The Ptolemaic Kingdom was a Hellenistic kingdom based in ancient Egypt. It was ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty, which started with Ptolemy I Soter's accession after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and which ended with the death of Cleopatra and the Roman conquest in 30 BC; the Ptolemaic Kingdom was founded in 305 BC by Ptolemy I Soter, a diadochus from Macedon in northern Greece who declared himself pharaoh of Egypt and created a powerful Macedonian Greek dynasty that ruled an area stretching from southern Syria to Cyrene and south to Nubia. Scholars argue that the kingdom was founded in 304 BC because of different use of calendars: Ptolemy crowned himself in 304 BC on the ancient Egyptian calendar, but in 305 BC on the ancient Macedonian calendar. Alexandria, a Greek polis founded by Alexander the Great, became the capital city and a major center of Greek culture and trade. To gain recognition by the native Egyptian populace, the Ptolemies named themselves as pharaohs; the Ptolemies took on Egyptian traditions by marrying their siblings per the Osiris myth, had themselves portrayed on public monuments in Egyptian style and dress, participated in Egyptian religious life.
The Ptolemies were involved in foreign and civil wars that led to the decline of the kingdom and its final conquest by Rome. Their rivalry with the neighboring Seleucid Empire of West Asia led to a series of Syrian Wars in which both powers jockeyed for control of the Levant. Hellenistic culture continued to thrive in Egypt throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods until the Muslim conquest; the era of Ptolemaic reign in Egypt is one of the best-documented time periods of the Hellenistic period. In 332 BC, Alexander the Great, King of Macedon, invaded Egypt, which at the time was a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire known as the Thirty-first Dynasty under Emperor Artaxerxes III, he visited Memphis, traveled to the oracle of Amun at the Siwa Oasis. The oracle declared him to be the son of Amun. Alexander conciliated the Egyptians by the respect he showed for their religion, but he appointed Macedonians to all the senior posts in the country, founded a new Greek city, Alexandria, to be the new capital.
The wealth of Egypt could now be harnessed for Alexander's conquest of the rest of the Achaemenid Empire. Early in 331 BC he was ready to depart, led his forces away to Phoenicia, he left Cleomenes of Naucratis. Alexander never returned to Egypt. Following Alexander's death in Babylon in 323 BC, a succession crisis erupted among his generals. Perdiccas ruled the empire as regent for Alexander's half-brother Arrhidaeus, who became Philip III of Macedon, as regent for both Philip III and Alexander's infant son Alexander IV of Macedon, who had not been born at the time of his father's death. Perdiccas appointed one of Alexander's closest companions, to be satrap of Egypt. Ptolemy ruled Egypt from 323 BC, nominally in the name of the joint kings Philip III and Alexander IV. However, as Alexander the Great's empire disintegrated, Ptolemy soon established himself as ruler in his own right. Ptolemy defended Egypt against an invasion by Perdiccas in 321 BC, consolidated his position in Egypt and the surrounding areas during the Wars of the Diadochi.
In 305 BC, Ptolemy took the title of King. As Ptolemy I Soter, he founded the Ptolemaic dynasty, to rule Egypt for nearly 300 years. All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy, while princesses and queens preferred the names Cleopatra, Arsinoë and Berenice; because the Ptolemaic kings adopted the Egyptian custom of marrying their sisters, many of the kings ruled jointly with their spouses, who were of the royal house. This custom made Ptolemaic politics confusingly incestuous, the Ptolemies were feeble; the only Ptolemaic Queens to rule on their own were Berenice III and Berenice IV. Cleopatra V did co-rule, but it was with another female, Berenice IV. Cleopatra VII co-ruled with Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator, Ptolemy XIV, Ptolemy XV, but she ruled Egypt alone; the early Ptolemies did not disturb the customs of the Egyptians. They built magnificent new temples for the Egyptian gods and soon adopted the outward display of the Pharaohs of old. During the reign of Ptolemies II and III, thousands of Macedonian veterans were rewarded with grants of farm lands, Macedonians were planted in colonies and garrisons or settled themselves in the villages throughout the country.
