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Inventing History : forgery: a great British tradition (British History)
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Mick Harper
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St Oswald's Church (Dean) Country: England Topic: Early Medieval (Dark Age)
Church in Cumbria containing a large cup and ring marked boulder, and medieval grave slabs, the latter being built into the fabric of the building. Just to the south of the nave is a preaching/churchyard cross. St Oswald's Church is largely C12 with C13 and C15 extensions and C17 alterations. http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=47100

When they say 'largely' they mean it is an entirely Norman church but built by Normans who like to incorporate Anglo-Saxon grave slabs into the walls. When they say "large cup and ring marked boulders" they normally ascribe them to pre-history.

But apart from that, it's a Dark Age church. "Add it to the list, Mabel."
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Mick Harper
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Lead Taken From Core Samples In Ostia

1. For those of you who suspect the existence of the Dark Ages notice that the reading for 250 AD is identical to the reading for 800 AD.
2. For those of you who suspect that science gets (mis)used by historians/archaeologists, notice that the 'scientific' age of the core sample has been 'adjusted' for the benefit of the 'historical' age assigned to it.
3. For those of you who suspect that 'creative labelling' is rife in academia, notice that the 'High & Late Middle Age' now starts at 800 AD.
4. For those of you who suspect archaeologists/historians always interpret data to whatever they already believe, this is interpreted as being correlated to the decline of the Roman Empire and... er... something or other happening in the Dark Ages.
5. For those of you who suspect I'm not at my strongest with tables and numbers and core samples, read the original here https://www.fluencecorp.com/brief-history-lead-water-supplies/


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Mick Harper
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“Busy as a bee” Meaning: very busy and active.

Origin: This simile that has become the standard for describing someone who is very busy, was introduced to the world by literary icon, Geoffrey Chaucer. In Canterbury Tales, first published in 1392, he wrote:

“ Ey! Goddes mercy!” sayd our Hoste tho,
Now such a wyf I pray God keep me fro.
Lo, suche sleightes and subtilitees
In wommen be; for ay as busy as bees
Be thay us seely men for to desceyve,
And from a soth ever a lie thay weyve.
And by this Marchaundes tale it proveth wel.”

I wonder if the OED records the second use of the simile.
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Ishmael


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Mick Harper wrote:
Lead Taken From Core Samples In Ostia

1. For those of you who suspect the existence of the Dark Ages notice that the reading for 250 AD is identical to the reading for 800 AD.


How might it be possible for ice to freeze simultaneously at different depths?
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Mick Harper
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Gilgamesh and Beowulf: foundations of a comparison Richard North
Written with Martin Worthington, Cambridge

Revisionist Historiography M J Harper
Written with Harriet Vered, Berkshire

That rings a bell. Any connection to the Ashburnham Collection? I only ask because, over the years, anybody with half an eye for these things would know this is a portmanteau term used to cover the fakes and forgeries the British state has felt it necessary to concoct over the years.

The Ashburnham family lived in the house for less than eighty years until John, 1st Earl Ashburnham sold the lease to the Crown in 1730. It became the repository for the Cotton Library of historic legal and constitutional manuscripts originally assembled by Sir Robert Cotton, to which was later added the Old Royal Library. These books and manuscripts now form the heart of the collections of the British Library.

Ash burn’em, they do like their little jokes. After one year as the national repository

A fire in Ashburnham House on 23 October 1731 damaged many items: a contemporary records Dr. Bentley leaping from a window with the priceless Codex Alexandrinus under one arm. One manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was virtually destroyed. The manuscript of Beowulf was among those that suffered damage, a fact reported in The Gentleman’s Magazine.

I hope Doc Bentley was all right, it’s not easy landing with one arm round a codex. You should try it sometime. The Ashburnham Library later acquired the world’s oldest epic, a cuneiform Gilgamesh, found amidst the ruins of Nineveh in the Ashurbanipal Library. They do like their little jokes.
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Ishmael


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What I have realized is that these document-destroying "fires," which appear in history with surprising frequency, are not there to explain the destruction of historical records.

Like many others, I once assumed these ancient libraries had existed and that their content was deemed politically or socially dangerous---which is why the records had to go. The History of the Islamic writings contains a story along these lines: The life of Mohammed was assembled into an official record and then the Sultan responsible ordered all the sources burned, so there would be no competing accounts. Makes sense.

