Ab urbe condita
Ab urbe condita, or Anno urbis conditæ abbreviated as AUC in either case, is a convention, used in antiquity and by classical historians to refer to a given year in Ancient Rome. Ab urbe condita means "from the founding of the City," while anno urbis conditæ means "in the year since the City's founding." Therefore, the traditional year of the foundation of Rome, 753 BC, would be written AUC 1, while AD 1 would be AUC 754. The foundation of the Empire in 27 BC would be AUC 727. Usage of the term was more common during the Renaissance, when editors sometimes added AUC to Roman manuscripts they published, giving the false impression that the convention was used in antiquity. In reality, the dominant method of identifying years in Roman times was to name the two consuls who held office that year. In late antiquity, regnal years were in use, as was the Diocletian era in Roman Egypt after AD 293, in the Byzantine Empire after AD 537, following a decree by Justinian; the traditional date for the founding of Rome, 21 April 753 BC, is due to Marcus Terentius Varro.
Varro may have used the consular list and called the year of the first consuls "ab urbe condita 245," accepting the 244-year interval from Dionysius of Halicarnassus for the kings after the foundation of Rome. The correctness of this calculation has not been confirmed. From the time of Claudius onward, this calculation superseded other contemporary calculations. Celebrating the anniversary of the city became part of imperial propaganda. Claudius was the first to hold magnificent celebrations in honor of the anniversary of the city, in AD 48, the eight hundredth year from the founding of the city. Hadrian and Antoninus Pius held similar celebrations, in AD 121, in AD 147 and AD 148, respectively. In AD 248, Philip the Arab celebrated Rome's first millennium, together with Ludi saeculares for Rome's alleged tenth sæculum. Coins from his reign commemorate the celebrations. A coin by a contender for the imperial throne, explicitly states "ear one thousand and first", an indication that the citizens of the empire had a sense of the beginning of a new era, a Sæculum Novum.
The Anno Domini year numbering was developed by a monk named Dionysius Exiguus in Rome in AD 525, as a result of his work on calculating the date of Easter. Dionysius did not use the AUC convention, but instead based his calculations on the Diocletian era; this convention had been in use since AD 293, the year of the tetrarchy, as it became impractical to use regnal years of the current emperor. In his Easter table, the year AD 532 was equated with the 248th regnal year of Diocletian; the table counted the years starting from the presumed birth of Christ, rather than the accession of the emperor Diocletian on 20 November AD 284, or as stated by Dionysius: "sed magis elegimus ab incarnatione Domini nostri Jesu Christi annorum tempora praenotare". Blackburn and Holford-Strevens review interpretations of Dionysius which place the Incarnation in 2 BC, 1 BC, or AD 1, it has been calculated that the year AD 1 corresponds to AUC 754, based on the epoch of Varro. Thus, AUC 1 = 753 BC AUC 753 = 1 BC AUC 754 = AD 1 AUC 1000 = AD 247 AUC 1229 = AD 476 AUC 2206 = AD 1453 AUC 2753 = AD 2000 AUC 2772 = AD 2019 List of Latin phrases
1st century BC
The 1st century BC known as the last century BC, started on the first day of 100 BC and ended on the last day of 1 BC. The AD/BC notation does not use a year zero; this is the 100th century in the Holocene calendar. 1st century AD follows. In the course of the century all the remaining independent lands surrounding the Mediterranean were brought under Roman control, being ruled either directly under governors or through puppet kings appointed by Rome; the Roman state itself was plunged into civil war several times resulting in the marginalization of its 500-year-old republic, the embodiment of total state power in a single man—the emperor. The internal turbulence that plagued Rome at this time can be seen as the death throes of the Roman Republic, as it gave way to the autocratic ambitions of powerful men like Sulla, Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Octavian. Octavian's ascension to total power as the emperor Augustus is considered to mark the point in history where the Roman Republic ends and the Roman Empire begins.
