Dating the calendar

A date is the designation of a single, specific day within such a system.

A calendar is also a physical record (often paper) of such a system.

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In East Asia, reckoning by era names chosen by ruling monarchs ceased in the 20th century except for Japan, where they are still used.

For over a thousand years, ancient Assyria used a system of eponyms to identify each year.

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Each year at the Akitu festival (celebrating the Mesopotamian new year), one of a small group of high officials (including the king in later periods) would be chosen by lot to serve as the limmu for the year, which meant that he would preside over the Akitu festival and the year would bear his name.

The earliest attested limmu eponyms are from the Assyrian trading colony at Karum Kanesh in Anatolia, dating to the very beginning of the 2nd millennium BC, and they continued in use until the end of the Neo-Assyrian Period, ca. Assyrian scribes compiled limmu lists, including an unbroken sequence of almost 250 eponyms from the early 1st millennium BC.

The most common type of pre-modern calendar was the lunisolar calendar, a lunar calendar that occasionally adds one intercalary month to remain synchronised with the solar year over the long term.

The calendar in most widespread use today is the Gregorian calendar, introduced in the 16th century by Pope Gregory XIII as a modification of the Julian calendar, which was itself a modification of the ancient Roman calendar.

Egyptians also used a variation on this system, counting years based on years of a king's rule (so, an event might be dated to the 5th year of someone's rule) and then keeping a list of those kings.

But how did we get from that event-based organization to sticking with just one primary moment? is very easy for people to cope with because the life of Jesus is obviously incredibly important in Christian Europe.

In antiquity, regnal years were counted from the accession of a monarch.