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R.A.F.
2004-Jan-07, 09:37 PM
This was being discussed on the "what do you call this decade" thread. I grew curious as to how many people here believe that the 21st century started Jan. 1st, 2000 as opposed to Jan. 1st, 2001?

SciFi Chick
2004-Jan-07, 09:38 PM
This was being discussed on the "what do you call this decade" thread. I grew curious as to how many people here believe that the 21st century started Jan. 1st, 2000 as opposed to Jan. 1st, 2001?

You should make it a poll. :D

Anyway, it started January 1st, 2001.

R.A.F.
2004-Jan-07, 09:46 PM
You should make it a poll. :D

Yeah, you're right. I figured that out just as soon as I posted it...now it's a poll. :)

Archer17
2004-Jan-07, 09:48 PM
2001

Tensor
2004-Jan-07, 09:49 PM
2001 here too.

Sigma_Orionis
2004-Jan-07, 09:49 PM
2001

Glom
2004-Jan-07, 10:03 PM
1997

semi-sentient
2004-Jan-07, 10:17 PM
2000

Swift
2004-Jan-07, 10:26 PM
The whole problem revolves around the fact that there is no year zero. So lets make a year zero! Lets decide the year before 1 AD was not 1 BC but Zero. It moves all the BC years back one, but who cares (well, a bunch of Greek historians, but they can start there own BB).

§rv
2004-Jan-07, 10:29 PM
The whole problem revolves around the fact that there is no year zero. So lets make a year zero! Lets decide the year before 1 AD was not 1 BC but Zero. It moves all the BC years back one, but who cares (well, a bunch of Greek historians, but they can start there own BB).

I was going to say something but it's already been said....... :P

ToSeek
2004-Jan-07, 10:32 PM
Pedantically, 2001. But I can't blame people for celebrating when all those zeroes rolled over.

Interestingly, the Washington Post reprinted an article from their own archives talking about the coming of the 20th century. It was published in December 1900, not 1899. So they had it right back then, at least.

semi-sentient
2004-Jan-07, 10:35 PM
I guess I'll elaborate on why I feel it should be 2000. I'm not really a historian, so I could be off on my assumptions of when/why the counting of years actually began. From what I recall, it began with the birth of Christ (Gregorian Calendar--Catholic Church?). If this is the case, we should have started counting at year 0. Why year 0? Because we can't get to year 1 until Christ is 1 year old. So 0-9 would have been the first 10 years and every decade after that would follow the same format. I understand that it's "accepted" that our decades are 1-10, but is that accurate? I say no. It should be 0-9.

NASA Fan
2004-Jan-08, 12:36 AM
The only problem is that we do not know for sure when Jesus was born, I think that it has been calculated that he was actually born about 5 or 6 AD.

Lycus
2004-Jan-08, 12:45 AM
I guess I'll elaborate on why I feel it should be 2000. I'm not really a historian, so I could be off on my assumptions of when/why the counting of years actually began. From what I recall, it began with the birth of Christ (Gregorian Calendar--Catholic Church?). If this is the case, we should have started counting at year 0. Why year 0? Because we can't get to year 1 until Christ is 1 year old. So 0-9 would have been the first 10 years and every decade after that would follow the same format. I understand that it's "accepted" that our decades are 1-10, but is that accurate? I say no. It should be 0-9.

The issue is that the creators of the Christ-based calendar (actually began before the Gregorian) did not include a year "0" at all. The count of years goes from 1 B.C. immediately to 1 A.D.

Stylesjl
2004-Jan-08, 02:05 AM
with all that then i would say technically 2001


but we can have two party's when you include 2000 8)

milli360
2004-Jan-08, 02:16 AM
1997
I'm with that (http://mentock.home.mindspring.com/ifaq.htm#IFAQ005).

daver
2004-Jan-08, 02:26 AM
The only problem is that we do not know for sure when Jesus was born, I think that it has been calculated that he was actually born about 5 or 6 AD.

According to Matthew, Jesus was born when Herod was king, which would be sometime before 4 BC. According to Luke, John the Baptist was conceived when Herod was king, and Jesus soon after.

There may be some reason to suspect a later birth date--I've got a vague memory of reading some such at one time, but I don't recall the reasoning now.

Humphrey
2004-Jan-08, 02:36 AM
I'm with momo. when i start counting things i do not start at one, i lead up to one. Like in the other thread. When you marry someone that is not your first anaversary. It is not untill the next year. So there must be somewhere a day one, day two, etc.



Now if it is true that it goes from 1 b.c to 1 a.d. then it would make sense to be 2001. But why assume there was no year zero if they just didn't bother to write one in?

Charlie in Dayton
2004-Jan-08, 03:46 AM
...gggkkk...I don't believe this one...

Draw out a time line and label it. Let's make it an inch a year, starting with 5BC and ending at 5AD.

5BC will be an inch long. So will 4BC, 3BC, 2BC, 1BC, 1AD, 2AD, 3AD, and 5AD.

There is a point on the line labeled 0.

Please show me the one-inch section that delineates the year 0.

There isn't one.

Those sections from 1BC to 0 and from 0 to 1AD are the years 1-whatever, not the years 0-whatever.

There is not, has never been, and will never be a year 0.

We went from 1BC to 1AD. There was no year 0.

When your kid hasn't had his first birthday yet, and people ask how old they are, what do you tell them? "He isn't."? "Zero."? What?

semi-sentient
2004-Jan-08, 04:41 AM
When your kid hasn't had his first birthday yet, and people ask how old they are, what do you tell them? "He isn't."? "Zero."? What?

I would tell them how many months old my kid was. Again, is it okay to include the year 2000 in the 90's? That was my argument. If the 90's consist of 1990-1999 (which is a decade--10 years), then why do we need to include 2000 in that decade? It makes more sense to follow the 0-9 format.

milli360
2004-Jan-08, 04:55 AM
...gggkkk...I don't believe this one...
I've seen all those arguments.


There is not, has never been, and will never be a year 0.
I'm told that some astronomers sometimes use 0 for the year 1BC, -1 for 2BC, -2 for 3BC, etc.

Odinoneeye
2004-Jan-08, 05:28 AM
In my mind, until we get jet packs and hover cars, it won't be the 21st century.

We were promised hovercars

Charlie in Dayton
2004-Jan-08, 05:36 AM
MoMo -- actually, the decade of the 90's was from 1991 - 2000. The year 1990 was the last year of the decade of the 80's.

milli360 - okay, you've seen all those arguments. Do you accept them, reject them, or are undecided at this time? You didn't say...

I reiterate my original position -- there is no year 0!

Odinoneeye
2004-Jan-08, 05:42 AM
I disagree with that.

If you were numbering the decades (say the 200th decade) then yes, it would go from 1991-2000, but if you're naming it the 90's then it would go from 1990-1999. That's where the name comes from.

While the 20th century went form 1901-2000, the 1900s went from 1900-1999.

Kebsis
2004-Jan-08, 05:44 AM
Well normally I wouldn't ask this on an astronomy board, but it seems like a relevant question for this thread.

'What would Jesus say?'

Lorcan Faol
2004-Jan-08, 06:56 AM
'What would Jesus say?'

He would say "not only is there no year 0, but there is no year 1, 2, or 3."

Lycus
2004-Jan-08, 07:06 AM
I'm told that some astronomers sometimes use 0 for the year 1BC, -1 for 2BC, -2 for 3BC, etc.

That's true, but besides the point. In common terms there is no year 0.

milli360
2004-Jan-08, 10:54 AM
Well normally I wouldn't ask this on an astronomy board, but it seems like a relevant question for this thread.
We've heard the arguments from all sides, but you're right. The current calendar was installed by a religious institution. Based upon the original calculations (and the contrary calculations appear to be based upon a single historian (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=josephus) who was born in about the year 37), Christmas was December 25, in the year 1BC.

Many people assume that it was 1AD that they were targeting, but it was not. In fact, the actual target was not the birth, but the conception, around March 25--and near the spring equinox, which has often been used as the start of a new year. Thus, millennia are legitimately counted from the start of 1BC.

Which allows this current millennium to have started at the end of 1999.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2004-Jan-08, 12:32 PM
"What would Jesus say?"

I can't Believe you Idiots got my Birth Year Wrong!

And I was born in The Spring, you Morons!

Oh wait, disregard all that, "Peace and Love."

Odinoneeye
2004-Jan-08, 12:36 PM
Actually, he would probably say something in Hebrew

SciFi Chick
2004-Jan-08, 01:24 PM
Now if it is true that it goes from 1 b.c to 1 a.d. then it would make sense to be 2001. But why assume there was no year zero if they just didn't bother to write one in? :o

That makes no sense. It's not about assuming there is no year 0. There is no year 0. That's kind of like saying, "If we really did go to to the moon..." :wink: You guys should know that "common sense" is not always sense, and is often wrong. :)

R.A.F.
2004-Jan-08, 02:01 PM
Interestingly, the Washington Post reprinted an article from their own archives talking about the coming of the 20th century. It was published in December 1900, not 1899. So they had it right back then, at least.

Yes...that's very interesting. It also confirms a "pet" theory I've had as to the reason why lots of folks think that Jan. 1st, 2000 was the beginning of the 21st Century.

The fault can be planted squarely at the feet of the TV media!! They saw all those zeros and went a little crazy. It's just wasn't very exciting (and you'd also have to wait another year) to begin the 21st Century on Jan.1st, 2001...so they decided that Jan. 1st, 2000 was the "new Century's beginning".


"What would Jesus say"?

"Give me 10%". :)

rigel
2004-Jan-08, 02:11 PM
When people are talking about the sixties, the events often tend to include 1970 and enen 71. Similarly with the seventies. In referering to past decades it is all sort of fuzzy. Once we get further away from the start of this century, it will also be fuzzy.

I go along with 2001.

SeanF
2004-Jan-08, 02:17 PM
Actually, he would probably say something in Hebrew

Aramaic.

semi-sentient
2004-Jan-08, 02:19 PM
"Give me 10%". :)

=D> :evil: :D

informant
2004-Jan-08, 02:28 PM
The whole problem revolves around the fact that there is no year zero. So lets make a year zero! Lets decide the year before 1 AD was not 1 BC but Zero. It moves all the BC years back one, but who cares (well, a bunch of Greek historians, but they can start there own BB).
Do you realise that that would mess up the chronology in all history books dealing with the Antiquity that have been written so far?


I guess I'll elaborate on why I feel it should be 2000. I'm not really a historian, so I could be off on my assumptions of when/why the counting of years actually began. From what I recall, it began with the birth of Christ (Gregorian Calendar--Catholic Church?). If this is the case, we should have started counting at year 0. Why year 0? Because we can't get to year 1 until Christ is 1 year old.
The current calendar agrees with that. According to tradition, Christ was born on December 25, 1 BC. Thus, at the end of year 1 AD it had been 1 year since Christ was born, at the end of year 2 it had been 2 years since Christ’s birth, and so on, right up to the end of 2000, when 2 thousand years were completed since Christ’s birth. However, those 2 millennia had not yet been completed on January 1, 2000.


I'm with momo. when i start counting things i do not start at one, i lead up to one.
Are you sure? When I count fingers, or people, or coins, I go ‘1, 2, 3…’, not ‘0, 1, 2…’.


Now if it is true that it goes from 1 b.c to 1 a.d. then it would make sense to be 2001. But why assume there was no year zero if they just didn't bother to write one in?
Because that’s what has always been assumed throughout these 2 millennia.
And as far as I know, there is not a single calendar currently in use (Jewish, Muslim, Chinese, etc.) that starts at 0. The Gregorian calendar is not an exception.


Many people assume that it was 1AD that they were targeting, but it was not. In fact, the actual target was not the birth, but the conception, around March 25--and near the spring equinox, which has often been used as the start of a new year. Thus, millennia are legitimately counted from the start of 1BC.

Which allows this current millennium to have started at the end of 1999.
Actually, no. That should be March 2000.
And, in any case, you're talking about conception, but the calendar does not start at conception.

(Edited.)

Ikyoto
2004-Jan-08, 02:35 PM
Calendars based on the birth/death/whatever of one religious groups leader/founder and then assuming the whole world needs to use that calendar is kinda arrogant.

How about just setting a time from a paticular event - like the founding of the UN - and counting forward from there?

That would make this 59 AU ;)

informant
2004-Jan-08, 02:39 PM
Calendars based on the birth/death/whatever of one religious groups leader/founder and then assuming the whole world needs to use that calendar is kinda arrogant.
Then again, we've been using it for so long... why change? What's the harm in keeping with tradition? It's not like we're forcing people to baptise because of the calendar.


How about just setting a time from a paticular event - like the founding of the UN - and counting forward from there?
The French tried to replace the Gregorian calendar, after the French Revolution. Their attempt didn't last long, because at the time no one else was revolutionising. :)

milli360
2004-Jan-08, 03:26 PM
Many people assume that it was 1AD that they were targeting, but it was not. In fact, the actual target was not the birth, but the conception, around March 25--and near the spring equinox, which has often been used as the start of a new year. Thus, millennia are legitimately counted from the start of 1BC.

Which allows this current millennium to have started at the end of 1999.
Actually, no. That should be March 2000.

Well, it appears that you're advocating 1/1/2001--which is not the anniversary of birth or conception, so I don't see why the other won't work as well.


And, in any case, you're talking about conception, but the calendar does not start at conception.
Depends upon your point of view. I certainly understand the arguments for 1/1/2001--and I agree with those arguments--but I choose to take a different point of view, as do a lot of people. There's absolutely nothing wrong about that point of view. It's not misinformed, ignorant, malicious, nor antiscience. It's just different.

The 1900 newspaper account notwithstanding, there was just as much controversy back then as now. It's not only a fabrication of modern TV sensationalism.

Millennialism--a religious experience--depends upon the determination of dates and times of certain events, and it is fairly obvious that within that context, conception is just as important if not more important than birth.

I don't have a problem with folks who say 1/1/2001 was the start of the new millennium--but they should not have a problem with folks who say 1/1/2000.

milli360
2004-Jan-08, 03:29 PM
The French tried to replace the Gregorian calendar, after the French Revolution. Their attempt didn't last long, because at the time no one else was revolutionising.
That, maybe, and that their chosen calendar was a little bit awkward.

informant
2004-Jan-08, 03:55 PM
In fact, the actual target was not the birth, but the conception, around March 25--and near the spring equinox, which has often been used as the start of a new year. […]

Which allows this current millennium to have started at the end of 1999.
Actually, no. That should be March 2000.

Well, it appears that you're advocating 1/1/2001--which is not the anniversary of birth or conception, so I don't see why the other won't work as well.
March 25th, 1999 would be 2 millennia after what?




And, in any case, you're talking about conception, but the calendar does not start at conception.
Depends upon your point of view. I certainly understand the arguments for 1/1/2001--and I agree with those arguments--but I choose to take a different point of view, as do a lot of people. There's absolutely nothing wrong about that point of view. It's not misinformed, ignorant, malicious, nor antiscience. It's just different.
I think there are misinformed people on both sides of the argument. But it makes more sense to say that the new millennium started on 2001. No important event in the Gregorian calendar, or in Christian tradition, was 2000 years old on January 1, 2000.


The 1900 newspaper account notwithstanding, there was just as much controversy back then as now. It's not only a fabrication of modern TV sensationalism.
Perhaps, but I bet there was no such controversy before the 19th century. They didn’t have misinformed media back then. ;)


Millennialism--a religious experience--depends upon the determination of dates and times of certain events, and it is fairly obvious that within that context, conception is just as important if not more important than birth.
Neither conception nor birth were 2000 years old on January 1, 2000.




The French tried to replace the Gregorian calendar, after the French Revolution. Their attempt didn't last long, because at the time no one else was revolutionising.
That, maybe, and that their chosen calendar was a little bit awkward.
How so? I thought the Revolutionary calendar was much like the Gregorian calendar, only with different names and durations for the months.

milli360
2004-Jan-08, 04:28 PM
March 25th, 1999 would be 2 millennia after what?
In the context above, it would be 1999 years after the Conception.


I think there are misinformed people on both sides of the argument. But it makes more sense to say that the new millennium started on 2001. No important event in the Gregorian calendar, or in Christian tradition, was 2000 years old on January 1, 2000.
Yep, misinformed people will always be with us. But "important"? Well, there is no important event that was 2000 years old on January 1, 2001 either.


Perhaps, but I bet there was no such controversy before the 19th century. They didn’t have misinformed media back then.
You'd lose that bet. Stephen Jay Gould wrote about the controversy that arose at the turn of the last millennium, in his book Questioning the Millennium.


How so? I thought the Revolutionary calendar was much like the Gregorian calendar, only with different names and durations for the months.
According to this website, theFrench Revolutionary Calendar (http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/astronomy/FrenchRevolutionaryCalendar.html) had 5 or 6 leap days each year, all months were 30 days long, and weeks were ten (an important number) days long--you could go to your temple of reason on the tenth day. New Year's Day coincided with the autumnal equinox. The day was ten hours long, with 100 minutes in each hour, and 100 seconds in each minute. Does anybody know when their day started?

semi-sentient
2004-Jan-08, 04:31 PM
I think there are misinformed people on both sides of the argument. But it makes more sense to say that the new millennium started on 2001. No important event in the Gregorian calendar, or in Christian tradition, was 2000 years old on January 1, 2000.

How can it make more sense for the new millennium to start on 1 Jan 2001? As soon as the clock rolled over on December 31st 1999, 2000 years had been reached. When did we reach one full year? When the year was 1 or when it was 2? Maybe this is why the system is so screwy to me. It should have reached a full year at year 1, not year 2. Even though there was no official year 0, couldn't 1 BC be considered the same thing?

informant
2004-Jan-08, 04:37 PM
March 25th, 1999 would be 2 millennia after what?
In the context above, it would be 1999 years after the Conception.
But 1999 years is not 2 millennia. 'Millennium' = a thousand years.


[...] misinformed people will always be with us. But "important"? Well, there is no important event that was 2000 years old on January 1, 2001 either.
By January 1, 2001, the conception and birth of Christ had turned 2 millennia old. By January 1, 2000, they had not.
More importantly, the start of the Christian Era itself turned 2 millennia old precisely on January 1, 2001.




Perhaps, but I bet there was no such controversy before the 19th century. They didn’t have misinformed media back then.
You'd lose that bet. Stephen Jay Gould wrote about the controversy that arose at the turn of the last millennium, in his book Questioning the Millennium.
Could he be talking about doomsday cults instead?


According to this website, theFrench Revolutionary Calendar (http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/astronomy/FrenchRevolutionaryCalendar.html) had 5 or 6 leap days each year, all months were 30 days long, and weeks were ten (an important number) days long--you could go to your temple of reason on the tenth day. [...]
Here I must concede the point. It was more different from the Gregorian calendar than I thought.

Swift
2004-Jan-08, 04:38 PM
The whole problem revolves around the fact that there is no year zero. So lets make a year zero! Lets decide the year before 1 AD was not 1 BC but Zero. It moves all the BC years back one, but who cares (well, a bunch of Greek historians, but they can start there own BB).
Do you realise that that would mess up the chronology in all history books dealing with the Antiquity that have been written so far?
Sorry, I wasn't serious. Actually, I don't take this discussion very seriously. A bunch of technically correct geeks (I'm a geek and I'm proud of that) are not going to change what most people on the planet believe, that the 21st century started in 2000.

SciFi Chick
2004-Jan-08, 04:39 PM
How can it make more sense for the new millennium to start on 1 Jan 2001? As soon as the clock rolled over on December 31st 1999, 2000 years had been reached. When did we reach one full year? When the year was 1 or when it was 2? Maybe this is why the system is so screwy to me. It should have reached a full year at year 1, not year 2. Even though there was no official year 0, couldn't 1 BC be considered the same thing?

1CE is not the same thing. On January 1, 2000, the last year of the millenium that started on 1BC began.

On January 1, 2001, the first year of the millenium following the one that began on 1CE, aka the new millenium, began.

Does that help clarify at all?

informant
2004-Jan-08, 04:44 PM
How can it make more sense for the new millennium to start on 1 Jan 2001? As soon as the clock rolled over on December 31st 1999, 2000 years had been reached. When did we reach one full year? When the year was 1 or when it was 2? Maybe this is why the system is so screwy to me. It should have reached a full year at year 1, not year 2.
Full year was only reached at the very end of December 31st 2000, or 1 AD, respectively. So, until year 2 AD started a full year had not been reached, and until year 2001 AD started a full two millennia had not been reached either. The new millenium - the 3rd - started only with 2001.


Even though there was no official year 0, couldn't 1 BC be considered the same thing?
That would go against how we've been naming BC years for 2000 years.

(Edited to clarify.)

informant
2004-Jan-08, 04:46 PM
Sorry, I wasn't serious. Actually, I don't take this discussion very seriously. A bunch of technically correct geeks (I'm a geek and I'm proud of that) are not going to change what most people on the planet believe, that the 21st century started in 2000.
That's alright, I understand.
Me, I don't believe in compromising with ignorance. That's why the BA made this forum, among other things, after all. :)

R.A.F.
2004-Jan-08, 05:02 PM
Full year was only reached at the very end of December 31st 2000, or 1 AD, respectively. So, until year 2 AD started a full year had not been reached, and until year 2001 AD started a full two millennia had not been reached either. The new millenium - the 3rd - started only with 2001.

Darn you, informant :) I was just getting ready to make that point!
To repeat...the full year must be completed before it can be counted.

milli360
2004-Jan-08, 05:08 PM
March 25th, 1999 would be 2 millennia after what?
In the context above, it would be 1999 years after the Conception.
But 1999 years is not 2 millennia. 'Millennium' = a thousand years.

Sure, but the relevant date is not 3/25/1999 but 3/25/2000--which would be two millennia, right? I'm not sure why you typed 1999.



But "important"? Well, there is no important event that was 2000 years old on January 1, 2001 either.
By January 1, 2001, the conception and birth of Christ had turned 2 millennia old. By January 1, 2000, they had not.
More importantly, the start of the Christian Era itself turned 2 millennia old precisely on January 1, 2001.
The start of the Christian Era? Precisely? That's a misuse of the terms.

The calendar wasn't even devised until hundreds of years after what you are calling the start. The issues involved in determing those times and dates are exactly what are in dispute. It's a simple disagreement--not something that can be proved by mathematics.

Sure, there may be some people who do not realize that the time from 1/1/1 to 1/1/2000 is 1999 years not 2000, but I'm not one of them.


Could he be talking about doomsday cults instead?
On p.113, "The same clamor arises every hundred years. An English participant in the debate of 1800 versus 1801 wrote of 'the idle controversy, which has of late convulsed so many brains, respecting the commencement of the current century.'"

informant
2004-Jan-08, 05:52 PM
[…] the relevant date is not 3/25/1999 but 3/25/2000--which would be two millennia, right? I'm not sure why you typed 1999.
Because you did (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=189790#189790):


In fact, the actual target was not the birth, but the conception, around March 25--and near the spring equinox, which has often been used as the start of a new year. […]

Which allows this current millennium to have started at the end of 1999.
Millennia do not start at the end of a year. They start at the beginning. And, anyway, at the end of 1999 both the conception and the birth of Christ were only 1999 years old. Not 2 millennia.


The start of the Christian Era? Precisely? That's a misuse of the terms.
'Christian Era' is just a name. I don't intend to discuss the start of Christianity as a religion, or the actual date of the birth of Christ. Just the calendar. Calendars are based on traditions, not facts.
As for 'precisely', I think that’s precisely the right word. :)


The calendar wasn't even devised until hundreds of years after what you are calling the start.
So? The start of a calendar need not coincide with the time when it began to be used. The Jews made their calendar start at what they believed was the date of creation – even though they weren’t around as a people 6000 years ago. So did Eastern Christians in the Middle Ages. The Mayans started their calendar long before (http://webexhibits.org/calendars/calendar-mayan.html#SECTION00811000000000000000) their civilisation existed.
What matters is from where you’re supposed to start counting, not when people started to use the calendar.


The issues involved in determing those times and dates are exactly what are in dispute.
There may be some question about the actual date of the birth of Christ, but there is absolutely no question about when the Gregorian calendar is supposed to start.
Although the original intention was for the two to be related, that is not necessary for discussing when millennia start.


The 1900 newspaper account notwithstanding, there was just as much controversy back then as now. It's not only a fabrication of modern TV sensationalism.

Perhaps, but I bet there was no such controversy before the 19th century. They didn’t have misinformed media back then. ;)

You'd lose that bet. Stephen Jay Gould wrote about the controversy that arose at the turn of the last millennium, in his book Questioning the Millennium.

Could he be talking about doomsday cults instead?

On p.113, "The same clamor arises every hundred years. An English participant in the debate of 1800 versus 1801 wrote of 'the idle controversy, which has of late convulsed so many brains, respecting the commencement of the current century.'"
I’ve lost my bet.
On the other hand, you spoke about the turn of the last millennium. That would be on 1000-1001, not 1800-1801. :)

milli360
2004-Jan-08, 06:30 PM
I'm not sure why you typed 1999.
Because you did (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=189790#189790):
Gotcha. That clears that up! You assumed that when I said "the other" I meant 1999, instead of 2000. Actually, I meant January instead of March.


Millennia do not start at the end of a year. They start at the beginning.

Minor quibble. The very end of 1999 is the same point in time as the beginning of 2000


Calendars are based on traditions, not facts.
But...that's my whole argument.


