Anno Mundi

Anno Mundi (Latin for "in the year of the world"; Hebrewלבריאת העולם, "to the creation of the world"), abbreviated as AM, or Year After Creation,[1] is a calendar era based on the biblical accounts of the creation of the world and subsequent history. Two such calendar eras have seen notable use historically:

  • The Byzantine calendar was used in the Byzantine Empire and many Christian Orthodox countries and Eastern Orthodox Churches and was based on the Septuagint text of the Bible. That calendar is similar to the Julian calendar except that its epoch is equivalent to 1 September 5509 BC on the Julian proleptic calendar.
  • Since the Middle Ages, the Hebrew calendar has been based on rabbinic calculations of the year of creation from the Hebrew Masoretic text of the bible. This calendar is used within Jewish communities for religious and other purposes. On the Hebrew calendar, the day begins at sunset. The calendar's epoch, corresponding to the calculated date of the world's creation, is equivalent to sunset on the Julian proleptic calendar date 6 October 3761 BC.[2] The new year begins at Rosh Hashanah, roughly in September. Year anno mundi 5779, or AM 5779, began at sunset on 9 September 2018 on the Gregorian calendar.[3]

While differences in biblical interpretation or in calculation methodology can produce some differences in the creation date, most results fall relatively close to one of these two dominant models. The primary reason for the disparity seems to lie in which underlying Biblical text is chosen (roughly 5500 BC based on the Greek Septuagint text, about 3760 BC based on the Hebrew Masoretic text). Most of the 1,732-year difference resides in numerical discrepancies in the genealogies of the two versions of the Book of Genesis. Patriarchs from Adam to Terah, the father of Abraham, are said to be older by as much as 100 years or more when they begat their named son in the Greek Septuagint[4][5] than they were in the Latin Vulgate (Genesis 5; Genesis 11) or the Hebrew Tanakh (Gen 5; Gen 11). The net difference between the two major genealogies of Genesis is 1466 years (ignoring the "second year after the flood" ambiguity), 85% of the total difference. (See Dating creation.)

Rotunda Yard Thessaloniki 05 Jew Tomb remains
A Jewish gravestone using the Year After Creation (Anno Mundi) chronology found just outside the Rotunda of Thessaloniki.[1]

Jewish tradition

During the Talmudic era, from the 1st to the 10th centuries AD, the center of the Jewish world was in the Middle East, primarily in the Talmudic Academies in Babylonia and Syria Palaestina. Jews in these regions used Seleucid Era dating (also known as the "Anno Graecorum (AG)" or the "Era of Contracts") as the primary method for calculating the calendar year.[6] For example, the writings of Josephus and the Books of the Maccabees used Seleucid Era dating exclusively, and the Talmud tractate Avodah Zarah states:

Rav Aha b. Jacob then put this question: How do we know that our Era [of Documents] is connected with the Kingdom of Greece at all? Why not say that it is reckoned from the Exodus from Egypt, omitting the first thousand years and giving the years of the next thousand? In that case, the document is really post-dated!

Said Rav Nahman: In the Diaspora the Greek Era alone is used. He [the questioner] thought that Rav Nahman wanted to dispose of him anyhow, but when he went and studied it thoroughly he found that it is indeed taught [in a Baraita]: In the Diaspora the Greek Era alone is used.[7]

Occasionally in Talmudic writings, reference was made to other starting points for eras, such as Destruction Era dating,[8] being the number of years since the AD 70 destruction of the Second Temple, and the number of years since the Creation year based on the calculation in the Seder Olam Rabbah of Rabbi Jose ben Halafta in about AD 160.[9] By his calculation, based on the Masoretic Text, Adam and Eve were created on 1st of Tishrei (Rosh Hashanah Day 1) in 3760 BC,[10][11][12] later confirmed by the Muslim chronologist al-Biruni as 3448 years before the Seleucid era.[13] An example is the c. 8th-century AD Baraita of Samuel.

In the 8th and 9th centuries AD, the center of Jewish life moved from Babylonia to Europe, so calculations from the Seleucid era "became meaningless".[6] From the 11th century, anno mundi dating became dominant throughout most of the world's Jewish communities, replacing the Seleucid dating system.[6][14] The new system reached its definitive form in AD 1178 when Maimonides completed the Mishneh Torah. In the section Sanctification of the Moon (11.16), he wrote of his choice of Epoch, from which calculations of all dates should be made, as "the third day of Nisan in this present year ... which is the year 4938 of the creation of the world" (March 22, AD 1178).[15] He included all the rules for the calculated calendar epoch and their scriptural basis, including the modern epochal year in his work, and establishing the final formal usage of the anno mundi era.

