Fig. 6.92. Late XVIII century dates on Belgian copper plaques. The dates are transcribed as follows: J78J, J78J, i783 and j785. Taken from [1012], Appendices, PL IV/2.

Fig. 6.92. Late XVIII century dates on Belgian copper plaques. The dates are transcribed as follows: J78J, J78J, i783 and j785. Taken from [1012], Appendices, PL IV/2.

Fig. 6.94. Late XVIII century dates on Belgian copper plaques. The dates are transcribed as follows: J793, j (looking like the Roman S) 794, J795, J796, J798, 1799. Note that the last date is transcribed with the Arabic digit 1. See the close-in on the next illustration. Taken from [1012], Appendices, PL IV/4.

Fig. 6.93. Late XVIII century dates on Belgian copper plaques. The dates are transcribed as follows: j789, 1798, j790, )1% J79J and J793. Taken from [1012], Appendices, Pl. IV/3.

Fig. 6.95. A close-in of the last date from the Belgian tables. The first digit is already transcribed as the Arabic numeral that we are accustomed to nowadays. Taken from [1012], Appendices, PL IV/4.

J7-59, J7-59, j760, i(or j)762, i(or Greek X)763,1764 (here "one" is written in its "Arabic form" accepted nowadays), j764, j764, j768, j768, j768, J78J, J78J, i783, j785, j789,1798, j790, j79j, J79J, J793, J793, j(as Latin S)794, J795, J796, J798, 1799. We shall note that the last date is written with an "Arabic figure of one".

It is absolutely clear that in the overwhelming majority of cases the figure of one was written as either the Latin "Y\ or the Latin "/". This practice continued up to the end of the XVIII century; a doubtless conclusion from fig. 6.94, where the penultimate date on the plate is still written as j798 - that is, 1798 in the contemporary sense. Certain official documents in Belgium may have written the figure of one as Latin "i" or "j" even towards the end of the XIX century. However, the register of goldsmiths' names we have come across suddenly breaks off on year 1799. We cannot tell what has been happening thereafter.

It is extremely peculiar that as of the middle of the XVIII century, an especially persistent inconsistency in the recording of dates set on in the Belgian plates. See, for example, fig. 6.89. Could it mean that someone had deliberately edited the "earlier" and more regular, or "steadier", recordings of dates on the plates? In other words, were the plates antedated upon previously rubbed soft brass after the middle of the XVIII century, when the recording of figures had more or less settled, though still far from what is accepted nowadays?

Finally, in the last date 1799 on the plate we can see the figure of one written in the "Arabic style" usual for us, fig. 6.95.

Let us return to the very first date appearing on the Belgian plates, fig. 6.79 and fig. 6.80 - allegedly 1642 a.d. There is something strange about it. The point is, in all other cases dates on the plates form a non-decreasing sequence, while the very first date, year 1642, is obviously in the wrong place since it is followed by substantially earlier dates - namely, i607, j608, i615, and so on. How come year 1642 is about 50 years ahead? One might say there is some confusion involved, and somebody has apparently made a dating mistake - and at the same time, as it turns out, confused the name of a goldsmith, or even several goldsmiths, shifting the date back or forth by 50 years. This could possibly have happened, although in an official state document - a currency act related to gold processing, for instance, - it may look somewhat peculiar. Licensing documentation of that kind is assumed to have been kept under a vigilant watch in XVI-XVIII centuries, as is the case nowadays. Therefore, we believe the following idea to be of relevance.

We must have traced the fact that the sign of 6 formerly meant the figure of five, while the sign of 5, vice versa, meant the figure of six. Thus, the signs for five and six were switched. We have already discovered this fact and described it in detail in our book [RAR]: 4, pp. 255-266. See also Chron4, chapter 13:5. In other words, the record 1642 in earlier documents might have meant Year five hundred forty-second since Jesus, but by no means one thousand six hundred forty second, as it is believed nowadays. Nothing remains strange any more if the record J642 is interpreted like this, everything falls in due place. The first date on the Belgian plates is indeed 1542 recorded as J642 where the sign of 6 was interpreted as the figure of five. Our hypothesis is in good conformity with the opinion of contemporary Belgium historians that the first names on the brass plates date back to 1538, although this date, as far as the photographs presented in [1012] show, is not engraved on the plates ([1012], page 9). Instead, the date "year five hundred forty-second since Jesus" appears to have been engraved, q.v. in fig. 6.80, followed shortly thereafter by the dates iJ607, j608, i615, and so on. As a result, the correct chronological order is restored.

We should sum it up by stating the following. The old method of recording dates with the first letter "i" or "j" referring to a "year since Jesus" survived until the end of the XVIII century in many areas of the Western Europe. Moreover, years were counted down from the XI century a.d. Later on, while editing books on history in the XVII-XVIII century, those old dates were eliminated and replaced by those customary to our age, using the figure of 1 = one instead of letters'!" and "J". However, in certain rarely available documents from European archives - like the list of goldsmiths in Belgium - the old dates have fortunately survived. Those rare documents convey to us the social atmosphere of the XVI-XVII century, which significantly differs from what the Scaligerite historians display to us.

13.4. How the chronological shift by 330 or 360 years could have occured

A similar mechanism may have inchoated the chronological shift of approximately 333 years or 360 years. Chronologists might have recorded dates of the end of the XV century - the beginning of theXVI century in relative chronology, counting years from the moment of accession to the throne, for example, of the famous emperor Caesar Maximilian I, 1493-1519. We shall not elaborate which ruler was called the Great Caesar 1st, or Maximilian Kaiser the First, by the mediaeval chronologists. See Chron7 for more details on this. The only thing important to us is that, when dating events from the first year of his accession to the throne, chronologists might have used an abbreviated recording of his name - MCL, i.e. Maxim Caesar the Hellenic. In that case, a date such as "Maximilian Caesar his third year" would appear in chronicles as MCL.III. After a while, the original meaning of the letters MCL was forgotten. The Scaligerite chronologists proposed to regard them as figures. Substituting figures for letters, they must have arrived at the "date" of 1153. This fictitious date differs from the actual one - i.e. from 1496 - by 343 years: 1496 -1153 = 343. Thus, chronologists have automatically shifted the documents using abbreviations similar to MCL(...) to record dates by approximately 330 or 360 years backwards.

