Book and film reviews

When the sun went out

From David Keys, Goldmann, Munich, 2002.

(Published in GralsWelt 31/2004).

When we look at the past, we mainly find king lists, political intrigues, wars, battles, conquests, strategists' dodges, etc. in historiography. Relatively little is said about everyday life, and the influence of climatic fluctuations, epidemics or natural disasters on historical developments is only mentioned in exceptional cases. For example, it is hardly known that there is a striking connection between witch hunts and storms (especially the capricious weather during the "Little Ice Age" in the 16th century). In the Grail World, we have repeatedly pointed out the impact of epidemics, e.g. the dramatic break in people's self-image caused by the great plague of the 14th century. (Cf.The fourth horseman" ).

The sun darkened
David Keys identified a worldwide catastrophe in the 6th century that, despite its magnitude, is passed over in our history books:
In 535 AD a large volcano *) exploded in southern East Asia, the ejection of which darkened the sky and triggered dramatic changes in Asia, Africa, America and Europe:
“Prokop wrote that the sun no longer shone all year round, but shone dull as the moon. According to other evidence, the sun was 'cloudy' or 'dark' for up to eighteen months. It just shone 'like a faint shadow' and people were terrified that it might never seem right again ” (P. 17).
In addition to ancient chronicles of Europe and Asia, tree ring examinations and analyzes of drill cores from Arctic ice speak of this decade-long climatic catastrophe that struck large parts of the world and seriously changed the political landscape.

The climate chaos of the sixth century
David Keys describes in detail the upheavals on four continents that followed the volcanic eruption with the darkening of the sun:
Drop in temperature, unstable weather conditions, periods of drought, torrential rains, crop failures and famine. Then another epidemic caused by the weather anomalies reached Africa from Europe and Asia. Social and political institutions began to totter on four continents.
In Mongolia, the Avars (an equestrian people) were driven from their steppes and migrated west, where in the second half of the 6th century they, together with other tribes (such as the Slavs), posed a dangerous threat to the Eastern Roman Empire, which had been weakened by famine and plague became. It finally lost most of its provinces in the "two-front war" against Persians and peoples invading the Balkans from the east.

Both empires (Eastern and Persia) exhausted themselves in protracted wars and were then no longer able to cope with the advancing Arabs in the 7th century.
From Europe to East Asia and America empires lost their strength, were torn apart in civil wars or collapsed. In East Africa, well-known trading cities once disappeared; the Marib dam collapsed in Yemen; in China there was drought, storms, civil war; in Central America high cultures went under ...

A natural disaster changes the world
No military leader, no king, no conqueror - neither Alexander, nor Caesar, nor Napoleon - was able to change world history even remotely as far as this weather catastrophe of the 6th century, which ushered in the beginning of the "Dark Ages" and the Islamic world empire .

For several decades it has been undisputed that impacts or volcanic eruptions can trigger catastrophes that endanger civilization. What is new is the knowledge that David Keys widespread, that such a catastrophe last occurred only fifteen centuries ago, that is, in historical time; a world catastrophe - which, despite written records, has not yet been adequately recognized by historians.

Final grade:

*) The Ilopango in El Salvador, which exploded in 429 AD, has recently been identified as the culprit. (ZDF “Die Macht der Vulkane”, Part 1 “Years Without Sun”, broadcast on June 5, 2016. Others date the eruption between 535 and 539 (wikipedia). Procopius of Caesarea quoted above lived from around 500 to 560.