The first year of the Jewish calendar, Anno Mundi 1 (AM 1), began about one year before Creation, so that year is also called the Year of emptiness. The first five days of Jewish Creation week occupy the last five days of AM 1, Elul 25–29. The sixth day of Creation, when Adam and Eve were created, is the first day of AM 2, Rosh Hashanah (1 Tishrei). Its associated molad Adam (molad VaYaD) occurred on Day 5 (yom Vav) at 14 (Yud Daled) hours (and 0 parts). A year earlier, the first day of AM 1, Rosh Hashanah (1 Tishrei), is associated with molad tohu (new moon of chaos), so named because it occurred before Creation when everything was still chaotic—it is also translated as the new moon of nothing. This is also called molad BaHaRaD, because it occurred on Day 2 (yom Beis), 5 (Hei) hours, 204 (RaD) parts (11:11:20 pm). Because this is just before midnight when the Western day begins, but after 6 pm when the Jewish calendrical day begins (equivalent to the next tabular day with the same daylight period), its Julian calendar date is 6/7 October 3761 BC (Gregorian: 6/7 September 3761 BC or −3760).[16][17][18]

Greek tradition

Bevis Marks Synagogue P6110036
The inscription over the Bevis Marks Synagogue, City of London, gives a year in Anno Mundi (5461) and Anno Domini (1701).

The Septuagint was the most scholarly non-Hebrew version of the Old Testament available to early Christians. Many converts already spoke Greek, and it was readily adopted as the preferred vernacular-language rendering for the eastern Roman Empire. The later Latin translation called the Vulgate, an interpretative translation from the later Masoretic Text (a Jewish revision and consolidation of earlier Hebrew texts), replaced it in the west after its completion by St. Jerome c. 405, Latin being the most common vernacular language in those regions.

Earliest Christian chronology

The earliest extant Christian writings on the age of the world according to the biblical chronology were therefore based on the Septuagint, due to its early availability. They can be found in the Apology to Autolycus (Apologia ad Autolycum) by Theophilus (AD 115–181), the sixth bishop of Antioch,[19] and the Five Books of Chronology by Sextus Julius Africanus (AD 200–245).[20]

Theophilus presents a detailed chronology "from the foundation of the world" to emperor Marcus Aurelius.[19] His chronology begins with the biblical first man Adam through to emperor Marcus Aurelius, in whose reign Theophilus lived. The chronology puts the creation of the world at about 5529 BC: "All the years from the creation of the world amount to a total of 5,698 years."[19] No mention of Jesus of Nazareth is made in his chronology. Seraphim Rose corrected the date to about 5530 BC, to recognise that there is no year 0 in Christian era dating.[21]

Dr. Ben Zion Wacholder points out that the writings of the Church Fathers on this subject are of vital significance (even though he disagrees with their chronological system based on the authenticity of the Septuagint, as compared to that of the Hebrew text), in that through the Christian chronographers a window to the earlier Hellenistic biblical chronographers[note 1] is preserved:

An immense intellectual effort was expended during the Hellenistic period by both Jews and pagans to date creation, the flood, exodus, building of the Temple... In the course of their studies, men such as Tatian of Antioch (flourished in 180), Clement of Alexandria (died before 215), Hippolytus of Rome (died in 235), Sextus Julius Africanus of Jerusalem (died after 240), Eusebius of Caesarea in Palestine (260–340), and Pseudo-Justin frequently quoted their predecessors, the Graeco-Jewish biblical chronographers of the Hellenistic period, thereby allowing discernment of more distant scholarship.[22]

The Chronicon of Eusebius (early 4th century) and Jerome (c. 380, Constantinople) dated Creation to 5199 BC.[23][24] Earlier editions of the Roman Martyrology for Christmas Day used this date,[25] as did the Irish Annals of the Four Masters.[26]

Alexandrian era

The Alexandrian era, arising in AD 412, was the precursor to the Byzantine era. After the initial attempts by Hippolytus, Clement of Alexandria and others, the Alexandrian computation of the date of creation was worked out to be 25 March 5493 BC.[27]

The Alexandrian monk Panodoros reckoned 5904 years from Adam to the year AD 412. His years began with 29 August, corresponding to the First of Thoth, or the Egyptian new year.[28] Annianus of Alexandria however, preferred the Annunciation style as New Year's Day, 25 March, and shifted the Panodoros era by about six months, to begin on 25 March. This created the Alexandrian era, whose first day was the first day of the proleptic[note 2] Alexandrian civil year in progress, 29 August 5493 BC, with the ecclesiastical year beginning on 25 March 5493 BC.

