The Babylonian calendar was a lunisolar calendar with years consisting of 12 lunar months, each beginning when a new crescent moon was first sighted low on the western horizon at sunset, plus an intercalary month inserted as needed by decree. The calendar is based on a Sumerian (Third Dynasty of Ur) predecessor preserved in the Umma calendar of Shulgi (c. 21st century BC).
The year begins in spring, and is divided into reš šatti "beginning", mišil šatti "middle", and qīt šatti "end of the year". The word for "month" was arḫu (construct state araḫ). That the calendar originates in Babylonian, and not later Assyrian times is shown by the fact that the chief deity of the Assyrians is assigned the surplus intercalary month. During the 6th century BC Babylonian captivity of the Hebrews, the Babylonian month names were adopted into the Hebrew calendar. The Assyrian calendar used in Iraq and the Levant also uses many of the same names for its months, such as Iyyar, Tammuz, Ab, Elul, Tishri, and Adar.
|Season||Month name||Presiding deities||Zodiac sign||Hebrew equivalent||Gregorian equivalent||Levantine equivalent|
|1||Araḫ Nisānu - 𒌚𒁈
'Month of the Sanctuary'
|Bel - 𒀭𒂗||Agru (Aries) - 𒀯𒇽𒂠𒂷||Nisan||March/April||Naysān نَيْسَان|
|2||Araḫ Āru - 𒌚𒄞
'Month of the Bull'
|Ea - 𒂗𒆠||Gu (Taurus) - 𒀯𒄞||Iyar||April/May||Ayyār أَيَّار|
|3||Araḫ Simanu - 𒌚𒋞||Sīn - 𒂗𒍪||Maštaba (Gemini) - 𒀯𒈦𒋰𒁀||Sivan||May/June||Ḥazīrān حَزِيرَان|
|4||Araḫ Dumuzu - 𒌚𒋗
'Month of Tammuz'
|Tammuz - 𒀭𒌉𒍣||Alluttu (Cancer) - 𒀯𒀠𒇻||Tammuz||June/July||Tammūz تَمُّوز|
|5||Araḫ Abu - 𒌚𒉈||-||Nēšu (Leo) - 𒀯𒌨||Ab||July/August||Āb آب|
|6||Araḫ Ulūlu - 𒌚𒆥||Ishtar - 𒀭𒈹||Sisinnu (Virgo) - 𒀯𒀳||Elul||August/September||Aylūl أَيْلُول|
|7||Araḫ Tišritum - 𒌚𒇯
'Month of Beginning'
|Shamash - 𒀭𒌓||Zibānītu (Libra) - 𒀯𒄑𒂟||Tishrei||September/October||Tishrīn al-Awwal تِشْرِين الْأَوَّل|
|8||Araḫ Samnu - 𒌚𒀳
'Month of Laying Foundations'
|Marduk - 𒀭𒀫𒌓||Zuqaqīpu (Scorpio) - 𒀯𒄈𒋰||Cheshvan||October/November||Tishrīn ath-Thānī تِشْرِين الثَّانِي|
|9||Araḫ Kislimu - 𒌚𒃶||Nergal - 𒀭𒄊𒀕𒃲||Pabilsag (Sagittarius) - 𒀯𒉺𒉋𒊕||Kislev||November/December||Kānūn al-Awwal كَانُون الْأَوَّل|
|10||Araḫ Ṭebētum - 𒌚𒀊
'Month of the Forthcoming of Water'
|Papsukkal - 𒀭𒊩𒆠𒋚||Suḫurmāšu (Capricorn) - 𒀯𒋦𒈧𒄩||December/January||Kānūn ath-Thānī كَانُون الثَّانِي|
|11||Araḫ Šabaṭu - 𒌚𒊭𒉺𒌅||Adad - 𒀭𒅎||Gula (Aquarius) - 𒀯𒄖𒆷||Shebat||January/February||Shubāṭ شُبَاط|
|12||Araḫ Addaru / Adār - 𒌚𒊺
'Month of Adar'
|Erra - 𒀭𒅕𒊏||Zibbātu (Pisces) - 𒀯𒆲𒎌||Adar||February/March||Ādhār آذَار|
|Intercalary||13||Araḫ Makaruša Addari
Araḫ Addaru Arku - 𒌚𒊺𒂕
|Assur - 𒀭𒀸𒋩||In year 17 of 19-year cycle, the intercalary month was named Araḫ Ulūlu - 𒌚𒆥|
