lundi 22 mai 2017

What Sunday Letter was the Year of Creation? III

What was the Sunday Letter for the Year of Creation?

Part I · Part II · Part III · Part IV · Part V

So, we got back to 1672 for both Gregorian year with CB and Julian year with GF.

Now, going back to Creation is a bit delicate, in the sense that Gregorian years were introduced less than a C before 1672, and Julian years only half a century before AD.

And, I suspect I will in the following be missing a few things about transitional matters about leap years when going from counting Ab Urbe Condita to two versions of Anno Mundi (Byzantine and St Jerome) and from then on to AD.

But, let's pretend, for arguments sake, for a first approximation, that these transitions had not happened, that the series of leap years go straight back to AD 4 without any break in Julian and with the one break 1583 (later in some countries) for Gregorian.

What would the consequence be?

Another thing I will ignore is of course - for a better and systematic reason - that "365 days + 1 leap years every four years (except 3 secular years out of 4)" was never in any kind of calendar most of the time we are talking about.

Whether Church Fathers knew it or not, and I think some did, Adam would not literally have been calling the day of his Creation "March 25" or celebrating it literally on "March 25" of all subsequent years.

He certainly had a calendar, he certainly knew sufficient from God (or if making it after Eden, from the talents God gave him and observation) to have one. We know for a fact, since Flood story is an eye-witness account (unlike the Sumerian versions, where poet admits from the first lines he is writing about things happened very long ago), and since in that eye-witness account, years and months and dates on months are named.

But it is far more likely it was a Hebrew than a Roman one.

And St Jerome would certainly have known that when calculating Roman dates for this or that event (like Friday March 25 for Crucifixion, for Good Friday, for Our Salvation) he was dealing with sources who, themselves, had ultimately been using a Hebrew calendar. I am saying this lest anyone accuse me of contradicting all the Church Fathers by saying this without having explicitly found it in any one of them, yet.

That said, March 25 is an earthly convention, but in the best astronomically correct calendars, it corresponds to a rather precise alignment between Sun and Zodiac, different from other alignments like March 23 or March 27 (there is some leeway to neighbouring days, insofar as the cycle of alignments - known as years - and the cycle of day and night - known as successive calendar days have a glitch : a certain exact alignment may be a few hours into March 25 one year and a few hours back in March 24 next or previous year, depending on how this glitch works out).

And we will now proceed to studying the proleptic Julian and Gregorian calendars, from that point of view.

In the time of the Church Fathers, the Julian was thought to be astronomically exact, meaning, they would have used that one proleptically. This does not amount to an unanimous statement from all Church Fathers that Julian calendar is in fact astronomically perfect and cannot be improved, as Gregorian was an imrovement of it.

Now, shall we begin our studies of proleptic calendars, using the Anno Mundi dates as per two Byzantine, one Roman, one Anglican (but used by Catholics) and one Jewish chronology?

We begin with Julian Calendar, as this one will give us cycle repeat every 28 years.

For Jewish 5777, we will for Julian have to check what date was the first Sunday which in Julian calendar fell on this year. Remember that any letter will be the same for the 1, 8, 15 of each month? This means Sundays in our January were 1, 8, 15. But our January 14 = Russian January 1. So, Julian Dominical letter for this year is B.

Byz Lit Sync.  St. Jer.  Ussh.  Jew.
1672 GF  1672 GF  1672 GF  1672 GF  5777 B
5508  5500  5199  4004  5600
7180 GF  7172 GF  6871 GF  5676 GF  0177 B
5600   -  5600  5600  0140
1580 GF  7180 GF  1271 GF  0076 GF  0037 B
1400  7172 GF  0560  0056  0036 DC
0180 GF  0008  0711 GF  0020 GF  0028
0140   -  0560  0019 A  0008 DC
0040 GF  0009 C  0151 GF  0018 B  0007 E
0028  0008  0140  0017 C  0006 F
0012 GF  0001 C  0011 GF  0016 ED  0005 G
0011 A   0010 A  0015 F  0004 BA
0010 B   0009 B  0014 G  0003 C
0009 C   0008 C  0013 A  0002 D
0008 ED   0007 ED  0012 CB  0001 E
0007 F   0006 F  0011 D  
0006 G   0005 G  0010 E  
0005 A   0004 A  0009 F  
0004 CB   0003 CB  0008 AG  
0003 D   0002 D  0007 B  
0002 E   0001 E  0006 C  
0001 F    0005 D  
   0004 FE  
   0003 G  
   0002 A  
   0001 B !

In the Julian Calendar, thus, the Palm goes to the Ussher chronology.

We'll be back later (yes, tables take time) with Gregorian and a few other considerations. For now, man created March 25 on a Friday implies March 25 fell on a Friday, which as previously seen implies Dominical Letter B. In Julian calendar projected back to Creation, it is Ussher who takes the palm of accuracy.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St. Rita of Cascia

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