What matters is from where you’re supposed to start counting, not when people started to use the calendar.

The second half of my argument!


Although the original intention was for the two to be related, that is not necessary for discussing when millennia start.

That's your opinion. You're entitled to it.


I’ve lost my bet.
I didn't want you to compromise your own ignorance. :)

PS: In his book, Stephen Jay Gould agrees with the 1/1/2000ers

semi-sentient
2004-Jan-08, 06:32 PM
A bunch of technically correct geeks (I'm a geek and I'm proud of that) are not going to change what most people on the planet believe, that the 21st century started in 2000.

Technically correct?

Consider the following:
0 to 1 = 1 year (there is no year 1 until 365 days have passed)
1 to 2 = 2 years
...
...
...
8 to 9 = 9 years
9 to 10 = 10 years (but doesn't include the year 10)

Therefore, 0 through 9 would be a decade. If we keep going based on this, then 0 - 1999 would be a full 2000 years. So the beginning of the next millenium should start at 2000, no? The numbers 1-10 are easier to identify as a decade than 0-9, because the number 10 is included. In the programming world, 1-10 is considered to be a human readable format, but the 0-9 format is used most often because it's more logical.


1CE is not the same thing. On January 1, 2000, the last year of the millenium that started on 1BC began.

On January 1, 2001, the first year of the millenium following the one that began on 1CE, aka the new millenium, began.

Does that help clarify at all?

From what I gather, we are starting from the number 1, which is to say that we started counting the millenium after a full year had been reached and not when the millenium actually began (365 days before year 1--which would be year "0", even though there is no year labeled "0"). Is that correct? 8-[

Maybe I'm just thinking about this too much. ](*,)

semi-sentient
2004-Jan-08, 06:39 PM
Another way to visualize what I'm talking about is by considering our 24-hour clock. Do we count from 1 though 24 or do we count from 00:00 through 23:99, with 00:00 starting a new cycle?

milli360
2004-Jan-08, 06:59 PM
I’ve lost my bet.
On the other hand, you spoke about the turn of the last millennium. That would be on 1000-1001, not 1800-1801.
I had to go back to the book on this one. The 999-1001 doesn't have the direct contemporary documentation that more recent century turns have. Gould mentions that Hillel Schwartz has found evidence of the controversy back to the 1699-1701 transition--but Schwartz discusses sources from the seventeenth century that talk about the millennial madness at the last -000 turn, and he (Schwartz) points out that some used 1000, and others 1001.

Swift
2004-Jan-08, 07:09 PM
Another way to visualize what I'm talking about is by considering our 24-hour clock. Do we count from 1 though 24 or do we count from 00:00 through 23:99, with 00:00 starting a new cycle?
I had a funny experience with that. Years ago I was an Emergency Medical Technician on a volunteer Rescue Squad. We were dispatched by the police department so I got to hear their radio chatter. On the hour the dispatcher is supposed to announce the time and their call letters (example: "17 hundred hours, KCG242"). Sometimes they are busy and so they don't do it till 17:03. I often heard the midnight announcement as "24 hundred hours, KCG242" (as mentioned by MoMo, there is no 24:00). The funniest one was one time I heard, at 00:03 "twenty four oh three, KCG242". #-o

informant
2004-Jan-08, 07:20 PM
You assumed that when I said "the other" I meant 1999, instead of 2000. Actually, I meant January instead of March.

Many people assume that it was 1AD that they were targeting, but it was not. In fact, the actual target was not the birth, but the conception, around March 25--and near the spring equinox, which has often been used as the start of a new year. Thus, millennia are legitimately counted from the start of 1BC.

Which allows this current millennium to have started at the end of 1999.
Did you mean to say that conception was in January?!




Millennia do not start at the end of a year. They start at the beginning.

Minor quibble. The very end of 1999 is the same point in time as the beginning of 2000
True. This is a bit about splitting hairs, except… Except when you start to think in terms of years instead of point transitions. If our calendar started with the year 1, then the year 2000 belongs to the first 2000 years, and the year 2001 belongs to the next thousand years. And so it makes more sense to celebrate the transition at the end of 2000/start of 2001, than at the end of 1999/start of 2000 – or people might feel tempted to celebrate twice – as many did.




Calendars are based on traditions, not facts.
But...that's my whole argument.



What matters is from where you’re supposed to start counting, not when people started to use the calendar.

The second half of my argument!
I don’t think I follow you here.




Although the original intention was for the two to be related, that is not necessary for discussing when millennia start.

That's your opinion. You're entitled to it.
I don’t see how it’s an opinion. All you have to do is count years!




I’ve lost my bet.
I didn't want you to compromise your own ignorance. :)
You win some, you lose some. :)


Gould mentions that Hillel Schwartz has found evidence of the controversy back to the 1699-1701 transition--but Schwartz discusses sources from the seventeenth century that talk about the millennial madness at the last -000 turn, and he (Schwartz) points out that some used 1000, and others 1001.
Doomsday cultists can be very indecisive about their predictions of the end of the world. Just look at Nancy Leider... :)

To be more to the point, I think it's entirely possible that common folk hesitated between ---0 and ---1. (During most of those centuries, many of them probably barely knew what year it was, anyway.) What I doubt is whether the authorities/intellectuals did.


Consider the following:
[…] 0 through 9 would be a decade. If we keep going based on this, then 0 - 1999 would be a full 2000 years. So the beginning of the next millenium should start at 2000, no? The numbers 1-10 are easier to identify as a decade than 0-9, because the number 10 is included. In the programming world, 1-10 is considered to be a human readable format, but the 0-9 format is used most often because it's more logical.
Your reasoning is correct, but you are thinking of time as a continuous quantity. Our ancestors* who invented the calendars we use now did not have accurate clocks. The best they could do was count, so they treated time as a discrete quantity – they counted (full) years.
Heck, even we today rarely say things like ‘1.96 years’ – we use days, minutes and seconds instead.

*The Mayans were an exception, sorta (their calendar was complicated).


From what I gather, we are starting from the number 1, which is to say that we started counting the millenium after a full year had been reached and not when the millenium actually began (365 days before year 1--which would be year "0", even though there is no year labeled "0"). Is that correct? 8-
Think of it in terms of line segments. Each full year is a segment of a given length; two years are two segments of the same length placed one after the other. Then you have something like this:

-1.............................0................... .............1...............................2
|________________|________________|_______________ _|

\____ year 1 BC __/ \____ year 1 AD ___/ \____ year 2 AD ___/

There is a zero, the start of the era (00:00:00 January 1, 1 AD). But there is no zero year.

milli360
2004-Jan-08, 09:44 PM
Did you mean to say that conception was in January?!

No. Just out of curiousity, how did you derive that?




Calendars are based on traditions, not facts.


What matters is from where you’re supposed to start counting, not when people started to use the calendar.

I don’t think I follow you here.

Using your own words there, I am taking a traditional approach, rather than your facts based approach. What matters is from where you've supposed to start counting. Clearly, we start at different places (or, in the case of Stephen Jay Gould, count differently). I'm not saying you are wrong, except when you say we are wrong.


I don’t see how it’s an opinion. All you have to do is count years!

I do count--it's not as hard as you might think. I just get a different answer than you do.


To be more to the point, I think it's entirely possible that common folk hesitated between ---0 and ---1. (During most of those centuries, many of them probably barely knew what year it was, anyway.) What I doubt is whether the authorities/intellectuals did.

What's your impression of what is happening today (or, what happened concerning the 1999-2001 transition)? Was it divided between authorities/intellectuals on one side and common folk on the other?

Humphrey
2004-Jan-08, 09:48 PM
AHHH.... I get it now. Thank you for that latest explanation. That makes the most sense. I was with momo and thinking of 0 as a actual year. Thanks for clearing that up. :-)



But in truth i prefer to count in the age of G'topia. So far we are in 22 A.D.B.

semi-sentient
2004-Jan-08, 10:08 PM
Think of it in terms of line segments. Each full year is a segment of a given length; two years are two segments of the same length placed one after the other. Then you have something like this:

-1.............................0................... .............1...............................2
|________________|________________|_______________ _|

\____ year 1 BC __/ \____ year 1 AD ___/ \____ year 2 AD ___/

There is a zero, the start of the era (00:00:00 January 1, 1 AD). But there is no zero year.

Great illustration. I had a similar picture in my head while arguing my points. If those line segments were to continue through the year 2000, we would have this:

1998.....................1999..................... ....2000..........................2001
|________________|________________|_______________ _|
\_____ 1999 ______/ \_____ 2000 ____/ \_____ 2001 _____/

As you can see, 2000 years is reached at midnight, December 31st 1999. So why wouldn't it be appropriate to say that the new millenium started on January 1st 2000? Clearly, 2000 years have passed.

milli360
2004-Jan-08, 11:37 PM
As you can see, 2000 years is reached at midnight, December 31st 1999.
It looks to me like your illustration says 2000 years is reached at midnight, December 31st, 2000. :)

semi-sentient
2004-Jan-09, 02:35 AM
As you can see, 2000 years is reached at midnight, December 31st 1999.
It looks to me like your illustration says 2000 years is reached at midnight, December 31st, 2000. :)

How so? The 2000 year marker is located between 1999 and 2000. The numbers on the first line are the actual years. The numbers on the third act as a counter.

semi-sentient
2004-Jan-09, 02:43 AM
Ooops, I just realized that I reversed my version of the line graph from informants original (flipped flopped year/counter). Sorry for the confusion. I probably should have illustrated that originally. #-o

milli360
2004-Jan-09, 02:51 AM
Ooops, I just realized that I reversed my version of the line graph from informants original (flipped flopped year/counter). Sorry for the confusion. I probably should have illustrated that originally. #-o
You should correct it. Your counter is off. :)

Astronot
2004-Jan-09, 03:47 AM
Well in 1999 I thought that the millennium would start on Jan 1 2000, so I had a big party. During that year I learned that I had been all wrong, so on New Years Eve in 2000 I had another big millennium party. I didn’t do it the next year so I could avoid the millennium hangover.


More seriously, if we had landed on the moon in 1970, would the idea that the end of the sixties decade was really 1970 been more established. If so would that have put the idea more firmly in peoples minds about the millennium ending on Dec. 31 2000?

Charlie in Dayton
2004-Jan-09, 03:49 AM
Another way to visualize what I'm talking about is by considering our 24-hour clock. Do we count from 1 though 24 or do we count from 00:00 through 23:99, with 00:00 starting a new cycle?

Depends on what day you want your answer to refer to.
I had this problem in the Air Force with a supervisor that, in addition to not knowing his nether regions from an excavation, didn't understand that 24:00 and 00:00 referred to the same second, but two different days.

The clock ticks to 23:59:59 6 Jan 2004. The next second is simultaneously 24:00:00 6 Jan 2004 AND 00:00:00 7 Jan 2004. And the tick after that is 00:00:01 7 Jan 2004. The way you decide to read it depends on if you're referring to the end of one day, or the beginning of another. I could never get my super to grasp this fact. He'd always send a crew bus out 24 hours early if a request came in for 24:00 -- so once I started doing the paperwork, I'd always move the time one minute to reflect the day of the request. There were no more 00:00's, but lots of 23:59's and 00:01's.

milli360, I'm still not getting where you're coming up with all the celebrating supposedly circling around the conception. (Oh, the temptation to be somewhat ribald in this explanation...but I will maintain respectability...) The big hooraw has always been when historical figure X popped out and started squalling, not the...festivities, shall we say?... nine months earlier. And these dates in our modern calendar were specifically picked and more-or-less set to coincide with other ancient religion astronomical days of import, partly to make them easy to remember, and partly to steal the old religion's thunder. No one knows exactly when all these various biological activities really took place. And don't forget the mathematical errors that took place in the conversion between various calendar formats (as I recall, there's a few years' difference between Julian and Gregorian).

It all boils down to this. Away back when, somebody high enough in authority to make it stick said that we're starting the count from here, we're going to celebrate A, B, and C in a big way, X, Y, and Z on a smaller scale, and the dates we're celebrating on are permanent for A, C, X and Z, and determined by the stars for B and Y. And that's how it's been since then.

...oh yeah, by the way...there still is no year 0, and the third millenium began on 1 January 2001.

...so there... =D>

Jpax2003
2004-Jan-09, 06:37 AM
Ok, so when are teenage years? Do teens start at thirteen or at ten? Why thirteen instead of ten, they are both 2 digits. Are we basing it on sevens? Then why not 14 and not thirteen. Is twenty years old part of the teens? No? Are you sure? Then why do you not become an adult until you are twenty-one? Or are you an adult at eighteen... or younger if you kill someone and the court says you're an adult after you commited the crime. Perhaps they should have an official agency that examines everyone and tells them when they personally will be an adult. I know plenty of thirty-somethings who are still acting like kids...

Personally I think we should use zero year in the notation. I think it works better. I think we should have a year zero in our reckoning. But we don't. So the millenium started on 1 January 2001.

milli360
2004-Jan-09, 11:12 AM
milli360, I'm still not getting where you're coming up with all the celebrating supposedly circling around the conception. (Oh, the temptation to be somewhat ribald in this explanation...but I will maintain respectability...) The big hooraw has always been when historical figure X popped out and started squalling, not the...festivities, shall we say?... nine months earlier.

Not always. The modern hooraw has only caught on in the past couple hundred years, and what we know today is fairly secular and commercial. Some municipalities even claim that stars at Christmas are not religious symbols. The Catholic Church has long recognized "the festivities" (are you aware of the position of the Church on just what festivities took place?), the day is one of the holy days, and we all know the position of the Church on the development and character of a human fetus.


And these dates in our modern calendar were specifically picked and more-or-less set to coincide with other ancient religion astronomical days of import, partly to make them easy to remember, and partly to steal the old religion's thunder.
There is some dispute to that, but I'll agree that that has been strongly argued.


No one knows exactly when all these various biological activities really took place. And don't forget the mathematical errors that took place in the conversion between various calendar formats (as I recall, there's a few years' difference between Julian and Gregorian).

A few years? I'm not sure what you're alluding to there--but any differences would strengthen my case, by weakening the absolute (and precise) nature of the claims of the 2001ers.


It all boils down to this. Away back when, somebody high enough in authority to make it stick said that we're starting the count from here, we're going to celebrate A, B, and C in a big way, X, Y, and Z on a smaller scale, and the dates we're celebrating on are permanent for A, C, X and Z, and determined by the stars for B and Y. And that's how it's been since then.
The somebody high enough in authority was the Catholic Church, so I do think their position on the subject is relevant, and that is exactly why I brought up those issues earlier. The millennial celebration of the Catholic Church started on 1/1/2000.

But I don't base my choice of 1/1/2000 on religious grounds, or on the reasoning of Stephen Jay Gould (who also agreed with 1/1/2000). I'm just saying that 1/1/2000 is a valid choice, for those who choose to make it.


...oh yeah, by the way...there still is no year 0, and the third millenium began on 1 January 2001.

Not for everybody.

swansont
2004-Jan-09, 01:04 PM
This was being discussed on the "what do you call this decade" thread. I grew curious as to how many people here believe that the 21st century started Jan. 1st, 2000 as opposed to Jan. 1st, 2001?

You should make it a poll. :D


No. A poll implies it's open for debate, as if opinion mattered.

The "third millenium" started in 2001. Anyone who says otherwise can't count.

milli360
2004-Jan-09, 01:21 PM
The "third millenium" started in 2001. Anyone who says otherwise can't count.
I say otherwise. I can count. There's a breakdown in your logic somewhere. :)

swansont
2004-Jan-09, 02:14 PM
The "third millenium" started in 2001. Anyone who says otherwise can't count.
I say otherwise. I can count. There's a breakdown in your logic somewhere. :)

Starting with "1", count 2000 numbers. That's 2 millenia. What number signifies the start of the third millenial grouping?

informant
2004-Jan-09, 02:21 PM
Just out of curiousity, how did you derive that?
It all started in this post (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=189772#189772), where I disputed your statement, made here (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=189650#189650), that:


Many people assume that it was 1AD that they were targeting, but it was not. In fact, the actual target was not the birth, but the conception, around March 25--and near the spring equinox, which has often been used as the start of a new year. Thus, millennia are legitimately counted from the start of 1BC.

Which allows this current millennium to have started at the end of 1999.
Now, what makes you say that the fact that the actual target of the Gregorian (Julian at the time) calendar was conception allows the current millennium to have started at the end of 1999?


Using your own words there, I am taking a traditional approach, rather than your facts based approach. What matters is from where you've supposed to start counting. Clearly, we start at different places (or, in the case of Stephen Jay Gould, count differently). I'm not saying you are wrong, except when you say we are wrong.
Tell, me, milli360… you’ve just spoken about the current millennium – that’s the 3rd. millennium AD, right?


What's your impression of what is happening today (or, what happened concerning the 1999-2001 transition)? Was it divided between authorities/intellectuals on one side and common folk on the other?
No, there are plenty of misinformed authorities too now. :)


No one knows exactly when all these various biological activities really took place. And don't forget the mathematical errors that took place in the conversion between various calendar formats (as I recall, there's a few years' difference between Julian and Gregorian).
They were not errors. In order to make the Gregorian calendar agree with the seasons, a few days were skipped in the transition from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.


A few years? I'm not sure what you're alluding to there--but any differences would strengthen my case, by weakening the absolute (and precise) nature of the claims of the 2001ers.
What do you mean by 'absolute and precise'?


The somebody high enough in authority was the Catholic Church, so I do think their position on the subject is relevant, and that is exactly why I brought up those issues earlier. The millennial celebration of the Catholic Church started on 1/1/2000.
…And ended on 31/12/2000. The two single most important anniversaries for Christians in 2000 were that of the conception of Christ – which turned 2000 years old in March – and that of the birth of Christ – which turned 2000 years old in December. But those were events that took place before the start of the era (on 1 BC).
Notice that none of them was 2000 years old on 1/1/2000.



Ooops, I just realized that I reversed my version of the line graph from informants original (flipped flopped year/counter). Sorry for the confusion. I probably should have illustrated that originally. #-o
You should correct it. Your counter is off. :)
MoMo's graph is not incorrect, it was only misread.
(I think MoMo's got it now.)

(Edited.)

Juror Number 8
2004-Jan-09, 02:59 PM
I remeber watching a documentary on time travel back in the 80's. In it, Dr Emmet Brown was quite categorical in his assertion that to witness the birth of Christ, you would have to travel back in time to December 25, 0000.

His subsequent time travel experiments, although not proving this assertion categorically, were highly successful, and I have no reason to doubt Dr Brown's expertise in this field. To my mind therefore, this proves beyond reasonable argument:

- the existence of a year 0;
- the exact birth date of Christ;
- that the 21st century did indeed start on 1 January 2000.

Next Week - The Power of Love. Is it quantitively measurable?

milli360
2004-Jan-09, 03:29 PM
The "third millenium" started in 2001. Anyone who says otherwise can't count.
I say otherwise. I can count. There's a breakdown in your logic somewhere. :)

Starting with "1", count 2000 numbers. That's 2 millenia.
If you mean, count 2000 years, and that's 2 millennia, then I would agree. Do you think I can count? :)


Just out of curiousity, how did you derive that?
It all started in this post (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=189772#189772), where I disputed your statement, made here (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=189650#189650), that:

Now, what makes you say that the fact that the actual target of the Gregorian (Julian at the time) calendar was conception allows the current millennium to have started at the end of 1999?
I've explained that all before. I was just trying to understand why you said "Did you mean to say that conception was in January?! " I don't see where I came close to saying that the conception was in January.


Tell, me, milli360… you’ve just spoken about the current millennium – that’s the 3rd. millennium AD, right?
Yes. ?


No, there are plenty of misinformed authorities too now. :)

We just disagree on who is misinformed.


They were not errors. In order to make the Gregorian calendar agree with the seasons, a few days were skipped in the transition from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.
Charlie may have been talking about something else, especially if the differences were matters of years.


What do you mean by 'absolute and precise'?

Absolute in the sense that there is only one interpreation, and precise in the sense...that you used it before, I think.



Ooops, I just realized that I reversed my version of the line graph from informants original (flipped flopped year/counter). Sorry for the confusion. I probably should have illustrated that originally. #-o
You should correct it. Your counter is off. :)
MoMo's graph is not incorrect, it was only misread.
(I think MoMo's got it now.)

Didn't MoMo say that that graph proves the case for 1/1/2000? How can you agree with that?

Even looking back at that graph, it appears wrong to me, if it is lining up with your graph (even taking the flip into consideration).

SciFi Chick
2004-Jan-09, 03:47 PM
I remeber watching a documentary on time travel back in the 80's. In it, Dr Emmet Brown was quite categorical in his assertion that to witness the birth of Christ, you would have to travel back in time to December 25, 0000.

His subsequent time travel experiments, although not proving this assertion categorically, were highly successful, and I have no reason to doubt Dr Brown's expertise in this field. To my mind therefore, this proves beyond reasonable argument:

- the existence of a year 0;
- the exact birth date of Christ;
- that the 21st century did indeed start on 1 January 2000.

Next Week - The Power of Love. Is it quantitively measurable?

While I have always been a great fan of Dr. Brown's work, he is not infallible. Clearly, he had the idea that the universe would end if one ran into oneself, when all that really happens is a temporary loss of consciousness. :D

Therefore, it is possible that his dating methods are fallible as well.

informant
2004-Jan-09, 04:19 PM
I was just trying to understand why you said "Did you mean to say that conception was in January?! " I don't see where I came close to saying that the conception was in January.

Many people assume that it was 1AD that they were targeting, but it was not. In fact, the actual target was not the birth, but the conception, around March 25--and near the spring equinox, which has often been used as the start of a new year. Thus, millennia are legitimately counted from the start of 1BC.

Which allows this current millennium to have started at the end of 1999.

Actually, no. That should be March 2000.
And, in any case, you're talking about conception, but the calendar does not start at conception.

Well, it appears that you're advocating 1/1/2001--which is not the anniversary of birth or conception, so I don't see why the other won't work as well.

You assumed that when I said "the other" I meant 1999, instead of 2000. Actually, I meant January instead of March.
Since your point seemed to be based on the fact that the calendar was targeted to coincide with conception, when you said that you meant January instead of March I wondered if you were still talking about the date of conception.
(What were you talking about?)



Now, what makes you say that the fact that the actual target of the Gregorian (Julian at the time) calendar was conception allows the current millennium to have started at the end of 1999?
I've explained that all before.
Do you mind telling me where you did that? I honestly can't recall.




Tell, me, milli360… you’ve just spoken about the current millennium – that’s the 3rd. millennium AD, right?
Yes. ?
Well, then, ‘millennium’ means “a thousand years”, and AD means “after the (conventional) birth of Christ”. Since the era starts with year 1, the first two thousand years AD are 1 through 2000, and the next thousand years – the 3rd. millennium, in other words – are 2001 through 3000. So the transition from the 2nd. millennium to the 3rd. millennium was in 2000-2001, not 1999-2000.




What do you mean by 'absolute and precise'?

Absolute in the sense that there is only one interpreation, and precise in the sense...that you used it before, I think.
Yes, that was the sense in which I used the word ‘precise’. And, in that sense, there is a precise answer to the question ‘When did the 3rd. millennium start?’ The answer is ‘On January 1, 2001’.
Now, if the question were ‘When should the start of the 3rd. millennium be comemorated?’, then I suppose any date between January 2000 and December 2001 would be a reasonable choice. Although it seems a bit strange to celebrate something before it starts – but that’s just me.


Didn't MoMo say that that graph proves the case for 1/1/2000?
But then he corrected himself (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=190190#190190).


Even looking back at that graph, it appears wrong to me, if it is lining up with your graph (even taking the flip into consideration).
What do you feel is wrong with it?

milli360, when do you think Jesus was born? I'm talking about the conventional date.

R.A.F.
2004-Jan-09, 04:35 PM
This was being discussed on the "what do you call this decade" thread. I grew curious as to how many people here believe that the 21st century started Jan. 1st, 2000 as opposed to Jan. 1st, 2001?

You should make it a poll. :D


No. A poll implies it's open for debate, as if opinion mattered.

The "third millenium" started in 2001.

While I agree, I knew that there would be differing "views" to this question. That was part of my reasoning.

I can't believe that this thread has reached 4 pages in less than 2 days!!

SciFi Chick
2004-Jan-09, 04:36 PM
Well, then, ‘millennium’ means “a thousand years”, and AD means “after the (conventional) birth of Christ”. Since the era starts with year 1, the first two thousand years AD are 1 through 2000, and the next thousand years – the 3rd. millennium, in other words – are 2001 through 3000. So the transition from the 2nd. millennium to the 3rd. millennium was in 2000-2001, not 1999-2000.


Actually, AD is a Latin term Anno Domini that means Year of our Lord, not the common misconception of After Death. :)

SeanF
2004-Jan-09, 04:36 PM
Well, then, ‘millennium’ means “a thousand years”, and AD means “after the (conventional) birth of Christ”.

AD means "Anno Domini" or "The Year of The Lord." It doesn't really mean "after" anything. Which brings me to:


Many people assume that it was 1AD that they were targeting, but it was not. In fact, the actual target was not the birth, but the conception, around March 25--and near the spring equinox, which has often been used as the start of a new year. Thus, millennia are legitimately counted from the start of 1BC.

