Fomenko these tables contain clearer signs of “Scaligerite activity” which were subsequently buried under layers of paint and plaster by historians of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Astronomical evidence[edit]

Fomenko examines astronomical events described in ancient texts and claims that the chronology is actually medieval. For example:

  • He says the mysterious drop in the value of the lunar acceleration parameter D" ("a linear combination of the [angular] accelerations of the Earth and Moon"[29]) between the years AD 700–1300, which the American astronomer Robert Newton had explained in terms of "non-gravitational" (i.e., tidal) forces.[29] By eliminating those anomalous early eclipses the New Chronology produces a constant value of D" beginning around AD 1000.[30]
  • He associates initially the Star of Bethlehem with the AD 1140 (±20) supernova (now Crab Nebula) and the Crucifixion Eclipse with the total solar eclipse of AD 1170 (±20). He also believes that Crab Nebula supernova could not have been seen in AD 1054, but probably in AD 1153. He connects it with total eclipse of AD 1186. Moreover he holds in strong doubt the veracity of ancient Chinese astronomical data.
  • He argues that the star catalog in the Almagest, ascribed to the Hellenistic astronomer Claudius Ptolemy, was compiled in the 15th to 16th centuries AD. With this objective in sight he develops new methods of dating old stellar catalogues and claims that the Almagest is based on data collected between AD 600 and 1300, whereby the telluric obliquity[clarification needed] is well taken into account.
  • He refines and completes Morozov's analysis of some ancient horoscopes, most notably, the so-called Dendera Zodiacs—two horoscopes drawn on the ceiling of the temple of Hathor—and comes to the conclusion that they correspond to either the 11th or the 13th century AD. Moreover, in his History: Fiction or Science series finale, he makes computer-aided dating of all 37 Egyptian horoscopes that contain sufficient astronomical data, and claims they all fit into 11th to 19th century timeframe.[clarification needed] Traditional history usually either interprets these horoscopes as belonging to the 1st century BC or suggests that they weren't meant to match any date at all.
  • In his final analysis of an eclipse triad described by the ancient Greek Thucydides in History of the Peloponnesian War, Fomenko dates the eclipses to AD 1039, 1046 and 1057. Because of the layered structure of the manuscript, he claims that Thucydides actually lived in medieval times and in describing the Peloponnesian War between the Spartans and Athenians he was actually describing the conflict between the medieval Navarrans and Catalans in Spain from AD 1374 to 1387.
  • Fomenko claims that the abundance of dated astronomical records in cuneiform texts from Mesopotamia is of little use for dating of events, as the astronomical phenomena they describe recur cyclically every 30–40 years.

Rejection of common dating methods[edit]

On archaeological dating methods, Fomenko claims:

Archaeological, dendrochronological, paleographical and carbon methods of dating of ancient sources and artifacts are both non-exact and contradictory, therefore there is not a single piece of firm written evidence or artifact that could be reliably and independently dated earlier than the XI century

— Anatoly Fomenko, History: Fiction or Science? (Chronology 1) [Second edition]

Dendrochronology is rejected with a claim that, for dating of objects much older than the oldest still living trees, it isn't an absolute, but a relative dating method, and thus dependent on traditional chronology. Fomenko specifically points to a break of dendrochronological scales around AD 1000.[31]

Fomenko also cites a number of cases where carbon dating of a series of objects of known age gave significantly different dates. He also alleges undue cooperation between physicists and archaeologists in obtaining the dates, since most radiocarbon dating labs only accept samples with an age estimate suggested by historians or archaeologists. Fomenko also claims that carbon dating over the range of AD 1 to 2000 is inaccurate because it has too many sources of error that are either guessed at or completely ignored, and that calibration is done with a statistically meaningless number of samples.[32] Consequently, Fomenko concludes that carbon dating is not accurate enough to be used on historical scale.

