After the Flood, by Bill Cooper
History has never been so popular. The man in the street has never been so well informed about his past as he is today. And yet it is a sad and unhappy fact that for all that has been said, written and broadcast about the early and more recent history of mankind, there remains a very large body of historical evidence that is mostly passed over in silence by today's scholars. And because it is passed over by today's scholars, it never reaches today's general public. I say that this is sad because it is not as if this vast fund of knowledge is hard to get at. On the contrary, every fact that you are about to read is available to anyone who takes the trouble to look. And each fact can be obtained cheaply enough. It does not lie in obscure libraries about which no one has heard or to which none can gain access. Nor is it written in languages or scripts that cannot be deciphered. Indeed, scholars have been aware of the existence of this vast body of information for many years. So why is it passed over in such silence?
Why is it, for example, that no modern book on the early history of Britain goes back beyond the year 55 BC, the year when Julius Caesar made his first attempt to invade these islands? We may read in such books of this culture or that people, this stone age or that method of farming. But we will read of no particular individual or of any particular event before the year 55 BC. This has the unfortunate effect of causing us to believe that this is because there exists no written history for those pre-Roman times, and that when they landed in Britain the Romans encountered only a bunch of illiterate savages who had no recorded history of their own. But our conclusion would be wrong, for we will see as our study progresses that the Britons whom the Romans encountered were, on the admission of the Romans themselves, a people who could teach the Romans a thing or two about the finer arts of warfare, and who left a clear and wntten record of themselves dating back to the very earliest years of their existence as a nation. These records still survive, and we shall be considering them in some detail. We shall also be examining many other ancient records that various peoples have left behind them and we shall note with interest the story that is told by each one of these documents. Far more can be known about the early recorded history of mankind than is generally allowed, and what is revealed by this history is a story that is very different indeed from the one that we are used to hearing. But where to begin?
We must begin our investigations with one of the oldest historical documents in the world. This document comprises the tenth and eleventh chapters of the book of Genesis and is known to scholars as The Table of Nations. However, when I use the word 'document', it must be understood that this in no way subscribes to the erroneous view propagated by Julius Wellhausen and his colleagues in the 19th century regarding the much-vaunted but still fashionable 'documentary hypo-thesis' of biblical criticism. That hypothesis was designed to be destructive of any impression that the Genesis record in particular was a reliable source of historical information, whereas the objective of our present study lies in entirely the opposite direction. But it does recognise the fact that the tenth and eleventh chapters of Genesis consist of a self-contained unit of information that is complete even if read in isolation from the rest of the Genesis account. In that sense, at least, it forms a document that we may study in isolation. But how accurate is that document? Most scholars today would denounce it as unreliable, and some would dismiss it from any further discussion by attaching to it labels of 'myth' and 'pious fiction', favourite terms among modernist scholars, thus assuring their readers that its study, and especially faith in its accuracy, is a waste of time. These terms and labels will become more familiar to us as we come across a great many extra-biblical records that substantiate rather than undermine the Genesis account, but their over-use by certain scholars has left the definite impression that the modernist protests too much, and when applied as often as they are to so many historical records, they become tired and meaningless phrases that convey no information at all. There is doubtless method in this academic madness, given the question that if Genesis cannot be relied upon when it comes to stating accurately simple historical facts, then how can it be relied upon when it comes to stating higher truths? But the over-use of such labels becomes weansome and ultimately meaningless, and is of no service whatever to healthy historical research.
When applied to the Table of Nations, this healthy historical research yields some surprising facts, surprising that is, in the light of what most commentaries go to such great lengths to assure us of, namely that Genesis is not to be trusted as accurate history. This became very clear when I first began my researches into the Table of Nations, and the nature of those researches is as follows.