If I read this correctly, milli360, you're suggesting that the date Dionysius identified as "March 25th, 1 AD" was the date he believed to be one year after the conception of Christ and not the date of the conception of Christ.

If that is what you're suggesting, do you have a cite for it?

informant
2004-Jan-09, 04:45 PM
Well, then, ‘millennium’ means “a thousand years”, and AD means “after the (conventional) birth of Christ”.

AD means "Anno Domini" or "The Year of The Lord." It doesn't really mean "after" anything.
And what does "year of the Lord" mean? It's a poetic phrase to mean the age of Jesus. If indeed he did not die, then the 25th December, 1999 would have been his 1999th anniversary. He would have been 1999 years old on January 1, 2000 - not 2000 y.o.

SciFi Chick
2004-Jan-09, 04:53 PM
Well, then, ‘millennium’ means “a thousand years”, and AD means “after the (conventional) birth of Christ”.

AD means "Anno Domini" or "The Year of The Lord." It doesn't really mean "after" anything.
And what does "year of the Lord" mean? It's a poetic phrase to mean the age of Jesus. If indeed he did not die, then the 25th December, 1999 would have been his 1999th anniversary. He would have been 1999 years old on January 1, 2000 - not 2000 y.o.

Poetic - Not Poetic - It still doesn't mean after.

In any case, this is why I prefer the terms B.C.E. and C.E. - Before Current Era and Current Era, at least for any kind of scholarly work I prefer those terms.

informant
2004-Jan-09, 04:59 PM
If I read this correctly, milli360, you're suggesting that the date Dionysius identified as "March 25th, 1 AD" was the date he believed to be one year after the conception of Christ and not the date of the conception of Christ.

If that is what you're suggesting, do you have a cite for it?
He is correct about that. See:


According to Dionysius the Incarnation occurred on March 25th of the year preceding 1 A.D. (with the birth of Jesus occurring nine months later on December 25th)[…]
http://www.hermetic.ch/cal_stud/cal_art.htm#Julian_Calendar


Poetic - Not Poetic - It still doesn't mean after.
It has always been understood as meaning after. Regardless of what the literal translation may be, for all practical purposes the phrase does 'mean after'. You can try to change that now, but I doubt that many people will follow you.

Eroica
2004-Jan-09, 05:22 PM
'What would Jesus say?'
Not much, considering he's been dead for almost two thousand years! :D

Eroica
2004-Jan-09, 05:28 PM
Actually, AD is a Latin term Anno Domini that means Year of our Lord, not the common misconception of After Death. :)
A bit of a nitpick, but Anno Domini means in the year of the Lord.

milli360
2004-Jan-09, 05:31 PM
(What were you talking about?)
My point was that your interpretation has the celebration at 1/1/2001, even though that date is not associated with birth or conception, so the same logic works for 1/1/2000--it doesn't have to be the exact date of birth or conception. It's just the start of the year. Something similar occurs with birthdays. If someone is born at 11:30pm on their birthdate, they don't necessarily feel compelled to wait until 11:30pm to start celebrating every year. In fact, the law recognizes their birthday at the turn of midnight.

But I see below that there is some confusion about the placement of the Birthdate in the original version of the calendar. A lot of people assume that Dionysius placed the birthdate at Dec. 25, 1AD. It was actually 1BC.
(No, I see on the review that you've given SeanF a cite for that. Thanks.)

Anyway, analogously, we could say that the Birthdate was in 1BC, and we can legitimately celebrate 2000 years from the start of 1BC later. But that's still not my argument.


Do you mind telling me where you did that? I honestly can't recall.
You seem to have quoted it in your post. I'll try to explain it further if you like.


Now, if the question were ‘When should the start of the 3rd. millennium be comemorated?’, then I suppose any date between January 2000 and December 2001 would be a reasonable choice. Although it seems a bit strange to celebrate something before it starts – but that’s just me.
I tried to address that above, in the comments about how we celebrate birthdays. It doesn't seem so strange to me. That's my opinion.


What do you feel is wrong with it?

I thought MoMo still felt that "As you can see, 2000 years is reached at midnight, December 31st 1999," even though he'd put the counter on the bottom. He says that he put the counter on the bottom, whereas you put yours on top. Adding the "AD" markers would help clarify which is meant.

If he just adds the AD's to the bottom line, then I agree it is correct. And it lines up with yours.


milli360, when do you think Jesus was born? I'm talking about the conventional date.
Dionysius pegged it at 12/25/1BC

It has always been understood as meaning after. Regardless of what the literal translation may be, for all practical purposes the phrase does 'mean after'. You can try to change that now, but I doubt that many people will follow you.
To the best of my knowledge, it has never been understood as meaning after.

Still, the literal translation is not "year of the Lord". That would start with "Annus" The case change makes it "In the year of the Lord."

If you don't believe me, here's dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=anno%20domini).

SciFi Chick
2004-Jan-09, 05:54 PM
Me, I don't believe in compromising with ignorance. That's why the BA made this forum, among other things, after all. :)


It has always been understood as meaning after. Regardless of what the literal translation may be, for all practical purposes the phrase does 'mean after'. You can try to change that now, but I doubt that many people will follow you.

For all practical purposes, it's only English speaking people that knew B.C. meant Before Christ, so they asked themselves what A.D. meant, and came up with After Death. They were mistaken. A.D. has always stood for "In the Year of Our Lord." After is a completely different meaning. There is no after, because they still believe it is in the year of our Lord, and always will be because Jesus is alive and risen according to that tradition.

SciFi Chick
2004-Jan-09, 05:56 PM
Actually, AD is a Latin term Anno Domini that means Year of our Lord, not the common misconception of After Death. :)
A bit of a nitpick, but Anno Domini means in the year of the Lord.

Not at all. Thanks for the correction. I've just discovered that I have to take at least two years of Latin :o, so I might as well start getting it straight now. :D

informant
2004-Jan-09, 06:00 PM
My point was that your interpretation has the celebration at 1/1/2001, even though that date is not associated with birth or conception, so the same logic works for 1/1/2000--it doesn't have to be the exact date of birth or conception. It's just the start of the year.
The birth and conception are only two possible things to celebrate. Another one – no doubt preferred by non-Christians – would be the start of the era itself. And that one did turn 2000 years old on December 31, 2000.
Sure, it isn’t tied to any special historical event. But then neither is December the 25th. ;)


Something similar occurs with birthdays. If someone is born at 11:30pm on their birthdate, they don't necessarily feel compelled to wait until 11:30pm to start celebrating every year. In fact, the law recognizes their birthday at the turn of midnight.
Actually, it’s different, because there is a zero year for people’s ages. Perhaps that’s why the start of the millennium causes such confusion. For people, there is a zero year, and then you turn 1. A 1-year-old is at least 1 year old.
But the n-th century is only at most n years after the beginning of the era.


Anyway, analogously, we could say that the Birthdate was in 1BC, and we can legitimately celebrate 2000 years from the start of 1BC later.
You can celebrate 2000 after any date, but you won’t necessarily be celebrating a new millennium in the Gregorian calendar.




Do you mind telling me where you did that? I honestly can't recall.
You seem to have quoted it in your post. I'll try to explain it further if you like.
I assume it’s what you said in my previous quote.


I thought MoMo still felt that "As you can see, 2000 years is reached at midnight, December 31st 1999," even though he'd put the counter on the bottom. He says that he put the counter on the bottom, whereas you put yours on top. Adding the "AD" markers would help clarify which is meant.

If he just adds the AD's to the bottom line, then I agree it is correct. And it lines up with yours.
What I understood was that he followed my graph, but then read his as though the top numbers were the counter. Then he realised that it wasn’t supposed to be read that way, and that’s what he said.




milli360, when do you think Jesus was born? I'm talking about the conventional date.
Dionysius pegged it at 12/25/1BC
I had to ask, just to be sure that we were on the same wave.
Most people who celebrated on 1/1/2000 thought it was the 2000th anniversary of some significant date – be it the conception, the birth of Christ, or (in most cases, I believe), the start of the era itself. They were mistaken.



It has always been understood as meaning after. Regardless of what the literal translation may be, for all practical purposes the phrase does 'mean after'. You can try to change that now, but I doubt that many people will follow you.
To the best of my knowledge, it has never been understood as meaning after.
Let’s not get tangled up in translations. That was never my intent. The point is that 2000 years had not yet passed since the start of the era on 1/1/2000. There was still one left.
And no, I don’t believe that anyone cheered 2000 on while thinking of 1 BC. That’s just an ad hoc excuse.


For all practical purposes, it's only English speaking people that knew B.C. meant Before Christ, so they asked themselves what A.D. meant, and came up with After Death. They were mistaken. A.D. has always stood for "In the Year of Our Lord." After is a completely different meaning. There is no after, because they still believe it is in the year of our Lord, and always will be because Jesus is alive and risen according to that tradition.
SciFi Chick, I've never subscribed to the "After Death" reading of AD. That would be absurd.

SeanF
2004-Jan-09, 06:37 PM
He is correct about that. See:


According to Dionysius the Incarnation occurred on March 25th of the year preceding 1 A.D. (with the birth of Jesus occurring nine months later on December 25th)[…]
http://www.hermetic.ch/cal_stud/cal_art.htm#Julian_Calendar


Thanks, informant. That link, however, contradicts itself, in two consecutive paragraphs:


The system of numbering years A.D. (for "Anno Domini") was instituted in about the year 527 A.D. by the Roman abbot Dionysius Exiguus, who reckoned that the Incarnation had occurred on March 25 in the year 754 a.u.c., with the birth of Jesus occurring nine months later. Thus the year 754 a.u.c. was designated by him as the year 1 A.D. It is generally thought that his estimate of the time of this event was off by a few years (and there is even uncertainty as to whether he identified 1 A.D. with 754 a.u.c. or 753 a.u.c.).

The question has been raised (by Sean Oberle) as to whether the first Christian millennium should be counted from 1 A.D. or from the year preceding it. According to Dionysius the Incarnation occurred on March 25th of the year preceding 1 A.D. (with the birth of Jesus occurring nine months later on December 25th), so it is reasonable to regard that year, rather than 1 A.D. as the first year of the Christian Era. In that case 1 A.D. is the second year, and 999 A.D. is the 1000th year, of the first Christian millennium, implying that 1999 A.D. is the final year of the second Christian millennium and 2000 A.D. the first year of the third.

The first paragraph says the year of the incarnation was designated 1 AD, the second paragraph says the year after.

[Edit:] And actually, the last sentence in the first paragraph suggests that it may have been the year before the incarnation that was designated 1AD! :o

milli360
2004-Jan-09, 06:43 PM
Something similar occurs with birthdays. If someone is born at 11:30pm on their birthdate, they don't necessarily feel compelled to wait until 11:30pm to start celebrating every year. In fact, the law recognizes their birthday at the turn of midnight.
Actually, it’s different, because there is a zero year for people’s ages.
We were talking about whether or not it was reasonable to celebrate the anniversary of something other than at the precise moment. My analogy was to our celebrations of birthdays, which is legally done at midnight, not necessarily at the precise time of birth.


But the n-th century is only at most n years after the beginning of the era.
I'm pretty sure you mean "only at most nx100 years" but regardless, I understand the arguments. I've seen them before, and consdiered them even before 1990.


Most people who celebrated on 1/1/2000 thought it was the 2000th anniversary of some significant date – be it the conception, the birth of Christ, or (in most cases, I believe), the start of the era itself. They were mistaken.
Do you have a citation to back that up? That most people thought that?




It has always been understood as meaning after. Regardless of what the literal translation may be, for all practical purposes the phrase does 'mean after'. You can try to change that now, but I doubt that many people will follow you.
To the best of my knowledge, it has never been understood as meaning after.
Let’s not get tangled up in translations. That was never my intent.
I wasn't getting tangled up in translations. That's why I went to the dictionary, which says it means "in the year of the Lord" or "in the year of (our) Lord". You're the one that said "Regardless of what the literal translation may be, for all practical purposes the phrase does 'mean after'. You can try to change that now, but I doubt that many people will follow you." So, it's not a change. I've seen it in the dictionaries that way for thirty years.

You were disagreeing with SciFi Chick who'd said "It still doesn't mean after." You were wrong to insist that it always has.


And no, I don’t believe that anyone cheered 2000 on while thinking of 1 BC. That’s just an ad hoc excuse.

Anyone? What if the arguments were made before 1999? Would you still consider them ad hoc?

milli360
2004-Jan-09, 06:55 PM
[Edit:] And actually, the last sentence in the first paragraph suggests that it may have been the year before the incarnation that was designated 1AD!
Incredible! :)

I guess we owe you a more reliable source. I'll look around.

informant
2004-Jan-09, 07:05 PM
We were talking about whether or not it was reasonable to celebrate the anniversary of something other than at the precise moment. My analogy was to our celebrations of birthdays, which is legally done at midnight, not necessarily at the precise time of birth.
A few hours before or after? Sure, what's the harm? A whole year before?!... Why?!




Most people who celebrated on 1/1/2000 thought it was the 2000th anniversary of some significant date – be it the conception, the birth of Christ, or (in most cases, I believe), the start of the era itself. They were mistaken.
Do you have a citation to back that up? That most people thought that?
What else could they be celebrating? And please don't tell me 2000 years after the start of 1 BC.


I wasn't getting tangled up in translations. That's why I went to the dictionary, which says it means "in the year of the Lord" or "in the year of (our) Lord". You're the one that said "Regardless of what the literal translation may be, for all practical purposes the phrase does 'mean after'. You can try to change that now, but I doubt that many people will follow you." You were disagreeing with SciFi Chick who'd said "It still doesn't mean after." You were wrong to insist that it always has.

The key words being for all practical purposes, and regardless of what the literal translation may be. I never suggested that the translation of the Latin phrase was 'after'. And I think that was quite clear from the context of the conversation.




And no, I don’t believe that anyone cheered 2000 on while thinking of 1 BC. That’s just an ad hoc excuse.

Anyone? What if the arguments were made before 1999? Would you still consider them ad hoc?
Considering that people have been counting centuries for about 2000 years, yes I would.
And let's suppose for a minute that someone came up with the same arguments on December 31, 99 AD. They'd still be wrong in saying that the second century AD was about to start...

1 BC
1 AD
2 AD
3 AD
4 AD
5 AD
6 AD
7 AD
8 AD
9 AD
10 AD
11 AD
12 AD
13 AD
14 AD
15 AD
16 AD
17 AD
18 AD
19 AD
20 AD
21 AD
22 AD
23 AD
24 AD
25 AD
26 AD
27 AD
28 AD
29 AD
30 AD
31 AD
32 AD
33 AD
34 AD
35 AD
36 AD
37 AD
38 AD
39 AD
40 AD
41 AD
42 AD
43 AD
44 AD
45 AD
46 AD
47 AD
48 AD
49 AD
50 AD
51 AD
52 AD
53 AD
54 AD
55 AD
56 AD
57 AD
58 AD
59 AD
60 AD
61 AD
62 AD
63 AD
64 AD
65 AD
66 AD
67 AD
68 AD
69 AD
70 AD
71 AD
72 AD
73 AD
74 AD
75 AD
76 AD
77 AD
78 AD
79 AD
80 AD
81 AD
82 AD
83 AD
84 AD
85 AD
86 AD
87 AD
88 AD
89 AD
90 AD
91 AD
92 AD
93 AD
94 AD
95 AD
96 AD
97 AD
98 AD
99 AD


Not one century AD. A whole year is missing.

SeanF
2004-Jan-09, 07:58 PM
[Edit:] And actually, the last sentence in the first paragraph suggests that it may have been the year before the incarnation that was designated 1AD!
Incredible! :)

I guess we owe you a more reliable source. I'll look around.

I wonder if what the author of that page really meant by that last sentence of the first paragraph was that there was disagreement over whether he identified the incarnation with 754 a.u.c. or 753 a.u.c. That would lead logically into the statement in the next paragraph.

At any rate, I look forward to your more reliable source! :)

JtheArgonaut
2004-Jan-09, 09:55 PM
I believe that 12/31/1999 at 12 midnight was the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st .

milli360
2004-Jan-10, 12:39 AM
A few hours before or after? Sure, what's the harm?

There goes the precision.





Most people who celebrated on 1/1/2000 thought it was the 2000th anniversary of some significant date – be it the conception, the birth of Christ, or (in most cases, I believe), the start of the era itself. They were mistaken.
Do you have a citation to back that up? That most people thought that?
What else could they be celebrating?

Watching the digits roll? Same as they do every year?



I wasn't getting tangled up in translations. That's why I went to the dictionary, which says it means "in the year of the Lord" or "in the year of (our) Lord". You're the one that said "Regardless of what the literal translation may be, for all practical purposes the phrase does 'mean after'. You can try to change that now, but I doubt that many people will follow you." You were disagreeing with SciFi Chick who'd said "It still doesn't mean after." You were wrong to insist that it always has.

The key words being for all practical purposes, and regardless of what the literal translation may be. I never suggested that the translation of the Latin phrase was 'after'. And I think that was quite clear from the context of the conversation.
Nothing seems to be clear in the conversation. You were the one that claimed that SciFi Chick was wrong and you said "I doubt that many people will follow you." It's not just the translation--even the plain English definition in my dictionary, which is thirty years old, agrees with SciFi Chick.





And no, I don’t believe that anyone cheered 2000 on while thinking of 1 BC. That’s just an ad hoc excuse.

Anyone? What if the arguments were made before 1999? Would you still consider them ad hoc?
Considering that people have been counting centuries for about 2000 years, yes I would.

But, they would have cheered 2000 on while thinking of 1BC. So, you're wrong about that too.


I wonder if what the author of that page really meant by that last sentence of the first paragraph was that there was disagreement over whether he identified the incarnation with 754 a.u.c. or 753 a.u.c. That would lead logically into the statement in the next paragraph.
I think that the two sentences that you bolded are direct contradictions, though.

[Edited--trying to fix quotes]

informant
2004-Jan-10, 12:10 PM
A few hours before or after? Sure, what's the harm?

There goes the precision.
As I've said before, you can celebrate the new millennium any time you like. You could do it on January 2000, on January 2001, or on January 2004. You can even start celebrating it every full moon. Personally, I think it’s a bit strange to celebrate a whole year before the event – but this is just my opinion.
That does not, however, change the fact that the question ‘When did the 21st century begin?’ – the title of this thread – has a single, inequivocal answer: ‘On January 1, 2001.’



What else could they be celebrating?
Watching the digits roll? Same as they do every year?
I believe what people celebrate every year is the start of the new year. That’s what they call it, at least.


Nothing seems to be clear in the conversation. You were the one that claimed that SciFi Chick was wrong and you said "I doubt that many people will follow you." It's not just the translation--even the plain English definition in my dictionary, which is thirty years old, agrees with SciFi Chick.
Clearly, the conversation has not been clear to everyone :). When I said that AD did ‘mean after’ (notice the quote marks), I meant that the year count should start at 1 AD, not 1 BC as SciFi Chick proposed. Years, centuries, and millennia are counted from after the start of the era, not from before.




What if the arguments were made before 1999? Would you still consider them ad hoc?
Considering that people have been counting centuries for about 2000 years, yes I would.

But, they would have cheered 2000 on while thinking of 1BC.
Perhaps you were thinking of 1 BC when you celebrated, if you celebrated, but who else did? I certainly don’t recall ever hearing about it in the media, for instance.



I wonder if what the author of that page really meant by that last sentence of the first paragraph was that there was disagreement over whether he identified the incarnation with 754 a.u.c. or 753 a.u.c. That would lead logically into the statement in the next paragraph.
I did some research on this. There are conflicting sources. Some say that no one’s really certain about whether Exiguus intended the incarnation to be on 1 BC or 1 AD. However, the Catholic Encyclopedia says it was 1 AD (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03738a.htm#christian) – which would put January 2000 even farther from the 2000th anniversary.
But that’s all a bit beside the point. The people who celebrated on January 1 did not do so because of religious motives; there are more appropriate religious holidays throughout the year. They were just celebrating the new millennium of the civil calendar.

swansont
2004-Jan-10, 03:16 PM
The "third millenium" started in 2001. Anyone who says otherwise can't count.
I say otherwise. I can count. There's a breakdown in your logic somewhere. :)

Starting with "1", count 2000 numbers. That's 2 millenia.
If you mean, count 2000 years, and that's 2 millennia, then I would agree. Do you think I can count? :)


So the end of the second millenium is when you've completed your count to 2000. IOW, at the end of 2000.

milli360
2004-Jan-10, 05:40 PM
That does not, however, change the fact that the question ‘When did the 21st century begin?’ – the title of this thread – has a single, inequivocal answer: ‘On January 1, 2001.’
I disagree that that is the single answer, I'm not sure whether it is "inequivocal."


Clearly, the conversation has not been clear to everyone

Good, we're clear on that.


When I said that AD did ‘mean after’ (notice the quote marks), I meant that the year count should start at 1 AD, not 1 BC as SciFi Chick proposed. Years, centuries, and millennia are counted from after the start of the era, not from before.
Ah. But you also said that not many people would follow SciFi Chick, and you are clearly wrong about that.

SciFi Chick, though, seemed to be discussing the literal meaning of the term.


Perhaps you were thinking of 1 BC when you celebrated, if you celebrated, but who else did?
You claimed, without a shred of evidence, that no one did. I think that is unscientific behavior. Unscientific behavior is often excused (wrongly I think) when people turn out to be right, but it shouldn't go uncontested. In this case it was wrong, which is worse.


Some say that no one’s really certain about whether Exiguus intended the incarnation to be on 1 BC or 1 AD. However, the Catholic Encyclopedia says it was 1 AD (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03738a.htm#christian) – which would put January 2000 even farther from the 2000th anniversary.
Does it really say that? It says that the year of the birth ("in the year 753 from the foundation of Rome") was year one of the era, but then it says that he counted the years which followed from it. So, we could still interpret that as saying that the birth was in 1BC.

Outrageous? Look down farther in the article. It says that "The Romans frequently reckoned from the traditional foundation of their city (ab urbe conditâ--A.U.C.), which date, as has been said, coincided with 753 B.C." However, if 1AD=753AUC, then 753BC=0AUC not 1AUC. So, either that article agrees with me, or there is an internal contradiction in the article.


But that’s all a bit beside the point. The people who celebrated on January 1 did not do so because of religious motives; there are more appropriate religious holidays throughout the year. They were just celebrating the new millennium of the civil calendar.
No religious motives? The preparations in the Catholic Church for the millennial year were started before I was born, and the local church started in 1996. It may have not been reported in the mainstream media, or on the internet.

So the end of the second millenium is when you've completed your count to 2000. IOW, at the end of 2000.
I disagree with your "in other words" obviously.

[Edited--deleted personal advice]

swansont
2004-Jan-10, 06:10 PM
That does not, however, change the fact that the question ‘When did the 21st century begin?’ – the title of this thread – has a single, inequivocal answer: ‘On January 1, 2001.’
I disagree that that is the single answer, I'm not sure whether it is "inequivocal."


So the end of the second millenium is when you've completed your count to 2000. IOW, at the end of 2000.
I disagree with your "in other words" obviously.

[Edited--deleted personal advice]

Well, then, I guess you can't count. :(

If you were a cashier, and were handing me change for a $10 bill, I'd want that tenth dollar, and all of it. Not $9.01, and "that's close enough to call it 10."

milli360
2004-Jan-10, 06:23 PM
Well, then, I guess you can't count.

You'd guess wrongly.


If you were a cashier, and were handing me change for a $10 bill, I'd want that tenth dollar, and all of it. Not $9.01, and "that's close enough to call it 10."
Irrelevant.

swansont
2004-Jan-10, 06:45 PM
Well, then, I guess you can't count.

You'd guess wrongly.


If you were a cashier, and were handing me change for a $10 bill, I'd want that tenth dollar, and all of it. Not $9.01, and "that's close enough to call it 10."
Irrelevant.

No, it's completely relevant. Start at Jan 1 of the year 1 - zero time has elapsed. You haven't completed 2000 years (2 millenia) until the end of year 2000. There simply isn't any more to it than that. The third millenium can't start until the second one is finished.

milli360
2004-Jan-10, 06:56 PM
It's irrelevant because it doesn't address the definitions and assumptions at the base of the argument. I imagine that anyone who is reading this can also count. It's not a matter of not being able to count.

swansont
2004-Jan-10, 11:14 PM
It's irrelevant because it doesn't address the definitions and assumptions at the base of the argument. I imagine that anyone who is reading this can also count. It's not a matter of not being able to count.

When to start the clock is a different argument. I said starting with 1, and you disagreed. That's a simple matter of counting.

milli360
2004-Jan-11, 02:57 AM
It's irrelevant because it doesn't address the definitions and assumptions at the base of the argument. I imagine that anyone who is reading this can also count. It's not a matter of not being able to count.
When to start the clock is a different argument. I said starting with 1, and you disagreed. That's a simple matter of counting.
So, when you said "at the end of 2000" you were not talking about the year 2000?

swansont
2004-Jan-11, 02:46 PM
It's irrelevant because it doesn't address the definitions and assumptions at the base of the argument. I imagine that anyone who is reading this can also count. It's not a matter of not being able to count.
When to start the clock is a different argument. I said starting with 1, and you disagreed. That's a simple matter of counting.
So, when you said "at the end of 2000" you were not talking about the year 2000?

