East Asia is the eastern subregion of Asia, defined in either geographical or ethno-cultural terms. China, Japan and Vietnam belong to the East Asian cultural sphere. Geographically and geopolitically, the region includes China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea; the region was the cradle of various ancient civilizations such as ancient China, ancient Japan, ancient Korea, the Mongol Empire. East Asia was one of the cradles of world civilization, with China, an ancient East Asian civilization being one of the earliest cradles of civilization in human history. For thousands of years, China influenced East Asia as it was principally the leading civilization in the region exerting its enormous prestige and influence on its neighbors. Societies in East Asia have been part of the Chinese cultural sphere, East Asian vocabulary and scripts are derived from Classical Chinese and Chinese script; the Chinese calendar preserves traditional East Asian culture and serves as the root to which many other East Asian calendars are derived from.
Major religions in East Asia include Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism, Ancestral worship, Chinese folk religion in Greater China and Shintoism in Japan, Christianity and Sindoism in Korea. Shamanism is prevalent among Mongols and other indigenous populations of northern East Asia such as the Manchus. East Asians comprise around 1.6 billion people, making up about 38% of the population in Continental Asia and 22% of the global population. The region is home to major world metropolises such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo. Although the coastal and riparian areas of the region form one of the world's most populated places, the population in Mongolia and Western China, both landlocked areas, is sparsely distributed, with Mongolia having the lowest population density of any sovereign state; the overall population density of the region is 133 inhabitants per square kilometre, about three times the world average of 45/km2. In comparison with the profound influence of the Ancient Greeks and Romans on Europe and the Western World, China would possess an advanced civilization nearly half a millennia before Japan and Korea.
As Chinese civilization existed for about 1500 years before other East Asian civilizations emerged into history, Imperial China would exert much of its cultural, economic and political muscle onto its neighbors. Succeeding Chinese dynasties exerted enormous influence across East Asia culturally, economically and militarily for over two millennia. Imperial China's cultural preeminence not only led the country to become East Asia's first literate nation in the entire region, it supplied Japan and Korea with Chinese loanwords and linguistic influences rooted in their writing systems. In addition, the Chinese Han dynasty hosted the largest unified population in East Asia, the most literate and urbanized as well as being the most technologically and culturally advanced civilization in the region. Cultural and religious interaction between the Chinese and other regional East Asian dynasties and kingdoms occurred. China's impact and influence on Korea began with the Han dynasty's northeastern expansion in 108 BC when the Han Chinese conquered the northern part of the Korean peninsula and established a province called Lelang.
Chinese influence would soon take root in Korea through the inclusion of the Chinese writing system, monetary system, rice culture, Confucian political institutions. Jōmon society in ancient Japan incorporated wet-rice cultivation and metallurgy through its contact with Korea. Vietnamese society was impacted by Chinese influence, the northern part of Vietnam was occupied by Chinese empires and states for all of the period from 111 BC to 938 AD. In addition to administration, making Chinese the language of administration, the long period of Chinese domination introduced Chinese techniques of dike construction, rice cultivation, animal husbandry. Chinese culture, having been established among the elite mandarin class, remained the dominant current among that elite for most of the next 1,000 years until the loss of independence under French Indochina; this cultural affiliation to China remained true when militarily defending Vietnam against attempted invasion, such as against the Mongol Kublai Khan.
The only significant exceptions to this were the 7 years of the anti-Chinese Hồ dynasty which banned the use of Chinese, but after the expulsion of the Ming the rise in vernacular chữ nôm literature. Although 1,000 years of Chinese rule left many traces, the collective memory of the period reinforced Vietnam's cultural and political independence; as full-fledged medieval East Asian states were established, Korea by the fourth century AD and Japan by the seventh century AD, Korea and Vietnam began to incorporate Chinese influences such as Confucianism, the use of written Han characters, Chinese style architecture, state institutions, political philosophies, urban planning, various scientific and technological methods into their culture and society through direct contacts with succeeding Chinese dynasties. For many centuries, most notably from the 7th to the 14th centuries, China stood as East Asia's most advanced civilization, commanding influence across the region up until the early modern period.