Some scholars refer to this event as the Roman Revolution. It is believed that the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity took place at the close of this century. In the eastern mainland, the Han Dynasty began to decline and the court of China was in chaos in the latter half of this century. Trapped in a difficult situation, the Xiongnu had to begin emigration to the west or attach themselves to the Han. 97 BC: Ariarathes VIII is forced out of Cappadocia by Mithridates VI of Pontus, dies soon afterwards. 96 BC: Cyrene is left to the people of Rome by its ruler Ptolemy Apion. 96 BC: King Alexander Jannaeus of Judea wins the Siege of Gaza. 95 BC: Tigranes the Great becomes king of Armenia 93 BC: Ariobarzanes I Philoromaios becomes king of Cappadocia with Roman backing. 91 BC: The assassination of Marcus Livius Drusus leads to the Social War in Italy 91 BC: Crown Prince Ju Revolt in China. 89 BC: Mithridates VI of Pontus's invasion of Cappadocia leads to the First Mithridatic War with the Roman Republic.
89 BC: Valagamba of Anuradhapura gains control of all of Sri Lanka 88 BC: 80,000 Roman civilians killed in the Asiatic Vespers in Asia Minor 87 BC: Emperor Wu of Han dies and is succeeded by his eight-year-old son Zhao, with Jin Midi, Shangguang Jie and Huo Guang as regents. 88-87 BC: Sulla's first civil war - Sulla marches on Rome and defeats Gaius Marius 86 BC: Siege of Athens ends with Roman conquest of Athens. 86 BC: The death of the regent of China Jin Midi unleashes the rivalry of his co-regents Shangguang Jie and Huo Guang. 85 BC: Sulla defeats the forces of Mithridates VI in Greece at the Battle of Orchomenus 85 BC: Aretas III of the Nabataeans conquers Damascus. 83 BC: Sulla makes peace with Mithridates VI and marches on Rome. 83-81 BC: Lucius Licinius Murena wages the Second Mithridatic War. 82 BC: Sertorius flees from Sulla to North Africa via Hispania c.83 BC: Tigranes of Armenia takes control of Syria after the implosion of the Seleucid dynasty. 81 BC: End of Sulla's second civil war - Sulla is appointed dictator of the Roman state, brings about major reforms.
80 BC: Sertorius invades Hispania and sets up his own regime, beginning the Sertorian War. 80 BC: Conflict between the regents Shangguang Jie and Huo Guang results in the destruction of the Shangguang clan and Huo Guang becoming the de facto ruler of China. C.80 BC: Maues, King of the Sakas, conquers Gandhara and Taxila. 77 BC: Fu Jiezi assassinated the king of Loulan on behalf of the Han dynasty. C.75 BC: Kanva dynasty replaces the Shunga dynasty in Magadha. 74 BC: Mithridates VI of Pontus disputes Nicomedes IV of Bithynia's bequest of his kingdom to the Roman Republic, beginning the Third Mithridatic War. 74 BC: Emperor Zhao of Han dies and is succeeded by the unsuitable Prince He of Changyi and by Xuan. Huo Guang continues to be de facto ruler of China. 73 BC: A slave rebellion led by the escaped gladiator Spartacus leads to the Third Servile War. 73-72 BC: Lucullus defeats Mithridates at Tenedos and the Rhyndacus and he flees east to Armenia 71 BC: Pompey the Great ends the Sertorian War and the Third Servile War.
71 BC: Wusun and China attack the Xiongnu. 69 BC: Lucullus invades Armenia and reestablishes the Seleucids in Syria. 68 BC: Pompey replaces Lucullus as leader of the Roman forces in the Third Mithridatic War. 68 BC: Huo Guang dies and Emperor Xuan of Han assumes full power. The Huo clan is eliminated over the following two years. 67 BC: Pompey is given a three-year extraordinary command against the pirates plaguing the Mediterranean and defeats them in forty days. 66 BC: Pompey drives Mithridates VI out of Asia Minor. 66 BC: Aristobulus II seizes power from John Hyrcanus II in Judea. 63 BC: Mithridates VI commits suicide, ending the Third Mithridatic War. 63 BC: Cicero denounces and defeats the Catilinarian Conspiracy. 63 BC: Pompey captures Jerusalem, establishes Roman annexation of Judea as a client kingdom. He permanently abolishes Seleucid Syria. Aristobulus II of Judea removed from John Hyrcanus II restored as Roman vassal. 62 BC: Nabataean kingdom becomes a Roman vassal. 61 BC: Orgetorix and the Helvetii's attempt to migrate into southwestern France leads Julius Caesar to take military action, beginning the Gallic Wars 60 BC: Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, Marcus Crassus form the First Triumvirate c. 60 BC: The Sakas conquer Mathura.