Upper Egypt, farthest from the centre of government, was less affected though Ptolemy I established the Greek colony of Ptolemais Hermiou to be its capital. But within a century, Greek influence had spread through the country and intermarriage had produced a large Greco-Egyptian educated class; the Greeks always remained a privileged minority in Ptolemaic Egypt. They lived under Greek law, received a Greek education, were tried in Greek courts, were citizens of Greek cities; the first part of Ptolemy I's reign was dominated by the Wars of the Diadochi between the various successor states to the empire of Alexander. His first objective was to hold his position in Egypt securely, secondly to increase his domain. Within a few years he had gained control of Libya, Coele-Syria, Cyprus; when Antigonus, ruler of Syria, tried to reunite Alexander's empire, Ptolemy joined the coalition against him. In 312 BC, allied with Seleucus, th
Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time. This is done in order to facilitate the study and analysis of history, understanding current and historical processes, causality that might have linked those events; this results in descriptive abstractions that provide convenient terms for periods of time with stable characteristics. However, determining the precise beginning and ending to any "period" is arbitrary, since it has changed over time over the course of history. To the extent that history is continuous and ungeneralizable, all systems of periodization are more or less arbitrary, yet without named periods, however clumsy or imprecise, past time would be nothing more than scattered events without a framework to help us understand them. Nations, cultures and individuals, each with their different remembered histories, are engaged in imposing overlapping unsystematized, schemes of temporal periodization; the division of history into "ages" or periods is old, recorded as early as the first development of writing.
The Sumerian King List operates with dynastic regnal eras. The classical division into a Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, Heroic Age and Iron Age goes back to Hesiod. One Biblical periodization scheme used in the Middle Ages was Saint Paul's theological division of history into three ages: the first before the age of Moses, but the most discussed periodization scheme of the Middle Ages was the Six Ages of the World, where every age was a thousand years counting from Adam to the present, with the present time being the sixth and final stage. Not only do periodizing blocks overlap, they seemingly conflict with or contradict one another; some have a cultural usage, others refer to prominent historical events, yet others are defined by decimal numbering systems. Other periods are named from talismanic individuals; some of these usages will be geographically specific. This is true of periodizing labels derived from individuals or ruling dynasties, such as the Jacksonian Era in America, the Meiji Era in Japan, or the Merovingian Period in France.
Cultural terms may have a limited reach. Thus the concept of the "Romantic period" is meaningless outside the Western world of Europe and European-influenced cultures. "the 1960s", though technically applicable to anywhere in the world according to Common Era numbering, has a certain set of specific cultural connotations in certain countries. For this reason it may be possible to say such things as "The 1960s never occurred in Spain"; this would mean that the sexual revolution, youth rebellion and so on never developed during that decade in Spain's conservative Roman Catholic culture and under Francisco Franco's authoritarian regime. It is often said, as the historian Arthur Marwick has, that "the 1960s" began in the late 1950s and ended in the early 1970s, his reason for saying this is that the cultural and economic conditions that define the meaning of the period covers more than the accidental fact of a 10-year block beginning with the number 6. This extended usage is termed the "long 1960s".
This usage derives from other historians who have adopted labels such as "the long 19th century" to reconcile arbitrary decimal chronology with meaningful cultural and social phases. An Eighteenth Century may run 1714–1789. Eric Hobsbawm has argued for what he calls "the short twentieth century", encompassing the period from the First World War through to the end of the Cold War. Similar problems attend other labels. Is it possible to use the term "Victorian" outside Britain, within, does her reign of 1837-1901 usefully constitute a historical period? It sometimes is used when it is thought that its connotations usefully describe the politics and economic conditions characteristic of the last two-thirds of the nineteenth century. Periodizing terms have negative or positive connotations that may affect their usage; this includes Victorian, which negatively suggests sexual repression and class conflict. Other labels such as Renaissance have positive characteristics; as a result, these terms sometimes extend in meaning.
