Forgotten History of the Western People

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This book is an attempt to revive the study of history, as it used to be, before it became corrupted by the assumption that early humans were descended from ape-like creatures over a long period of time. Before the time of Darwin and Huxley, most history books started off with a brief statement about creation and the flood, and how the three sons of Noah went to different parts of the world, Shem to Asia, Ham to Africa and Japheth to Europe. Then they would continue the history from that point onwards. A considerable amount of information was available, from non-Biblical sources, and much of it is still available today, although it sometimes requires the retrieval of obscure material from second-hand bookshops and library archives.

My source material has included the Babylonian history, from the fragments that remain of the works of Berosus, and the Greek mythology which is a highly embellished version of early history. After that, I have focused on the history of Britain and Ireland, because this is the part of the world where I live, and it is always easier to research one's own locality.

There has recently been a revival of creationism, as new evidence is continually emerging that contradicts the theory of evolution. I will not go into all this here, but many resources are available, and some of them are referenced from my Creation Science page. I have always believed in creation, not just from a religious perspective, but as the best scientific explanation of the origin of life. However, while reading through some of the latest creationist materials, I came across a book called After the Flood, by Bill Cooper, that was different from all the others. Instead of using science to prove our origins, it looked at the records that were left behind by our ancestors. While this might seem the obvious thing to do, there are very few books available on the subject, compared with the much larger number of books that take the scientific approach.

Having identified an area of neglected research that might be called Creation History instead of Creation Science, I began to look at some of Cooper's source materials, and other sources of ancient history. The result was an accumulation of material that I felt had to be written up, and the following is a summary of my new book.

Chapter 1 - Creation and the Flood

The Babylonian creation story is similar to the Biblical story, in the sense that in the beginning there was chaos, then the creation of heaven and earth, and the separation of light from darkness. Then there are ten kings before the flood, corresponding to the ten Biblical patriarchs from Adam to Noah. The Babylonian Noah is called Xisuthrus, and the story of the flood is very similar to the Biblical account, with the exception that Noah is translated "to the gods" after he has emerged from the ark and offered sacrifices.

During the pre-flood period, there is the appearance of a fish-man called Oannes, who teaches the arts and sciences. He is probably a mythical figure representing Noah, who by his wisdom preserved humanity and the air-breathing animals in the ark. His resemblance to a fish is derived from his ability to survive the flood. The Babylonians and Assyrians believed in a fish-god for long afterwards, and this is probably the reason why the people of Nineveh repented of their sins when they saw Jonah.

The Babylonians and Egyptians believed in the great longevity of their early patriarchs, as does the Bible, but their lifetimes are exaggerated to many thousands of years and not just hundreds.

There are a number of possible locations of the ark, but the one with the most historical support is the eastern Cudi-Dagh, in south-east Turkey. There are generally two different routes that the inhabitants of the ark might have taken on their journey towards Babylon. They could have gone east along the mountains of Kurdistan, or they could have gone west and followed the Euphrates.

There is no reason to believe that either the Bible or the Babylonian accounts were copied from each other. Instead they appear to come from a common source, or the memory of the flood itself.

Chapter 2 - The Early Post-Flood World

The aspiration of the post-flood world was to try and prevent another occurrence of the flood, by their ingenuity if possible, rather than by any godly virtue. This is embodied in the Babylonian story of Gilgamesh, who fights against Humbaba to gain access to the Cedar Mountain (Lebanon), then he fights against the Bull of Heaven which represents drought (equally as dangerous as the flood). Then he goes to the mountain with twin peaks (Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon), in search of Noah who has ascended to the gods. He hopes to find the secret of eternal life, and on his return journey he takes hold of the prickly plant, the Babylonian version of the tree of life, but a serpent snatches it away before he can make use of it.

The Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek mythologies are based on the deification of real people. The earliest gods in the Greek heirarchy, Ouraos and Gaia, represent Noah and his wife. Kronus is Ham, and Iapetus is Japheth. Shem does not appear in the Greek mythology, but he appears as Titan in the Babylonian account. The Greeks use the name Titan to represent all the male children of Ouranos and Gaia. Kronus has a son called Zeus who can be identified with the Biblical Cush or Mizraim. Osiris, in the Egyptian mythology, can be identified with Zeus, or possibly his son Dionysus (Bacchus). Zeus has another son called Dardanus, who became the founder of Troy.

The Titans are also associated with the Nephilim (giants) of Genesis 6, but this does not conflict with their identity as the children of Noah. The Greeks were not relating history, they were creating mythology, and they used the half-devil Nephilim characters to spice it up.

Although we have a genealogy, from Noah to Dardanus, we cannot be certain about it. The mythology only gives us a vague picture of what happened, rather like seeing something dimly through the mist.

The Greeks have a number of other flood stories, including the floods of Atlantis, Ogygus and Deucalion. The flood of Atlantis is described as the "great deluge of all" and it probably corresponds to Noah's flood.

