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Chronology (from Latin chronologia, from Ancient Greek χρόνος , chrónos, "time"; and -λογία, -logia ) is the science of arranging events in their order of occurrence in time. Consider, for example, the use of a timeline or sequence of events. It is also "the determination of the actual temporal sequence of past events".
Chronology is a part of periodization. It is also a part of the discipline of history including earth history, the earth sciences, and study of the geologic time scale.
Chronology is the science of locating historical events in time. It relies upon chronometry, which is also known as timekeeping, and historiography, which examines the writing of history and the use of historical methods. Radiocarbon dating estimates the age of formerly living things by measuring the proportion of carbon-14 isotope in their carbon content. Dendrochronology estimates the age of trees by correlation of the various growth rings in their wood to known year-by-year reference sequences in the region to reflect year-to-year climatic variation. Dendrochronology is used in turn as a calibration reference for radiocarbon dating curves.
The familiar terms calendar and era (within the meaning of a coherent system of numbered calendar years) concern two complementary fundamental concepts of chronology. For example, during eight centuries the calendar belonging to the Christian era, which era was taken in use in the 8th century by Bede, was the Julian calendar, but after the year 1582 it was the Gregorian calendar. Dionysius Exiguus (about the year 500) was the founder of that era, which is nowadays the most widespread dating system on earth. An epoch is the date (year usually) when an era begins.
Ab Urbe condita is Latin for "from the founding of the City (Rome)",traditionally set in 753 BC. It was used to identify the Roman year by a few Roman historians. Modern historians use it much more frequently than the Romans themselves did; the dominant method of identifying Roman years was to name the two consuls who held office that year. Before the advent of the modern critical edition of historical Roman works, AUC was indiscriminately added to them by earlier editors, making it appear more widely used than it actually was.
It was used systematically for the first time only about the year 400, by the Iberian historian Orosius. Pope Boniface IV, in about the year 600, seems to have been the first who made a connection between these this era and Anno Domini. (AD 1 = AUC 754.)
Dionysius Exiguus' Anno Domini era (which contains only calendar years AD) was extended by Bede to the complete Christian era (which contains, in addition all calendar years BC, but no year zero). Ten centuries after Bede, the French astronomers Philippe de la Hire (in the year 1702) and Jacques Cassini (in the year 1740), purely to simplify certain calculations, put the Julian Dating System (proposed in the year 1583 by Joseph Scaliger) and with it an astronomical era into use, which contains a leap year zero, which precedes the year 1 (AD).
While of critical importance to the historian, methods of determining chronology are used in most disciplines of science, especially astronomy, geology, paleontology and archaeology.
In the absence of written history, with its chronicles and king lists, late 19th century archaeologists found that they could develop relative chronologies based on pottery techniques and styles. In the field of Egyptology, William Flinders Petrie pioneered sequence dating to penetrate pre-dynastic Neolithic times, using groups of contemporary artefacts deposited together at a single time in graves and working backwards methodically from the earliest historical phases of Egypt. This method of dating is known as seriation.
Known wares discovered at strata in sometimes quite distant sites, the product of trade, helped extend the network of chronologies. Some cultures have retained the name applied to them in reference to characteristic forms, for lack of an idea of what they called themselves: "The Beaker People" in northern Europe during the 3rd millennium BCE, for example. The study of the means of placing pottery and other cultural artifacts into some kind of order proceeds in two phases, classification and typology: Classification creates categories for the purposes of description, and typology seeks to identify and analyse changes that allow artifacts to be placed into sequences.
Laboratory techniques developed particularly after mid-20th century helped constantly revise and refine the chronologies developed for specific cultural areas. Unrelated dating methods help reinforce a chronology, an axiom of corroborative evidence. Ideally, archaeological materials used for dating a site should complement each other and provide a means of cross-checking. Conclusions drawn from just one unsupported technique are usually regarded as unreliable.
