Roman Chronology: Credibility Gap

The chronology of the Roman Empire is built directly upon the very shaky foundations of the Crisis of the Roman Republic which may [or may not] have lasted from 134 to 27 BC.

Unfortunately, the academics can’t agree upon whether the Crisis of the Roman Republic had an early start in 134 BC or a late start in 69 BC and whether it had an early finish in 44 BC or a late finish in 27 BC.

The Crisis of the Roman Republic refers to an extended period of political instability and social unrest that culminated in the demise of the Roman Republic and the advent of the Roman Empire, from about 134 BC to 44 BC.

The exact dates of the Crisis are unclear because “Rome teetered between normality and crisis” for many decades.

Likewise, the causes and attributes of the crises changed throughout the decades, including the forms of slavery, brigandage, wars internal and external, land reform, the invention of excruciating new punishments, the expansion of Roman citizenship, and even the changing composition of the Roman army.

Modern scholars also disagree about the nature of the crisis.

For centuries, historians have argued about the start, specific crises involved, and end date for the Crisis of the Roman Republic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisis_of_the_Roman_Republic

The Crisis of the Roman Republic – an extended period of political historical unrest, from about 133 BC to 30 BC.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Civil_War

In it’s turn, the chronology of the Crisis of the Roman Republic is based upon the “fragmentary” and “somewhat erroneous” Chronology of Rome where AD 1 = 754 AUC.

The ancient Romans were certain of the day Rome was founded: April 21, the day of the festival sacred to Pales… However they did not know, or they were uncertain of, the exact year the city had been founded…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_of_Rome

Ab urbe condita is a Latin phrase meaning “from the founding of the City (of Rome)”, traditionally dated to 753 BC. AUC is a year-numbering system used by some ancient Roman historians to identify particular Roman years.

It was later calculated (from the historical record of the succession of Roman consuls) that the year AD 1 corresponds to the Roman year 754 AUC, based on Varro’s epoch.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ab_Urbe_Condita

Marcus Terentius Varro (116 BC – 27 BC) was an ancient Roman scholar and writer.

The compilation of the Varronian chronology was an attempt to determine an exact year-by-year timeline of Roman history up to his time… It has been demonstrated to be somewhat erroneous but has become the widely accepted standard chronology, in large part because it was inscribed on the arch of Augustus in Rome; though that arch no longer stands, a large portion of the chronology has survived under the name of Fasti Capitolini.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Terentius_Varro

The Fasti Capitolini, or Capitoline Fasti, are a list of the chief magistrates of the Roman Republic, extending from the early fifth century BC down to the reign of Augustus, the first Roman emperor.

The Capitoline Fasti were originally engraved on marble tablets erected in the Roman forum. The main portions were discovered in a fragmentary condition, and removed from the forum in 1546, as ancient structures were dismantled to produce material for the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Thirty fragments of the Fasti Capitolini were recovered, along with twenty-six fragments of the Acta Triumphalia, or Fasti Triumphales, dating to the same period and recording the names of Roman generals who had been honoured with a triumph.

Two additional fragments were discovered during excavations in the forum in 1817 and 1818. Others were discovered in excavations from 1872 to 1878, with the last discovered in the Tiber in 1888.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasti_Capitolini

One peculiarity of the Crisis of the Roman Republic is the tumultuous narrative of the Roman Legions where 27 new legions are founded before “about half” of all the legions are suddenly disbanded in 31 BC.

This fine finesse helps mask the massive turmoil experienced by the Roman Legions between 59 and 31 BC when 27 Roman Legions were founded and “about half of the over 50 legions” were disbanded in 31 BC.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2018/04/23/roman-chronology-legendary-legions/

However, peculiarities in the Chronology of Rome are not unusual.

For example:

The history of the Roman Empire begins with the outlier reign of Emperor Augustus who rules for 40 years from 27 BC.