The Greeks had a habit of migrating their histories forward in time, so that the Zeus is the creator god who zaps the first man with the spark of life. Then he is Lamech, the descendant of Cain, then he is Mizraim. Deucalion is credited as the Greek flood survivor, as if he was Noah, although it was not a truly global flood. The purpose of migrating history forward is probably to try and make the early post-flood kings look as good as their pre-flood ancestors.

Chapter 3 - Dubious Histories

In 1498 a Dominican Friar, called Giovanni Nanni, otherwise known as Annius of Viterbo, published a set of fragments which he attributed to Berosus and the Egyptian historian Manetho. These fragments describe an elaborate history of the early descendants of Noah, in much more detail than had ever been known before, but his source documents could never be found and his entire published work is widely denouced as a forgery. There are elements of the story that correspond to other histories, but his fragments do not come from either Berosus or Manetho, and instead they are called pseudo-Berosus and pseudo-Manetho.

Although the fragments are fake, they were widely believed during the 16th century and many other histories have been based on them. It is therefore necessary to know the story, so that you will recognise it when it crops up somewhere.

Chapter 4 - From Dardanus to the Welsh Kings

The Greeks and Romans have given us the history of Troy and early Italy, and the descent from Dardanus to Aeneas. The British history continues the genealogy to Brutus, the great-grandson of Aeneas, and then to the Welsh kings. Brutus arrived in Albion in the 12th century BC and re-named it Britain after himself. There was a long succession of kings until the Romans arrived, and then the Saxons who pushed the Celtic Britons westward into Wales.

There are a number of sources of British history, although there has been some criticism of a historian called Geoffrey of Monmouth, who claimed that his History of the Kings of Britain, completed in 1136, was a translation of a "very ancient book". In reality, he had merely used the book as one of his sources, together with other sources. Although his claim was misleading, it was probably an act of carelessness rather than deliberate deceit. He is certainly not another Annius of Viterbo, and there is plenty of evidence that he was using valid source documents. In particlular, the Anglo-Norman historian Geffrei Gaimar identifies a book called the Good Book of Oxford which is probably a Latin translation of Geoffrey's "very ancient book" or at least confirms that it existed.

Chapter 5 - Anglo-Saxon Genealogies

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and various other lists point to the descent of the Saxon kings from Noah and his son Japheth, with a fair degree of consistency, although not always naming them specifically. However, there are not enough generations to stretch all the way back to Noah, even allowing for the great longevity of the early patriarchs.

One of the lists, the Icelandic Prose Edda gives their descent from Priam, king of Troy, and there are many more generations. Since we already have the descent of the Trojan kings from Noah, this also gives us the Saxon descent from Noah.

The epic dramas of the Saxon history and mythology, represented in the Prose Edda, contain a number of characters and events which appear to have counterparts in the story of Troy.

Twelve languages were spoken at Troy, and there were twelve tributary kings under the high king Priam. Considering that both the Britons and the Saxons appear to have come from Troy, the city must have been a staging-post for westward migration into Europe. Some of the migrants remained there, making it into a great city, but it was eventually destroyed and the people were scattered. In that case, Troy can be considered a second Babylon.

Chapter 6 - History of Ireland and Scotland

The earliest inhabitants of Ireland arrived about 300 years after the flood, and there were a number of successive colonies from Scythia or Greece (or possibly Scythians who passed through Greece). Sometimes they were at war with migrating colonies of giants, of the race of Ham.

Then there was a Scythian (or Greek) prince called Gaythelos, surnamed Miletus, who rebelled against his father's kingdom, then he fled to Egypt and married a princess called Scota, at the time of the captivity of the Israelites. He assisted Pharaoh in some of his wars, but he refused to pursue the Israelites across the Red Sea and escaped getting drowned. The people refused to accept him as their king in place of Pharaoh, because he was a foreigner. He couldn't go back to his homeland, so he went to Spain. His wife and his two sons Hiber and Himec went to Ireland, established a kingdom there, and then Hiber went back to Spain and succeeded his father who had died. There was another colony from Spain, led by the three sons of Micelius, and then in 697 BC there was Simon Brecht who brought the 'stone of destiny', a marble chair that Gaythelos had brought from Egypt. There was a belief that the Scots would rule wherever this chair is found. (The 'Scots' were the people of Scota, but they were in Ireland first before they went to Scotland).

Another tribe of Scythians, called the Picts, arrived in Ireland and Scotland, but the Scots would not allow them to settle in Ireland. The Picts had no women with them, but the Scots allowed them to marry their daughters, as a lasting token of peace, and migrate to Scotland. Then more Scots arrived in Scotland, out of affection for their daughters who had married, and soon there were so many Scots that the peace could not last. There was war between the Picts and Scots, and then they renewed their peace and went to war against the Britons. The history continues with war against the Romans and Saxons, and finally the Picts and Scots were at war against each other again with the result that the Pictish nation was wiped out.

Chapter 7 - Early British and Irish Christianity

Christianity came to Britain at a very early date, possibly as early as AD 36 when Joseph of Arimathea arrived and built the church at Glastonbury in Somerset, on land donated by Arviragus, the local ruler who subsequently became king. This is known as the first "above-ground" church in the world because they could worship openly when Christians elsewhere were meeting in secret.

