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,[1] 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.[2] The introduction of the new era is mentioned in one of the Babylonian Chronicles, the Chronicle of the Diadochi.[3]

Two different uses were made of the Seleucid years:

  1. 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.[4]
  2. 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.[5] Jews, however, reckon the start of each new Seleucid year with the lunar month Tishri.[6]

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.[7]

The Seleucid era was used as late as the 6th century AD, for instance in the Zebed inscription in Syria, dated the 24th of Gorpiaios, 823 (24 September, 512 AD),[8] and in the writings of John of Ephesus.[9] Syriac chroniclers continued to use it up to Michael the Syrian in the 12th century AD / 15th century AG.[5] It has been found on Nestorian Christian tombstones from Central Asia well into the 14th century AD.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12]


  1. ^ Denis C. Feeney, Caesar's Calendar, University of California Press, Berkeley 2007, p. 139.
  2. ^ Babylonian Talmud (Avodah Zarah 10a), Rabbeinu Hananel's Commentary; RASHI's commentary on Babylonian Talmud (Avodah Zarah 9a); Sefer Hakabbalah of Rabbi Avraham ben David (Ravad); Midrash David on Mishnah Tractate Avot (Ethics of the Fathers, 1:6)
  3. ^ Babylonian Diadochi Chronicle (BCHP) 3; obverse, line 4.
  4. ^ Emil Schürer (1890). A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ. T&T Clark. pp. 36–44.
  5. ^ a b Andrew Palmer (1993). The Seventh Century. Liverpool University Press. pp. xxxiv, xxxvii, lii–lviii.
  6. ^ Emil Schürer, Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes im Zeitalter Jesu Christi, vol. 1, Leipzig 1886–1890; 4th edition 1901–1909, pp. 36–46; Mishnah, Rosh HaShanah 1:1
  7. ^ Elias J. Bickerman (1943). "Notes on Seleucid and Parthian Chronology". Berytus. 8: 73–84.
  8. ^ M. A. Kugener, "Nouvelle Note Sur L'Inscription Trilingue De Zébed", Rivista degli Studi Orientali (1907), pp. 577-586.
  9. ^ Peter Charanis, "On the Question of the Hellenization of Sicily and Southern Italy During the Middle Ages", American Historical Review, 52:1 (1946), p. 82.
  10. ^ Syriac Gravestones from Central Asia
  11. ^ Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 10a, which reads: “Said Rav Nahman: 'In the Diaspora, it is not permissible to count [the date in years] except only by the kings of the Grecians'.”
  12. ^ Chaim Yosef David Azulai, Shem ha-Gedolim [Ma'arekhet Gedolim], ed. Yitzhak Isaac Ben-Yaaqov, (the Letters Daleth), Vienna 1864, s.v. מהר"ר דוד ן' זמרא, p. 19 (section 16 - ז) (Hebrew)


312 BC

Year 312 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Corvus and Mus (or, less frequently, year 442 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 312 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


Year 799 (DCCXCIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 799 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


Abdsamiya was a king of Hatra, an ancient city and kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia (Iraq). He reigned from about AD 180 to 205. Abdsamiya was the son of king Sanatruq I and the father of Sanatruq II. Abdsamiya is known from eight inscriptions found at Hatra. One of them reports the building of a porticus for the king and is dated to year 504 of the Seleucid era (AD 192/93). Another inscription appears on a statue and is dated to AD 201/202. Abdsamiya is most likely also mentioned by Herodian (3.1.3). There he appears as Barsemias. He supported in year AD 192 Pescennius Niger against Septimius Severus.

Afrin River

The Afrin River (Arabic: نهر عفرين‎ Nahr ʻIfrīn; (Kurdish: Rubara Efrin‎; northern Syrian vernacular: Nahər ʻAfrīn; Turkish: Afrin Çayı) is a tributary of the Orontes River in Turkey and Syria. It rises in the Kartal Mountains in Gaziantep Province, Turkey, flows south through the city of Afrin in Syria, then reenters Turkey. It joins the Karasu at the site of the former Lake Amik, and its waters flow to the Orontes by a canal.The total length of the river is 131 kilometres (81 mi), of which 54 kilometres (34 mi) is in Syria.

