Calendar dating systems

calendar dating systems-23
Below is a comparison of the Gregorian and weekdate dating systems.

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Thucydides’ idiosyncratic system made sense for a narrative like his that was organized around the rhythm of the military campaigns of a protracted war. Martin Classics Department College of the Holy Cross Worcester, Massachusetts Athens selected nine archons every year.

The one whose name was used to designate the year is known as meaning “giving his name to.” The sophist Hippias, who lived from approximately 485 to 415 B.

Each period of four years (called an “Olympiad”) was numbered consecutively, starting with Olympiad I, which was agreed to have begun in the year that we designate as 776 B. An individual year could then be specified as year one, two, three, or four of a certain Olympiad.

As Thucydides’ failure to give an Olympiad date for the opening of the Peloponnesian War implies, this system of reference seems not yet to have been in use at the time when he wrote.

This is only to distinguish the numerically specified weekdate from the numerically specified Gregorian date.

The above table of the current Gregorian month, with Sundays first,presents weekdates in red, as a supplemental dating system.

Carneia was a month that Greeks of Dorian origin regarded as sacred and therefore off-limits for waging war.

The Argives, who observed this custom, manipulated the calendar by repeatedly inserting another “third day before the end of the month” every day that they were in the field.

To do so, of course, a reader would have needed a list that recorded in chronological order the names of the holders of the office being used as a standard of reference. Making correspondences between different local systems for indicating years, as Thucydides did, required research.

He expected his readers to use the chronological fixed point of the first year of the war to calculate the date of other important events in his history, most notably the Thirty Years’ Peace between Athens and Sparta that he says (1.87.6; 2.2.1) had been negotiated fourteen years earlier. The only non-local Greek system for indicating the dates of years was based on the celebration of the Olympic Games, which took place every four years.


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