Yes, I am. The end of the year 2000.

pghnative
2004-Jan-12, 02:03 AM
January 1, 2000.

Regarding the argument that there was no "year 0", well there was no year 1, 2, 28, 158, or 400 either. IIRC, the current numbering system began around 520. So perhaps the third millenia (counting wise) won't be till 2520 (or so.) :D .

I also have a hard time swallowing the argument that "it's tradition" that the numbering system started with 1 and not 0. While this is certainly true, what good is "tradition" when the majority of humans disagree with it?

Defining things by the flipping of digits is straighforward and easy. The decade of the nineties clearly refers to 1990 thru 1999. (To say that 1990 isn't part of the nineties is an oxymoron in my opinion.) By extension, the decade of the eighties began in 1980, the decade of the 70's in 1970, and the 1900's began in 1900. So the decade, the century and the millenium all began in 2000 by any reasonable standard.

Charlie in Dayton
2004-Jan-12, 02:29 AM
The sticking point to all this is what's being spoken of here. Religious traditions and mathematics make a bad mix. One is widely open to interpretation, the other isn't. One could be, to one degree or another, the other either is or isn't.

Let us not confuse the theology with the trigonometry, shall we?

swansont
2004-Jan-12, 02:56 AM
Defining things by the flipping of digits is straighforward and easy. The decade of the nineties clearly refers to 1990 thru 1999. (To say that 1990 isn't part of the nineties is an oxymoron in my opinion.) By extension, the decade of the eighties began in 1980, the decade of the 70's in 1970, and the 1900's began in 1900. So the decade, the century and the millenium all began in 2000 by any reasonable standard.

A decade is any ten-year period. But if you number them, then you've got to stick to the numbering convention.

1990-1999 is a decade. So is 1972-1981. But the first decade was 1-10. Any numbered decade with this convention must end in zero. Similarly for numbered centuries and millenia, that use this convention.
1000-1999 was a millenium. But it wasn't the second millenium, using the convention. That was 1001-2000.

informant
2004-Jan-12, 01:50 PM
When I said that AD did ‘mean after’ (notice the quote marks), I meant that the year count should start at 1 AD, not 1 BC as SciFi Chick proposed. Years, centuries, and millennia are counted from after the start of the era, not from before.
But you also said that not many people would follow SciFi Chick, and you are clearly wrong about that.
Please read more carefully. What I said (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=190519#190519) was that I didn’t think many people would follow SciFi Chick in counting years from before the start of the era. How am I ‘clearly’ wrong about that?


SciFi Chick, though, seemed to be discussing the literal meaning of the term.
Yes, I know, but I wasn’t. She misunderstood my post.




Perhaps you were thinking of 1 BC when you celebrated, if you celebrated, but who else did?
You claimed, without a shred of evidence, that no one did.
So perhaps I was wrong about you. I still think what I said was true of most people who celebrated on January 1, 2000.


I think that is unscientific behavior. Unscientific behavior is often excused (wrongly I think) when people turn out to be right, but it shouldn't go uncontested.
We are having an informal conversation, not a scientific debate. I think neither of us would be successful in making scientific claims about what most people thought they were celebrating on January 2000, for the simple reason that I don’t think any data about that exists. Personal impressions are all any of us have to put forth on that matter.
Or have you got some polls to show me?



[…]the Catholic Encyclopedia says it was 1 AD (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03738a.htm#christian) – which would put January 2000 even farther from the 2000th anniversary.
Does it really say that? It says that the year of the birth ("in the year 753 from the foundation of Rome") was year one of the era […]
[…] Look down farther in the article. It says that "The Romans frequently reckoned from the traditional foundation of their city (ab urbe conditâ--A.U.C.), which date, as has been said, coincided with 753 B.C." However, if 1AD=753AUC, then 753BC=0AUC not 1AUC.
You’re right. The Catholic Encyclopedia does seem to be trying to say that the birth (and conception) of Christ were on 1 BC, even though it’s rather ambiguous about it. Here are three sources that are clearer:


The system of numbering years A.D. (for "Anno Domini") was instituted in about the year 527 A.D. by the Roman abbot Dionysius Exiguus, who reckoned that the Incarnation had occurred on March 25 in the year 754 a.u.c., with the birth of Jesus occurring nine months later. Thus the year 754 a.u.c. was designated by him as the year 1 A.D. It is generally thought that his estimate of the time of this event was off by a few years (and there is even uncertainty as to whether he identified 1 A.D. with 754 a.u.c. or 753 a.u.c.).
source (http://www.hermetic.ch/cal_stud/cal_art.htm#Julian_Calendar)

Dionysius (wrongly) fixed Jesus' birth with respect to Diocletian's reign in such a manner that it falls on 25 December 753 AUC (ab urbe condita, i.e. since the founding of Rome), thus making the current era start with AD 1 on 1 January 754 AUC.
source (http://www.tondering.dk/claus/cal/node3.html#SECTION003130000000000000000)

For Christians then, the Jubilee of the year 2000 is especially important because it will be a celebration of the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Christ (apart from differences of exact chronological count.)
source (http://www.vatican.va/jubilee_2000/docs/documents/ju_documents_17-feb-1997_history_en.html)


Look down farther in the article. It says that "The Romans frequently reckoned from the traditional foundation of their city (ab urbe conditâ--A.U.C.), which date, as has been said, coincided with 753 B.C." However, if 1AD=753AUC, then 753BC=0AUC not 1AUC.
Nitipick: 1 before AUC. The Romans didn’t have zero years either. This is no coincidence; the Gregorian calendar is nothing but an update of the Julian calendar.



The people who celebrated on January 1 did not do so because of religious motives; there are more appropriate religious holidays throughout the year. They were just celebrating the new millennium of the civil calendar.
No religious motives? The preparations in the Catholic Church for the millennial year were started before I was born, and the local church started in 1996.
Here’s what Catholics appear to have celebrated on January 1, 2000:


JANUARY 2000

1 Saturday


Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
World Day for Peace
source (http://www.vatican.va/jubilee_2000/calendar/documents/ju_calendar_of_events_18111999_holy-year-2000_en.html)

Again, not that it matters. Many of the people who celebrated on that date couldn’t care less about the Catholic Church.

SciFi Chick
2004-Jan-12, 02:21 PM
[quote]
When I said that AD did ‘mean after’ (notice the quote marks), I meant that the year count should start at 1 AD, not 1 BC as SciFi Chick proposed. Years, centuries, and millennia are counted from after the start of the era, not from before.

I never proposed that the millenium should start in 1BC


[quote=milli360] But you also said that not many people would follow SciFi Chick, and you are clearly wrong about that.
Please read more carefully. .

I got the exact same impression from your post. Maybe you should post more carefully. :)


What I said (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=190519#190519) was that I didn’t think many people would follow SciFi Chick in counting years from before the start of the era. How am I ‘clearly’ wrong about that?.

Again, it sounded like you were saying that people wouldn't follow me in my belief in the literal meaning of AD.



]SciFi Chick, though, seemed to be discussing the literal meaning of the term.
Yes, I know, but I wasn’t. She misunderstood my post.

I did not misunderstand your post. Your post was unclear. You said AD meant after. It doesn't. I corrected you, and now you're saying that I suggested the millenium started in 1BC, which I never suggested or implied.

informant
2004-Jan-12, 03:24 PM
SciFi Chick is right, I am wrong.

Indeed you did not propose that the millennium should start in 1BC. That was entirely my mix-up.
I hope you will accept my apologies.




]SciFi Chick, though, seemed to be discussing the literal meaning of the term.
Yes, I know, but I wasn’t. She misunderstood my post.

I did not misunderstand your post. Your post was unclear. You said AD meant after.
After the birth of Christ. I knew it wasn’t a literal translation, but for practical purposes it might as well be. The Catholic doctrine seems to agree with what I was saying (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=190508#190508):


For Christians then, the Jubilee of the year 2000 is especially important because it will be a celebration of the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Christ (apart from differences of exact chronological count.)
source (http://www.vatican.va/jubilee_2000/docs/documents/ju_documents_17-feb-1997_history_en.html)
I thought the meaning of AD was so well-known that no one would think I was actually trying to translate the Latin phrase anno Domini. Especially since SeanF had just translated it himself (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=190498#190498), and my post was a reply to him.

Still, I’ll apologise for quibbling over that too.

SciFi Chick
2004-Jan-12, 03:27 PM
SciFi Chick is right, I am wrong.

Indeed you did not propose that the millennium should start in 1BC. It was my mix-up.
I hope you will accept my apologies.

Absolutely. Thanks. :) I have to tell ya, before coming to this board, I always felt like, online, at least, that I was the only person willing to admit when I was mistaken. It is so nice to find a haven where others put honesty above all else. =D>

milli360
2004-Jan-12, 07:20 PM
It's irrelevant because it doesn't address the definitions and assumptions at the base of the argument. I imagine that anyone who is reading this can also count. It's not a matter of not being able to count.
When to start the clock is a different argument. I said starting with 1, and you disagreed. That's a simple matter of counting.
So, when you said "at the end of 2000" you were not talking about the year 2000?

Yes, I am. The end of the year 2000.
Then, you're wrong that it is a simple matter of counting. I do know how to count.

Let us not confuse the theology with the trigonometry, shall we?
OK! And not argument with alliteration, either. :)



You claimed, without a shred of evidence, that no one did.
So perhaps I was wrong about you. I still think what I said was true of most people who celebrated on January 1, 2000.
I am aware of others. Still, you said no one, and you were wrong about that.



I think that is unscientific behavior. Unscientific behavior is often excused (wrongly I think) when people turn out to be right, but it shouldn't go uncontested.
We are having an informal conversation, not a scientific debate.
You're the one who said "I don't believe in compromising with ignorance. (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=189836#189836)"


I think neither of us would be successful in making scientific claims about what most people thought they were celebrating on January 2000, for the simple reason that I don’t think any data about that exists. Personal impressions are all any of us have to put forth on that matter.
Or have you got some polls to show me?
You're the one making the claims.

I'm just happy to accept the admission that you can't support them. :)


You’re right. The Catholic Encyclopedia does seem to be trying to say that the birth (and conception) of Christ were on 1 BC, even though it’s rather ambiguous about it. Here are three sources that are clearer:

source (http://www.hermetic.ch/cal_stud/cal_art.htm#Julian_Calendar)
Isn't that the one we discussed earlier, that we've already decided was ambiguous?



Dionysius (wrongly) fixed Jesus' birth with respect to Diocletian's reign in such a manner that it falls on 25 December 753 AUC (ab urbe condita, i.e. since the founding of Rome), thus making the current era start with AD 1 on 1 January 754 AUC.
source (http://www.tondering.dk/claus/cal/node3.html#SECTION003130000000000000000)

That one agrees with me.


Look down farther in the article. It says that "The Romans frequently reckoned from the traditional foundation of their city (ab urbe conditâ--A.U.C.), which date, as has been said, coincided with 753 B.C." However, if 1AD=753AUC, then 753BC=0AUC not 1AUC.
Nitipick: 1 before AUC.

That was my point. But I don't mind having it emphasized.


Here’s what Catholics appear to have celebrated on January 1, 2000:


JANUARY 2000

1 Saturday


Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
World Day for Peace
source (http://www.vatican.va/jubilee_2000/calendar/documents/ju_calendar_of_events_18111999_holy-year-2000_en.html)

If you look at Jan. 1, 2001 you'll see that those are celebrated then too, and will be.

That page you linked to was a Calendar of the Holy Year 2000, the Jubilaeum (http://www.vatican.va/jubilee_2000/), or Jubilee. If you scroll up that page, to the first entries, you'll see that the Jubilee opened on Dec. 24, 1999. It closed on Jan. 5, 2001.

Now do you believe me?


Again, not that it matters. Many of the people who celebrated on that date couldn’t care less about the Catholic Church.
Many do. Even some non-Catholics.

informant
2004-Jan-12, 07:45 PM
You claimed, without a shred of evidence, that no one did.
So perhaps I was wrong about you. I still think what I said was true of most people who celebrated on January 1, 2000.
I am aware of others. Still, you said no one, and you were wrong about that.
When you're right, you're right.




We are having an informal conversation, not a scientific debate.
You're the one who said "I don't believe in compromising with ignorance. (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=189836#189836)"
I wrote that about the questions 'When did the 21st century begin?' and 'When did the 3rd. millennium begin?' These are questions which have a straighforward, simple answer -- at least in my opinion; I know you don't agree...

The question 'What did the people who celebrated on January 2000 think they were celebrating?' is much more difficult to answer, because it's about personal opinions. I am not aware of any surveys done about it, and I would not demand an answer based on a survey. Which is not to say that I regard any answer to this question as equally plausible.




I think neither of us would be successful in making scientific claims about what most people thought they were celebrating on January 2000, for the simple reason that I don’t think any data about that exists. Personal impressions are all any of us have to put forth on that matter.
Or have you got some polls to show me?
You're the one making the claims.
And you're the one demanding scientific evidence about opinions.


That page you linked to was a Calendar of the Holy Year 2000, the Jubilaeum (http://www.vatican.va/jubilee_2000/), or Jubilee. If you scroll up that page, to the first entries, you'll see that the Jubilee opened on Dec. 24, 1999. It closed on Jan. 5, 2001.

Now do you believe me?
About what?




Again, not that it matters. Many of the people who celebrated on that date couldn’t care less about the Catholic Church.
Many do. Even some non-Catholics.
If I were mean, I'd ask for a survey... :)

Edited to add:



source (http://www.hermetic.ch/cal_stud/cal_art.htm#Julian_Calendar)
Isn't that the one we discussed earlier, that we've already decided was ambiguous?
Hmm, yes (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=190585#190585). Please ignore that one.



source (http://www.tondering.dk/claus/cal/node3.html#SECTION003130000000000000000)

That one agrees with me.
I did say you were right about this part…

milli360
2004-Jan-12, 08:11 PM
When you're right, you're right.
Stop it. You're just trying to impress SciFi Chick.






We are having an informal conversation, not a scientific debate.
You're the one who said "I don't believe in compromising with ignorance. (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=189836#189836)"
I wrote that about the questions 'When did the 21st century begin?' and 'When did the 3rd. millennium begin?' These are questions which have a straighforward, simple answer -- at least in my opinion; I know you don't agree...
No, I think the answer is straightforward and simple. It's just that not everyone can follow the argument.


I am not aware of any surveys done about it
I figured as much, which is why I contested your claims--which were contrary to my personal experience.





I think neither of us would be successful in making scientific claims about what most people thought they were celebrating on January 2000, for the simple reason that I don’t think any data about that exists. Personal impressions are all any of us have to put forth on that matter.
Or have you got some polls to show me?
You're the one making the claims.
And you're the one demanding scientific evidence about opinions.
Only the claims, not the opinions.

If you'd said, "I think the Millennium started on 1/1/1," then I would not have objected. I don't even really get too wound up by someone who claims "The Millennium started on 1/1/1," but I will protest if someone says "People who believe that the Millennium started on 1/1/00 are wrong," then I'll object.





Again, not that it matters. Many of the people who celebrated on that date couldn’t care less about the Catholic Church.
Many do. Even some non-Catholics.
If I were mean, I'd ask for a survey...
To support your claim, or mine?

What are the latest figures? One billion people worldwide that identify themselves as Catholic? They must care at least a little. And the Catholic Church can raise passion in believer and non-believer alike. Or do you disagree?

OK, now support yours. And since my "many" was a billion, I'd like to see at least a paltry million.

informant
2004-Jan-12, 09:16 PM
You're just trying to impress SciFi Chick.
You say that like it's a bad thing... :lol:


[…] I think the answer is straightforward and simple. It's just that not everyone can follow the argument.
Perhaps I’m one of them. What is the argument?


[…] I contested your claims--which were contrary to my personal experience.
What experience is that?


[...] I will protest if someone says "People who believe that the Millennium started on 1/1/00 are wrong," then I'll object.
On what grounds? I’ve read some of your reasons, but I did not find them convincing.







Again, not that it matters. Many of the people who celebrated on that date couldn’t care less about the Catholic Church.
Many do. Even some non-Catholics.
If I were mean, I'd ask for a survey...
To support your claim, or mine?
Yours. Mine is obvious from the fact that many of those who celebrated were non-Catholic Christians.


What are the latest figures? One billion people worldwide that identify themselves as Catholic? They must care at least a little. And the Catholic Church can raise passion in believer and non-believer alike. Or do you disagree?
Whether there is passion or not is irrelevant.
What matters is, were (Roman) Catholic dogmas the reason why people celebrated the turn of the millennium/century on Dec 1999-Jan 2000? In many cases, I don't think they were, namely in countries where R. Catholics are a minority.


OK, now support yours. And since my "many" was a billion, I'd like to see at least a paltry million.
I think you overestimate the concern of Catholics with the turn of the millennium. It’s true that they celebrated around that time, but they did so for other motives. They were celebrating the anniversaries of religious events important to them.
They were also celebrating a Jubilee year, but here (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08531c.htm) are the dates of other Jubilees:

1350
1390
1423
1450
1475
1450…

It does not look like a millenary celebration to me.

By the way, I would still like to have an answer to this question:



That page you linked to was a Calendar of the Holy Year 2000, the Jubilaeum (http://www.vatican.va/jubilee_2000/), or Jubilee. If you scroll up that page, to the first entries, you'll see that the Jubilee opened on Dec. 24, 1999. It closed on Jan. 5, 2001.

Now do you believe me?
About what?
What, according to you, should that fact make me believe?

And here are a few people who seem to think that 1999-2000 was the turn of the millennium:


What event in the turn-of the-millennium celebration on New Year's Eve 1999 -- which featured no Strip fireworks -- do some say led to the now popular custom of Strip fireworks on New Year's Eve?
source (http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2004/Jan-01-Thu-2004/living/22817145.html)

Officials said that only the millennium celebration four years ago matched yesterday for warm weather. There were fewer problems with ice sculptures in 1999, however, because the weather was colder in the days before that celebration, officials said.
source (http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/01/01/new_year_gets_a_warm_welcome/)

While downplaying concerns about terrorism, New York authorities have outlined plans to beef up security on December 31 in Times Square, which should host one of the world's largest millennium celebrations.

December 26, 1999
source (http://www.cnn.com/1999/US/12/26/new.york.security/index.html)

The estimate for Wednesday night's New York crowd did not top that for the millennium celebration. For 2000, then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani said up to 2 million people were in midtown Manhattan.
source (http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20031231_2784.html)

The security for this year's celebration is supposed to rival that of the millennium celebration of 2000.
source (http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/news/wabc_123003_timessquare_noon.html)

swansont
2004-Jan-12, 11:21 PM
And here are a few people who seem to think that 1999-2000 was the turn of the millennium:


What event in the turn-of the-millennium celebration on New Year's Eve 1999 -- which featured no Strip fireworks -- do some say led to the now popular custom of Strip fireworks on New Year's Eve?
source (http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2004/Jan-01-Thu-2004/living/22817145.html)

Officials said that only the millennium celebration four years ago matched yesterday for warm weather. There were fewer problems with ice sculptures in 1999, however, because the weather was colder in the days before that celebration, officials said.
source (http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/01/01/new_year_gets_a_warm_welcome/)

While downplaying concerns about terrorism, New York authorities have outlined plans to beef up security on December 31 in Times Square, which should host one of the world's largest millennium celebrations.

December 26, 1999
source (http://www.cnn.com/1999/US/12/26/new.york.security/index.html)

The estimate for Wednesday night's New York crowd did not top that for the millennium celebration. For 2000, then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani said up to 2 million people were in midtown Manhattan.
source (http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20031231_2784.html)

The security for this year's celebration is supposed to rival that of the millennium celebration of 2000.
source (http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/news/wabc_123003_timessquare_noon.html)

"Appeal to popularity" is a logical fallacy. And it's not like the popular media perpetuating a falsehood because it's a good "sound bite" should be surprising to anyone.

FP
2004-Jan-13, 03:07 AM
For the record, put me down for 2000 as the first year of the millinium. I find Dr. Gould and Kilo-Milli-Grapes very persuasive.

And, how did I miss this:


What event in the turn-of the-millennium celebration on New Year's Eve 1999 -- which featured no Strip fireworks -- do some say led to the now popular custom of Strip fireworks on New Year's Eve?

Is this like strip poker?

milli360
2004-Jan-13, 08:57 AM
[…] I think the answer is straightforward and simple. It's just that not everyone can follow the argument.
Perhaps I’m one of them. What is the argument?



[...] I will protest if someone says "People who believe that the Millennium started on 1/1/00 are wrong," then I'll object.
On what grounds? I’ve read some of your reasons, but I did not find them convincing.

Yours. Mine is obvious from the fact that many of those who celebrated were non-Catholic Christians.
I think you have that backwards. Mine would be obvious (people who profess to be Catholics must care in some fashion about the Church), yours is not so obvious--there are non-Catholics who also care in some fashion about the Catholic Church.


And here are a few people who seem to think that 1999-2000 was the turn of the millennium:

Thanks, I'll look over the sources later.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-02, 06:32 PM
The thing to remember about our calendar numbering system is that it did not begin as a calendar numbering system.

Rather, Dionysius Exiguus (Dennis the Little) created it for his paschal tables, a matrix to calculate the changing date of Easter from year to year. Because of mildly complex calculations involving 28 cycles of 19 years, the dates of Easter run a pattern that recurs over 532 years (19 * 28 = 532). This is called a Great Paschal Period (GPP).

Dionysius designated the first year of the second GPP as "532 ab incarnatione Iesu Christi" or "532 from the incarnation of Jesus Christ."

This means that the first GPP was 1 BC to AD 531.

Of course, Dionysius never used BC or AD. As I said at the beginning, he did not create the count for a calendar (and those terms came into use much later). Dionysius and the rest of Christiandom continued to use the old Roman calendar.

Christians -- centuries after Dionysius -- began using his numbers for the calendar. However, they did not realize that the first year of his count was what we call 1 BC, and assumed that the first year of his count was what we call 1 AD.

We are using Dionysius' count. His count began in what we call 1 BC (or 1 BCE).

THUS:
1st GPP = 1BC to AD 531
2nd GPP = AD 532 to AD 1063
3rd GPP = AD 1064 to AD 1595
4th GPP = AD 1596 TO AD 2127

AND
1st Millennium = 1 BC to AD 999
2nd Millennium = AD 1000 to AD 1999
3rd Millennium = AD 2000 to AD 2999

Sean Oberle
(yes, the person mentioned higher in this thread).

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-02, 07:06 PM
Sean Oberle
(yes, the person mentioned higher in this thread).
Mentioned in SeanF (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=190585#190585)'s post. Welcome to the BABB, another Sean. :)

I participated in this discussion last year with the username milli360

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-02, 07:08 PM
And by the way, Dionysius was counting in the manner that we count the hours of the day.

01:00 (or 1 AM) is the SECOND hour. It refers NOT to the hour we are in, but to the number of hours that have preceded it.

Dionysius' 1 was his SECOND year. It referred NOT to the year it was attached to but to the number of years that preceded it.

Thus, 1999 was the 2000th year of his count.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-02, 07:09 PM
thanks A.T.P :)

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-02, 07:22 PM
Welcome, Sean. I participated in this discussion, too, as informant.


Christians -- centuries after Dionysius -- began using his numbers for the calendar. However, they did not realize that the first year of his count was what we call 1 BC, and assumed that the first year of his count was what we call 1 AD.
Are you sure about that? Couldn't it be that they preferred to define the calendar such that year 1 would be the year when Jesus turned 1 year old?


"Appeal to popularity" is a logical fallacy. And it's not like the popular media perpetuating a falsehood because it's a good "sound bite" should be surprising to anyone.
I never made any appeal to authority, here. You've misinterpreted my post.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-02, 07:44 PM
Are you sure about that? Couldn't it be that they preferred to define the calendar such that year 1 would be the year when Jesus turned 1 year old?1) Perhaps. I should have written "failed to take into account" or some such. I didn't mean to ascribe motive to them.

2) Interestingly, Dionysius was not measuring from the birth of Christ, but incarnation of Christ. The incarnation refers to the Imaculate Conception, and thus is 9 months before Christ's birth(*).

Using traditional dates, the Incarnation would fall on March 25, which also was considered to the date of the first Easter -- Medieval Christians believed Christ was incarnated and rose from the dead on the same date some 30-odd years apart.

Also interestingly, many European nations for a long time began their years on March 25 -- yes, in the middle of the month.

Of course, all that raises the question of whether the 3rd Millennium really began March 25, 2000. :wink:

And then you throw in the conversion from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, and the real date becomes March 14, 2000.

And, IIRC, the Romans thought the day began at sun-up, and Dionysius likely still used this reckoning in the 500s, meaning we'd have to go back and look at the sunrise tables for March 14, 2000.

(*) Yes, I know Dionysius got the year wrong for Christ's incarnation/birth. Modern historians believe Christ was born a number of years before that. That's beside the point for the discussion of Dionysius', however.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-02, 08:13 PM
"Appeal to popularity" is a logical fallacy. And it's not like the popular media perpetuating a falsehood because it's a good "sound bite" should be surprising to anyone.
I never made any appeal to authority, here. You've misinterpreted my post.
"popularity" :)

But you have to be careful. You're responding directly to a post that is over a year old. The poster may not be around anymore. Adding new information to an old topic is OK, though.