Until the 5th century BC, the calendar was fully observational, but beginning about 499 BC the months began to be regulated by a lunisolar cycle of 19 years equaling 235 months. Although usually called the Metonic cycle after Meton of Athens (432 BC), Meton probably learned of the cycle from the Babylonians. After no more than three isolated exceptions, by 380 BC the months of the calendar were regulated by the cycle without exception. In the cycle of 19 years, the month Adaru 2 was intercalated, except in the year that was number 17 in the cycle, when the month Ulūlu 2 was inserted. During this period, the first day of each month (beginning at sunset) continued to be the day when a new crescent moon was first sighted—the calendar never used a specified number of days in any month.
Counting from the new moon, the Babylonians celebrated every seventh day as a "holy-day", also called an "evil-day" (meaning "unsuitable" for prohibited activities). On these days officials were prohibited from various activities and common men were forbidden to "make a wish", and at least the 28th was known as a "rest-day". On each of them, offerings were made to a different god and goddess, apparently at nightfall to avoid the prohibitions: Marduk and Ishtar on the 7th, Ninlil and Nergal on the 14th, Sin and Shamash on the 21st, and Enki and Mah on the 28th. Tablets from the sixth-century BC reigns of Cyrus the Great and Cambyses II indicate these dates were sometimes approximate. The lunation of 29 or 30 days basically contained three seven-day weeks, and a final week of eight or nine days inclusive, breaking the continuous seven-day cycle.
Among other theories of Shabbat origin, the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia of Isaac Landman advanced a theory of Assyriologists like Friedrich Delitzsch that Shabbat originally arose from the lunar cycle, containing four weeks ending in Sabbath, plus one or two additional unreckoned days per month. The difficulties of this theory include reconciling the differences between an unbroken week and a lunar week, and explaining the absence of texts naming the lunar week as Shabbat in any language.
The Babylonians additionally celebrated the 19th as a special "evil day", the "day of anger", because it was roughly the 49th day of the (preceding) month, completing a "week of weeks". Sacrifices were offered to Ninurta and the day dedicated to Gula, and it may be supposed that prohibitions were strengthened.
Further, reconstruction of a broken tablet seems to define the rarely attested Sapattum or Sabattum as the full moon. This word is cognate or merged with Hebrew Shabbat, but is monthly rather than weekly; it is regarded as a form of Sumerian sa-bat ("mid-rest"), attested in Akkadian as um nuh libbi ("day of mid-repose"). According to Marcello Craveri, Sabbath "was almost certainly derived from the Babylonian Shabattu, the festival of the full moon, but, all trace of any such origin having been lost, the Hebrews ascribed it to Biblical legend." This conclusion is a contextual restoration of the damaged Enûma Eliš creation account, which is read as: "[Sa]bbath shalt thou then encounter, mid[month]ly."
