This Year is Phantom Time, 1714

Charlmagne invented

Was Charlemagne invented? Paukrus@flickr

Could it be possible that the period of 614 to 911 AD never actually existed and that anyone who is said to have lived during that time never did? Did I waste all those hours failing school just to learn about made up characters in an invented age?

There is one theory that says this period never happened and that the year 2011 is in fact 1714. It is called the Phantom Time Hypothesis and was devised by Herbert Illig in the early 1990s.

The theory is based around the lack of archaeological evidence from the early middle ages and the fact that history books are based on unreliable sources for that period. If this theory is proven true, it would mean that Charlemagne and Alfred the Great never existed, and what seems like ancient history was actually three centuries sooner than what we had thought. Those 297 years of history may all have been a hoax.

One of the facts Illig uses to back up his claim is that the change from the Julian

History missing

Which centuries of history are missing? Cross Duck@flickr

Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar in the year 1582 produced only a 10 day discrepancy, rather than the expected 13 day discrepancy. He explains these missing three days as being due to the missing three centuries.

Alternative versions of this theory suggest that the alignment of the calendar was only meant to take into account the Julian calendar, started from year 325, not from year 1, or accounted for the fact that the Julian year was originally just over a minute too long.

One of the big problems with this theory is that it is based largely on a lack of historical evidence in Europe and a relative scarcity of well-known people in that continent during the phantom period. However, if we step outside of Europe, some of the missing years were vital in the expansion of Islam and the Chinese Tang Dynasty. Chinese astronomical observations also seem to verify that the years in question did actually happen; as Halley’s Comet, for example, appeared during that time and was recorded by the Chinese.

The Middle Ages took place in China. Maybe they just didn’t take place in Europe.