The Unsound Theory of Inflation

QUESTION: You defend central banks yet the Rothschilds when clearly Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild said: “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws.”  Any comment?


ANSWER: No problem. He never said any such thing it was completely made up. It was attributed to him in 1838 when he was already dead for 26 years. Besides that, what is very clear is that this is based on the assumption that money is fiat. The USA began to issue paper money in 1861. During the period that Mayer lived, the money supply was primarily coined.  The only plausible reference would be implied that he debased them. He was a banker and never produced the coinage.

It would be nice just for once that you bothered to actually understand the role of central banks as originally set forth. What they do today with Quantitative Easing has proven that the entire theory of an increase in money supply will be inflationary is outright BOGUS.

In every case of HYPERINFLATION, not even once did inflation ever begin by increasing the money supply. Inflation begins when PEOPLE lose CONFIDENCE in the government and they spend the currency as fast as they can or outright refuse to accept it. I have explained that the Japanese Emperor used a different approach. He DEVALUED all outstanding money to 10% of his new coinage. That led to the collapse in CONFIDENCE to the point that the people never trusted the government and as a result, the Japanese lost the ability to produce money for 600 years.

The definition of what creates inflation is entirely wrong. Even Gresham’s Law needs to be placed in context. Gresham worked in the foreign exchange markets in Amsterdam. Henry VIII debased the English coinage. But coinage traded on foreign exchange markets according to its metal content. The inflation Gresham referred to was experienced in the foreign exchange markets so what he truly observed was the decline in the British coinage value on international markets. Don’t forget, this predates the central Bank of England which was established in 1694.

The entire observation of inflation began with Gresham. However, it was extended by David Hume (1711-1776) who made observations BEFORE paper money began. This observation is not respected even today. David Hume showed why net exporting in exchange for gold currency, which then increased the domestic money supply and was hoarded by Britain, could not actually enhance wealth. Hume’s argument was essentially the monetarist quantity theory of money which would influence others over time. Prices in a country would change directly with changes in the money supply. Hume explained that as net exports increased and more gold flowed into a country to pay for them, the prices of goods in that country would rise with the economic boom. The USA saw this through the course of World War I and World War II ending up with 76% of the world’s official gold reserves. Consequently, an increased flow of gold into England would not necessarily increase England’s wealth substantially was Hume’s argument because the increase in domestic prices due to the gold inflow would discourage exports and encourage imports. Hence, this trend then counter-reacts with trade and automatically this will start limiting the amount by which exports would exceed imports. The more money that flowed into a country, like the USA, the higher the prices and this would then reduce exports. Adam Smith’s attack on mercantilism and argument for free trade, strangely ignored Hume’s argument. Hume’s view of capital flows can be verified throughout history and is really the underlying foundation of the balance-of-payments issues that Trump fails to understand. Hume also advanced the idea of “creeping inflation” that takes placed with a gradual increase in the money supply that would lead to economic growth. This is largely correct, but money supply growth must also keep place with population growth or you will produce deflation – more people and less money to go around.

With the introduction of paper money during the mid to late 18th century, the relationship between the over-supply of banknotes and a resulting depreciation in their value was noted by earlier classical economists such as David Ricardo (1772-1823). However, the issue of paper money during the American Colonial period must also take into consideration two factors: (1) England starved America and extracted money assuming they were using Spanish coinage, and (2) the American Revolution which was funded by creating paper money. There was again a lack of CONFIDENCE to the extent that when the American Revolution ended, the Constitution prohibited States from issuing money again and federally no paper money was issued again until the American Civil War in 1861.

Therefore, most HYPERINFLATION periods are associated with war like the American and French experiences. However, in Lydia, the very first government to issue coins, we see the debasement unfold as a direct result of war. Therefore, there is no evidence of hyperinflation unfolding absent a collapse in the CONFIDENCE of the people in that government.

In the case of Venezuela, obviously there has been a collapse in CONFIDENCE. The same was true in Zimbabwe after it seized all the property of white farmers. Foreign investors refused to ever participate again.

The German HYPERINFLATION came with the Communist Revolution in 1918. That sent capital into hiding and fled overseas, primarily to the United States.

Defining a Cycle Inversion

QUESTION: Can you define cycle inversion and answer the below?

