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John Bartram
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John Bartram

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Some here kindly suggested that I look to Charlemagne as the founder of Christianity; I have now concluded that this is correct; the originator of the idea and the executioner of the grand design - with royal authority - is Alcuin of York.

#history #religion 
Carolingian Manuscript, c. 831, Rabanus Maurus (left), with Alcuin (middle), dedicating his work to Archbishop Odgar of Mainz (right) Having revealed how from the early-first century there was a religion termed Chrestianity ...
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Excellent! I know i for one will be looking forward to it.  Best of luck John. I don't have much to offer in the way of help, but if you think of anything, please don't hesitate to contact me. 
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So much of today's conflicts in the Near and Middle East remind of Late Antiquity, with the incessant wars between the East Roman Empire and that of Iran. I have long argued that if we understood Antiquity better, we might better understand today's conflicts, but the fact is, this history is clouded and little understood.

Today, Yemen is a lead story.

Yemen campaign key test for Saudi Arabia
27 March 2015
The decision by King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud to order airstrikes against Houthi rebels is the most important foreign policy decision undertaken by the House of Saud since revolutions swept across the Arab world four years ago.
_Saudi media claim the kingdom has mobilised as many as 150,000 troops to its southern border primarily for the purpose of homeland defence, but also clearly to afford the kingdom the option to stage a ground war should it so choose. _

Yemen crisis: Kerry warns Iran over Houthi rebel 'support'
Today
US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned Iran over its alleged support for Houthi rebels in Yemen.
He said the US would support any state in the Middle East that felt threatened by Iran, and would not "stand by" if Iran destabilised the region.

It is easy to see the USA in a role as 'new Romans'.

Ancient Iran had a habit of dominating this region; Alexander picked up the same, for the Greeks. Then came the Romans and one fact of their colonisation of Egypt impressed me: how thoroughly they did it. Reading the historical records for the occupation of Egypt,  it seems so settled, and yet Iran was able to take this rich land almost without effort.

In 613, outside Antioch, the Persian generals Shahrbaraz and Shahin decisively defeated a major counter-attack led in person by the Byzantine emperor Heraclius. Thereafter, the Persian advance continued unchecked. Jerusalem fell in 614, Alexandria in 619, and the rest of Egypt by 621. The Sassanid dream of restoring the Achaemenid boundaries was almost complete, while the Byzantine Empire was on the verge of collapse. This remarkable peak of expansion was paralleled by a blossoming of Persian art, music, and architecture. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sasanian_Empire

Fall of Egypt
The Persian invasion of Egypt began either in 617 or 618, but little is known about the particulars of this campaign, since the province was practically cut off from the remaining Roman territories. The Persian army headed for Alexandria, where Nicetas, Heraclius' cousin and local governor, was unable to offer effective resistance. He and the Chalcedonian patriarch, John V, fled the city to Cyprus. According to the Khuzistan Chronicle, Alexandria was then betrayed to the Persians by a certain Peter in June 619.

After the fall of Alexandria, the Persians gradually extended their rule southwards along the Nile. Sporadic resistance required some mopping-up operations, but by 621, the province was securely in Persian hands.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sasanian_conquest_of_Egypt

This was largely a literate world, the empire kept very extensive records and so did Egyptians in the daily lives. And yet we know almost nothing of this.

Here is an authoritative view:
All too little is known about the east Roman aristocracy in late antiquity
It is important always to be wary of the various ways in which approved, published accounts of events may diverge from historical reality, whether by means of suppression of unpalatable facts, enhancement of the positive, distortion, fabrication etc.
...If an answer can be suggested, it will lead to an understanding of the origins of Islam.
There are other, more modest historical prizes in prospect...
Title: East Rome, Sasanian Persia and the End of Antiquity: Historiographical and Historical Studies
Author: J. D. Howard-Johnston
Publisher| Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006 

Many would have thought 'we' knew the origins of Islam; not me. We don't know even the origins of Christianity. What people think they know, yet don't, is vast and meanwhile, old wars are being refought with little, or no consideration of the past.

#history #Iran #Egypt #Arabia #Yemen
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+Ergun Çoruh Thank you for both your input, which I value, and your kind words. I have followed your posts for quite a while and always find them informative and humanitarian, which I enjoy. (And yes, blocking trolls is sometimes needed. I am often asked: am I Jewish? - and this question is never meant well. In G+, a poster should mean well, or be reported/blocked.)

I followed the news for Sana'a manuscript as closely as I could, from the time of its discovery. Somehow I lost track for a time, so am delighted to learn how the analysis has got somewhere useful.

