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Thread: Ancient Egyptian Calendar

  1. #1
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    Ancient Egyptian Calendar

    The ancient Egyptian calendar was split into twelve months of 30 days with an additional five days attached at the end of the year. The total number of days were exactly 365.

    Since our tropical year is closer to 365.24 days, commentators have said that Egypts calendar wandered and got out of sync with the seasons. Ive got a question about this.

    About when (what century approx) did the Egyptians get rid of this system for something more accurate? Any one know?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberseeker View Post
    About when (what century approx) did the Egyptians get rid of this system for something more accurate? Any one know?
    Caesar brought the calendar into order by arranging for the year 46 BC to have 445 days. In 45 BC the Egyptian calendar was adopted by the Romans with the insertion of a day between 23rd and 24th February every leap year (Thus having two days of 23rd February).

    That was for the Roman Empire, which included Egypt. My answer to your question is thus approximately 23rd February 45 BC, around tea-time.

  3. #3
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    Heck, that's a long time to have put up with a wonky calendar.

    Another question please: Are there any early statements (complaints etc) from early (pre-10th century) Egyptians concerning the inadequacies of thier calendar?

  4. #4
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    The "ancient Egyptian calendar" was reformed by Augustus around 25 BC, resulting in the "Alexandrian calendar".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandrian_calendar
    This Alexandrian calendar had the same month names (Thoth, Phaophi, ...) and month lengths as the ancient Egyptian calendar, but the introduction of a sixth epagomenal day every fourth year kept it synchronised with the Julian calendar.

    The Decree of Canopus (238 BC)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decree_of_Canopus
    documents dissatisfaction with the old calendar and a first attempt to introduce a regular leap day, but this reform did not prevail.

    Bye,
    Thomas
    Last edited by plphy; 2013-Jun-18 at 09:59 AM. Reason: typo

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