Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Medieval Calendar


Calendars for 12th Century

Calendar for 1164 (France)

Calendar for 1168 May - Jul

Calendar for 1168 Jan - Mar

Year Numbering

From Bede onwards ecclesiastical documents were dated using Anno Domini.

From the late 12th century onwards it became customary to date civil documents by regnal year, the number of years since the monarch began to reign.

The Exchequer year ran from Michaelmas to Michaelmas (30 September-29 September) and was usually numbered using the regnal year in which it ended.


Kalends, Ides and Nones (Medieval or Julian)

These are counted backwards from three fixed calendar days in a month: the Nones, the Ides, and the Kalends of the following month.

Kalends = First day of the month.

Ides =   13th day of the month, but the 15th day of March, May, July, and October.

Nones = Eight days before the Ides in a month, depending on the latter, they were the fifth or seventh day of the month.

Pridie (or Day Before)

The day preceding the Kalends, Nones, or Ides was called Pridie, example, Prid. Id. Mart. = 14 March. 

Leap Year or Bissextile Years

In the Julian calendar any year fully and evenly divisible by 4 without a remainder was a leap year.

Day naming in late February:

In a normal or non-leap year February 28th would be called Pridie Kalendas Martias, while in a bissextile or leap year February 28th would be named III Kalendas Martias, and therefore under this reckoning, February 29th would be called Pridie Kalendas Martias in a leap year. 

This was because, in the Middle Ages, the ecclesiastics called a leap year Bissextile.  It was so-called because February 24th in a common [non-leap] year was VI Kalendas Martias. But in a leap or bissextile year they called it the 2nd-6th day before the Kalends of March, in Latin bis-VI Kalendas Martias. And February 25th was called VI Kalendas Martias.

See

Nachum Dershowitz; Edward M. Reingold (2008). Calendrical Calculations. Cambridge University Press. pp. 66–. ISBN 978-0-521-88540-9.

Robert Thomas Hampson (1841). Medii ævi kalendarium: or dates, charters, and customs of the Middle Ages,. H.K. Causton and son. pp. 31–.

Thomas Edlyne Tomlins (1820). The Law-dictionary: Bissextile  Payne. pp. 17–.


Start of year/Year numbering

Julian Calendar (Roman) 1st January

In Anglo-Saxon times the year was generally reckoned to start on 25th December.

The Anno Domini system of numbering years was introduced to England by Bede in the eighth century.

England’s New Year’s date changed many times throughout its history.

William the Conqueror decreed that January 1st should be the New Year.

The Regnal Year reckoning [during Henry II's reign] 19th December - 18th December

Years later New Year's Day in England was changed to be March 25th, the start of the Farming and Legal Years, and close to the Spring Equinox; this was the Feast of the Annunciation, also known as Lady Day.

Calculating the Date of Easter

Easter is the Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon. The Paschal Full Moon may occur from March 21 through April 18, inclusive. Thus the date of Easter is from March 22 through April 25, inclusive. The date of the Paschal Full Moon is determined from tables, and it may differ from the date of the the actual full moon by up to two days.




Example 1164

Sunday (Dominical Letter) Letter = 4 or D Golden Number 6 :  Easter 1164 = 12th April

Golden Number = Remainder ((Year +1)/19)

Robert Thomas Hampson (1841). Medii ævi kalendarium: or dates, charters, and customs of the Middle Ages. Table: To Find Easter For Ever: H.K. Causton and son


Easter Day 1162-70 (Julian Calendar)

1162 Golden Number  4 Sunday Letter G   8th April
1163 Golden Number  5 Sunday Letter F  24th March
1164 Golden Number  6 Sunday Letter eD 12th April
1165 Golden Number  7 Sunday Letter C   4th April
1166 Golden Number  8 Sunday Letter B  24th April
1167 Golden Number  9 Sunday Letter A   9th April
1168 Golden Number 10 Sunday Letter gF 31st March
1169 Golden Number 11 Sunday Letter E  20th April
1170 Golden Number 12 Sunday Letter D   5th April


Liturgical Year

Michaelmas 29th September

Advent is the period of the four Sundays before Christmas. Advent Sunday is the first of these Sundays.



Easter is the Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon. The Paschal Full Moon may occur from March 21 through April 18, inclusive. Thus the date of Easter is from March 22 through April 25, inclusive. The date of the Paschal full moon is determined from tables, and it may differ from the date of the the actual full moon by up to two days.

In the Julian calendar, January 1 of the year 0 [1 B.C.], which is a leap year was a Thursday; therefore, the Julian dominical letter for January and February Year 0 is D and for the remainder of that year C.



Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1837). The Penny Cyclopaedia . Method of Finding Easter Old Style [Julian Calendar]: Knight. pp. 252–3.



Pentecost [Whitsunday] 7th Sunday after Easter 


Octave

in octava festi sancti Michaelis = on the octave of the feast of Saint Michael
The feast of Saint Michael is on 29 September
Therefore, the octave of that feast is  that day eight days inclusive later, namely 6 October.

If the feast of All Saints is on 1 November; the octave of All Saints is 8 November.

Weekdays

Feria secunda, feria tertia, feria quarta, feria quinta, feria sexta = Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

Feria prima [Dies Dominica] = Sunday
Feria septima [Sabbatum] = Saturday

References

Robert Thomas Hampson (1841). Medii ævi kalendarium: or dates, charters, and customs of the Middle Ages, Volume 1. H.K. Causton
Robert Thomas Hampson (1841). Medii Ævi Kalendarium: Or Dates, Charters, and Customs of the Middle Ages. Volume 2 H. K. Causton.


Marc Cohn (2007). The Mathematics of the Calendar. Chapter VII - The Easter Calculation: Lulu.com. pp. 96–. ISBN 978-1-4303-2496-6.


The Julian Calendar

Reading a Calendar (and following)

Cheney, C.R. (ed) 1970 Handbook of Dates for Students of English History London: Royal Historical Society.

Michael Jones (2000). A Handbook of Dates: For Students of British History. 2nd Edition Cambridge University Press. pp. 100–. ISBN 978-0-521-77845-9.

Medieval Genealogy Chronology and dating
Medieval Genealogy - A medieval English calendar
Regnal calendar Reign of King Henry II

"Introduction: Dating," in Final Concords of the County of Lincoln 1244-1272, ed. C W Foster (Horncastle: Lincol Record Society, 1920), xlvii-l. British History Online, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/lincoln-record-soc/vol2/xlvii-l.

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