The Imperial Chinese tributary system shaped much of East Asia's history for over two millennia due to Imperial China's economic and cultural influence over the region, thus played a huge role in the history of East Asia in particular. The trans
An hour is a unit of time conventionally reckoned as 1⁄24 of a day and scientifically reckoned as 3,599–3,601 seconds, depending on conditions. The hour was established in the ancient Near East as a variable measure of 1⁄12 of the night or daytime; such seasonal, temporal, or unequal hours varied by latitude. The hour was subsequently divided into each of 60 seconds. Equal or equinoctial hours were taken as 1⁄24 of the day. Since this unit was not constant due to long term variations in the Earth's rotation, the hour was separated from the Earth's rotation and defined in terms of the atomic or physical second. In the modern metric system, hours are an accepted unit of time defined as 3,600 atomic seconds. However, on rare occasions an hour may incorporate a positive or negative leap second, making it last 3,599 or 3,601 seconds, in order to keep it within 0.9 seconds of UT1, based on measurements of the mean solar day. The modern English word hour is a development of the Anglo-Norman houre and Middle English ure, first attested in the 13th century.
It displaced the Old English "tide" and "stound". The Anglo-Norman term was a borrowing of Old French ure, a variant of ore, which derived from Latin hōra and Greek hṓrā. Like Old English tīd and stund, hṓrā was a vaguer word for any span of time, including seasons and years, its Proto-Indo-European root has been reconstructed as *yeh₁-, making hour distantly cognate with year. The time of day is expressed in English in terms of hours. Whole hours on a 12-hour clock are expressed using the contracted phrase o'clock, from the older of clock. Hours on a 24-hour clock are expressed as "hundred" or "hundred hours". Fifteen and thirty minutes past the hour is expressed as "a quarter past" or "after" and "half past" from their fraction of the hour. Fifteen minutes before the hour may be expressed as "a quarter to", "of", "till", or "before" the hour; the ancient Egyptians began dividing the night into wnwt at some time before the compilation of the Dynasty V Pyramid Texts in the 24th century BC. By 2150 BC, diagrams of stars inside Egyptian coffin lids—variously known as "diagonal calendars" or "star clocks"—attest that there were 12 of these.
Clagett writes that it is "certain" this duodecimal division of the night followed the adoption of the Egyptian civil calendar placed c. 2800 BC on the basis of analyses of the Sothic cycle, but a lunar calendar long predated this and would have had twelve months in each of its years. The coffin diagrams show that the Egyptians took note of the heliacal risings of 36 stars or constellations, one for each of the ten-day "weeks" of their civil calendar; each night, the rising of eleven of these decans were noted, separating the night into twelve divisions whose middle terms would have lasted about 40 minutes each. The original decans used by the Egyptians would have fallen noticeably out of their proper places over a span of several centuries. By the time of Amenhotep III, the priests at Karnak were using water clocks to determine the hours; these were filled to the brim at sunset and the hour determined by comparing the water level against one of its twelve gauges, one for each month of the year.
During the New Kingdom, another system of decans was used, made up of 24 stars over the course of the year and 12 within any one night. The division of the day into 12 hours was accomplished by sundials marked with ten equal divisions; the morning and evening periods when the sundials failed to note time were observed as the first and last hours. The Egyptian hours were connected both with the priesthood of the gods and with their divine services. By the New Kingdom, each hour was conceived as a specific region of the sky or underworld through which Ra's solar barge travelled. Protective deities were used as the names of the hours; as the protectors and resurrectors of the sun, the goddesses of the night hours were considered to hold power over all lifespans and thus became part of Egyptian funerary rituals. Two fire-spitting cobras were said to guard the gates of each hour of the underworld, Wadjet and the rearing cobra were sometimes referenced as wnwt from their role protecting the dead through these gates.