58 BC: Battle of Bibracte - Julius Caesar conquers the Helvetii 58 BC: Germans invade Gaul and are defeated by Julius Caesar at Battle of Vosges. 58 BC
Indian national calendar
The Indian national calendar, sometimes called the Shalivahana Shaka calendar. It is used, alongside the Gregorian calendar, by The Gazette of India, in news broadcasts by All India Radio and in calendars and communications issued by the Government of India; the Saka calendar is used in Java and Bali among Indonesian Hindus. Nyepi, the "Day of Silence", is a celebration of the Saka new year in Bali. Nepal's Nepal Sambat evolved from the Saka calendar. Prior to colonization, the Philippines used to apply the Saka calendar as well as suggested by the Laguna Copperplate Inscription; the term may ambiguously refer to the Hindu calendar. The historic Shalivahana era calendar is still used, it has years. The calendar months follow the signs of the tropical zodiac rather than the sidereal zodiac used with the Hindu calendar. Chaitra has 30 days and starts on March 22, except in leap years, when it has 31 days and starts on March 21; the months in the first half of the year all have 31 days, to take into account the slower movement of the sun across the ecliptic at this time.
The names of the months are derived from older, Hindu lunisolar calendars, so variations in spelling exist, there is a possible source of confusion as to what calendar a date belongs to. Years are counted in the Saka era. To determine leap years, add 78 to the Saka year – if the result is a leap year in the Gregorian calendar the Saka year is a leap year as well, its structure is just like the Persian calendar. Senior Indian Astrophysicist Meghnad Saha was the head of the Calendar Reform Committee under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. Other members of the Committee were: A. C. Banerjee, K. K. Daftari, J. S. Karandikar, Gorakh Prasad, R. V. Vaidya and N. C. Lahiri, it was Saha's effort. The task before the Committee was to prepare an accurate calendar based on scientific study, which could be adopted uniformly throughout India, it was a mammoth task. The Committee had to undertake a detailed study of different calendars prevalent in different parts of the country. There were thirty different calendars.
The task was further complicated by the fact that religion and local sentiments were integral to those calendars. India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in his preface to the Report of the Committee, published in 1955, wrote: “They represent past political divisions in the country.... Now that we have attained Independence, it is desirable that there should be a certain uniformity in the calendar for our civic and other purposes, this should be done on a scientific approach to this problem.” Usage started at 1 Chaitra 1879, Saka Era, or 22 March 1957. Report of the Calendar Reform Committee – online link. Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History by E. G. Richards, 1998, pp. 184–185. Calendars and their History Indian Calendars Positional astronomy in India Indian National Calendar abstract
3rd century BC
The 3rd century BC started the first day of 300 BC and ended the last day of 201 BC. It is considered part of epoch, or historical period. In the Mediterranean Basin, the first few decades of this century were characterized by a balance of power between the Greek Hellenistic kingdoms in the east, the great mercantile power of Carthage in the west; this balance was shattered when conflict arose between the Roman Republic. In the following decades, the Carthaginian Republic was first humbled and destroyed by the Romans in the First and Second Punic Wars. Following the Second Punic War, Rome became the most important power in the western Mediterranean. In the eastern Mediterranean, the Seleucid Empire and Ptolemaic Kingdom, successor states to the empire of Alexander the Great, fought a series of Syrian Wars for control over the Levant. In mainland Greece, the short-lived Antipatrid dynasty of Macedon was overthrown and replaced by the Antigonid dynasty in 294 BC, a royal house that would dominate the affairs of Hellenistic Greece for a century until the stalemate of the First Macedonian War against Rome.
