Difference between revisions of "12th Century Calendar"

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=the year and the calendar=
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==The year and the months and days therein==
The 12th century year has 365 days, starting from the 25th of March. Every fourth year, the 6th day before the Kalends of March (24th February) was counted twice. This leap day was called the bisextus.
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The [[12th century]] year has 365 days, starting from the 25th of March. Every fourth year, the 6th day before the Kalends of March (24th February) was counted twice. This leap day was called the bisextus.
   
Each month (named as in modern times) was divided up into days, the first day was the "Kalends" of that month (eg Kalends of October). The 5th (or 7th in March, May, July, October) day of the month was the "Nones" and the 13th (or 15th in the above mentioned months) of the month was the ides of that month. In between days were listed as a number of days before any of these. For example:
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Each month (named as in modern times) was divided up into days, the first day was the "Kalends" of that month (eg. Kalends of October). The 5th (or 7th in March, May, July, October) day of the month was the "Nones" and the 13th (or 15th in the above mentioned months) of the month was the Ides of that month. In between days were listed as a number of days before the next division. For example:
2th January = 3 before Nones of January
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*2th January = 3 before Nones of January
25th February = 4 before Kalends March
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*25th February = 4 before Kalends March
15th March = Ides of March
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*15th March = Ides of March
14th April = 16 before Kalends May or in shorthand XVI KL May
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*14th April = 16 before Kalends May or in shorthand, XVI KL May
14th May = day before ides of May
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*14th May = day before Ides of May
   
The week was seven days long, with the same names as in modern times.
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The seven days of the week had the same names as they do in modern times.
   
Some days were considered unlucky for bloodletting and other activites- these were called egyptian days, and the dates varied with the month.
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Some days were considered unlucky for bloodletting and other activities- these were called [[Egypt]]ian days, and the dates varied with the month.
   
Days can also be refered to by the saints days and festivals held on that day. Many are constant in timing (eg John the baptist's nativity on 14th June) but others change according to factors such as the moon (eg easter.
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Days were also referenced by the [[feast days|saints' days]] and the corresponding festivals held on that day. Many are constant in timing (e.g. John the Baptist's Nativity is celebrated on the 14th June) but others change according to factors such as the moon (e.g. [[Easter]]).
   
Calendars also noted the soltices, equinoxes, lunar cyles (important for calculating festivals), seasons and "dogdays" - the dys the romans considered the hottest days of summer.
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Calendars also noted the solstices, equinoxes, lunar cyles (important for calculating festivals), seasons and "dog days" - the days the [[Roman]]s considered the hottest days of summer.
   
=calculating the calendar=
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==Calculating the calendar==
Some monastaries made the calculation of days and dates a specialty. Complicated tables could be used to predict factors from which weekday it will be on a certain date to when easter will fall. The complicated tables and specialisation required to read these suggest that even most literate people would not perform these tasks, rather would ask specialised monks, or their local priest. Local priests were expected to know such calculations, but accounts suggest in some areas testing of this knowledge was rather lax.
+
Some monasteries made the calculation of days and dates a specialty. Complicated tables were used to predict such things as which weekday it will be on a certain date or the occurrence of Easter. The complicated tables and specialisation required to read these suggest that even most [[literacy|literate]] people would not perform these tasks, but would instead consult specialised [[monk]]s, or their local priest. Local priests were expected to know such calculations, but accounts suggest in some areas testing of this knowledge was rather lax.
   
It was especially important to the religeous community to be able to calculate when special days such as easter fell, and also to remember when certain saints days might be celebrated. Books containing a day by day account of the year giving the relevant religous observances on each day (sometimes even what kind of vestments to wear) were kept for such purposes.
+
It was especially important to the religious community to be able to calculate when special days such as Easter fell, and also to remember when certain [[saint]]'s days should be celebrated. [[Book]]s containing a day-by-day account of the year giving the relevant religious observances on each day (sometimes even what kind of vestments to wear) were kept for such purposes.
   
