Thursday, October 22, 2009

Western European Appropriation of a Biblical King of Israel



COULD CHARLEMAGNE EVEN BE
THE BIBLICAL KING SOLOMON?





What a remarkable and preposterous claim?

How could it possibly be justified?



Admittedly, Charlemagne has been likened to king Solomon, e.g. by H. Daniel-Rops (The Church in the Dark Ages, p. 395), who calls him “a witness of God, after the style of Solomon …”), and he has been spoken of in terms of the ancient kings of Israel; whilst Charlemagne’s father, Pepin the Short, was hailed as “the new king David”. But no one considers that Charlemagne actually was a king of Israel, or that his father Pepin really was Solomon’s father David.

Admittedly Charlemagne sometimes appears as a larger-than-life king, almost too good to be true. His coronation on Christmas Day of 800 AD can seem just too neat and perfect to be believed. He was, according to Daniel-Rops (ibid., p. 390), “… the heaven-sent man, for whom Europe was waiting …”. And: (p. 401): “Who in the world fitted this role more than this glamorous personage, who set every man’s imagination afire and who seemed so much larger than life?”


Admittedly, Charlemagne is assigned to the period known as the Dark Ages (c. 600-900 AD); a period quite lacking in archaeology – and there is precious little evidence of the many buildings that this famous king is supposed to have had erected.


Admittedly, the anomalies and contradictions associated with virtually every aspect of the life of Charlemagne, from his birth to his death, are evident for all to consider.

But that cannot mean that Charlemagne himself is an invention, a fiction. Can it?

Well, in this article, Damien F. Mackey will argue that Charlemagne, as a king of the C9th AD, is indeed a fiction, and that he has been derived from the famous king Solomon of Israel (c. 950 BC). And, secondarily, that Charlemagne’s father, king Pepin, was derived from king David; his mother, Bertha or Bertrada, from Bathsheba; Charlemagne’s wife, “Desideria”, from “the “Queen of Sheba”; and Charlemagne’s colourful eastern friend and ally, Harun al-Raschid, was derived from Solomon’s ally, king Hiram of Tyre.

Our line of revision, put simply, is that the so-called ‘Dark Ages’ era of c. 600-900 AD has acted like a ‘Black Hole’ (that popular construct of conventional science), sucking within it genuine BC people and events. How this came about is yet to be determined. In this, as I have already touched on, one finds the explanation for the Prophet Mohammed, and also for King Charlemagne.[1]

Here we are interested solely in the latter.


Charlemagne’s Father, Pepin, “the new David”

D. Fraioli tells of Pepin at his peak (Joan of Arc and the Hundred Years War, p. 46): “An aura of prestige now surrounded the king, whom the pope called the “new king David” …”. Gregory of Tours had, as we shall read below, spoken similarly of king Clovis I, of the Merovingian dynasty. This traditional likening of Frankish kings to the ancient Davidic kings immediately raises the important point to be considered in this article concerning a sacred attitude held in regard to French kings, and this might go a long way towards accounting for the phenomenon of Charlemagne. Let us take a relevant section on this from Fraioli’s book (pp. 43-45):

THE FRENCH TRADITION


France developed by far the most sacred mythology around its kingship of all the kingdoms in western Europe, although the earliest known coronations occurred in Visigothic Spain and Ireland. The sacred mythology of French kingship, which became known as “the religion of the monarchy”, first emerged during the Merovingian dynasty, in the context of a baptismal anointing rather than a sacred coronation, when Clovis, king of the Franks, converted to Christianity. ….

Fraioli will however, in a later section on Hincmar (d. 882), suggest that this whole notion of sacred kingship was a late tradition, both mythical and “fabricated”. Here is what she has to say about it there (pp. 47-48. Emphasis added)

Hincmar, archbishop of Reims from 845 to 882, was a learned theologian and nimble politician, whose fame in the development of sacred kingship rests on his introduction of the legend of the Holy Ampulla into the history of Clovis, four centuries after the fact. In an effort to prove the continuity of Frankish kingship and, it is commonly believed, to challenge the influence of the abbey of Saint Denis – then successfully fusing its own history with that of the monarchy – Hincmar authorized a new myth. He is often believed to have fabricated the story himself in an attempt to expand the importance of the see of Reims. In all likelihood, he did not invent it, although he had confessed to forging other documents. The myth made the astonishing assertion that the liquid used to consecrate Frankish kings was of divine origin. A dove, the Christian symbol of the Holy Spirit, had allegedly delivered the Ampulla, or vial, of sacred liquid in its beak, when the bustling crowd at Clovis’ baptism had prevented the bearer of the baptismal oil from a timely arrival at the ceremony. Through this myth the election of French kings was seen as the will of God. Furthermore, the continuity of their rule was guaranteed by an inexhaustible supply of anointing balm in the Holy Ampulla, which could anoint French kings to the end of time.

[End of quote]

Even this charming story may have its Old Testament origins in the miraculous preservation, in liquid form, of the sacred fire as recorded in 2 Maccabees 1:18-36, for the time of the biblical Nehemiah (whom we have found apparently making an anachronistic ‘return visit’ at the time of Mohammed, BC dragged into AD time – though Nehemiah was indeed a man of returns, as he, in his guise of Jeremiah {according to my reconstructions}, had actually appeared to Judas Maccabeus on the eve of a great battle, to offer Judas a golden sword of victory, 2 Maccabees 15:13-16). The reader is encouraged to read both of these inspiring Maccabean accounts.

The legend of Hincmar may perhaps have arisen out of a confused transmission of the original true historical account relating to the governor Nehemiah.

We continue now with Fraioli’s earlier section on The French Tradition, where she briefly considers Clovis I (pp. 44-45), and then proceeds on to Pepin (p. 46), emphasis added:

Clovis I (d. 511) and the Franks



…. At his baptism, King Clovis was anointed with a holy balm, or salve … in a ceremony blending kingship and religion. According to the contemporary chronicle of Gregory of Tours, the anointing of Clovis occurred by the grace of God, prompting Gregory to draw an analogy between Clovis and the sacred kingship of David in the Old Testament. ….


Pepin the Short (d. 768)


…. Pepin the Short … receives the credit for introducing the ritual of sacred anointing, or consecration, into the installation ceremony for French kings. …. As Patrick Simon has stated, Pepin’s innovation consisted of “legitimizing through a religious ceremony a power obtained by force ...”.

…. The union of king and clergy provided mutual benefit …. An aura of prestige now surrounded the king, whom the pope called the “new David” ….

[End of quotes]


Again, we recall the famous anointing with “the horn of oil” of David the shepherd, the youngest son of Jesse, by Samuel the high priest and prophet, after Samuel had rejected one by one David’s seven older brothers (1 Samuel 16:1-13). After the death of Saul (Samuel was also dead by now) David was anointed again, at Hebron, as king of all Israel (2 Samuel 5:3). Now Pepin, likewise, was twice crowned (ibid., p. 46. Emphasis added): “The second coronation, celebrated at Saint-Denis in 754, cleverly reconnected Pepin’s reign to the Merovingians through his wife, big-foot Bertha, a descendant of Clovis, which provided fictional continuity to French kingship”.