This system presents in a masterly sort of way the mystical coincidence of the three main dates of the world's history: the beginning of Creation, the Incarnation, and the Resurrection of Christ. All these events happened, according to the Alexandrian chronology, on the 25th of March; furthermore, the first two events were separated by the period of exactly 5500 years; the first and the third one occurred on Sunday — the sacred day of the beginning of the Creation and its renovation through Christ.[29]

Dionysius of Alexandria had earlier emphatically quoted mystical justifications for the choice of 25 March as the start of the year:

March 25 was considered to be the anniversary of Creation itself. It was the first day of the year in the medieval Julian calendar and the nominal vernal equinox (it had been the actual equinox at the time when the Julian calendar was originally designed). Considering that Christ was conceived at that date turned March 25 into the Feast of the Annunciation which had to be followed, nine months later, by the celebration of the birth of Christ, Christmas, on December 25.

The Alexandrian Era of 25 March 5493 BC was adopted by church fathers such as Maximus the Confessor and Theophanes the Confessor, as well as chroniclers such as George Syncellus. Its striking mysticism made it popular in Byzantium especially in monastic circles. However this masterpiece of Christian symbolism had two serious weak points: historical inaccuracy surrounding the date of Resurrection as determined by its Easter computus,[note 3] and its contradiction to the chronology of the Gospel of St John regarding the date of the Crucifixion on Friday after the Passover.[29]

Chronicon Paschale

A new variant of the World Era was suggested in the Chronicon Paschale, a valuable Byzantine universal chronicle of the world, composed about the year AD 630 by some representative of the Antiochian scholarly tradition.[29] It dates the creation of Adam to 21 March 5507 BC.

For its influence on Greek Christian chronology, and also because of its wide scope, the "Chronicon Paschale" takes its place beside Eusebius, and the chronicle of the monk Georgius Syncellus[30] which was so important in the Middle Ages; but in respect of form it is inferior to these works.[31]

Adoption of Byzantine era

The Byzantine Anno Mundi era was the official calendar of the Eastern Orthodox Church from c. AD 691 to 1728 in the Ecumenical Patriarchate. By the late 10th century the Byzantine era, which had become fixed at 1 September 5509 BC since at least the mid-7th century (differing by 16 years from the Alexandrian date, and 2 years from the Chronicon Paschale), had become the widely accepted calendar by Chalcedonian Christianity. The Byzantine era was used as the civil calendar by the Byzantine Empire from AD 988 to 1453, and by Russia from c. AD 988 to 1700.

The computation was derived from the Septuagint version of the Bible, and placed the date of creation at 5509 years before the Incarnation, which was later taken to mean 5509 BC when conversions to the Christian era were desired. With a new year date of September 1, which coincides with the beginning of the Orthodox liturgical year, its epoch became 1 September 5509 BC (Julian), and year AM 1 thus lasted until 31 August 5508 BC. The "year of creation" was generally expressed in Greek in the Byzantine calendar as "Etos Kosmou", literally "year of the universe".

Western church

Western Christianity never fully adopted an Anno Mundi epoch system, and did not at first produce chronologies based on the Vulgate that were in contrast to the eastern calculations from the Septuagint. Since the Vulgate was not completed until only a few years before the sack of Rome by the Goths, there was little time for such developments before the political upheavals that followed in the west. Whatever the reasons, the west eventually came to rely instead on the independently developed Anno Domini (AD) epoch system. AM dating did continue to be of interest for liturgical reasons, however, since it was of direct relevance to the calculation of the Nativity of Jesus (AM 5197–5199) and the Passion of Christ (AM 5228–5231). For example, Bede in his World-Chronicle (Chapter 66 of his De Temporum Ratione, On the Reckoning of Time), dated all events using an epoch he derived from the Vulgate which set the birth of Christ as AM 3952.[32][33][34] In his Letter to Plegwin, Bede explained the difference between the two epochs.[35]

See also


  1. ^ Eratosthenes of Cyrene (275–194 BC) represented contemporary Alexandrian scholarship; Eupolemus, a Palestinian Jew and a friend of Judah Maccabee, writing in 158 BC, is said to have been the first historian who synchronized Greek history in accordance with the theory of the Mosaic origin of culture. By the time of the 1st century BC, a world chronicle had synchronized Jewish and Greek history and had gained international circulation: Alexander Polyhistor (flourishing in 85–35 BC); Varro (116–27 BC); Ptolemy priest of Mendes (50 BC), who is cited by Tatian (Oratio ad Graecos, 38); Apion (1st century AD); Thrasyllus (before AD 36); and Thallus (1st century AD) – all cited chronicles which had incorporated the dates of the Noachite flood and the exodus. (Dr. Ben Zion Wacholder. "Biblical Chronology in the Hellenistic World Chronicles". in The Harvard Theological Review, Vol.61, No.3 (July 1968), pp. 451–452.)
  2. ^ A calendar obtained by extension earlier in time than its invention or implementation is called the proleptic version of the calendar.
  3. ^ In the commonly used 19‐year Easter moon cycle, there was no year when the Passover (the first spring full moon, Nisan 14) would coincide with Friday and the traditional date of the Passion, 25 March; according to Alexandrian system the date would have to have been Anno Mundi 5533 = 42(!)AD.