1. What are the specific requirements to confirm a cycle inversion? I have found three elements discussed in the writings, but I am somewhat unclear whether all must be present to confirm a cyclical inversion.

i. The period following the turning point must close higher than the prior period.

ii. The period following the turning point must exceed the high of the prior period.

iii. The period following the turning point must not breach the low of the prior period.

Kindly elaborate.

2. Can a cyclical inversion be confirmed beyond the month immediately following the turning point? Notably, the turning points referenced above have been evenly spaced, each separated by a single month. What if each of the turning points were separated by 5 or 6 months?

Could a high on Month 3 (which is not itself a turning point, but rather mid-way between two turning points) indicate a cycle inversion? Wouldn’t a high on Month 3 (which is not a turning point) suggest an error in the array?



ANSWER: In the immediate instance, simply exceeding the January high would imply the next turning point would invert into a high. Corrections are confined to a maximum of 3 timing intervals, which means April. A failure to make new highs and a penetration of the February low after April would imply a correction moving into probably July. Just exceeding the January high intraday MAY BE good enough to qualify as a cycle inversion, but typically you need to CLOSE ABOVE it or it could be just a double top formation. The same is true in reverse with lows.

You can normally assume a cycle inversion once that event is exceeded or broken on a closing basis. We previously warned that exceeding the November high is December would lead to a January high. That confirmed the Cycle Inversion. The same will be true with respect to the January high.

The only time an Array would appear to be wrong where the TOP line fails to produce a definitive turning point tends to be when there is a Directional Change say the month before. A Directional Change can influence and become dominant. However, this is usually when a given market is being influenced by another. A major panic in one important economy can become a SUPERPOSITION influence distorting a local market by a more dominant global trend. This is still rare. The Array typically picks this up in advance. The Array can change shifting the turning point from one month to the next because of such a Superposition Principle.

This will really have to be answered in a more detailed report on cycles.

Visualizing Cycles in Your Mind Helps to Comprehend How to Respond to Events

QUESTION: Is there a way to teach cycles that will enable others to see them more easily?

ANSWER: Oh yes. Students who developed visual mental models of cyclical principles flourish, while students who tried to learn cycles by rote invariably struggled. The mental picture is critical. It is a roadmap to the future. Just visualize the Economic Confidence Model and it will help to comprehend the business cycle and where you are at any given moment.

For example, in 2007 when everyone is buying houses, you can keep this in mind and take a pause, encouraging yourself to wait until next year. The same is true for expanding your business. The first time I really used this model in that decision process was 1976. I signed a lease for space and I got them to give me a 10-year lease. I negotiated the elimination of a CPI clause. Everyone was talking about a depression. My accountant thought I was nuts. I told him this model was never wrong and I was going with it. The space I took at $10 a square foot was $45 by 1980.

This model can provide tremendous guidance if you keep it visualized in your mind.

Roger Scruton: The Utopian Fallacy and The Planning Fallacy

Published on Sep 27, 2017

Sir Roger Vernon Scruton is an English philosopher and writer who specialises in aesthetics and political philosophy, particularly in the furtherance of traditionalist conservative views. In recent years he taught courses in Buckingham University, Oxford University and University of St. Andrews. In this clip he talks about two fallacies of organizing society: The Utopian Fallacy and The Planning Fallacy. Complete video quoted under fair use:… — This channel aims at extracting central points of presentations into short clips. The topics cover the problems of leftist ideology and the consequences for society.

What We Face Requires a Cyclical Perspective



To survive what we face clearly requires an open mind to understand that everything in nature moves through a cyclical pattern. The majority of people see the world only in a linear fashion. Politicians proclaim they can change the world and create perpetual prosperity and/or punish those that cause recessions. Naturally, there are no mirrors in government so the culprit must always exist outside of their shenanigans.

I often get the question WHAT IF everyone followed my work. The answer is simple. That is IMPOSSIBLE. That is like saying why can we all not just vote the same. There will never be a single political party that the people would vote for because there are differences of opinion. The majority of society ignores history because that is the past and somehow irrelevant because we are more sophisticated today and those people ran around in diapers chucking spears at each other. This merely ensures that history repeats because they are far too ignorant to comprehend that life is like a Shakespeare play. It has been performed for hundreds of years and the only thing that changes has been the actors.

Human society as a whole expects a linear life of happily ever after and when that fails, they advocate punishing the person responsible. They cannot dare investigate that just perhaps the world works in a far more complicated manner than just that.

