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[Bug 12489] Conversion example of Julian/proleptic Greogrian date issues

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2011 23:04:33 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1QAVaT-0001Dn-1K@jessica.w3.org>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=12489

Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3cbug@gmail.com> changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
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                 CC|                            |Simetrical+w3cbug@gmail.com

--- Comment #2 from Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical+w3cbug@gmail.com> 2011-04-14 23:04:32 UTC ---
(In reply to comment #0)
> 1) 
>      there is no doubt that 15th of December refers 
>      to a *Julian* calendar. Because it is easy to verify that
>      it is a Julian date.
> a) The Julian calendar was introduced in year 45 AD in the 
>     Roman empire were Nero was emperor.

You mean BC.  And just to nitpick, it was the Roman Republic at that point, not
the Roman Empire.  The Roman Empire is usually said to begin in 27 BCE, when
Octavian declared himself Augustus.

> b) A historical source says: "Nero was born at Antium 
>     nine  months after the death of Tiberius, on the eighteenth day 
>     before the  Kalends of January". [0]  And according to the Roman
>     dating  customs (see for instance Rolf  Brahde's explanation[1] 
>     page 239), then  "eightenth day before Kalends  of January"  
>     corresponds to "15th of December". 

In principle, that would make sense just as well with the Romans' pre-Julian
calendar.  That was basically the same as the Julian calendar, except some
months had a different number of days, and instead of having a leap year every
four years, it had an intercalary month that was added at the discretion of the
pontifex maximus to keep the calendar roughly in line with the seasons.

But the Romans stopped using their old calendar as soon as Julius Caesar
instituted the Julian calendar in 45 BCE.  They couldn't have used the old
calendar after that point even if they wanted to, since it depended on the
pontifex maximus deciding on intercalary months, and he didn't.  In particular,
Julius Caesar *was* the pontifex maximus when he instituted the new calendar,
and obviously wasn't going around keeping up the old one.

So yeah, it's completely clear that the calendar in question is the Julian
calendar.  There's really no other possibility.  But it doesn't really matter,
it's a comment in the source code.

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Received on Thursday, 14 April 2011 23:04:35 UTC

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