Updated: October 19, 2021.
The Paradox of History
History is full of paradoxes. No fact is more sobering than our inevitable mortality. What we do in life matters. For better or worse, it's what makes history extraordinary. But history only records the names of men and women who mattered. I admire them all, not necessarily because for what they accomplished but because they achieved what few do - immortality. Perhaps this is why people write books too.
But factual history based on Descartian dialectic of doubt-thought-certainty
like my books, is still, for the most part, considered historiological heresy in academic circles
until science proves it otherwise. It's a slow process which tames the tides of entrenched cultural beliefs. We are
all philosophers who seek answers. Historians have an important task. They are the keepers of the historical whos,
whats, wheres, whens, and whys, the settings of historical novelists. Invariably, we all
turn to history. We all encounter its paradoxes at the critical whys. But only the foolish seek truths in history
books. Truth is nothing more than a resident of the netherworld - that place between the awakened world and a mystic realm
of dreams where anything is possible until proven otherwise. Truth is a thesis product of our beliefs and opinions. Facts
are beyond the theses. Facts are proven scientific facts. Since time immemorial, truth dictated that universal laws were
divinely ordered out of chaos, but only recently did we discover that in reality, there’s no such thing as a uniform,
orderly universe, and that’s a cosmic fact - life’s most incredible illusion. The
universe is chaos
See part 3 of the 2016 BBC documentary
, and our world is not exempted. This is important for readers of history to understand, because established history does a very poor job of the whys, and that's it's written to explain how the present world came to be, by the contemporary powers that be. Anything else is historiological heresy. I consider myself among these heretics. My books do not follow the
People have written history since the invention of writing about five millenia before the present (BP), the same
time as the advent of money and empire. There are also
fathers of history. The fifth century before the common
era (BCE) Herodotus is generally given the honour as the
father of history. Nation sstates have their own
fathers. The seventh-eighth-century common era (CE) Roman Catholic Benedictine monk and historian in
Anglia, Saint Bede the Venerable (d.735 CE) is the
father of English history. He imagineered history based on
legends and religious belief, including his
Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain by pagan hordes who were Catholicised
a century before his time. There are many more, of course. There were also many good nineteenth-century English historians
Thomas Adolphus Trollope
(b.1810 - d.1892)
He lived with his wife in Florence and travelled Italy extensively, writing more than sixty books on the history of the places he visited. , whom I admire, and many more, of course. Thomas Trollope wrote facts. He also wrote -
Trollope considered history largely the work of historian's opinions, and I agree. But history as a scientific discipline is a mid to late-twentieth-century development. Until then, thanks to Bede, early mediaeval English history was literally a fairy tale accepted as factual until modern archaeology proved otherwise 1,200 years later! By then, a new brand of historian evolved, driven by science, not cultural beliefs or politics. The discipline of modern history, its methodology and scientific verification methods of carbon-14 dating did not come about before Suess Hans Eduard Suess
The statement has the aspect of the merest truism. All [humanity] more or less, [are] creatures of the age and society they live in. But [all are] more or less, involved in all the points of character which distinguish the notabilities of the world into the two great classes: Those of their time and those before their time; of action and of thought; the practical and the theorists; the leaders of the main body and the pioneers of the grand army; the more objective and more subjective minds. The former of these classes, the notable of their time, are the true representative of the social system to which they belong while appearing to lead, and in some sense, really leading the world around them, are nevertheless essentially modified and fashioned by it. But, on the other hand, the actual leading, the pioneering work done by the other class - those before their time - is necessarily unrecognised by their contemporaries and can only be estimated subsequently by those who are capable of taking a sizeable synthetical view of the road [humanity] has travelled, and intelligently tracing the true genealogy of opinion.
(b.1909 – d.1993)
American-Austrian physical chemist and nuclear physicist. Analysing the annual growth-rings of trees he, developed the the radiocarbon dating scale. developed it in 1967 and not before Jeffreys Sir Alec John Jeffreys
Developed techniques for genetic fingerprinting and DNA profiling. began using nuclear DNA testing in 1989. Thus, present-day historiology, along with scientific verification of archival artefacts, which is now part of the discipline and methodology The use of chronological reasoning to illuminate historical periodization, causation, patterns of continuity and change over time; the establishment of historical connections with comparison, contextualization and synthesis; the use of historical sources with which to analyze and interpret; the presentation of historical evidence with content and sourcing to present an argument and supported with evidence to present a thesis. (Barron's College Division 2016) as is understood today, did not come into being until very recently in the late twentieth early twenty-first century. Ergo, much of the history written before the late twentieth century must be taken with healthy scepticism. These histories are somebody’s opinions, presented as facts. It’s why, without exception, every person on this planet that ever was, is and will be, to a great degree, in one way or another, historically ignorant. It’s a classic paradox of nature versus nurture. Ignorance has plagued humanity for the past five millennia - the world’s longest lasting and greatest pandemic to which we haven’t found a vaccine yet, nor will we ever. We don’t live long enough to learn everything there is to know, no matter how determined we are. But knowing everything, well, that’s the realm of the know-it-all’s, the “personality disorder” inflicted few. They are master illusionists, the mystics, and only the foolish believe anything they ever said or wrote.