Those who think only linear cannot avoid the crash and burn. Those who see the world cyclically understand there is a time and place for everything.

Cycles in Time – Origin of the Theory & Why It Was Ignored in Western Culture

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; Just about every culture outside of Christianity believed in the cyclical aspects of time and nature. Do you have any idea why Western Christian culture failed to incorporate cyclical theory?


ANSWER: If you actually read the Bible, you will find the very similar cyclical references and numbers. It just seems that the mainstream interpretation overlooked it post Dark Age. There is so much in there from the maxim that there is a time and place for everything to the Revelations that forecast the Devil will be cast into the abyss for 1,000 years and then it will begin again between the tribes of God and Magog. That describes a cycle. For some reason, the general religious teaching fails to point that aspect out. This seems to be rooted in the prejudice of the Dark Age for that is clearly a line of demarcation in every field of knowledge that was lost after the barbarian invasions.

Throughout the centuries, there has been an understanding of cycles that have come down to the present age through the corridors of time. There has been a knowledge that comes from the dim ages of past eras, that seems to emanate from all the races, as well as the different schools of thought. Just what is the origin of this basic understanding of cycles cannot be traced to some specific teaching by a single culture or person. There is unquestionably an unbroken direct line throughout the ages that extend further back than even the time of Greeks who the Romans viewed a knowledgeable. There are references to cycles that we find in many extracts that even go back to the ancient Egypt and Chaldea. These appear to have influenced the Pythagoras (about 500 bc) and Ancient Grecian arcane schools of philosophy. Where did they come from? The answer seems to stretch back to still more remote and arcane investigations of the universe and the heavens.

There are traces of cyclical theory in the arcane teachings in the records of Persia and Medea. The inspiration for the original philosophical teaching of Gautama, who was the founder of Buddhism, not religion, seems to originate from even older arcane sources. Traces are also to be found in the Hebrew teachings of the “Kabbalah” and the “Zohar.” The Greeks clearly relied upon the arcane teaching undoubtedly obtained directly from Egyptian sources through Pythagoras. The relation connection between the early Grecian teaching and philosophies with the even older school of ancient Egypt predating the Greeks by thousands of years. Pythagoras is known to have received instruction from Egyptian and Persian hierophants, who were priests in ancient that interpreted sacred mysteries or esoteric principles. Many believed that the origin was even yet an older understanding.

The origins of Western astronomy and astrology are interconnected and can be found in Mesopotamia. Here is a clay tablet from 164BC recording the observation of Haley’s Comet which moved through the heavens on a cyclical path. Cycles certainly were understood by merely observing the heavens. The Babylonians conducted a major investigation recording when events in the heavens took place, what were the effects on Earth. Obviously, Western efforts at the beginning of sciences are descendants in a direct line from the work of the late Babylonian astronomers, yet extend even further back to Sumerian astronomy. The earliest Babylonian star catalogues date back to about 1200 BC. Many star names appear in Sumerian, which implies that there is a continuity reaching into the Early Bronze Age.

Hipparchus of Nicaea (c. 190 – 120 bc) was a Greek astronomer, geographer, and mathematician who first discovered the cyclical nature of the universe being the Precession of the Equinoxes which is the journey of our solar system around the center of the universe taking 25,800 years. He is also known as the father of trigonometry, and he compiled a comprehensive star catalogue. He discovered the Precession of the Equinoxes by looking at the star charts of the Babylonians about 1,000 years before his time and noticed how the heavens had moved. The Maya also discovered the Precession of the Equinoxes and studied TIME, which I have written about – The Mayan Discovery of Time.

We have to understand that during the Dark Ages, there was a lot of superstition. Mathematics was seen as the work of pagans and thus the Devil. This meant that to guide a ship, a Christian could not engage in such calculations. This is why the Jews were captains of ships or navigators, as well as bankers. Fibonacci brought back math and numbers from the Arabs and this was acceptable for it was used in gambling. Much of the early mathematicians were clandestinely hired by royalty to win at gambling – the early card counters.