It seems the C14 dating is regarded as definitive; maybe, though it has a habit of confirming the view of the person paying for it.  A chronology:

> Muhammad spent his last ten years, from 622 to 632, as the leader of Medina in a state of war with pagan Mecca.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_career_of_Muhammad

> The Byzantine-Arab wars begin in 634.
> The conquest of Syria, 637
> The conquest of Armenia, 639
> The conquest of Egypt, 639
> The manuscript: 75% probability from before 646

The suggestion that Islam came after the conquest of Jerusalem is still a possibility, through the window of opportunity is small.

At least the manuscript takes us further back and that is a useful achievement.

The script:

Hijazi script, also Hejazi; Arabic: خط حجازي‎ ḫaṭṭ ḥiǧāzī, literally "Hejazi writing", is the collective name for a number of early Arabic scripts that developed in the Hejaz region of the Arabian peninsula, which includes the cities of Mecca and Medina. As the name suggests, it is associated with the Hejaz region of Arabia. This type of script was already in use at the time of the emergence of Islam. It was one of the earliest scripts, along with Mashq and Kufic.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijazi_script

I am not sure that script = language. After the discovery, there was a claim the language is Syriac. I don't know if this question is answered.

Changes:

The lower text of the Sana'a palimpsest frequently differs from the standard text of the Qur'an, although only "a small fraction of the variants do make a difference in meaning." [Sadeghi & Goudarzi 2012, p. 19.]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sana%27a_manuscript#Variants

The Sana'a Qur’an shows only a few fragments and has many important differences compared with the modern Qur’an.
http://goo.gl/kaJegU
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Archaeologists can be just as keen to echo the New Testament and false textual tradition as most historians. Here we look at what really was and is going on with the name Nazareth.
Samson and Lions, Rome 350-400 CE. He was to be a Nazirite from birth. Though we've seen repeatedly how there was neither a Jesus Christ, nor Christianity until well into the medieval period, and how the gospels (canonical et...
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How I think I'm right to point the finger at Alcuin for he seems to have begun the Christian textual tradition, as 'Chrest' is changed to 'Christ'.

#history   #Carolingian   #Christianity   #Chrestos   #Charlemage   #iconoclasts   #historicity   #archaeology  
Codex Sinaiticus is regarded as one of the oldest versions of the New Testament; it - like all the texts mis-termed early-Christian - made no mention of Jesus Christ, or Christian/Christianity; we now know they are Chrestian,...
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I regard the Islamic textual tradition as belonging to the same category as the Christian (and both Buddhist and Hindi) and thus unreliable. There is a view today that this religion came into being after the Arab Conquest of Jerusalem:

Islam: The Untold Story is a documentary film written and presented by the English novelist and popular historian Tom Holland. The documentary explores the origins of Islam, an Abrahamic religion that developed in Arabia in the 7th century; it criticizes the orthodox Islamic account of this history, claiming that it lacks sufficient supporting evidence.
Adopting the controversial theories of academic historian Patricia Crone as a basis, Holland asserted that there was little hard evidence for the origins of Islam and asked why it took several decades after the death of Muhammad for his name to appear on surviving documents or artifacts.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam:_The_Untold_Story)

Video: https://vimeo.com/79051482

This religion's most sacred text:

The Sana'a palimpsest, dubbed Ṣanʿā’ 1, is one of the oldest Qur'anic manuscripts in existence. It was found, along with many other Qur'anic and non-Qur'anic fragments, in Yemen in 1972 during restoration of the Great Mosque of Sana'a. The manuscript is written on parchment, and comprises two layers of text (see palimpsest). The upper text conforms to the standard 'Uthmanic Qur'an, whereas the lower text contains many variants to the standard text. An edition of the lower text was published in 2012. A radiocarbon analysis has dated the parchment containing the lower text to before 671 AD with a 99% accuracy.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sana%27a_manuscript)

There is even an argument that the language is not originally Arabic, but Syriac. Slaves, perhaps.

In short, we do not know for sure what is the history of the early Arab Conquests, nor of the Koran, nor even what the original text contained (or who wrote it). [Personally, I find intriguing how Arabia was mainly Jewish at the start of the 7th century (the south was a Jewish kingdom and some tribes in the centre had converted).]

To be able to check what these Arabs had to say - at the time - about the religions of the Eastern Roman Empire, Italy (and Rome), and Hispania, as they found them, would be fascinating. Not sure at the moment such records exist, or ever existed. I know histories were written after, but how sure can we be that they are more reliable than those of the Christian textual tradition?

I include texts as artefacts, because IMO that is what they are; many also contain cultural layers, the study of which defines archaeology.