And then you throw in the conversion from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, and the real date becomes March 14, 2000.
Depends. The extra days were a conversion to get the calendar into alignment with the ancient calendar dates--so the March 25 date of today would correspond to the March 25 day of two thousand years ago. Or so.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-02, 08:32 PM
Swansont's latest post was made the day before yesterday...



And then you throw in the conversion from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, and the real date becomes March 14, 2000.
Depends. The extra days were a conversion to get the calendar into alignment with the ancient calendar dates--so the March 25 date of today would correspond to the March 25 day of two thousand years ago. Or so.
:)
Into spatial alignment with the old calendar -- but out of temporal alignment.

This issue apparently sinks deeper and deeper into the semantics of "calendar", "era", and "millennium". It seems that our current calendar and its predecessors were looked at from various different perspectives throughout history.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-02, 08:43 PM
This issue apparently sinks deeper and deeper into the semantics of "calendar", "era", and "millennium", as it seems that our current calendar and its predecessors were looked at with different interpretations throughout history.

Ultimately, it rests with our having two methods of counting time:
A) the number designates which unit is occuring now (such as January 1)
B) the number desinates the units that have preceded now (such as 1 AM).

Looking at what Dionysius did, I firmly believe that our year count is akin to our hour count, and thus those who insist that the century/millennium began in 2001 are making the same mistake that a child makes when he believes the day begins at 1AM.

:) about it all, however.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-02, 08:45 PM
Into spatial alignment with the old calendar -- but out of temporal alignment.
No, more temporal, I'd say. The fix means that the two March 25s are more nearly an integral number of (our) years apart.

"Our" years of course are twenty minutes shorter than an average orbit of the Sun--so in two thousand years, that's nearly 700 hours, almost a whole month. About thirty degrees (27.93) in our orbit then.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-02, 10:10 PM
No, more temporal, I'd say. The fix means that the two March 25s are more nearly an integral number of (our) years apart.
You are right, of course. The Julian calendar counted more days than had actually passed. The Gregorian reform trimmed that excess.

There are other irregularities in our calendar, of course, such as:


There were no leap years between 9 BC and AD 8. This period without leap years was decreed by emperor Augustus as part of his reform.

Calaendopedia (http://www.geocities.com/calendopaedia/julian.htm)
I also found this part interesting:


It is a curious fact that although the method of reckoning years after the (official) birth year of Christ was not introduced until the 6th century, by some stroke of luck the Julian leap years coincide with years of our Lord that are divisible by 4.
Maybe it wasn't all luck. Maybe the Years of Our Lord were defined by the Church in such a way that the reckoning of leap years in the Christian Julian calendar would coincide with the reckoning in the pagan Julian calendar, so that people wouldn't have to change the way they counted leap years...

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-02, 10:55 PM
Ultimately, it rests with our having two methods of counting time:
A) the number designates which unit is occuring now (such as January 1)
B) the number desinates the units that have preceded now (such as 1 AM).
Since our calendar begins at 1 rather than 0, the former interpretation seems more natural...

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 12:08 AM
Since our calendar begins at 1 rather than 0, the former interpretation seems more natural...

Yes, I understand how it seems more natural this way, but what matters is how Dionysius set it up. He set it up so 1 BC is the first year of his Paschal count.

As for option B), forget astronomy (where the day starts 00:00), and consider the traditional clock -- the day begins with 12 AM. There is no 0 AM. To someone unfamiliar with the system, it would seem natural to assume that the day begins at 1 AM. It also would seem more natural that the 12 is last hour of a cycle. Nonetheless, it is the first hour of a cycle.

I cannot explain the lack of a zero.

Is the zero missing because the concept of zero had not migrated from the East yet? Perhaps, but I've read differing opinions on whether the Romans knew the concept by the 500s.

Is the zero missing because Dionysius was measuring from the beginning of a lifespan rather than simply tallying years? We call a child 1 in the 2nd year of life, but we never say the child is 0 during the 1st year. Did the Romans do the same? I don't know. Not all societies follow this convention.

Regardless, his count started in what we call 1 BC -- that must be our proxy "Year Zero."

Otherwise, we are left being mistaken pedants. Those who pedantically insist that the first millennium began in AD 1 (and thus the 3rd began in 2001) are ignorant of or refuse to acknowledge how the count was set up.

Kiwi
2005-Feb-03, 10:17 AM
...we should have started counting at year 0. Why year 0? Because we can't get to year 1 until Christ is 1 year old. So 0-9 would have been the first 10 years...

I've always failed to understand this line of reasoning. Arabic figures and zero didn't exist as far as Dionysius Exiguus was concerned when he compiled our calendar. He used Roman figures, in which there is no zero. The first year, regardless of from when or what it was counting, was I (capital "i") and the tenth was X. The first millennium ran from I to M, the second from MI to MM, and the third correctly started on the first day of MMI. It's as simple as that.

Another way to think of it is in ordinal numbers. The first two millennia ran from the first year to the two-thousandth. Again -- simple as that.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 11:44 AM
Another way to think of it is in ordinal numbers. The first two millennia ran from the first year to the two-thousandth. Again -- simple as that.

It's not that simple. Dionysius' paschal tables show that the first year of his count would have been what we call 1 BC. We have to use that as a proxy "year zero" -- otherwise we are insisting on starting with the second year of his count and ignoring the first year.

He was counting like we count time or children's ages:
--the 1 is applied to the 2nd unit and designate the unit that came before ,
--the 2 is applied to the 3rd units and designates the units that came before,
and so forth...

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 12:02 PM
Since our calendar begins at 1 rather than 0, the former interpretation seems more natural...
Yes, I understand how it seems more natural this way, but what matters is how Dionysius set it up.
I disagree. Dionysius didn't create our current calendar; the Church did, later. You said so yourself.

mickal555
2005-Feb-03, 12:11 PM
looks like we will be well into the 22nd centery befor this ends........

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 12:27 PM
I disagree. Dionysius didn't create our current calendar; the Church did, later. You said so yourself.However, he did create the year-count used for the calendar -- and it's the year-count not the more-complex calendar that's at issue here. That count began in what we call 1 BC. If we ignore that fact, we are mistakenly starting our count with his second year (what we call AD 1).

Are you suggesting that the correct course would be to adhere to the mistake that occured centuries later (the assumption that DE's count was ordinal)? It would seem rather odd to insist that we stick to the later mistake rather than to default back to the way the originator began the count. :)

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 12:32 PM
However, he did create the year-count used for the calendar
I would disagree. The Church created the year count that we currently use, based on the year-count of Dionysius, but not necessarily with the same interpretation.


-- and it's the year-count not the more-complex calendar that's at issue here.
Is it? Why?


That count began in what we call 1 BC. If we ignore that fact, we are mistakenly starting our count with his second year (what we call AD 1).
It all depends on what we're counting.


Are you suggesting that the correct course would be to adhere to the mistake that occured centuries later (the assumption that DE's count was ordinal)?
I'm still not convinced that it was a mistake. It could simply have been a reinterpretation.

swansont
2005-Feb-03, 12:35 PM
"Appeal to popularity" is a logical fallacy. And it's not like the popular media perpetuating a falsehood because it's a good "sound bite" should be surprising to anyone.
I never made any appeal to authority, here. You've misinterpreted my post.

Should I wait a year to respond to this?

As ATP pointed out, it was appeal to popularity. Anyone who was thinking that they were right because other people thought the same way would be guilty of this fallacy. It does nothing to legitimately support the mistaken notion that the third millenium started on Jan 1, 2000.

mickal555
2005-Feb-03, 12:39 PM
We have our own 20001 post dilema in WAG (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=409997#409997)... who got it? me or nic?

swansont
2005-Feb-03, 12:41 PM
No, more temporal, I'd say. The fix means that the two March 25s are more nearly an integral number of (our) years apart.
You are right, of course. The Julian calendar counted more days than had actually passed. The Gregorian reform trimmed that excess.


The two calenders counted the same number of days, and the reform trimmed nothing. This is the misunderstanding had by the people who were protesting that they had "lost" 10 days. The Julian calender had simply assigned those days to the wrong years, over a long period of time.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 12:41 PM
I cannot explain the lack of a zero.

Is the zero missing because the concept of zero had not migrated from the East yet? Perhaps, but I've read differing opinions on whether the Romans knew the concept by the 500s.
They had no symbol for zero.


Is the zero missing because Dionysius was measuring from the beginning of a lifespan rather than simply tallying years? We call a child 1 in the 2nd year of life, but we never say the child is 0 during the 1st year. Did the Romans do the same? I don't know. Not all societies follow this convention.
They don't? That's very interesting! Have you got any references for that?


Regardless, his count started in what we call 1 BC -- that must be our proxy "Year Zero."
There is no Year Zero in our current calendar -- there simply isn't. Before 1 (AD) comes 1 BC, i.e., -1.

You've argued that in the mind of Dionysius 1 BC was to be regarded as 0, but the fact is that he did not have a symbol for such concept, and anyway the calendar was eventually set up by other people, who may not have followed the same rationale.


Otherwise, we are left being mistaken pedants. Those who pedantically insist that the first millennium began in AD 1 (and thus the 3rd began in 2001) are ignorant of or refuse to acknowledge how the count was set up.
We can discuss who's being pedantic later... :)

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 12:44 PM
"Appeal to popularity" is a logical fallacy. And it's not like the popular media perpetuating a falsehood because it's a good "sound bite" should be surprising to anyone.
I never made any appeal to authority, here. You've misinterpreted my post.
Should I wait a year to respond to this?
If you wish.
I can't remember why I didn't reply to your objection at the time. Maybe I just missed it.


Anyone who was thinking that they were right because other people thought the same way [...]
And who might that person be?

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 01:17 PM
They don't? That's very interesting! Have you got any references for that?In some Asian cultures a child is 1 in the first year of life. I'll see if I can dig up a reference for you.


There is no Year Zero in our current calendar -- there simply isn't. Before 1 (AD) comes 1 BC, i.e., -1.Nonetheless, a review of what DE did shows that he considered 1 BC -- whatever he called it -- to be the first year of his count and AD 1 to be the second year. You're fixed on a red herring -- the zero issue. See the next item.


You've argued that in the mind of Dionysius 1 BC was to be regarded as 0, but the fact is that he did not have a symbol for such concept, and anyway the calendar was eventually set up by other people, who may not have followed the same rationale.

No, I'm arguing that he considered his 1 (now AD 1) the way we consider 1 AM on the popular clock. It refers not to the unit that is occurring, but to the unit that preceded it.

Whether he understood "zero" is not relevant. It is a red herring.

The popular clock is very useful in understaning that the "no year zero" and "no Roman zero" arguments are red herrings. The popular clock counts this way without an "hour zero" -- DE could (and did) do the same with his year-count.

Lacking a zero does not lock one into ordinal counting. Lacking a zero does not preclude DE from doing what I say he did.

Fact: DE's 2nd GPP began with 532.
Thus: DE's 1st GPP must be 1BC to AD 531
Thus: 1 BC must be the first year used in his count "from incarnation."

The pedants who insist on 2001 are ignoring these facts and thus are mistaken pedants.


We can discuss who's being pedantic later... :)Oh, I'm being a pedant too ... but at least I'm looking at the facts rather than simply assuming his count was ordinal. It was not an ordinal count. I'm a correct pedant. :wink:

It is factually wrong to say AD 1 was the 1st year of his count. :)

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 01:25 PM
Nonetheless, a review of what DE did shows that he considered 1 BC -- whatever he called it -- to be the first year of his count and AD 1 to be the second year. You're fixed on a red herring -- the zero issue.
You were the one who brought it up. I don't even think we need to talk about zero years to clarify this issue.



You've argued that in the mind of Dionysius 1 BC was to be regarded as 0, but the fact is that he did not have a symbol for such concept, and anyway the calendar was eventually set up by other people, who may not have followed the same rationale.

No, I'm arguing that he considered his 1 (now AD 1) the way we consider 1 AM on the popular clock. It refers not to the unit that is occurring, but to the unit that preceded it.

Whether he understood "zero" is not relevant. It is a red herring.

The popular clock is very useful in understaning that the "no year zero" and "no Roman zero" arguments are red herrings. The popular clock counts this way without an "hour zero" -- DE could (and did) do the same with his year-count.

Lacking a zero does not lock one into ordinal counting. Lacking a zero does not preclude DE from doing what I say he did.

Fact: DE's 2nd GPP began with 532.
Thus: DE's 1st GPP must be 1BC to AD 531
Thus: 1 BC must be the first year used in his count "from incarnation."

The pedant who insist on 2001 are ignoring these facts and thus are mistaken pedants.
I agree with all that, but it's all irrelevant. What Dionysius thought or didn't think doesn't matter because he wasn't the one to set up our calendar.



We can discuss who's being pedantic later... :)Oh, I'm being a pedant too ... but at least I'm looking at the facts rather than simply assuming his count was ordinal.
As opposed to who?


It is factually wrong to say AD 1 was the 1st year of his count. :)
Who cares? We're not using his count anymore. :)

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 01:43 PM
I agree with all that, but it's all irrelevant. What Dionysius thought or didn't think doesn't matter because he wasn't the one to set up our calendar.

<snip>

Who cares? We're not using his count anymore.
Yes, we are using his count. He originated the count, but it later become fixed in the popular mind that he was counting ordinally.

It really seems like you are arguing that it is correct to adhere to the way his count was mistakenly used later by others -- that you are arguing that it is correct to stick to a mistake. :)

In any event, here's the way DE saw it, using the count of the Roman year count (AUC)
753 AUC (now = 1 BC) -- Christ incarnated (1st year of count).
754 AUC (now = AD 1) -- 1 year after incarnation (2nd year of count).

Wally
2005-Feb-03, 01:49 PM
[quote]
As for option B), forget astronomy (where the day starts 00:00), and consider the traditional clock -- the day begins with 12 AM. There is no 0 AM. To someone unfamiliar with the system, it would seem natural to assume that the day begins at 1 AM. It also would seem more natural that the 12 is last hour of a cycle. Nonetheless, it is the first hour of a cycle.

I cannot explain the lack of a zero.



This all becomes more clear when using Military time rather than "standard" time though. 00:30 instead of 12:30 AM makes much more sense, and rightly points out that you are now counting minutes in a new day rather than the one that just got over.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 01:56 PM
This all becomes more clear when using Military time rather than "standard" time though. 00:30 instead of 12:30 AM makes much more sense, and rightly points out that you are now counting minutes in a new day rather than the one that just got over.Yes, I understand that. My point in referring to the standard clock is to show that it is possible to count the way I say DE counted despite the lack of a zero.

A child might mistakenly believe 1 is the first hour (rather than 12)
Simiarly, many mistakenly believe that AD 1 was the first year of DE's count.

SeanF
2005-Feb-03, 02:29 PM
Hi, Sean (nice name!) I was also involved in this discussion before, under the name . . . oh, look at that, some of us don't change our names all the time. ;)


Are you suggesting that the correct course would be to adhere to the mistake that occured centuries later (the assumption that DE's count was ordinal)? It would seem rather odd to insist that we stick to the later mistake rather than to default back to the way the originator began the count. :)
Why not? You're insisting that we stick to DE's mistake, rather than correctly counting the centuries from circa 748 AUC . . . aren't you?

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 02:40 PM
Disinfo:

BTW, you seem to be equating count with calendar. If so, that would be wrong. No, DE did not create the calendar. However, he did create the year-count we use with that calendar.

Are you arguing that we shouldn't care because he never intended his count for that purpose, so we therefore should default to the mistaken use of his count by those who first applied it to a calendar.

If so, I'd give two comments:

1) I'd disagree, but acknowledge that is a difference of opinion, not of fact.

2) I'd point out that we don't know when the mistake occurred. Did those who first used the count for a calendar (perhaps Bede, but I'm not sure) make the mistake -- or did the mistake simply evolve out of popular assumption over the centuries. Who knows. Thus, I'd argue that we ought to go back to the only point of certainty -- DE's count.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 02:49 PM
You're insisting that we stick to DE's mistake, rather than correctly counting the centuries from circa 748 AUC . . . aren't you?Hey Sean! :)

I see that as a separate issue.

I guess it depends on whether the question involves
A) The 3rd Millennium after Christ's birth.
B) The 3rd Millennium of our year-count.

I'm addressing B) and the 2000 vs. 2001 question.

Yes, 2000 is wrong using A).
However, 2001 is wrong using A) or B).

2000 involves one mistake.
2001 involves two mistakes.

Thus 2000 is more correct than 2001. :wink:

SeanF
2005-Feb-03, 03:33 PM
With all due respect, your two choices should be

A) The 3rd Millennium after Christ's birth.
B) The 3rd Millennium of DE's year-count.

Whether our year-count is the same as Dennis' is a legitimate question. Sure it was supposed to be based on his, but his was supposed to be based on the birth of Jesus, too. :)

Does it make more sense to say that the First Century includes both 1BC and 1AD or that it includes both 99AD and 100AD? I think the latter - and since nothing of relevence happened in either 1BC or 1AD, it doesn't seem to matter which one DE thought had relevence . . .

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-03, 03:44 PM
You are right, of course. The Julian calendar counted more days than had actually passed. The Gregorian reform trimmed that excess.

That is not true. The Julian calendar counted the days appropriately (how could it have not? skipped a day, like going from the 3rd to the 5th?), it just used a calendar that was closer to the actual motion of the Earth about the Sun, and that screwed things up as far as the Church was concerned--and farmers would eventually be tending to crops in January. So, they changed to a seasonal calendar instead, and adjusted the calendar so that the seasons were close to the way they were nearer to the birth of Christ


Since our calendar begins at 1 rather than 0, the former interpretation seems more natural...
It's pretty obvious that a lot of people thought it was more natural to observe the change in millennium at 1/1/2000, so whether it is "natural" or not is a matter of opinion.

The first millennium ran from I to M, the second from MI to MM, and the third correctly started on the first day of MMI. It's as simple as that.
Everyone is aware of that interpretation. It doesn't have to be that way--in fact, I've asked a few people, and their response has been that the change occurs when the calendar digits change--it's as simple as that. :)

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 03:47 PM
Does it make more sense to say that the First Century includes both 1BC and 1AD or that it includes both 99AD and 100AD? I think the latter

With all due respect, that's like saying we ought to say the standard clock starts at 1 because it makes more sence to say 12 is part of the previous cycle.

No matter how awkward they seem, our hour-count and our year-count were set up certain ways.

What makes more sense is to do what astronomers/military did with the clock -- add a zero where none existed before. 12 got changed to zero in the clock, so why not change 1 BC to zero?

That makes more sense than starting with the second unit just because it feels less awkward.


- and since nothing of relevence happened in either 1BC or 1AD, it doesn't seem to matter which one DE thought had relevence . . .Well, other than the facts that:
A) It is his count.
B) He set it up a certain way.
:wink:

SeanF
2005-Feb-03, 04:23 PM
Does it make more sense to say that the First Century includes both 1BC and 1AD or that it includes both 99AD and 100AD? I think the latter

With all due respect, that's like saying we ought to say the standard clock starts at 1 because it makes more sence to say 12 is part of the previous cycle.

No matter how awkward they seem, our hour-count and our year-count were set up certain ways.
Again, it seems like you're taking it as a given that our year-count is DE's year-count. It was based on it, yes, but it does have differences.

At any rate, the clock comparison is not valid. All the days start with a 12am-hour (or a 00-hour in military time). In your method, only the first century starts with a 01-year, the rest all start with 00-years. It's that inconsistency that's an issue - and, IMHO, one of the reasons our year count is different than DE's.


What makes more sense is to do what astronomers/military did with the clock -- add a zero where none existed before. 12 got changed to zero in the clock, so why not change 1 BC to zero?

That makes more sense than starting with the second unit just because it feels less awkward.
I'm down with that. Let's make 1BC into 0, and 2BC into 1BC, and 3BC into 2BC, etc., etc., etc.

Until and unless we do that, though . . . :)



- and since nothing of relevence happened in either 1BC or 1AD, it doesn't seem to matter which one DE thought had relevence . . .Well, other than the facts that:
A) It is his count.
B) He set it up a certain way.
:wink:
Yes - he did. But our year-count is different. :)

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-03, 04:35 PM
Until and unless we do that, though . . .

Some people do do that sort of thing. Some astronomers.


Yes - he did. But our year-count is different.
Your year count is different, that doesn't make everybody else's wrong. There is no generally recognized agreement as concerns this issue.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 04:45 PM
Yes - he did. But our year-count is different. :)I disagree, but I don't know where we go from there. We're dealing with opinion, not fact.

I say the difference is the mistake.

You say the mistake is the difference.

BTW, the clock analogy is valid because it shows we sometimes count time that way -- that it periodically resets itself doesn't change that fact. If you'd like another example that doesn't reset itself, look at ages. We're 1 in the 2nd year of life and so on. The only thing to take from these examples is that not all counting of time is ordinal.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 06:12 PM
Disinfo:

BTW, you seem to be equating count with calendar.
Sure, doesn't everyone (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=409625#409625)?


Are you arguing that we shouldn't care because he never intended his count for that purpose, so we therefore should default to the mistaken use of his count by those who first applied it to a calendar.
No.
I think that what the people who actually started using our current calendar as a calendar intended is much more relevant than what Exiguus intended.


That is not true. The Julian calendar counted the days appropriately (how could it have not? skipped a day, like going from the 3rd to the 5th?), it just used a calendar that was closer to the actual motion of the Earth about the Sun, and that screwed things up as far as the Church was concerned--and farmers would eventually be tending to crops in January. So, they changed to a seasonal calendar instead, and adjusted the calendar so that the seasons were close to the way they were nearer to the birth of Christ
Is 1400 years the same amount of time in the Julian calendar and in the Gregorian calendar?




Since our calendar begins at 1 rather than 0, the former interpretation seems more natural...
It's pretty obvious that a lot of people thought it was more natural to observe the change in millennium at 1/1/2000, so whether it is "natural" or not is a matter of opinion.
Who says they even bothered to count?

pghnative
2005-Feb-03, 06:44 PM
I've never understood why anyone cares whether "the millenium" started in 2001 or 2000. Particularly astronomer-types who are well aware that in the 4+ billion year history of the earth, +/- 1 year is sorta irrelevant.

2000 (or 2001) wasn't the start of the third millenium, it was start of (approximately) the 4,634,589th millenium for Earth. (Though some researchers think Earth was formed on January 3rd at 2:16 AM, but there is much debate over this.)

I mean, "millenium" isn't technical jargon that us science-type people have license to define. The popular culture has decided that days start, on average, at local midnight, years start on Jan 1st, decades start in years ending in 0, centuries start in years ending in 00, and milleniums start in years ending in 000. All of these definitions are arbitrary.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-03, 06:44 PM
That is not true. The Julian calendar counted the days appropriately (how could it have not? skipped a day, like going from the 3rd to the 5th?), it just used a calendar that was closer to the actual motion of the Earth about the Sun, and that screwed things up as far as the Church was concerned--and farmers would eventually be tending to crops in January. So, they changed to a seasonal calendar instead, and adjusted the calendar so that the seasons were close to the way they were nearer to the birth of Christ
Is 1400 years the same amount of time in the Julian calendar and in the Gregorian calendar?
That's a year count, not a day count, though. As I pointed out, the Julian calendar did a better job of counting revolutions around the Sun.





Since our calendar begins at 1 rather than 0, the former interpretation seems more natural...
It's pretty obvious that a lot of people thought it was more natural to observe the change in millennium at 1/1/2000, so whether it is "natural" or not is a matter of opinion.
Who says they even bothered to count?
Me. I know I did.

swansont
2005-Feb-03, 06:47 PM
Anyone who was thinking that they were right because other people thought the same way [...]
And who might that person be?

Does it matter? They're out there. Just because I quoted you doesn't mean I was responding to you directly - this is a public forum, after all, not a conversation. Though I can't say for sure since it was a year ago, for Pete's sake. If I misunderstood your post, I apologize.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 06:51 PM
Since our calendar begins at 1 rather than 0, the former interpretation seems more natural...
It's pretty obvious that a lot of people thought it was more natural to observe the change in millennium at 1/1/2000, so whether it is "natural" or not is a matter of opinion.
Who says they even bothered to count?
Me. I know I did.
You and who else? You did say "a lot of people".

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 06:54 PM
Does it matter? They're out there. Just because I quoted you doesn't mean I was responding to you directly - this is a public forum, after all, not a conversation. Though I can't say for sure since it was a year ago, for Pete's sake. If I misunderstood your post, I apologize.
Grudging apology accepted.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 06:54 PM
Disinfo:

BTW, you seem to be equating count with calendar.
Sure, doesn't everyone (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=409625#409625)?A calendar is not simply a tally of years -- if it were, there would have been no need for the Gregorian reform. :)

Indeed, the Julian Calendar was used with various counts -- the AD count, the AUC count and the Diocletean count off the top of my head.

Conversely, the AD count has been used with two separate calendars -- Julian and Gregorian.



Are you arguing that we shouldn't care because he never intended his count for that purpose, so we therefore should default to the mistaken use of his count by those who first applied it to a calendar.
No.
I think that what the people who actually started using our current calendar as a calendar intended is much more relevant than what Exiguus intended.The people who set up our calendar -- via the Gregorian reform -- didn't intend anything with the count. They simply picked up the year count that was already in place with the Julian Calendar and applied it to the Gregorian Calendar.