Fomenko rejects numismatic dating as circular, being based on the traditional chronology, and points to cases of similar coins being minted in distant periods, unexplained long periods with no coins minted and cases of mismatch of numismatic dating with historical accounts.[33]


Fomenko's historical ideas have been universally rejected by mainstream scholars, who brand them as pseudoscience,[34] but were popularized by former world chess champion Garry Kasparov.[35][36][37] Billington writes that the theory "might have quietly blown away in the wind tunnels of academia" if not for Kasparov's writing in support of it in the magazine Ogoniok.[38] Kasparov met Fomenko during the 1990s, and found that Fomenko's conclusions concerning certain subjects were identical to his own regarding the popular view (which is not the view of academics) that art and culture died during the Dark Ages and were not revived until the Renaissance. Kasparov also felt it illogical that the Romans and the Greeks living under the banner of Byzantium could fail to use the mounds of scientific knowledge left them by Ancient Greece and Rome, especially when it was of urgent military use. However, Kasparov does not support the reconstruction part of the New Chronology.[39] Russian critics tended to see Fomenko's New Chronology as "an embarrassment and a potent symbol of the depths to which the Russian academy and society have generally sunk ... since the fall of Communism".[40] Western critics see his views as part of a renewed Russian imperial ideology, "keeping alive an imperial consciousness and secular messianism in Russia".[41][42]

In 2004, Anatoly Fomenko with his coauthor Gleb Nosovsky were awarded for their books on "New Chronology" the anti-prize of the Moscow International Book Fair called "Abzatz" (literally 'paragraph', a euphemism for a vulgar Russian word meaning disaster or fiasco) in the category "Esteemed nonsense" ("Pochotnaya bezgramota") awarded for the worst book published in Russia.

Critics have accused Fomenko of altering the data to improve the fit with his ideas and have noted that he violates a key rule of statistics by selecting matches from the historical record which support his chronology, while ignoring those which do not, creating artificial, better-than-chance correlations, and that these practices undermine Fomenko's statistical arguments.[5] The new chronology was given a comprehensive critical analysis in a round table on "The 'Myths' of New Chronology" chaired by the dean of the department of history of Moscow State University in December 1999.[43][44][45] One of the participants in that round table, the distinguished Russian archaeologist, Valentin Yanin, compared Fomenko's work to "the sleight of hand trickery of a David Copperfield".[46] Linguist Andrey Zaliznyak argued that by using the Fomenko's approaches one can "prove" any historical correspondence, for example, between Ancient Egyptian pharaohs and French kings.[47][48]

James Billington, formerly professor of Russian history at Harvard and Princeton and the Librarian of Congress from 1987-2015 placed Fomenko's work within the context of the political movement of Eurasianism, which sought to tie Russian history closely to that of its Asian neighbors. Billington describes Fomenko as ascribing the belief in past hostility between Russia and the Mongols to the influence of Western historians. Thus, by Fomenko's chronology, "Russia and Turkey are parts of a previously single empire."[6] A French reviewer of Billington's book noted approvingly his concern with the phantasmagorical conceptions of Fomenko about the global "new chronology".[7]

H.G. van Bueren, professor emeritus of astronomy at the University of Utrecht, concluded his scathing review of Fomenko's work on the application of mathematics and astronomy to historical data as follows:

It is surprising, to say the least, that a well-known (Dutch) publisher could produce an expensive book of such doubtful intellectual value, of which the only good word that can be said is that it contains an enormous amount of factual historical material, untidily ordered, true; badly written, yes; mixed-up with conjectural nonsense, sure; but still, much useful stuff. For the rest of the book is absolutely worthless. It reminds one of the early Soviet attempts to produce tendentious science (Lysenko!), of polywater, of cold fusion, and of modern creationism. In brief: a useless and misleading book.