Bathing also was shunned in much of Europe during the  Middle Ages because Roman baths were generally public where mixed sexes attended and often they were frequented by prostitutes or frequent sex. During the 4th and 5th centuries, after the time of Constantine I the Great, Christian authorities allowed people to bathe for cleanliness and health. However, Christians routinely condemned attendance to public bathhouses for pleasure and condemned women going to bathhouses that had mixed facilities. Generally, over time, more restrictions appeared and finally, Christians were prohibited from bathing naked at all. The Church began to disapprove of any “excessive” indulgence in the habit of bathing. Over the course of time, this original association of a bathhouse with prostitution culminated in the Medieval Church authorities proclaiming that public bathing led to immorality, promiscuous sex, and diseases. You would never say you went to take a bath, it was implied you had sex.

Without question, knowledge evaporated during the Dark Ages and superstitions replaced much. Most of the old books had been lost by the invasions of various barbarian tribes. Much of the knowledge resurfaced from three primary sources. First, the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453 saw the scholars fled to Rome and began opening up schools. Secondly, much of the sources of ancient books were preserved by the Arabs and made their way back to Europe. The third source, some have called it How the Irish Saved Civilization. It may be called the Italian Renaissance, but it was the century when ancient Greek and Latin manuscripts preserved in Irish monasteries were discovered and read and discussed once again thus paving the way for the Renaissance. This was the rebirth of antiquity which, in synthesis with Christianity, produced a unique new awakened civilization. By the time of the American Revolution, the Founders were mesmerized by the writings of ancient Rome and sought to overthrow the monarchy as they did and formed a Republic.

Therefore, it is of no surprise that Christianity failed to comprehend the cyclical aspect that ran through the veins of ancient knowledge. Throughout the Bible, there are numerous references to cycles and measuring things in seven or multiples of seven from creating the world in seven days to a woman’s menstrual cycle lasting 7 days. There are seven notes on a piano. We just have not bothered to look at the cyclical nature preserved with Christianity because of the prejudices formed during the Dark Ages. Any hint of using math was seen as the Devil’s work. This is why you also see so many ancient statues that are beheaded because they assumed any statue was a pagan god. The Dark Age was a period of true ignorance.

Interbank Rates Starting to Rise – Monetary Crisis is Beginning



Extremely reliable sources from Behind the Curtain in Europe are becoming deeply concerned that Draghi at the ECB has created a monumental economic disaster he is just praying to holding off until he leaves next year. Interest rates are already starting to rise significantly in several important money and interbank markets. Both banks and debtors are facing a rapid rise in interest expenditures that will shock the world. This is going to blow-out budgets around the globe and both private and public debtors face higher costs of funds.

The Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate), the most important reference rate for the global interbank market, is currently at its highest level since 2008. We elected a Yearly Bullish Reversal on the close of 2016. Once we see the rate close above 213 on a monthly basis, LIBOR rates will be poised to jump to 510. When the Libor price rises, the short-term borrowing for banks becomes more expensive, and for borrowers in the financial market, such as sellers of bonds or buyers of mortgages, debt service becomes more difficult. The demand for debt is exceptionally high. We are looking at LIBOR rates rising sharply. The dollar-lending rate for dollar loans has been rising steadily in all maturities since about the end of 2014. The dollar-Libor for three-month loans in March 2017 were trading at around 1.1%. Currently, this dollar-Libor rate stands at around 2%.

This year’s WEC will be focused on the next major crisis and how all the markets will interact. This is the beginning of the Monetary Crisis Cycle. Our Yearly Models on LIBOR are already in a bullish posture on both short-term indicators. A closing on an annual basis above 208 will signal rates will rapidly more than DOUBLE into 2020. A closing above 510 on an annual basis will warn of a MAJOR financial crisis hitting just about every economy.

The Resistance to Change is Why We have Panics

COMMENT: I have been following your blogs for the past two years and have attended the past two WECs. I read with interest your continued comments on CALPERS and its pension mismanagement. I’m an attorney advisor and a client disclosed a few months ago that they had purchased $1m in municipal debt on the recommendation of their broker. They were complaining about undisclosed fees. I asked them why they would purchase muni bonds in a rising interest rate environment, they said it was to balance their portfolio with bonds. They also expressed some amusement that I purchased a house in Florida. They didn’t sell right away and were deaf to any discussion about the status of fiscal irresponsibility in CA, particularly the Democratic control of all levels of government. So I kept harping on the rise in interest rates, and they finally liquidated their entire muni bond position after rates did start to creep up. Trying to explain any historical info that you provide was a non-starter since to sell their real estate would be a big inconvenience and they don’t like the idea of changing their lives that much. It reinforces that people are unwilling to change until the crisis hits and no doubt they’ll rush out with everyone else at the same time. Hard to move that mentality unless people have a cycle-oriented view.