If you have some information that someone else before that changed the count from DE's method with intent, then I'd love to see it. As far as I've been able to tell, the change seems to have been a mistake that might have started with Bede (he's the earliest known to have applied the count to the Julian Calendar). It just seems to have occured and spread through popular assumption.

The only intent that I know of is DE's.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 06:56 PM
Is 1400 years the same amount of time in the Julian calendar and in the Gregorian calendar?
That's a year count, not a day count, though. As I pointed out, the Julian calendar did a better job of counting revolutions around the Sun.
I don't think you've answered my question...

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 07:11 PM
BTW:

You don't refer to Dionysius Exiguus as "Exiguus" -- that's not his last name. It simply means "the minor" or "the little" or "the lesser" or "the short" or "the small" depending on who's translating.

It is common practice to refer to him as Dionysius after the first reference.



Or DE if you're trying to type fast :wink:

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 07:13 PM
Indeed, the Julian Calendar was used with various counts -- the AD count, the AUC count and the Diocletean count off the top of my head.

[...] If you have some information that someone else before that changed the count from DE's method with intent, then I'd love to see it. As far as I've been able to tell, the change seems to have been a mistake that might have started with Bede (he's the earliest known to have applied the count to the Julian Calendar). It just seems to have occured and spread through popular assumption.
So it was Bede, not Dionysius, who began using a calendar with 1 AD as year 1. In other words, Bede was the inventor of the Christian version of the Julian calendar?

P.S.:

Indeed, the Julian Calendar was used with various counts -- the AD count, the AUC count and the Diocletean count off the top of my head.
BTW, it would be interesting to know how years were reckoned in those versions of the Julian calandar that preceded Bede's. This website (http://www.geocities.com/calendopaedia/counting.htm) says:


How were years counted in the past?

The most common method of counting years was to count from the beginning of the rule of the King, Emperor or leader. This system is known as Regnal Years (see below). The Romans counted from the start of the reign of the Emperor or Caesar and reset to one when the next Emperor took over. Alternatively they counted from the founding of Rome. This was indicated by the letters AUC which stood for ab urbe condita. [...]

Regnal years are a method of counting years from the date that the monarch came to the throne. In mediaeval England regnal dates were normally used to date events and documents. They were still used for dating Acts of Parliament until 1963. To take an example King George the 1st was crowned on 1st August 1714. Days from 1st August 1714 to 31st July 1715 inclusive will be in his first regnal year - and so on. So 10th September 1718 was referred to as 10th September 5 George I. That is the 10th September which fell in the 5th year of the reign of George I.
It looks like it was customary to count 1, 2, 3..., not 0:00, 1:00, 2:00...

Edited to improve link.

SeanF
2005-Feb-03, 07:25 PM
Indeed, the Julian Calendar was used with various counts -- the AD count, the AUC count and the Diocletean count off the top of my head.

[...] If you have some information that someone else before that changed the count from DE's method with intent, then I'd love to see it. As far as I've been able to tell, the change seems to have been a mistake that might have started with Bede (he's the earliest known to have applied the count to the Julian Calendar). It just seems to have occured and spread through popular assumption.
So it was Bede, not Dionysius, who began using a calendar with 1 AD as year 1. In other words, Bede was the inventor of the Christian version of the Julian calendar?
I don't know that it really matters who did it. At some point, somebody decided that 753 AUC = 1 BC and 754 AUC = AD 1. That's the system in general use today, and it's got a built-in "starting point" for AD.

And that starting point ain't 1 BC. :)

As ATP pointed out, that doesn't necessarily make everybody else "wrong." But it means that "the new millenium started on Jan 1, 2001" isn't "wrong," either.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 07:38 PM
So it was Bede, not Dionysius, who began using a calendar with 1 AD as year 1. In other words, Bede was the inventor of the Christian version of the Julian calendar?No.

AFAIK, Bede simply is the earliest person known to have referred to the years as AD in his writings. Was he really the first to use the AD convention? Who knows?

He didn't apply the AD numbers to a calendar however -- just referenced the AD years in his writing. "I am writing in Anno Domini xxx..."

It's also not clear whether Bede made the mistake of assuming DE counted ordinally -- or even if that was an issue with him.

AFAIK, it's not known when the AD numbers and "the calendar" got linked -- just that by Bede's time he was using the count for some other purpose than the paschal tables.

As I said, it's not clear when the count got changed from what DE intended.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 07:48 PM
I don't know that it really matters who did it. At some point, somebody decided that 753 AUC = 1 BC and 754 AUC = AD 1. That's the system in general use today, and it's got a built-in "starting point" for AD.Yep, the same way the clock has a built in "starting point" of 1 AM. :wink:

BTW, "BC" came into use centuries after "AD" -- and probably came into use based on the mistaken understanding of what DE did.

But like I said, we have different opinions.

You say the mistake is the difference.
I say the difference is the mistake.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 07:53 PM
Regardless of whether Bede had anything to do with the elaboration of the calendar, personally, you wrote earlier that:


Of course, Dionysius never used BC or AD. As I said at the beginning, he did not create the count for a calendar (and those terms came into use much later). Dionysius and the rest of Christiandom continued to use the old Roman calendar.

Christians -- centuries after Dionysius -- began using his numbers for the calendar.
So it seems that:

1) Dionysius attempted to determine the date of incarnation, but he never actually applied that to the elaboration of a calendar.

2) At the time of Dionysius, and for several years after his death, the old Roman calendar (Julian calendar ab urbe conditae) was used.

3) Then, someone decided to start using a Julian calendar counted from incarnation, or near incarnation. This is the ancestor of our current AD/BC calendar. (*)

If these are the facts we have, I don't think you can assume that people are using Dionysius's calendar "wrongly". You don't know what were the intentions of the people who instated our calendar (more exactly, for the nitpicky, its Julian direct predecessor).

(*) Which was later further modified into the Gregorian calendar.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 08:13 PM
If these are the facts we have, I don't think you can assume that people are using Dionysius's calendar "wrongly". You don't know what were the intentions of the people who instated our calendar

A) They used his count.
B) They used it differently than the way he intended.

Is is possible that the difference was due to intent rather than a mistake?

Yes(*), but as I said above, that would need to be shown.

Until then, we ought go with the only intent that we can establish -- Dionysius'

I'll glady go with our mystery men's intentional change if someone shows me there was intent -- until then, I'm sticking with DE's intent

(*) Though not probable, IMO. If there were intent, it likely would have been stated.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 08:21 PM
A) They used his count.
B) They used it differently than the way he intended.

Is is possible that the difference was due to intent rathter than a mistake?

Yes(*), but as I said above, that would need to be shown.

Until then, we ought go with the only intent that we can establish -- Dionysius'

I'll glady go with our mystery men's intentional change if someone shows me there was intent -- until then, I'm sticking with DE's intent
I cannot agree with this reasoning. Dionysius's supposed intent is not the same as the intent of those who established our calendar. You cannot infer one from the other; they are different things.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 08:36 PM
I cannot agree with this reasoning. Dionysius's supposed intent is not the same as the intent of those who established our calendar. You cannot infer one from the other; they are different things.No, it's not the same and I never said it was. I didn't infer one from the other.

A) We know DE's intent.
B) We don't know the Mystery Men's intent(*).

I'm simply saying it makes sense to go with DE's intent until and unless we establish that the MM made the change with intent.

I've already said that I'll go with the MM's intent over DE's intent -- if it exists.

(*)We don't even know if the change (whether mistake or intent) can be attributed to any one person or group of people.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 08:40 PM
A) We know DE's intent.
B) We don't know the Mystery Men's intent(*).

I'm simply saying it makes sense to go with DE's intent until and unless we establish that the MM made the change with intent.
And I'm saying it doesn't make sense.
If you want to buy your girlfriend some ice cream, but you don't know what flavour she likes, do you ask her brother what flavour he likes, and buy her that flavour?

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-03, 08:49 PM
Since our calendar begins at 1 rather than 0, the former interpretation seems more natural...
It's pretty obvious that a lot of people thought it was more natural to observe the change in millennium at 1/1/2000, so whether it is "natural" or not is a matter of opinion.
Who says they even bothered to count?
Me. I know I did.
You and who else? You did say "a lot of people".
I said that a lot of people thought it was more natural to observe the change on 1/1/2000. I don't think anyone disputes that.

Were you asking if all of them bothered to count? :)



Is 1400 years the same amount of time in the Julian calendar and in the Gregorian calendar?
That's a year count, not a day count, though. As I pointed out, the Julian calendar did a better job of counting revolutions around the Sun.
I don't think you've answered my question...
Seriously, I thought you knew the answer to the question.

As I said before, the Julian calendar is more accurate, from the standpoint of space and astronomy.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 09:08 PM
I said that a lot of people thought it was more natural to observe the change on 1/1/2000. I don't think anyone disputes that.

Were you asking if all of them bothered to count? :)
But of course! :)

You were replying to this post (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=409730#409730), were you not?



Is 1400 years the same amount of time in the Julian calendar and in the Gregorian calendar?
That's a year count, not a day count, though. As I pointed out, the Julian calendar did a better job of counting revolutions around the Sun.
[...]
As I said before, the Julian calendar is more accurate, from the standpoint of space and astronomy.
I was asking about time, not position in space. Anyway, it looks as though swansont was telling me that the answer was yes, earlier (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=409998#409998). Nevermind. It isn't really essential to the matter under discussion.

Edited.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 09:23 PM
If you want to buy your girlfriend some ice cream, but you don't know what flavour she likes, do you ask her brother what flavour he likes, and buy her that flavour?That's a false analogy. Please don't argue via analogy -- it usually does nothing but confuse things.

1) We know how the count was set up.
2) We know it changed.

Until someone establishes that the change was intentional, I prefer to go with the only intent that we are sure of -- Dionysius'

If you prefer to go with the change, that's fine -- just do so knowing that you don't know whether the change was a mistake.

You certainly don't know that you are going with "what the people who actually started using our current calendar as a calendar intended" as you seemed to imply above that you were doing.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-03, 09:31 PM
I said that a lot of people thought it was more natural to observe the change on 1/1/2000. I don't think anyone disputes that.

Were you asking if all of them bothered to count? :)
But of course!

For some people, it is more natural to not count.


You were replying to this post (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=409730#409730), were you not?



Is 1400 years the same amount of time in the Julian calendar and in the Gregorian calendar?
That's a year count, not a day count, though. As I pointed out, the Julian calendar did a better job of counting revolutions around the Sun.
[...]
As I said before, the Julian calendar is more accurate, from the standpoint of space and astronomy.
I was asking about time, not position in space. Anyway, it looks as though swansont was telling me that the answer was yes, earlier (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=409998#409998). Nevermind. It isn't really essential to the matter under discussion.

Edited.
No, swansont wasn't. That response was about day counts, not about year counts.

PS: one thing that is misunderstood, I think, is what the protests were about. People weren't just upset that they had "lost" days--in some cases, they were being charged monthly rents, for a much-less-than-thirty-days month.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-03, 09:35 PM
Disinfo:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seem like our difference can be summed up thus:

I say we should operate like the change was a mistake until we establish that it was intentional.

You say we should operate like the change was intentional until we establish that it was a mistake.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 09:39 PM
That's a false analogy. Please don't argue via analogy -- it usually does nothing but confuse things.

1) We know how the count was set up.
2) We know it changed.
Then please do not confuse Dionysius's "count" with the Christian Julian calendar. His count was begun and finished long before it was ever applied to the calendar.


Until someone establishes that the change was intentional, I prefer to go with the only intent that we are sure of -- Dionysius'
In other words, you prefer to assign stupidity to a whole bunch of people without even bothering to research why they really set up the calendar the way they did.


You certainly don't know that you are going with "what the people who actually started using our current calendar as a calendar intended" as you seemed to imply above that you were doing.
I assume you meant to write that I do not know where I am going with it, but I do. I'm saying that you've claimed over and over that our calendar was based on a mistake -- and used that as a basis for arguing that the "real" millennium started with 2000, as if it mattered -- when in fact you have no way of knowing that. You're just guessing.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-03, 09:45 PM
Until someone establishes that the change was intentional, I prefer to go with the only intent that we are sure of -- Dionysius'
In other words, you prefer to assign stupidity to a whole bunch of people without even bothering to research why they really set up the calendar the way they did.
Are you saying Dionysius was stupid?


I assume you meant to write that I do not know where I am going with it, but I do. I'm saying that you've claimed over and over that our calendar was based on a mistake -- and used that as a basis for arguing that the "real" millennium started with 2000, as if it mattered -- when in fact you have no way of knowing that. You're just guessing.
Sometime over the next two weeks I'm going to go back through this year-long thread and figure out what you mean by mistake, but in the meantime, I'll just say it wasn't a mistake, and the millennium started 1/1/2000. That's my opinion, I've backed it up. Please don't call me stupid.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 09:55 PM
Are you saying Dionysius was stupid?
No. Why do you ask?


Sometime over the next two weeks I'm going to go back through this year-long thread and figure out what you mean by mistake, but in the meantime, I'll just say it wasn't a mistake, and the millennium started 1/1/2000.
You needn't bother. It isn't very far away (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=409988#409988).

SeanF
2005-Feb-03, 10:02 PM
If you want to buy your girlfriend some ice cream, but you don't know what flavour she likes, do you ask her brother what flavour he likes, and buy her that flavour?That's a false analogy. Please don't argue via analogy -- it usually does nothing but confuse things.
Hey, quit talking about clocks, then! ;)


1) We know how the count was set up.
2) We know it changed.

Until someone establishes that the change was intentional, I prefer to go with the only intent that we are sure of -- Dionysius'
Just out of curiosity, can you provide a cite for Dionysius' intention?

That is, how do we know that he intended the start to be the year before AD 1?

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-03, 10:08 PM
Sometime over the next two weeks I'm going to go back through this year-long thread and figure out what you mean by mistake, but in the meantime, I'll just say it wasn't a mistake, and the millennium started 1/1/2000.
You needn't bother. It isn't very far away (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=409988#409988).
Oh, and in case you're still wondering about the "over and over" bit, here's another one (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=410020#410020), and another (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=410066#410066).
Do three instances suffice?

Ilya
2005-Feb-03, 10:55 PM
January 1st, 2000.

The FIRST Century had only 99 years.

At least that's my take.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-04, 12:43 AM
Then please do not confuse Dionysius's "count" with the Christian Julian calendar. His count was begun and finished long before it was ever applied to the calendar.It's the same count. The question is whether it was applied correctly.

His count never "finished."


In other words, you prefer to assign stupidity to a whole bunch of people without even bothering to research why they really set up the calendar the way they did.

I have researched this. I also have discussed this with calendar experts and historians. The answer to who made the change and why doesn't seem to be out there.

I am being quite open minded and entertaining your improbable suggestion that maybe, just maybe, the change occured through intent rather than a mistake.

Got it? There are two options.

A) Mistake -- which I believe is the case.
B) Intentional -- which I'm entertaining but which seems very improbable.

I've even said that I'll change my mind if I get some evidence of that intent.


I'm saying that you've claimed over and over that our calendar was based on a mistake -- and used that as a basis for arguing that the "real" millennium started with 2000

Actually, I'm more interested in showing that there is little basis for insisting on 2001.

And unless someone give me evidence to support your improbable suggestion that someone intentionally changed the count, then I'll stand my assertion that it was a mistake.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-04, 12:57 AM
Hey, quit talking about clocks, then! ;)The clock example wasn't an analogy. It was an example to show that we sometimes count time the way I say DE did.


Just out of curiosity, can you provide a cite for Dionysius' intention?

That is, how do we know that he intended the start to be the year before AD 1? That comes from a review of his tables.

He was working with a 532-year cycle. He began a cycle in a year that he called 532. Therefore, the cycle that preceded it was 1 BC to 531 AD.

No, as far as I know, he never said "I shall count this way." :)

SeanF
2005-Feb-04, 01:10 AM
Just out of curiosity, can you provide a cite for Dionysius' intention?

That is, how do we know that he intended the start to be the year before AD 1? That comes from a review of his tables.

He was working with a 532-year cycle. He began a cycle in a year that he called 532. Therefore, the cycle that preceded it was 1 BC to 531 AD.

No, as far as I know, he never said "I shall count this way." :)
Ooh, I hope you've got more than that.

Did he at least ever specifically say that the year before AD 1 was the year of the incarnation, or is that just a conclusion that comes from the 532-year cycle coming starting before AD 1?

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-04, 01:23 AM
Ooh, I hope you've got more than that.

Did he at least ever specifically say that the year before AD 1 was the year of the incarnation, or is that just a conclusion that comes from the 532-year cycle coming starting before AD 1?Well, of course he never said that. He didn't think in ADs and BCs.

He did say that he was measuring from incarnation, and lots of people assume he thus set it in 1AD -- but that makes no sense when you consider the 532 cycles.

Not to raise an "ad populum" argument, but I'm not alone on this -- and I'm certainly not the first one to suggest this is what he did.

Look at this Google search, and you'll see that it is quite common to understand that he set incarnation/birth in 753 AUC (which is 1 BC)

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=%22dionysius+exiguus%22+753&btn G=Search

SeanF
2005-Feb-04, 01:47 AM
Ooh, I hope you've got more than that.

Did he at least ever specifically say that the year before AD 1 was the year of the incarnation, or is that just a conclusion that comes from the 532-year cycle coming starting before AD 1?Well, of course he never said that. He didn't think in ADs and BCs.

He did say that he was measuring from incarnation, and lots of people assume he thus set it in 1AD -- but that makes no sense when you consider the 532 cycles.

Not to raise an "ad populum" argument, but I'm not alone on this -- and I'm certainly not the first one to suggest this is what he did.

Look at this Google search, and you'll see that it is quite common to understand that he set incarnation/birth in 753 AUC (which is 1 BC)

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=%22dionysius+exiguus%22+753&btn G=Search
Okay, let's look at this. The 532-year cycle is actually a combination of two cycles.

There's the 19-year lunar cycle. If today's a full moon, 19 years from today will be a full moon.

Then there's the 28-year calendar cycle. If today's a Monday, 28 years from today will be a Monday.

Combine them, and you get the full 532-year cycle. If today's a Monday with a full moon, 532 years from today will be a Monday with a full moon.

1500 years ago, this would be done with tables, so that's no doubt what Dionysius did. But he wouldn't make a 532-table system. He'd make two sets - a 28-table set and a 19-table set. To find the appropriate date for Easter for a given year, he would just need to figure out which table in each of the two sets apply to the year in question.

So, how does he do that? Dividing the year by 28 and looking at the remainder will tell you what table to use in the first set, by 19 for the second set. The trouble is . . . dividing by 28 gives you a remainder between 0 and 27, but, as we've already discussed, Dionysius didn't know nothing 'bout no zeroes. He's not going to number his tables 0 to 27, he's going to number them 1 to 28.

So, the calculation is to take the remainder and add one. That way, he gets 1 to 28 and 1 to 19, by which he identifies the tables.

Doing that with 532 and 28 gives 1, 532 and 19 gives 1 - the first tables. 531 gives 28 and 19 - the last tables. That is most likely why 531 was identified as the end of a cycle, and 532 the start. The fact that year 1 uses tables numbered 2 is incidental - the cycle is for calculating, not reverence.

Now, granted, it would be possible for Dionysius to just replace the 0 remainders with 28 and 19. But assuming that means that Dionysius effectively created the concept of a year 0 all on his own.

I'm thinking the intent of Dionysius is not quite as cut and dried as it's been presented . . .

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-04, 02:22 AM
But he wouldn't make a 532-table system. He'd make two sets - a 28-table set and a 19-table set.Even if so, he was aware of the 532 cycle -- and tied it to his year count.
The cycle is for calculating, not reverence.It was for both. There was no other reason to link the tables to incarnation. He could have just started them with 1.

And remember he linked it to incarnation -- but was calculating for resurection.


But assuming that means that Dionysius effectively created the concept of a year 0 all on his own.No, it is possible to count this way without a zero -- we do it every day with the standard clock.

The zero really matters only if you are counting ordinally. DE needed only a starting point.

start <--753 AUC (1 BC)--> tally-1 <--753 AUC (AD 1)--> tally-2

The Romans measured distance without a zero the same way.

start <--1st mile --> tally-1 <--2nd mile --> tally-2

R.A.F.
2005-Feb-04, 02:32 AM
For the "record". This is another one of those threads that I wish I had never started. #-o

SeanF
2005-Feb-04, 03:49 AM
But he wouldn't make a 532-table system. He'd make two sets - a 28-table set and a 19-table set.Even if so, he was aware of the 532 cycle -- and tied it to his year count.
The cycle is for calculating, not reverence.It was for both.
You're assuming that.


There was no other reason to link the tables to incarnation. He could have just started them with 1.

And remember he linked it to incarnation -- but was calculating for resurection.
No, he didn't link the cycle to the incarnation. He linked the years to the incarnation - Anno Domino, the Year of our Lord, 1 was the year of the incarnation.

532 was the first year of the cycle because the calculations put it on the first tables.



But assuming that means that Dionysius effectively created the concept of a year 0 all on his own.No, it is possible to count this way without a zero -- we do it every day with the standard clock.
But we have a number - it's 12. We don't say, "There's a whole hour before one o'clock, but we don't have a name for it."

You claim that Dionysius said, "There's a whole year in the count before 1, and it's actually the year that Christ was born - but I don't have a name for it.

I still think the possibility I raised is a little more plausible.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-04, 05:11 AM
You're assuming that.No I'm not. You're just arguing that I'm wrong to count back 532 years to 1BC/753 ACU.

Once again (not to to raise an ad populum) what I did is not unique and is relatively well accepted as valid.


No, he didn't link the cycle to the incarnation. He linked the years to the incarnation ... and then he used those years to keep track of the cycle, which links the incarnation to the cycles.

C'mon, you're being willfuly obtuse :)

If he had started his 2nd Great Paschal Period with any number besides 532, then this wouldn't be an issue.


532 was the first year of the cycle because the calculations put it on the first tables.No, the starting number was his choice and not based on any calculation related to the paschal tables
(regardless of whether you can create calcuations that eventually point to AD 1).

The choice of starting year was subject to whatever whim struck his fancy.

A) He could have used then in-use Diocletian Count, but rejected that option because he didn't want to honor Emperor Diocletian whom he saw as a persecutor of Christians.

B) He could have used 1.

C) Heck, he could have counted the roaches in his gruel and used whatever number they added up to.

D) He decided to count years from incarnation.


But we have a number - it's 12. We don't say, "There's a whole hour before one o'clock, but we don't have a name for it."

You claim that Dionysius said, "There's a whole year in the count before 1, and it's actually the year that Christ was born - but I don't have a name for it.I claimed nothing of the sort. He may have called it "Billy Bob" for all I know.

I'm simply saying that the "532 issue" points to 1 BC -- and whether he had a name for it does not change that fact.

In any event, how many years old is a child between birth and first birthday? We don't say "she's zero years." But we also don't have a term to express the non-years. The lack of a term does not stop us from using the same method that I'm saying DE used.

Actually he did have a name for the year -- 753 AUC.

Look at it this way.

Kid is born in 1965.

1965 -- no term used to express age in years
1966 -- 1 year old
1967 -- 2 years old.

753 AUC -- incarnation, but no term used to express it in years
754 AUC -- 1 year from incarnation
755 AUC -- 2 years from incarnation.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-04, 09:23 AM
Are you saying Dionysius was stupid?
No. Why do you ask?


Sometime over the next two weeks I'm going to go back through this year-long thread and figure out what you mean by mistake, but in the meantime, I'll just say it wasn't a mistake, and the millennium started 1/1/2000.
You needn't bother. It isn't very far away (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=409988#409988).
Thanks for finding that for me. I would have found it eventually. :)

It's not a matter of stupidity. Just because there is a differrence of opinion, doesn't mean the other side is stupid.

For instance, I can count, but for some reason, a lot of people just assume that anyone who has the opposite opinion can't count.


You claim that Dionysius said, "There's a whole year in the count before 1, and it's actually the year that Christ was born - but I don't have a name for it.

I still think the possibility I raised is a little more plausible.
It's fairly well known that he did place the birth in the year that we call 1BC. (Questionning the Millennium, Stephen Jay Gould) Is that what you are meaning?

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-04, 10:19 AM
Thanks for finding that for me. I would have found it eventually. :)

It's not a matter of stupidity. Just because there is a differrence of opinion, doesn't mean the other side is stupid.
Maybe you should tell that to SeanOberle. He's the one who's assuming that our calendar was based on a "mistake" without any real evidence to show for it. :lol:

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-04, 10:31 AM
Thanks for finding that for me. I would have found it eventually. :)

It's not a matter of stupidity. Just because there is a differrence of opinion, doesn't mean the other side is stupid.
Maybe you should tell that to SeanOberle. He's the one who's assuming that our calendar was based on a "mistake" without any real evidence to show for it. :lol:
I guess I did (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=410346#410346), I said there was no mistake. It's just a matter of opinion.

Now, tell swansont I can count.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-04, 10:48 AM
I guess I did (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=410346#410346), I said there was no mistake.
A reply to me is supposed to be something you told SeanOberle? :lol:

Fram
2005-Feb-04, 10:55 AM
I know the millenium started at 1 january 2001.
I voted 2000 though. There should be a year zero, and there is no reason at all (logically) why there isn't one.
I will stay out of most of this discussion, but I have seen people make the mixup between a number and a count. It's not because something is the 2nd that it can not be numbered 1. So the year 0 is the 1st year, etc. Like in a person's life, you start as well with a year zero. When do you celebrate a centenarian? The day he or she becomes 100, not 101.