— H.G. van Bueren, "Mathematics and Logic"[8]

Convergence of methods in archaeological dating[edit]

While Fomenko rejects commonly accepted dating methods, archaeologists, conservators and other scientists make extensive use of such techniques which have been rigorously examined and refined during decades of use.[49]

In the specific case of dendrochronology, Fomenko claims that this fails as an absolute dating method because of gaps in the record. However, independent dendrochronological sequences beginning with living trees from various parts of North America[50][51] and Europe[52][53] extend back 12,400 years into the past. Furthermore, the mutual consistency of these independent dendrochronological sequences has been confirmed by comparing their radiocarbon and dendrochronological ages.[54] These and other data have provided a calibration curve for radiocarbon dating whose internal error does not exceed ±163 years over the entire 26,000 years of the curve.[55]

In fact, archaeologists have developed a fully anchored dendrochronology series going back past 10,000 BCE.[56] "The absolutely dated tree-ring chronology now extends back to 12,410 cal BP (10,461 BC)."[57]

Misuse of historical sources and forced pattern matching[edit]

Critics of Fomenko's theory claim that his use of historical sources is highly selective and ignores the basic principles of sound historical scholarship.

Fomenko ... provides no fair-minded review of the historical literature about a topic with which he deals, quotes only those sources that serve his purposes, uses evidence in ways that seem strange to professionally-trained historians and asserts the wildest speculation as if it has the same status as the information common to the conventional historical literature.[58]

They also note that his method of statistically correlating of texts is very rough, because it does not take into account the many possible sources of variation in length outside of "importance". They maintain that differences in language, style, and scope, as well as the frequently differing views and focuses of historians, which are manifested in a different notion of "important events", make quantifying historical writings a dubious proposition at best. What's more, Fomenko's critics allege that the parallelisms he reports are often derived by alleged forcing by Fomenko of the data – rearranging, merging, and removing monarchs as needed to fit the pattern.

For example, on the one hand Fomenko asserts that the vast majority of ancient sources are either irreparably distorted duplicate accounts of the same events or later forgeries. In his identification of Jesus with Pope Gregory VII[59] he ignores the otherwise vast dissimilarities between their reported lives and focuses on the similarity of their appointment to religious office by baptism. (The evangelical Jesus is traditionally believed to have lived for 33 years, and he was an adult at the time of his encounter with John the Baptist. In contrast, according to the available primary sources, Pope Gregory VII lived for at least 60 years and was born 8 years after the death of Fomenko's John-the-Baptist equivalent John Crescentius.[60])

Critics allege that many of the supposed correlations of regnal durations are the product of the selective parsing and blending of the dates, events, and individuals mentioned in the original text.[61] Another point raised by critics is that Fomenko does not explain his altering the data (changing the order of rulers, dropping rulers, combining rulers, treating interregna as rulers, switching between theologians and emperors, etc.) preventing a duplication of the effort and effectively making this whole theory an ad hoc hypothesis.[5]

Selectivity in reference to astronomical phenomena[edit]

Critics point out that Fomenko's discussion of astronomical phenomena tends to be selective, choosing isolated examples that support the New Chronology and ignoring the large bodies of data that provide statistically supported evidence for the conventional dating. For his dating of the Almagest star catalog, Fomenko arbitrarily selected eight stars from the more than 1000 stars in the catalog, one of which (Arcturus) has a large systematic error. This star has a dominant effect on Fomenko's dating.[62] Statistical analysis using the same method for all "fast" stars points to the antiquity of the Almagest star catalog.[63][64] Rawlins points out further that Fomenko's statistical analysis got the wrong date for the Almagest because he took as constant Earth's obliquity when it is a variable that changes at a very slow, but known, rate.[65]

Fomenko's studies ignore the abundance of dated astronomical records in cuneiform texts from Mesopotamia. Among these texts is a series of Babylonian astronomical diaries, which records precise astronomical observations of the Moon and planets, often dated in terms of the reigns of known historical figures extending back to the 6th century BCE. Astronomical retrocalculations for all these moving objects allow us to date these observations, and consequently the rulers' reigns, to within a single day.[66] The observations are sufficiently redundant that only a small portion of them are sufficient to date a text to a unique year in the period 750 BCE to 100 CE. The dates obtained agree with the accepted chronology.[67] In addition, F. R. Stephenson has demonstrated through a systematic study of a large number of Babylonian, Ancient and Medieval European, and Chinese records of eclipse observations that they can be dated consistently with conventional chronology at least as far back as 600 BCE.[68] In contrast to Fomenko's missing centuries, Stephenson's studies of eclipse observations find an accumulated uncertainty in the timing of the rotation of the earth of 420 seconds at 400 BCE, and only 80 seconds at 1000 CE.[69]