The Egyptian for astronomer, used as a synonym for priest, was wnwty, "One of the Hours" or "Hour-Watcher". The earliest forms of wnwt include one or three stars, with the solar hours including the determinative hieroglyph for "sun". Ancient China divided its day into 100 "marks" running from midnight to midnight; the system is said to have been used since remote antiquity, credited to the legendary Yellow Emperor, but is first attested in Han-era water clocks and in the 2nd-century history of that dynasty. It was measured with sundials and water clocks. Into the Eastern Han, the Chinese measured their day schematically, adding the 20-ke difference between the solstices evenly throughout the year, one every nine days. During the night, time was more commonly
The Qing dynasty the Great Qing, was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912, it was succeeded by the Republic of China. The Qing multi-cultural empire lasted for three centuries and formed the territorial base for modern China, it was the fifth largest empire in world history. The dynasty was founded by the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan in Manchuria. In the late sixteenth century, Nurhaci a Ming Jianzhou Guard vassal, began organizing "Banners", military-social units that included Manchu and Mongol elements. Nurhaci formed the Manchu clans into a unified entity. By 1636, his son Hong Taiji began driving Ming forces out of the Liaodong Peninsula and declared a new dynasty, the Qing. In an unrelated development, peasant rebels led by Li Zicheng conquered the Ming capital, Beijing, in 1644. Rather than serve them, Ming general Wu Sangui made an alliance with the Manchus and opened the Shanhai Pass to the Banner Armies led by the regent Prince Dorgon.
He seized the capital. Resistance from the Southern Ming and the Revolt of the Three Feudatories led by Wu Sangui delayed the Qing conquest of China proper by nearly four decades; the conquest was only completed in 1683 under the Kangxi Emperor reign. The Ten Great Campaigns of the Qianlong Emperor from the 1750s to the 1790s extended Qing control into Inner Asia; the early Qing rulers maintained their Manchu customs, while their title was Emperor, they used "Bogd khaan" when dealing with the Mongols and they were patrons of Tibetan Buddhism. They governed using Confucian styles and institutions of bureaucratic government and retained the imperial examinations to recruit Han Chinese to work under or in parallel with Manchus, they adapted the ideals of the tributary system in dealing with neighboring territories. During the Qianlong Emperor reign the dynasty reached its apogee, but began its initial decline in prosperity and imperial control; the population rose to some 400 millions, but taxes and government revenues were fixed at a low rate guaranteeing eventual fiscal crisis.
Corruption set in, rebels tested government legitimacy, ruling elites failed to change their mindsets in the face of changes in the world system. Following the Opium Wars, European powers imposed "unequal treaties", free trade, extraterritoriality and treaty ports under foreign control; the Taiping Rebellion and the Dungan Revolt in Central Asia led to the deaths of some 20 million people, most of them due to famines caused by war. In spite of these disasters, in the Tongzhi Restoration of the 1860s, Han Chinese elites rallied to the defense of the Confucian order and the Qing rulers; the initial gains in the Self-Strengthening Movement were destroyed in the First Sino-Japanese War of 1895, in which the Qing lost its influence over Korea and the possession of Taiwan. New Armies were organized, but the ambitious Hundred Days' Reform of 1898 was turned back in a coup by the conservative Empress Dowager Cixi; when the Scramble for Concessions by foreign powers triggered the violently anti-foreign "Boxers", the foreign powers invaded China, Cixi declared war on them, leading to defeat and the flight of the Imperial Court to Xi'an.
After agreeing to sign the Boxer Protocol, the government initiated unprecedented fiscal and administrative reforms, including elections, a new legal code, abolition of the examination system. Sun Yat-sen and other revolutionaries competed with constitutional monarchists such as Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao to transform the Qing Empire into a modern nation. After the deaths of Cixi and the Guangxu Emperor in 1908, the hardline Manchu court alienated reformers and local elites alike by obstructing social reform; the Wuchang Uprising on 11 October 1911, led to the Xinhai Revolution. General Yuan Shikai negotiated the abdication of Puyi, the last emperor, on 12 February 1912. Nurhaci declared himself the "Bright Khan" of the Later Jin state in honor both of the 12th–13th century Jurchen Jin dynasty and of his Aisin Gioro clan, his son Hong Taiji renamed the dynasty Great Qing in 1636. There are competing explanations on the meaning of Qīng; the name may have been selected in reaction to the name of the Ming dynasty, which consists of the Chinese characters for "sun" and "moon", both associated with the fire element of the Chinese zodiacal system.
