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.

Culture – Law – And Different Ways

Several women have written in and disagree with what I wrote about prostitution. They argue that 75% of prostitutes come from broken homes, which today is over 50% of marriages. They also state that these girls were abused as children in every way possible and many are runaways. Some also argue that these girls turn to prostitution because they are addicted to drugs and became pregnant at very young ages in their teens and have to support a child on their own.
All of that said, I agree that there are girls that fall into each of those categories. However, There are strikingly different cultures and different solutions around the world that warrant looking at both in Asia and Europe. In Thailand, they have a different culture and sex is not looked down upon as it is in the West. The girls are not drugged out or abducted. They are there to make money typically to support their families, which include their parents. Many also do dream of meeting the right guy in the process. In fact. studies show that 15% of the women in the Thailand sex trade marry their customers when they are foreign men (see a study published by Khon Kaen University).
Amsterdam is also strikingly different. The girls are not drugged out and they fall more into the professional category and some may cling to that dream of meeting Mr. right while others have probably given up on the dream of love at first sight and the knight in shining armor will come to carry them away. Both Thailand and Amsterdam show that even prostitutes do find love, which was the story-line of Pretty Woman.
Similarly, in Japan, there are a few private clubs where the girls are virgins and if you wish to select one, and she agrees, you paid $250,000+ and she was yours. You then had to provide her an apartment in Tokyo and support her as a concubine. She would be there for you whenever you were in Tokyo. They did this to be taken care of and a portion of the money always went back to her family. There are different cultures around the world and different morals.
I know in East Europe, men were going there and pretending to want to marry. They entered into the arranged marriage and took the girl and then promptly sold her into sex slavery. That was common when the Wall Fell in 1989, and parents are wise to that scam these days.  There is just a stark difference between what we see in Thailand and Amsterdam compared to where prostitution is illegal. My point is that if there is a legal industry then the girls are protected and this would tend to reduce the abductions.
I have written before when I was in New York standing on the corner in front of the Plaza hotel during the day, this girl came up to me dressed in genes. She asked if there was anything she could do for me. That is using the words spoken by a hooker, but she looked like 13 to me. I was confused and said no, and she asked again. I was not sure and was giving her the benefit of the doubt because she looked so young. I thought perhaps she wanted money for food or something. Then the doorman came over and told her to get out and she turned and cursed him. I then asked was she a hooker? He said yes she bothered the guests routinely. She was probably a runaway working for someone I suppose.
I knew a girl who worked for me once who was raped by her step-father between 7 and 10. She ran away to an aunt in another State. She was strong enough to tell me the story when she was 25. She did not become a prostitute. I respected her strength and she put her life together.
You can pass all the laws you want. It will not stop the abuse. Amsterdam, Japan, and Thailand are a different issue and there are girls who do hope to meet that special someone.
  • Outlaw booze and you created the Mafia.
  • Outlaw prostitution and you create abduction.
There has to be a better way. Girls are abducted and sold into sex slavery only because it is profitable. Remove the profit with legal competition, and you just may end the abductions. Promote safe-houses for runaways and you may save a life.

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.

Left v Right – Why the Western Society is Really Collapsing



we just saw the German elections play out. For Germany, this is a huge move to the left – at least in government. They also say that Europe will be strongly supported. I guess that means shoveling money to Brussels and raising it via more and more taxes. Now, I researched everything you wrote about the ride of the right-wing parties in Europe and the separatist movements. I would be interested in your thought on how this plays out. E.g. Germany with its left-wing government. It rather seems to be the case that government will become more and more left-wing. Just as in the Weimar Republic. So I do not think that a right-wing could have enough political force to take power, also since Antifa is MUCH more violent and also more powerful than the right. Politicians blame the right for many things, violent events etc, while in fact, it is a rather docile movement with very little power and if so, only in the hands of individuals who do hardly organize since it really is the promotion of individualism vs group-think (left) and group movements. So from a logical standpoint, it seems rather likely to have the socialist agenda gain power. I know you say it is coming to an end. I trust you are correct. Socialism does not work and people might notice at some point. But it seems to be in a quite distant future still. Could you elaborate on that? Will Immigration finally win and move Europe and Germany into a new societal form? Finally, the European left-wingers are actually importing authoritarianism. Which very ironic since they probably think they are importing voters.

Thanks, Marty.

Best, SP.

ANSWER: Oh yes. I do not think most people outside of Germany understand that. Merkel lost control. To keep power, she had to create a Grand Coalition with the SPD, which has been the Northern socialists with origins that go back to the Weimer Republic and the Communist Revolution. The SPD took power for both they and the CDU of Merkel realized that going back to the people would result in both parties losing even more ground. This is highlighted particularly after the Italian election. I have NEVER been asked for a meeting by anyone in the SPD. They have always fundamentally been opponents of anything my computer has forecast. They have NEVER been interested in what is economically best for the people – they are only interested in imposing their will upon the people because they do not see the same light they do.

