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    Re: A calendar question
    From: Espen S. Ore
    Date: 2005 Jun 1, 10:28 +0200

    Herbert Prinz skrev  31.05.2005 21:10:
    > Cesar's reform was just one more patch (although an important one) on an
    > enormous patchwork. His reform was practical and politically reasonable.
    > (Remember what happened to the French calendar, when a reform from
    > scratch was attempted?) But the whole issue affords us a good
    > perspective on the state of science in the Roman Empire. As a Western
    > European, I tend to think that we might have fared better if Alexander
    > would have come our way instead of these country bumpkins.
    Actually the Greek calendars were even more confusing. The most solid of
    the Hellenistic states after Alexander, Ptolemaian Egypt, for a period
    had two different sets of months, the Egyptian and the Macedonian. The
    Egyptian had 12 months of 30 days with five addititional days added at
    the end of the year, making it 365 days long. The Macedonian calendar
    was moon oriented: the months had a varying length of 29 or 30 days, and
    an additional month was thrown in every other year. Over the years the
    Macedonian calendar was adapted to the Egyptian: the calendar was
    Egyptian but the Macedonian month names could be used as alternatives to
    the Egyptian month names. In 238 BC an ettempt was made to adjust the
    Egyptian year to a length of 265 1/4 day, but this was not in practice
    implemented.  It was  first when Egypt became part of the roman empire
    that a version of Caesar's leap-year calculations where implemented from
    26 BC.
    But this is moving away from navigation, and to bring it back (but still
    with a Hellenistic touch), I am interested in periploi: do they
    represent a version of handbooks used for practical navigation, or are
    they literary products probably not related to the navigators private
    tools and manuscripts?
    Espen Ore

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