Macedon would lose the Cretan War against the Greek city-state of Rhodes and its allies. In India, Ashoka ruled the Maurya Empire; the Pandya and Chera dynasties of the classical age flourished in the ancient Tamil country. The Warring States period in China drew to a close, with Qin Shi Huang conquering the six other nation-states and establishing the short-lived Qin dynasty, the first empire of China, followed in the same century by the long-lasting Han dynasty. However, a brief interregnum and civil war existed between the Qin and Han periods known as the Chu-Han contention, lasting until 202 BC with the ultimate victory of Liu Bang over Xiang Yu; the Protohistoric Period began in the Korean peninsula. In the following century the Chinese Han dynasty would conquer the Gojoseon kingdom of northern Korea; the Xiongnu were at the height of their power in Mongolia. They defeated the Han Chinese at the Battle of Baideng in 200 BC, marking the beginning of the forced Heqin tributary agreement and marriage alliance that would last several decades.
299 BC: The Samnites, seizing their chance when Rome is engaged on the Lombard plain, start the Third Samnite War with a collection of mercenaries from Gaul and Sabine and Etruscan allies to help them. 298 BC: The Samnites defeat the Romans under Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus in the Battle of Camerinum, the first battle of the Third Samnite War. 294 BC: Antipater II of Macedon is killed by Lysimachus, allowing Demetrius I to become king of Macedonia, thus ending the Antipatrid dynasty's control over Hellenistic Greece and ushering in a period of rule by the Antigonid dynasty. 293 BC: The Chinese State of Qin reduced the threat of the State of Wei and the State of Han with the Qin victory in the Battle of Yique. Roman armies penetrate into the heart of the Samnite territory and capture the Samnite cities of Taurasia, Bovianum Vetus and Aufidena. Agathocles, king of Syracuse, assists the Italian Greeks against the Bruttians. Bindusara succeeds his father Chandragupta Maurya as emperor of the Mauryan Empire.
The Epi-Olmec culture forms as a successor civilization to the Olmecs in Mesoamerica. 285 BC: The Pharos of Alexandria is completed. 281 BC: Antiochus I Soter, on the assassination of his father Seleucus becomes emperor of the Seleucid empire. 281 BC: Achaean League founded in Greece. 280 BC: King Pyrrhus of Epirus invades Italy in an attempt to subjugate the Romans and bring Italy under a new empire ruled by himself. 280 BC: Construction of the Colossus of Rhodes is completed. 279 BC: Singidunum and Taurunum, today's Belgrade and Zemun, are founded by Scordisci Celts. After failing to decisively defeat the Romans, Pyrrhus of Epirus withdraws from Italy. Gallic migration to Macedon and Galatia. During the Gallic invasion of Greece, the Macedonian king Ptolemy Keraunos is killed in battle by the forces of the Celtic ruler Bolgios. However, both he and Brennus are driven out of Macedonian territory by Sosthenes of Macedon. 277 BC: in the Battle of Lysimachia, the invasion by Gauls is defeated by Antigonus II of Macedon.
274 BC: the First Syrian War erupts between Antiochus I Soter of the Seleucid dynasty and Ptolemy II Philadelphus of the Ptolemaic dynasty over control of Syria and southern Anatolia. 273 BC – 232 BC: Ashoka the Great ruled the Maurya Empire. 265 BC: Kalinga War takes place between Ashoka the Great and the kingdom of Kalinga. 264 BC: First Punic War breaks out between the Carthaginian Empire and the Roman Republic. 261 BC: Antiochus II Theos, 2nd son, at the death of his father becomes emperor of the Seleucid empire. 260 BC: Battle of Changping between the State of Qin and the State of Zhao in China. 260 BC: Ashoka inscribes the Edicts of Ashoka. 258 BC: An Dương Vương overthrows the Hồng Bàng Dynasty in Viet Nam. 257 BC: Thục Dynasty takes over Vietnam. 246 BC: The death of Antiochus II sparks the Third Syrian War. Expansion of the Achaean League. 241 BC: First Punic War ends in Carthaginian defeat. Rome demands large reparations, annexes Sicily and Corsica. 240 BC: On May 15, Chinese mathematicians observed and recorded the passage of the Halley's Comet.
