A. T. Fomenko _Empirico-Statistical Analysis of Narrative Material and its Applications to Historical Dating_ (Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994 Dordrecht/Boston/London) Vol. II _The Analysis of Ancient and Medieval Records_ (226-233)

[Right-adjusted: criticisms by C. Marx]

7. The medieval Song of Roland and the Biblical Book of Joshua

[The so-called isomorphism between the Book of Joshua & the Song of Roland is an example symptomatic for fatal errors in Fomenko et al's faith in conventional historiography based on uniform evolution. This chapter is clear & unequivocal proof for the mistaken opinion that the biblical history of the Near East is but an image of pre-modern (or even partly modern) Western history (taking place in Spain, Italy or, like in this case, even in Western Europe). It is symptomatic for errors such as the idea that the "Sea Peoples" (taking their name from the monuments of Ramses III & in the RHNH equal to the Greeks under Persian leadership in the pre-Ptolemaic wars against Egypt - cf Velikovsky Peoples of the Sea) are the Christian Crusaders against the Islam in Palestine; or that the "Trojan" war can be situated in Italy, &c., rejecting utterly all Near Eastern philological & archaeological sources, let alone the extensive evidence for the cataclysms from exoterrestrial causes (cf, eg, Schaeffer's Stratigraphie comparée, besides Velikvosky's Worlds in Collision & the inherent logic of the GCR & CCR). Because, however, the statistically significant relations as shown by Fomenko et al seemingly still remain as facts, there remains nothing else to do than fundamentally revise the sRHNH to find the true reasons for the statistical dependencies between ancient & modern historical periods, as well as of which of those periods, if applicable, truly were the prototypes.]

7.1 History of the poem "Song of Roland"

The basic parallel making the biblical events coincident with the European ones is generated by the shift by c. 1'800 years (see the Global Chronological Diagram - GCD). Since we do not have the space here, we are not able to give its full account. However, we illustrate it by one of the overlappings that occur.

The following isomorphism I discovered while analyzing the medieval European literature devoted to the description of Charlemagne’s Empire is very important. Described in a nutshell, it can be summed up by stating that the well-known European Song of Roland supplies the account of the same events as Chapters 7-10 of the Book of Joshua.

[This is absolutely wrong because of Fomenko’s erroneous & incomplete understanding of the Joshua event (cf 13a below). It is the Book of Joshua which supplies the account for the Song of Roland, & even there it is incompletely repeated because the required meteorite fall is omitted.]

This isomorphism remarkably confirms my Global Chronological Diagram (Figs. 65, 66).

[Thus, this "isomorphism" doesn't confirm the GCD at all. In addition it is also to be seen, that Charlemagne & his environment is not supported by any art historical, philological or archaeological sources: if the poor data set is really significantly based on the Book of Joshua (which cannot be considered definitely proven due to the gaps in the narratives), it could hardly be anything but a direct offspring of fiction, having nothing really to do with an historical prototype "above" it; while, if there really are statistically significant relations between the Book of Joshua & an also historical report "above" it, such significant relations must have other reasons (like the working method of the responsible chronographer(s)) which Fomenko et al are seriously called upon to research & clarify!]

"Several editions of the poem have been preserved until today... The most important of them is the so-called Oxford transcript dating from the mid-12th c AD (a very late copy! - AF), regarded if not as just a recension, then, at any rate, very close to it. The incentive for creating the epic poem derived from the faraway events of 778 AD when Charlemagne involved himself in the interstine strive in Muslim Spain, along with and at the request of the friends of the Baghdad caliph Abdur Rahman, who decided to detach himself from the Abbasid caliphate and create an independent power. Having taken several cities, Charlemagne besieged Saragossa; however, he was forced to lift the siege after several weeks and to return across the Pyrenees because of internal trouble. Supported by the Moors, the Basques attacked the rear of Charlemagne's army and slaughtered the retreating Franks in the Roncesvalles pass" ([285 = The Song of Roland 1972; Russian translation Moscow 1976] 19).

"The preserved chronicles of that time had long ignored [?! - AF] these events first reported by a chronicle in 829 AD..., i.e., fifty years afterwards. It is quite obvious [as it seems to the commentators - AF] that official chroniclers could be in no way interested in these so unpleasant confessions. It is also logical to suggest that the tales' event should have been retained fast in people's memory [? - AF], and the chroniclers could no more ignore the 'people's voice'..." ([285] 19-20).

Modern commentators are forced to somehow interpret and explain the observed chronological gaps, though, insignificant in our case, being only half a century.

