Robert K. G. Temple
Robert Kyle Grenville Temple (born 1945) is an author best known for his pseudoarchaeology book The Sirius Mystery (first published in 1976 though he began writing it in 1967, with a second edition in 1998 with 50% additional material). The book proposes that the Dogon people of Mali in West Africa preserve advanced astrophysical information which predates modern times, and that the Dogon tradition describes contact with intelligent extraterrestrial beings from the Sirius star system.
Some other books by Temple are: The Crystal Sun (2000), Netherworld", known in the USA as "Oracles of the Dead (2005), The Genius of China (2007), The Sphinx Mystery (2009, written jointly with his wife Olivia), and Egyptian Dawn (2010). He and his wife jointly translated "Aesop: The Complete Fables" for Penguin Classics. In 1991 he published his free verse translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh under the title "He Who Saw Everything"; this was produced at the National Theatre in London in 1993 to critical acclaim, having been rehearsed in the National Theatre for six months with 36 actors and cut down by Temple from an initial length of eight and a half hours to two hours and a quarter prior to public performance. He was for six years a reporter for [Time Life], was a frequent book reviewer for "Nature", contributed to journals such as the New Scientist and wrote for most of the London newspapers, in particular the "Sunday Times". For a year and a half in the late 1970s Temple co-edited the American monthly magazine "Second Look".
Temple entered the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1961 at the age of 16. He received a B.A. in Oriental Studies and Sanskrit from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965. Subsequently, he wrote a Ph.D. thesis for an English university entitled "The English Regicides" (of the 17th century), which caused a notorious controversy which lasted for years, a dispute in which he received the strong support of Lord Scarman, one of the Law Lords (the previous name for what is now known in Britain as the Supreme Court). Temple had worked in 52 different archives and discovered more than 2000 key documents which had not previously been known by historians, which drastically changed what was known about the period 1640-1660 and would have required the rewriting of many books by numerous scholars. A perfect storm of vitriol and hysteria resulted, and after years of disputes, insults and threats, Temple refused a degree and reclaimed full ownership and copyright of his material, which was 650,000 words long, and insisted that the university's own copy (which they refused to return to him) be kept in a sealed compartment and that access to it never be granted without his written permission. He later wrote several entries for the Dictionary of National Biography and other publications about the 17th century, and published one of his many manuscript discoveries, "The Original Officer List of the New Model Army" in fully annotated form. He is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and has served as an occasional arts reviewer and broadcaster with the BBC. He has also been active in numerous business activities, especially in China, where he lived for a total of three years on and off. He has occasionally been active as a producer, writer, and presenter for television. Temple's translation of Rainer Maria Rilke's "Sonnets to Orpheus" has its own dedicated website, www.sonnetstoorpehus.com. He and his wife have worked together with archaeologists in Egypt, in a small team doing archaeometry of major monuments. The team redated the Tomb of Khasekhemui, the last king of the Second Dynasty, to a date 276 years earlier than had been thought. Temple has also discovered the original site of Delphi on Mount Parnassos in Greece, and funded trial excavations of it by the Greeks which confirmed the site, which is many centuries older than the classic site Pytho (where tourists go today) which was founded circa 800 BC. Temple was appointed Adjunct Professor of Humanities, History and Philosophy of Science by the University of Louisville in the US and subsequently at the personal direction of the Chinese Minister of Education was appointed Visiting Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science at Tsinghua University in Beijing; he declined to be paid for either position because he does not believe that part-time academics should be paid. Temple lives in England with his wife, Olivia.