MemberlistThe Library Index  FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Dark Age Obscured (History)
Reply to topic Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4 ... 38, 39, 40  Next
View previous topic :: View next topic  
aurelius



View user's profile
Reply with quote

Memories In Trees And Stone

Tree rings – concentric circles in horizontal section across the wood – record annual growth. Dendrochronology, the study of this relationship, assumes thick rings to show vigorous, and therefore healthy growth in good years, and thin ones to record meagre growth in bad.

Dendrochronologist Mike Baillie identifies ‘tree ring events’ around 536 and, after a partial recovery, 542 AD with the rings close to minima. Evidence from Greenland ice cores support his theory:

Upon examining the tree-ring record, Baillie noticed indications of severe environmental downturns around 2354 BC, 1628 BC, 1159 BC, 208 BC, and AD 540. The evidence suggests that these environmental downturns were wide-ranging catastrophic events; the AD 540 event in particular is attested in tree-ring chronologies from Siberia through Europe and North and South America. This event coincides with the second largest ammonium signal in the Greenland ice in the last two millennia, the largest being in AD 1014, and both these epochs were accompanied by cometary apparitions.


(For Wile: A memory of the comet, or comets may even show up in a silver penny of Cnut
http://www.symbolicmessengers.com/cnut.htm)

Dallas Abbott is a research scientist whose present focus is on submarine impact craters.

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

She sees the Grendel impact crater, off the south western coast of Norway (18 km across) to be a prime candidate for a catastrophic impact which caused a mega-tsunami and had significant effect on climate. (Two other contenders are on the sea floor of the Gulf of Carpentaria).

She and her colleagues have found circumstantial evidence of such an impact. The Greenland ice cores contain fossils of tiny tropical marine organisms — specifically, certain species of diatoms and silicoflagellates.

An extraterrestrial impact in the tropical ocean likely blasted these little low-latitude organisms all the way to chilly Greenland, researchers said. And Abbott believes the object responsible was once a piece of Halley's comet.


http://www.livescience.com/42048-halleys-comet-linked-to-ancient-famine.html

540 AD: Monte Casino, Italy: according to the dialogues of Gregory the Great book II chap XXXV, St Benedict of Nursia observed a glittering light that became a fiery globe. This would be a another close encounter, subsequent to the 536 one.

540 AD: Chinese historical records: “Dragons fought in the pond of the K’uh o. They went westward...in all the places they passed, all the trees were broken”. In the following years, revolts took place in northern China in the face of droughts and famine.

Procopius thought there was a link between the atmospheric turmoil and disease: “Plague is caused by a venom that corrupts the air....and in the second year it reached Byzantium in the midst of spring".

The 536 event and the ensuing famine have been put forward to explain some of the depositions of gold by Scandinavian elites at the end of the 'migration period'. The gold may have been deposited to appease the gods. The decline of Teotihuacan in modern day Mexico has also been put down to droughts related to climate change, with civil unrest,

This theory of ecological decline is supported by archaeological remains that show a rise in the percentage of juvenile skeletons with evidence of malnutrition during the 6th century.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Upon examining the tree-ring record, Baillie noticed indications of severe environmental downturns around 2354 BC, 1628 BC, 1159 BC, 208 BC, and AD 540

So not 536 or 537 then. Tree rings, like annals are supposed to be annularly spot on.

The evidence suggests that these environmental downturns were wide-ranging catastrophic events; the AD 540 event in particular is attested in tree-ring chronologies from Siberia through Europe and North and South America. This event coincides with the second largest ammonium signal in the Greenland ice in the last two millennia,

So a huge deal then ....

the largest being in AD 1014

woops, fell at the first hurdle. Nothing untoward happened in 1014, did it?

and both these epochs were accompanied by cometary apparitions.

Let's not forget that cometary apparitions have no untoward effect either (as far as we know).
Send private message
aurelius



View user's profile
Reply with quote

Nothing untoward happened in 1014, did it?


'Fraid it probably did. Striking England there was a massive tsunami -

William of Malmesbury stated that "A tidal wave... grew to an astonishing size such as the memory of man cannot parallel, so as to submerge villages many miles inland and overwhelm and drown their inhabitants." The event was also mentioned in Welsh bardic chronicles. On the 28th September 1014 ◦Accounts suggest that a flood affected Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Cumbria, and Mount’s Bay in Cornwall, where the Bay was “inundated by a ‘mickle seaflood’ when many towns and people were drowned”.[11]
.

This would have been within the lifetime of Willliam's grandparents.

And, on the other side of the Atlantic,

In other words, the evidence suggests that a comet or meteor slammed into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and ejected material from the bottom of the ocean which flew over 3800 kilometers and landed in the bog at Black Rock Forest in New York. The material at Black Rock was dated to around 1014 AD.