The character Qīng is associated with the water element. This association would justify the Qing conquest as defeat of fire by water; the water imagery of the new name may have had Buddhist overtones of perspicacity and enlightenment and connections with the Bodhisattva Manjusri. The Manchu name daicing, which sounds like a phonetic rendering of Dà Qīng or Dai Ching, may in fact have been derived from a Mongolian word "ᠳᠠᠢᠢᠴᠢᠨ, дайчин" that means "warrior". Daicing gurun may therefore have meant "warrior state", a pun, only intelligible to Manchu and Mongol people. In the part of the dynasty, however the Manchus themselves had forgotten this possible meaning. After conquering "China proper", the Manchus identified their state as "China", referred to it as Dulimbai Gurun in Manchu; the emperors equated the lands of the Qing state as "China" in both the Chinese and Manchu languages, defining China as a multi-ethnic state, rejecting the idea that "China" only meant Han areas. The Qing emperors proclaimed that bo
Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges; the islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers. In 2018, 260,897 people resided in the Comune di Venezia, of whom around 55,000 live in the historical city of Venice. Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, considered a statistical metropolitan area, with a total population of 2.6 million. The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC; the city was the capital of the Republic of Venice. The 697–1797 Republic of Venice was a major financial and maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as an important center of commerce and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century.
The city-state of Venice is considered to have been the first real international financial center, emerging in the 9th century and reaching its greatest prominence in the 14th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. After the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, the Republic was annexed by the Austrian Empire, until it became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866, following a referendum held as a result of the Third Italian War of Independence. Venice has been known as "La Dominante", "La Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Masks", "City of Bridges", "The Floating City", "City of Canals"; the lagoon and a part of the city are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Parts of Venice are renowned for the beauty of their settings, their architecture, artwork. Venice is known for several important artistic movements—especially during the Renaissance period—has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.
Although the city is facing some major challenges, Venice remains a popular tourist destination, an iconic Italian city, has been ranked the most beautiful city in the world. The name of the city, deriving from Latin forms Venetia and Venetiae, is most taken from "Venetia et Histria", the Roman name of Regio X of Roman Italy, but applied to the coastal part of the region that remained under Roman Empire outside of Gothic and Frankish control; the name Venetia, derives from the Roman name for the people known as the Veneti, called by the Greeks Enetoi. The meaning of the word is uncertain, although there are other Indo-European tribes with similar-sounding names, such as the Celtic Veneti and the Slavic Vistula Veneti. Linguists suggest that the name is based on an Indo-European root *wen, so that *wenetoi would mean "beloved", "lovable", or "friendly". A connection with the Latin word venetus, meaning the color'sea-blue', is possible. Supposed connections of Venetia with the Latin verb venire, such as Marin Sanudo's veni etiam, the supposed cry of the first refugees to the Venetian lagoon from the mainland, or with venia are fanciful.
The alternative obsolete form is Vinegia. Although no surviving historical records deal directly with the founding of Venice and the available evidence have led several historians to agree that the original population of Venice consisted of refugees—from nearby Roman cities such as Padua, Treviso and Concordia, as well as from the undefended countryside—who were fleeing successive waves of Germanic and Hun invasions; this is further supported by the documentation on the so-called "apostolic families", the twelve founding families of Venice who elected the first doge, who in most cases trace their lineage back to Roman families. Some late Roman sources reveal the existence of fishermen, on the islands in the original marshy lagoons, who were referred to as incolae lacunae; the traditional founding is identified with the dedication of the first church, that of San Giacomo on the islet of Rialto —said to have taken place at the stroke of noon on 25 March 421. Beginning as early as AD 166–168, the Quadi and Marcomanni destroyed the main Roman town in the area, present-day Oderzo.
