The Middle Ages Never Happened?

At least according to “historian” Heribert Illig. According to him, when making the switch to the Gregorian calendar, the years 614 AD to 911 AD were skipped, and as such just didn’t happen. He argues that the lack of much historical evidence from that time period proves his “theory.” However, he missed one tiny, itty-bitty detail…THE HISTORY OF THE REST OF THE WORLD DURING THAT TIME.

Don’t forget, Charlemagne was born, created his empire, died, and had his empire largely die because of stupid inheritance laws. The entire Carolingian Empire (aka why Europe is the way it is today and why Germany and France exist as countries) is because of the Carolingian Empire, the entirety of which had its duration during this period.

Charlemagne is one of the single most important historical figures in all of Europe, and debatably the world. He was born after the start of the middle ages and the middle ages can largely be summed up as “things directly or indirectly the fault of Charlie the Magnificent”. Hell, the Holy Roman Empire, Prussia, and Germany only exist because of Charlie, and basically any conflict between France and Germany in the past 1200 years is because of Charlie (and dumb inheritance laws). The idea of saying the period Charlie existed in never happened is mind-bogglingly stupid. You’d have a vastly easier time arguing about, say, the dark ages, which at least lacks a wealth of historical data (in Europe. China and other parts of the world happily chronologued all that).

Oh yeah, you wanna know why I put “historian” in quotation marks? Because Illig never actually acquired any credentials that let him claim to be a historian. The only thing he ever studied was Germanistics, which is the study of the German language and German literature. He’s about as qualified to be a historian as PETA is to run an animal shelter.

I can’t even make sense of the supposed claim. He’s saying that calendar authorities mistakenly included in a nearly 300-year timespan that didn’t actually occur, so we are currently only about 1700 years beyond the start of the Common Era, rather than about 2000 years? And this is confirmed by the comparative lack of evidence from that period?

Yeah, that’s nonsense.

Julian calendar Thursday 4 October 1582 was followed by Gregorian calendar Friday 15 October 1582, skipping 10 dates, not some 300 years.

He’s just another kooky crank. "He was active in an association dedicated to Immanuel Velikovsky, catastrophism and historical revisionism… tells you all you need to know about him.

Setting aside the fact that stuff happened, do we have accurate enough early astronomical observations to disprove a “calendar error” of 300 years? Eclipses?

His “theory” also conveniently elides over the rise of Islam. Apparently, this massive new religion controlling a swath of territory from India to Spain materialized suddenly out of nowhere.

When your entire goal is to collect aa following of CT enthusiasts to sell clicks and merch to then your “theory” doesn’t have to make the slightest real-world sense.

cf. Alex Jones.

Tons and tons of eclipses.

Basically the entire history of astronomy would have to be thrown out.

More deliciously, all the cranks who like to determine the “star in the sky” at the birth of Jesus rely on astronomical events that can be determined to have happened approximately around 1 A.D. So all their crankdom would be ruined if 300 years of history were missing.

It’s not just the Middle Ages that didn’t happen. The last 11 years didn’t happen, as Cecil addressed this exact topic in 2011.

The column led to this follow-on thread where the Teeming Millions came up with their own evidence that there was, in fact, something going on during the 300 years in question.

About that Cecil-column, he does make a minor error:

The ten-day Gregorian shift was removing excessive leap days, those in century years that are not divisible by 400. So that means Ol’ Greg removed leap days of the years 1500, 1400, 1300, 1100, 1000, 900, 700, 600, 500, and 300 AD. That brings the calendar to agreement with the 200s, not to 325. An off-by-one error? I’ve also heard that the reason was that the astronomers who came up with it used a slightly too long length of the day in their calculations. Well, whatever. I don’t think it’d be a good idea to make another one-day shift just to get the calculation of Easter right.

Okay, that accounts for ten missing days of history, but what about the other 296 years and 355 days in the OP?

I’d go for a one year shift some time between now and the year 3000 if it will stop people whining that the first day of the new millennium is really Jan 1st 3001.

It is, though.

Just get the Pope* to declare there was a virtual year 0 AD in between 1 BC and 1 AD. Nothing actually happened during that year, so it won’t mess up anyone’s history.

*For whatever reason, it’s religious leaders job to make calendar adjustments. Even Julius Caesar got himself named Pontifex Maximus (head priest) just so he could fix the messed up Roman calendar.

Nonsense. The notion that there was “no year zero” would only make sense if our date system were a system that was designed to measure time from some significant point in the past. But it’s not, it’s a system to label years and to measure the relative passage of time between labeled years, not from some significant origin. The numerical anchor point is arbitrary and has no significance. There was no more a year “1” as a real historical thing than there was a year “0”, because the labeling system didn’t exist then. If you insist on 1,000 labeled years in the first millennium of our labeling system, then feel free to use CE 0 as an alternative label for BCE 1.

But it makes perfect sense to celebrate the “new millennium” when the big number on our year-labeling system rolls over, because that’s what’s cool.

Well, the French tried to do it without religion and they made a complete mess of it.

I’ll be happy to argue with you about it in 2999.

By 2999 my rightness and your wrongness will have merged into the unified uploaded consciousness. When the consciousness parties like it’s 1999 on December 31st 2999, you will be resentfully participating.

Math does not care about public opinion. Public opinion does not care about math.

And you can have it both ways. The Vatican proclaimed a Jubilee in 1900. And held a second celebration in 1901.

I take it you don’t think “the year of our Lord [Jesus Christ]” counts as a significant point in the past? I’m not Christian, and believe they got his birthday wrong, but i still think the calendar is an attempt to measure time from some significant point in the past.

:person_shrugging: