Schism of the Church removed the astronomical event

(ORDO NEWS) — The supernova explosion was visible both in Europe and in Asia, but Christian observers for some reason kept silent about it.

An international team of scientists examined 36 Byzantine coins of rare minting, made in 1054, during the reign of Emperor Constantine IX Monomakh.

They depict two stars near the head of the emperor: one is clearly a planet, Venus (its image is traditionally surrounded by “rays”), but the second is most likely the supernova SN 1054, from which the Crab Nebula was eventually formed.

SN 1054 was first observed on July 4, 1054, and remained visible for nearly two more years. But there is an oddity in the history of observations of this supernova: we are well aware of it from Eastern (especially Chinese) sources, but European sources hardly mention it.

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On the last two coins, two stars are visible at the head of the emperor

Researchers have suggested that religion and politics are involved. They presented their arguments in an article accepted for publication in the European Journal of Science and Theology, and the text can be found on the preprint server of Cornell University (USA).

SN 1054 was a superluminous star, one of only eight reliably recorded supernovae in our Milky Way Galaxy on record. Scholars from China, Japan, and the Islamic world noticed it without any problems in early July 1054. The observers of the Christian world all seem to have gone blind.

And the point here is not at all in some special traditions of observation, which could be in the East, but not in Europe. Forty-eight years earlier, the same Europeans had perfectly documented observations of another supernova, SN 1006.

According to the authors of the work, the star was not noticed because it appeared in the sky in the year when Rome and Byzantium were divided on the issue of religion, not in essence, but also formally.

By the middle of the 11th century, the differences between the Eastern Roman Empire and those kingdoms that had risen from the ruins of the Western were clear and obvious to everyone.

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A simulated image of SN 1054 as seen by observers from Kaifeng, the capital of China during the Song Empire, in the early morning of July 4, 1054

While barbarian kingdoms were being formed and Christianized, Byzantium flourished. Despite sometimes absurd conspiracies, changes in ruling dynasties, constant wars and plague, the Eastern Roman Empire remained a single state with its own attitude towards a single Christian religion.

The main difference in the religious approaches of Byzantium and Rome is the caesaropapism operating in the first and papocaesarism operating in the second. These are the terms of Catholic theologians, who are quite categorical in their judgments.

But the main point is that in Rome, church power was considered higher than secular power, and in Byzantium it was the other way around. And the Pope considered himself the head of the entire Christian world, and the Byzantine Patriarch – his subordinates. With which the latter did not agree.

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These coins from the reign of Constantine IX from the collection of the Harvard Museum of Art were used as calibration coins

In 1054, Pope Leo IX sent a letter to Patriarch Cerularius in which he tried to substantiate the claims. The patriarch ignored them.

And then, on July 16, 1054, the papal legates (Leo IX himself had already died by that day) entered the Hagia Sophia and placed on the altar a letter of excommunication, anathematizing the patriarch. In response, the patriarch anathematized the legates.

This happened less than two weeks after the first observations of the supernova.

In general, in the community of lovers of the history of astronomy, there has been a debate for several decades about why the Europeans “did not notice” SN 1054.

The general opinion is that it was risky to mention changes in the firmament (which was considered unchanged). But this version is not consistent with the references to SN 1006.

As the researchers suggest, the matter is precisely in the schism of the Christian Church. I must say that it was at that time that a Christian doctor of Arab origin, Ibn Butlan, who was in the service of the emperor of Byzantium, was in Constantinople.

The Byzantine historian Michael Psellos also worked there. Both keep records, but for some reason they are silent about the new star – but only until a certain time.

As soon as Ibn Butlan left his highly paid post in Constantinople, he announced SN 1054 from Cairo, far from Byzantium. In the autumn of 1054, Psellos became a monk (a common ploy to avoid prison or a death sentence), retired to Mount Olympus and … also spoke about a new star.

He clearly wrote: “I do not believe in the theory that our human affairs are influenced by the movements of the star [and] I certainly do not believe that the position or appearance of the stars influences what happens in the sublunar world.”

Interestingly, in 1056 (Emperor Constantine IX died at the beginning of 1055), Psellos left the monastic life and returned to service at the court of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Thus, scientists suggest that the image of a new star on the coins minted in 1054 is a kind of attempt by an unknown minter to show that people are not blind, they see changes on the celestial slope, even if the emperors order them to close their eyes. And the latter was quite possible: at that time it was often believed that such “heavenly signs” indicated imminent troubles.

The authors themselves note that they do not know how many coins of this coinage were made and in what part of the year – before the supernova or after. They also do not have concrete evidence that the second star is exactly SN 1054. But, you see, there are too many coincidences.


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