About 250,000,000 cubic metres (8.8×109 cu ft) of the annual flow of the river comes from the Hatay Province of Turkey, while about 60,000,000 cubic metres (2.1×109 cu ft) originates in Syria.

The river is impounded by the Afrin Dam to the north of the city of Afrin.The Afrin was known as Apre to the Assyrians, Oinoparas in the Seleucid era, and as Ufrenus in the Roman era. Abu'l-Fida mentions it as Nahr Ifrîn.

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)

Anno Mundi

Anno Mundi (Latin for "in the year of the world"; Hebrew: לבריאת העולם, "to the creation of the world"), abbreviated as AM, or Year After Creation, 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. 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.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 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.)

Bosporan era

The Bosporan era (BE or AB), also called the Bithynian era, Pontic era or Bithyno-Pontic era, was a calendar era (year numbering) used from 149 BC at the latest until at least AD 497 in Asia Minor and the Black Sea region. It originated in the Bithynian Kingdom and was also used in the Pontic Kingdom and, for the longest time, in the Bosporan Kingdom. The calendar era begins with the assumption of the royal title by Zipoetes I of Bithynia in October 297 BC (in the Gregorian calendar), which marks the start of its year one. The Bosporan year began at the autumnal equinox.The earliest evidence for the use of the Bithynian era is some coins dating from 149/8 BC, when Nicomedes II overthrew his father, Prusias II. Since earlier Bithynian coins carry no date, it is possible that the calendar was invented on this occasion. The era was adopted in Pontus under Mithridates VI, who introduced it onto the Pontic coinage sometime before 96/95 BC, replacing the Seleucid era used up to then. Since Pontus and Bithynia were rivals at the time, the most likely date for the introduction of the Bithynian era into Pontus was during the brief alliance between the two countries during the invasion of Paphlagonia in 108 BC.The Bithyno-Pontic era fell out of use in northern Asia Minor following the Roman conquest in 63 BC. There is no evidence that it was suppressed by Roman authorities, rather the local authorities preferred to adopt new eras commemorating their joining the Roman province of Bithynia et Pontus. The province thus had several dating systems in use, including the Seleucid era, but the Bithyno-Pontic era was not among them.There is no evidence from Asia Minor of the Bithyno-Pontic era ever being used on anything other than coins. Inscriptions, however, survive from the northern shore of the Black Sea, the region that fell under the Bosporan Kingdom in the first four centuries AD. In the Bosporus, the era was used in conjunction with the months of the Macedonian calendar. The first Bosporan coins bearing the era are from the reign of Mithridates VI's son, Pharnaces II, who never controlled Pontus and whose kingdom was thus restricted to the Cimmerian Bosporus. His coins were minted in Bosporus, but were of the Pontic type. The first distinctly Bosporan coins, which bear Bosporan era dates, are from 281 BE (17/16 BC) and were issued by Queen Dynamis.The earliest inscription dated with the Bosporan era can be read either 325 BE (AD 29) or else 313 (17) and mentions the reigning king, Aspurgus. While the Bosporan series of coins ends with Rhescuporis VI in AD 341, the latest inscription is from 794 BE (AD 497/8).

Calendar era

A calendar era is the year numbering system used by a calendar. For example, the Gregorian calendar numbers its years in the Western Christian era (the Coptic Orthodox and Ethiopian Orthodox churches have their own Christian eras). The instant, date, or year from which time is marked is called the epoch of the era. There are many different calendar eras such as Saka Era.

In antiquity, regnal years were counted from the accession of a monarch. This makes the Chronology of the ancient Near East very difficult to reconstruct, based on disparate and scattered king lists, such as the Sumerian King List and the Babylonian Canon of Kings. In East Asia, reckoning by era names chosen by ruling monarchs ceased in the 20th century except for Japan, where they are still used.


Circa (from Latin, meaning 'around, about, roughly, approximately') – 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.