Magnitude and consistency of conspiracy theory[edit]

Fomenko claims that world history prior to 1600 was deliberately falsified for political reasons. The consequences of this conspiracy theory are twofold. Documents that conflict with New Chronology are said to have been edited or fabricated by conspirators (mostly Western European historians and humanists of late 16th to 17th centuries). The lack of documents directly supporting New Chronology and conflicting traditional history is said to be thanks to the majority of such documents being destroyed by the same conspirators.

Consequently, there are many thousands of documents that are considered authentic in traditional history, but not in New Chronology. Fomenko often uses "falsified" documents, which he dismisses in other contexts, to prove a point. For example, he analyzes the Tartar Relation and arrives at the conclusion that Mongolian capital of Karakorum was located in Central Russia (equated with present-day Yaroslavl.) However, the Tartar Relation makes several statements that are at odds with New Chronology (such as that Batu Khan and Russian duke Yaroslav are two distinct people). Those are said by Fomenko to have been introduced into the original text by later editors.

Many of the rulers that Fomenko claims are medieval doppelgangers moved in the imaginary past have left behind vast numbers of coins. Numismatists have made innumerable identifications of coins to rulers known from ancient sources. For instance, several Roman emperors issued coinage featuring at least three of their names, consistent with those found in written sources, and there are frequent examples of joint coinage between known royal family members, as well as overstrikes by kings who were known enemies.

Ancient coins in Greek and Latin are unearthed to this day in vast quantities from Britain to India. For Fomenko's theories to be correct, this could only be explained by counterfeit on a very grand and consistent scale, as well as a complete dismissal of all numismatic analyses of hoard findings, coin styles etc.

Popularity in forums and amongst Russian imperialists[edit]

