Phantom time hypothesis
Conspiracy theory / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The phantom time hypothesis is a historical hypothesis asserted by Heribert Illig. First published in 1991, it hypothesizes a conspiracy by the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, Pope Sylvester II, and possibly the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII,[further explanation needed] to fabricate the Anno Domini dating system retroactively, in order to place them at the special year of AD 1000, 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.
Evidence contradicts the hypothesis and it failed to gain the support of historians.