Joseph was in the tin trade and had already made a number of visits to Cornwall. There is a story that he brought Jesus with him, as a young boy, on one or more of these trips, but it is difficult to confirm.

Other early Christians who might have come to Britain include Simon Zelotes, Aristobulus, and even the Apostle Paul who had four years of freedom after being released from his first imprisonment in Rome.

In Roman times, there was a trade route across France, from the Rhone on the Mediterranean coast, to the Loire Estuary on the Atlantic coast. Ships would sail from the Loire Estuary to Cornwall, with goods that could be exchanged for valuable supplies of tin. The early Christians used to travel along this trade route, preaching the Gospel and establishing churches. There was also a sea route that was used by the Phoenicians in much earlier times, through the Straits of Gibraltar to Cadiz, and then along the coast of Spain and France to Cornwall. There is evidence of a Jewish community in Cornwall in pre-Roman times, and this would be an incentive for the early Christians to come to Britain, since their message was 'to the Jew first'.

There was a close relationship between the British and Roman Christians during the first century, which curiously came about as a consequence of the British resistance to the Roman occupation. Claudia, the daughter of the British chieftain Caractacus, went to Rome with her father who had been captured. They made peace with the Romans and she married Rufus Pudens, a Roman Senator. Both Claudia and Rufus were involved with the early church in Rome. Her brother Linus also went there and became bishop of Rome. Pudens, Linus and Claudia are all mentioned in 2 Tim. 4:2.

Lucius was the first Christian king in Britain, and he also has the distinction of being the first king in all the world to become a Christian. In AD 180 he sent to Rome for teachers to instruct him in the faith, then he consecrated many pagan temples, converting them to places of Christian worship.

Britain also gave Rome its first Christian emperor, Constantine the Great, although his Christianity was more a matter of political expediency than true faith, and he did not get baptised until he was on his death bed.

As Christianity spread around Britain it also reached Scotland, but it became corrupted by a heresy that emphasised works instead of faith. Paladius, the Archdeacon of Rome, arrived in AD 423 and corrected the heresy, first in southern Britain, then in Scotland. According to some accounts, he also went to Ireland but it is not certain. St. Patrick went to Ireland in AD 432 and was a very successful missionary, setting up churches and monasteries all over the country. After that there was St. Columba, an Irish monk of royal descent, but he got excommunicated after a battle where 3000 people were killed. He went to Iona and set up a monastery which became a base for evangelism in Scotland.

In AD 596, St. Augustine came to England and successfully evangelised the Saxons, but he preached a different kind of Christianity that was unacceptable to the Britons. The Pope had appointed him as the archbishop of all Britain and he expected the Britons to submit to him, but they would not. The result was the slaughter of 1200 monks and scholars, at the hands of the Saxons, at Bangor-is-y-coed near Wrexham (not the other Bangor near Anglesey).

St. Aidan was an Irish monk who went to the monastery at Iona, then in AD 650 he went to Lindisfarne (Holy Island), off the north-east coast of England. This brought Celtic Christianity to Northumbria, which was different from Roman Christianity which prevailed elsewhere in England. The Celts and Romans observed Easter on two different days, and they wanted to unify their observances, so in AD 664 they held a council at Whitby to decide which tradition to follow. The Romans won the day when King Oswy of Northumbria decided that St. Peter had the keys to the kingdom of heaven and he had better not offend him otherwise he might not get in. This decision paved the way for Roman Catholicism to spread all over England.

After that, things remained very much the same until the Reformation, which came about because of the influence of Welsh Christianity. Henry VII, the father of Henry VIII, was a Welshman.

Chapter 8 - The End Of The World

The Babylonians say that Noah wrote a history of the "beginning, progress, and final conclusion of all things, down to the present term" and he buried it in the city of the Sun at Sippara so that it could be recovered after the flood. The phrase is ambiguous, but it implies that Noah was writing prophecy as well as history.

The Babylonians also believe that the planets were lined up in Capricorn at the time of the flood, and they will be lined up again in Cancer at the end of the world. Perhaps this was the reason why they built the tower of Babel, so they could use it as an observatory to predict the end of the world.

Does this mean there could be a message in the stars? Possibly yes, but not what the Babylonians expected. Instead, the stars tell us about the Messiah and the plan of redemption.

The Saxons and Nordic people have an apocalyptic story called Ragnarok, which means "fate of the gods". It resembles the Biblical apocalypse to the extent that they appear to come from a common ancient source.

The European Union is using apocalyptic symbols, for example the twelve stars, the woman riding the beast, and the tower of Babel.

Pagan sources are in agreement with the Bible, that the world exists for a finite period of time, and it will end with an apocalypse. The Greeks and Romans have an escape route called Elysium, which is entered by virtue and self-worth. For Christians, our self-worth disappeared at the fall and we escape from the apocalypse because someone else is worthy.

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Copyright 2002

Mike Gascoigne
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