King David is sometimes found going so far it seems as to act out the priest’s rĂ´le, as for example when he had triumphantly returned the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, and he subsequently offered “burnt offerings and the offering of well-being before the Lord” (2 Samuel 6:17).


Both David and Pepin were warrior-kings and men of great personal courage. Pepin is famous, in his youthful days, like David, for his courage against wild animals, including lions. Daniel-Rops (op. cit., p. 387) tells of it:

A well-known picture, which was already very popular in the Middle Ages, has impressed on our minds the features of this thickset, broad-shouldered little man who, for a wager, amused himself by separating a lion and a bull who were in the middle of a fight in the circus arena.

In the case of David, this courage is manifest, not “in the circus arena”, but in the field. More serious, and we might say less frivolous, was David’s situation, when the giant, Goliath, was challenging the armies of Israel. Then David said to Saul (1 Samuel 17:34-36):

‘Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down and kill it. Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God’.

The truth, it seems, is far more inspiring than is the fiction!

Pepin was nicknamed “the Short”. Was David also short? He was probably not of very tall stature. When the prophet Samuel came to Jesse’s boys, to anoint the one amongst them whom God had chosen, Samuel had been most impressed by Eliab, who was apparently of a good height (1 Samuel 16:6-7). So, we could probably draw the inference that, when the Lord advised Samuel not to look on “the height of [the candidate’s] stature” in making his choice, that David, the youngest of the boys, who eventually was chosen, was not that very tall. But David was of fine appearance, nonetheless: “Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome” (v. 12).

Charlemagne, “after the style of Solomon”

His Beginnings


Like Solomon, the young son, Charlemagne (said to be 26 at the time), succeeded his father. But some hazy legend seems to surround Charlemagne’s mother and the king’s own early years. Thus Daniel-Rops (op. cit., p. 391):

What had he done, this boy who was promised to such a lofty destiny, between that day in 742 when Bertha, the daughter of the Count of Laon – the ‘Bertha of the big feet’ of the chansons de gestes – brought him into the world in some royal villa or other in Austrasia, and the premature hour of his succession? No one really knows, and Einhard of all people, who faithfully chronicled his reign, is strangely discreet about his hero’s early years.

Or, I ask, was ‘Bertha of the Big Feet’, or ‘Bertrada’, simply the famous Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon?

But it was not Solomon who was born out of wedlock, as it is thought of Carlemagne, but Bathsheba’s child who had died as a result of king David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:16-23). Solomon himself was the child of ‘consolation’ for the pair after the sad death of this un-named child (v. 24).

By the way, were the French 'Songs' (or Chansons), the Song of Roland (La Chanson de Roland) and the "Songs of heroic deeds [or lineages]" (Chansons de gestes), inspired by, or even in part based upon, the biblical Song of Songs or Canticles of Canticles (also known as the Song of Solomon?); a love poem that could well have inspired some of the famous French chivalric notions? Was the ‘wisdom of Oliver’ in the Song of Roland inspired by the Wisdom of Solomon? “Oliver urges caution; wisdom and restraint are part of what makes him a good knight” (http://www.gradesaver.com/song-of-roland/study-guide/section2/).

Did the “giants” in these Chansons perhaps arise from the encounter between David and the giant Goliath? Wikipedia says (article “Chanson de geste”):

Composed in Old French and apparently intended for oral performance by jongleurs, the chansons de geste narrate legendary incidents (sometimes based on real events) in the history of France during the eighth and ninth centuries, the age of Charles Martel, Charlemagne and Louis the Pious, with emphasis on their conflicts with the Moors and Saracens. To these historical legends, fantasy is gradually added; giants, magic, and monsters increasingly appear among the foes along with Muslims. ….

We recall here, from our previous article on the “Alpha and the Omega”, the points of uncertainty surrounding the birth of Charlemagne and the nationality of his mother:


Birthplace: More than a dozen places are claiming the honour to be the birthplace of Charles. The year of birth varies between 742 and 747 AD. Bertrada, the mother of Charles, was said to be a Bretonian princess, an Hungarian noble woman, or a member of the imperial family of Byzantium.

The competition for the throne between Charles and his brother, Carloman, is just like what we find in the biblical account of the challenge to the throne by Solomon’s brother, Adonijah (1 Kings 1:5-10). The mother may perhaps have been complicit in this (cf. 2:9). According to Daniel-Rops (op. cit., p. 395): “At the time of [Charles’] accession this question [of Italy, Rome and the Lombards] had been considerably confused owing to the political mistakes of Queen Bertha, his mother”. Solomon, like Carloman, seems to have been twice elected king (accession and coronation), and in the first case, in both instances, the mother appears to have played an ambiguous part.

Again, when Adonijah’s bid for the throne had failed, he cunningly approached Bathsheba to ask Solomon to give him the beautiful Abishag for his wife (2:13-18). When Bathsheba did approach Solomon, the latter acted out the pretence of complying with his mother’s request (2:2):

King Solomon answered his mother, ‘And why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom as well! For he is my elder brother; ask not only for him but also for the priest Abiathar and for Joab the son of Zeruiah!’ [both of whom had supported Adonijah in his revolt against David and Solomon].


This situation is clearly recalled, I think, in the case of what Daniel-Rops (op. cit., ibid.) has referred to as “these manoeuvres when Queen Bertha had married her elder son … to Desiderius’s [King of Pavia’s] daughter, Desideria”. Though, in the biblical story, Adonijah apparently was not actually a son of Bathsheba’s (1 Kings 1:5), nor of course did he manage to fulfil his wish of marrying Abishag, despite his desire for her. “Desideria” is certainly a most appropriate appellation for the much-desired Abishag. And soon I shall be showing, from another parallel situation between Solomon and Charlemagne, that Desideria well equates with this Abishag. Of course Solomon was being completely sarcastic in his reply to Adonijah’s request via Bathsheba. The wise king fully appreciated the implications of the scheming Adonijah’s attaining the hand of David’s favourite, Abishag. Thus he added, chillingly (vv. 23-25):

‘So may God do to me, and more also [a typical idiom of the time], for Adonijah has devised this scheme at the risk of his life! Now therefore as the Lord lives, who has established me and placed me on the throne of my father David, and who has made me a house as he promised, today Adonijah shall be put to death’. So King Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he struck him down, and he died.

Conveniently, likewise, Charlemagne’s brother died suddenly (Daniel-Rops, p. 391): “But scarcely three years had elapsed when an unexpected death completely broke these shackles …. Charles claimed his brother’s heritage and thus rebuilt the unity of the paternal realm under his leadership”. Solomon’s sarcasm in the face of Bathsheba’s request may even have its faint glimmer in the case of the chaffing compliance of the young Charles towards his own mother (ibid., pp. 394-395): “Despite his twenty-five years Charles had appeared to defer to his energetic mother’s wishes. But he fretted under the restraint”.