This part of Roman Italy was again overrun in the early 5th century by the Visigoths and, some 50 years by the Huns led by Attila. The last and most enduring immigration into the north of the Italian peninsula, that of the Lombards in 568, left the Eastern Roman Empire only a small strip of coastline in the current Veneto, including Venice; the Roman/Byzantine territory was organized as the Exarchate of Ravenna, administered from that ancient port and overseen by a viceroy appointed by the Emperor in Constantinople. Ravenna and Venice were connected only by sea routes, with the Venetians' isolated position came increasing autonomy. New ports were built, including those at Torcello in the Venetian lagoon; the tribuni maiores formed the earliest central standing governing committee of the islands in the lagoon, dating from c. 568. The traditional first doge of Venice, Paolo Lucio A
Florence Cathedral, formally the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, is the cathedral of Florence, Italy. It was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to a design of Arnolfo di Cambio and was structurally completed by 1436, with the dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi; the exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink, bordered by white, has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris. The cathedral complex, in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Giotto's Campanile; these three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence and are a major tourist attraction of Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches, until the development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world, it remains the largest brick dome constructed. The cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Florence, whose archbishop is Giuseppe Betori.
Santa Maria del Fiore was built on the site of Florence's second cathedral dedicated to Saint Reparata. The ancient structure, founded in the early 5th century and having undergone many repairs, was crumbling with age, according to the 14th-century Nuova Cronica of Giovanni Villani, was no longer large enough to serve the growing population of the city. Other major Tuscan cities had undertaken ambitious reconstructions of their cathedrals during the Late Medieval period, such as Pisa and Siena where the enormous proposed extensions were never completed; the new church was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio and approved by city council in 1294. Di Cambio was architect of the church of Santa Croce and the Palazzo Vecchio, he designed three wide naves ending under the octagonal dome, with the middle nave covering the area of Santa Reparata. The first stone was laid on 9 September 1296, by Cardinal Valeriana, the first papal legate sent to Florence; the building of this vast project was to last 140 years.
After Arnolfo died in 1310, work on the cathedral slowed for thirty years. When the relics of Saint Zenobius were discovered in 1330 in Santa Reparata, the project gained a new impetus. In 1331, the Arte della Lana, the guild of wool merchants, took over patronage for the construction of the cathedral and in 1334 appointed Giotto to oversee the work. Assisted by Andrea Pisano, Giotto continued di Cambio's design, his major accomplishment was the building of the campanile. When Giotto died on 8 January 1337, Andrea Pisano continued the building until work was halted due to the Black Death in 1348. In 1349, work resumed on the cathedral under a series of architects, starting with Francesco Talenti, who finished the campanile and enlarged the overall project to include the apse and the side chapels. In 1359, Talenti was succeeded by Giovanni di Lapo Ghini who divided the center nave in four square bays. Other architects were Giovanni d'Ambrogio, Neri di Fioravante and Andrea Orcagna. By 1375, the old church Santa Reparata was pulled down.
The nave was finished by 1380, by 1418, only the dome remained incomplete. On 18 August 1418, the Arte della Lana announced an architectural design competition for erecting Neri's dome; the two main competitors were two master goldsmiths, Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi, the latter of whom was supported by Cosimo de Medici. Ghiberti had been the winner of a competition for a pair of bronze doors for the Baptistery in 1401 and lifelong competition between the two remained sharp. Brunelleschi received the commission. Ghiberti, appointed coadjutator, drew a salary equal to Brunelleschi's and, though neither was awarded the announced prize of 200 florins, was promised equal credit, although he spent most of his time on other projects; when Brunelleschi became ill, or feigned illness, the project was in the hands of Ghiberti. But Ghiberti soon had to admit. In 1423, Brunelleschi took over sole responsibility. Work started on the dome in 1420 and was completed in 1436; the cathedral was consecrated by Pope Eugene IV on 25 March 1436.
It was the first'octagonal' dome in history to be built without a temporary wooden supporting frame. It was one of the most impressive projects of the Renaissance. During the consecration in 1436, Guillaume Dufay's motet Nuper rosarum flores was performed; the structure of this motet was influenced by the structure of the dome. The decoration of the exterior of the cathedral, begun in the 14th century, was not completed until 1887, when the polychrome marble façade was completed with the design of Emilio De Fabris; the floor of the church was relaid in marble tiles in the 16th century. The exterior walls are faced in alternate vertical and horizontal bands of polychrome marble from Carrara, Siena, Lavenza and a few other places; these marble bands had to repeat the existing bands on the walls of the earlier adjacent baptistery the Battistero di San Giovanni and Giotto's Bell Tower. There are two side doors: the Doors of the Canonici and the Door of the Mandorla with sculptures by Nanni di Banco and Jacopo della Quercia.
