You may request a copy of the personal information we hold about you by submitting a written request to support aeon. We will try and respond to your request as soon as reasonably practical. When you receive the information, if you think any of it is wrong or out of date, you can ask us to change or delete it for you. He is the author of The Cradle and the Sword , a historical novel set in ancient Mesopotamia.
Edited by Sam Dresser. Caesar, computerised, speaks in the Forum… Napoleon, ticking as quietly as a clockshop, at Waterloo… King John, all hums and oiled whirs at Runnymede, signing Magna Carta. It can seem unreal; too distant to be relevant. The further back in time we ask our imaginations to stretch, the less we feel we truly know that history happened as we know who our grandparents are and the more we believe in its events in an abstract way as we believe in the existence of quarks and neutrinos, say, or in dark matter. And such a shaky belief in the past can prove immensely perilous when planning for the future.
However, not all civilisations have suffered from this problem. For as Woolley and his companions began to catalogue their findings, they realised that many of the artefacts already bore tags and numbers — ancient ones, stamped in clay. Across thousands of years, priests and kings had performed excavations in ruins already vastly ancient when Babylon itself was young. A full 16 centuries before Ennigaldi-Nanna, in the s BCE, priests from Ur visited Sumerian sites such as Eridu — whose earliest temple ruins date back at least to the s BCE, lending Eridu its reputation as the first planned city ever created.
Throughout the s and s BCE, Assyrian and Babylonian emperors such as Ashurbanipal and Nebuchadnezzar financed and supervised archaeological digs at revered sites throughout Mesopotamia. Ashurbanipal constructed a vast private library, and even shipped in Egyptian and Hittite scholars to translate texts and transcribe oral traditions from their own civilisations. His goal, as recorded in his own inscriptions, was to possess a copy of every text and oral tradition in the history of the world. While he died without achieving this aim, the emperor did succeed in assembling more texts than the Library of Alexandria.
At the bottom of many texts in his library, Ashurbanipal or his scribes added the poignant codicil: It was an explicit acknowledgment that these texts would be curiosities for other civilisations, hundreds or even thousands of years in the future. As it turned out, of course, Ashurbanipal was even more right than he could have guessed. Living as they did among 2,year-old ruins and inscriptions, educated ancient Mesopotamians recognised that, even if their kingdom thrived for a millennium, it too would someday suffer the same fate.
Mesopotamia weathered not one, but two dark ages in its tens of centuries of literate history. Surrounded by these cautionary tales from the distant past, Mesopotamian scribes instinctively dispatched messages to their unborn descendants: Voyager Records hurled toward a future they knew they would never see. B ut not all great powers live among such warning signs. And I can tell you, as a lifelong citizen of that nation, that many of its people do not fully grasp the concept of a distant past or future.
Few of us ever have reason to count primeval centuries, since our cities contain no streets or buildings of such age. And not much memory.
In fact, to many people who grow up in the United States myself included , the Old World tends to feel like a sort of fantasy kingdom. We read about places such as Rome and Cairo, and look at the beautiful illustrations of colonnades and pyramids, and it all seems to be happening on another world from ours, with its glimmering skyscrapers, sprawling malls and purpose-built fast-food restaurants. Three or four centuries is about as far back as our intuitive sense of reality reaches — and 1, years feels like an almost mythically long time.
You Tearlach removed without any reason a link which was added by an other editor several years ago. So it is reasonable to apologize and to redeem your mistake by restoring the link in question. Moreover, it certainly compensates for the two remaining, quite biased, external links. No one is altogether free from prejudice. Just for that reason, let us try to get clarity. The first millennium AD consists of the thousand years 1 up to and including , the first millennium BC before Christ consists of the thousand years 1 BC down to and including BC; these two millennia are separated from each other by a moment zero, i.
Our era since the year in combination with the Gregorian calendar the most widespread dating system on earth is no other one than the one introduced by Dionysius Exiguus about the year and promoted by Beda Venerabilis about the year ; never some authority or government did away with this era or substituted this era for another.
These simply verifiable facts, including the fact that a year zero is lacking in our era this important fact is the key to the solution of the millennium question , are expounded succinctly in my sextilingual website Millennium , for English languaged people accessible by entrance Millennium Question. But an argumented answer to the question why our era has no year zero, which answer ultimately rests on the simple fact that the counting of years is not different from the counting of any other kind of things, can be found in my English language website Millennium Mistake.
As long as no argumented answer to that essential question can be found in the English language Wikipedia article Millennium itself a hyperlink from the article to my website Millennium Mistake MM is not superfluous. So my fellow editors, specially Tearlach and RJASE1, are kindly requested to consider to support such a hyperlink, which has the added advantage that, for the sake of the wikipedic neutral point of view, it certainly will compensate for the two remaining, quite biased, external links.
