Roman Chronology: Crime Scene Reconstruction

In theory: a crime scene reconstruction provides some useful insights.

In practice: a crime scene reconstruction can also provide some real surprises.

Crime reconstruction or crime scene reconstruction is the forensic science discipline in which one gains “explicit knowledge of the series of events that surround the commission of a crime using deductive and inductive reasoning, physical evidence, scientific methods, and their interrelationships.”

The Crime Scene
The mainstream chronology of the Roman Empire between 27 BC and 395 AD contains numerous anomalies and data errors.

It appears the established mainstream Roman Chronology has mistakenly been extended by 60 years between 200 and 260 AD.

The life expectancy data suggests the compilers of the mainstream Roman Chronology merged two completely different sets of data during the 3rd and 4th centuries.

The reappearance of the ROMA mint mark in the 4th century suggests there are errors in the official Roman Chronology between 361 and 378 AD.

Chronology errors in the mainstream Roman Chronology would explain why the “most radical” of the 300 year “repeaters” is also associated with restoring old coinage standards.

More details:

Data source:

Crime Scene Anomaly
A peculiarity of the Roman Empire chronology is the absence of a term limit for the supreme office of Emperor even though the preceding Roman Republic is known to have imposed term limits e.g. 6 months for a dictator.

A term limit is a legal restriction that limits the number of terms an officeholder may serve in a particular elected office.

Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, two early classic republics, had term limits imposed on their elected offices as did the city-state of Venice.

In the Roman Republic, a law was passed imposing a limit of a single term on the office of censor.

The annual magistrates – tribune of the plebs, aedile, quaestor, praetor, and consul – were forbidden reelection until a number of years had passed.

Also there was a term limit of 6 months for a dictator.

Furthermore, it seems very likely medieval Kings, Queens and Popes would have be eager to erase from the records any [seditious] mention of a term limit for the supreme leader.

Therefore, the reconstruction will apply a term limit of 8 years i.e. 2 terms of 4 years.

Crime Scene Reconstruction
To ensure continuity with the surrounding historical narratives the reconstruction retains the emperors Augustus and Theodosius I as historical bookends.

Overall, the reconstruction divides the chronology into three streams:

Secondary Source List
Emperors who reigned for less than 8 years between 190 AD and 395 AD are deemed to have been erroneously included in the mainstream chronology and are assigned to the Secondary Source List.

300 Year Repeaters
The “repeaters” begin with Diocletian and include all succeeding Emperors who reigned for over 8 years before the terminating historical bookend Theodosius I .

Primary Source List
By default the remaining Emperors are included in the Primary Source List.

Note: The Secondary Source List is now eliminated from the reconstruction.

The 300 Year Repeaters are now relocated so they follow Augustus in the Primary Source List and the chronology dates are recalculated after applying the term limit.

Reconstruction Results
Overall, the reconstruction provides some surprising insights:

Sand Layer
The reconstruction implies there is an untold narrative of disruption and currency debasement associated with the deposition of the Sand Layer around 50 AD.

Heinsohn Horizon
The reconstruction suggests the Heinsohn Horizon occurred sometime between 189 AD and 197 AD.




365 AD Alexandrian Tsunami
The reconstruction indicates the Alexandrian Tsunami of 365 occurred in 28 AD.

However, if the source text really referred to the year when Valentinian II was emperor for the first time then the Alexandrian Tsunami of 365 occurred in 52 AD and the event was possibility associated with the deposition of the Sand Layer.

While this usurper [Procopius] yet lived, whose various deeds and whose death I have described, on 21 July in the year in which Valentinian was consul for the first time with his brother… Ammianus Marcellinus 26.10.15-19

Ammianus and The Great Tsunami – Gavin Kelly [Peterhouse, Cambridge]
The Journal of Roman Studies – Vol. 94 – 2004


Hadrian 117 AD
The reign of Hadrian begins in 117 AD in both chronologies. This suggests the original compilers of the chronology considered Hadrian to be a pivotal point of reference.

The Purse of Childerich
The reconstruction begins to makes sense of Childerich’s purse and underlines the suspicion that the Late Antiquity coins are just more erroneously dated coins.



Hopefully, the reconstruction has provided the reader with some useful insights.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Heinsohn Horizon, History, Roman Chronology, Uniformitarianism. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Roman Chronology: Crime Scene Reconstruction

  1. Thx1138 says:

    Clear as mud.

  2. Pingback: Gunnar Heinsohn: Comments on 300 Year Repeaters | MalagaBay

  3. Karl-Heinz Lewin says:

    Very nice examination. Do you have any ancient sources which indicate a term limit for imperators, caesars or augusti? Wasn’t Julius Caesar murdered because he had been granted dictatorship for lifetime by the Roman Senate without the possibility for revokation?
    And what about stratigraphy? I feel confirmed in my view by your treating the sequence of Roman emperors from Diocletian to Valentinian II as one continuous block A, and the sequence of Roman emperors from Tiberius to Severus Alexander as another continouous block B. So please show me a stratigraphy where stratums of block A lie beneath stratums of block B.

    • malagabay says:

      “So please show me a stratigraphy where stratums of block A lie beneath stratums of block B.”

      If I find one I’ll let you know.
      But I wouldn’t hold your breath.
      The Roman stratigraphies I’ve encountered [so far] aren’t exactly anything to write home about.

    • Gunnar Heinsohn says:

      Dear Mr. Lewin!
      Where are your strata from Diocletian to Valentinian II in Jerusalem superimposed on the 1st-3rd century?
      I have chosen a simple question because Diocletian spent quite some time in Israel.
      Gunnar Heinsohn.

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