Heribert Illig's Fear of Astronomy
(Illig's Astrophoby)

Against the article "300 years of invented Middle Ages" ("300 Jahre erfundenes Mittelalter") published by the German magazine raum&reit, ed 108, a bitter reply appeared in Zeitensprünge (Illig's own magazine) 4/2000 by author and publisher Heribert Illig with the following title: Astromanie und Wissenschaft (Astromania and Science). D. Herrmann · F. Krojer · S. Rothwangl · W. Schlosser.
A similar article also appeared in the German magazine Skeptiker 2/01 with the title Erfundenes Mittelalter (Invented Middle Ages).

Under the heading "Rothwangl ziwschen Wissenschaftlichkeit and Esoterik" (Rothwangl between science and esotericism), Illig writes as if offended and being persecuted:
Eines scheint erkennbar: Zwei Astronomen benutzen zwei durch viele Internet-Invektiven ausgewiesene Gegner meiner Thesen, um ihre eigenen, ins Stocken geratenen Angriffe auf einem viel tieferen, zum Teil wissenschaftsfremden Niveau weiterhin vortragen zu lassen. Vor ein paar Jahrhunderten hätte man von‚gedungenen Spießgesellen" gesprochen, aber Shakespeare hätte sich nicht gewundert: ... "Die Not bringt einen zu seltsamen Schlafgesellen..."

It seems obvious: two astronomers use two distinctive opponents of my theses, well known from many internet sites, to let their own obstructed attacks extend into a much deeper, nonscientific level. A couple of centuries ago, one would have spoken about hired assassins, but Shakespeare would not have been surprised: necessity makes strange bedfellows.

Illig apparently feels himself surrounded by enemies and suspects that Prof. Hermann and Prof. Schlosser must have hired me and Mr. Krojer in order to assassinate Illig's character. I know neither Prof. Hermann or Mr. Krojer personally but only through the published works. But Prof. Schlosser I know from a symposium I organized two years ago.

That one of them would need our help to get Illig's theses removed to the non-science zone looks like delusions of pursuit and megalomania.

But Illig continues further with his diatribe:
Selbstverständlich hat Rothwangl die Redaktion falsch über meine Thesen informiert, denn das erfundene Mittelalter stammt nach meiner Meinung keineswegs von den Historikern. Das macht aber nichts, lernen sich doch auf diese Weise Astronomen und Historiker schneller und besser kennen. Werden sie nun gemeinsam Front machen gegen raum&zeit, gegen Rothwangl und Krojer, oder werden sie weiterhin auf offene wie verkappte Esoteriker setzen, so lange sie nur von ihnen gegen mich verteidigt werden? ... Ebenso sind die alten Beobachtungen des Sternes Spika (bei Rothwangls 1. Argumentationspunkt) zu überprüfen. Die Archäoastronomie hätte hier im Zusammenspiel mit den Historikern ein weitläufiges Arbeitsgebiet. Auf diesem weiten Feld aktiv zu werden und Ginzels Forschungsstand von 1914 zu aktualisieren, sollte eine Herausforderung für die Astronomen sein. Statt dessen blamieren sie sich und ihre Fachorgane in immer neuen, immer peinlicheren Anläufen.

Rothwangl obviously informed the editorship incorrectly about my theses because the invented Middle Ages originates, according to my opinion, in no way from the historians. That does not matter, however, because in this manner astronomers and historians become acquainted with each other in this manner more quickly and better. Will they join forces against raum&zeit, against Rothwangl and Krojer, or will they set forth on thinly disguised esotericism, in order to be defended by them against me? ... also the old observations of the star Spika (first point of Rothwangl's argument) must be reviewed. Archeoastronomy would have here an extensive area in common with the historians. To become active on this far field and to update Ginzel's research state of 1914 should be a challenge for the astronomers. Instead, they expose themselves and their agents in ever- new, always more embarrassing ways.

Illig's statement here is remarkable: "because the invented Middle Ages originates according to my opinion in no way from the historians." The "invented Middle ages" is the title of Illig's own book! Or does Illig mean to suggest here that by "time forgery" he never had meant what is understood by me and others, namely the invention of a time period that actually did not exist, but rather was the filling of a very secure occurring period of time with the falsified recording of history. Unfortunately Illig pays no attention to that or the astronomical facts expressed by me in raum&reit No. 108, but rather starts lamenting over the inexact records of the historian and bishop, Hydatius, who left us exact daily eclipse reports from the 4th century. Because some of his other data were incorrect, this suffices for Illig to reject the total record of the history of Hydatius as a forgery. This shows the usual thinking of Illig, who rejects any source that contradicts his thesis. Unfortunately, not one valid ancient astronomical report exists that agrees with his 300 years thesis, what would cause a serious developmnet of the discussion. Illig points therefore again to the leap days that were usual in the old Roman calendar to fix the day of the vernal equinox in the time of Augustus and Caesar in relation to the Gregorian reform. This is entirely irrelevant, because the Gregorian Reform regards to the spring day of Nicea, specifically the 21 March. Illig leads us farther off topic by introducing concepts of a luni-solar precession, as if the wobble could be divided into easily visible influences of sun, moon and planets.