230 BC: The Chinese Qin State conquers Han. 230 BC: Simuka declares independence from Mauryan rule and establishes the Satavahana Empire. 229 BC: The First Illyrian War ends with a Roman victory. 229 BC: Last tyrants on the Peloponnese abdicate, Argos joins the Achaean League, Athens liberated from Macedonian garrison. 227 BC: The attempted assassination of Ying Zheng, king
The Ptolemaic dynasty, sometimes known as the Lagids or Lagidae, was a Macedonian Greek royal family, which ruled the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 to 30 BC, they were the last dynasty of ancient Egypt. Ptolemy, one of the seven somatophylakes who served as Alexander the Great's generals and deputies, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander's death in 323 BC. In 305 BC, he declared himself Ptolemy I known as Sōter "Saviour"; the Egyptians soon accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt. Ptolemy's family ruled Egypt until the Roman conquest of 30 BC. All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy. Ptolemaic queens regnant, some of whom were married to their brothers, were called Cleopatra, Arsinoe or Berenice; the most famous member of the line was the last queen, Cleopatra VII, known for her role in the Roman political battles between Julius Caesar and Pompey, between Octavian and Mark Antony.
Her apparent suicide at the conquest by Rome marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt. Dates in brackets represent the regnal dates of the Ptolemaic pharaohs, they ruled jointly with their wives, who were also their sisters. Several queens exercised regal authority. Of these, one of the last and most famous was Cleopatra, with her two brothers and her son serving as successive nominal co-rulers. Several systems exist for numbering the rulers. Ptolemy I Soter married first Thaïs Artakama Eurydice, Berenice I Ptolemy II Philadelphus married Arsinoe I Arsinoe II. Cleopatra II Philometora Soteira, in opposition to Ptolemy VIII Physcon Cleopatra III Philometor Soteira Dikaiosyne Nikephoros ruled jointly with Ptolemy IX Lathyros and Ptolemy X Alexander I Ptolemy IX Lathyros married Cleopatra IV Cleopatra Selene. Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos married Cleopatra V Tryphaena Cleopatra V Tryphaena ruled jointly with Berenice IV Epiphaneia and Cleopatra VI Tryphaena Cleopatra ruled jointly with Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator, Ptolemy XIV and Ptolemy XV Caesarion.
Arsinoe IV, in opposition to Cleopatra Ptolemy Keraunos - eldest son of Ptolemy I Soter. Became king of Macedonia. Ptolemy Apion - son of Ptolemy VIII Physcon. Made king of Cyrenaica. Bequeathed Cyrenaica to Rome. Ptolemy Philadelphus - son of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII. Ptolemy of Mauretania - son of King Juba II of Numidia and Mauretania and Cleopatra Selene II, daughter of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony. King of Mauretania. Contemporaries describe a number of the Ptolemaic dynasty members as obese, whilst sculptures and coins reveal prominent eyes and swollen necks. Familial Graves' disease could explain the swollen necks and eye prominence, although this is unlikely to occur in the presence of morbid obesity; this is all due to inbreeding within the Ptolemaic dynasty. In view of the familial nature of these findings, members of this dynasty suffered from a multi-organ fibrotic condition such as Erdheim–Chester disease or a familial multifocal fibrosclerosis where thyroiditis and ocular proptosis may have all occurred concurrently.