Thus the English Renaissance is used for a period identical to the Elizabethan Period or reign of Elizabeth I, begins some 200 years than the Italian Renaissance. However the Carolingian Renaissance is said to have occurred during the reign of the Frankish king Charlemagne, his immediate successors. Other examples, neither of which constituted a "rebirth" in the sense of revival, are the American Renaissance of the 1820s-60s, referring to literature, the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, referring to literature but to music and the visual arts; the conception of a "rebirth" of Classical Latin learning is first credited to the Italian poet Petrarch, the father of Renaissance Humanism, but the conception of a rebirth has been in common use since Petrarch's time. The dominant usage of the word Renaissance refers to the cultural changes that occurred in Italy that culminated in the High Renaissance around 1500-1530; this concept applies dominantly to the visual arts, the work of Miche
Seleucus I Nicator
Seleucus I Nicator was one of the Diadochi. Having served as an infantry general under Alexander the Great, he assumed the title of basileus and established the Seleucid Empire over much of the territory in the Near East which Alexander had conquered. After the death of Alexander in June 323 BC, Seleucus supported Perdiccas, the regent of Alexander's empire, was appointed Commander of the Companions and chiliarch at the Partition of Babylon in 323 BC. However, after the outbreak of the Wars of the Diadochi in 322, Perdiccas' military failures against Ptolemy in Egypt led to the mutiny of his troops in Pelusium. Perdiccas was betrayed and assassinated in a conspiracy by Seleucus and Antigenes in Pelusium sometime in either 321 or 320 BC. At the Partition of Triparadisus in 321 BC, Seleucus was appointed Satrap of Babylon under the new regent Antipater, but immediately, the wars between the Diadochi resumed and Antigonus forced Seleucus to flee Babylon. Seleucus was only able to return to Babylon in 312 BC with the support of Ptolemy.
From 312 BC, Seleucus ruthlessly expanded his dominions and conquered the Persian and Median lands. Seleucus ruled not only the entire enormous eastern part of Alexander's empire. Seleucus' wars took him as far as India, after two years of war, he was defeated by the armies of the Maurya Empire and made peace by marrying his daughter to king Chandragupta, whereupon he was rewarded a considerable force of 500 war elephants, which would play a decisive role against Antigonus at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC and against Lysimachus at the Battle of Corupedium in 281 BC. Seleucus' victories against Antigonus and Lysimachus left the Seleucid dynasty unopposed in Asia and in Anatolia. However, Seleucus hoped to take control of Lysimachus' European territories Thrace and Macedon itself, but upon arriving in Thrace in 281 BC, Seleucus was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus, who had taken refuge at the Seleucid court with his sister Lysandra. The assassination of Seleucus destroyed Seleucid prospects in Thrace and Macedon, paved the way for Ptolemy Ceraunus to absorb much of Lysimachus' former power in Macedon.
Seleucus was succeeded by his son Antiochus I as ruler of the Seleucid empire. Seleucus founded a number of new cities during his reign, including Antioch and in particular Seleucia on the Tigris, the new capital of the Seleucid Empire, a foundation that depopulated Babylon. Seleucus was the son of Antiochus. Historian Junianus Justinus claims that Antiochus was one of Philip II of Macedon's generals, but no such general is mentioned in any other sources, nothing is known of his supposed career under Philip, it is possible. Seleucus' mother was called Laodice, but nothing else is known of her. Seleucus named a number of cities after his parents. Seleucus was born in Europos, located in the northern part of Macedonia. Just a year before his birth, the Paeonians invaded the region. Philip defeated the invaders and only a few years utterly subdued them under Macedonian rule. Seleucus' year of birth is unclear. Justin claims he was 77 years old during the battle of Corupedium, which would place his year of birth at 358 BC.
