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German Historian Says the Middle Ages Never Happened – We Are Living in the Year 1720 Not 2017

In 1986, German historian Heribert Illig started developing the Phantom Time Hypothesis. The theory states that the years AD 614 – 911 do not actually exist. Could Illig’s theory be true. Could we be living in the 18th Century?The phantom time hypothesis is a historical conspiracy theory asserted by Heribert Illig. First published in 1991.

image credit: Alltime Conspiracies 

The hypothesis proposes a conspiracy by the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, Pope Sylvester II, and possibly the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII, to fabricate the Anno Domini dating system retrospectively, so that it placed them at the special year of AD 1000.

image credit: Alltime Conspiracies 

And to rewrite history to legitimize Otto’s claim to the Holy Roman Empire. Illig believed that this was achieved through the alteration, misrepresentation, and forgery of documentary and physical evidence.


According to this scenario, the entire Carolingian period, including the figure of Charlemagne, is a fabrication, with a “phantom time” of 297 years (AD 614–911) added to the Early Middle Ages. The proposal has found no favour among mainstream medievalists.via(wikipedia).

Was a 300-year chunk of world history completely madeup? According to the Phantom Time Hypothesis that’s exactly what happened. Err, didn’t happen. This conspiracy theory borders on the outlandish which isn’t unusual for a conspiracy, but this idea from German historian Heribert Illig does have some convincing—if not just straight puzzling—points.