His Natural Qualities

Like Solomon, Charlemagne was a most gifted individual, and the perfect king material (Daniel-Rops, p. 392):

Charles was … throughout his life – quick, far-sighted, and energetic. In these instinctive qualities lies the secret of his incomparably fruitful labour, and, to their service, a never-failing vigour lent an activity which was truly prodigious. ….And he had other complementary qualities, which decisively defined his grandeur: prudence, moderation, a realistic appreciation of the possible, a mistrust of unconsidered actions. It is the Emperor Augustus whom Charlemagne recalls, rather than Caesar or Alexander.

Or is it rather king Solomon “whom Charlemagne [most closely] recalls”?

As for “prudence” and his other cardinal virtues, as mentioned in the quote above, well, was not Solomon the first person to list these virtues (Wisdom of Solomon 8:7)?

His Appearance


What did Charlemagne look like? “Truth to tell, nothing very detailed can be put forward on this point” (Daniel-Rops, ibid.).

What is certain is that Charlemagne was not in fact the giant ‘with the flowing beard’ whom Chanson de Roland has immortalized; the mighty build is a poetic exaggeration, and the beard is an anachronism which owes its origin to the Byzantine-Arab fashion which, in the tenth century, considered that all distinguished Western Europeans should be excessively hairy.

But the beard was of course de rigueur in Solomon’s era.

For an idealized (and even mighty) physical description of king Solomon and his Shunammite bride, from which Chanson de Roland may perhaps have gained some epic inspiration, see Song of Songs 5:10-16.

His Intelligence and Discernment


“Was he intelligent?”, asks Daniel-Rops (op. cit., p. 393), who then answers thus:


Most certainly; and when we think of his profound knowledge of men, of his ease at grasping situations, of the immensity of the tasks which he conceived and of the undertakings which he managed, we realize that his intelligence was far above the average”. And: “He unquestionably had a supreme appreciation of the overriding need of the moment – the foundation of a new culture – and this is one of the aspects of his character in which his genius shines forth most brilliantly”.

Solomon was of course the wisest of the wise; his name being a byword for wisdom. We read, for instance, in the Book of Ecclesiastes of king Solomon (12:9-14):


Epilogue

Besides being wise, the Teacher [Qoheleth] also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs. The Teacher sought to find pleasing words, and he wrote words of truth plainly. The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings that are given by one shepherd. Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

The end of the matter: all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.



Most of this could be applied to ‘Charlemagne’, we shall find, for we shall see unfurl the traditional multi-facetted concept of him as a pious, wise and culturally restructuring (even Renaissance-like) king.

There are many other examples, too, of Solomon’s extraordinary wisdom and discernment. Here are just a few:

1 Kings 4:29: “God gave Solomon very great wisdom, discernment, and breadth of understanding, as vast as the sand on the seashore”.

Wisdom 1:1: “Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth …”.

Ecclesiastes 9:1: “ … how the righteous and the wise … are in the hand of God”.


Moreover, Solomon was not shy about broadcasting his wisdom and the fact that he had exceeded all others in it. For example (Ecclesiastes 1:16): “I said to myself, ‘I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has great experience of wisdom and knowledge’.”

However Solomon, in his ‘Prayer for Wisdom’ (Book of Wisdom 7:15-17), had attributed his wisdom to God:


“May God grant me to speak with judgment, and to have thoughts worthy of what I have received; for He is the guide even of wisdom and the corrector of the wise. For both we and our words are in His hand, as are all understanding and skill in crafts. For it is He who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists …”.

 

Ecclesiastes 1:12: “I, the Teacher, when king over Israel in Jerusalem applied my mind to seek and search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven …”.

Ecclesiastes 7:25: “I turned my mind to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the sum of things, and to know that wickedness is folly and that foolishness is madness”.


Solomon, too, exhorted other kings and officials to follow his way (Wisdom 6:1-9):


Listen therefore, O kings, and understand; learn, O judges of the ends of the earth. Give ear you that rule over multitudes, and boast of many nations. For your dominion was given you from the Lord, and your sovereignty from the Most High; he will search out your works and inquire into your plans. Because as servants of his kingdom you did not rule rightly, or keep the law, or walk according to the purpose of God, he will come upon you terribly and swiftly, because severe judgment falls on those in high places. For the lowliest may be pardoned in mercy, but the mighty will be mightily tested. For the Lord of all will not stand in awe of anyone, or show deference to greatness; because he himself made both small and great, and he takes thought for all alike. But a strict inquiry is in store for the mighty. To you then, O monarchs, my words are directed, so that you may learn wisdom and not transgress.

His Repudiated Wife


Charlemagne, according to Daniel-Rops (op. cit., p. 396): “… repudiated Desideria, his Lombard wife, and sent her back to Pavia post-haste. Solomon also divorced the Queen of Sheba, Hatshepsut, and sent her back to Egypt. This, as I have explained in my “House of David” article (http://www.specialtyinterests.net/david_abishag.html), following Ed Metzler, is the full meaning of the Hebrew of 1 Kings 10:13, that now translates weakly as: “Then she returned to her own land, with her servants”. Thus:


Metzler has suggested that the biblical phrase "she [Sheba] turned" (to go back home) indicates 'divorce' (Latin divortium, from divertere, "to turn away") [2120]. What I suggest may have happened was that Solomon had kept Hatshepsut/Sheba there in Jerusalem along with Thutmose III for however long it took for the latter to be of an age to marry her, and that he then sent the couple back to Egypt to rule there. If I am correct, then Hatshepsut would therefore be the obscure Hatshepsut II so-called, who was to become the mother of Amenhotep II, eventual successor to the long-reigning Thutmose III.

I need to explain, for those who do not already know, that, according to AMAIC reconstructions of David, Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and “Shishak”:

King David = “Pharaoh king of Egypt” (1 Kings 9:16) = Thutmose I;

King Solomon = Thutmose II, son of Thutmose I (Solomon is also Senenmut, the powerful and royal consort of Hatshepsut);

The Queen of Sheba = Hatshepsut (queen, then Pharaoh, of Egypt). She is also Abishag.

Pharaoh “Shishak” = Thutmose III.


The Europeans of the Middle Ages would have known of Solomon only from the Bible. They did not have the advantages that we have today of archaeology and other knowledges – and even today this era is still so little known, thanks largely to the confusing of it by the mainstream archaeologists and chronologists.


Solomon’s divorce of ‘the Queen of Sheba’ was all purely political, presumably so that Solomon’s son by the concubine Isis, Thutmose III (who became the mighty biblical pharaoh, Shishak, 2 Chronicles 12:2) could now marry her and become the ruler of Egypt. The Queen of Sheba (probably meaning ‘of Thebes’ in Egyptian) was the same as the beautiful Abishag, Solomon’s half-sister, in relation to whom Bathsheba was involved in an intrigue with Solomon’s brother for the throne - even though king David had made his wish absolutely clear in favour of Solomon. And, just as Solomon went counter to his mother Bathsheba, on behalf of David, so, says Daniel-Rops (op. cit., ibid.); “Bertha’s policy was abruptly abandoned, and Charlemagne was returning to that pursued by Pepin”.