I think we just need a new reckoning of the years, as has been suggested before. And then, please do use a year zero as well, it will make everybody's life much easier. The point of debate will of course be the starting point of a new reckoning...

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-04, 12:39 PM
Maybe you should tell that to SeanOberle. He's the one who's assuming that our calendar was based on a "mistake" without any real evidence to show for it. :lol:

In fairness to me, I think it is important to note that I have acknowledged and have not dismissed Disino Agent's improbable hypothesis of intent. I have been very fair on the matter and I have been very open minded.

Based on what I have seen/read/researched, yes, I believe the change was due to a mistake.

Is that my opinion? Yes, but I'm not simply pulling it out of my elbow willy nilly.

Is there a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny possibiltiy that someone might, just might, have made the change on purpose? Yes, but I find it improbable base on the fact that there is no evidence of intent. Therefore, I believe it that a mistake occurred.

There are only two possibilities: mistake or intent. Occam's razor points to mistake.

farmerjumperdon
2005-Feb-04, 02:04 PM
I say go with 2 zeroes on the timeline. That way the space on the timeline between the 2 zeroes can be called year 0. The year before the 1st zero is -1 BC. The year after the second xero is 1 AD. Adjust historical records for everything that happened before the second zero (most people seem to have no problem with revisionist history), and voila! All fixed!

SeanF
2005-Feb-04, 02:13 PM
You're assuming that.No I'm not. You're just arguing that I'm wrong to count back 532 years to 1BC/753 ACU.
That's not what I'm arguing. I'm arguing that counting back 532 years to 1BC/753 ACU is not the only "right" thing to do.


If he had started his 2nd Great Paschal Period with any number besides 532, then this wouldn't be an issue.
But that's exactly my point. I'm arguing that there are logical, mathematical reasons to start the GPP at 532 regardless of whether 1 was designated the year of the incarnation, the year after the incarnation, or the year before the incarnation. Therefore, the fact that he did start the GPP at 532 does not mean that 1 was the year after the incarnation.




You claim that Dionysius said, "There's a whole year in the count before 1, and it's actually the year that Christ was born - but I don't have a name for it.

I still think the possibility I raised is a little more plausible.
It's fairly well known that he did place the birth in the year that we call 1BC. (Questionning the Millennium, Stephen Jay Gould) Is that what you are meaning?
But according to Mr. Oberle, Dionysius never said, "The incarnation was the year before AD 1." It's simply an extrapolation from the fact that he did say, "The new GPP starts with AD 532."

I am merely arguing that that's not the only extrapolation one can make from that statement.

If Gould (or you) has any other evidence that 1 BC was the year Dionysius identified as the incarnation, I'd be interested in hearing it. :)

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-04, 04:45 PM
If Gould (or you) has any other evidence that 1 BC was the year Dionysius identified as the incarnation, I'd be interested in hearing it. :)
Gould, in his book (p.106), says: "He reckoned Jesus' birth ad December 25, near the end of year 753 A.U.C. (ab urbe condita, or "from the foundation of the city," that is, of Rome). Dionysius then restarted time just a few days later on January 1, 754 A.U.C.--not Christ's birth, but the feast of the circumsion on his eighth day of life, and also, not coincidentally, New Year's Day in Roman and Latin Christian calendars."

When this has come up before, as I remember, sources to the contrary were always secondary and had just assumed.

SeanF
2005-Feb-04, 05:11 PM
If Gould (or you) has any other evidence that 1 BC was the year Dionysius identified as the incarnation, I'd be interested in hearing it. :)
Gould, in his book (p.106), says: "He reckoned Jesus' birth ad December 25, near the end of year 753 A.U.C. (ab urbe condita, or "from the foundation of the city," that is, of Rome). Dionysius then restarted time just a few days later on January 1, 754 A.U.C.--not Christ's birth, but the feast of the circumsion on his eighth day of life, and also, not coincidentally, New Year's Day in Roman and Latin Christian calendars."

When this has come up before, as I remember, sources to the contrary were always secondary and had just assumed.
Interesting. But Gould is really secondary himself, isn't he? I was hoping for something like, "Dionysius said, 'Yada yada yada,'" rather than simply "Dionysius said that yada yada yada."

We've got people here who can do the latter . . . :)

(And even if what Gould said Dionysius wrote above is correct, why the assumption that he [Dionysius] didn't intend for the counting to start on Jan 1 754 AUC?)

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-04, 05:26 PM
(And even if what Gould said Dionysius wrote above is correct, why the assumption that he [Dionysius] didn't intend for the counting to start on Jan 1 754 AUC?)
As I said before, Gould comes down on the 1/1/2000 side. One of the reasons is kinda bizarre, but...he does spend a whole book on the subject of the millennia.

The millennial madness is part of the reason for the determination of this calendar anyway--folk were convinced that the end of the world would occur at a fixed number of millennia. And other important dates occurred at the millennial junctures. So, they wanted to keep track.

swansont
2005-Feb-05, 03:25 PM
If you decide that starting the count at 1 BC is correct, you've just shifted the problem. Now the first millenium BC starts goes from 1002 BC to 2 BC.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-05, 05:53 PM
If you decide that starting the count at 1 BC is correct, you've just shifted the problem. Now the first millenium BC starts goes from 1002 BC to 2 BC.
Did you mean 1001 BC to 2 BC? :)

Stephen Jay Gould says he wrote his book not to be petty or argumentative, but to understand and help others understand the whole issue of millennial madness--in which he seemed to include the furious defense of ones own incontrovertible opinion.

mopc
2005-Feb-05, 09:11 PM
It began on 2000. The guy who invented this calender didnt have a zero back then, so he called the first year year 1. He never bother to specify whether the previous year was minus one, the concept of negative numbers was not very popular among 9th century Scythian monks, and zero didnt exist.

So when zero was adopted by Europe, they should have called the year before 1AC year zero.

Either that or I totally dont know what Im talking about!!!!! 8-[

HypersonicMan
2005-Feb-06, 07:28 AM
Since calendars are inherently arbitrary, but I say we at least try to base one on as meaningful a starting point as possible. And what could be more important than the beginning of the Universe? So, I porpose a new calendar based on the WMAP (http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/m_mm/mr_age.html) results. Since we can't get all the significant digits, we'll have to fudge it a little, so let's reference the last digit off of the year the spacecraft was launched. And to clear up any future confusion as to when one defines terms like "millenium," "decade," and "Greatest hits of the "X0's, (X+1)0's, and (X+2)0's!!!" I'll define Jan. 1, 0 00:00:00UTC as the moment of creation.

So today would be:

Feburary 6, 13700000004

We'll all need bigger checks, I suppose, but they do make those big ones for things like sweepstakes and celebrity donations you see on TV all the time, so the technology certainly exists for that sort of thing.

Glad to clear that right up for everyone...

Gillianren
2005-Feb-08, 03:47 AM
here's what I'm failing to understand about the whole Paschal debate. now, I'm not dumb, so I'm sure I'm just missing something, but why on Earth was he starting a Paschal count from the incarnation in the first place?

no, I'm going somewhere w/this. namely, my nine years of Catholic Sunday school. I learned (oh, gods almighty, I learned enough to lose the faith) that the word "Paschal" refers to Easter, and therefore the Resurrection. which, no matter how you look at it, was decades after whichever date you like for the start of the calendar. so why does it matter whether he was counting from AD 1 or 1 BC?

on a similar point, here's my problem w/using CE and BCE--it's a euphemism, really, because aren't you using the same count? I mean, what you are saying is that the Common Era dates from the miscalculated date of the Incarnation, which I'm sure will be a great surprise to the Mayans and the Japanese, just to throw out a couple of examples.

further, when humans had the opportunity to conclusively start a new calendar, they started w/Year One. not zero. according to the French Revolutionary calendar, and there's no denying that the French knew about zero in the 18th Century, the Revolution happened in Year One. so the second decade (which I'm pretty sure their calendar didn't reach, but hey) would have started in the Year Eleven. no one wants to live in the Year Zero; we don't naturally count from it. that's why I voted January 1, 2001.

Fram
2005-Feb-08, 10:00 AM
I want to live in the year zero. I celebrated 01/01/00, not so much 01/01/01 (although that looks nice as well :-) ). It would have been fun to celebrate 00/00/00, but that's something else again...
I don't know why the French revolution started at the year 1, but they have made more mistakes than this alone (but I'll not discuss that here, as that might well turn into politics).

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-08, 02:40 PM
But according to Mr. Oberle, Dionysius never said, "The incarnation was the year before AD 1." It's simply an extrapolation from the fact that he did say, "The new GPP starts with AD 532."

I am merely arguing that that's not the only extrapolation one can make from that statement. I suppose your extrapolation is a tiny bit plausible (abeit highly improbable).

However, it fails on the fact that DE gave a reason why he decided not to use the then-in-use Diocletian count. It was not because the math pointed to using 532, but simply because he didn't like Diocletian. Thus he opted to count from incarnation.

But is is possible that DE also employed the somewhat convoluted formula you used to land on AD 1? Yes, it is barely plausible. But Occam's Razor points to my extrapolation.


Gould, in his book (p.106), says: "He reckoned Jesus' birth ad December 25, near the end of year 753 A.U.C. (ab urbe condita, or "from the foundation of the city," that is, of Rome). Dionysius then restarted time just a few days later on January 1, 754 A.U.C.--not Christ's birth, but the feast of the circumsion on his eighth day of life, and also, not coincidentally, New Year's Day in Roman and Latin Christian calendars." There is no historical evidence that DE pointed to Christ's circumcision. As far as I can tell, the circumcision theory was just plucked out of air by someone and has been repeated by Gould (and others). Besides, DE said "incarnation," not "nativity." Given DE's station within the Church (and his other job as a translator) it would be highly unlikely that he would say "incarnation" when he meant birth.


I learned (oh, gods almighty, I learned enough to lose the faith) that the word "Paschal" refers to Easter, and therefore the Resurrection. which, no matter how you look at it, was decades after whichever date you like for the start of the calendar. so why does it matter whether he was counting from AD 1 or 1 BC?Yes, I agree that counting from the first Easter would have made more sense. Dionysius didn't -- it's as simple as that. He said he was counting from incarnation.


further, when humans had the opportunity to conclusively start a new calendar, they started w/Year One. not zero.Bingo! You've zeroed in on the crux of the confusion. Dionysius was not creating a calendar, so we cannot assume his count worked like other counts created for calendars.

In a vacuum, before looking at the historical evidence, it is equally plausible that DE's count was either ordinal or cardinal.

When you look at the historical evidence, it points to the latter -- that he was counting the way we count ages or hours, with 1 applying after the first unit is done and while the 2nd unit is occuring.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-08, 02:56 PM
further, when humans had the opportunity to conclusively start a new calendar, they started w/Year One. not zero. according to the French Revolutionary calendar, and there's no denying that the French knew about zero in the 18th Century, the Revolution happened in Year One. so the second decade (which I'm pretty sure their calendar didn't reach, but hey) would have started in the Year Eleven. no one wants to live in the Year Zero; we don't naturally count from it. that's why I voted January 1, 2001.
I'd never looked at that aspect of the Revolutionary calendar, but when I googled it, the first few sites had nothing. In fact, this date converter (http://www.anthropoetics.ucla.edu/scripts/frrev.htm) gives an error if you try to convert any date before Sep. 22, 1792. Surely, they made some sort of allowance for historical dates?

If you use the simple formula (YEAR-1791) for September 22s, then Sep. 22, 1791 would be Primidi 1 Vendémiaire Year 0

PS:

here's what I'm failing to understand about the whole Paschal debate. now, I'm not dumb, so I'm sure I'm just missing something, but why on Earth was he starting a Paschal count from the incarnation in the first place?
That's related to the whole millennial madness stuff. People have been doing this for ... millennia.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-08, 03:29 PM
here's what I'm failing to understand about the whole Paschal debate. now, I'm not dumb, so I'm sure I'm just missing something, but why on Earth was he starting a Paschal count from the incarnation in the first place?
That's related to the whole millennial madness stuff. People have been doing this for ... millennia. Well, I wouldn't attribute the "millennial madness" stuff to Dionysius. That occured about 475-ish years after he did his work. There is no evidence that DE was afflicted with end-of-the-world-itis.

And I certainly hope that nobody here thinks this stuff matters to me as anything except an historical/intellectual curiosity.

OTOH, the most bizarre theory for what DE did comes from Sepp Rothwangl of Austria. Sepp thinks DE was really concocting a nefarious conspiracy related to a planetary alignment that occurred May 5, 2000. (fnord?)

Sepp's English-language page: http://www.calendersign.ric.at/en/

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-08, 04:43 PM
here's what I'm failing to understand about the whole Paschal debate. now, I'm not dumb, so I'm sure I'm just missing something, but why on Earth was he starting a Paschal count from the incarnation in the first place?
That's related to the whole millennial madness stuff. People have been doing this for ... millennia. Well, I wouldn't attribute the "millennial madness" stuff to Dionysius. That occured about 475-ish years after he did his work. There is no evidence that DE was afflicted with end-of-the-world-itis.
Millennial madness is identified with apocalypticism for various reasons, but it doesn't have to occur just at the 1000 year marks of our calendar. Gould mentions (p.81) that the first popular version was in the third century--predicting the end of the world a couple hundred years later. Dionysius did his good work even much later. Counting the "right" number of years during the perceived eras was important, whether or not the end of the world was imminent.

Gould even mentions the apocalypticism that resulted in the massacre at Wounded Knee, over a hundred years ago.

SeanF
2005-Feb-08, 05:00 PM
here's what I'm failing to understand about the whole Paschal debate. now, I'm not dumb, so I'm sure I'm just missing something, but why on Earth was he starting a Paschal count from the incarnation in the first place?
Actually, I think that serves to help my suggestion. He wasn't counting the Paschal period from the incarnation, he was just numbering the years starting with the incarnation. The Paschal Period starts in AD 532 solely because of the math.



But according to Mr. Oberle, Dionysius never said, "The incarnation was the year before AD 1." It's simply an extrapolation from the fact that he did say, "The new GPP starts with AD 532."

I am merely arguing that that's not the only extrapolation one can make from that statement. I suppose your extrapolation is a tiny bit plausible (abeit highly improbable).

However, it fails on the fact that DE gave a reason why he decided not to use the then-in-use Diocletian count. It was not because the math pointed to using 532, but simply because he didn't like Diocletian. Thus he opted to count from incarnation.

But is is possible that DE also employed the somewhat convoluted formula you used to land on AD 1? Yes, it is barely plausible. But Occam's Razor points to my extrapolation.
I disagree with your last statement, but I don't think you fully understand my extrapolation.

I didn't suggest that DE used any formula or method to "land on" AD 1. I'm suggesting that he started with AD 1.

If he had used the Diocletian count, he would have started a new GPP in Anno Diocletius 532 (or a multiple of it). If he had used the AUC count, he would have started a new GPP in AUC 532 (or a multiple of it). In neither case would the GPP have started 532 years after the incarnation (or resurrection), but I'm suggesting that wasn't his point.

He didn't start the GPP in AD 532 because it was 532 years after anything important (incarnation or resurrection or anything else), he started the GPP in AD 532 because it made it easy to calculate Easter for a given year.



Gould, in his book (p.106), says: "He reckoned Jesus' birth ad December 25, near the end of year 753 A.U.C. (ab urbe condita, or "from the foundation of the city," that is, of Rome). Dionysius then restarted time just a few days later on January 1, 754 A.U.C.--not Christ's birth, but the feast of the circumsion on his eighth day of life, and also, not coincidentally, New Year's Day in Roman and Latin Christian calendars." There is no historical evidence that DE pointed to Christ's circumcision. As far as I can tell, the circumcision theory was just plucked out of air by someone and has been repeated by Gould (and others). Besides, DE said "incarnation," not "nativity." Given DE's station within the Church (and his other job as a translator) it would be highly unlikely that he would say "incarnation" when he meant birth.
Just wanted to note a mistaken attribution - ATP quoted Gould, not me. :)

But I would like to ask, since you seem to know . . . what exactly did Dionysius say?

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-08, 05:49 PM
If he had used the Diocletian count, he would have started a new GPP in Anno Diocletius 532 (or a multiple of it).

No, his tables were for use just a few years after he did them. If he had used the Diocletian count, he would started them at 248. (AD 532 = Diocletian 248).

He considered doing this and rejected it. His stated reason for rejecting the Diocletian count has nothing to do with your theory, but simply because he didn't like what Diocletian did to early Christians.


He didn't start the GPP in AD 532 because it was 532 years after anything important (incarnation or resurrection or anything else)

Yes he did! He said so!


...he started the GPP in AD 532 because it made it easy to calculate Easter for a given year.

No it doesn't. It doesn't matter what number you start with.

He could have started with Diocletian 248 (= AD 532), and his charts would have been equally easy to use/calculate.

In fact, what he did made the tables slightly harder to use. The Diocletian count was the calendar-count in use, but he expected people to use some new count that was not in common use.

If his goal was ease of use/calculation, he presumably would have started with 1 not 532.


But I would like to ask, since you seem to know . . . what exactly did Dionysius say?The most common translation of what he wrote (in his letter to Bishop Petronius on the matter) is --

"I have been unwilling to connect our cycle with the name of an impious persecutor, but have chosen rather to note the years from the incarnation of Jesus Christ to the end that the commencement of our hope might be better known to us and that the cause of man's restoration, namely, our Redeemer's passion, might appear with clearer evidence."

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-08, 06:11 PM
Millennial madness is identified with apocalypticism for various reasons, but it doesn't have to occur just at the 1000 year marks of our calendar. Nonetheless, there's no evidence that DE was afflicted with that mindset, no matter if you call it "millennial madness" or "apocalypticism." :)

SeanF
2005-Feb-08, 07:09 PM
If he had used the Diocletian count, he would have started a new GPP in Anno Diocletius 532 (or a multiple of it).
No, his tables were for use just a few years after he did them. If he had used the Diocletian count, he would started them at 248. (AD 532 = Diocletian 248).
Wait - he knew there was a 532-year cycle, but instead of building the 57 tables necessary to continue ad infinitum, he just did a few years? Why would he do that?


He considered doing this and rejected it. His stated reason for rejecting the Diocletian count has nothing to do with your theory, but simply because he didn't like what Diocletian did to early Christians.
My theory doesn't much care why he rejected the Diocletian count. It's totally irrelevent. It's even irrelevent that he did reject the Diocletian count.



He didn't start the GPP in AD 532 because it was 532 years after anything important (incarnation or resurrection or anything else)
Yes he did! He said so!
See note below.



...he started the GPP in AD 532 because it made it easy to calculate Easter for a given year.

No it doesn't. It doesn't matter what number you start with.

He could have started with Diocletian 248 (= AD 532), and his charts would have been equally easy to use/calculate.
Not true at all. I showed that in my post above. The year 532 is either going to be the last year in the tables (if you're willing to deal with tables identified by 0) or the first year in the tables (if you're not). Using any other year makes the calculation slightly more difficult. It certainly makes them less meaningful.


If his goal was ease of use/calculation, he presumably would have started with 1 not 532.
He wanted to identify the year 1 with the Incarnation - I'm not doubting that. I think he wanted the cycle to begin at a point that allows for easy calculations - 532.



But I would like to ask, since you seem to know . . . what exactly did Dionysius say?The most common translation of what he wrote (in his letter to Bishop Petronius on the matter) is --

"I have been unwilling to connect our cycle with the name of an impious persecutor, but have chosen rather to note the years from the incarnation of Jesus Christ to the end that the commencement of our hope might be better known to us and that the cause of man's restoration, namely, our Redeemer's passion, might appear with clearer evidence."
"Note the years," yes. I agree that he counted the years from the Incarnation. What did he say about which year was the Incarnation, and which year was the first in the cycle?

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-08, 08:07 PM
If he had used the Diocletian count, he would have started a new GPP in Anno Diocletius 532 (or a multiple of it).
No, his tables were for use just a few years after he did them. If he had used the Diocletian count, he would started them at 248. (AD 532 = Diocletian 248).
Wait - he knew there was a 532-year cycle, but instead of building the 57 tables necessary to continue ad infinitum, he just did a few years? Why would he do that?No, I meant that his tables were for use starting in just a few years after he did them. Thus starting them at Diocletian 532 would have rendered tables not useful for centuries. He was working in circa Diocletian 241 (circa AD 526).

He intended his charts for indefinite use -- althought he only calculated about 90 years and expected others to figure subsequent years (which they did).

Edited to add: 57 tables? You're dealing with a combination of a cycle that runs 19 years (moons) and another runs 28 years (weekdays on which dates occur).


My theory doesn't much care why he rejected the Diocletian count. It's totally irrelevent. It's even irrelevent that he did reject the Diocletian count.

Well regardless of what your theory cares about, the Diocletian issue works to disprove your theory. :)

You hypothosize that he chose 532 for an alleged ease-of-use reason (which actually makes using the charts harder ... see below).

He said he chose 532 for another reason.



No it doesn't. It doesn't matter what number you start with.

He could have started with Diocletian 248 (= AD 532), and his charts would have been equally easy to use/calculate.
Not true at all. I showed that in my post above. The year 532 is either going to be the last year in the tables (if you're willing to deal with tables identified by 0) or the first year in the tables (if you're not).

No. Before Dionysius, there were paschal tables that simply used the calendar years. Those calendar-year designations were not tied to the 532 count at all. He changed from this.

By swithing from this method, he made using paschal tables more convoluted. Instead of simply looking at the table to find out when Easter occured in Diocletian 321, you had to remember/figure that Diocletian 321 = 605 ab incarnatione Iesu Christi and then look at the item associated with 605.


I think he wanted the cycle to begin at a point that allows for easy calculations - 532. The year designation is irrellevant to the calculations.

He didn't even have to designate the years with numbers. He could have used 532 different types of animals to designate the years -- or perhaps a combination of 19 animals and 28 plants.

He could -- and my opinion should -- have left things the way they were. Use the calendar year (Diocletian) to identify the year.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-08, 09:42 PM
Millennial madness is identified with apocalypticism for various reasons, but it doesn't have to occur just at the 1000 year marks of our calendar. Nonetheless, there's no evidence that DE was afflicted with that mindset, no matter if you call it "millennial madness" or "apocalypticism." :)
Except for his basic Catholicism, of course. :)


He could -- and my opinion should -- have left things the way they were. Use the calendar year (Diocletian) to identify the year.
There are some accounts that say he just didn't want to honor someone who persecuted those of his faith, but that ends up being a chicken and egg sort of thing.

SeanF
2005-Feb-08, 10:02 PM
Edited to add: 57 tables? You're dealing with a combination of a cycle that runs 19 years (moons) and another runs 28 years (weekdays on which dates occur).
#-o I plead typo. I meant 47.



My theory doesn't much care why he rejected the Diocletian count. It's totally irrelevent. It's even irrelevent that he did reject the Diocletian count.
Well regardless of what your theory cares about, the Diocletian issue works to disprove your theory. :)
No, it doesn't. My theory does not in any way hinge on whether he chose to "use or lose" Diocletian. It wouldn't make any difference.


You hypothosize that he chose 532 for an alleged ease-of-use reason (which actually makes using the charts harder ... see below).

He said he chose 532 for another reason.
So you keep saying. Again, I ask, what exactly did he say? The quote you gave a couple posts above doesn't say that.




No it doesn't. It doesn't matter what number you start with.

He could have started with Diocletian 248 (= AD 532), and his charts would have been equally easy to use/calculate.
Not true at all. I showed that in my post above. The year 532 is either going to be the last year in the tables (if you're willing to deal with tables identified by 0) or the first year in the tables (if you're not).
No. Before Dionysius, there were paschal tables that simply used the calendar years. Those calendar-year designations were not tied to the 532 count at all. He changed from this.

By swithing from this method, he made using paschal tables more convoluted. Instead of simply looking at the table to find out when Easter occured in Diocletian 321, you had to remember/figure that Diocletian 321 = 605 ab incarnatione Iesu Christi and then look at the item associated with 605.
Okay, we may have been using "tables" to refer to two slightly different things. Yes, he created tables that simply listed each year, and which date Easter was on in each year, for public (church) use. But what did he use to create those tables?

He had 28 weekday tables* and 19 lunar tables. In order to figure out which date Easter was on in a given year, he needed to figure out which table in each set applied to that year. Setting up the two table sets so that the year 532 uses the first table in each set makes this calculation easier. And that, I'm proposing, is why 532 is the first year in the cycle.

*He really only needed 14 calendars, but the repeating cycle is one of 28 years with each leap year calendar occurring once and each non-leap year calendar occuring thrice.

[Edited because my apostrophe statement was not correct]

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-08, 11:29 PM
He had 28 weekday tables* and 19 lunar tables. In order to figure out which date Easter was on in a given year, he needed to figure out which table in each set applied to that year. Setting up the two table sets so that the year 532 uses the first table in each set makes this calculation easier.

No it doesn't. The GPP isn't necessary to the calculations. It's more of an esthetic byproduct. You do not need to keep track of the GPP to do the work. You do not even need to be aware of it (*).

Regardless of whether your starting year is 1 or 532 or "Year Dog," figuring out the answer is equally difficult from year to year.