Augustus… was a Roman statesman and military leader who served as the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, controlling Imperial Rome from 27 BC until his death in AD 14.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustus

The saga of the Roman Empire then proceeds with the most extraordinary sequence of Emperors that contains a multi-layered mix of man-made manipulation artefacts.

The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterized by government headed by emperors and large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Africa and Asia.

The imperial period of Rome lasted approximately 1,500 years compared to the 500 years of the Republican era.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Empire

The 100 Year Credibility Gap
A charitable interpretation of the data suggests the first 100 years of the Roman Empire narrative is creative fiction using characters and artefacts from the Roman Republic.

Apparently, the Roman Empire didn’t need to steadily increase the number of Roman Legions as the empire expanded towards it’s “greatest extent” in 117 AD.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2018/04/23/roman-chronology-legendary-legions/

Within the context of Leona Libby’s Old Japanese Cedar Tree Chronology the establishment of new [replacement] Legions around the Mediterranean basin immediately after the Arabian Horizon in 637 CE is understandable.

But the narrative of the Roman Empire creating new provinces up to [about] 100 AD appears to be creative fiction that providentially borrows storyline elements from the era before the Arabian Horizon.

Data sources:

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_emperors
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_legions
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_province
Libby: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/digitised-japanese-isotopic-tree-thermometer/

One of the more intriguing narratives concerns the twin cities of Mendes and Thmuis.

The first half of the narrative covers Mendes mysteriously disappearing in the first century AD. The second half of the narrative covers Thmuis supplanting Mendes as the regional capital.

The intrigue in this twin cities narrative is generated by the discovery of a “major destruction event” in the 1st century BC whilst excavating Thmuis.

This discovery raises the possibility that the transition from the Ptolemaic Period to the Roman Period in Egypt was facilitated by a “major destruction event”.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/enigmatic-egypt-roman-ruination-nile-delta/

This scenario implies the characters and artefacts associated with the Julio-Claudian Dynasty are providentially borrowed from before the Arabian Horizon.

Overall, with the 100 Year Credibility Gap removed, the Roman Empire is essentially limited to the Flavian and Nerva-Antonine dynasties.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/the-cock-up-of-the-3rd-century/

Arguably, the best support for the 100 Year Credibility Gap is the Pantheon in Rome where the classical architecture of a temple providentially borrowed from before the Arabian Horizon becomes the portico to the temple built by Hadrian in 126 AD.

The Pantheon is a former Roman temple, now a church, in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD).

The present building was completed by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheon,_Rome

The Pantheon of Agrippa well deserves the name of the Sphinx of the Campus Martius, because, in spite of its preservation, it remains inexplicable from many points of view.

This uncertainty relates to the general outline as well as to the details of the building.

The rotunda is obviously disjointed from the portico, and their architectural lines are not in harmony with each other.

On the other hand, it is evident that the Pantheon seen by Pliny the elder, in Vespasian’s time, was not the one which has come down to us, because there is no place in the present building for the Caryatides of Diogenes the Athenian, and for the capitals of Syracusan bronze which he saw and described as crowning the columns of the temple.

Therefore, when I was asked in 1881 to write an official account of the excavations undertaken by Guido Baccelli, the Minister of Public Instruction, who freed the Pantheon from its ignoble surroundings, I began the report by stating that the veil of mystery in which the monument was shrouded had by no means been lifted by these last researches, and that perhaps it never would be.

We were far from supposing that before a few years had elapsed we should discover another, nay, two more Pantheons under the existing one, and should be able to declare that Agrippa’s name engraved on the epistyle of the pronaos is historically and artistically misleading.

The Ruins and Excavations of Ancient Rome – Rodolfo Lanciani – 1897
https://archive.org/stream/cu31924028273997#page/n536/mode/1up

The Romans only developed fired clay bricks under the Empire, but had previously used “mud brick”, dried only by the sun and therefore much weaker and only suitable for smaller buildings.