Charlemagne’s triumph is recounted by Daniel-Rops as follows (ibid., p. 397):

At Easter 774, in a grandiose ceremony, the victorious Frank was to be received at St. Peter’s like a hero; the three doors of the basilica were opened in his honour. As he ascended the steps he kissed them piously, one by one, and prostrated himself upon the apostle’s ‘confession’, whilst the choir sang: ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’.

Cf. The Accession of King Solomon: 1 Kings 1:28-48.


And the proclamation here: ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’, is of course straight out of David’s Psalm 118:26.


The real scene, I suggest, was Jerusalem, not St. Peter’s Rome, and those who anointed the king there were the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan (v. 45), and not Pope Hadrian I.


His Morality and His Piety


“As for his personal morals, they too remained typical of his epoch: this virile man, who married four times certainly followed Old rather than new Testament practices in his private life” (Daniel-Rops, ibid. Emphasis added). Solomon was of course a serial polygamist.

Charlemagne was most definitely a religious man, too (ibid., p. 394):


Charles was personally devout, rigorously observant in his prayers and his fasting (and the latter cut into his fine appetite), and he was indeed the man as portrayed by the chroniclers [or should it be ‘by the Bible’s First Book of Chronicles’?], the man who attended interminable religious services entirely of his own free will, his own strong voice mingling with those of the choir.

Certainly he, as Solomon, must have inherited some of David’s musicianship.

Charlemagne was a wise and religious ruler, and here is where Daniel-Rops does actually liken him to Solomon (ibid., 394-395. Emphasis added to last sentence):

To make his subjects live in perfect harmony, to establish the concordia pacis between men, above all to fight against all the evils which ravaged the world: famine, cruelty, and injustice – such was the ideal of this mighty and awe-inspiring monarch …. And the certainty which this man held at the bottom of his heart, of ‘taking the place of God on earth, of having, as his task, the exaltation of His Law [the Torah?]’ …. Charles is, on the historical plane, a witness of God, after the style of Solomon….

Cf. King Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication of the Temple: 1 Kings 8:22-61.

Solomon also acted like a priest on this important and triumphal occasion (vv. 62-64).

His Imperial Coronation

We read about the contradictory views associated with this event in the earlier article, “Alpha and Omega”. Thus (emphasis added):

It is unclear whether Charles requested the coronation, or whether he was crowned unexpectedly by the Pope. It is not clear whether there was a formal coronation or an acclamation. Einhard reports just the 'acceptance of the imperial title'. Andreas from Bergamo (9th century), Bonizo from Sutri (11th century), Gero from Reichersberg (12th century) and Nicolaus Cusanus (15th century) don't know nothing about an emperor Charles.

Similarly Daniel-Rops has written (op. cit., p. 402):


There only remains the … element which was responsible for the great event of Christmas 800: Charles’s own will. This is the point upon which we know the least. Was the imperial coronation the result of a well-matured plan on the part of the Frankish leader, a ladder which he had long ago resolved to climb? It is quite impossible to give an answer.

And Fraioli writes (p. 47):

So on Christmas day 800, in commemoration of the birth of Christ, a surprise coronation took place … Charlemagne, whom his biographer Einhard described as persuaded of his own God-given mission to unite western Christendom …. was looked upon as [just like Solomon, apparently] king and priest (rex et sacerdos).


Now it is Charlemagne who is the ‘new [king] David’. Thus Daniel-Rops (p. 400. Emphasis added):


Next the pontiff [Leo III] anointed the forehead of the ‘new David’ with sacred oil and, uniting the ceremonial imposed, since Diocletian’s time, by the protocol of the Roman emperors, with the ancient biblical rite, he prostrated himself before him and ‘adored him’.

No wonder the French kings came to consider themselves the rightful descendants of the Israelite royalty!


“The triple and ritual acclamation” to which Daniel-Rops refers in this part (ibid.) is also seemingly reminiscent of the triple procedure to which I have referred in my article, “The House of David”, in relation to the anointing of Solomon by David, and of Hatshepsut by pharaoh Thutmose I (= David). [See: http://www.specialtyinterests.net/david_abishag.html]








Like king Solomon, Charlemagne reigned for at least four decades.

His Empire

Whilst Solomon’s empire lay entirely in the ancient region of ‘the Fertile Crescent’ (Egypt; Syro-Palestine; Mesopotamia), as reconstructed in our various articles on him, to Charlemagne are typically attributed European conquests; firstly, Italy, Rome and the Lombards. “The ease with which Charles could impose his rule on Italy in this way remains astonishing” (Daniel-Rops, op. cit., p. 397). And it also “remains”, I suggest, fictional. Then, he pushed back Islam and conquered the entire Germanic world, so that (ibid., p. 401): “His domain, which spread to the Elbe, to the middle Danube, to Brussels, and even as far as the outskirts of Rome, seemed now too large for the ordinary world ‘realm’ to fit it any longer”.

In Solomon’s case - and the extent of his rule is found to be far greater even than the Bible tells us - he would have been pushing back, not Germans and Islamic armies, but Philistines, Syro-Hittites, Elamites and Nubians.


His Ally, Harun al-Rashid

Finally, the whole scene does shift to the east, where it all truly belongs.

Daniel-Rops introduces this exotic phase in the life of Charlemagne as follows, once again making allusion to Solomon (and also now to the Queen of Sheba), p. 410:


Another aspect of Charlemagne’s ‘Christian policy’ struck his contemporaries very strongly; it is almost unbelievable, and brings into his career, which is almost devoid of poetic quality, a note of exotic charm similar to that which the visit of the Queen of Sheba casts upon the reign of Solomon; in other words, his relations with Haroun-al-Raschid, the Caliph of Bagdad.


It is more than “almost unbelievable”, I say: It is unbelievable!


Relations: Charles exchanged diplomats with Harun al-Raschid, the Caliph of Baghdad, who sent him the white elephant Abul Abbas, which took part in all journeys and military actions of Charles between 802 and 810 AD. Arab sources do not mention these relations. Harun al-Raschid has become famous as protagonist in tales from One Thousand and One Night[s].

Harun, in our context, must be Solomon’s great Phoenician ally, Hiram, king of Tyre. Though Hiram’s power extended much further than Tyre; for he, as I have argued elsewhere, was also the mighty merchant-king Iarim-Lim of the Aleppo region, who was able militarily to threaten with extermination rulers as far away as Babylonia (the region of the imaginary Harun), if they failed to pay for his shipbuilding services. As Hiram, he had told Solomon that the Galilean towns that the latter had given him in payment for his services were Cabul (1 Kings 9:13), virtually ‘rubbish dumps’. According to Daniel-Rops (ibid.), Harun “was an intelligent, well-educated, and relatively sympathetic man …”. (Just don’t cross him, as in the case of Iarim-Lim). He, as Hiram, was in actuality an ancient Middle Eastern potentate, so it is inadvisable to discuss him in the modern European terms of an ‘educated gentleman’. Daniel-Rops continues with his fictionary Harun:

Probably no Eastern ruler ever equalled the glory of this great caliph: he lived in the palace of the ‘Golden Gate’, whose famous green dome dominated the Mesopotamian plain, amongst his priceless carpets and tapestries, in the midst of a gigantic court of servants, concubines and eunuchs, and he was worthy indeed to become the hero of the Arabian Nights. But he was also a skilful diplomat and a soldier.