(*)Indeed, I have seen people argue that DE was not aware of the GPP and that the recurrence of 532 was just a coincidence. I find that unlikely, but with all due respect, it is more likely than your theory. :)

Edited to add:
The quote you gave a couple posts above doesn't say that. Well, not in so many words, but it does explain why he changed the numbers -- thus it is perfectly reasonable for me to say that he said why he started with 532 ... it's the number he changed to.[/u]

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-08, 11:56 PM
He could -- and my opinion should -- have left things the way they were. Use the calendar year (Diocletian) to identify the year.
There are some accounts that say he just didn't want to honor someone who persecuted those of his faith.

Some accounts? He said that's why he did it -- see the quote I posted for SeanF earlier:

"I have been unwilling to connect our cycle with the name of an impious persecutor, but have chosen rather to note the years from the incarnation of Jesus Christ to the end that the commencement of our hope might be better known to us and that the cause of man's restoration, namely, our Redeemer's passion, might appear with clearer evidence."

SeanF
2005-Feb-09, 02:47 AM
Regardless of whether your starting year is 1 or 532 or "Year Dog," figuring out the answer is equally difficult from year to year.
Uh, no. Once you work out the 47 (not 57 ;) ) tables, you can work out which tables to use for any given year much easier if you set it up right.

Using a digit zero, it'd be easiest to have 532 be the last year in the cycle. Even without a digit zero, it could be argued that having 532 as the last year would be "easier" (than 531 being the last year), depending on how you want to deal with the nonexistant remainders.

But saying that having just any year be the end/start of the cycle wouldn't make the calculations any more complicated (even using non-numeric years like "Dog") tells me that you don't understand how the calculations work.

Let's take a simple example, and look just at the 19-year lunar calendar (and allow ourselves a zero). If you set up your tables and your year-numberings so that Year 0 uses Table 0, Year 1 uses Table 1, Year 2 uses Table 2, etc., then all you have to do to get the table for a given year is divide by 19 and look at the remainder. Thus, 2005/19=105R10, so 2005 uses Table 10.

If you have Year 0 using Table 2, Year 1 using Table 3, Year 2 using Table 4, etc., then you have to add 2 before you divide, so your calculation becomes (2005+2)/19=105R12, so 2005 uses Table 12. The calculation is now more complicated, and less meaningful.

If you don't even put the tables in order: Year 0 uses Table 5, Year 1 uses Table 2, Year 2 uses Table 6, Year 3 uses Table 19, etc., then you have to make a list of all 19 Tables with the specific remainder they use. You still do 2005/19=105R10, but you need to go to that list to find out which Table goes with that 10. This is the same problem you would have with "Year Dog."

In the actual work Dionysius did, doing it that third way would require two additional lists, one with 19 Tables and one with 28. Using "Year Dog" would require a single additional list of 532 entries, and that's being generous and assuming your year names repeat no more or less often than every 532 years.

So don't tell me that the calculations are equally complicated no matter where you start or end the cycle. I know that's not true.

Gillianren
2005-Feb-09, 03:00 AM
so--to get back to me--the answer to my question is "just because"?

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-09, 01:55 PM
He could -- and my opinion should -- have left things the way they were. Use the calendar year (Diocletian) to identify the year.
There are some accounts that say he just didn't want to honor someone who persecuted those of his faith.

Some accounts? He said that's why he did it -- see the quote I posted for SeanF earlier:
Misquote. Before the period, I said ", but that ends up being a chicken and egg sort of thing". "Our hope" and "man's restoration" are related to it.

Maksutov
2005-Feb-09, 02:14 PM
He could -- and my opinion should -- have left things the way they were. Use the calendar year (Diocletian) to identify the year.
There are some accounts that say he just didn't want to honor someone who persecuted those of his faith.

Some accounts? He said that's why he did it -- see the quote I posted for SeanF earlier:
Misquote. Before the period, I said ", but that ends up being a chicken and egg sort of thing". "Our hope" and "man's restoration" are related to it.
Re your quotes, they pertain to only a certain percentage of the population, fortunately a minority, most of whom have no interest in mathematics of even the rudest variety.

Meanwhile, the answer only requires to ability to count.

Next question, please (although a "tut, tut" will probably ensue... :D).

Posted in 2005 CE.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-09, 02:32 PM
Sean F:

Where does your idea of 47 tables come from? What makes you think DE set up 47 "master" tables (for lack of a better term)?

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-09, 02:35 PM
Misquote. Before the period, I said ", but that ends up being a chicken and egg sort of thing". "Our hope" and "man's restoration" are related to it.My point is that saying "some accounts"is misleading. I was commenting on the first half of your statement, not the second. :)

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-09, 02:55 PM
so--to get back to me--the answer to my question is "just because"?Well, I suppose you could put it that way. I suspect he set it at incarnation because he believed that was the moment that "god became flesh," which would be a rather important moment to a Christian, as important if not more important theologically as the resurection. But note again that I wrote "suspect."

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-09, 03:16 PM
The Wikipedia has an interesting entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysius_Exiguus) on this. It says:


The epact (the age of the moon on 22 March) of all first decennovenal years was zero, making Dionysius the first known Latin medieval writer to use the number zero. The Latin word nulla meaning nothing was used because no Roman numeral for zero existed. Zero can probably be found in earlier Latin mathematical treatises, provided one looks for the word, not a symbol. To determine the decennovenal year, the Dionysian year plus one was divided by 19. If the result was zero (to be replaced by 19), it was represented by the Latin word nihil, also meaning nothing. Both uses of zero continued to be used by all later medieval computists (calculators of Easter), rendering false the common assumption that the number zero was unknown in Western Europe until its symbol (0) was obtained from Muslims during the twelfth century.
On the other hand, it also says:


No evidence exists that the Church of Rome accepted the Dionysian tables until the tenth century, although it is possible that they were accepted sometime during the sixth century. Most of the British Church accepted them after the Synod of Whitby in 664, although quite a few individual churches and monasteries refused to accept them, the last holdout finally accepting them during the early tenth century. The Church of the Franks (France) accepted them during the late ninth century under the tutelage of Alcuin, after he arrived from Britain.

Ever since the 2nd century, some bishoprics in the Eastern Roman Empire had counted years from the birth of Christ, but there was no agreement on the correct epoch — Clement of Alexandria (c. 190) and Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 320) wrote about these attempts. Because Dionysius did not place the Incarnation in an explicit year, competent scholars have deduced both AD 1 and 1 BC — most have selected 1 BC. [...]

Although Dionysius stated that the First Council of Nicaea in 325 sanctioned his method of dating Easter, the surviving documents are ambiguous. [...]
And, in this one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anno_Domini#The_popularization_of_Anno_Domini):


The popularization of Anno Domini

The first historian or chronicler to use Anno Domini as his primary dating mechanism was Victor of Tonnenna, an African chronicler of the 7th century. A few generations later, the Anglo-Saxon monk Bede, who was familiar with the work of Dionysius, also used Anno Domini dating in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, finished in 731. [...]

On the continent of Europe, Anno Domini was first used as the dominant dating system by Charlemagne and his successors, having learned of it through the Northumbrian scholar Alcuin. It was this influence of the Royal Frankish court that popularized the usage and spread it east into German speaking territories. The Carolingian use of AD may well have had twin ideological reasons of breaking away from using the Byzantine era and defusing certain strains of apocalyptic thought.
Also of interest:


Two lesser known systems competed for a while with the Anno Domini system. The earliest was the Era of Martyrs, which numbered years from the accession of Diocletian in 284, who launched the last yet most severe persecution of Christians. This system is still used officially by the Coptic and Ethiopian churches. The other system was to date from the Death of Jesus Christ, which as early as Hippolytus and Tertullian was believed to have occurred in the consulate of the Gemini (AD 29), which appears in the occasional medieval manuscript. (Paralleling this somewhat, many English-speaking people unfamiliar with its Latin origins believe AD to stand for "after death".)

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-09, 03:43 PM
Thanks Disinfo Agent :)

Although I must note that the Wikipedia entry also repeats the odd suggestion that the recurrence of 532 was a mere coincidence -- or more accurately, the Wikipedia entry asserts:
He did not realize that the dates of the Alexandrian Easter repeated after 532 years, despite his apparent knowledge of the Victorian 532-year 'cycle', stating only that Easter did not repeat after 95 years. He knew that Victorian Easters did not agree with Alexandrian Easters, thus he no doubt assumed that they had no bearing on any Alexandrian cycle. Furthermore, he obviously did not realize that simply multiplying 19 (the decennovenal cycle) by 4 (the cycle of leap years) by 7 (the week) fixed the Alexandrian cycle at 532 years, otherwise he would have stated such a simple fact. That deduction is illogical on its face. People know things that they don't say they know, especially when those bits of knowledge are "simple facts."

I'll also point out that Wikipedia is the only source that I've come accross that says DE said "Easter did not repeat after 95 years." True, he calculated only 95 years (five 19-year lunar cycles), but I have never seen a statement from him that he thought there were only five cycles. (versus the 28 of the Great Paschal Period).

If DE limited his larger-cycle to five 19-year cycles versus twenty-eight 19-year cycles, that obviously would throw a kink in my theory (although my theory still works going back 19 years at a time rather than 532 all at once). But I'd like to see a better source for this.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-09, 04:14 PM
Misquote. Before the period, I said ", but that ends up being a chicken and egg sort of thing". "Our hope" and "man's restoration" are related to it.My point is that saying "some accounts"is misleading. I was commenting on the first half of your statement, not the second.
Misleading? It's true--and what I said agrees with what you posted. Unless I were to continue from there and imply that there were other accounts to the contrary, I don't see how it could be misleading in that context. Others may disagree, though. :)

The point was that a great deal of church scholarship was tied up with glorifying God and redemption and the second coming. It's hard to unravel, that's all. There was also the human venality involved, but nowadays that's obvious I guess.

The Wikipedia has an interesting entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysius_Exiguus) on this. It says:


The epact (the age of the moon on 22 March) of all first decennovenal years was zero, making Dionysius the first known Latin medieval writer to use the number zero. The Latin word nulla meaning nothing was used because no Roman numeral for zero existed. Zero can probably be found in earlier Latin mathematical treatises, provided one looks for the word, not a symbol. To determine the decennovenal year, the Dionysian year plus one was divided by 19. If the result was zero (to be replaced by 19), it was represented by the Latin word nihil, also meaning nothing. Both uses of zero continued to be used by all later medieval computists (calculators of Easter), rendering false the common assumption that the number zero was unknown in Western Europe until its symbol (0) was obtained from Muslims during the twelfth century.

I noticed that passage too! I was going to go back and see who was responsible for it. Just having a word for nothing is not the same thing. I'm surprised that they didn't go back to Lucretius, and his On the Nature of Things--it may not have been a mathematical treatise, but it was an attempt at scientific explanation for the universe. I think that's where we find "nothing comes from nothing" (Nihil de nihilo fit) or "nothing can be created out of nothing". (here ya go (http://everythingforever.com/titus.htm)) That's not what is meant by "having a zero"--it means that a symbol is used as a designator, and a place holder. In the context of a calendar, there would be a 0th year. The concept was foreign, even to Dionysius I believe.

PS: I went back throught the chronology of the page (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dionysius_Exiguus&action=history&l imit=500&offset=0) and it looks like someone made a major rewrite of the page early last month and introduced some strong opinions, one of which (this one IMO) is in error.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-09, 04:46 PM
Misleading? It's true--and what I said agrees with what you posted. Unless I were to continue from there and imply that there were other accounts to the contrary ... Well perhaps I misunderstood what you meant by "some account." To me, "some accounts" carries an implicit "versus other accounts." C'est la vie. :)


That's not what is meant by "having a zero"--it means that a symbol is used as a designator, and a place holder. In the context of a calendar, there would be a 0th year. The concept was foreign, even to Dionysius I believe.I think that the common clock is a better model for DE's mindset.

<start>12-O'Clock <--first hour occurs --> 1-O'Clock.
<start>753 AUC <--first year occurs --> 1 from incarnation (AD 1).

Obviously, however, if people don't accept that there is significance to the recurrence of 532 and how that points to 753 AUC (1 BC), then they won't agree with my model

I'm often perplexed at the resistance to the idea that the recurrence of 532 means something. Oh well.

SeanF
2005-Feb-09, 05:02 PM
Sean F:

Where does your idea of 47 tables come from? What makes you think DE set up 47 "master" tables (for lack of a better term)?
There are 28 calendar tables, indicating which day of the week each date falls on in a given year (actually, as I mentioned before, there are only 14 tables necessary - 7 leap years, 7 non-leap years - but they repeat in a pattern of 28 years with the non-leap year calendars occuring three times). There are 19 lunar calendars, indicating which dates the phases of the moon fall on in a given year. So 28 calendar tables plus 19 lunar tables is 47 tables altogether.

Why do I think Dionysius did it this way? I'm really just proposing the idea that he might have done it this way, but I can say with near certainty that this is how I would do it. :)


Obviously, however, if people don't accept that there is significance to the recurrence of 532 and how that points to 753 AUC (1 BC), then they won't agree with my model

I'm often perplexed at the resistance to the idea that the recurrence of 532 means something. Oh well.
I hope you don't mean me by this. I know that the 532 is meaningful, I just disagree that it necessarily means DE put the incarnation in 1 B.C.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-09, 05:16 PM
Well perhaps I misunderstood what you meant by "some account." To me, "some accounts" carries an implicit "versus other accounts."
Sorry. I can see how easy that would be to mislead.


I'm often perplexed at the resistance to the idea that the recurrence of 532 means something. Oh well.
Do you mean the recurrence every 532 years, or do you mean the recurrence in the writings?

PS: (Disinfo Agent) I checked through the wikipedia articles, and found that the same person is involved in a discussion about zero on the Roman Numerals page. Same issue, but I think it is being resolved.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-09, 05:16 PM
Why do I think Dionysius did it this way? I'm really just proposing the idea that he might have done it this way, but I can say with near certainty that this is how I would do it. :)He didn't do it this way. He focused on the 19 year cycle -- and produced dates for five cycles (which is where the 95 years comes from in the Wikipedia article 19 * 5 = 95).

Using DE's model, a GPP would consist of twenty-eight cycles of 19 years each.


I hope you don't mean me by this. I know that the 532 is meaningful, I just disagree that it necessarily means DE put the incarnation in 1 B.C.No, I wasn't referring to you. :)

Disinfo Agent
2005-Feb-09, 05:28 PM
I noticed that passage too! I was going to go back and see who was responsible for it. Just having a word for nothing is not the same thing. I'm surprised that they didn't go back to Lucretius, and his On the Nature of Things--it may not have been a mathematical treatise, but it was an attempt at scientific explanation for the universe. I think that's where we find "nothing comes from nothing" (Nihil de nihilo fit) or "nothing can be created out of nothing". (here ya go (http://everythingforever.com/titus.htm)) That's not what is meant by "having a zero"--it means that a symbol is used as a designator, and a place holder. In the context of a calendar, there would be a 0th year. The concept was foreign, even to Dionysius I believe.
I think I agree with you. The fact that Dionysius used a "zero", in one of the senses of zero, does not mean that he was aware of the full implications of zero as a mathematical entity (which have more to do with being a placeholder in decimal notation, and a number in itself with certain algebraic properties). So I wouldn't say that Dionysius had "discovered the concept" of zero. Nevertheless, this Wikipedia entry does echo Sean's contention that Dionysius was treating (our) 1 BC as a "clock zero" (mathematically, a zero remainder).

I've also found another website that would seem to lend credence to Sean's statement that Dionysius's count was misunderstood/neglected at some point, The Year without a Number (http://www.myoutbox.net/yearzero.htm).


Dennis did not consider what to call the years before 754 AUC. He did not deal with the years before 1 AD. He did not establish BC years, did not use them, and apparently was not interested in them in connection with his calculations. Even if he had been inclined to use the term BC, I believe that he must have understood his calculations well enough not to call 753 AUC by the term 1 BC. He would not have said that Jesus was born in the year one before Christ. He did not have the use of the term "zero." [...]

So what happened?

Some would blame it on the Venerable Bede, who popularized Dennis's work in his History of the English Church and People (perhaps more commonly entitled Ecclesiastical History of the English People.)

See Bede -- A History of the English Church and People (731 AD) as translated by Leo Sherley-Price (Penguin edition), Book I Chapter 2 which includes the statement "Britain remained unknown and unvisited by the Romans until the time of Gaius Julius Caesar, who became Consul with Lucius Bibulus 693 years after the founding of Rome, and sixty years before the birth of our Lord." (Apparently other manuscripts of Bede's work say 593 instead of 693, but that date is clearly wrong.) Modern encyclopedias give this date as 59 BC rather than 60 BC.

Thus Bede was equating 693 AUC with 60 BC, or 752 AUC with 1 BC. Bede was correct in that he left 753 AUC unnumbered and available for later numbering as year zero. But Bede apparently made only one use in his writings of years BC or the equivalent. He did not use BC numbering in De tempore ratione. Bede was probably responsible for popularizing the numbering of years as anno domini or AD, but he had almost no effect on the numbering of years as BC.

A French astronomer, historian, priest and professor named Denis Petau (or, in Latin, Dionysius Petavius) introduced and popularized the regular use of BC terminology in 1627 in his De doctrina temporum. He allowed his historic dates to go from 1 BC directly to 1 AD. He lived in a period when he had full access to the use of zero -- but he did not use it.

A somewhat revised and updated (and more importantly, translated) version of Petau's work is accessible to English speakers as The History of the World or An Account of Time by Dionysius Petavius (London 1659), available on University Microfilms (Early English Books 1641-1700) 05018 reel 545. Petau used BC dating frequently in the history that he was presenting, but there are few places in his work where his assumptions as to the placement of 1 BC can be easily established. However, in the translated work, at Liber 2, Chap VII, he wrote that Romulus founded Rome 753 years before Christ or, in effect, 1 AUC equals 753 BC. By reciprocity, 753 AUC was equated with 1 BC. The potential year zero which had been left as wiggle room by Little Dennis disappeared at the hands of Denis Petau.

Blame it on Petau.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any corroborating references in the site.
And I have to wonder whether indeed absolutely no-one used the BC concept from 731 to 1627...! :o

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-09, 06:01 PM
Do you mean the recurrence every 532 years, or do you mean the recurrence in the writings? I mean that a GPP = 532 plus the fact that DE started with 532 (rendering 753 AUC as his start).

It is interesting to note that DE actually calcuated by 19-year increments, not 532. Indeed, his work included five 19-years cycles from 532 to 627 plus one previous 19-year cycle (he didn't calculate the dates for this preceding cycle, but just transcribed it from previous tables).

Even if one discounts the 532 issue, his inclusion of the previous 19 years cycle shows that he thought the 19-year cycles went backwards from his tables -- which also results in 753 AUC (1 BC).

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-09, 06:04 PM
I've also found another website that would seem to lend credence to Sean's statement that Dionysius's count was misunderstood/neglected at some point, Thank you for keeping an open mind about this :)

SeanF
2005-Feb-09, 07:32 PM
Why do I think Dionysius did it this way? I'm really just proposing the idea that he might have done it this way, but I can say with near certainty that this is how I would do it. :)He didn't do it this way. He focused on the 19 year cycle -- and produced dates for five cycles (which is where the 95 years comes from in the Wikipedia article 19 * 5 = 95).

Using DE's model, a GPP would consist of twenty-eight cycles of 19 years each.
Hmm. Are you sure that just because he only wrote out Easter dates for 95 years means he wasn't using something similar to my method to calculate them? I bet he was.

Do you happen to know in what year he actually did these tables? AD 532 was still in his future, or not?

At any rate, 532 is a logical place for a new cycle even if AD 1 was the incarnation. That's probably why there's disagreement even among "competent scholars" as to whether he put it in AD 1 or the year before.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-09, 07:56 PM
Do you happen to know in what year he actually did these tables? AD 532 was still in his future, or not? Most commonly, it is said his work occured in AD 525.

PS: Here is a partial English translation of DE's Liber de Paschate. It is the same text as the translation noted at the bottom of the Wikipedia article, but it provides a better graphic presentation of DE tables than does the link from Wikipedia.

http://hbar.phys.msu.ru/gorm/chrono/paschata.htm

The original Latin is here: http://hermes.ulaval.ca/~sitrau/calgreg/denys.html[/url]

Edited to add all below:


At any rate, 532 is a logical place for a new cycle even if AD 1 was the incarnation. That's probably why there's disagreement even among "competent scholars" as to whether he put it in AD 1 or the year before. No, the difference is between those who simply assume AD 1 = Incarnation and those who count backwards and get 1 BC.

Your method of deducing AD 1 is quite unique. :)

Gillianren
2005-Feb-09, 10:16 PM
Well, I suppose you could put it that way. I suspect he set it at incarnation because he believed that was the moment that "god became flesh," which would be a rather important moment to a Christian, as important if not more important theologically as the resurection. But note again that I wrote "suspect."

if you read your church history, it wasn't. now, by Dionysus's time, they had a Christmas, but for the first few hundred years of the church, they didn't, and it was actually blasphemous to speculate on when Jesus was born, because that wasn't important. what was important was figuring out when he died. so I'm actually more confused the longer the argument goes on.

SeanF
2005-Feb-10, 02:15 PM
Do you happen to know in what year he actually did these tables? AD 532 was still in his future, or not? Most commonly, it is said his work occured in AD 525.

PS: Here is a partial English translation of DE's Liber de Paschate. It is the same text as the translation noted at the bottom of the Wikipedia article, but it provides a better graphic presentation of DE tables than does the link from Wikipedia.

http://hbar.phys.msu.ru/gorm/chrono/paschata.htm

The original Latin is here: http://hermes.ulaval.ca/~sitrau/calgreg/denys.html[/url]
Thanks for the link. Looks like interesting reading. I can see he's not doing exactly what I proposed, but it is pretty similar.


Edited to add all below:


At any rate, 532 is a logical place for a new cycle even if AD 1 was the incarnation. That's probably why there's disagreement even among "competent scholars" as to whether he put it in AD 1 or the year before. No, the difference is between those who simply assume AD 1 = Incarnation and those who count backwards and get 1 BC.

Your method of deducing AD 1 is quite unique. :)
My method of deducing AD 1? You're putting the cart before the horse. My method of deducing AD 1 is simply, "Hey, it looks like Christ was born in this year - I'll call it AD 1." What I'm considering is whether or not starting the cycle in AD 532 can still flow logically from that.

I still think it can, but let me spend some time with that link . . . :)

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-10, 03:02 PM
so I'm actually more confused the longer the argument goes on.I don't know what to tell you.

It's what he did, regardless of whether it made sense or is consistent with the theology of his time. :)

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-10, 03:05 PM
I still think it can, but let me spend some time with that link . . . :)It will be interesting to see what you come up with. :)

BTW: see my next post, which may shed some more light on the matter for you.

SeanOberle
2005-Feb-10, 03:07 PM
from Mapping Time – The Calendar and Its History
E.G. Richards
1998
Oxford University Press
Pages 350-351

Note that Richards uses AD/BC years although they were not in use during the time he describes.

Any typos are mine.


Victorius’ canon did not receive universal acclaim because it resulted in the recommended date of Easter sometimes lying outside the expected traditional range and because it did not agree with the method used in Alexandria

The Dionysian canon

The tables sent by Cyril were due to come to an end in 531 and the matter was still not resolved. Pope John 1 (523-6) asked two of his secretaries, Primicerius Bonifatius and Secundicerius Bonus, to enlist the Abbot of Scythia, Dionysius Exiguus (‘Dennis the Little’; so called on account of his self-demeaning manner) to look into the matter.

Dennis did several things. First, and momentously, he introduced a new era – the Christian era; secondly, he set out clear methods for calculating the date of Easter for any year, which were again based on the Metonic cycle as used in Alexandria; this was the Dionysian canon, to be used for a thousand years.

Dennis knew that 23 March AD 532 was the dates of both a new moon and the vernal equinox. This coincidence seemed sufficiently remarkable to dictate that this year would be the first of a cycle. Working backward, he then found that the first new mood of AD 325 fell on 1 January and this year, by another coincidence, was the year of the Council of Nicaea; working even further back, he discovered that 1 BC, the year in which he believed Christ had been born (he was mistaken), was also the first year of a cycle. He thus decided that the first Victorian cycle began in 1 BC and the second in AD 532.

Sean’s note: Victorian cycle is synonym for Great Paschal Period

SeanF
2005-Feb-10, 04:06 PM
You know, what you just posted doesn't help your position any.

DE did his work in Anno Diocletian 241. The existing, already established (by Cyril), cycle went from 153 through 247 (95 years), so the new cycle would start in 248. DE said that, specifically, in the latin link you provided earlier - to the extent of using the numbers 153, 247, and 248.

Now, what this means is that DE's new cycle was going to start in Anno Diocletian 248 regardless of what that 248 became in Anno Domini. Even if DE gave Jesus' birth year the designation Anno Domini 1, he would still start the new cycle in Anno Diocletian 248, whatever it became.

Therefore, you cannot use the fact the Anno Diocletian 248 is 532 years after 1 BC to deduce that 1 BC was the Incarnation. Regardless of when the Incarnation was, Anno Diocletian 248 would be the first year of DE's cycle.

The word your last cite uses is a good one - coincidence. That the new cycle started 532 years after 1 BC is a "coincidence," not "evidence."