The fundamental problem of chronology is to synchronize events. By synchronizing an event it becomes possible to relate it to the current time and to compare the event to other events. Among historians, a typical need is to synchronize the reigns of kings and leaders in order to relate the history of one country or region to that of another. For example, the Chronicon of Eusebius (325 A.D.) is one of the major works of historical synchronism. This work has two sections. The first contains narrative chronicles of nine different kingdoms: Chaldean, Assyrian, Median, Lydian, Persian, Hebrew, Greek, Peloponnesian, Asian, and Roman. The second part is a long table synchronizing the events from each of the nine kingdoms in parallel columns.
By comparing the parallel columns, the reader can determine which events were contemporaneous, or how many years separated two different events. To place all the events on the same time scale, Eusebius used an Anno Mundi (A.M.) era, meaning that events were dated from the supposed beginning of the world as computed from the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Pentateuch. According to the computation Eusebius used, this occurred in 5199 B.C. The Chronicon of Eusebius was widely used in the medieval world to establish the dates and times of historical events. Subsequent chronographers, such as George Syncellus (died circa 811), analyzed and elaborated on the Chronicon by comparing with other chronologies. The last great chronographer was Joseph Justus Scaliger (1540-1609) who reconstructed the lost Chronicon and synchronized all of ancient history in his two major works, De emendatione temporum (1583) and Thesaurus temporum (1606). Much of modern historical datings and chronology of the ancient world ultimately derives from these two works. [ citation needed ]Scaliger invented the concept of the Julian Day which is still used as the standard unified scale of time for both historians and astronomers.
In addition to the literary methods of synchronism used by traditional chronographers such as Eusebius, Syncellus and Scaliger, it is possible to synchronize events by archaeological or astronomical means. For example, the Eclipse of Thales, described in the first book of Herodotus can potentially be used to date the Lydian War because the eclipse took place during the middle of an important battle in that war. Likewise, various eclipses and other astronomical events described in ancient records can be used to astronomically synchronize historical events.Another method to synchronize events is the use of archaeological findings, such as pottery, to do sequence dating.
Aspects and examples of non-chronological story-telling:
Astronomical year numbering is based on AD/CE year numbering, but follows normal decimal integer numbering more strictly. Thus, it has a year 0; the years before that are designated with negative numbers and the years after that are designated with positive numbers. Astronomers use the Julian calendar for years before 1582, including the year 0, and the Gregorian calendar for years after 1582, as exemplified by Jacques Cassini (1740), Simon Newcomb (1898) and Fred Espenak (2007).
Bede, also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable, was an English Benedictine monk at the monastery of St. Peter and its companion monastery of St. Paul in the Kingdom of Northumbria of the Angles.
The Julian day is the continuous count of days since the beginning of the Julian period, and is used primarily by astronomers, and in software for easily calculating elapsed days between two events.
In chronology and periodization, an epoch or reference epoch is an instant in time chosen as the origin of a particular calendar era. The "epoch" serves as a reference point from which time is measured.
As a moveable feast, the date of Easter is determined in each year through a calculation known as computus. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, which is the first full moon on or after 21 March. Determining this date in advance requires a correlation between the lunar months and the solar year, while also accounting for the month, date, and weekday of the Julian or Gregorian calendar. The complexity of the algorithm arises because of the desire to associate the date of Easter with the date of the Jewish feast of Passover which, Christians believe, is when Jesus was crucified.
The new chronology is a pseudohistorical conspiracy theory proposed by Anatoly Fomenko who argues that events of antiquity generally attributed to the civilizations of the Roman Empire, Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt, actually occurred during the Middle Ages, more than a thousand years later.
Before Present (BP) years is a time scale used mainly in archaeology, geology, and other scientific disciplines to specify when events occurred before the origin of practical radiocarbon dating in the 1950s. Because the "present" time changes, standard practice is to use 1 January 1950 as the commencement date (epoch) of the age scale. The abbreviation "BP" has been interpreted retrospectively as "Before Physics", which refers to the time before nuclear weapons testing artificially altered the proportion of the carbon isotopes in the atmosphere, making dating after that time likely to be unreliable.