Development began under Augustus, using techniques developed by the Greeks, who had been using fired bricks much longer, and the earliest dated building in Rome to make use of fired brick is the Theatre of Marcellus, completed in 13 BC.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_brick

The 200 Year Credibility Gap
A less charitable interpretation of the data suggests the entire Roman Empire narrative is creative fiction that incorporates convenient characters and available artefacts from Greek Republics scattered across Europe and around the Mediterranean Sea.

The 200 Year Credibility Gap suggests the concept of the Roman Empire was created in the 2nd millennium to validate and encapsulate the narrative of Jesus of Nazareth.

Herod Antipater, known by the nickname Antipas, was a 1st-century ruler of Galilee and Perea, who bore the title of tetrarch (“ruler of a quarter”) and is referred to as both “Herod the Tetrarch” and “King Herod” in the New Testament although he never held the title of king.

He is widely known today for accounts in the New Testament of his role in events that led to the executions of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth.

After being recognized by Augustus upon the death of his father, Herod the Great (c. 4 BC/AD 1), and subsequent ethnarch rule by his brother, Herod Archelaus, Antipas officially ruled Galilee and Perea as a client state of the Roman Empire.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_Antipas

Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire occurred intermittently over a period of over two centuries between the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD under Nero Caesar and the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, in which the Roman Emperors Constantine the Great and Licinius legalised the Christian religion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Christian_policies_in_the_Roman_Empire

Support for the 200 Year Credibility Gap is found in Alexandria [Egypt] where the Roman remains [including coins of Trajan and Hadrian] are buried deep beneath the debris layer associated with the Arabian Horizon of 637 CE.

A total of 116 bronze coins was found in a layer of ashes and debris associated with the functioning of the late Roman baths in area F of the Kom el-Dikka site.

This layer constituted fill covering kilns used to produce lime for the construction of the baths.

The kilns were located on top of residential ruins, the destruction of which has been dated to the end of the 3rd century AD.

Identifiable specimens comprised issues of emperors from the Second Tetrarchy period, the Constantine dynasty, Arcadius and the 6th and 7th century, corresponding well with the known dating of the bath complex.

Among the coins were 33 tetradrachms struck between the reign of Philip the Arab and Diocletian, in the latter case before the monetary reform of AD 297.

The chronological structure of this set is typical of hoards from the middle of the last decade of the 3rd century AD.

Bulk of the pottery uncovered in the same context as the tetradrachms dates back to 4th and even 5th century, which suggests that the hoard was displaced somehow from its original 3rd century location. it is likely that fill from the early Roman houses was used for filling up and levelling the construction site.

The hoarded coins may have been moved together with the earth and consequently became dispersed over a small area of a few area in their secondary deposition context.

Coin finds from the early Roman layers included a drachma of Septimius Severus from the fill of the ruins of an early Roman house and coins of Trajan and Hadrian from its occupational levels.

Numismatic finds from Kom el-Dikka (Alexandria), 2008
Adam Jegliński – PAM 20 (Research 2008), 70-79
Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology – University of Warsaw (PCMA UW)

http://www.pcma.uw.edu.pl/wp-content/uploads/pam/PAM_2008_XX/PAM_20_Jeglinski_70_79.pdf

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/enigmatic-egypt-roman-ruination-nile-delta/

Strangely enough, the 200 Year Credibility Gap resolves a few thorny issues.

Mystery: Why did the Roman Empire continue to use the SPQR emblem?
Answer: The Empire narrative providentially borrowed it from the Republic.

SPQR is an initialism of a phrase in Latin: Senātus Populusque Rōmānus, referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic, and used as an official emblem of the modern-day comune (municipality) of Rome.

It appears on Roman currency, at the end of documents made public by inscription in stone or metal, and in dedications of monuments and public works, and it was emblazoned on the vexilloids of the Roman legions.[citation needed]

This signature continued in use under the Roman Empire.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPQR

Mystery: Why did the Romans converse in Greek?
Answer 1: The Romans were Greeks.
Answer 2: Latin, like the Roman Empire, was only invented in the 2nd millennium.

