Phantom time hypothesis is a revisionist history and conspiracy theory developed in the years 1980 and 1990 by Heribert Illig, German historian and publisher which states that European history from 614 to 911 is a forgery by the Roman Catholic Church.
The theory was suggested by him in 1991 which was expanded by the other theorists. The theory proposes that the period of history that of Europe during the Early Middle Ages which is also known as the Dark Age was either dated wrongly or it did not take place at all and that there has been a systematic way to cover up the fact. Illig’s belief was that this was achieved by way of alteration, forgery and misrepresentation of documentary as well as physical evidence.
The original claim behind the theory was that when the Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582, there was difference between it and the old Julian calendar had a defect wherein the Julian year was roughly 11 minutes too long and the new calendar was created to correct the discrepancy, making up for 10 days which had gradually slipped through the years between 1 – 1582 AD. According to Illig, the Julian calendar should have showed a discrepancy of 13 days rather than 10 days over the span of time and it was his conclusion that roughly, three centuries could have been added to the calendar which had never existed.
Carolingian & Luminous figure of Charlemagne
This has given rise to debates regarding this issue. The Carolingian and the luminous figure of Charlemagne herehad reigned from 768 to 814 and Illig focuses on the polymath qualities of Charlemagne which is recorded in several texts making him an architect, astronomer, philologist, educator, folklorist, lawmaker and much more.
According to Illig, the conclusion was simple and far too much to be ascribed to one person. Illig also claimed that archaeological discoveries which are reliably dated to the era of 7th-10th centuries were scarce and debated that Romanesque architecture could not have come as late as five centuries after the downfall of the Roman Empire which took place in the 5th century AD.
Byzantine Empire – Extensive Government Reform
Holy Roman Emperor Otto III conspired with Pope Sylvester II to invent the entire Carolingian dynasty which included Charlemagne. His purpose was to support Otto’s royal claims while at the same time to prolong the Christian traditions and claim superiority over the emerging Islam. However no attempts were documented to synchronize this theory with alternative calendars like the Chinese calendar or the Islamic calendar.
Dr Hans-Ulrich Niemitz , fellow historian colleague of Illig and Phantom Time Hypothesis believer stated in a 1995 research document, various examples of evidence which according to him proved that 614 to 917 AD never occurred and the Chapel of Aachen probably built in 800 AD had architecture which were identical to chapels which were constructed over 200 years thereafter. The Byzantine Empire at that time went through extensive government reform though no historical evidence exists with regards to the assumed reform of this period.