"The event fixed by history given in songs [as well as Homer's poems allegedly written only several centuries later - AF], and confirmed by Spanish chroniclers and Arabic historians, made up the basis for the Song of Roland preserved as a mid-12th-c transcript whose unique authorship is... ascribed to a certain fantastic Turoldus. All the evidence of the legend appeared later than the Oxford copy [12th c AD! - AF]... The spirit piercing the Song of Roland can be possibly explained, in the opinion of Bedier, only by the atmoshpere of the Crusades, starting with the end of the 11th c AD [wheras the Oxford transcript appeared in the 12th c AD, which is well consistent with this version - AF]..." ([285] 20).

All the above-said ideally corresponds to the GCD, according to which the bulk of the information regarding "Charlemagne's Empire" came "from above", the 10-13th c empire shifted downwards by 333 years. Due to the isomorphism below, the original of "Joshua's expeditions" therefore also arises from the epoch of the Crusade or later.

[The internal logic of the Joshua Event - the contemporaries could not know that the meteorite shower belongs to the passing celestial body making the earth tumble - completely overrules this theory! This has fundamental implications for Fomenko et al's opinion regarding the origin of the OT tales (not from the ancient orient, but from near-to-modern Europe) supported also, of course, by the cataclysms accompanying the Joshua Event itself & the 50 years earlier & still greater ones of the Exodus (themselves again supported by independent Mesopotamian & Egyptian texts as well as other traditions), which do not appear in Carolingian or any similar sources at all. This last point, in addition to the missing meteorite shower in the Song of Roland, also proves that the statistical data used by Fomenko et al is far from complete & therefore cannot deliver any significant relationships.

"According to Bedier, Charlemagne was Christians' defendant and the spirit of the Crusades in person..." (ibid).

The clearly evangelical tone of the Song of Roland shows that the text was already made after Hildebrand's epoch, where the bulk of evangelical legends of Jesus Christ originated.

Certainly, traditional historians prefer the point of view that the described events occurred in the 9th c AD, and that all the "Crusade analogues" are "later insertions". We quote:

"The remoteness of the Oxford edition from the recension surely makes the reading of the Song of Roland quite difficult..." ([285] 22).

"When the partisans of 'traditionalism' fought with Bedier's ideas, they seemed not to deny at all certain very clever observations regarding the intrusion into the poem of designs and spirit of the early 11th and late 12th cc AD... The most obvious proof of the influence of the ideology of the Crusades is the verbose episode with Balignat, the triumph of the Cross over the Crescent. The scene itself is clearly a later insertion [?- AF] contradicting the general scheme and stylistics of the poem" (ibid).

It is important that

"Of all national epics of the feudal Middle Ages, the most blooming and multiform is that of France (about 90 poems are preserved), the oldest dating from the 12th c [i.e., transcripts of a very late origin! - AF], whereas the latest are dated by the 14th c AD... The Song of Roland, the most famous of heroic French medieval poems, was preserved only in a few copies, and the following are the most important:

  1. Oxford copy. "The manuscript... was made c mid-12th c AD..." (ibid).
  2. Venetian manuscript of the 14th c AD (ibid).
  3. All the other manuscripts are of later origin ([285] 587-588).

"After oblivion having lasted for many centuries [! - AF], the Song of Roland was 'discovered' anew in the late 19th c AD [! - AF], the epoch of Romanticism... characteristically interested in everything medieva..." ([285] 588).

The first edition of the poem was made in 1837 (ibid).

We now come to the description of the isomorphism.

7.2 The parallel between the medieval poem and the ancient chronicle. Table of the isomorphisms

The Book of Joshua

The Song of Roland

1a Joshua’s and his army commanders’ wars were described, all of them aggressive

1b Charlemagne’s and his army commanders’ wars were described, all of them being mostly aggressive

2a Crossing Jordan river, Israelites invaded foreign possessions, conquering new lands. Parallel to Roland’s retreat, Book of Joshua described events occurring during Israelite’s conquest of city Ai (Jos 7). Like Charlemagne, Joshua separated only small part of his main army for capturing Ai. "They [Joshua’s men] returned to Joshua and reported that there was no need for the whole army to move: ‘Let two or three thousand men go forward to attack Ai. Do not make the whole army toil up there; the population is small’" (Jos 7:3)

2b Charlemagne retreated from Spain, rear guard with Roland in command. It was not fleeing, but tactical maneuver of army chief temporarily forced to stop invasion. Charlemagne’s wars described as invasions. He came to foreign country, having left his own empire and made war on foreign soil, trying to join it to his own possessions. He separated part (rear) of his army and retreated. Roland headed 20'000 men (LXIII), difference with left column being 1 order

3a Detachment sent to capture Ai was defeated. "...the men of Ai, who killed some thrity-six of them; they chased [!-AF] them all the way from the gate to the Quarries and killed them on the pass. At this the courage of the people melted and flowed away like water" (Jos 7:5)

3b Army’s rear guard was defeated: all (or almost all) knights perished in battle with enemy, who pursued (!) army’s rear guard

4a "Joshua and the elders of Israel tore their clothes and flung themselves face downwards to the ground; they lay before the Ark of the Lord till evening..." (Jos 7:6)

4b Charlemagne’s mourning after news about Roland’s defeat.