The "Saxon Conquest" Example
So, take, for example, the "Saxon Conquest" and the "Pagan Saxons of Britannia" or "Christian Missions to Britannia" during a
supposed period of
barbaric pagan heathenism in Britain and other vast swathes of continental Europe until the the sixth
century (CE). Established history, until recently, professed a tremendous military Saxon (German) invasion of Britannia following
the collapse of the Roman Empire on the European continent. It's typical imperial historiology. It's a fact that Pope
Gregorius I (d.604 CE) sent missionaries to Britain to
heathen population, but no archaeologist
can find evidence of any Saxon invasion - still. Migration and settlement, yes. Moreover, Christianity was alive and well throughout
Europe. It wasn't Roman Catholic Christianity, though. Catholics were in the minority in seventh-century (CE). It's when Roman
Catholic missionaries showed up with their armies. In fact, these missions were not to Christianise but to Catholicise Britons. It
was also a genocidal process. How do we know? From their unearthed bones in the thousands of burials unearthed by archaeologists and
studied by twentieth and twenty-first century science. When Rome's missionaries arrived to Christianise Anglo-Saxon
they found a sophisticated culture, complete with monasteries and Christian churches. It's just that these were not Catholic places,
and so, Roman Catholic missionaries had to justify their actions for posterity. They invented their conquest narrative,
and the man responsible for the
Anglo-Saxon pagan myth is Saint Bede the Venerable. His book, Historia
ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People, 731 CE), is this mythical history's genesis. Every
historian after him, until the late twentieth century, simply included and elaborated on his invention. It was easy. A pagan race
of people was merely invented, supplanted by the miracle Saxon Roman Catholics, in Bede's time, the new masters of Britain. As we all
know, Christian churches in England experienced some problems, later on, you know, the Reformation, and all that. The Bede myth,
meanwhile, remained intact. And why not? Whether Protestant or Catholic, ecclesiastics claimed infallibility and it suited politicians
like Henry VIII (d.1547) who manufactured himself from king to emperor in a very bloody, tyrannical fashion! Archaeology was still
more than five centuries away from becoming a science. It's when a man by the name of
British landscape archaeologist. Pioneered methodologies of field archaeology and landscape survey, using geophysics and the use of computers.
landscaperesearchcentre.org founded the Landscape Research Centre. Between 1978 to the present day, he and his team conducted (and continue to lead) the most extensive geophysical field archaeology and landscape survey in the world, proving Bede's history - Pontificum-Imperium history - as a myth. So? Were seventh-century Anglo-Saxons pagans? The Trumpington girl tells her own story. The story of a nation is now being revised. So much for divine infallibility - and history books. But British gaps in cultural knowledge is merely the tip of an iceberg.
At least the Anglo-Saxons are being reinterpreted, but an entire civilisation, namely pre-eighteenth-century Carpathian
Ungaria, otherwise known as
Hungary, has practically vanished from the historical record.
Why? That's what interests me. Reconstructing this history is about as challenging as piecing the Anglo-Saxons back together again.
Our greatest vulnerability as a species is the degree of our collective ignorance founded on belief. Tragically, many are all drawn to apostles of truth like moths to a flame whereby they abdicate their responsibility first to themselves, to family, and then to the community which they leave for someone else to worry about, typically their financial benefactors. Immoral people, in fact, easily abdicate a lifetime of liberty for a few years of self-gratifying greed. And what of facts? To the ignorant mind, facts are complicated and require education to understand. Most prefer the easy path offered by marketing experts who sell them instant consumable stuff, truths, happiness, food. History is like cooking. That, even that, like knowledge, is too much to learn and too time-consuming for most. My books are not for them. But I mentioned the moth...
Read part 2 of 5, The Chrysalis Allegory