Appianus tells us Seleucus was 73 years old during the battle, which means 354 BC would be the year of birth. Eusebius of Caesarea, mentions the age of 75, thus the year 356 BC, making Seleucus the same age as Alexander the Great; this is most propaganda on Seleucus' part to make him seem comparable to Alexander. As a teenager, Seleucus was chosen to serve as the king's page, it was customary for all male offspring of noble families to first serve in this position and as officers in the king's army. A number of legends, similar to those told of Alexander the Great, were told of Seleucus, it was said Antiochus told his son before he left to battle the Persians with Alexander that his real father was the god Apollo. The god had left a ring with a picture of an anchor as a gift to Laodice. Seleucus had a birthmark shaped like an anchor, it was told that Seleucus' sons and grandsons had similar birthmarks. The story is similar to the one told about Alexander. Most the story is propaganda by Seleucus, who invented the story to present himself as the natural successor of Alexander.
John Malalas tells us Seleucus had a sister called Didymeia, who had sons called Nicanor and Nicomedes. It is most the sons are fictitious. Didymeia might refer to the oracle of Apollo in Didyma near Miletus, it has been suggested that Ptolemy was the uncle of Seleucus. In spring 334 BC, as a young man of about twenty-three, Seleucus accompanied Alexander into Asia. By the time of the Indian campaigns beginning in late in 327 BC, he had risen to the command of the élite infantry corps in the Macedonian army, the "Shield-bearers", it is said by Arrian that when Alexander crossed the Hydaspes river on a boat, he was accompanied by Perdiccas, Ptolemy I Soter and Seleucus. During the subsequent Battle of the Hydaspes, Seleucus led his troops against the elephants of King Porus, it is that Seleucus had no role in the actual planning of the battle. He is not mentioned as holding any major independent position during the battle, for example, Hephaistion and Leonnatus – each of whom had sizable detachments under his control.
Seleucus' Royal Hypaspist
Babylon was a key kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia from the 18th to 6th centuries BC. The city was built on the Euphrates river and divided in equal parts along its left and right banks, with steep embankments to contain the river's seasonal floods. Babylon was a small Akkadian town dating from the period of the Akkadian Empire c. 2300 BC. The town became part of a small independent city-state with the rise of the First Babylonian dynasty in the 19th century BC. After the Amorite king Hammurabi created a short-lived empire in the 18th century BC, he built Babylon up into a major city and declared himself its king, southern Mesopotamia became known as Babylonia and Babylon eclipsed Nippur as its holy city; the empire waned under Hammurabi's son Samsu-iluna and Babylon spent long periods under Assyrian and Elamite domination. After being destroyed and rebuilt by the Assyrians, Babylon became the capital of the short lived Neo-Babylonian Empire from 609 to 539 BC; the Hanging Gardens of Babylon was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, although a number of scholars believe these were in the Assyrian capital of Nineveh.
After the fall of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, the city came under the rule of the Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanid empires. It has been estimated that Babylon was the largest city in the world c. 1770 – c. 1670 BC, again c. 612 – c. 320 BC. It was the first city to reach a population above 200,000. Estimates for the maximum extent of its area range from 890 to 900 hectares; the remains of the city are in present-day Hillah, Babil Governorate, about 85 kilometres south of Baghdad, comprising a large tell of broken mud-brick buildings and debris. The main sources of information about Babylon—excavation of the site itself, references in cuneiform texts found elsewhere in Mesopotamia, references in the Bible, descriptions in classical writing, second-hand descriptions —present an incomplete and sometimes contradictory picture of the ancient city at its peak in the sixth century BC; the English Babylon comes from a transliteration of the Akkadian Bābilim. Archibald Sayce, writing in the 1870s, considered Bab-ilu or Bab-ili to be the translation of an earlier Sumerian name Ca-dimirra, meaning "gate of god", based on the characters KAN4 DIĜIR.