The Church issued the dogmatic definitions of the first seven General Councils in Greek.

Even in Rome, Greek remained at first the language of the liturgy and the language in which the first popes wrote.

During the Late Republic and the Early Empire, educated Roman citizens were generally fluent in Greek, but state business was conducted in Latin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecclesiastical_Latin

Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages

There is no real consensus on the exact boundary where Late Latin ends and medieval Latin begins.

Some scholarly surveys begin with the rise of early Ecclesiastical Latin in the middle of the 4th century, others around 500, and still others with the replacement of written Late Latin by written Romance languages starting around the year 900.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Latin

Domesday Book is a manuscript record of the “Great Survey” of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror.

It was written in Medieval Latin, was highly abbreviated, and included some vernacular native terms without Latin equivalents.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesday_Book

Mystery: Why do Roman cultural artefacts look Greek?
Answer: The Romans were Greeks.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/mosaico-de-los-amores/

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2018/04/12/catacombs-of-rome/

Mystery:
Why does the archaeological evidence from Italy reveal “no trace” of the Byzantine Greeks who arrived in the 10th century?

Answer:
The artefacts and architecture of the Byzantine Greeks have been attributed to [and providentially borrowed by] the Roman Empire narrative.

During the Early Middle Ages, following the disastrous Gothic War, new waves of Byzantine Christian Greeks may have come to Southern Italy from Greece and Asia Minor, as Southern Italy remained loosely governed by the Eastern Roman Empire.

Although possible, the archaeological evidence shows no trace of new arrivals of Greek peoples, only a division between barbarian newcomers, and Greco-Roman locals.

A remarkable example of the influence is the Griko-speaking minority that still exists today in the Italian regions of Calabria and Apulia.

Griko is the name of a language combining ancient Doric, Byzantine Greek, and Italian elements, spoken by few people in some villages in the Province of Reggio Calabria and Salento.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Grecia

The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, typically regarded as lasting from the 6th century to the 10th century CE, marked the start of the Middle Ages of European history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Middle_Ages

The Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore is church in Milan, northern Italy.

The basilica was built between the late fourth and early fifth centuries. The exact date is uncertain, as are the name of who commissioned it and the circumstances of its foundation.

The eleventh and twelfth centuries were marked by numerous disasters: fires, in particular the terrible “fire of the Stork”, that in 1071 devoured the basilica, devastating the internal decorations, and earthquakes, that undermined the stability of the complex, making new restorations necessary between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_San_Lorenzo,_Milan

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/ravenna-revisited-basilica-of-san-vitale/

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2017/05/15/ravenna-revisited-mausoleum-of-galla-placidia/

The reader is left to evaluate the evidence and draw their own conclusions…

FOOTNOTE
It’s becoming increasingly apparent that mainstream archaeology has major problems.

One of these problem arises from the dating of excavated strata by the preordained dates of the embedded Roman Coins which have been consensus dated based upon the “fragmentary” and “somewhat erroneous” Chronology of Rome where AD 1 = 754 AUC.

Instead of trying to establish a chronological sequence for Roman Coins from undisturbed strata the mainstream archaeologists have simply accepted the preordained consensus.

This problem is wonderfully illustrated by the excavations at Gorsium where the timeline appears to have been extended by 60 years because of the preordained dating of embedded coins.

Furthermore, the 260 AD end date for the Gorsium Ceramic Chronology appears to have been determined by the dating of a Roman coin to 258 AD.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/the-cock-up-of-the-3rd-century/

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Gallery | This entry was posted in Arabian Horizon, Catastrophism, Deranged Dating, Epigraphy - Inscriptions, Heinsohn Horizon, History, Ravenna Revisited, Roman Chronology, The Old Japanese Cedar Tree, Uniformitarianism. Bookmark the permalink.

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