=the day and it's hours=
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==The day and its hours==
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Each day has various important times at which prayers are made e.g. ''Matins'' is the first canonical hour, ''Vespers'' is the sixth. [[Bell]]s were rung at the church at these hours, clergy would be expected to pray (either attending a formal service, or saying a short prayer if away from a church). More pious lay folk might also attend these services if working nearby, or might recite prayers at these times of day, although labourers weren't seriously expected to do so during the sunlight hours.
  +
However, unlike our modern "equal" hours, the medieval daytime was divided into a fixed number of hours between sunrise and sunset. This means each hour must be longer in summer and shorter in winter - this system is now referred to as "unequal hours".
   
  +
The hours of the medieval day are:
  +
*Midnight---Matins
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*3(unequal) hours after midnight (about 3 AM) ---Lauds (dawn)
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*6 hours after midnight (6 AM)---Prime
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*9 hours after midnight (9 AM)---Tierce
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*Midday---Sext
  +
*3 hours after midday (3 PM)---Nones
  +
*6 hours after midday (6 PM)---Vespers
  +
*9 hours after midday (9 PM)---Compline
   
  +
==References==
 
*St Alban's psalter essay ''"THE CALENDAR AND LITURGICAL APPARATUS"'' http://www.abdn.ac.uk/stalbanspsalter/english/essays/calendar.shtml
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*http://www.florilegium.org/files/TIME/clocks-msg.html
   
  +
[[Category:12th century]]
 
=references=
 
*St Alban's psalter essay "THE CALENDAR AND LITURGICAL APPARATUS" http:
 

Latest revision as of 20:21, 6 November 2006

The year and the months and days therein

The 12th century year has 365 days, starting from the 25th of March. Every fourth year, the 6th day before the Kalends of March (24th February) was counted twice. This leap day was called the bisextus.

Each month (named as in modern times) was divided up into days, the first day was the "Kalends" of that month (eg. Kalends of October). The 5th (or 7th in March, May, July, October) day of the month was the "Nones" and the 13th (or 15th in the above mentioned months) of the month was the Ides of that month. In between days were listed as a number of days before the next division. For example:

  • 2th January = 3 before Nones of January
  • 25th February = 4 before Kalends March
  • 15th March = Ides of March
  • 14th April = 16 before Kalends May or in shorthand, XVI KL May
  • 14th May = day before Ides of May

The seven days of the week had the same names as they do in modern times.

Some days were considered unlucky for bloodletting and other activities- these were called Egyptian days, and the dates varied with the month.

Days were also referenced by the saints' days and the corresponding festivals held on that day. Many are constant in timing (e.g. John the Baptist's Nativity is celebrated on the 14th June) but others change according to factors such as the moon (e.g. Easter).

Calendars also noted the solstices, equinoxes, lunar cyles (important for calculating festivals), seasons and "dog days" - the days the Romans considered the hottest days of summer.

Calculating the calendar

Some monasteries made the calculation of days and dates a specialty. Complicated tables were used to predict such things as which weekday it will be on a certain date or the occurrence of Easter. The complicated tables and specialisation required to read these suggest that even most literate people would not perform these tasks, but would instead consult specialised monks, or their local priest. Local priests were expected to know such calculations, but accounts suggest in some areas testing of this knowledge was rather lax.

It was especially important to the religious community to be able to calculate when special days such as Easter fell, and also to remember when certain saint's days should be celebrated. Books containing a day-by-day account of the year giving the relevant religious observances on each day (sometimes even what kind of vestments to wear) were kept for such purposes.

The day and its hours

Each day has various important times at which prayers are made e.g. Matins is the first canonical hour, Vespers is the sixth. Bells were rung at the church at these hours, clergy would be expected to pray (either attending a formal service, or saying a short prayer if away from a church). More pious lay folk might also attend these services if working nearby, or might recite prayers at these times of day, although labourers weren't seriously expected to do so during the sunlight hours. However, unlike our modern "equal" hours, the medieval daytime was divided into a fixed number of hours between sunrise and sunset. This means each hour must be longer in summer and shorter in winter - this system is now referred to as "unequal hours".

The hours of the medieval day are:

  • Midnight---Matins
  • 3(unequal) hours after midnight (about 3 AM) ---Lauds (dawn)
  • 6 hours after midnight (6 AM)---Prime
  • 9 hours after midnight (9 AM)---Tierce
  • Midday---Sext
  • 3 hours after midday (3 PM)---Nones
  • 6 hours after midday (6 PM)---Vespers
  • 9 hours after midday (9 PM)---Compline

References