List of Seleucid rulers Hellenistic period History of ancient Egypt Donations of Alexandria Ptolemaic Decrees List of Ptolemaic pharaohs On Weights and Measures - contains a chronology of the Ptolemies Susan Stephens, Seeing Double. Intercultural Poetics in Ptolemaic Alexandria. A. Lampela and the Ptolemies of Egypt; the development of their political relations 273-80 B. C.. J. G. Manning, The Last Pharaohs: Egypt Under the Ptolemies, 305-30 BC. Livius.org: Ptolemies — by Jona Lendering
The traditional China calendar, or Former Calendar, Traditional Calendar or Lunar Calendar, is a lunisolar calendar which reckons years and days according to astronomical phenomena. It is defined by GB/T 33661-2017, "Calculation and promulgation of the Chinese calendar", issued by the Standardisation Administration of China on 12 May 2017. Although modern day China uses the Gregorian calendar, the traditional Chinese calendar governs holidays in China and in overseas Chinese communities, it lists the dates of traditional Chinese holidays and guides people in selecting auspicious days for weddings, moving, or starting a business. Like Chinese characters, variants of this calendar are used in different parts of the Chinese cultural sphere. Korea and the Ryukyu Islands adopted the calendar, it evolved into Korean and Ryukyuan calendars; the main difference from the traditional Chinese calendar is the use of different meridians, which leads to some astronomical events—and calendar events based on them—falling on different dates.
The traditional Japanese calendar derived from the Chinese calendar, but its official use in Japan was abolished in 1873 as part of reforms after the Meiji Restoration. Calendars in Mongolia and Tibet have absorbed elements of the traditional Chinese calendar, but are not direct descendants of it. Days begin and end at midnight, months begin on the day of the new moon. Years begin on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Solar terms govern the end of each month. Written versions in ancient China included stems and branches of the year and the names of each month, including leap months as needed. Characters indicated whether a month was short; the traditional Chinese calendar was developed between 771 and 476 BC, during the Spring and Autumn period of the Eastern Zhou dynasty. Before the Zhou dynasty, solar calendars were used. One version of the solar calendar is the five-elements calendar. A 365-day year was divided into five phases of 73 days, with each phase corresponding to a Day 1 Wu Xing element.
A phase began followed by six 12-day weeks. Each phase consisted of two three-week months. Years began followed by a bǐngzǐ day and a 72-day fire phase. Other days were tracked using the Yellow River Map. Another version is a four-quarters calendar. Weeks were ten days long, with one month consisting of three weeks. A year had 12 months, with a ten-day week intercalated in summer as needed to keep up with the tropical year; the 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches were used to mark days. A third version is the balanced calendar. A year was 365.25 days, a month was 29.5 days. After every 16th month, a half-month was intercalated. According to oracle bone records, the Shang dynasty calendar was a balanced calendar with 12 to 14 months in a year; the first lunisolar calendar was the Zhou calendar, introduced under the Zhou dynasty. This calendar set the beginning of the year at the day of the new moon before the winter solstice, it set the shàngyuán as the winter solstice of a dīngsì year, making the year it was introduced around 2,758,130.
Several competing lunisolar calendars were introduced by states fighting Zhou control during the Warring States period. The state of Lu issued its own Lu calendar. Jin issued the Xia calendar in AD 102, with a year beginning on the day of the new moon nearest the March equinox. Qin issued the Zhuanxu calendar, with a year beginning on the day of the new moon nearest the winter solstice. Song's Yin calendar began its year on the day of the new moon after the winter solstice; these calendars are known as the six ancient calendars, or quarter-remainder calendars, since all calculate a year as 365 1⁄4 days long. Months begin on the day of the new moon, a year has 12 or 13 months. Intercalary months are added to the end of the year; the Qiang and Dai calendars are modern versions of the Zhuanxu calendar, used by mountain peoples. After Qin Shi Huang unified China under the Qin dynasty in 221 BC, the Qin calendar was introduced, it followed most of the rules governing the Zhuanxu calendar, but the month order was that of the Xia calendar.