"Charles lies awake and weeps for Roland’s plight.

For Oliver he weeps with all his might.

Weeps for his Twelve Peers, his French folk left behind in fight"

5a Defeat of men sent to take Ai was direct consequence of "betrayal". Jericho had been taken before Ai; Joshua demanded that "the city shall be under solemn ban", especially that valuables should be given to the Lord. "...all the silver and gold, all the vessels of copper and iron, shall be holy; they belong to the Lord and they must go into the Lord’s treasury" (Jos 6:19). "But the Israelites defied the ban: Achan son of Carmi, son Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the forbidden things, and the Lord was angry with the Israelites" (Jos 7:1). Infuriated, God allowed Ai’s inhabitants to destroy Joshua’s party (see above)

5b Defeat of Roland’s corps and army’s rear guard was direct consequence of treachery: Count Ganelon (Guènes) came to terms with enemy and arranged for Charlemagne’s leaving army’s rear guard (insignificant in number) headed by nest army commander, with Moors covertly attacking and killing Charlemagne'’ "Army Commander No 1". In both columns, catastrophe mujst be blamed on one man, a "traitor"

6a "Traitor" violating Joshua’s ban was Achan (= KN if freed of vowels; possibly part of "Ganelon")

6b Traitor was Ganelon

7a As can be gathered from Bible, Achan did not take part in party sent to take Ai. At any rate, Bible mentioned no word about it.

7b Ganelon did not take part in rear guard’s battle with Moors, and was placed near Charlemagne in his principle force

8a "Traitor’s" death: Tried for defeat at Ai, Achan was executed (Jos 7:17-18, 25-26)

8b Traitor’s death: Charlemagne suspected Ganelon of being a traitor and executed him

9a All Achan’s relatives were executed, too. "Then Joshua took Achan... together with his sons and daughters... and everything he had... up to the Vale of Achor... Then all the Israelites stoned them to death; and they raised a great pile of stones over him... (Jos 7:24-26)

9b Thirty of Ganelon’s associates were executed, too, trying to defend him against Charlemagne.

"A hundred servants hale away the whole crew;

Each of the thirty is hanged up in a noose.

Treason destroys itself and others too"

10a God told Joshua "they [the people] must hallow themselves for tomorrow. Tell them (These are the words of the Lord, the God of Israel): You have forbidden things [valuables stolen] among you, Israel... In the morning come forward tribe by tribe, and the tribe which the Lord chooses shall com forward family by family; and the family which the Lord chooses shall come forward man by man" (Jos 7:13-14). "...and Achan... was chosen" (Jos 7:18).

10b Traitor was discovered by God’s intervention, who indicated him. To divert suspicion, Charlemagne ordered to fight two warriors, Charlemagne’s and by name of Ganelon. Trial was held by God.

"... Thierry lets drive a blow at Pinabel

With that great stroke he wins and makes an end.

The Franks all cry: ‘God’s might is manifest’

Justice demands the rope for Guènes’ [Ganelon’s] neck,

And for his kinsmen who set their lives in pledge!’"

Both texts on right and left ascribe traitor’s discovery to God and not to accident.

11a Joshua’s principal forces approached Ai, and took it. "When the Israelites had cut down to the last man all the citizens of Ai who were in the open country or in the wilderness to which they had pursued them, and the massacre was complete, they all returned back to Ai and put it to the sword" (Jos 8:24)

11b Charlemagne’s principal forces returned back and destroyed Moors’ army, avenging them for destruction of army’s rear guard. This battle with Moors was described as massacre in which Franks destroyed demoralized and fleeing Moors completely

12a Joshua took Ai after this battle in open country and in wilderness (Jos 8:24-28)

12b Charlemagne took Saragossa after this battle and the one with Baligant

13a During Joshua’s battle with the group of kings rising against him after fall of Ai (which was described in subsequent 2 chapters), well-known biblical episode of Joshua’s stopping sun in order that is should shine on battle and let destroy enemy completely

13b During Charlemagne’s battle with Moors (already after Roland’s defeat), well-known episode in Frankish history: Charlemagne’s stopping sun in order that is should shine on battle and let destroy enemy completely

Here are the descriptions of these two famous episodes:

"On that day when the Lord delivered the Amorites into the hands of Israel, Joshua spoke with the Lord, and he said in the presence of Israel:

Stand still, O Sun, in Gibeon; Stand, Moon, in the Vale of Aijalon.

