Re: [LEAPSECS] building consensus

From: Zefram <zefram_at_FYSH.ORG>
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2006 18:35:52 +0100

Rob Seaman wrote:
> 23 March 1750
> 24 March 1750
> 25 March 1751
> 26 March 1751

Yes. There were several other dates used for the start of the counted
year too.

>What this suggests to me is that the day-of-the-month and year-of-our-
>Lord counts were considered to be separate entities by folks of that

Looks a lot like that. They used not to be, though: it seems that the
oldest convention was to start the counted year on January 1, where Julius
had put (well, left) the start of the calendar year. Counting the year
from a different point is a distinctly mediaeval practice.

>Was also thinking to comment that day-of-the-week seems to have been
>considered quite distinct from day-of-the-month.

Yes. The seven day week is effectively a small calendar unto itself, and
one much older than any of the year-based calendars we've been discussing.
The Julian calendar was developed for a society that didn't use the week
at all. The week was adopted by the Roman Empire centuries later, as
part of its Christianisation. The Gregorian calendar, like the Julian
calendar before it, is unrelated to the week (except for the Easter
formula, if that is counted as part of the calendar). This is why the
switch from Julian to Gregorian calendar did not interrupt the week cycle.

Where places have switched which side of the date line they are on,
they have (by local reckoning) repeated or skipped a day of the week,
along with repeating or skipping a calendar date. The case of Alaska
is interesting: that switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian
calendar simultaneously with the switch of timezone, so they repeated
a day of the week but skipped several calendar dates.

Received on Wed Jun 07 2006 - 10:37:09 PDT

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