Cnut launched his invasion of England in the following year and may have seen the comet and destruction as an auspicious sign - hence the unusual figure on his coin (see prev. link).

This is likely the origins of the Aztec myth relating to the destruction of the Fourth Sun by a flood around 1011 AD as recorded on the Aztec Calendar Stone.


It was even reported in the ASC, though I didn't pick up on it because 'tsunami' wasn't one of the words I thought of searching for (only comet, Sun, eclipse, famine and others).

Kronk puts it seventh in his list of closest cometary approaches.

OK, more evidence is needed so I shall look out for more on this in the years to come.
Send private message
aurelius



View user's profile
Reply with quote

So not 536 or 537 then. Tree rings, like annals are supposed to be annularly spot on.


It just depends which Wiki link you choose. On the 'Extreme Weather' page rather than his biography page it states:

Tree ring analysis by dendrochronologist Mike Baillie, of the Queen's University of Belfast, shows abnormally little growth in Irish oak in 536 and another sharp drop in 542, after a partial recovery.[12] Similar patterns are recorded in tree rings from Sweden and Finland, in California's Sierra Nevada and in rings from Chilean Fitzroya trees.[citation needed] Ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica show evidence of substantial sulfate deposits in around 533–534 ± 2, which is evidence of an extensive acidic dust veil.[2]
Send private message
aurelius



View user's profile
Reply with quote

Here Is The News

With natural disasters and such turmoil going on in Europe it seems only fair to get the British perspective. How did the local press see it?

I had compiled a table, ‘Heavenly Events Recorded in the Annals’. Having pored over the chronological entries from the ASC, the Welsh equivalent, The Annales Cambriae, and the self-explanatory Annals of Ulster, I entered any statements which concerned interesting natural events and their dates down the left hand side against further columns for each of the annals (discounting the Scots, who hadn’t got round to compiling anything for the early sixth century). Two more columns were available for the orthodox consensus/minor annals and the Chinese astronomical records.

About 80-90% of the entries are dedicated to recording murders, skirmishes, raids, battles, accessions to kingship, the lives of the saints, religious zealotry and evangelism. Fair enough – but what do they have to say about ‘natural’ events? Society wasn’t just dependent on defensive security, it was also reliant on successful agriculture, a healthy population and trade.

It seems unlikely that Britain would have fared any better than Europe from the veil of cloud and dust, which would in short time have enveloped most of the hemisphere of origin, and then the rest of the troposphere. In some parts of China it is believed that 70 – 80% of the population died as a result of the ensuing famine.

So, hoping our annals are more Guardian than the Daily Star, what do they report from the mid—500’s?
Send private message
aurelius



View user's profile
Reply with quote

“If you can remember the 500’s, you really weren’t there”

Annoyingly, our annals are silent on the gloom, which John the Lydian recollected lasted “for nearly a whole year” and elsewhere was estimated at eighteen months duration.

Clearly there appear to be some public health issues, as the Annales Cambriae note for 537 and 547 AD, but the term ‘plague’ was used for many diseases in those days and is unlikely to be diagnostic of the Bubonic. If the skin of victims of the latter was discoloured at all it would be gangrenous and black – hence ‘Black Death’. Not yellow.

The Annals of Ulster do at least observe a ‘failure of bread’ in 536 and 539 (as do the Annals of Inisfallen for 537 and the Annals of Tigernach for 538) which most likely would have been climate related. They do not mention ‘plague’, though, until 667/8 when there is “still plague in Ireland”. This coincides with a different outbreak, recorded 664-668 in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History and agreed by the ASC.

The Chronicle mentions a Solar Eclipse for 538 AD, “from morning until nine” which is odd, since even if measured from ‘first contact’ it should not have lasted more than a couple of hours (lunar eclipses are longer, up to six hours). Orthodoxy puts the nearest solar eclipse at 536 and a further one in 540 AD but no other to confirm the one dated by the ASC.

Intriguingly, the Annales start off with the entry ‘447: Days as dark as night’. This is strongly suggestive of something more than an eclipse and could be a misplaced reference to the polluted atmosphere of ninety years later.

So the British annals do not contain accurate information about a darkening over months on end or the type of plague we would recognise as ‘Bubonic’.

Everything points to them being compiled decades after the events, by which time only a few scraps of information, probably from a variety of sources were available and folk memory was impoverished. And indeed this is what we are told about the earliest annal which goes to comprise the ASC:

The original manuscript of the Chronicle was created late in the 9th century, probably in Wessex, during the reign of Alfred the Great. Multiple copies were made of that one original and then distributed to monasteries across England, where they were independently updated.