The 1580s BC was a decade lasting from January 1, 1589 BC to December 31, 1580 BC.Ancient Macedonian calendar
The Ancient Macedonian calendar is a lunisolar calendar that was in use in ancient Macedon in the 1st millennium BC. It consisted of 12 synodic lunar months (i.e. 354 days per year), which needed intercalary months to stay in step with the seasons. By the time the calendar was being used across the Hellenistic world, seven total embolimoi (intercalary months) were being added in each 19-year Metonic cycle. The names of the ancient Macedonian Calendar remained in use in Syria even into the Christian era. The Macedonian calendar was in essence the Babylonian calendar with the substitution of Macedonian names for the Babylonian ones. An example of 6th century AD inscriptions from Decapolis, Jordan, bearing the Solar Macedonian calendar, starts from the month Audynaeus. The solar type was merged later with the Julian calendar. In Roman Macedonia, both calendars were used. The Roman one is attested in inscriptions with the name Kalandôn gen. καλανδῶν calendae and the Macedonian Hellenikei dat. Ἑλληνικῇ Hellenic. Finally an inscription from Kassandreia of about ca. 306-298 BC bearing a month Ἀθηναιῶν Athenaion suggests that some cities may have used their own months even after the 4th century BC Macedonian expansion.
Δίος (Dios, moon of October)
Ἀπελλαῖος (Apellaiios, moon of November, also a Dorian month - Apellaiōn was a Tenian month)
Αὐδυναῖος or Αὐδναῖος (Audunaios or Audnaios, moon of December, Cretan month also)
Περίτιος (Peritios, moon of January) (and festival of the month; Peritia)
Δύστρος (Dystros, moon of February)
Ξανδικός or Ξανθικός (Xandikos or Xanthikos, moon of March) (and festival of the month; Xanthika, purifying the army, Hesych.)
Ξανδικός Ἐμβόλιμος (Xandikos Embolimos, intercalated 6 times over a 19-year cycle)
Ἀρτεμίσιος or Ἀρταμίτιος (Artemisios or Artamitios, moon of April, also a Spartan, Rhodian and Epidaurian month - Artemisiōn was an Ionic month)
Δαίσιος (Daisios, moon of May)
Πάνημος or Πάναμος (Panēmos or Panamos, moon of June, also an Epidaurian, Miletian, Samian and Corinthian month)
Λώιος (Lōios, moon of July - Ὀμολώιος, Homolōios, was an Aetolian, Boeotian and Thessalian month)
Γορπιαῖος (Gorpiaios, moon of August)
Ὑπερβερεταῖος (Hyperberetaios, moon of September - Hyperberetos was a Cretan month)
Ὑπερβερεταῖος Ἑμβόλιμος (Hyperberetaios Embolimos, intercalated once over a 19-year cycle)Babylonian
Babylonian may refer to:
Babylon, a Semitic Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia founded in 1894 BC
Babylonia, an ancient Akkadian-speaking Semitic nation state and cultural region based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq)
Babylonian language, a dialect of the Akkadian languageKadashman-Turgu
Kadašman-Turgu, inscribed Ka-da-aš-ma-an Túr-gu and meaning he believes in Turgu, a Kassite deity, (1281–1264 BC short chronology) was the 24th king of the Kassite or 3rd dynasty of Babylon. He succeeded his father, Nazi-Maruttaš, continuing the tradition of proclaiming himself “king of the world” and went on to reign for eighteen years. He was a contemporary of the Hittite king Ḫattušili III, with whom he concluded a formal treaty of friendship and mutual assistance, and also Ramesses II with whom he consequently severed diplomatic relations.
Kadašman-Turgu reigned during momentous times, but seems to have played only a peripheral role. Ḫattušili III, in a letter to his son and successor Kadašman-Enlil II, said of him, “they used to call [your father] a king who prepares for war but then stays at home”. His personal seal included suckling animals in two registers, allegorically symbolizing his care for his subjects. The continued employment of the extinct Sumerian language in royal votive inscriptions was in decline and the Babylonian calendar was under revision with the introduction of the Akkadian term: Šanat rēš šarrūti, “accession year.”Kurdish calendar
The Kurdish calendar was originally a lunisolar calendarrelated to the Babylonian calendar, but is now a solar calendar related to the Iranian calendar. The current year will begin on 21 March 2019 (known in the Kurdish calendar as the 1st of Cejnan 2719).Metonic cycle
For astronomy and calendar studies, the Metonic cycle or Enneadecaeteris (from Ancient Greek: ἐννεακαιδεκαετηρίς, "nineteen years") is a period of very close to 19 years that is nearly a common multiple of the solar year and the synodic (lunar) month. The Greek astronomer Meton of Athens (fifth century BC) observed that a period of 19 years is almost exactly equal to 235 synodic months and, rounded to full days, counts 6,940 days. The difference between the two periods (of 19 solar years and 235 synodic months) is only a few hours, depending on the definition of the year.
