The Velikovsky Affair

A cautionary tale

Emmanuel Velikovsky was a Russian, who after obtaining a medical degree settled in Berlin and wrote a series of general papers which lionised ancient Jewish scholarship. Remarkably, he employed Albert Einstein as his research assistant. This project became the cornerstone of the establishment of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

For ten years Velikovsky practiced as a  Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst. Perhaps even more remarkably he established a relationship with the father of modern psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud and acquired from Freud and interest in Egyptian history. Velikovsky continued his relationship with jewish academia and became concerned with anomalies between the emerging archeological evidence of the Egypt, Israel and Judah and the record contained in the old testament.

Pseudo History

In the period between 1935 and 1950 Velikovsky developed a theory that a cataclysmic event had caused the historical record to become distorted. He proposed the cataclysmic event to be the sudden and recent arrival of  Venus into the solar system.

Because of his earlier work and particularly because of his relationship with Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud, Velikovsky had good access to academia. He moved to the United States and commence to send samples of his work to his contacts. His books, based on the earlier papers, were an instant success but triggered un equally instant academic witchunt.

Velikovsky was hurt by attacks on his work and believed they were a form of discrimination. he believed that he was being attacked firstly because he was attempting to justify the historical record in the Jewish tradition( antisemitism) but also because he had the temerity to cross into a sphere of science in which he was not qualified (academic snobbery) .


The academics put pressure on Macmillan who published his original book to withdraw the book from sale. Macmillan is an academic publisher, who was vulnerable to pressure from its primary clientele. As the book was so successful Velikovsky’s contract was immediately taken up by Doubleday, but the academic attacks continued to the end of Velikovsky’s life.


A key part in the opposition was that the proposed movements of Venus and Mars, necessary to support Velikovsky’s theory were in contradiction of every known law of physics.  Velikovsky then attempted to redefine the laws of physics to explain how the movements were possible.

By the end of his life evidence on climate change from core sampling of arctic ice and quite separately the build structure of coral reefs tended to undermine Velikovsky’s theories. Scince then information from the space programme has given information which specifically contradicts his assumptions.

Renewed Interest

However this means that there is a still unexplained anomoly between the scientific ” historical” record and information which can be derived from the old testament. None of Velikovsky’s critics made any attempt to address this issue which is mainly concerned with the history of Egypt.

Recently there has been a renewed interest in cataclismic events, focussing mainly on the potential impact of relatively small bodies; comets and meteorites.  Velikovsky’s work is being re-examined. His science might have been erroneous but the anomolies he was trying to explain still exist. It is of course possible that the whole of the old testament is simply a myth and should be disregarded. The Cathars did in fact reject  the whole of the old testament; but why, and what did they believe in it’s stead? [/tab] [/tabs]

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.