The Annales Cambriae were composed sometime between the 10th and 13th centuries and the Annals of Ulster even later. It is no wonder then that there is no agreement over the dating of natural events for the entire period the three run parallel.
Send private message
Ishmael


In: Toronto
View user's profile
Reply with quote

aurelius wrote:
“If you can remember the 500’s, you really weren’t there”


Jeeze! That's the perfect Title for a book about the missing time of the Middle Ages!



IF YOU CAN REMEMBER THE
DARK AGES
YOU REALLY WEREN'T THERE


Mick. You gotta use it.
Send private message
Hatty
Site Admin

In: Berkshire
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Shouldn't that be "If you can remember the 600's....?
Send private message
aurelius



View user's profile
Reply with quote

I wish.
Send private message
aurelius



View user's profile
Reply with quote

Alternative Ulster


It wasn’t all tribal fighting in Ulster - ‘natural events’ were not ignored entirely. In the eighth century in particular, the Annals of Ulster, don’t disappoint:

U764: 3 showers fell: wheat, silver and honey.


Death by natural causes as well as by violence was reported. The great and the good variously 'died', 'rested', 'ended life', 'fell asleep' or enjoyed 'repose'. Occasionally there is a demise which is remarkable:

U739: Fergus Glut, King of Cuib, died from the venemous spittles of wicked people.


There were slow news days when the mundane gained column inches:

U876: The Fair of Tailtiu was not held, although there was no just or worthy reason for this.


Or there was breaking news to take your mind off the state of the mast-crop:

U961: An arrow-like flash of lightening came right through Laigin from the south-west and killed eleven hundred men and animals as far as Ath cliath.


Strangest of all, perhaps, was what could be found at the water's edge:

U1030: A man was cast up on the strand of Corcu Baiscinn, and the space between his breast and his loins measured eight feet.


U891: The sea cast up a woman in Scotland whose length was 195 feet; the length of her plaits 17 feet; the finger of her hand 7 feet; the length of her nose 7 feet; and altogether she was a white as a swan.


This woman's description is almost identical to an account in Liber Monstrorum , " a late seventh or early eighth century Anglo-Latin catalogue of marvellous creatures which may be connected with the Anglo-Saxon scholar Aldhelm" (Wiki)....a bestiary which also mentions King Hygelac of the Geats, "renowned for his large size" and is a character in Beowulf. The woman turns up, with varying vital statistics, in the Chronicon Scotorum & the Annals of Innisfallen. Clearly there is some interpolating going on here.

Six-legged cows are more credible though. And "dragons seen in the sky" more interesting to me, at least.
Send private message
aurelius



View user's profile
Reply with quote

Stop press:

U753.13:

A whale was cast ashore in Bairche in the time of Fiachna son of Aed Rón, king of Ulaid. It had three gold teeth in its head, each containing fifty ounces*, and one of them was placed on the altar of Bennchor this year, that is, in AD 752.


*Gold bars of this weight (approx 1400 g) would be about as big as 90’s mobile phones.

Bennchor is also sometimes written as Beannchor, in other words Bangor Abbey. Not much is left of it - even the rebuilt version. The whereabouts of the tooth unknown.
Send private message
aurelius



View user's profile
Reply with quote

Enter The Dragon

Astonishingly there is not a single mention of a dragon, serpent, wyvern or worm or any other form of the beast in the Annales Cambriae. Such British ones as exist are found in the Annals of Ulster (3) and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (1).

AU:
U467.3
Death of Uter Pendragon, king of England, to whom succeeded his son, King Arthur, who instituted the Round Table.

U735.6
A huge dragon was seen, with great thunder after it, at the end of autumn.

U746.2
Dragons were seen in the sky.


ASC:
A.D. 793.
This year came dreadful fore-warnings over the land of
the Northumbrians, terrifying the people most woefully: these
were immense sheets of light rushing through the air, and
whirlwinds, and fiery, dragons flying across the firmament.
These tremendous tokens were soon followed by a great famine: and
not long after, on the sixth day before the ides of January in
the same year, the harrowing inroads of heathen men made
lamentable havoc in the church of God in Holy-island, by rapine
and slaughter.


And yet few would argue with the headline from Wales Online of 27th April 2013,

Is the Welsh dragon the most important object in Welsh history?


That's not exactly ancient history then, in terms of the national flag:

The flag incorporates the Red Dragon of Cadwaladr, King of Gwynedd, along with the Tudor colours of green and white. It was used by Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, after which it was carried in state to St Paul's Cathedral. The red dragon was then included as a supporter of the Tudor royal arms to signify their Welsh descent. It was officially recognised as the Welsh national flag in 1959
(Wiki).

Heraldry was slow to take off in Wales. Claims of genealogy were generally sufficient. The armorial bearings most often associated with the Princes of Wales, both before and after the Edwardian conquest, are shown here: They had chosen lions, as did Owain Glyndwr and others.