The architecture, the lavish courts and the multitudes of servants, as well as the skill factor in ruling and conquering, all are perfectly true of Hiram, especially in his partnership with the magnificent Solomon. The two had fleets of ships visiting the most exotic regions, for gold, slaves, precious myrrh and rare spices, and other quite unique flora and fauna. I have suggested that Solomon and Hiram were actually turning Palestine at the time into a zoo and a botanical gardens; a lot of which atmosphere is reflected in the exotic Song of Songs. {It is such a pity that the archaeologists have been looking at the wrong strata levels for the cosmopolitan Late Bronze phase of king Solomon}. Much of what Daniel-Rops has to say about the exchanges of gifts between the two magnificent rulers is true, even including having elephants in the land; but the location was actually Palestine, not at Aix-la-Chapelle (ibid., p. 412):

The harmonious relations between the two sovereigns were marked by exchanges of gifts, which the Carolingian chroniclers enlarge upon charmingly and freely. Everyone at Aix-la-Chapelle was enraptured by the arrival of a chess set with the figures finely carved in ivory, of spices with unknown scents, of a clock which moved by means of a cunning hydraulic mechanism, and even of elephants and other strange animals!

There is no ambiguity in regard to the fact of Solomon’s wealth. In the case of Charlemagne, though, there is, as we thus noted in the “Alpha and Omega” article:


Economy: The findings of historians regarding Charles' economy show extreme contradictions: Some concede abundant wealth to Charles, while others have to complain economic decay. As Heinsohn has shown recently, coins attributed to Charles (or, likewise Charles the Bald-head) cannot be distinguished from the coins of Charles the Simple (898-929). According to Illig, Carolus Simplex has been a real Carolingian and the model for Charlemagne. The attribute "simplex" (stupid, but likewise single, not-duplicated) has been used for the first time following the turn of the millennium.

His Capital City and His Cultural Achievements

‘The Carolingian Renaissance’, as Daniel-Rops calls it (op. cit., p. 422), centred on Aix-la-Chapelle, which, we suggest, has taken the place of the great city of Jerusalem. But this Aix-la-Chapelle is considered to have been a rather unusual geographical choice anyway:


The vital centre of this Renaissance was Aix-la-Chapelle, the ancient ‘villa’ of Pepin the Short’s time, which was situated some distance off the great Roman roads. From 794 onwards Charlemagne made it into a Carolingian Versailles, judging from its intellectual atmosphere and the splendour of its appearance. The geographical position of this new capital has given rise to much discussion: why was this Rhineland area chosen, rather than some town in Gaul, or even Rome itself?
…. Aix was the centre of the intellectual Renaissance; and the centre of Aix, and especially the Palatine school, was a kind of general headquarters of the mind, which influenced the entire empire ….



Amongst this august group was Charlemagne himself, now “known as David”; this being about the only seemingly eastern factor in what comes across as a very European ‘club of gentlemen’ (ibid., p. 424):

The leaders of this pleiade of scholars and cultured men formed a sort of club, a small, self-contained group. Historians are accustomed to call this group the Palatine Academy. Each of its members bore a pseudonym borrowed from antiquity. Charlemagne himself, who was not a whit averse to residing over this learned assembly, was known as David, which overestimated the power of the cantor of the Psalms and overrated even more outrageously the poetic talents of the son of Pepin!


Charlemagne is also, like Solomon, famed for his supposed architectural achievements (Daniel-Rops, p. 425. Emphasis added):

…. Because the building, decoration, and beautifying of the House of God was one of the major preoccupations of the master, architecture and the plastic arts developed so much that Dawson has been able to write: ‘Charlemagne founded a Holy Roman architecture as well as a Holy Roman Empire’. In fact, it was not only Roman, but followed tendencies which we have already noticed in the Merovingian epoch, mingling Eastern and remote Asiatic influence with the revival of classical features.

But sadly - as somewhat also with king Solomon (but in his case due to centuries of destruction and looting, and also to the failure by archaeologists to identify Solomon’s era stratigraphically): “We no longer possess many examples of the architecture of this great reign”.

Reason: Because it was never actually erected by Charlemagne in the first place! It’s just not there!


Buildings: As we know from the ancient texts, between 476 and 855 AD more than 1695 large buildings were erected, including 312 cathedrals, 1254 convents and 129 royal palaces. The historian Harald Braunfels: "Of all these buildings [until 1991] only 215 were examined by archaeologists. Artefacts were found only at a fraction of these buildings. One may count with ten fingers the number of buildings that still exist as a whole or as a significant fraction."

Pfalzkapelle Aachen: The masterpiece of Carolingian architecture, the Chapel of St. Mary at Aachen (about 792-799) is unique. Its direct predecessor (Ravenna's San Vitale) had been erected some 200 years earlier. Buildings comparable to Aachen in style and technology were not erected until the advent of the Romanesque style in the 11th century. Consequently, Illig assumes the Pfalzkapelle to be a Romanesque building of the 11th century.

His Burial and Tomb

Charles' burial place is the Pfalzkapelle at Aachen (his explicit will to find his grave beneath his father at Saint-Denis had been ignored). This contradicted the general prohibition of burials within churches, proclaimed by councils held under Charles at Aachen (809) and Mainz (813).

Tomb: Charles' tomb had been camouflaged so well (in fear of the raiding Normans) that it could not be localized for two centuries. In the year 1000 the emperor Otto III discovers the tomb. He finds Charles sitting on his throne. Again the tomb became forgotten until it was found once more and reopened by Friedrich Barbarossa. Then again, the tomb disappeared and was never found again. For comparison: The tomb of Otto I in the dome of Magdeburg has always been honoured – despite of all destructions and rebuilds of this church.

His Cult and Biography

And from the same source:


Cult: Friedrich Barbarossa (1152-1190) is said to have coined the term Sacrum Romanum Imperium. Friedrich gave order to exhumate Charles, and to canonize him. Most known forgeries referring to Charles were produced during Friedrich's lifetime. The reliquary for Charles' arm (dated about 1170) displays the imperial attitude of Barbarossa in reference to Charlemagne.


Biography: Leopold von Ranke classifies the biography of Charles, written by his palatial clerk Einhard: "The small volume is full of historical errors [...]. Frequently, the years of reign are false [...]; about the split of the empire between the two brothers the opposite of what really happened is reported [...]; the names of the popes were confused, the spouses and children of Charles were not noted correctly; so many offences have been found that the authenticity of the book has been questioned quite often, although it is “beyond all doubt."

