Calendar Origins

The answers to many questions about calendars

Calendar - from Middle English calender, Latin calendarium (account book). The Romans called the first day of each month Kalendae, or calends. Debts were due on this day, so books to track payments were called calendarium from which we get our modern day calendar.

Modern Calendar Origins:

Calendar Origins - Where did calendars begin?

Day Name Origins - Where did the Names of Days come from?

Calendar Name Origins - Where did the Names of Months come from?

Months of the Year Origin - Why 12 months in a year?

Why 28 days in February?

Who set the Year 0, AD, BC?

Calendars it Derived From:

Egyptian Calendar

Roman Calendar

Julian Calendar

Origin of Year 0 and AD, BC

Counting years according to our modern system was suggested by the monk Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century and more commonly adopted in the 9th century.

Before that, Christianity counted years by the reign of the Roman emperor, or according to the biblically-calculated time since Adam, or Anno Mundi (AM). The AM count was based upon biblical passages. In particular, it used a 12 hour analogy, with Jesus appearing at the 11th hour. Unfortunately, this calendar had the world coming to an end around 500 AD.

Dionysius proposed an alternative calendar that set the year 0 to Christ's incarnation upon the world based upon the history available to him, and to the beginning of the age of Pisces (where new years began with the sun in the constellation of Pisces). Pisces, the sign of the fish, was linked to the first Christian symbol, ICHTHYS (i.e., fish in Latinised Greek). It also made the end of the age of Pisces occur close to an auspicious alignment of the 5 major planets in 2003.

Explained here in more detail


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