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Mathematica and the fiction of history

Tony will love this.

Maybe the crazy advanced technology of Tony's proposed Mathematica game (not to mention the entire steampunk genre) isn't just because of some mystical understanding of the power of mathematics. Maybe it's also because our conception of history is flawed, and our chronology is off by a thousand years. No, not a thousand years shorter than it actually is; 1,000 years longer.

This is the conclusion (the thousand-years-too-long part, not crazy advanced technology) of an actual, real-world Russian mathematician named Anatoli Fomenko. Using his knowledge of celestial mechanics, Fomenko worked out that the eclipses described by Greek ur-historian Thucydides could not have happened between 431 and 413 BC, but they do match the ones known from AD 1037 to 1053. His conclusion: history is bunk, the Peloponnesian War and the Crucifixion both happened less than a thousand years ago, and all those popes with similar names are actually the same people listed multiple times.

Fomenko's arguments are presented in a book titled The Lost Millennium: History's Timetables Under Siege*. An excerpt is provided, along with some more details, in a book review on Macleans.ca, linked there and above. Take a look, I think you'll be entertained.

(*The author of the book is not Fomenko himself, but another mathematician named Florin Diacu. The book is available on Amazon, if you're interested.)


Well, duh! The Mathematicans (as distinct from Mathematicians) are battling for nothing less than mastery of the lost thousand years of history (and thus the fate of the world). Though we will never hear about their exploits as our timeline has been safely cordoned off into its own spacetime by the seven sages, their battle affects us deeply.

And those popes with similar names? Clones.

I so want to play this game. (I just don't have the time/ability to write it).

Actually, The Lost Millennium is an excellent book, very well written, well documented, and a pleasure to read. It was a page turner for me. I highly recommed it to any intellectual who likes to think outside of the box. I would have never thought that science can tell us so much about ancient and medieval history. An A+ for the author.

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