According to the above, in regard to the biography of Charlemagne, “... the names of the popes were confused”. If we are correct in assigning the king to the historical scrap heap, then it should follow that there will need to be a reconsideration of the proper sequence of the papacy.

Tradition: Charles' son in law Angilbert rhymes in 799 an epos, where he denotes Charles to be the "light of Europe", "Head of the world; summit of Europe; father of Europe; most graceful father; hero". But in 799 Charles was not yet crowned as the emperor. In an essay for the Spiegel magazine (“A dark lighthouse”, Johannes Fried has shown that the myth of Charles as the "father of Europe" came up very much later as a product of a romantic Napoleonism and even Hitlerism.

It seems that French kings too, such as Philip II and Louis IX, did much to enhance the reputation of the glorious ‘Charlemagne’. We take up Fraioli again on this (op. cit., pp. 49-50, 51, 52. Emphasis added):

Philip II Augustus (r. 1180-1223)


…. Entranced by the life and imperial image of Charlemagne, to whom he must have considered himself in many ways parallel, Philip consciously patterned himself on the model of the great Christian emperor. …. In the twelfth century, Charlemagne was primarily known through literary rather than historical works. Philip had certainly listened to the popular epic poems about national heroes – the most prominent being Charlemagne – called chansons de geste. ….

Louis IX (r. 1226-1270)

…. Hincmar’s legend of the Holy Ampulla was permanently incorporated into the coronation ritual. As a result, it was declared, with far-reaching consequences, that because French rulers were appointed with oil sent from heaven, the king of France “outshines all the kings of the earth”.

…. As others before him, Saint Louis maintained that the consecration of French kings was intimately connected to the original anointings of Old Testament kings.

Conclusion


A magnificent king of western Europe has been fabricated from the true biblical base of king Solomon of Israel: that is Charlemagne. He makes fascinating reading because he is larger-than-life and he is also too good to be true. But true he is not (at least in AD terms). How great then must have been king Solomon himself, who was not fictitious at all, and who has provided the extraordinary matrix for this glorious Christian king, Charlemagne!

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[1] If Anatoly Fomenko is right, then even the emperors of the late Western Roman Empire (300-476 AD) are duplicates of a part of the ancient Israelite king lists, and English history from 640-830 has been adopted from Byzantine history of 378-553. See e.g. Wikipedia’s “New Chronology (Fomenko)”. 

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Supplementary to all of this, please read the following, taken from:
http://www.bearfabrique.org/Catastrophism/illig_paper.htm


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Whereas questions of ancient Egyptian chronology are not directly linked with our present chronology, it's a different story with the Middle Ages. Today we use the Gregorian Calendar, which was defined by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. It is an improved version of the calendar that Julius Caesar introduced in 45 BC. At that time, the lunar calendar of the Romans was in an utter muddle because corrupt persons had bribed the responsible priests to add another month to the tax year. Caesar solved the problem by inserting three months into the calendar- this led to a year with 445 days -, by going over to a clear solar year as a basis for the calendar year, and by introducing a clear intercalary rule: every fourth year is an intercalary year with one additional day.

This proved to be an excellent system, but not forever because the year was not exactly 365 days and 6 hours long (see Slide 3). From an astronomical point of view, there were 674 seconds too many. This is not even a quarter of an hour per year, but in 128 years this error adds up to a whole day. After 1,282 years, therefore, there are 10 days too many. In 1582 Pope Gregory ordered precisely ten days to be skipped in order to make the day count agree with the celestial situation. In passing it should be mentioned that the Pope introduced an improved intercalary rule which requires revision only every 2000years. What is decisive for us is the following:

The ten days that were skipped in October 1582 corrected the mistake that had accumulated in the Julian Calendar over the previous 1,282 years. However, if you deduct these 1,282 years from 1582, you don't arrive in the year of Caesar's calendar reform, 45 BC, but in the year AD 300! If he had gone all the way back to Caesar, Pope Gregory would have had to skip 13 days. He did not do so, and yet: the astronomical situation and the calendar agreed. His jump was too short, yet he landed in the right place.

For some years now in Germany there has been a heated discussion of this strange phenomenon. In the end, it was found that in searching for the truth, antique tradition is no help: it has not left us any evidence of the spring equinox at the time of Caesar nor the autumn equinox at the time of Augustus. But this year, Werner Frank clarified that before 1582, several experts working on the calendar reform demanded that 12, 13 or even 15 days should be skipped. The Viennese Ordinary Fabricius demanded a jump of 13 days. Giorgio Caretti asked for 14 days. The mathematician Giovanni Rastelli pleaded for 15 days, in order to get to March 25, which Columella or Pliny had indicated as being the day of the spring equinox in Caesar's time. But March 25 belongs to an alternative calendar, which probably originates with the Mithras cult. Using the Greek Eudoxos (408-355), Werner Frank calculated that in Caesar's time, the spring equinox was on March 21.

All we need to know for our subject is that our calendar contains "slack" so that the time
line could be shorter.

Now it was a question of making the first thesis plausible: Which period was superfluous? At first glance it was obvious that the Roman imperial era was very well documented. The Renaissance period before 1582 was also very well documented. Even the Romanesque and Gothic eras - looked at from an art-history perspective - are well documented, with thousands - even tens of thousands - of buildings. So almost automaticallywe hit upon the Early Middle Ages. Only here was there darkness. Only here did we find the technical term "Dark Ages". This can be shown with a table (Slide 4).

In the literature, the term "Dark Ages" is used for various periods (Slide 4). The author of a history of Byzantium, Frank ThieB, called the period from the death of Justinian I till 741 "dark centuries". The Byzantinist Cyril Mango considers events in Greece and sees "dark ages" there from 580 to the 10th century. In the Frankish west, there is talk of a Merovingian Dark Age between 600 and 750. According to Peter Schreiner, a Byzantinist, there is no contemporary historiography for the period from 600 to 800. And in Byzantine architecture, for the period between 610 and at least 850 there is a large gap. This has been described by Mango. (The first preserved building that is not known from literature only is from the period shortly after 900.)

For the French medievalist Guy Bois, the century between 814 and 914 is one of the most mysterious because it is the darkest of all. For the city of Rome, its "biographer" Ferdinand Gregorovius noted in the 19th century that the period between 825 and 925 was the darkest part of an already dark era. In the Occident, it is striking that almost nothing was built between 850 and 950, which has been noticed by architectural historians such as Zimmermann or Erwin Panofsky. Incidentally, the first who talked of a dark century was Cardinal Caesar Baronius, who died in 1607. In his Ecclesiastical Annals, he used this term to describe the period between 900 and 1000.