So the sun stood still and the moon halted until a nation had taken vengeance on its enemies, as indeed is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stayed in mid heaven and made no haste to set for almost all day. Never before or since has there been such a day as this day on which the Lord listened to the voice of a man..." (Jos 10:12-14)

[Jos 10:11 must be quoted together with 10:12-14 because it proves unequivocally the absolute truth of the reported episode:

"And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword."

The reporter of that time could not know that the celestial body in the sky ("God"), the meteor showers, the sun & moon appearing to stand still, plus the catastrophes around them logically must belong together.]

"In a green meadow he lights down on the sward,

Kneels on the ground and prays to God Our Lord

For Love of him to hold back the sun’s course,

Prolong the day and bid the dark withdraw.

Straightaway an angel with whom he wont to talk

Comes, with this summons in answer to his call!

‘Ride, Carlon, ride; the light shall not come short!

The flower of France is fallen; God knows all;

Thou shallt have vengeance upon the heathen horde’

When this he hears, the Emperor gets to horse.

For Charlemayn God wrought a wondrous token:

The Paynims flee, the French pursue them closely.

They overtake them in Vale of Tenebrosa.

Towards Saragossa they drive and beat them broken...

Charles sees all the Paynims dead..."

14a Sun was stopped during battle which Bible presents as "Joshua’s vengeance" (see above) for defeat of part of his army

14b Sun was stopped during battle which primary source presents as "Charlemagne’s vengeance" for defeat of part of his army

15a Whole Bible including both Old and New Testament has only one episode of "stopping sun"

15a As far as I know, this well-known episode is unique in Franks’ history and in all medieval "knight-hood" literature

Thus, perfectly corresponding to the GCD, the two unique descriptions in the two chronological streams, viz., the European and biblical, were made coincident.

16a After defeat of armies of Joshua’s enemies, they all fled. "The five kings fled and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah, and Joshua was told that they had been found in this cave" (Jos 10:16-17). Joshua’s army captured this territory, cave was opened, kings let out. "And Joshua... struck down the kings and slew them: then he hung their bodies on five trees..." (Jos 10:26)

16b After Saracen’s (Moors’) defeat, they fled, with strange episode of "grotto" occurring. Namely:

"Marsile has fled to Saragossa town... Queen Braminond his spouse,

Wails and laments and utters dismal sounds.

By twenty thousand his followers stand around;

They curse fair France and Carlon they denounce.

Apollyon’s grotto they make for it in a rout,

With ugly insults they threaten him and shout:

‘Aha! vile God, why must thou shame us now?

Why let disaster befall this king of ours?’

...They snatch away his scepter and his crown,

By his hands hang him upon a column bound,

And with thick cudgels belabour him and pound;

Then with their feet trample him on the ground.

...Into a ditch they boot away Mahoud..."

17a Book of Joshua no longer speaks of any cave or grotto

17b Song of Roland no longer speaks of any cave or grotto

18a After these events, Book of Joshua described series of Joshua’s battles with other kings, and Joshua’s armies capturing many towns and regions, so-called Promised Land

18b Song of Roland described series of Charlemagne’s grandiose battles in which he conquered many kings, and captured many towns and regions

19a Detail of composition and style: Bible listed kings and tribes destroyed by Joshua (Jos 12)

19b Detail of composition and style: Song of Roland listed kings and tribes making war against Charlemagne

20a Among Joshua’s adversaries, Bible called people of Jericho. Legend of taking Jericho is one of most popular contained in Bible (Jos 5-6)

20b Among Charlemagne’s adversaries, Song of Roland mentioned "people of Jericho" (CCXXXI)

21a Joshua’s adversaries were from many tribes (see their list in Jos 12 et seq)

21b Charlemagne’s adversaries were from many tribes (see their list ibid)

22a Bible listed tribes enslaved by Joshua, naming 35 of them (sometimes, tribe was indicated by its king’s name) (Jos 10-12). Tribes enslaved after principal battle when sun was stopped until Joshua’s old age were counted (Jos 10:29-12:24)

22b Song of Roland listed adversaries (made into regiments) opposing Charlemagne and destroyed by him, altogether 30 tribes, each being one regiment (CCXXXI-CCXXXII). 30 and 35 (in left column) are well consistent.



XC = Christian Calendar

UC = Universal Calendar (its epoch the spring equinox of 1945 XC)

GCR = Gregorian Calendar Reform -370/-363 UC (1577/1582 AD)

CCR = Canopus Calendar Reform (=the "Julian" reform), following the sRHNH around -950 UC (1000 XC)

(s)RHNH = (statistical) Reconstruction of Human & Natural History