The six side windows, notable for their delicate tracery and ornaments, are separated by pilasters. Only the four windows closest
A prime meridian is a meridian in a geographic coordinate system at which longitude is defined to be 0°. Together, a prime meridian and its anti-meridian form a great circle; this great circle divides e.g. Earth, into two hemispheres. If one uses directions of East and West from a defined prime meridian they can be called the Eastern Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere. A prime meridian is arbitrary, unlike an equator, determined by the axis of rotation—and various conventions have been used or advocated in different regions and throughout history; the most used modern meridian is the IERS Reference Meridian. It is derived but deviates from the Greenwich Meridian, selected as an international standard in 1884; the notion of longitude was developed by the Greek Eratosthenes in Alexandria, Hipparchus in Rhodes, applied to a large number of cities by the geographer Strabo. But it was Ptolemy. Ptolemy used as his basis the "Fortunate Isles", a group of islands in the Atlantic which are associated with the Canary Islands, although his maps correspond more to the Cape Verde islands.
The main point is to be comfortably west of the western tip of Africa as negative numbers were not yet in use. His prime meridian corresponds to 18° 40' west of Winchester today. At that time the chief method of determining longitude was by using the reported times of lunar eclipses in different countries. Ptolemy's Geographia was first printed with maps at Bologna in 1477, many early globes in the 16th century followed his lead, but there was still a hope. Christopher Columbus reported that the compass pointed due north somewhere in mid-Atlantic, this fact was used in the important Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494 which settled the territorial dispute between Spain and Portugal over newly discovered lands; the Tordesillas line was settled at 370 leagues west of Cape Verde. This is shown in Diogo Ribeiro's 1529 map. São Miguel Island in the Azores was still used for the same reason as late as 1594 by Christopher Saxton, although by it had been shown that the zero magnetic deviation line did not follow a line of longitude.
In 1541, Mercator produced his famous 41 cm terrestrial globe and drew his prime meridian through Fuerteventura in the Canaries. His maps used the Azores, following the magnetic hypothesis, but by the time that Ortelius produced the first modern atlas in 1570, other islands such as Cape Verde were coming into use. In his atlas longitudes were counted from 0° to 360°, not 180°W to 180°E as is usual today; this practice was followed by navigators well into the 18th century. In 1634, Cardinal Richelieu used the westernmost island of the Canaries, Ferro, 19° 55' west of Paris, as the choice of meridian; the geographer Delisle decided to round this off to 20°, so that it became the meridian of Paris disguised. In the early 18th century the battle was on to improve the determination of longitude at sea, leading to the development of the marine chronometer by John Harrison, but it was the development of accurate star charts, principally by the first British Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed between 1680 and 1719 and disseminated by his successor Edmund Halley, that enabled navigators to use the lunar method of determining longitude more using the octant developed by Thomas Godfrey and John Hadley.
Between 1765 and 1811, Nevil Maskelyne published 49 issues of the Nautical Almanac based on the meridian of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. "Maskelyne's tables not only made the lunar method practicable, they made the Greenwich meridian the universal reference point. The French translations of the Nautical Almanac retained Maskelyne's calculations from Greenwich—in spite of the fact that every other table in the Connaissance des Temps considered the Paris meridian as the prime." In 1884, at the International Meridian Conference in Washington, D. C. 22 countries voted to adopt the Greenwich meridian as the prime meridian of the world. The French argued for a neutral line, mentioning the Azores and the Bering Strait, but abstained and continued to use the Paris meridian until 1911. In October 1884 the Greenwich Meridian was selected by delegates to the International Meridian Conference held in Washington, D. C. United States to be the common zero of longitude and standard of time reckoning throughout the world.