When we look at the different definitions, it can be roughly stated that in the Byzantine Empire, a large, coherent period starting in 565, 580, or 600 and lasting till the 10th century can be eliminated as a suspicious Dark Age. In the West, however, there are two dark periods: one lasts from 600 to 750, the other from 814 into the 10th century. Why? Because in the west, there is Charlemagne, a luminous figure who is supposed to have reigned from 768 to 814 and who supplies evidence for this period because of the Carolingian Renaissance he is supposed to have initiated. However, he only illuminates this time, because immediately before and after him all is dark. Gregorovius, in his "History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages," described it thus:

"The figure of the Great Charles can be compared to a flash of lightning who came out of the night, illuminated the earth for a while, and then left night behind him." Thus, in my search for "superfluous times" I had hit on the Early Middle Ages, but I did not yet know whether there was one or two Dark Ages. Therefore I had to look closely at a German national treasure, Charlemagne.

There are various methods for testing whether a period is real or fictitious. First, written source will have to be held against written source. Then architectural finds can be compared with architectural history. Above all, the existing architecture will be compared with the existing written sources. With certainty, the best method is the comparison of archaeological finds with written sources. These are not new methods; yet they appear not to have been used sufficiently until now. I would like to illustrate the different possibilities.

Sources vs. Sources

This comparison is easy to illustrate using the reports on the life of Charlemagne. Comparing all the biographies, I soon noticed that this ruler's achievements would have required the lives of two, three, or four "normal men." In 44 of the 46 years of his reign he goes to war. Like a Medici, he has a court of scholars at Aachen that gathers the cleverest Europeans of his time. Depending on whose calculation we use, during the course of his life he traveled the equivalent of two or even three times around the globe. At the same time he was a perfect lawmaker: he formulated more than a hundred decrees, he updated jurisdiction by introducing the jury system; wherever he was he administered justice.

But he was also active as a folklorist and mythologist, ordering old legends and folk tales to be collected; he was a linguist both for German and for Latin; he ordered - remember he was illiterate! - a cleaned-up version of the Bible for he was obviously an exceptional theologian who even conducted ecclesiastical synods himself. He was a grammarian, a founder of schools, of libraries and universities - all of these long before the time when such institutions are first mentioned in Europe. In my book I have collected more than a hundred of the Great Charles' characteristics. This makes an extraordinary list: he was his own minister of agriculture; he was the physical as well as the spiritual ancestor of half of Europe; he was sole ruler to whom omniscience was ascribed; he was a classical philologist, architect, astronomer, builder and so on.

The conclusion is simple: far too much is ascribed to this one person. How much of it is true? The written sources cannot answer that question, though even while he was alive and before he was crowned emperor they speak of the beacon of Europe and the father of Europe. For the moment, let's leave aside the written sources and consult the material evidence. For the item Architectural Findings vs. Architectural History, the famous Aachen Palatine Chapel, today's Aachen Cathedral, is the best example. For this structure, his most important palace, Charlemagne was not only the patron but, according to some reports, also the architect and building supervisor. Because this building has survived to our time, we can study it thoroughly. In doing so, I found more than 24 building details that - according to architectural history - are present here already in perfection, before AD 800. But these architectural features have neither predecessors nor direct successors. All these details had to be rediscovered independently during the subsequent Romanesque Period. This is a riddle of a complexity that does not occur elsewhere.

As an example, I would refer to the central dome.

The inner octagon at Aachen has, at a height of over 30 m, an octagonal dome 15 m in diameter. It is assembled from carefully hewn stone and at its weakest points it is 83 cm thick (not quite 33 inches). This means that above every visitor, a ton of stone is suspended. The enormous weight and the thrust it produces need to be supported by the walls. This has been achieved perfectly, otherwise the building would not have survived World War II. But where did its builder learn to build so well?

The Franks were builders in wood and did not have any larger buildings. Did the knowledge come trom the Romans? The Romans had two techniques for building domes and vaults. In Rome itself domes were made trom cast concrete. Concrete consists of cement, water, and aggregate materials such as gravel or sand. The Romans had the volcanic Pozzulan earth which sets just like cement. The most famous example for this technology is the dome of the Pantheon. But no such dome was built later than AD 400. There was no building tradition that could have transported this knowledge to the Franks more than 400 years later.

In Byzantium, domes were made from tiles and other clay elements that were as light as possible, such as amphorae. The most famous examples are the domes of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Here, too, there was no continued building activity that could have transported the knowledge from Istanbul to Germany. However, knowledge that is not written down requires oral transmission from generation to generation. Thus, the Aachen Palatine Chapel appears to be a masterpiece without a predecessor.

Neither does it have a successor, for there is no Carolingian building with a dome after 820. The technology appears to have been totally forgotten. In the Occident, buildings with domes started up again only around 970, but the first domes had a span of only 3.5 meters (about 11 1/2 feet). From that point onward, the span of the vaults was increased inch by inch. Around 1050, it was possible to construct vaults over the aisle ofthe imperial cathedral at Speyer on the Rhine: with 7.5 meters (approx. 25 feet) they were the largest vaults of their time. Then started the building ofthe large Romanesque domes at Toulouse, Cluny, Santiago de Compostela, and again in Speyer. Shortly after 1100, in that city, the central nave and the transept were also given vaults. As in Aachen, the transept is an octagonal dome with a diameter of around 15 meters (approx. 50 feet).

With regard to Speyer, everything is right: there are the indispensable precursor buildings, there is the building evolution, and there are the successor buildings. For Aachen nothing is right: Aachen stands as a masterpiece with no precursor, no successor, as an erratic within the so-called Carolingian Renaissance.

Since this debate began in Germany in 1996, this line of evidence has not been refuted. On the contrary, one of the few who looked into it, Prof. Jan van der Meulen, confirmed in writing that - despite what art histories tell us - the Aachen dome is not Carolingian. It's either Gallo-Roman or Ottonian. Which means that Prof. van der Meulen places it either in the period before 650 or in the Ottonian period, which lasted from 918 to 1024.

In 2004, the architectural historian Volker Hoffinann, Berne (Switzerland) went public with the suggestion that Aachen cathedral is to be placed historically in the early 6th century. In favor of this idea is the "sister building" of San Vitale in Ravenna, though the method of building the dome of San Vitale is against the comparison because the Romans did not practice such building techniques. The dome in San Vitale, like that of St. Gereon in Cologne, was built with light clay elements.

From my point of view, Aachen was built at the same time as Speyer II, shortly after 1100. Whichever view is accepted, Aachen loses its distinction as a Carolingian building. This means that this period loses its best building, and the most important city of the Frankish Empire loses its ecclesiastical heart. With the loss of this dome alone, the tradition of Charlemagne's giant empire crumbles to dust.

Or, in other words: Carolingian buildings do not fit into the history of the arts as it is taught today.

Next point, Existing Architecture vs. Sources.

Written sources mention numerous Dark Age buildings in the Frankish region. It has been calculated (not by me but by experts on the documents in question) that there are 1,695 major buildings from the period between 476, the end of the West Roman Empire, and 817, which is three years after the death of Charlemagne. The scholars who came up with this number understood "major buildings" to mean palaces, churches, and monasteries. When we check the actual number of preserved buildings and ruins, we can be happy if more than 97 percent haven't disappeared.