Fomenko has published and sold over one million copies of his books in his native Russia. Many Internet forums have appeared which aim to supplement his work with additional amateur research.[70] His critics have suggested that Fomenko's version of history appealed to the Russian reading public by keeping alive an imperial consciousness to replace their disillusionment with the failures of Communism and post-Communist corporate oligarchies.[41]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Billington, James H. (2004). Russia in Search of Itself. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 83. The radical revisionism of Nosovsky and Fomenko's New Chronology of Rus has its origins in the attempt by Nicholai Morozov to synthesize science and history during twenty-five years in prison 
  2. ^ Colavito 2004 "Today an intellectual successor to Hardouin claims that it is not classical antiquity that was forged, but instead the history of the Middle Ages. Russian mathematician Anatoly Fomenko has devised a system he calls the 'New Chronology'..."
  3. ^ Проблемы борьбы с лженаукой (обсуждение в Президиуме РАН)Вестник Российской академии наук (ru) 1999, том 69, № 10, с. 879—904
  4. ^ Чем угрожает обществу лженаука? (заседание Президиума РАН) 2003.
  5. ^ a b c Morten Monrad Pedersen, Was the First Queen of Denmark a Man?, Skeptic Report, November 2002. Retrieved 9 October 2007.
  6. ^ a b James H. Billington, Russia in Search of Itself, (Washington: Woodrow Wilson Center Press / Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press), 2004, pp. 82-4.
  7. ^ a b "les conceptions fantasmagoriques de Fomenko sur la « nouvelle chronologie » mondiale." Marlène Laruelle, Review of James H. Billington, Russia in search of itself, Washington, D.C., Woodrow Wilson Center Press / Baltimore — London, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004; Cahiers du Monde Russe, 45/3-4, pp. 736-7.
  8. ^ a b H. G. van Bueren, "Mathematics and Logic", Review of A. T. Fomenko, Empirico-Statistical Analysis of Narrative Materials and its Applications to Historical Dating, 2 vols, (Dordrecht: Kluwer) 1994, in Annals of Science, 53 (1996): 206-207.
  9. ^ Diacu, Florin (2011). "Chapter 2. A New Science". The Lost Millennium: History's Timetables Under Siege (Second ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. 
  10. ^ Diacu, Florin (2011). "Chapter 3. Swan Song". The Lost Millennium: History's Timetables Under Siege (Second ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. 
  11. ^ Newton, Isaac. "Chap. I. Of the Chronology of the First Ages of the Greeks.". THE CHRONOLOGY OF ANCIENT KINGDOMS AMENDED. To which is Prefix'd, A SHORT CHRONICLE from the First Memory of Things in Europe, to the Conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great. (download). Retrieved 2006-10-26. 
  12. ^ Johnson, Edwin. "Preface". Antiqua Mater (PDF). 
  13. ^ Rank, Otto. Der Mythos von der Geburt des Helden (in German). 
  14. ^ Beam, Alex (1991-09-16). "A shorter history of civilization". Boston Globe. 
  15. ^ Nosovsky G. V., Fomenko A. T., "Empire. Russia, Turkey, China, Europe, Egypt. New mathematical chronology of ancient times / Носовский Г. В., Фоменко А. Т. Империя. Русь, Турция, Китай, Европа, Египет. Новая математическая хронология древности." (in Russian), 1996, with at least 6 later editions — М.: Факториал, 1996.
  16. ^ Sheiko (2004) pp. 5, 8, 56.
  17. ^ Фоменко А.Т.; Носовский Г.В. (2004). Царь Славян (in Russian). СПб.: Нева. 
  18. ^ А.Т.Фоменко; Г.В.Носовский. Датировка Рождества Христова серединой XII века (download) (in Russian). Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  19. ^ Фоменко А.Т.; Носовский Г.В. (2007). Забытый Иерусалим: Стамбул в свете новой хронологии: С приложением описания двора султанов из "Скифской истории" А.И. Лызлова (in Russian). М.: Астрель, АСТ. 
  20. ^ Dmitrii Sidorov, "Post-Imperial Third Romes: Resurrections of a Russian Orthodox Geopolitical Metaphor", Geopolitics, 11 (2006):317–347, at pp. 336-7 .
  21. ^ Fomenko, Anatoly. The Issue with Chronology. 
  22. ^ a b Fomenko, Anatoly. Astronomy Vs History. 
  23. ^ Fomenko, Anatoly. The Apocalypse as seen by Astronomy. 
  24. ^ Fomenko, Anatoly. The Issue with Chinese Astronomy. 