Yet it was this story that led me to the truth (and I appreciate you have been way ahead of me here): There simply were no competing accounts! None that were about Mohammed anyway. The biography of the prophet was largely assembled from whole cloth, without written sources (well.....actually.... I believe I've identified the primary inspiration for the character---been meaning to post about this for some time). The supposed burning of the sources is a story invented to explain absence of surviving source documentation.

So it is with the tales of all these burning libraries. The claim is made that the documents we have have survived from ancient times. Yet the very complexity, length, and completeness of those surviving documents suggests there ought to be thousands of surviving documents from the same eras of lesser complexity, length, and completeness. But there are none.

There are none because there never were any!

But to believe in the pedigree of the supposed surviving documents, one must accept that there once were many other documents that did not survive---thus fires must be invented to account for their destruction. Only the best documents, therefore, survived, clutched beneath the arms of Doctor Bentleys leaping from many a window.
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Mick Harper
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Very good. As you say, I arrived at this position some time ago. The bonus is that (a) if there were dox but (b) they have been destroyed then (c) historians can decide what was in them!
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Ishmael


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Who was the inspiration for the literary, historical character Mohamod?

Admittedly. This is but an hypothesis. And one not yet researched. There is, also much dispute about this claims. However, for what it is worth, here is the clue.

Mohamod married a Nun.
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Mick Harper
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I will be interested to hear. I didn't even know there were nuns in those days, in those parts. In Revisionist Historiography (published today, by the way, and available on Amazon in two or three days time) I skirted around the subject because I didn't have enough to say to warrant writing about it head-on. Not that I have obeyed that rule when dealing with less incendiary subjects. A coat-trail was enough when I knew almost nothing but suspected almost everything.
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Mick Harper
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Franks Casket or “The King’s Hoard Box” in a Nutshell Dr. Alfred Becker
The Franks Casket, named after its donator to the British Museum, A. W. Franks, first became known to the general public
around 1850 when it popped up in a middle class house in Auzon, France, thence its other name, the Auzon Casket.

In a nutshell, Herr Doktor, you're nuts (even allowing for machine translation from your original German text). Despite your being considered something of an authority on this artefact, this being your fourth published work on it, you have erred in the following respects in these, your opening two lines

1. The Casket was not donated to the British Museum by Franks. He offered to sell it to the BM for a hundred guineas in 1858 and got turned down flat. Ten years later he transferred it from his own private collection to the Museum's collections after he had become -- you'll never guess, Alf -- Keeper of British and Medieval Antiquities at the British Museum!

2. It was not known to the general public in, around or anywhere close to 1850 unless you think being piled in five panels in a corner of a Parisian antique shop in 1857 counts as being known to the general public in 1850.

3. There is no record of what social class the Auzon family belonged to because nobody has ever identified the Auzon family.

I shall, with your permission, not proceed further into your work in case I despair at the standards of modern scholarship.
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Mick Harper
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In Revisionist Historiography I argue that the French Enlightenment, far from being among the cornerstones of the modern world, was a fiction. Here’s what was going on over in jolly old England

The Birmingham Lunar Society Creating a new world on nights of the full moon
https://medium.com/lessons-from-history/the-birmingham-lunar-society-fe2faab94535

Britain in the age of King George III was fortunate in numbering among its citizens
a group of practical men who grasped that science could be set to work.
These men were among the creators of the modem world.

Sounds familiar.

Among the men who were to achieve this feat were the members of the Birmingham Lunar Society
— so called because its monthly meetings were timed to coincide with the full moon, so that members could travel home safely by moonlight.
It was an informal group, with a membership never higher than 14. Its leading lights were…

I select and paraphrase

Matthew Boulton -- engineer and factory owner
Erasmus Darwin -- inventor of a prototype steam and gas engine. Anticipated his grandson Charles' Evolution.
James Watt -- inventor of the modern steam engine.
Josiah Wedgwood -- founder of the modern pottery industry.
Joseph Priestley -- experimenter with electricity and the chemistry of gases. Discovered oxygen.
etc etc

I commented

Such a lot of adepts living within a moonlit buggy ride of one another. Only it's not London but Birmingham, a place no adept would dream of living in. Makes you think, eh?
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Mick Harper
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I got a response from the poster

Birmingham was far better suited than London as a centre for industry - it had masses of coal and other raw materials right on its doorstep, and the development of canals would soon connect it with ports to both north and south.

So they can add the ability to predict that Birmingham would be an even worse place to live to their many talents.
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