Anno Mundi, abbreviated as AM, or Year After Creation, is a calendar era based on the biblical accounts of the creation of the world and subsequent history. Two such calendar eras have seen notable use historically:
The majority of Egyptologists agree on the outline and many details of the chronology of Ancient Egypt. This scholarly consensus is the so-called Conventional Egyptian chronology, which places the beginning of the Old Kingdom in the 27th century BC, the beginning of the Middle Kingdom in the 21st century BC and the beginning of the New Kingdom in the mid-16th century BC.
Absolute dating is the process of determining an age on a specified chronology in archaeology and geology. Some scientists prefer the terms chronometric or calendar dating, as use of the word "absolute" implies an unwarranted certainty of accuracy. Absolute dating provides a numerical age or range, in contrast with relative dating, which places events in order without any measure of the age between events.
The phantom time hypothesis is a historical conspiracy theory asserted by Heribert Illig. First published in 1991, it hypothesizes a conspiracy by the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, Pope Sylvester II, and possibly the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII, to fabricate the Anno Domini dating system retroactively, in order to place them at the special year of AD 1000, and to rewrite history to legitimize Otto's claim to the Holy Roman Empire. Illig believed that this was achieved through the alteration, misrepresentation and forgery of documentary and physical evidence. According to this scenario, the entire Carolingian period, including the figure of Charlemagne, is a fabrication, with a "phantom time" of 297 years added to the Early Middle Ages.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to history:
The year zero does not exist in the Anno Domini (AD) system commonly used to number years in the Gregorian calendar and in its predecessor, the Julian calendar. In this system, the year 1 BC is followed by AD 1. However, there is a year zero in astronomical year numbering and in ISO 8601:2004, as well as in most Buddhist and Hindu calendars.
The Xia–Shang–Zhou Chronology Project was a multi-disciplinary project commissioned by the People's Republic of China in 1996 to determine with accuracy the location and time frame of the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties.
The controversy over the correct date for Easter began in Early Christianity as early as the 2nd century AD. Discussion and disagreement over the best method of computing the date of Easter Sunday has been ongoing ever since and remain unresolved. Different Christian denominations continue to celebrate Easter on different dates, with Eastern and Western Christian churches being a notable example.
The Roman calendar, also called "Creation Era of Constantinople" or "Era of the World", was the calendar used by the Eastern Orthodox Church from c. 691 to 1728 in the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It was also the official calendar of the Byzantine Empire from 988 to 1453 and of Kievan Rus' and Russia from c. 988 to 1700. This calendar was used also in other areas of the Byzantine commonwealth such as in Serbia, where it is found in old Serbian legal documents such as Dušan's Code, thus being referred to as the Serbian Calendar as well. Since Byzantine is a historiographical term, the original name uses the adjective "Roman" as it was what the Eastern Roman Empire continued calling itself.
The Eponym dating system was a calendar system for Assyria, for a period of over one thousand years. Every year was associated with the name, an eponym, of the Limmu, the official who led that year's New Year festival.
Astronomical chronology, or astronomical dating, is a technical method of dating events or artifacts that are associated with astronomical phenomena. Written records of historical events that include descriptions of astronomical phenomena have done much to clarify the chronology of the Ancient Near East; works of art which depict the configuration of the stars and planets and buildings which are oriented to the rising and setting of celestial bodies at a particular time have all been dated through astronomical calculations.
John Knight Fotheringham FBA was a British historian who was an expert on ancient astronomy and chronology. He established the chronology of the Babylonian dynasties.
Chronological dating, or simply dating, is the process of attributing to an object or event a date in the past, allowing such object or event to be located in a previously established chronology. This usually requires what is commonly known as a "dating method". Several dating methods exist, depending on different criteria and techniques, and some very well known examples of disciplines using such techniques are, for example, history, archaeology, geology, paleontology, astronomy and even forensic science, since in the latter it is sometimes necessary to investigate the moment in the past during which the death of a cadaver occurred. These methods are typically identified as absolute, which involves a specified date or date range, or relative, which refers to dating which places artifacts or events on a timeline relative to other events and/or artifacts. Other markers can help place an artifact or event in a chronology, such as nearby writings and stratigraphic markers.
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