  25. ^ Fomenko, A. T. "1. The local maxima method". History: Fiction or Science? Chronology 1. pp. 187–194. Retrieved 2011-05-08. 
  26. ^ a b Fomenko, A.T. "1.4. Experimental test of the maxima correlation principle". History: Fiction or Science? Chronology 1. pp. 194–196. Retrieved 2011-05-08. 
  27. ^ Fomenko, A.T. "2. Загадочные хроники-дубликаты внутри "учебника скалигера-петавиуса".". Новые эмпирико-статистические методики датирования древних событий и приложения к глобальной хронологии древнего и средневекового мира (краткая справка) (.txt) (in Russian). Retrieved 2006-09-12. 
  28. ^ Fomenko, A.T. "4. The method used for the recognition and dating of royal dynasties". History: Fiction or Science? Chronology 1. pp. 215–223. Retrieved 2011-05-08. 
  29. ^ a b R.R. Newton, "Astronomical Evidence Concerning Non-Gravitational Forces in the Earth–Moon System". Astrophysics and Space Science vol. 16 (1972), pp. 179–200.
  30. ^ Anatoly T. Fomenko, History: Fiction or Science vol.I, Chronology, 2nd. ed. (Paris, London, New York: Delamere Publishing, 2006), pp.93-94, 105-6. Newton's analysis has since been criticized as suffering "from two fundamental defects. The two parameters he sought to determine were highly correlated; and he also adopted a somewhat arbitrary weighting scheme in analysing suspected observations of total solar eclipses. Many of the observations he investigated were of doubtful reliability. Hence, despite the low weight he assigned them, they had a disproportionate effect on his solutions." F. Richard Stephenson, "Historical Eclipses and Earth's Rotation", Astronomy & Geophysics, 44 (2003): 2.23-2.24.
  31. ^ Fomenko, A.T. "15.1. Непрерывная шкала дендрохронологического датирования протянута в прошлое не далее десятого века новой эры". Новые эмпирико-статистические методики датирования древних событий и приложения к глобальной хронологии древнего и средневекового мира (краткая справка) (.txt) (in Russian). Retrieved 2006-09-09. 
  32. ^ Fomenko, A.T. "16. надежны ли радиоуглеродные датировки?". Новые эмпирико-статистические методики датирования древних событий и приложения к глобальной хронологии древнего и средневекового мира (краткая справка) (.txt) (in Russian). Retrieved 2006-09-09. 
  33. ^ Fomenko, A.T. "18. Numismatic dating". History: Fiction or Science? Chronology 1. pp. 90–92. Retrieved 2011-05-08. 
  34. ^ Vitaly L. Ginzburg, Pseudoscience and the Need to Combat It. Ginzburg is a Nobel laureate and a member of the Commission to Combat Pseudoscience and the Falsification of Scientific Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
  35. ^ Mathematics of the Past
  36. ^ Некоторые выступления Г. Каспарова по проблеме «Новой Хронологии»
  37. ^ Winter, Edward "Garry Kasparov and New Chronology" Chess Notes
  38. ^ Billington, James H. (2004). Russia in Search of Itself. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 83. 
  39. ^ "Answers of Kasparov" (in Russian). ( September 6, 2006. Retrieved 2009-12-05.
  40. ^ Sheiko (2004) p. 6.
  41. ^ a b Sheiko (2004) p. 13.
  42. ^ Dmitrii Sidorov, "Post-Imperial Third Romes: Resurrections of a Russian Orthodox Geopolitical Metaphor", Geopolitics, 11 (2006):317–347, at pp. 336-7.
  43. ^ V.L. Yanin, ed., Мифы "новой хронологии": Материалы конф. на ист. фак. МГУ им. М. В. Ломоносова, 21 дек. 1999 (Myths of the new chronology: Conference of the History Faculty of the MSU...: 21 Dec. 1999), Moscow: Russkaia Panorama, 2001. ISBN 9785931650463
  44. ^ Introduction to article on Fomenko in the Herald of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  45. ^ О "глобальной хронологии" А.Т.Фоменко (On the "Global Chronology" A.T. Fomenko).
  46. ^ V. L. Yanin, "Зияющие высоты" академика Фоменко (The "Gaping Heights" of Academician Fomenko); passage translated in James H. Billington, Russia in Search of Itself, (Washington: Woodrow Wilson Center Press / Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press), 2004, pp. 83-4.
  47. ^ Малянов, Дмитрий (2 December 2011). «Фоменко — жертва фанатизма» (in Russian). Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  48. ^ Zaliznyak, Andrey. Лингвистика по А. Т. Фоменко (in Russian). Moscow State University. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  49. ^ See the international journal Radiocarbon for examples.