RAKI or based on other characters. According to Professor Dietz-Otto Edzard, the city was called Babilla, but by the time of the Third Dynasty of Ur, through a process of etymological speculation, had become Bāb-ili meaning "gate of god" or "god's gate"; the "gate of god" translation is viewed as a folk etymology to explain an unknown original non-Semitic placename. Linguist I. J. Gelb suggested in 1955 that Babil/Babilla is the basis of the city name, of unknown meaning and origin, as there were other similarly-named places in Sumer, there are no other examples of Sumerian place-names being replaced with Akkadian translations, he deduced that it transformed into Akkadian Bāb-ili, that the Sumerian Ka-dig̃irra was a translation of that, rather than vice versa. In the Bible, the name appears as Babel, interpreted in the Book of Genesis to mean "confusion", from the verb bilbél; the modern English verb, to babble, is popularly thought to derive from this name, but there is no direct connection.
Ancient records in some situations use "Babylon" as a name for other cities, including cities like Borsippa within Babylon's sphere of influence, Nineveh for a short period after the Assyrian sack of Babylon. The remains of the city are in present-day Hillah, Babil Governorate, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad, comprising a large tell of broken mud-brick buildings and debris; the site at Babylon consists of a number of mounds covering an area of about 2 by 1 kilometer, oriented north to south, along the Euphrates to the west. The river bisected the city, but the course of the river has since shifted so that most of the remains of the former western part of the city are now inundated; some portions of the city wall to the west of the river remain. Only a small portion of the ancient city has been excavated. Known remains include: Kasr – called Palace or Castle, it is the location of the Neo-Babylonian ziggurat Etemenanki and lies in the center of the site. Amran Ibn Ali – the highest of the mounds at 25 meters, to the south.
It is the site of Esagila, a temple of Marduk which contained shrines to Ea and Nabu. Homera – a reddish-colored mound on the west side. Most of the Hellenistic remains are here. Babil – a mound about 22 meters high at the northern end of the site, its bricks have been subject to looting since ancient times. It held a palace built by Nebuchadnezzar. Archaeologists have recovered few artifacts predating the Neo-Babylonian period; the water table in the region has risen over the centuries, artifacts from the time before the Neo-Babylonian Empire are unavailable to current standard archaeological methods. Additionally, the Neo-Babylonians conducted significant rebuilding projects in the city, which destroyed or obscured much of the earlier record. Babylon was pillaged numerous times after revolting against foreign rule, most notably by t
Macedonia (ancient kingdom)
Macedonia called Macedon, was an ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece, the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. The kingdom was founded and ruled by the royal Argead dynasty, followed by the Antipatrid and Antigonid dynasties. Home to the ancient Macedonians, the earliest kingdom was centered on the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south. Before the 4th century BC, Macedonia was a small kingdom outside of the area dominated by the great city-states of Athens and Thebes, subordinate to Achaemenid Persia. During the reign of the Argead king Philip II, Macedonia subdued mainland Greece and Thrace through conquest and diplomacy. With a reformed army containing phalanxes wielding the sarissa pike, Philip II defeated the old powers of Athens and Thebes in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC. Philip II's son Alexander the Great, leading a federation of Greek states, accomplished his father's objective of commanding the whole of Greece when he destroyed Thebes after the city revolted.
During Alexander's subsequent campaign of conquest, he overthrew the Achaemenid Empire and conquered territory that stretched as far as the Indus River. For a brief period, his empire was the most powerful in the world – the definitive Hellenistic state, inaugurating the transition to a new period of Ancient Greek civilization. Greek arts and literature flourished in the new conquered lands and advances in philosophy and science spread throughout much of the ancient world. Of particular importance were the contributions of Aristotle, tutor to Alexander, whose writings became a keystone of Western philosophy. After Alexander's death in 323 BC, the ensuing wars of the Diadochi, the partitioning of Alexander's short-lived empire, Macedonia remained a Greek cultural and political center in the Mediterranean region along with Ptolemaic Egypt, the Seleucid Empire, the Kingdom of Pergamon. Important cities such as Pella and Amphipolis were involved in power struggles for control of the territory. New cities were founded, such as Thessalonica by the usurper Cassander.