Having constructed the Table of Nations into a simple genealogy, I wanted to see how many of its names were attested in the records of other nations in the Middle East, which included for my purposes all the nations of Mesopota-mia, Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and even Greece. It was an obvious procedure, but one that had not, as far as I was aware, been conducted before and the results published. I had already found certain individual names that were mentioned in scattered works of varying merit, often Victorian, but the whole had never been gathered together into one cohesive study. And so my research began. Over the years, little by little, pieces of corroborative evidence came together and a picture began to build up that revealed the tenth and eleventh chapters of Genesis to be an astonishingly accurate record of events. The Table of Nations had listed all the families and tribes of mankind in their correct groupings, whether those groupings were ethnological, linguistic or geographical. All the names, without exception, were accurate, and in more than twenty-five years of searching and analysing, I uncovered not one mistake or false statement of fact in the Table of Nations.
It has to be said here that such a result could simply not be expected or obtained from any comparable historical docu-ment, especially one as ancient as this. The Table of Nations embraces a sweeping panorama of history that is not only truly vast in its content but unique. Its like simply does not exist. But as a sample, we shall here consider some of the descendants of Japheth as they are listed in the Table of Nations. For students who wish to pursue the matter in greater depth, I have set out in full the three genealogies of Shem, Ham and Japheth with accompanying historical notices and references in Appendices 1, 2 and 3 of this present study. But in this chapter, a summary of the corroborative evidence that appears in the nations of the Middle East concerning the descendants of Japheth, will suffice to show the trend of that evidence in vindicating the Genesis account. Moreover, the Japhetic line is the briefest in the Table of Nations and therefore the least wearisome for the general reader to follow, and it also forms the foundation for much else that comes after in this study.
The Japhetic list in the Table of Nations looks like this when set out as a conventional genealogy:
By way of illustration as to how contemporary records vindicate this statement of Genesis, the evidence for the historical reality of these peoples gleaned from the records of the surrounding nations is summarised as follows, although I have avoided wearying the reader by providing copious references here. Such references are to be found accompany-ing the historical notices provided in Appendices 1, 2 and 3, and I see no good reason for cluttering the text with footnotes at this particular stage.
Very briefly then, as we consider just a few of the names in the Japhetic list, we find that in the mythology of the old world, Japheth was regarded as the father of many peoples, particularly the Indo-European nations. The pagan Greeks perpetuated his name as lapetos, the son of heaven and earth and again the father of many nations. We find his name in the vedas of India where it appears in Sanskrit as Pra-Japati, Father Japheth, who was deemed to be the sun and lord of creation, the source of life in other words for those descended from him. Later, the Romans were to perpetuate his name as that of Iu-Pater, Father Jove, later standardised to Jupiter (see Appendix 11). We shall see also that the early Irish Celts, the early Britons and other pagan European races traced the descent of their royal houses from Japheth, including the Saxons who knew him as Sceaf (pr. sheaf or shaif). And all these peoples, we must remember, were pagans whose knowledge or even awareness of the book of Genesis was non-existent.
Gomer, the first son of Japheth according to Genesis, founded a people known to the early Greeks as the Cimmer-ians who dwelt on the shores of the Caspian Sea. From here, they were later driven away by the Elamites. The prophet Ezekiel, during the time of the Captivity, referred to them as those who dwelt in the uppermost parts of the north. They appear in Assyrian records as the Gimirraya whose defeat under king Esarhaddon is duly noted. They appear also in the annals of the reign of Ashurbanipal of Assyria around 660 BC.
The people of Ashchenaz are found in earliest times in Armenia, and later Jewish writers associate them with the Germanic races (Germanic Jews to this day are called Ashkenazim). They appear also in the 6th century BC records of Assyria as the Askuza who allied themselves with the Mannai in a revolt against Assyria, an event also mentioned in Jeremiah (5 1:27) whose prophecy incidentally confirms the identity of the Askuza with the Ashkenazim. This people were later known to the Greeks as the Scythai, the Scythians of Herodotus. They gave their name to the lake and harbour of Ascanius and to the land of Ascania. Through Josephus we can later trace them to the Rheginians.
The descendants of Riphath gave their name to the Riphaean mountain range, which at one time was marked by early cosmographers as the northernmost boundary of the earth. The name appears in Pliny, Melo and Solinus as Riphaei, Riphaces and Piphlataei respectively. The last of these were later called Paphlagonians, as attested by Josephus.