  1. ^ a b Benjaminson, Chani. "How old was Moses when The Torah was given at Mount Sinai". Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  2. ^ Dershowitz, Nachum; Reingold, Edward M. (1997), Calendrical Calculations (1st ed.), Cambridge University Press, p. 11, ISBN 0-521-56474-3
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Septuagint GENESIS – 5". The Greek Old Testament (Septuagint). Elpenor. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  5. ^ "Septuagint GENESIS – 11". The Greek Old Testament (Septuagint). Elpenor. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  6. ^ a b c Chronology of the Old Testament, Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones "When the center of Jewish life moved from Babylonia to Europe during the 8th and 9th centuries AD, calculations from the Seleucid era became meaningless. Over those centuries, it was replaced by that of the anno mundi era of the Seder Olam. From the 11th century, anno mundi dating became dominant throughout most of the world's Jewish communities."
  7. ^ Atenebris Adsole. "Avodah Zarah, tractate 10". Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  8. ^ Avodah Zarah, tractate 9 Footnote: "The Eras in use among Jews in Talmudic Times are: (a) ERA OF CONTRACTS [H] dating from the year 380 before the Destruction of the Second Temple (312–1 BC) when, at the Battle of Gaza, Seleucus Nicator, one of the followers of Alexander the Great, gained dominion over Palestine. It is also termed Seleucid or Greek Era [H]. Its designation as Alexandrian Era connecting it with Alexander the Great (Maim. Yad, Gerushin 1, 27) is an anachronism, since Alexander died in 323 BC — eleven years before this Era began (v. E. Mahler, Handbuch der judischen Chronologie, p. 145). This Era, which is first mentioned in Mac. I, 10, and was used by notaries or scribes for dating all civil contracts, was generally in vogue in eastern countries till the 16th cent, and was employed even in the 19th cent, among the Jews of Yemen, in South Arabia (Eben Saphir, Lyck, 1866, p. 62b). (b) THE ERA OF THE DESTRUCTION (of the Second Temple) [H] the year 1 of which corresponds to 381 of the Seleucid Era, and 69–70 of the Christian Era. This Era was mainly employed by the Rabbis and was in use in Palestine for several centuries, and even in the later Middle Ages documents were dated by it. One of the recently discovered Genizah documents bears the date 13 Tammuz 987 after the Destruction of the Temple — i.e. 917 C.E. — (Op. cit. p. 152, also Marmorstein ZDMG, Vol. VI, p. 640). The difference between the two Eras as far as the tens and units are concerned is thus 20. If therefore a Tanna, say in the year 156 Era of Dest. (225 C.E.), while remembering, naturally, the century, is uncertain about the tens and units, he should ask the notary what year it is according to his — Seleucid — era. He will get the answer 536 (156 + 380), on adding 20 to which he would get 556, the last two figures giving him the year [1] 56 of the Era of Destruction."
  9. ^ p. 107, Kantor
  10. ^ "Birthday of Adam & Eve (3760 BC)". Jewish History. Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  11. ^ "Creation (3761 BC)". Jewish History. Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  12. ^ "To find the corresponding Jewish year for any year on the Gregorian calendar, add 3760 to the Gregorian number, if it is before Rosh Hashanah. After Rosh Hashanah, add 3761. " "The Jewish year". About the Jewish Calendar. Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  13. ^ See The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries.
  14. ^ The Easter Computus and the Origins of the Christian Era, Alden A. Mosshammer. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  15. ^ Solomon Gandz, Date of Composition of Maimonides Code, Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, 17 (1947–1948), pp. 1–7.
  16. ^ "Calendar — when does it start". Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  17. ^ Tøndering, Claus (2014). "The Hebrew Calendar". Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  18. ^ Landau, Remy (February 16, 2005). "Is Creation at AM 1 or AM 2?". Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  19. ^ a b c Theophilus of Antioch. Theophilus of Antioch to Autolycus. Book III. Chapters XXIV (Adam—Samuel), XXV (Saul—Cyrus), XXVII (Cyrus—M. Aurelius Verus), Chap. XXVIII (Adam—M. Aurelius Verus).
  20. ^ Sextus Julius Africanus. Extant Writings III. The Extant Fragments of the Five Books of the Chronography of Julius Africanus. Chapters III—VII, XI—XII, XIII, XIV—XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII.
  21. ^ Fr. Seraphim Rose. Genesis, Creation and Early Man: The Orthodox Christian Vision. St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina, California, 2000. ISBN 978-1-887904-02-5. p. 236.
  22. ^ Dr. Ben Zion Wacholder. "Biblical Chronology in the Hellenistic World Chronicles". in The Harvard Theological Review, Vol.61, No.3 (Jul., 1968), pp. 451–452.
  23. ^ The Penn Commentary on Piers Plowman by Andrew Galloway page 69
  24. ^ Fourth Century (see 327 Eusebius of Caesarea). Archived 2009-10-25.
  25. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Howlett, J.A. (1908). "Biblical Chronology" . In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  26. ^ from AM 5194 in the Annals at CELTUniversity College Cork's Corpus of Electronic Texts project has the full text of the annals online, both in the original Irish and in O'Donovan's translation
  27. ^ Elias J Bickerman (1980). Chronology of the Ancient World (Aspects of Greek & Roman Life) (2nd sub ed.). Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Univ. Press. p. 73. ISBN 0-8014-1282-X.
  28. ^ Rev. Philip Schaff (1819–1893), Ed. "Era." Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. New Edition, 13 Vols., 1908–14. Vol. 4, pp. 163.
  29. ^ a b c Pavel Kuzenkov (Moscow). "How old is the World? The Byzantine era κατα Ρωμαίους and its rivals" (Archived July 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine) 21st International Congress of Byzantine Studies, London 2006. pp. 2–4.
  30. ^ George Synkellos. The Chronography of George Synkellos: a Byzantine Chronicle of Universal History from the Creation. Transl. Prof. Dr. William Adler & Paul Tuffin. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
  31. ^ Van der Essen, L. "Chronicon Paschale". In The Catholic Encyclopedia (New Advent). New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908.
  32. ^ Landes, Richard (1995). Relics, Apocalypse, and the Deceits of History. Cambridge: Harvard UP. p. 291.
  33. ^ Wallis, Faith (1999). Bede: The Reckoning of Time. Liverpool: Liverpool UP. pp. 3–4, 157–237, 239, 358. ISBN 0-85323-693-3.
  34. ^ Duncan, Edwin (1999). Fears of the Apocalypse: The Anglo-Saxons and the Coming of the First Millennium. Religion & Literature. 31. pp. 15–23, 23 n.6.
  35. ^ Wallis, Faith (1999). Bede: The Reckoning of Time. Liverpool: Liverpool UP. pp. 407–412. ISBN 0-85323-693-3.