My approach is to allow artefacts of a later period to be inserted into an earlier only when a strong argument can be made for doing so. Take the texts attributed - as an example - to one "Augustine of Hippo": nobody knows who wrote (supposedly copied) them, where, or under whose authority; I know of no scholar who has ever asked such a question. Perhaps I am the first?
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+Haleh Brooks I hope you find this interesting and I would most appreciate learning your expert opinion on this.
  Golden larnax and the golden grave crown of Philip II of Macedon. Vergina (a small town in northern Greece) became internationally famous in 1977 as the burial site of the kings of Macedon, including the tomb of Philip II...
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John Bartram

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The syncretisms of Iran and Egypt, Greece and both Iran and Egypt, then Rome and both Greece and Egypt; with Alexander the god king at their centre as an exemplar.
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+Antony Jackson: I agree totally with your comment (two above) on how the divine men of the imperial period used Alexander as a type.
For the archaeology, I must stand my ground - in none of the battlefields traditionally associated with Alexander (and none of the numerous cities named for him) has any archaeology been found which can be identified as either his, or directly related to him. He belongs almost completely - if not entirely - to a textual tradition of the Roman imperial period.
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John Bartram

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Rafique Jairazbhoy - whom I was fortunate to call a friend in the late 1960s - tried to convince me of such archaeology (for Oriental, pre-Columban contact) ; I kept an open mind. But I think that this field is slowly coming to agree with him.

Ancient Egyptians and Chinese in America
(Old World origins of American civilisation) 29 Apr 1974
by R.A. Jairazbhoy (Author)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ancient-Egyptians-Chinese-American-civilisation/dp/090400001X/ref=sr_1_2/277-7790769-9895938?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1429198764&sr=1-2

Resources for R. A. Jairazbhoy
http://trove.nla.gov.au/people/1280133?c=people

#archaeology #history #Americas #Alaska
Bronze artifacts discovered in a 1,000-year-old house at the Rising Whale site suggest trade was occurring between East Asia and the New World centuries before the voyages of Christopher Columbus.
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Yes, of course +John Bartram . I got distracted by words like Thule and Inuit, and pictured a system of trade through the north between hunting groups and tribes, not necessarily needing large or complex shipping methods.
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A major publisher has asked me to submit a proposal for the evidence-based history which I've been studying and posting about here. (And thank you for all your positive comments.) Despite my inhibitions in this area, I've agreed; wish me bonne chance.

[Below: mosaic of Isis and Serapis, Roman early 3rd century]
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Bonne Chance indeed! I'm really looking forward to it - and yes, what +Gnotic Pasta said! Thank you!
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See also my G+ posts:
Julia Crispina, Daughter of Berenicianus:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JohnBartram/posts/f2f6P4uVAN2
Catacomb of Priscilla: https://plus.google.com/116463024107790571846/posts/KSvBghf1tPc
The Grapte Palace: https://plus.google.com/116463024107790571846/posts/5AWspw2q1F3

This woman plays an important role in early Chrestianity.
The Church of England consecrates today its first female bishop, the Reverend Libby Lane, in a ceremony at York Minster. The Established Church in England thinks this is new; archaeology long ago revealed the first bishop to ...
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Did the idea come from nowhere, or from what people believed at the time? I prefer the anthropological approach.
Paulina in the temple of Isis, by Fortunino Matania; based on the account by Josephus In our secular world, we know that there was no Virgin Mary, so from where did the idea come? From the beliefs and rituals of the time. I o...
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Alexander the Great is known to have been buried in Egypt.
Untrue: there is only one contemporaneous source for his existence - the astrological diary found in Babylon; the rest comes centuries later, when Alexander was become divine.

A contemporary account of the death of Alexander
http://www.livius.org/aj-al/alexander/alexander_t41.html

#alexanderthegreat   #history   #mythology  
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Good luck and happy hunting. :-)
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Many thanks for the invitation, which I am glad to accept.
The link I added below is to the latest subject I added to my site, which I hope some will find interesting.
My study, broadly, is how people conjured 'divine men' into existence in antiquity, and although this covers all the world's major religions, the focus of this site is Christianity. I use archaeological artefacts and the archaeological method, which produce results rather different to those in our history books.
Personally, I regard religion as superstition, dependent on a belief in the supernatural; I reject such as approach and I argue for universities to detach themselves from their schools of theology and divinity.
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Then I hope to not disappoint, +Chris Humphreys.
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Shovelbum
Lived and worked across the world, including western Europe and various Mediterranean islands, West Africa, the Far East and Polynesia. Best for history and archaeology: Malta.
Been on television many times as both presenter and interviewee.
Started archaeology in Cambridge, late 60s, and now entering retirement in my 60s. I enjoyed getting my hands dirty.
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geophysical surveying, archaeological excavation, writing
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