Macedonia's decline began with the Macedonian Wars and the rise of Rome as the leading Mediterranean power. At the end of the Third Macedonian War in 168 BC, the Macedonian monarchy was abolished and replaced by Roman client states. A short-lived revival of the monarchy during the Fourth Macedonian War in 150–148 BC ended with the establishment of the Roman province of Macedonia; the Macedonian kings, who wielded absolute power and commanded state resources such as gold and silver, facilitated mining operations to mint currency, finance their armies and, by the reign of Philip II, a Macedonian navy. Unlike the other diadochi successor states, the imperial cult fostered by Alexander was never adopted in Macedonia, yet Macedonian rulers assumed roles as high priests of the kingdom and leading patrons of domestic and international cults of the Hellenistic religion; the authority of Macedonian kings was theoretically limited by the institution of the army, while a few municipalities within the Macedonian commonwealth enjoyed a high degree of autonomy and had democratic governments with popular assemblies.
The name Macedonia comes from the ethnonym Μακεδόνες, which itself is derived from the ancient Greek adjective μακεδνός, meaning "tall" descriptive of the people. It has the same root as the adjective μακρός, meaning "long" or "tall" in Ancient Greek; the name is believed to have meant either "highlanders", "the tall ones", or "high grown men". Linguist Robert S. P. Beekes claims that both terms are of Pre-Greek substrate origin and cannot be explained in terms of Indo-European morphology; the Classical Greek historians Herodotus and Thucydides reported the legend that the Macedonian kings of the Argead dynasty were descendants of Temenus, king of Argos, could therefore claim the mythical Heracles as one of their ancestors as well as a direct lineage from Zeus, chief god of the Greek pantheon. Contradictory legends state that either Perdiccas I of Macedon or Caranus of Macedon were the founders of the Argead dynasty, with either five or eight kings before Amyntas I; the assertion that the Argeads descended from Temenus was accepted by the Hellanodikai authorities of the Ancient Olympic Games, permitting Alexander I of Macedon to enter the competitions owing to his perceived Greek heritage.
Little is known about the kingdom before the reign of Alexander I's father Amyntas I of Macedon during the Archaic period. The kingdom of Macedonia was situated along the Haliacmon and Axius rivers in Lower Macedonia, north of Mount Olympus. Historian Robert Malcolm Errington suggests that one of the earliest Argead kings established Aigai as their capital in the mid-7th century BC. Before the 4th century BC, the kingdom covered a region corresponding to the western and central parts of the region of Macedonia in modern Greece, it expanded into the region of Upper Macedonia, inhabited by the Greek Lyncestae and Elimiotae tribes, into regions of Emathia, Bottiaea, Mygdonia and Almopia, which were inhabited by various peoples such as Thracians and Phrygians. Macedonia's non-Greek neighbors included Thracians, inhabiting territories to the northeast, Illyrians to the northwest, Paeonians to the north, while the lands of Thessaly to the south and Epirus to the west were inhabited by Greeks with similar cultures to that of the Macedonians.
A year after Darius I of
Time is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in irreversible succession through the past, in the present, the future. Time is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience. Time is referred to as a fourth dimension, along with three spatial dimensions. Time has long been an important subject of study in religion and science, but defining it in a manner applicable to all fields without circularity has eluded scholars. Diverse fields such as business, sports, the sciences, the performing arts all incorporate some notion of time into their respective measuring systems. Time in physics is unambiguously operationally defined as "what a clock reads". See Units of Time. Time is one of the seven fundamental physical quantities in both the International System of Units and International System of Quantities.