Togarmah's earliest descendants settled in Armenia. 14th century BC Hittite documents tell us of Tegarama, a region where they settled which lay between Carchemish and Haran and which was overrun by the 'enemy from Isuwa', that is a people from beyond the Euphrates. Sargon II and Sennacherib of Assyria both mention their later city of Til-gari-manu. This lay some thirty miles east of present-day Gurun in Turkey, and was destroyed in 695 BC. Josephus knew the descendants of Togarmah as Thrugramma.
... and so on. Thus it comes about that, throughout the entire Table of Nations, whether we talk about the descendants of Shem, Ham or Japheth, every one of their names is found in the records of the early surrounding nations of the Middle East, even the many obscure names of certain remote Arab tribes that are otherwise not evident in any modern history book of the times, and enough is available for a detailed history to be written about them. It is a phenomenon of immense implications. These records were mostly written (and then lost until their rediscovery in modern times) during the Old Testament period, during which time many of the peoples mentioned in them had vanished altogether from the historical scene or had been assimilated into other more powerful nations and cultures. Even those who retained their national or tribal identities soon lost all trace and memory of their own beginnings and went on to invent fantastic accounts of how they came to be. Indeed, the very early emergence of such mythological invention and the exceedingly rapid growth of paganism is a very telling point indeed against the modernist notion that Genesis is a late composition, for many of the names recorded with such astonishing accuracy in the Table of Nations, had disappeared from the historical scene many centuries before the time in which modernism would say that the Table of Nations was written. The Table of Nations, it thus seems, is a very ancient document indeed.
In time, of course, the true histories of several of these early nations became obscured beyond all recognition. Josephus was given good cause to complain that this had happened to the Greeks of his own day, and be lamented the fact that by obscuring their own history, they had obscured the histories of other nations also. (1) Yet by no means all of the early nations were to follow this path. We shall see that many kept an accurate record down the centuries of their beginnings and wrote down the names of their founding patriarchs, bringing the records up to date with the advent of each new generation, and it is these records that provide us with such a surprising link between the ancient post-Flood era depicted in Genesis and the history of more modern times. These lists, annals and chronicles have been preserved and transmitted from genera-tion to generation not by the nations of the Middle East this time, but by certain European peoples from times that long pre-dated the coming of Christianity, and it is most important that we remember the pre-Christian aspect of much of the following evidence, for it is too easily and too often alleged by modernist scholars that these records are the inventions of early Christian monks and are therefore worthless. Such claims of fraud will be examined in detail, particularly with regard to the records that the early Britons have left us and which are omitted in their entirety from modern history books, the media and the classroom.
When we consider the truly vast body of evidence from the Middle East that is conveniently ignored in modernist commentaries on the book of Genesis, such wholesale omis-sion will appear as hardly surprising. Yet perhaps the reader is unaware of the sheer scale of this omission, for the records of the early Britons, and that's not counting the Irish Celtic, Saxon and continental records which we shall also be examining, cover not just a particular phase of history, but span more than two thousand years of it. I cannot think of any other literate nation on earth that has managed to obliterate from its own history books two thousand years or more of recorded and documented history. Not even the censors of Stalinist Russia or Maoist China in their vigorous hey-day were this effective, or even needed to be this effective, in doctoring their own official accounts. So how did this extraordinary circumstance come about, and who is responsible for it?