Further reading

  • Mattis, Kantor, The Jewish time line encyclopedia: a year-by-year history from Creation to present, Jason Aronson Inc., Northvale, N.J., 1992
Anno Domini

The terms anno Domini (AD) and before Christ (BC) are used to label or number years in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The term anno Domini is Medieval Latin and means "in the year of the Lord", but is often presented using "our Lord" instead of "the Lord", taken from the full original phrase "anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi", which translates to "in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ".

This calendar era is based on the traditionally reckoned year of the conception or birth of Jesus of Nazareth, with AD counting years from the start of this epoch, and BC denoting years before the start of the era. There is no year zero in this scheme, so the year AD 1 immediately follows the year 1 BC. This dating system was devised in 525 by Dionysius Exiguus of Scythia Minor, but was not widely used until after 800.The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world today. For decades, it has been the unofficial global standard, adopted in the pragmatic interests of international communication, transportation, and commercial integration, and recognized by international institutions such as the United Nations.Traditionally, English followed Latin usage by placing the "AD" abbreviation before the year number. However, BC is placed after the year number (for example: AD 2019, but 68 BC), which also preserves syntactic order. The abbreviation is also widely used after the number of a century or millennium, as in "fourth century AD" or "second millennium AD" (although conservative usage formerly rejected such expressions). Because BC is the English abbreviation for Before Christ, it is sometimes incorrectly concluded that AD means After Death, i.e., after the death of Jesus. However, this would mean that the approximate 33 years commonly associated with the life of Jesus would neither be included in the BC nor the AD time scales.Terminology that is viewed by some as being more neutral and inclusive of non-Christian people is to call this the Current or Common Era (abbreviated as CE), with the preceding years referred to as Before the Common or Current Era (BCE). Astronomical year numbering and ISO 8601 avoid words or abbreviations related to Christianity, but use the same numbers for AD years.