Time is used to define other quantities – such as velocity – so defining time in terms of such quantities would result in circularity of definition. An operational definition of time, wherein one says that observing a certain number of repetitions of one or another standard cyclical event constitutes one standard unit such as the second, is useful in the conduct of both advanced experiments and everyday affairs of life; the operational definition leaves aside the question whether there is something called time, apart from the counting activity just mentioned, that flows and that can be measured. Investigations of a single continuum called spacetime bring questions about space into questions about time, questions that have their roots in the works of early students of natural philosophy. Temporal measurement has occupied scientists and technologists, was a prime motivation in navigation and astronomy. Periodic events and periodic motion have long served as standards for units of time. Examples include the apparent motion of the sun across the sky, the phases of the moon, the swing of a pendulum, the beat of a heart.
The international unit of time, the second, is defined by measuring the electronic transition frequency of caesium atoms. Time is of significant social importance, having economic value as well as personal value, due to an awareness of the limited time in each day and in human life spans. Speaking, methods of temporal measurement, or chronometry, take two distinct forms: the calendar, a mathematical tool for organising intervals of time, the clock, a physical mechanism that counts the passage of time. In day-to-day life, the clock is consulted for periods less than a day whereas the calendar is consulted for periods longer than a day. Personal electronic devices display both calendars and clocks simultaneously; the number that marks the occurrence of a specified event as to hour or date is obtained by counting from a fiducial epoch – a central reference point. Artifacts from the Paleolithic suggest that the moon was used to reckon time as early as 6,000 years ago. Lunar calendars were among the first to appear, with years of either 13 lunar months.
Without intercalation to add days or months to some years, seasons drift in a calendar based on twelve lunar months. Lunisolar calendars have a thirteenth month added to some years to make up for the difference between a full year and a year of just twelve lunar months; the numbers twelve and thirteen came to feature prominently in many cultures, at least due to this relationship of months to years. Other early forms of calendars originated in Mesoamerica in ancient Mayan civilization; these calendars were religiously and astronomically based, with 18 months in a year and 20 days in a month, plus five epagomenal days at the end of the year. The reforms of Julius Caesar in 45 BC put the Roman world on a solar calendar; this Julian calendar was faulty in that its intercalation still allowed the astronomical solstices and equinoxes to advance against it by about 11 minutes per year. Pope Gregory XIII introduced a correction in 1582. During the French Revolution, a new clock and calendar were invented in attempt to de-Christianize time and create a more rational system in order to replace the Gregorian calendar.
The French Republican Calendar's days consisted of ten hours of a hundred minutes of a hundred seconds, which marked a deviation from the 12-based duodecimal system used in many other devices by many cultures. The system was abolished in 1806. A large variety of devices have been invented to measure time; the study of these devices is called horology. An Egyptian device that dates to c. 1500 BC, similar in shape to a bent T-square, measured the passage of time from the shadow cast by its crossbar on a nonlinear rule. The T was oriented eastward in the mornings. At noon, the device was turned around so. A sundial uses a gnomon to cast a shadow on a set of markings calibrated to the hour; the position of the shadow marks the hour in local time. The idea to separate the day into smaller parts is credited to Egyptians because of their sundials, which operated on a duodecimal system; the importance of the number 12 is due to the number of lunar cycles in a year and the number of stars used to count the passage of night.
The most precise timekeeping device of the ancient
The Islamic, Muslim, or Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to determine the proper days of Islamic holidays and rituals, such as the annual period of fasting and the proper time for the pilgrimage to Mecca; the civil calendar of all countries where the religion is predominantly Muslim is the Gregorian calendar. Notable exceptions to this rule are Afghanistan, which use the Solar Hijri calendar. Rents and similar regular commitments are paid by the civil calendar; the Islamic calendar employs the Hijri era whose epoch was established as the Islamic New Year of 622 AD/CE. During that year and his followers migrated from Mecca to Yathrib and established the first Muslim community, an event commemorated as the Hijra. In the West, dates in this era are denoted AH in parallel with the Christian and Jewish eras. In Muslim countries, it is sometimes denoted as H from its Arabic form. In English, years prior to the Hijra are reckoned as BH.