The petition of Illig to review the ancient observations of the star Spica, I want to follow here gladly with a last contribution to the subject of phantom time. For Illig, this brings, as expected, no positive turning point.

In Ptolemaos' Almagest VII 3, p. 28 (Heiberg) we read about an occultation of Spica by the moon:
Timocharis as an observer in Alexandria makes the following records. In the 36th year of the first Kallippic period on the 15th Elaphebolion, i.e. on the 5th Tybi, the moon, at the beginning of the third (night) hour, reached with the middle of its rim/face/verge that is situated in direction to the equinox point, Spica. And Spica went through (the moon), cutting off exactly the third part of its diameter to the North. The moment happened in the 454th year of Nabonassar on the 5./6. Egyptian Tybi, four civil hours, that is also close to four equinoctial hours before midnight.

Translated into the present chronology, this event took place on 9 March 294 BCE, 20:00.

Image: The start of the Spica occultation through the moon on 9 March 294 BCE 20:00, represented by a modern astronomy program. (Sky Map)

On p. 29, Ptolemy represents another observation of Timocharis that tells that in the 48th year (Kallippos) on the 7th of Thot, after the 10,5th hour, the northern horn of the just risen moon sickle touched Spica. This was in the 466th year of Nabonassar, 7./8. Egypt. Thot, 3 1/2 civil hours after midnight.
After present chronology, that is 9th Nov. 283 BCE, 3:30 a.m.

Image: The Spica occultation by the moon on the 9th Nov. 283 BCE, 3:30.

As shown, current astronomy programs, which are generated with algorithms after the presently determined sky course, agree unanimously per minute exactly with almost 2300 year old reports based specifically upon observations. How could such an exact observational report have been falsified about 1000 years ago? Or does Illig suspect that current computer experts and astronomers fake their programs in order to bring them into agreement with historic reports? In truth, the current experts on astronomical computer programs hardly know the ancient reports and would be astonished to see how good and exact their programs are! Therefore, Illig's attack against Franz Krojer turns against himself, and if he accuses Krojer to be non-specialist, it is only interdisciplinarity that can free us from the dangers of the circular conclusions in the recording of history that is sworn by Illig again and again.

Heribert Illig, with his attack on the recording of history about Charles the Great (Charlemagne), has looked out too far out of the window and falsely maintained that Charlemagne's time itself did not take place. Some of Charlemagne's history surely was later rewritten and embellished in a poetic and mythical way in order to use the emperor's life and reign for political purposes. Mr. Illig should take this advice: Quick, withdraw from his dangerous position which lets him fall out of the window.
Reality loss is worse than only being beaten by Rothwangl. Illig shall work on in the discovery of history, but shall not create fakes to reveal a fake. The avowal of an error regarding the phantom time will be forgiven and the disclosure of historical fake regarding the Charlemagne-age many will welcome. But his continuous persistence with a principle offending nature is an erroneous doctrine. What do people say?: "someone who lies three times will never be believed, even if he tells the truth a thousand times."

For me it seems to be time wasted to search for more proofs against the phantom time, for these are not worth (the paper they are written on). To expose this error, whoever wants more proofs against Illig's thesis may even make use of: John M. Steele's Observations and Predictions of Eclipse Times by Early Astronomers (Archimedes New studies in the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology). June 2000. ISBN 0-7923-6298-5. There one finds several hundred old eclipse reports that one can compare to the codices of Eclipses of Hermann Mucke or Fred Espenak.
To convert Mr. Illig seems to be more hopeless than to convince the pope that St. Mary was no virgin when she bore Jesus.

But perhaps for his followers, Illig is becoming a new Messiah, who rescues them with his phantom time of 300 years, beaming them back into the year 1700 and thus saving them from the terrible year 2000 and the beginning of the new age

Sepp Rothwangl. -246227

To learn more on this subject and to make your own decision pls read the very considerable German article of Franz Krojer:
Astronomische und emotionale Verwerfungen, vielleicht sogar eine Mega-Verschwörung.