Anno Lucis

Anno Lucis (“in the Year of Light”) is a dating system used in Masonic ceremonial or commemorative proceedings, which is equivalent to the Gregorian year plus 4000. It is similar to Anno Mundi.

Battle of Mag Itha

Mag Itha, Magh Ithe, or Magh Iotha was, according to Irish mythology, the site of the first battle fought in Ireland. Different medieval sources estimated that the battle had taken place in or between 2668 BCE and 2580 BCE (Anno Mundi 2530 or 2618). On opposing sides were the Fomorians, led by Cichol Gricenchos, and the followers of Partholón.

According to the Lebor Gabála Érenn, the Fomorians had lived in Ireland for 200 years, subsisting by fishing and fowling, before the arrival of Partholón, whose people were the first in Ireland to build houses and brew ale. The Lebor Gabála dates Partholón's arrival in Ireland to AM 2608 (2590 BCE), and says the Battle of Mag Itha took place ten years after that, in AM 2618 (circa 2580 BCE). The plain of Mag Itha is said to have been cleared by Partholón's hireling Ith, and the battle to have taken place on the slemna, or "smooth lands", of that plain. 300 Fomorians took part in the battle, and Partholón was victorious. The earliest recensions of the Lebor Gabála say that Cichol was killed and the Fomorians destroyed; later recensions say the Fomorians had one arm and one leg each, the battle lasted a week, and no-one was killed or wounded as it was fought by magic.The Annals of the Four Masters dates the battle to Anno Mundi 2530 (c. 2668 BCE), and says 800 Fomorians took part in the battle, all of whom were killed. Geoffrey Keating's Foras Feasa ar Éirinn also mentions the battle, but gives little detail and no date.

Before Present

Before Present (BP) years is a time scale used mainly in archaeology, geology and other scientific disciplines to specify when events occurred in the past. Because the "present" time changes, standard practice is to use 1 January 1950 as the commencement date of the age scale, reflecting the origin of practical radiocarbon dating in the 1950s. The abbreviation "BP" has alternatively been interpreted as "Before Physics"; that is, before nuclear weapons testing artificially altered the proportion of the carbon isotopes in the atmosphere, making dating after that time likely to be unreliable.In a convention that is not always observed, many sources restrict the use of BP dates to those produced with radiocarbon dating.


Circa (from Latin, meaning 'around, about') – frequently abbreviated c., ca. or ca and less frequently circ. or cca. – signifies "approximately" in several European languages and as a loanword in English, usually in reference to a date. Circa is widely used in historical writing when the dates of events are not accurately known.

When used in date ranges, circa is applied before each approximate date, while dates without circa immediately preceding them are generally assumed to be known with certainty.


1732–1799: Both years are known precisely.

c. 1732 – 1799: The beginning year is approximate; the end year is known precisely.

1732 – c. 1799: The beginning year is known precisely ; the end year is approximate.

c. 1732 – c. 1799: Both years are approximate.


An epoch, for the purposes of chronology and periodization, is an instant in time chosen as the origin of a particular calendar era. The "epoch" serves as a reference point from which time is measured.

The moment of epoch is usually decided by congruity (makes simple sense), or by following conventions understood from the epoch in question. The epoch moment or date is usually defined from a specific, clear event of change, epoch event. In a more gradual change, a deciding moment is chosen when the epoch criterion was reached.


An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy, a calendar era used for a given calendar, or the geological eras defined for the history of Earth.

Comparable terms are epoch, age, period, saeculum, aeon (Greek aion) and Sanskrit yuga.

Era of the Martyrs

The Era of the Martyrs (Latin: anno martyrum), also known as the Diocletian era (Latin: anno Diocletiani), is a method of numbering years used by the Church of Alexandria beginning in the 4th century AD and by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria from the 5th century to the present. Western Christians were aware of it but did not use it. It was named for the Roman Emperor Diocletian who instigated the last major persecution against Christians in the Empire. Diocletian began his reign 20 November 284 during the Alexandrian year that began on 1 Thoth, the Egyptian New Year, or 29 August 284, so that date was used as the epoch: year one of the Diocletian era began on that date. This era was used to number the year in Easter tables produced by the Church of Alexandria.

When Dionysius Exiguus continued those tables for an additional 95 years, he replaced the anno Diocletiani era with his anno Domini era because he did not wish to continue the memory of a tyrant who persecuted Christians. The anno Domini era became dominant in the Latin West but was not used in the Greek East until modern times.