The current Islamic year is 1440 AH. In the Gregorian calendar, 1440 AH runs from 11 September 2018 to 30 August 2019. For central Arabia Mecca, there is a lack of epigraphical evidence but details are found in the writings of Muslim authors of the Abbasid era. Inscriptions of the ancient South Arabian calendars reveal the use of a number of local calendars. At least some of these South Arabian calendars followed the lunisolar system. Both al-Biruni and al-Mas'udi suggest that the ancient Arabs used the same month names as the Muslims, though they record other month names used by the pre-Islamic Arabs; the Islamic tradition is unanimous in stating that Arabs of Tihamah and Najd distinguished between two types of months and forbidden months. The forbidden months were four months during which fighting is forbidden, listed as Rajab and the three months around the pilgrimage season, Dhu al-Qa‘dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, Muharram. Information about the forbidden months is found in the writings of Procopius, where he describes an armistice with the Eastern Arabs of the Lakhmid al-Mundhir which happened in the summer of 541 AD/CE.
However, Muslim historians do not link these months to a particular season. The Qur'an links the four forbidden months with Nasī’, a word that means "postponement". According to Muslim tradition, the decision of postponement was administered by the tribe of Kinanah, by a man known as the al-Qalammas of Kinanah and his descendants. Different interpretations of the concept of Nasī’ have been proposed; some scholars, both Muslim and Western, maintain that the pre-Islamic calendar used in central Arabia was a purely lunar calendar similar to the modern Islamic calendar. According to this view, Nasī’ is related to the pre-Islamic practices of the Meccan Arabs, where they would alter the distribution of the forbidden months within a given year without implying a calendar manipulation; this interpretation is supported by Arab historians and lexicographers, like Ibn Hisham, Ibn Manzur, the corpus of Qur'anic exegesis. This is corroborated by an early Sabaic inscription, where a religious ritual was "postponed" due to war.
According to the context of this inscription, the verb ns'’ has nothing to do with intercalation, but only with moving religious events within the calendar itself. The similarity between the religious concept of this ancient inscription and the Qur'an suggests that non-calendaring postponement is the Qur'anic meaning of Nasī’; the Encyclopaedia of Islam concludes "The Arabic system of can only have been intended to move the Hajj and the fairs associated with it in the vicinity of Mecca to a suitable season of the year. It was not intended to establish a fixed calendar to be observed." The term "fixed calendar" is understood to refer to the non-intercalated calendar. Others concur that it was a lunar calendar, but suggest that about 200 years before the Hijra it was transformed into a lunisolar calendar containing an intercalary month added from time to time to keep the pilgrimage within the season of the year when merchandise was most abundant; this interpretation was first proposed by the medieval Muslim astrologer and astronomer Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi, by al-Biruni, al-Mas'udi, some western scholars.
This interpretation considers Nasī’ to be a synonym to the Arabic word for "intercalation". The Arabs, according to one explanation mentioned by Abu Ma'shar, learned of this type of intercalation from the Jews; the Jewish Nasi was the official. Some sources say that the Arabs followed the Jewish practice and intercalated seven months over nineteen years, or else that they intercalated nine months over 24 years. Postponement of one ritual in a particular circumstance does not imply alteration of the sequence of months, scholars agree that this did not happen. Al-Biruni says this did not happen, the festivals were kept within their season by intercalation every second or third year of a month between Dhu al-Hijjah and Muharram, he says that, in terms of the fixed calendar, not introduced until 10 AH, the first intercalation was, for example, of a month between Dhu al-Hijjah and Muharram, the second of a month between Muharram and Safar, the third of a month between Safar and Rabi'I, so on. The intercalations were arranged.
The notice of interca