They had chosen lions, as did Owain Glyndwr and others.

Cadwaladr is supposed to have reigned from 655 -682 AD. However the chief source of this 'information' is Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100 - 1155) whose Historia Regum Britanniae has been considered historically unreliable for decades. Is it possible that this most potent symbol of Welsh nationality is merely founded on literary fantasy?
Send private message
aurelius



View user's profile
Reply with quote

Chasing The Dragon

One theory to explain 'dragons in the sky' type references (and they are not limited to Britain) is that our annalists were occasionally off their heads. However let's park this to one side for some cold turkey and look at a few of the others.

a) Some say they are a kind of race memory of dinosaurs, and in the quoted cases flying reptiles/Pterodactyls. Dragons are generally regarded in the West as being fearsome, threatening or even at their mildest, a nuisance to livestock. This is because they shared the Earth with us at some point and could eat our kids. This theory is beloved of Creationists.

b) They are not a recurring nightmare of actual encounters with dinosaurs but a sort of virtual reality of bone and skeleton finds which our ancestors found randomly or when mining. There is some serious scientific interest in this one, e.g.

http://shc.stanford.edu/news/research/dinosaurs-and-dragons-oh-my%E2%80%A8

c)They are the ancients' interpretation of aerial phenomena, i.e.

- (i) Comets
- (ii) Bolides/Meteors/Fireballs
- (iii) The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
- (iv) Lightning

d) Visitors from another world, or another time.

e) They are not physical phenomena at all, rather they are symbolic descriptions of nasty invaders (the ASC reference is particularly pertinent here because it is mentioned in the same breath as a raid or invasion of heathen Vikings; poetic licence, though it is inferred from historical sources that some of the Viking ships may have had dragon's heads carved on their prows). Or just symbolic of bad stuff, period.

f) They are simply made up to add colour to the annals, relief from the tedium of all the tribal stuff.

g) They are completely made up by the ruling elites to suppress the masses and justify their status, reinforced, for example, in heraldry and legends.

h) They are basically snakes but such is our loathing of them and the way they can lurk within inches of us without us first noticing they are there that we once exaggerated their appearance and powers.

i) Dragons, serpents etc. are mistranslations.

j) You might like to add your own interpretation, as I will shortly.
Send private message
Mick Harper
Site Admin

In: London
View user's profile
Reply with quote

Perhaps a better approach is to use an AE technique for evaluating the past: What do we believe? For instance, nobody believes that the Northern Lights are dragons. Why not? Because everybody knows what they really are. Actually they don't -- the electric discharge mullarkey is just a guess -- but they think they do, so they do not need the dragon explanation.

On the other hand everybody believes in flying saucers. Or at any rate 75% of Americans or whatever it is -- certainly enough of the population to be the equivalent of either medieval annalists believing in dragons or for them to use dragons as examples of other people's beliefs. But why do we believe in these modern forms of dragons? Because nobody knows what causes these various optical and psychological disturbances that flying saucers are associated with. Nobody in the Middle Ages would have a clue about the cause of the Northern Lights so again dragons are fair enough. Comets -- probably not. Too far away. Heraldry uses admittedly mythical beasts anyway -- the Welsh are far more linked to wyverns and griffins than dragons. I don't believe anybody ever believed in any of these things.

Except that it is well known that various psychological disturbances trigger beliefs about things that are already in the disturbee's minds -- so dragons might be 'real' enough in that sense. But how did they get 'into society'in the first place? That's easy. Draconis is a dragon and provided the Pole Star which is hugely important for navigation. For just getting home in the dark. Everyone needs to know what it looks like. However, since there is no way of recognising the Draconis Constellation -- in the way it is easy to recognise the Big Dipper and Polaris -- an invented visual mnemonic would be required. So the dragon was made up to mimic the Draconis constellation, and this representation was widely distributed -- eg carved on hillsides -- for all to memorise. This 'dragon' would take on a very significant place in society persisting presumably even after Draconis was no longer the Pole Star. Living on half-believed and half-not. Just like flying saucers really.
Send private message
Boreades


In: finity and beyond
View user's profile
Reply with quote

I refer my honourable colleagues to Victor Clube, an astrophysicist. He has been looking into the cyclic nature of the Taurid-Arietid meteor showers that arrive in Britain in late June and November.

He hypothesises that these are remnants of a much bigger meteor cluster on an orbit that intercepts with Earth every c.500 years, and have had bigger impacts with Earth in the past.

Like the Tunguska event in Siberia.

Clube says that dendochronology in Britain says there was a major event c.540AD.
Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4 ... 38, 39, 40  Next

Jump to:  
Page 3 of 40

MemberlistThe Library Index  FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group