Considering a year to be 1⁄19 of this 6,940-day cycle gives a year length of 365 + 1⁄4 + 1⁄76 days (the unrounded cycle is much more accurate), which is about 11 days more than 12 synodic months. To keep a 12-month lunar year in pace with the solar year, an intercalary 13th month would have to be added on seven occasions during the nineteen-year period (235 = 19 × 12 + 7). When Meton introduced the cycle around 432 BC, it was already known by Babylonian astronomers. A mechanical computation of the cycle is built into the Antikythera mechanism.
The cycle was used in the Babylonian calendar, ancient Chinese calendar systems (the 'Rule Cycle' 章) and the medieval computus (i.e., the calculation of the date of Easter). It regulates the 19-year cycle of intercalary months of the modern Hebrew calendar. The start of the Metonic cycle depends on which of these systems is being used; for Easter, the first year of the current Metonic cycle is 2014.Papsukkal
Papsukkal is the messenger god in the Akkadian pantheon. He is identified in late Akkadian texts and is known chiefly from the Hellenistic period. His consort is Amasagnul, and he acts as both messenger and gatekeeper for the rest of the pantheon. A sanctuary, the E-akkil is identified from the Mesopotamian site of Mkish. Papsukkal was syncretized with Ninshubur, the messenger of the goddess Inanna.
Papsukkal was the regent of the tenth month in the Babylonian calendar.Samsu-iluna
Samsu-iluna (Amorite: Shamshu; c. 1750–1712 BC) was the seventh king of the founding Amorite dynasty of Babylon, ruling from 1750 BC to 1712 BC (middle chronology), or from 1686 to 1648 BC (short chronology). He was the son and successor of Hammurabi by an unknown mother. His reign was marked by the violent uprisings of areas conquered by his father and the abandonment of several important cities (primarily in Sumer).Schøyen Collection
The Schøyen Collection is the largest private manuscript collection in the world, mostly located in Oslo and London. Formed in the 20th century by Martin Schøyen, it comprises manuscripts of global provenance, spanning 5,000 years of history. It contains more than 13,000 manuscript items; the oldest is about 5,300 years old. There are manuscripts from 134 different countries and territories, representing 120 distinct languages.The variety of manuscripts—geographic, linguistic, textual and material—even more than its size makes the Schøyen Collection unique. The collection has a website with many items illustrated and described. The provenance of the various cuneiform materials held by the Schøyen Collection remains subject to controversy.Seleucid era
The Seleucid era or Anno Graecorum (literally "year of the Greeks" or "Greek year"), sometimes denoted "AG", was a system of numbering years in use by the Seleucid Empire and other countries among the ancient Hellenistic civilizations. It is sometimes referred to as "the dominion of the Seleucidæ," or the Year of Alexander. The era dates from Seleucus I Nicator's re-conquest of Babylon in 312/11 BC after his exile in Ptolemaic Egypt, considered by Seleucus and his court to mark the founding of the Seleucid Empire. According to Jewish tradition, it was during the sixth year of Alexander the Great's reign (lege: possibly Alexander the Great's infant son, Alexander IV of Macedon) that they began to make use of this counting. The introduction of the new era is mentioned in one of the Babylonian Chronicles, the Chronicle of the Diadochi.Two different uses were made of the Seleucid years:
The natives of the empire used the Babylonian calendar, in which the new year falls on 1 Nisanu (3 April in 311 BC), so in this system year 1 of the Seleucid era corresponds roughly to April 311 BC to March 310 BC. This included the Jews, who call it the Era of Contracts Hebrew מניין שטרות, minyan shtarot). It is used in the Jewish historical book, now "deuterocanonical", 1 Maccabees, in 6:20, 7:1, 9:3, 10:1, etc.