The intercalary month, known as the second Jiǔyuè, was placed at the end of the year. The Qin calendar was used into the Han dynasty. Emperor Wu of Han r. 141 – 87 BC introduced reforms halfway through his reign. His Taichu Calendar defined a solar year as 365 385⁄1539 days, the lunar month was 29 43⁄81 days; this calendar introduced the 24 solar terms. Solar terms were paired, with the 12 combined periods known as climate terms; the first solar term of the period was known as a pre-climate, the second was a mid-climate. Months were named for the mid-climat
The Berber calendar is the agricultural calendar traditionally used by Berbers. It is known as the fellaḥi; the calendar is utilized to regulate the seasonal agricultural works. The Islamic calendar, a lunar calendar, is not suited for agriculture because it does not relate to seasonal cycles. In other parts of the Islamic world either Iranian solar calendars, the Coptic calendar, the Rumi calendar, or other calendars based on the Julian calendar, were used before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar; the current Berber calendar is a legacy of the Roman province of Mauretania Caesariensis and the Roman province of Africa, as it is a surviving form of the Julian calendar. The latter calendar was used in Europe before the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, with month names derived from Latin. Berber populations used various indigenous calendars, such as that of the Guanche autochthones of the Canary Islands; however little is known of these ancient calendrical systems. The agricultural Berber calendar still in use is certainly derived from the Julian calendar, introduced in the Roman province of Africa at the time of Roman domination.
The names of the months of this calendar are derived from the corresponding Latin names and races of the Roman calendar denominations of Kalends and Ides exist: El Qabisi, an Islamic jurisconsult by Kairawan who lived in the 11th century, condemned the custom of celebrating "pagans'" festivals and cited, among traditional habits of North Africa, that of observing January Qalandas. The length of the year and of the individual months is the same as in the Julian calendar: three years of 365 days followed by a leap year of 366, without exceptions, 30- and 31-day months, except for the second one that has 28 days; the only slight discrepancy lies in that the extra day in leap years is not added at the end of February, but at the end of the year. This means that the beginning of the year corresponds to the 14th day of January in the Gregorian calendar, which coincides with the offset accumulated during the centuries between astronomical dates and the Julian calendar. In addition to the subdivision by months, within the traditional agricultural calendar there are other partitions, by "seasons" or by "strong periods", characterized by particular festivals and celebrations.
Not all the four seasons have retained a Berber denomination: the words for spring and autumn are used everywhere, more sparingly the winter and, among northern Berbers, the Berber name for the autumn has been preserved only in Jebel Nafusa. Spring tafsut – Begins on 15 furar Summer anebdu – Begins on 17 mayu Autumn amwal / aməwan ( – Begins on 17 ghusht Winter tagrest - Begins on 16 numbír An interesting element is the existing opposition between two 40-day terms, one representing the coldest part of winter and one the hottest period of summer; the coldest period is made up by 20 "white nights", from 12 to 31 dujamber, 20 "black nights", beginning on the first day of yennayer, corresponding to the Gregorian 14 January. The first day of the year is celebrated in various ways in the different parts of North Africa. A widespread tradition is a meal with particular foods. In some regions, it is marked by the sacrifice of an animal. In Algeria, such a holiday is celebrated by many people who don't use the Berber calendar in daily life.
A characteristic trait of this festivity, which blurs with the Islamic Day of Ashura, is the presence, in many regions, of ritual invocations with formulas like bennayu, babiyyanu, bu-ini, etc. Such expressions, according to many scholars, may be derived from of the ancient bonus annus wishes. A curious aspect of the Yennayer celebrations concerns the date of New Year's Day. Though once this anniversary fell everywhere on 14 January, because of a mistake introduced by some Berber cultural associations active in recovering customs on the verge of extinction, at present in a wide part of Algeria it is common opinion that the date of "Berber New Year's Day" is 12 January and not the 14th; the celebration at the 12, two days before the traditional one, it had been explicitly signaled in the city of Oran. El Azara is the period of the year extending, according to the Berber calendar, from 3 to 13 February and known by a climate sometimes hot, sometimes cold. Before the cold ends and spring begins there is a period of the year, feared.
It consists of ten days straddling the months of furar and mars, it is characterised by strong winds. It is said that, during this term, one should suspend many activities, should not marry nor go out during the night, leaving instead full scope to mysterious powers, which in that period are active and celebrate their weddings. Due to a linguistic taboo, in Djerba these creatures are called imbarken, i.e. "the blessed ones", whence this period takes its name. Jamrat el Ma, "embers of the sea", 27 February, is marked by a rise in sea temperature. Jamrat el Trab, "land embers" in English, is the period from 6 to 10 March and known to be marked by a mixture of heavy rain and sunny weather. Jamrat or coal is a term used t