REPLY: Of this is exactly the problem. I have often spoken how I go to high level meets in various governments. They know what we are forecasting, but to claim I am a “governmental advisor” is in my view a misrepresentation. True, I am called in many times before a crisis. Despite the fact I have warned them in advance, nobody seems to do actually anything UNTIL the crisis hits. So I view myself more as a canary in the coal mine. They seem to consult me ONLY to see if I have changed my mind and/or our forecast. Only one country has ever done anything I told them in advance and they are in Asia. Not a single country has ever done ANYTHING I have advised in advance, They have listened to me ONLY in a state of PANIC.

Anyone who portrays themselves as some advisor to government is misrepresenting the facts. Governments will NEVER listen to avoid a crisis. They ONLY act because of a crisis. For example, I was called in back in 1985 when they were using people to pretend that experts agreed with forming G5. Nobody that I heard agreed and that is when I wrote to President Reagan (see:Martin Armstrong to President Reagan October 25, 1985 ).

The response from the White House said thanks, but no thanks.

After the Plaza Accord in 1985, then they pulled the Louvre Accord to try to stop the volatility. They were stunned when the markets kept going despite the fact that the governments tried to stop the decline of the dollar.

Then when the Crash of 1987 came. suddenly they wanted the research and amazingly conceded that the number one problem was the rise in volatility I had originally warned they would create. So nobody EVER listens until the CRISIS hits. This seems to be human nature. This is why I do what I do. Walking from meeting to a meeting among governments is fruitless. They will NEVER prevent the Crash & Burn. It is just not in their nature nor human nature.

This is what the old saying means: You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot force him to drink. It just seems to be part of humanity. There is just no changing it this seems.

Repetitive Patterns in the Money Supply – Will Coins Become Extinct?

Inflation over time raises the cost of raw metal and we see that such coins vanish from the money supply. Britain is the latest in line to eliminate the 1 & 2 pence coins. They are costing more to produce than they are worth. I have written about the monetary reform Act of 1857 when the penny was drastically reduced in size. Canada eliminated the penny as well.

The United States dropped copper from the penny in 1982. Today, the penny is made of 97.5% zinc. It is copper-plated to give the appearance that it is still really copper. Throughout history, the supply of copper, gold, and silver, have all risen and fallen at different times based on their own cycle. Where the Persians had excess gold, the Greeks only had silver mines. The Romans had neither silver nor gold and began their monetary system with bronze.

We can see how the three empires began with gold, then silver, and finally bronze and modern society turned to paper starting with the Chinese during the 13th century. The main coin of the Persians was known as the gold Daric, whereas the dominant coinage among the Greeks was the silver Athens tetradrachm known as the Owl. The Romans were the last to depart from the Bronze Age. Their coinage remained bronze until silver was introduced and struck in Greek denominations beginning in 280BC, which was just one 51.6-year wave from Alexander the Great (336-323BC).

As-Decline (1)


We can see the same process of the rising cost of copper that prevailed during the early Roman Republic. The Roman As drops from 280BC with a weight of 341 grams to 10.6 grams by the time of Augustus (27BC-14AD). The drastic decline was been 280BC and 115BC, which was about 19 waves of 8.6-years.

While we see the same process of a decline in Roman silver denarius into the 3rd century, what emerges is always the effort to reform. The Roman Emperor Diocletian (284-305AD) reintroduced silver coinage as well as bronze. Once again, we see the gradual reduction in the bronze coinage while the silver and gold were not affected.

The bronze coinage simply keeps reducing as we see what is going on today. In 348 AD, a new bronze denomination was also introduced known as the “centenionalis” in a monetary reform carried out by Constantius II (337-361AD) with an initial weight of 6.6 grams. The weight almost immediately began to decline rapidly to 4.3 grams. He also introduced the half-centenionalis, which seems to continue to be produced and eventually becomes the standard until about 360AD. Despite the noble effort, the inflationary trend continued and the value of bronze kept rising forcing the discontinuation of this denomination 354 AD after just 6 years (one volatility cycle). This was then replaced by the reduced bronze denomination of about half the weight known today simply as the AE3 or half-centenionalis.

