Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Calendar in ancient culture

Calendars are manmade tools used to track time. They have become almost indispensible tools of human civilization.

Ancient cultures develop calendars to keep track of longer stretches of time that coincide with the four seasons.

Calendars are based upon astronomical observations, marking the passage of time using the phases of the moon and movement of the Sun. Civilizations from Asia to the Americas develop calendars based upon the phases of the moon.

Early calendars were usually for agriculture, financial, religious and political uses and often did not include a year count. The first historians to use calendar date systems for relating events were the Greek historians.

Ancient Greek calendars go back to early Antiquity but evidence of how they were structures and reckoned begins only in the sixth century BC. In general the calendars of Greece were lunar, but their lunar character could be disrupt by deliberate interference or tempering.

The main Athenian calendar is often called ‘archontic’ or ‘festival calendar’ - although its use went far beyond the determination of festival dates – to distinguish it from the so-called ‘prytanic calendar’, peculiar to Athens, that was used at Athens alongside it.

It wasn’t until Rome was fully under the rule of Augustus Caesar that calendars were used to refer to particular year names or numbers and month and day dates.
Calendar in ancient culture

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