The anno Diocletiani era was not the only one used by early Christians. Most Roman Christians, like the pagan Romans before them, designated their years by naming the two consuls who held office that year. The Romans also used the ab urbe condita (AUC) era. Its name is Latin for "from the founding of the City (Rome)". However, the AUC era was hardly ever used outside historical treatises.

Eras that began at Creation, called anno Mundi eras, became the dominant method of numbering years in the East until modern times, such as in the Byzantine calendar. Annianus of Alexandria, a monk who flourished at the beginning of the 5th century, placed the epoch of his world era on 25 March 5492 BC by counting back eleven 532-year paschal cycles from anno Diocletiani 77, itself four 19-year lunar cycles after anno Diocletiani 1. Regarded as a civil rather than a religious era, it began on the first day of the Alexandrian year, 29 August 5493 BC. This Alexandrian era was the preferred era used by Byzantine Christians such as Maximus the Confessor until the Byzantine era, having an epoch of 1 September 5509 BC, became dominant in the 10th century. Both eras used a version of dating Creation based on the Septuagint.

Ethiopian calendar

The Ethiopian calendar (Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ዘመን አቆጣጠር; yä'Ityoṗṗya zëmän aḳoṭaṭär) or Eritrean calendar is the principal calendar used in Ethiopia and also serves as the liturgical year for Christians in Eritrea and Ethiopia belonging to the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, and Ethiopian-Eritrean Evangelicalism (Ethiopian-Eritrean Protestants in the diaspora usually use both the Ethiopian and Gregorian Calendars for liturgical purposes, by celebrating religious holidays twice). It is a solar calendar which in turn derives from the Egyptian calendar, but like the Julian calendar, it adds a leap day every four years without exception, and begins the year on August 29 or August 30 in the Julian calendar. A gap of 7–8 years between the Ethiopian and Gregorian calendars results from an alternative calculation in determining the date of the Annunciation.

Like the Coptic calendar, the Ethiopic calendar has 12 months of 30 days plus 5 or 6 epagomenal days, which comprise a thirteenth month. The Ethiopian months begin on the same days as those of the Coptic calendar, but their names are in Ge'ez. A 6th epagomenal day is added every 4 years, without exception, on August 29 of the Julian calendar, 6 months before the corresponding Julian leap day. Thus the first day of the Ethiopian year, 1 Mäskäräm, for years between 1900 and 2099 (inclusive), is usually September 11 (Gregorian). However, it falls on September 12 in years before the Gregorian leap year.


Floruit (UK: , US: ), abbreviated fl. (or occasionally flor.), Latin for "he/she flourished", denotes a date or period during which a person was known to have been alive or active. In English, the word may also be used as a noun indicating the time when someone flourished.

Genealogies of Genesis

The genealogies of Genesis provide the framework around which the Book of Genesis is structured. Beginning with Adam, genealogical material in Genesis 4, 5, 10, 11, 22, 25, 29-30, 35-36, and 46 move the narrative forward from the creation to the beginnings of Israel's existence as a people.

Genesis 5 and 11 include the age at which each patriarch had the descendant named in the text and the number of years he lived thereafter. Many of the ages given in the text are implausibly long, but would have been considered modest in comparison to the ages given in the Sumerian King List and similar accounts then circulating in the ancient Near East. The ages include patterns surrounding the numbers five and seven, for instance the 365 year life of Enoch (the same as the number of full calendar days in a solar year) and the 777 year life of Lamech (repetitional emphasis of the number seven). Since Genesis 5 and 11 provide the age of each patriarch at the birth of his named descendant, it presents a gapless chronology from Adam to Abraham, even if the named descendant is not always a first-generation son. Adam's lineage contains two branches: for Cain, given in Chapter 4, and for Seth in Chapter 5. Genesis chapter 10, the Table of Nations records the populating of the Earth by Noah's descendants, and is not strictly a genealogy but an ethnography.

Hebrew calendar

The Hebrew or Jewish calendar (הַלּוּחַ הָעִבְרִי, Ha-Luah ha-Ivri) is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions, yahrzeits (dates to commemorate the death of a relative), and daily Psalm readings, among many ceremonial uses. In Israel, it is used for religious purposes, provides a time frame for agriculture and is an official calendar for civil purposes, although the latter usage has been steadily declining in favor of the Gregorian calendar.

The present Hebrew calendar is the product of evolution, including a Babylonian influence. Until the Tannaitic period (approximately 10–220 CE), the calendar employed a new crescent moon, with an additional month normally added every two or three years to correct for the difference between twelve lunar months and the solar year. The year in which it was added was based on observation of natural agriculture-related events in ancient Israel. Through the Amoraic period (200–500 CE) and into the Geonic period, this system was gradually displaced by the mathematical rules used today. The principles and rules were fully codified by Maimonides in the Mishneh Torah in the 12th century. Maimonides' work also replaced counting "years since the destruction of the Temple" with the modern creation-era Anno Mundi.