The Macedonian court adopted the Babylonian calendar (substituting the Macedonian month names) but reckoned the new year to be in the autumn (the exact date is unknown). In this system year 1 of the Seleucid era corresponds to the period from autumn 312 BC to summer 311 BC. By the 7th century AD / 10th AG, the west Syrian Christians settled on 1 October-to-30 September. Jews, however, reckon the start of each new Seleucid year with the lunar month Tishri.These differences in the beginning of the year mean that dates may differ by one. Bickerman gives this example:
For instance, the restoration of the temple of Jerusalem by Judas Maccabaeus, approximately 15 December 164 BC, fell in the year 148 of the Seleucid Era according to Jewish (and Babylonian) calculation, but in the year 149 for the court.The Seleucid era was used as late as the 6th century AD, for instance in the Zabad trilingual inscription in Syria, dated the 24th of Gorpiaios, 823 (24 September, 512 AD), and in the writings of John of Ephesus. Syriac chroniclers continued to use it up to Michael the Syrian in the 12th century AD / 15th century AG. It has been found on Nestorian Christian tombstones from Central Asia well into the 14th century AD.The Seleucid era counting, or "era of contracts" (minyan sheṭarot), was used by Yemenite Jews in their legal deeds and contracts until modern times, a practice derived from an ancient Jewish teaching in the Talmud, requiring all Diaspora Jews to uphold its practice. For this reason, the Seleucid era counting is mentioned in the Book of Maccabees (I Macc. i. 11) and in the writings of the historian, Josephus. The Seleucid era counting fell into disuse among most Jewish communities, following Rabbi David ben Zimra's cancellation of the practice when he served as Chief Rabbi of Egypt.Shabbat
Shabbat (; Hebrew: שַׁבָּת [ʃa'bat], "rest" or "cessation") or Shabbos (['ʃa.bəs], Ashkenazi Hebrew and Yiddish: שבת), or the Sabbath is Judaism's day of rest and seventh day of the week, on which religious Jews, Samaritans and certain Christians (such as Seventh-day Adventists, the 7th Day movement and Seventh Day Baptists) remember the Biblical creation of the heavens and the earth in six days and the Exodus of the Hebrews, and look forward to a future Messianic Age. Shabbat observance entails refraining from work activities, often with great rigor, and engaging in restful activities to honor the day. Judaism's traditional position is that unbroken seventh-day Shabbat originated among the Jewish people, as their first and most sacred institution, though some suggest other origins. Variations upon Shabbat are widespread in Judaism and, with adaptations, throughout the Abrahamic and many other religions.
According to halakha (Jewish religious law), Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night. Shabbat is ushered in by lighting candles and reciting a blessing. Traditionally, three festive meals are eaten: in the evening, in the early afternoon, and late in the afternoon. The evening meal and the early afternoon meal typically begin with a blessing called kiddush and another blessing recited over two loaves of challah. Shabbat is closed the following evening with a havdalah blessing.
Shabbat is a festive day when Jews exercise their freedom from the regular labors of everyday life. It offers an opportunity to contemplate the spiritual aspects of life and to spend time with family.Shagarakti-Shuriash
Šagarakti-Šuriaš, written phonetically ša-ga-ra-ak-ti-šur-ia-aš or dša-garak-ti-šu-ri-ia-aš in cuneiform or in a variety of other forms, Šuriaš (a Kassite sun god corresponding to Babylonian Šamaš, and possibly to Vedic Surya) gives me life, (1245–1233 BC short chronology) was the twenty seventh king of the Third or Kassite dynasty of Babylon. The earliest extant economic text is dated to the 5th day of Nisan in his accession year, corresponding to his predecessor’s year 9, suggesting the succession occurred very early in the year as this month was the first in the Babylonian calendar. He ruled for thirteen years and was succeeded by his son, Kaštiliašu IV.Tammuz (Babylonian calendar)
Tammuz was a month in the Babylonian calendar, named for one of the main Babylonian gods, Tammuz (Sumerian: Dumuzid, "son of life"). Many different calendar systems have since adopted Tammuz to refer to a month in the summer season.