During the reign of Julian II (360-363AD), he attempts yet another monetary reform trying to restore the original Folles of Diocletian known as a Double Centenionalis or a Majorina. This new denomination bronze denomination was 28mm in diameter with a weight of 8 grams. This monetary reform lasted unmolested until about the reign of Arcadius (383-408AD). For about 19 years, the Double Centenionalis remained fairly true to its weight. When we see once again usurpers begin to rise in the West such as Magnus Maximus (383-388AD) in Britain and the usurper in Rome itself of Eugenius (392-394AD) where the bronze coinage is reduced to a tiny token with a weight of 0.94 grams.

From about 400AD until the final collapse of Rome in the West during 476AD, bronze coinage is poorly struck and typically only tiny 1 gram coins. Many emperors did not even strike bronze coinage. When the Vandals from North Africa invade and sack Rome3 during 455AD, the word today is still used “vandalize” which refers to the events at that time. Copper was scarce so the Vandals stripped the roofs of Roman buildings which had been adorn in copper to shine brightly as if it were gold.

Therefore, throughout history, the cycles between the three metals are significantly different and thus we see periods during which bronze if rarer than gold or silver and at times each metal comes into excess supply and shortages. This is one primary reason any attempt to establish fixed ratios has always failed without exception. We are following the same path. Soon, all metal will be worth too much to use for coins.

Is it St Mark or Alexander the Great Buried in Venice?

QUESTION: I just returned from Venice and I was told that they stole the bones of St Mark from Egypt and built a church there for them. The four horses on the Church they stole from Constantinople. It seems a bit strange that they would go take relics from somewhere else. Do you have any comments on the Venetian Empire and their kleptomania?



ANSWER: Venice had extensive trading connections with the eastern Mediterranean regions as well as an off/on relationship with the Ottoman Empire. Venice was the medieval center for the trade in antiquities as well as ancient coins. They loved history and it was a serious business in Venice. The Venetian gold ducat even rose to be an internationally accepted coin. This pictures St Mark standing giving a gonfalone to the kneeling doge (head of Venice). So indeed, St Mark was the center of Venetian culture. The four horses were from a chariot full size driven by Constantine which once stood in Constantinople before the Venetians conquered the city. They took just the horses back to Venice.

This interest in antiquities and relics first began in the Middle Ages and initially was focused on holy relics, which included removal of the bones of St. Mark from Alexandria in 828AD and moving them to what became known as St Mark’s Square. Most of the important early coin collections were actually formed through Venice. Andrea Loredan was a patrician of an old family of Venice dating back to the 12th century that occupied hereditary seats on the Great Council from 1297 onward. The family still exists today with the Palazzo Loredan Cini at Campo San Vio. Andrea Loredan was a serious coin collector who ordered an illustrated list of all his coins to be made in 1560 in order to help with their sale. A reproduction of that list has been produced by the American Numismatic Society – Irritamenta: Numismatic Treasures of a Renaissance.

With respect to the mummified body of St Mark, there is still a controversy that the remains are not that of St Mark, but Alexander the Great. Three early Christian sources stated that St Mark’s body was burnt after his death. As the story goes, the pagans seized Saint Mark in Alexandria, Egypt, when he was serving the Liturgy and beat him, dragging him through the streets and threw him in prison. On the following day, the crowd again dragged him through the streets to the courtroom, but along the way, Saint Mark died. The pagans were so angry and the Egyptian tradition was to preserve the body, so they wanted to burn the body in disrespect. It is said that when they lit the fire, everything grew dark, thunder crashed, and there was an earthquake. The pagans then fled in terror. Some Christians then took up the body of Saint Mark and buried it in a stone crypt on April 4th, 63AD.

During the year 310AD after Constantine, I the Great becomes Emperor in 307AD and two years before the Battle at Milvian Bridge on October  28th, 312AD, a church was constructed over the relics of Saint Mark. The Pope prayed a prayer on the grave of Saint Mark when the church was then a little chapel on the eastern coast containing bodies said to be of Saint Mark and some of his holy successors. The church was later enlarged in the days of Pope Achillas, who was the 18th Pope.