  50. ^ C. W. Ferguson and D. A. Graybill, "Dendrochronology of Bristlecone Pine: A Progress Report", Radiocarbon, 25 (1983): 287-288
  51. ^ Minze Stuiver, "A High-Precision Calibration of the AD Radiocarbon Time Scale", Radiocarbon, 24 (1982): 1-26.
  52. ^ M. Friedrich, et al. "The 12,460-year Hohenheim oak and pine tree-ring chronology from central Europe - A unique annual record for radiocarbon calibration and paleoenvironment reconstructions", Radiocarbon, 46 (2004): 1111-1122
  53. ^ J. R. Pilcher, et al., "A 7,272-year tree-ring chronology for western Europe", Nature, 312(1984):150-152.
  54. ^ Minze Stuiver, et al., "Radiocarbon Age Calibration back to 13,300 Years BP and the 14C Age Matching of the German Oak and US Bristlecone Pine Chronologies", Radiocarbon, 28 (1986): 969-979.
  55. ^ Paula J. Reimer, et al., "INTCAL04 Terrestrial Radiocarbon Age Calibration, 0–26 Cal Kyr BP", Radiocarbon 46 (2004): 1029-1058; data online at .
  56. ^ Friedrich M, Remmele S, Kromer B, Hofmann J, Spurk M, Kaiser KF, Orcel C, Küppers M (2004). "The 12,460-year Hohenheim oak and pine tree-ring chronology from central Europe - A unique annual record for radiocarbon calibration and paleoenvironment reconstructions". Radiocarbon '46: 1111–1122.
  57. ^ Friedrich, M., Remmele, S., Kromer, B., Hofmann, J., Spurk, M., Kaiser, K. F., Orcel, C., Küppers, M. "The 12,460-year Hohenheim Oak and pine tree-ring chronology from central Europe: A unique annual record for radiocarbon calibration and paleoenvironment reconstructions" Radiocarbon 2004, vol. 46, no3, pp. 1111-1122 [1]
  58. ^ Sheiko (2004) p. 21.
  59. ^ Book 2, Chapter 2, pg 51
  61. ^ Colavito 2004.
  62. ^ Yu. N. Efremov, Астрономия и синдром “новой хронологии” (Astronomy and the Syndrome of "New Chronology").
  63. ^ A. K. Dambis and Yu. N. Efremov, "Dating Ptolemy's Star Catalogue through Proper Motions: The Hipparchan Epoch", Journal for the History of Astronomy, 31 (2000): 115-134; see especially note 17 (p. 134).
  64. ^ Michael L. Gorodetsky, Звездные войны с историей (верификация датировки Альмагеста) (Starry wars with history (Verification of the dating of the Almagest)).
  65. ^ Dennis Rawlins, "Recovering Hipparchos’ Last Lost Lustrous Star", DIO 4.3 (1994): 119. Like Dambis and Efremov, Rawlins provides evidence that the Almagest star catalog was based on observations made in the 2nd century BCE by Hipparchus.
  66. ^ Asger Aaboe, Episodes from the Early History of Astronomy, (New York: Springer, 2001) pp. 39-40 ISBN 0-387-95136-9.
  67. ^ F. R. Stephenson and J. M. Steele, "Astronomical Dating of Babylonian Texts Describing the Total Solar Eclipse of S.E. 175", Journal for the History of Astronomy, 37 (2006): 55-69. This study showed that either the description of the phenomena observed at the solar eclipse or of a set of conjunctions of the slow planets Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars were sufficient to equate S.E. 175 with 137/6 BCE. Additional details in these texts provided further confirmation of this dating.
  68. ^ F. Richard Stephenson, "Historical Eclipses and Earth's Rotation", Astronomy & Geophysics, 44 (2003): 2.22-2.27.
  69. ^ Fred Espenak, Eclipse Predictions and Earth's Rotation
  70. ^ Melleuish et al. 2009.


  • A.T. Fomenko et al.: History: Fiction or Science? Chronology 1, Introducing the problem. A criticism of the Scaligerian chronology. Dating methods as offered by mathematical statistics. Eclipses and zodiacs. ISBN 2-913621-07-4
  • A.T. Fomenko et al.: History: Fiction or Science? Chronology 2, The dynastic parallelism method. Rome. Troy. * Greece. The Bible. Chronological shifts. ISBN 2-913621-06-6
  • A.T. Fomenko et al.: History: Fiction or Science? Chronology 3, Astronomical methods as applied to chronology. Ptolemy’s Almagest. Tycho Brahe. Copernicus. The Egyptian zodiacs. ISBN 2-913621-08-2
  • A.T. Fomenko et al.: History: Fiction or Science? Chronology 4, Russia. Britain. Byzantium. Rome. ISBN 2-913621-10-4
  • Empirico-Statistical Analysis of Narrative Material and its Applications to Historical Dating.

Vol.1: The Development of the Statistical Tools. Vol.2: The Analysis of Ancient and Medieval Records. – Kluwer Academic Publishers. The Netherlands, 1994.

External links[edit]