13.5. What latin letters M, D, C in Roman dates meant originally, in the Middle Ages

115.1. General idea

Many "Roman dates" in old texts, epitaphs, tombstones, etc., considered mediaeval or even "ancient" nowadays, begin with Latin letters D, M, C and so on. We believe all these letters to have originally been abbreviations of various words, first letters thereof. For example,

D = Domini, i.e. the Lord, Divine, or D = Dom in terms of reigning house, dynasty;

Those were different methods of recording mediaeval dates in relative chronology. They might have counted years either from the beginning of the XI

century, - as the Nativity of Christ, - or some great mediaeval king who had lived in the XV century, for instance. But then the original meaning of abbreviations D, M and C was forgotten. The Scaligerite chronologists attached certain numeric meanings to those letters and declared that the Latin letter M had always meant "one thousand years", letter D - "five hundred years", letter C - "one hundred years", and so on. As the result, formerly correct, or comparatively "close dates" have been arbitrarily turned into "very distant dates'mediaeval events forcibly dispatched deep into the past.

In modern times, the Latin method of recording dates, Anno Domini (...) would normally be interpreted as "Year from Incarnation of Lord (so-and-so)", Domini translated solely as the Lordy Divine. The date of Incarnation, i.e. the Nativity of Jesus Christ, is proposed to have been meant in every case. However, the word Domini could have possibly meant the House, in terms of Reigning House, Ruling House. The word Dom (House) did have that "Imperial meaning" in Russia. Until now, the largest central cathedrals in the cities of Western Europe are called Dom. In this case, a date written as Anno Domini (...) might as well have meant "The Year of the Reigning House (so-and-so)". That is, years of different events could have been counted from the accession of a Reigning House. This context causes an apparent ambiguity in the dating of inscriptions of this kind. The point is, different mediaeval chroniclers could mean absolutely different Reigning Houses, i.e. different regal dynasties. The major reigning Houses ascended to their thrones in the XIV century, as well as in the XV and XVI centuries. Converting dates of this kind into modern chronology shall lead us to different dates accordingly.

To sum it up, we shall list a few possible readings for the Latin recordings of dates.

The date of the Anno D. (...), or Anno Domini (...), or Anno D. M. type might read The Year of (Ruling) House (such-and-such). We must note that the word Anno, or year, was implied when omitted in writing.

The date of the M. D.(...) type might mean "the year of the Great House (such-and-such)". The Latin M here is the abbreviation for Magnus, or Great.

The date of the M. C.(...) type might mean "the year of the Great King (such-and-such)", as M is Magnus, C is Caesar, i.e. caesar, king (czar), kaiser.

The date of the C. M(...) type might also mean "the year of King the Great (such-and-such)", as C may stand for caesar, king (czar), and M is Magnus, or Great.

The date of type D. (...) could mean "the year of (reigning) House (such-and-such)".

By the way, the Latin word Domini might have formerly meant not only the Lord, Divine, but also "a very large House", i.e., again, the Great House. For example, a very big house is sometimes called Domina in Russian. This word is not considered very literary nowadays, though virtually identical to the "Latin" Domini.

Finally, the letter M might as well have meant Maria, i.e. Mother of Jesus Christ. Let us recall that in Western Europe the Virgin Mary was in some sense even more popular than Christ. Therefore, the usage of her name in the chronology of the Christian era looks perfectly natural.

115.2. Example: the date on the tomb of Empress Gisela

The next example makes it immediately obvious what various decodings of the same "Latin Date" lead to. The famous cathedral church in the German city of Speyer, the Speyer Dom, houses several sepulchres of the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation assigned to the X-XIII century a.d. Conrad II, his wife Gisela, Henry III, Henry IV, and then Rudolf Habsburg (of Nov-Gorod?), etc., are allegedly buried here ([1408],page 16). The fate of those sepulchres was a dismal one. Historians report that "in 1689 the tombs were completely destroyed" ([ 1408], page 17). Over and over we come across a striking fact - mass destruction and annihilation of old imperial burials turns out to have been performed in the XVII century in Russia as well as in Europe, see Chron5.

Remains of a few old tombs of the abovelisted German rulers have recently been discovered during excavations on the territory of the Speyer Dom, and later moved to the Dom and buried in a special crypt ([1408]). Unfortunately, one cannot see the old sarcophagi now, as they all have been replaced with contemporary concrete replicas - A. T. Fomenko and T. N. Fomenko witnessed that during their visit in 1998. We are familiar with such "replica practice" in what concerns the regal tombs in the Archangel Cathedral in Moscow, where the old sarcophagi of Russian Czars and Grand Dukes were covered completely with mas sive replicas of the Romanov epoch, so today it is impossible to read what has been originally written on the old sarcophagi, q.v. in Chron4.

In the museum of the Speyer Dom (Cathedral), in its basement, one can only see a minor remainder of metallic, apparently leaden, coating of the coffin of Empress Gisela. She is thought to have been buried in 1043 ([ 1408], p. 15). On a fragment of the leaden sheet, a vague part of a Latin inscription with a date has survived. We managed to read the inscription, although its integrity leaves much to be desired. It begins with:

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