After the Siege of Alexandria in 641AD, the tomb of Saint Mark was no longer in Christian hands. The church was greatly ruined in 641AD when the Arabs invaded Egypt. Then in 680AD, Pope John III rebuilt the church. In 828AD a group of Venetian Christian merchants traveled to Alexandria and obtained the body of Saint Mark. As the story goes, these merchants used pork to prevent the Islamic authorities from inspecting what they were transporting. The Venetians and the body of Saint Mark managed successfully to make its way to Venice.  The church was destroyed again in 1219, during the time of the crusades, and was rebuilt once more. However, during the 16th century, the French explorer Pierre Belon mentions the founding of the church in 1547.

The other tomb of a mummified person in Alexandria was that of Alexander the Great. The location of Alexander the Great’s tomb has remained a great mystery. After the death of  Alexander in Babylon, the possession of his body became a subject of negotiations between his generals. Where to bury Alexander became a controversy. Aegae was one of the two originally proposed resting places. The body, however, was stolen en route by Ptolemy I Soter, the general who took Egypt. According to contemporary records for the years 321–320 BC, Ptolemy initially buried Alexander in Memphis. Sometime during the early 3rd century BC, Alexander’s body was transferred from Memphis to Alexandria, where it was reburied in a new tomb. It was this tomb that became a major tourist destination for hundreds of years.

Caracalla-B1Julius Caesar paid his respects to the tomb of Alexander the Great. The first Emperor of the Roman Empire Augustus declined the opportunity to visit any tombs saying that he came to see a King and not a bunch of dead people. Emperor  Caracalla (198-217AD) had seen himself as the reincarnation of Alexander the Great. Caracalla even retraced Alexander’s route to Egypt however and in 215AD, Caracalla was warmly received when he visited Alexander’s tomb. For some unknown reason, he slaughtered many of Alexandria’s inhabitants shortly thereafter. It is known that Caracalla apparently left with a piece of Alexander’s body armor. According to chronicler John of Antioch, Caracalla removed Alexander’s tunic, his ring, his belt with some other precious items and deposited them on the coffin.

When John Chrysostom  (349 – 407AD), the Archbishop of Constantinople visited Alexandria in 400AD, he asked to see Alexander’s tomb and remarked, “his tomb even his own people know not”. Later authors claim to have seen the tomb during the 9th century.  Others claimed to have visited a sepulcher in the center of Alexandria that was still venerated as the resting place of Alexander. This seems to be unlikely given the fact that the Christians sought to destroy anything that was a Pagan worship. Therefore, credible historical references of Alexander’s tomb continued only until about 390AD, and then vanish.

It has been argued that two years after the last historical reference of Alexander’s tomb, another tomb in Alexandria seems to surface after 310AD. But it is not the tomb of Alexander, the tomb belongs to Saint Mark. Saint Mark had been dead for over 300 years. Some have suggested that the mummified body of Saint Mark could, in fact, be Alexander the Great. The missing link is the question that if the Christians did indeed rescue the body of St Mark from the pagans and it was not burned, then was it mummified in Egyptian tradition or simply buried? If in 828AD a group of Venetian Christian merchants took a mummified body, was it really St Mark? Could the pagans have rescued Alexander’s body from the Christians who would have certainly destroyed it in their rage and placed it  in a church pretending it was St Mark to protect it?

The Copts (Greek Orthodox Christians) believe that the head of St. Mark remains in a church named after him in Alexandria, and parts of his relics are in St. Mark’s Cairo’s Cathedral. Some believe that the rest of what are believed to be his relics are in the St Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy. However, back in 1063, during the construction of a new basilica in Venice, Saint Mark’s relics could not be found. According to legend, in 1094, the saint himself revealed the location of his remains by extending an arm from a pillar. The newly discovered remains were then placed in a sarcophagus in the basilica pictured here. There remain many questions about the body in the church. In Egypt, every year, on the 30th day of the month of Paopi, the Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates the consecration of the church of St. Mark and the appearance of the head of the saint in the city of Alexandria. This takes place inside St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, where the saint’s head is said to be preserved.

The whereabouts of Alexander’s body remains one of the great mysteries yet to be resolved. Some argue it was buried in a remote community outside of Alexandria. A DNA test of the body in St Mark’s of Venice would resolve the issue and settle the question is the person of Greek or Semitic origin? Naturally, such a test would never be allowed for what if it showed it was the body of Alexander the Great? Can you imagine what that would do to Venice?