Of course the description "the definitive solution of the millennium question" on the homepage of MM is quite an ironic one, but I realize now that "a definitive solution of the millennium question" looks much better. It was and is my intention to challenge open minds by clarifying that question by separating the relevant arguments from the irrelevant ones. It were critical pupils wanting and having the right to know all the ins and outs of the question who inspired me to get round to find out why could not be the first day of the third millennium.
Would it be worth mentioning here when the Pope celebrated the new Millennium? Not to beat a dead horse, but I agree with the statements above that this is not a well-known website and there is no justification for linking to it; the fact that you wrote a long article on the subject does not make you an expert in the field, it is simply an advocacy for a particular position that isn't based in any real research it doesn't appear to me that any sources are cited.
You may be a mathematician, but this is hardly a mathematical question being raised in this article.
Far-distant days: the past has a dizzying power to ground us | Aeon Ideas
I had to remove this external link Millenium Mistake again from the article. If you'll note above, the only two people that have advocated for the link to be kept are the website's owner and user ImprobabilityDrive , whose user page has been marked with a warning that the account is a sock puppet. Anyway, this external website is neither reputable nor very helpful for this article, so I am all for the "remove" side of this argument. This corresponded with the belief that the birth year itself was considered too holy to mention. Similarly in AD the church actively discouraged any mention of that year and in modern times it labelled AD as the "Jubilee Year " marking the th anniversary of the birth of Christ.
Year 0 has always been there, it just didn't have a name in the AD system. Thus the unnamed year 0 marked the start of the first Christian millennium, the second and the third. Does it suggest that the "year 0" have been sneakly deleted from history and everything whithin or that year 0 or year before AD 1 was actually year BC 1?
Is it valid to say that "year 0 has always been there"? It doesnt really matter which year Christ was born since the dates are quite arbitrary anyways. What is important is the point of epoch that was agreeed upon.
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Isnt it 1st of January 1AD? If you want a year zero this would be the second millennium. People refer to this being the third millennium so it began 1 1 Actually, there was no year zero as, I believe, during the time of Dionysius and prior, zero as a digit was non-existent note there is no Roman Numeral 0 , nor did the people at the time have a concept of negative numbers. My experience was that most were celebrating the start of the 'two thousands' millennium and the 'twenty-hundreds' century and people incorrectly celebrating the start of the 3rd millennium and 21st century was the exception and not what was 'generally' being observed.
This seems more like someone making some false assumptions about what people were celebrating if they didn't specify.
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By saying "I wonder if it matters anymore," I didn't mean the information should be deleted. Sorry if I left that impression. I agree it should stay. What I was responding to was the idea of what "popular culture was celebrating" vs. But does this lead to the false assumptions that EvanS is rightly concerned about?
Who really knows what the majority of people thought? And that is the stuff that popular culture is made of. Parts of this too long article seem to be superfluous, confusing, and even nonsense. Especially the chapter 'Viewpoint 2' seems unsubstantiated. It is a well-known fact that there is no year zero in our calendar, and that the year 1 AD is preceded by the year So the claim "Year 0 has always been there, it just didn't have a name in the AD system.
A clean-up of this article seems desirable!
Far-distant days: the past has a dizzying power to ground us
Paul kuiper NL The section is slightly better now, but still very unsatisfactory. An encyclopedia should bring clarification, not confusion. I agree that 'a millennium of years' is sheer nonsense. But any mentioning of a 'year 0' is equally nonsensical. It is just a fact that there is no 'year 0' in our calendar.
It wouldn't even be possible because when our calendar was conceived in the 6th century, the number zero did not yet exist, the Roman figures do not have a figure 0! I think any mentioning of a 'year 0' should just be deleted here. Furthermore, the whole section 'Commentary', already marked as 'Trivia', and therefore 'discouraged under Wikipedia guidelines' should be removed here. I suggest you copy the whole article to a sandbox page.
Then you plunge into it and cut and recast as you believe it should be. Then I'll plunge into it and cut or add things. Since you carry the name of a famous astronomer, you have the priority. If you prefer a more private sandbox, we can use a Google Document that can be accessed by both. Then we can do the same with the Year 0 article. But beware of a few strange things: A famous paleontologist-evolutionist believed in the Year 0 and argued about it so much that Scientific American decreed the existence of a Year 0 that had been hidden [I cancelled my subscription].
A famous paleoclimatologist-paleontologist invented the Holocene Calendar. Then a famous paleoclimatologist-glaciologist replied with incorrect dates and theologies. Explain how it illustrates anything related to any calendar. The scale is not counting items in a set.