Byzantine calendar

The Byzantine calendar was the calendar officially used by the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire) [The term "Byzantine" was invented by the German historian Hieronymus Wolf in 1557 but was popularized by French scholars during the 18th century to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire. The citizens of the empire considered themselves "Romans" and their emperor was the "Roman Emperor".] from 988 by Basil II until it was conquered in 1453. It was identical to the Julian calendar except that the names of the months were transcribed from Latin into Greek, the first day of the year was 1 September, and its year one was 5509–08 BC, the supposed date of creation.

The beginning of the year of the Byzantine indiction changed to 1 September about 462 and it was officially adopted as one way to identify a Byzantine year in 537. However, Byzantine historians like Maximus the Confessor, Theophanes the Confessor and George Syncellus continued to begin their year on 25 March and to number their years from that date in 5493 BC until the tenth century. Ever since the Roman Empire conquered the region surrounding the eastern Mediterranian Sea, its Latin months had been transcribed into Greek.

The leap day of the Byzantine calendar was obtained in an identical manner to the bissextile day of the original Roman version of the Julian calendar, by doubling the sixth day before the calends of March, i.e., by doubling 24 February (numbering the days of a month from its beginning and hence the leap day of 29 February was an invention of the late Middle Ages).

Important dates in the Byzantine Era

* 1 BE (Byzantine Era) - Creation of the world.
* 4755 BE (753 BC) - Rome was founded.
* 4841 BE (667 BC) - City of Byzantium was founded.
* 5478 BE (30 BC) - Establishment of the Roman Empire at the Battle of Actium under Octavian/Augustus.
* c. 5502 BE (6 BC) - Jesus of Nazareth was born.
* c. 5541 BE (AD 33) - Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.
* 5838 BE (AD 330) - Constantinople becomes the new capital of the Roman Empire.
* 5888 BE (AD 380) - Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire by decree of Theodosius I.
* 5903 BE (AD 395) - Death of Theodosius I divides the Roman Empire into East and West.
* 6045 BE (AD 537) - Justinian I decrees that the indiction must be included when designating a Byzantine year.
* 6118 BE (AD 610) - Eastern Roman Empire changed its official language from Latin to Greek.
* 6496 BE (AD 988) - First official use of the Byzantine Era by Basil II.
* 6562 BE (AD 1054) - Great Schism occurs between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
* 6712 BE (AD 1204) - Sack of Constantinople by soldiers of the Fourth Crusade. Latin Empire of Constantinople was established.
* 6769 BE (AD 1261) - Byzantine Empire is re-established. Double-headed black eagle on a field of gold is adopted as the official flag of the Byzantine Empire by Emperor Michael VIII Paleologue. [ [http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/gr_byz.html Byzantine symbols] ] .
* 6961 BE (AD 1453) - Fall of Constantinople--The final collapse of the Byzantine Empire.
* 7427 BE-7430 BE (AD 1919-AD 1922) Greek politician Eleftherios Venizelos attempts to implement the Megali Idea (recapture of Constantinople from Turkey) in the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922), but in the course of the war Venizelos loses the election of 1920 and goes into exile and Greece is defeated by Turkey.

Cultural influence of the Byzantine calendar

The civilization of Rome (in its most inclusive sense including both Ancient Rome and New Rome (Constantinople)) lasted a total of 2,206 years.

After the collapse of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the Byzantine calendar continued to be used by Russia (translated into Slavonic) until 1700. It is still used by a number of Eastern Orthodox Churches. The year AD 2000 was 7508-09 BE.

Notes

ee also

* Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

External links

* [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Labyrinth/2398/bginfo/trade/time.html Byzantine ways of reckoning time]


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