In the Hebrew calendar, Tammuz is the tenth month of the civil year and the fourth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a summer month of 29 days. Tammuz is also the name for the month of July in the Gregorian calendar in Arabic (تموز), Syriac (ܬܡܘܙ) and Turkish ("Temmuz").Tamuz
Tamuz may refer to:
Tammuz (Hebrew month), in the Jewish calendar
Tammuz (Babylonian calendar), in the Arabic and Assyrian calendars
Tammuz (mythology), a supernatural creature from Assyrian-Babylonian Mesopotamian religion
Tamouz (band), an Israeli rock band
Tamuz (kibbutz), an Israeli kibbutz
Spike (missile) M113 Tamuz, an Israeli item of military equipment
Tamuz Prize, an Israeli award for Singer of the YearTurkish months
The month names in Turkish are derived from three languages: either from Latin, Levantine Arabic (which itself took its names from Hebrew and Aramaic), or from a genuine Turkish word. The Arabic-Hebrew-Aramaic month names themselves originate in the ancient Babylonian calendar, and are therefore akin to the names of months in the Hebrew Calendar, specifically Shevat, Nisan, Tammuz and Elul. The original Babylonian months were actual lunar months, as the Hebrew months of the same names are to this day, much like months in the Islamic calendar. Turkey has used Gregorian AD year numbering officially since 1926, though Gregorian calendar dates were in use since March 1917. The names of the months from February to September had been used in the now abandoned Rumi calendar, with the other four still retaining their old Arabic/Aramaic names. In 1945, these four received names of Turkish origin.Waiting for the Weekend
Waiting for the Weekend is a book published in 1991 by Canadian architect, professor and writer Witold Rybczynski.In Waiting for the Weekend, Rybczynski recounts the evolution of the seven-day week, which came into being with the Babylonian calendar, and the later, more modern, development of the two-day weekend. In so doing, he tells the history of leisure and time off; starting first with "taboo" days, market days, public festivals and holy days and how, with the coming of the Industrial Revolution the practice of "keeping Saint Monday", that is, staying home from work, evolved into the modern weekend.Zoroastrian calendar
Adherents of Zoroastrianism use three distinct versions of traditional calendars for liturgical purposes, all derived from medieval Iranian calendars, ultimately based on the Babylonian calendar as used in the Achaemenid empire.
"Qadimi" ("ancient") is a traditional reckoning introduced in 1006.
"Shahanshahi" ("imperial") is a calendar reconstructed from the 10th-century text Denkard.
"Fasli" is a term for a 1906 adaptation of the 11th-century Jalali calendar, following a proposal by Kharshedji Rustomji Cama made in the 1860s.
A number of Calendar eras are in use:
A tradition of counting years from the birth of Zoroaster was reported from India in the 19th century. There was a dispute between factions variously preferring an era of 389 BCE, 538 BCE or 637 BCE.
The "Yazdegerdi era" (also Yazdegirdi) counts from the accession of the last Sassanid ruler, Yazdegerd III (16 June 632 CE). This convention was proposed by Cama in the 1860s but has since also been used in conjunctions with "Qadimi" or "Shahanshahi" reckoning. An alternative "Magian era" (era Magorum or Tarikh al-majus) was set at the date of Yazdegerd's death, in 652.
"Z.E.R." or "Zarathushtrian Religious Era" is a convention introduced in 1990 by the "Zarathushtrian Assembly of California", set at vernal equinox (Nowruz) of 1737 BCE.
|In wide use|