The Hebrew lunar year is about eleven days shorter than the solar year and uses the 19-year Metonic cycle to bring it into line with the solar year, with the addition of an intercalary month every two or three years, for a total of seven times per 19 years. Even with this intercalation, the average Hebrew calendar year is longer by about 6 minutes and 40 seconds than the current mean tropical year, so that every 217 years the Hebrew calendar will fall a day behind the current mean tropical year; and about every 238 years it will fall a day behind the mean Gregorian calendar year.The era used since the Middle Ages is the Anno Mundi epoch (Latin for "in the year of the world"; Hebrew: לבריאת העולם‎, "from the creation of the world"). As with Anno Domini (A.D. or AD), the words or abbreviation for Anno Mundi (A.M. or AM) for the era should properly precede the date rather than follow it.

AM 5779 began at sunset on 9 September 2018 and will end at sunset on 29 September 2019.

Holocene calendar

The Holocene calendar, also known as the Holocene Era or Human Era (HE), is a year numbering system that adds exactly 10,000 years to the currently dominant (AD/BC or CE/BCE) numbering scheme, placing its first year near the beginning of the Holocene geological epoch and the Neolithic Revolution, when humans transitioned from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to agriculture and fixed settlements. The year 2019 in the Holocene calendar is 12,019 HE. The HE scheme was first proposed by Cesare Emiliani in 1993.

Inside Black Sabbath – 1970–1992

Black Sabbath - 1970-1992 is a video by heavy metal band Black Sabbath.

Panodorus of Alexandria

Panodorus of Alexandria was an Egyptian Byzantine monk, historian and writer who lived around 400.

He introduced a world era calculation, who reckoned 5,904 years from Adam (in Greek "από κτίσεως κόσμου", "apo ktiseos kosmou" or "έτος κόσμου", "aetos kosmou", that is 'since world's creation' or "Anno Mundi") to the year 412 CE, about which time he lived. This era is usually termed the Antiochian, sometimes the Alexandrian era. Its new year was also transferred to September 1, in which case the eight latter months of its year 5493 are the eight former months of the year one of our chronology. More important than this is the Byzantine World Era, which long served as the standard of computation in the Eastern Empire, in Russia, among the Albanians, Servians, and Modern Greeks. It counts sixteen years in excess of the Antiochian era, though likewise beginning the year with September 1; its year 5509 began with September 1 of the year one before Christ. This era was in use in Russia until 1700; whence it originated appears not to be known. By the 10th century, this dating system (its beginning fixed at 5509 BCE) became standard in the Byzantine Empire and thereby, the Orthodox countries of Eastern Europe. But as such Anno Mundi time systems became very popular, they created a huge problem: end-of-world fever, caused by a threatening Seventh Day that equated to the end of the 6000-year period and corresponded to a date 500 years after Christ's birth year. So many Chiliasm, or Millenarianism, emphasizing religious movements arose at that period. In 1492, Sir Thomas Browne supported also the belief that the world was created in 5509 BCE and that its ordained lifetime was 7,000 years.

Prehistoric Irish battles

This is a list of battles recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters, written in the 17th century, as taking place in prehistoric Ireland. Many of the battles listed are purely mythological, and none are historically reliable. Other Irish annalistic and chronicle sources differ in their chronologies.


A stratotype or type section is a geological term that names the physical location or outcrop of a particular reference exposure of a stratigraphic sequence or stratigraphic boundary. If the stratigraphic unit is layered, it is called a stratotype, whereas the standard of reference for unlayered rocks is the type locality.

Tyr (album)

Tyr () (stylized as ᛏᛉᚱ) is the 15th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in August 1990 by I.R.S. Records.

The album title, and several song titles, allude to Norse mythology, which led many to call Tyr a concept album, although bassist Neil Murray dispelled that in 2005, stating that while many of the songs may seem loosely related, very little of the album has to do with mythology and it was not intended to be a concept recording.

Year zero

Year zero does not exist in the anno Domini system usually used to number years in the Gregorian calendar and in its predecessor, the Julian calendar. In this system, the year 1 BC is followed by AD 1. However, there is a year zero in astronomical year numbering (where it coincides with the Julian year 1 BC) and in ISO 8601:2004 (where it coincides with the Gregorian year 1 BC) as well as in all Buddhist and Hindu calendars.

Key topics
Astronomic time
Geologic time
Genetic methods
Linguistic methods
Related topics

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