By way of a refreshing change, we cannot lay the blame entirely at the door of those evolutionary Victorian and later educationalists and philosophers who laid the foundations of our modern curricula. They are surely to blame for much else that is amiss, but this time the story begins long before their age and influence. It begins, in fact, with the closing years of the 6th century AD and the arrival on these shores of Augustine, the Roman Catholic bishop whose job it was to bring the British Isles under the political sway of the Roman pontif. The story is well known from Bede et al how the British Christians who were here to greet Augustine declined his demand that they place themselves under the Roman authority, and were later massacred for their refusal at Bangor, twelve hundred of the finest scholars and monks of their day being put to the sword. From that day on there existed an animosity between the Britons (Welsh) and the papacy that was to ferment throughout the early to late Middle Ages, only to culminate in the eventual expulsion of the papal authority from the realm of England under king Henry VIII, who was significantly himself of Welsh Tudor stock. But the early ascendancy of the Saxons meant that all recorded history of the Britons was consigned to oblivion as far as historians and chroniclers were concerned, with only Roman, Saxon and, later, Norman accounts of events being taught and promul-gated in schools throughout the land. The recorded history of the early Britons was to remain in oblivion for the five hundred years that followed the massacre at Bangor. But then an incident occurred that ensured its revival and survival to the present day, even though that revival was itself to last only a matter of a further five hundred years or so.
The incident, which occurred sometime in the 1130s, was the presentation of a certain book to a British (i.e. Welsh) monk by an archdeacon of Oxford. The monk's name was Geoffrey of Monmouth, the archdeacon was Walter of Oxford, and the book was a very ancient, possibly unique, copy of the recorded history of the early Britons, written in language so archaic that it needed to be translated quickly into Latin before either the book perished or the language was forgotten. Now, one would think that such a rare event would generate great interest amongst scholars of all hues. Yet even today, in our supposedly impartial and inquiring age, the mere mention of Geoffrey of Monmouth will usually bring an academic smirk to the face of scholars. Read any article today about him and you will be sure to come across statements to the effect that his great work, Historia Regzsm Britanniae, or History of the Kings of Britain, is at best unreliable fiction, and that Geoffrey himself is an unscrupulous liar and forger. (2) We would do well to ask ourselves what it is that could provoke such unscholarly language.
It is often claimed, in dismissing Geoffrey's work, that it contains errors. Yet, as any historian worth his salt will tell you, if we rejected histories in general on that account, we should soon be left without any history at all. But it is then claimed that Geoffrey's supposed original book no longer exists and that therefore Geoffrey must have been lying when he claimed to have translated such a book. However, it is exceedingly rare for the original manuscript or source-material of any early historical work to have survived. In fact, I personally am not aware of one instance where this has occurred. It is further claimed, and this claim is significant inasmuch as it can at least be tested, that nothing like Geoffrey's Historia is to be found3 amongst the surviving corpus of medieval Welsh literature. (3) The surprising answer to this is that not only does the same historical material survive in Welsh from medieval times, it survives in no less that fifty eight manuscript copies. These are listed in Appendix 4, but we may note here that there are not very many medieval Welsh manuscripts in existence and fifty eight of them does constitute a rather large percentage of the surviving corpus. The claim is therefore suspicious as it is hardly likely that scholars who have made this field their life's work could have missed them or have remained for long in ignorance of their existence or contents. Indeed, the manuscripts are freely available to any who care to study them, so why is even the acknowledgement of their very existence such anathema to the modernist mind?
The answer to this lies in what these early records tell us about our past. As we shall see, it is an account that flies entirely in the face of everything that we are taught nowa4ays about where we come from, and it makes fascinating reading. But Geoffrey of Monmouth was not the only medieval Welsh scholar to transmit to us the historical records of the early Britons. He was preceded by another, Nennius by name, and, because Nennius passed down to us the contents of records more ancient even than Geoffrey's chronicle, we shall begin our excursion into the history of the early Britons with him.
1. Flavius Josephus. Against Apion. (From Josephus's CompleteWorks. tr. William Whiston. Pickering & Inglis. 1981. pp. 607- 636).
2. See for just one example amongst countless others, Marsh, H. 1987. Dark Age Britain. Some Sources of History. Dorset Press. New York. pp. 175-190. And Marsh is amongst the gentlest of Geoffrey's critics!
3. .... no Welsh composition exists which can be reasonably looked upon as the original, or even the groundwork, of the History of the Kings of Britain' (Lloyd, J.E. 1939). A History of Wales from the earliest times to the Edwardian Conquest. London. 2nd ed. p. 526. (cit. also in Thorpe. p. 15. See bibliography).
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