Deir Ali

Deir Ali (Arabic: دير علي‎) is a small town in southern Syria, administratively part of the Rif Dimashq Governorate. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics, Deir Ali had a population of 4,368 in the 2004 census. Its inhabitants are predominantly members of the Druze community.The Arab Gas Pipeline passes through the area and supplies gas to a modern power station (estimated cost 250 million euros) in the town; the pipeline junction at the power station links the power grids of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.The town was historically a village known as Lebaba, and contains the archaeological remains of a Marcionite church. These include an inscription dated to 318 CE, which is the oldest known surviving inscribed reference, anywhere, to Jesus:

The meeting-house of the Marcionists, in the village of Lebaba, of the Lord and Saviour Jesus the Good -Erected by the forethought of Paul a presbyter, in the year 630 Seleucid era


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 (geology)

A geologic era is a subdivision of geologic time that divides an eon into smaller units of time. The Phanerozoic Eon is divided into three such time frames: the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic (meaning "old life", "middle life" and "recent life") that represent the major stages in the macroscopic fossil record. These eras are separated by catastrophic extinction boundaries, the P-T boundary between the Paleozoic and the Mesozoic and the K-Pg boundary between the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic. There is evidence that catastrophic meteorite impacts played a role in demarcating the differences between the eras.

The Hadean, Archean and Proterozoic eons were as a whole formerly called the Precambrian. This covered the four billion years of Earth history prior to the appearance of hard-shelled animals. More recently, however, the Archean and Proterozoic eons have been subdivided into eras of their own.

Geologic eras are further subdivided into geologic periods, although the Archean eras have yet to be subdivided in this way.


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.

Geological period

A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place.

These periods form elements of a hierarchy of divisions into which geologists have split the Earth's history.

Eons and eras are larger subdivisions than periods while periods themselves may be divided into epochs and ages.

The rocks formed during a period belong to a stratigraphic unit called a system.

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.

Pompeian era

The Pompeian Era was a calendar era used by Hellenistic cities in Roman Palestine, in particular the cities of the Decapolis. The calendar counted the years from the region's conquest by the Roman general Pompey in 63 BCE. Many of these cities had been self-governing poleis before the Jewish Hasmoneans had conquered them in the 2nd century BCE. The Romans restored their self-governing status, so the conquest amounted to a "new foundation" of the cities, and they made that date the epochal year of their calendars. Some other nearby cities, such as Philadelphia, adopted the era even though they had never been under Hasmonean rule.When archaeologists find Pompeian dates on a city's coins and inscriptions, they use them as evidence of the city's membership in the Decapolis league. However, some cities that ancient writers listed in the Decapolis did not use Pompeian dates. In particular, Damascus continued to reckon dates using the Seleucid era.The region continued to use the Pompeian era during the Byzantine period, long after the term "Decapolis" had fallen out of use. The calendar was used even after the Muslim conquest of Syria in the 7th century CE. A church in Khilda, near Philadelphia (Amman), is inscribed with the Pompeian year 750, or 687 CE, several years after the Muslim conquest.

Stratonicea (Caria)

Stratonicea (Greek: Στρατoνικεια or Στρατoνικη; or per Stephanus of Byzantium: Στρατονίκεια) – also transliterated as Stratonikeia, Stratoniceia , Stratoniki, and Stratonike and Stratonice; earlier Idrias and Chrysaoris; and for a time Hadrianopolis – was one of the most important towns in the interior of Caria, Anatolia, situated on the east-southeast of Mylasa, and on the south of the river Marsyas; its site is now located at the present village of Eskihisar, Muğla Province, Turkey. It is situated at a distance of 1 km (0.62 mi) from the intercity road that connects the district center of Yatağan with Bodrum and Milas, shortly before Yatağan Power Plant if one has taken departure from the latter towns.


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.

Yavana era

The Yavana Era, Yona Era or Yonana was a computational era used in the Indian subcontinent from the 2nd century BCE for several centuries thereafter. It is thought that the era started around 186 BCE, and corresponds to accession to the Greco-Bactrian throne of Demetrius, who is said to have initiated the Indo-Greek conquest of parts of Northwestern South Asia.The creation of specific eras is a well-known phenomenon marking great dynastical events, such as the Seleucid era (starting in 312 BCE, with the return of Seleucus to Babylon), the Arsacid Era in Parthia (starting in 248/7), BCE), the Azes era in Gandhara (starting in 58/7), and the Kanishka era, when he established his empire in 127 CE.

Key topics
Astronomic time
Geologic time
Genetic methods
Linguistic methods
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