The ~ame applies to the period of Charlemagne. He was supposed to have built 65 palaces, and altogether 313 major buildings. Of the palaces, a maximum of five have been preserved. Of the monasteries, not a single foundation exists. We only know the famous monastery plan of St. Gallen but for an architectural drawing this is centuries too early. Of this number, too, about 97 percent of the buildings have disappeared. The percentage is probably even higher, since besides the Aachen Palatine Chapel there is hardly a building that is ascribed exclusively to the Carolingians.

The situation is even more dramatic with regard to the most important point: Archaeology vs. Sources.

In this area, there are gaps without number. For example, one might wonder where Carolingian graves might be found. But the relevant part of the most important building, St. Denis cathedral, today in Paris, was destroyed a long time ago. Everywhere graves have been faked, as archaeologists have been able to show, such as that for King Carloman at AltOtting in Bavaria.

In the Frankish Empire, it is claimed, there were numerous destructions by Vikings, Saracens, or Avars and Huns. But archaeologists cannot show any evidence for these destructions. This is most strikingly the case for the well-researched Viking raids. What looks so plausible in the sources - Vikings come up all major rivers such as the Rhine, the Seine, Loire or Guadalquivir, and pillage all the cities - cannot be shown to have occurred in these cities. It cannot be shown that churches were destroyed or that city walls were demolished. There are no Viking objects to be found in these cities, and there are no Viking graves on the Continent.


Because this is the central point ofthe Thesis of the Phantom Era - what is there to prove the Dark Centuries existed? - together with a friend, Gerhard Anwander I carried out a large-scale study of Bavaria. In a comprehensive search, which has since been published in two volumes, we checked the 70,000 square kilometers of this region which is not only our home, it is representative of Central Europe, if not of more than half of Europe. About half of Bavaria was Roman, the other half Germanic; the Limes - the line of fortifications that divided the two populations - can still be seen. The population is composed of Germanic, Slav, and Romanic peoples; there are also interspersions of steppe peoples.

First, we collected places named in written documents. We found 2,200 places we called "document places". But when we started looking carefully for archaeological evidence, we discovered something strange: in only 88 of these document places have archaeologists discovered any remains at all that they ascribe to the Carolingians or to the early Bavarians, called the Agilolfing dukes and their time. So, here, too, in 96 percent of all possible cases there is nothing to report! It needs to be emphasized: archaeological finds are almost never forged, because nobody secretly puts a foundation in the ground to pretend an old building existed.

On the other hand, the number of forged documents is constantly growing. With each new investigation, new forgeries are discovered. The number of genuine documents diminishes all the time. In fact, it's moving toward zero. If this trend continues, Medieval Studies, an important branch of the historical sciences that puts its trust almost entirely in documents, will soon have lost its reason to exist. Most medieval scholars don't think much of my thesis, and it's not hard to see why. If I am right, then the number of genuine documents from the Phantom Era must be zero. For Bavaria, we were able to show that in all 88 questionable cases a later dating for these finds can be better justified than a Carolingian or Agilolfingian one. The same applies to those 58 finds that come from places for which there are no old documents to supply evidence.

The main problem can be summarized as follows: buildings, finds, and written documents from the Early Middle Ages are in a fundamental contradiction to each other, a conflict that cannot be resolved within conventional chronology.

Another example of missing finds. One might assume that at Aachen, the central palace of the Frankish empire, there ought to be numerous finds from that period in the museum. Yet there is not even an early medieval museum. In 1999, Prof. Matthias Untermann explained why this is so:

"Amazingly, there has not been an archeological dig or review of a building site within and outside the old city of Aachen that produced clear settlement remains of the Carolingian era, though the historical tradition points to the presence of merchants and numerous inhabitants as well as the existence of high-ranking noblemen and their courts, of whose buildings and physical remains there ought to be quite a lot in the ground. Everything that has so far been said about the road system, the structure of the settlement and its extent rests exclusively on written sources and theoretical considerations."

Which means that of this extremely important palace beside the Palatine Chapel and its
attendant buildings nothing has been preserved: neither its foundations with the streets, nor its
size, nor the houses of the clergy, nor those of the merchants, nor those of the foreign
emissaries and so on and so forth. Even small objects are missing. There is no clearer
indication that there are no finds for this period, that it is a phantom era, a fictitious period.


In the meantime, the search for evidence of the period in question, as well as for agreement between archaeological and architectural finds and written documents, has advanced quite a long way, as is shown by this list of articles and books:

Germany:
(Charlemagne exhibition at Paderborn) Heribert Illig (1999)
Bavaria: Anwander/Illig (2002)
Dortmund: Fabian Fritzsche (2002)
Frankfurt: Hans-Ulrich Niemitz (1993)
Ingelheim: GUnter Lelarge/H.I. (2001)
Saxony: Gerald Schmidt (2002)
Thuringia: Klaus Weissgerber (1999)
Viking conquests: F. Fritzsche (2004)
Europe:
Bulgaria: K. Weissgerber (2001)
Byzantium: H.I. (1997), F. Fritzsche (2003)
France: Auvergne: Gerhard Anwander (2004)
Alsace: Andreas Birken (2003)

Italy:
Lombardy H. I. (1993)
Rom H.I. (1996)
Sicily Gunnar Heinsohn (2003)
Croatia: H.I. (2003)
London: H.-U. Niemitz (1993)
Poland and the Delta of the River Vistula: G. Heinsohn (2001/02)
Russia: K. Weissgerber (2001)
Sweden: G. Anwander/H.I. (2004)
Spain: Ilya Topper (1994), H.I. (1995), G. Heinsohn (2005)
Peoples of the Steppes: Manfred Zeller (1993)
Tyrol (Austria and Italy, + Switzerland): Alfred Tamerl (2003)
Hungary: M. Zeller (1996), K. Weissgerber (2002; book)
Zurich: John Spillmann (2004)
Asia:
Armenia: G. Heinsohn (1996)
Ceylon: Claus D. Rade (1999)
China: K. Weissgerber (2002), M. Zeller (2002)
Georgia: K. Weissgerber (2000)
India: C.D. Rade (1997), K. Weissgerber (2004)
Indonesia: C. Rade (1998)
Iran: M. Zeller (1993)
Islam: various papers
Israel (Jerusalem - Synagogues): G. Heinsohn (2000)
Japan: K. Weissgerber (2002)

Yemen: U. Topper (1994)
Korea: K. Weissgerber (2002)
Parsees: U. Topper (1994)
Central Asia: M. Zeller (1993)
Africa:
Ethiopia: I. Topper (1994), Weissgerber (2003)
Berber kingdoms: U. Topper (1994)
Copts: I. Topper (1994)

To sum up: archaeological testimony clearly contradicts the documents of that period. Since our calendar shows "slack", it is permitted to state: Charlemagne has no historical background. He is an invented figure. This conclusion is compelled by the lack of finds, to which I would add that there would be an absolute absence of finds if scholars did not strive so hard to attribute any available works of art or objects of daily use to the Carolingian era. 
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