Marking Time: The Epic Quest to Invent the Perfect Calendar / Edition 1

Marking Time: The Epic Quest to Invent the Perfect Calendar / Edition 1

by Duncan Steel, Steel
     
 

ISBN-10: 0471298271

ISBN-13: 9780471298274

Pub. Date: 10/18/1999

Publisher: Turner Publishing Company

If you lie awake worrying about the overnight transition from December 31, 1 b.c., to January 1, a.d. 1 (there is no year zero), then you will enjoy Duncan Steel's Marking Time.—American Scientist

"No book could serve as a better guide to the cumulative invention that defines the imaginary threshold to the new millennium."—Booklist

A

Overview

If you lie awake worrying about the overnight transition from December 31, 1 b.c., to January 1, a.d. 1 (there is no year zero), then you will enjoy Duncan Steel's Marking Time.—American Scientist

"No book could serve as a better guide to the cumulative invention that defines the imaginary threshold to the new millennium."—Booklist

A Fascinating March through History and the Evolution of the Modern-Day Calendar . . .

In this vivid, fast-moving narrative, you'll discover the surprising story of how our modern calendar came about and how it has changed dramatically through the years. Acclaimed author Duncan Steel explores each major step in creating the current calendar along with the many different systems for defining the number of days in a week, the length of a month, and the number of days in a year. From the definition of the lunar month by Meton of Athens in 432 b.c. to the roles played by Julius Caesar, William the Conqueror, and Isaac Newton to present-day proposals to reform our calendar, this entertaining read also presents "timely" tidbits that will take you across the full span of recorded history. Find out how and why comets have been used as clocks, why there is no year zero between 1 b.c. and a.d. 1, and why for centuries Britain and its colonies rang in the New Year on March 25th. Marking Time will leave you with a sense of awe at the haphazard nature of our calendar's development. Once you've read this eye-opening book, you'll never look at the calendar the same way again.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471298274
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
10/18/1999
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
795,997
Product dimensions:
1.13(w) x 9.00(h) x 6.00(d)

Table of Contents

Preface.

George Washington's Birthday.

The Country Parson's Formula.

The Cycles of the Sky.

Stonehenge and Sothis (Third Millennium B.C.).

Meton (432 B.C.), Callippus (330 B.C.), and Hipparchus (130 B.C.).

Julius Caesar (46 B.C.).

Constantine the Great (A.D. 321).

Dionysius Exiguus (A.D. 525).

The Synod of Whitby (A.D. 664).

The Venerable Bede (A.D. 725).

Lady Day.

Retrospective Dating.

Pope Gregory XIII (A.D. 1582).

The Perfect Christian Calendar and God's Longitude.

Archbishop Ussher and the Age of the Earth (A.D. 1650).

Lord Chesterfield's Act (A.D. 1751).

Poor Richard's Almanack.

President Arthur Requests (A.D. 1884).

Marching to the Same Drummer?

Calendar Reform.

The Comet of Bethlehem.

How Many Days in a Dinosaur Year?

Should 2100 Be a Double Leap Year?

Epilogue.

Appendix A: How Long Is a Day?

Appendix B: How Long Is a Year?

Appendix C: How Long Is a Second?

Appendix D: How Long Is a Month?

Selected Bibliography.

Index.

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