The modern prime meridian, the IERS Reference Meridian, is placed near this meridian and is the prime meridian that has the widest use. The modern prime meridian, based at the Royal Observatory, was established by Sir George Airy in 1851; the position of the Greenwich Meridian has been defined by the location of the Airy Transit Circle since the first observation was taken with it by Sir George Airy in 1851. Prior to that, it was defined by a succession of earlier transit instruments, the first of, acquired by the second Astronomer Royal, Edmond Halley in 1721, it was set up in the extreme north-west corner of the Observatory between Flamsteed House and the Western Summer House. This spot, now subsumed into Flamsteed House, is 43 metres to the west of the Airy Transit Circle, a distance equivalent to 0.15 seconds of time. It was Airy's transit circle, adopted in principle as the Prime Meridian of th
The full point, full stop or period is a punctuation mark. It is used for several purposes, the most frequent of, to mark the end of a declaratory sentence; the full stop is often used alone to indicate omitted characters. It may be placed after an initial letter used to stand for a name, or sometimes after each individual letter in an initialism or acronym, for example, "U. S. A.". A full stop is frequently used at the end of word abbreviations – in British usage truncations like Rev. but not after contractions like Revd. The full point has multiple contexts in mathematics and computing, where it may be called a point or a dot; the full point glyph is sometimes called a baseline dot because, typographically, it is a dot on the baseline. This term distinguishes it from the interpunct. While full stop technically only applies to the full point when used to terminate a sentence, the distinction – drawn since at least 1897 – is not maintained by all modern style guides and dictionaries; the full stop symbol derives from the Greek punctuation introduced by Aristophanes of Byzantium in the 3rd century BC, In his system, there were a series of dots whose placement determined their meaning.
The full stop at the end of a completed thought or expression was marked by a high dot ⟨˙⟩, called the stigmḕ teleía or "terminal dot". The "middle dot" ⟨·⟩, the stigmḕ mésē, marked a division in a thought occasioning a longer breath and the low dot ⟨.⟩, called the hypostigmḕ or "underdot", marked a division in a thought occasioning a shorter breath. In practice, scribes employed the terminal dot. From the 9th century, the full stop began appearing as a low mark instead of a high one; the name period is first attested in Ælfric of Eynsham's Old English treatment on grammar. There, it is distinguished from the full stop and continues the Greek underdot's earlier function as a comma between phrases, it shifted its meaning to a dot marking a full stop in the works of the 16th-century grammarians. In 19th-century texts, both British English and American English were consistent in their usage of the terms period and full stop; the word period was used as a name for what printers called the "full point" or the punctuation mark, a dot on the baseline and used in several situations.
The phrase full stop was only used to refer to the punctuation mark when it was used to terminate a sentence. This distinction seems to be eroding. For example, the 1998 edition of Fowler's Modern English Usage used full point for the character after an abbreviation, but full stop or full point at the end of a sentence; the last edition of the original Hart's Rules used full point. Full stops are one of the most used punctuation marks. Full stops indicate the end of sentences that are not exclamations, it is usual to use full stops after initials. A full stop is used after some abbreviations. If the abbreviation ends a declaratory sentence there is no additional period following the full stop that ends the abbreviation. Though two full stops might be expected, conventionally only one is written; this is an intentional omission, thus not haplography, unintentional omission of a duplicate. In the case of an interrogative or exclamatory sentence ending with an abbreviation, a question or exclamation mark can still be added.
According to the Oxford A–Z of Grammar and Punctuation, "If the abbreviation includes both the first and last letter of the abbreviated word, as in'Mister' and'Doctor', a full stop is not used." This does not include, for example, the standard abbreviations for titles such as Professor or Reverend, because they do not end with the last letter of the word they are abbreviating. In American English, the common convention is to include the period after all such abbreviations. In acronyms and initialisms, the modern style is to not use full points after each initial; the punctuation is somewhat more used in American English, most with U. S. and U. S. A. in particular. However, this depends much upon the house style of a particular publisher; as some examples from American style guides, The Chicago Manual of Style deprecates the use of full points in acronyms, including U. S. while The Associated Press Stylebook dispenses with full points in acronyms except for certain two-letter cases, including U. S.
U. K. and U. N. but not EU. The period glyph is used in the presentation of numbers, but in only one of two alternate styles at a time. In the more prevalent usage in English-speaking countries, the point it represe