Most people have no idea that Lenin was more of a dreamer who at least thought he was benefiting the people. It was Lenin who warned not to allow Stalin to take power after him. He said: “Comrade Stalin, having become Secretary-General, has unlimited authority concentrated in his hands, and I am not sure whether he will always be capable of using that authority with sufficient caution.” Stalin did everything he could to take power. This has been the curse of the left. They see themselves in a war against the producers and whatever action they take, it is always for the good of the people. This attitude marks the left who always seek to subjugate the right. They never believe in human rights other than their own and have historically always taken an authoritarian position painting themselves as the victim being exploited by the right. The official state records showed that Stalin killed about 2.9 million people. However, this does not include those who died from famine in places like Ukraine for example, which stand at about 7 to 10 million. In Ukrainian, they coined a term for what Stain did – Holodomor (Голодомо́р) meaning “to kill by starvation” has remained at the core of why Ukrainians want independence from Russia.

Nymphenburg Palace Home of Bavarian Monarchy

When you look around the globe, what you see is a rising intense fight building between the left v right, i.e. Thieves v Producers in terms of Ann Rand. Simultaneously, we are witnessing the rise of separatism. We see this everywhere. We see in Europe Scotland, Catalonia, Bavaria, Sicily and others. Even in Canada, I wrote about the move of Alberta to secede from Canada. British Columbia is left-wing and environmentalists so they are blocking a pipeline from Alberta through their province. What you see is a trade war within Canada between two provinces. In Germany, we see this sentiment starting to rise in Bavaria which has long retained an underlying sense of nationalism ever since Bavaria was incorporated into the state of Germany in 1871. The old Bavarian palace of the Monarch remains a symbol of Bavarian Nationalism. I remember being in Bavaria when they were celebrating winning the war over the Prussians in the north.

The origins of the rise of Bavarian nationalism as a strong political movement emerged from the Austro-Prussian War and its aftermath. Bavaria had always been both politically and culturally closer to Catholic Austria than Protestant Prussia. We see the similar religious strains in Britain as we do in Germany – Protestants in the North v Catholics in the South. Martin Luther nailed his  Ninety-five Theses to the church door at Wittenberg. The Bavarians shared with the Austrians a common contempt towards the Prussians, leading Bavaria to ally with Austria in the war.

After World War I, in 1923, Bavarian monarchists of the Bavarian People’s Party attempted to seize control of the Bavarian government and declare Bavaria independent of Germany and the Weimar Republic restoring the Bavarian monarchy wherein 1918 the north wanted a Communist Revolution and even asked Russia to come take Germany. This Bavarian separatist coup attempt was then preempted by the then-small Nazi Party which itself attempted to take over the Bavarian government. Bavarian nationalists and the Nazi Party competed for a support base. Finally, the 1932 election saw the Nazi Party won a major victory nationally, yet the Nazis did not surpass the Catholic Bavarian People’s Party in southern Bavaria. The Nazis won only the Protestant areas of northern Bavaria. The underlying resentment remains deep in the heart of Bavaria.

In 2013, the Bavaria Party still won 2.1% of the total vote in state elections so they have not faded away. Top officials in the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives have warned the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) that failure to stick to agreements on migrants could cause the collapse of the potential new German government. Once more, we still see the tensions between Bavaria v the North. Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) needs the Christian Social Union (CSU) of Bavaria to even rule. The CSU was formerly the most right-wing party in Germany. But its rubber-stamp of Merkel and the open-door policy to refugees cost them dearly. The AfD won 19.17% of the popular vote in the September 24th, 2017 national election. This was the highest level of support in the former West German states.

Here we have a rising new party, Alternative for Deutschland (AfD), which really began in the East and took 12.6% of the national vote. Once again, we see the inner tension between the socialists (SPD) of the North and their quest to forcibly impose their will upon the South. This is the tension of centuries that goes back to the Prussian v Bavaria confrontations that began in religion.

The left will make a major stand to seize control globally. They will be VERY OPPRESSIVE and this is what will end up destroying the West as we see the economic epic center move to Asia with China becoming the dominant financial capital of the world.


World economic growth (GDP) peaked in 1973.  We are looking for the final low to form during 2035.8. The next low will be in 2025 and this will be a Cycle Inversion from a high producing a low. However, you can easily see from this chart of world GDP, socialism is dying. The Pension Crisis will be a major event and the failure of that system will spark not just civil unrest, but the left assaulting the right. The left will look to plunder the wealth of the right and justify it in their minds as they are entitled to this because the right got rich by exploiting the left. This may become excessive between 2029 and 2032.

When Rome turned against the producers under Maximinus, this is what really began to destroy the Roman Empire. Informants were rewarded to turn in anyone with assets they believed was hoarding wealth. They turned everyone against everyone else and that broke the bonds of civilization. Even after Maximinus was killed by his own troops and his head was sent to the Roman Senate, capital investment NEVER returned. The producers began to invest less and continued to hoard more. Confidence was simply lost and people did not trust one another anymore.

This is simply how human nature responds given the same set of circumstances. The more the left seeks to raise taxes and punish the producers, the greater the producers will hoard and not invest and we will see a continued decline in economic growth rates. We can see that we really cannot get world GDP above the 3% level. The decline post-2007 has been profound and 10 years of Quantitative Easing has only caused wealth to contract. Negative interest rates sparked more hoarding of cash even among the middle class.

Draghi is holding on for dear life. He has no prayer in hell to restore the economy of Europe. All he has done is kept the governments on life-support. When they cannot sell their bonds, they will raise taxes drastically to try to stay afloat. This is how history repeats. The same circumstances will emerge, but like a Shakespeare play, it can be acted out over the centuries with the only change being the actors.


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?