Millennium

Last updated

A millennium (plural millennia or millenniums) is a period of one thousand years, [1] sometimes called a kiloannum (ka), or kiloyear (ky). Sometimes, the word is used specifically for periods of a thousand years that begin at the starting point (initial reference point) of the calendar in consideration (typically the year "1") and at later years that are whole number multiples of a thousand years after the start point. The term can also refer to an interval of time beginning on any date. Millennia sometimes have religious or theological implications (see millenarianism).

Contents

The word millennium derives from the Latin mille, thousand, and annus, year.

Debate over millennium celebrations

All aboard for the millennium! by Opper and Keppler, 1896 "All aboard for the millennium!" - Opper and Keppler. LCCN2012648532 (cropped).jpg
All aboard for the millennium! by Opper and Keppler, 1896

There was a public debate leading up to the celebrations of the year 2000 as to whether the beginning of that year should be understood as the beginning of "the" new millennium. Historically, there has been debate around the turn of previous decades, centuries, and millennia. The issue arises from the difference between the convention of using ordinal numbers to count years and millennia, as in "the third millennium", or using a vernacular description, as in "the two thousands". The difference of opinion comes down to whether to celebrate, respectively, the end or the beginning of the "-000" year. The first convention is common in English-speaking countries, but the latter is favoured in, for example, Sweden (tvåtusentalet, which translates literally as the two thousands period).

Those holding that the arrival of the new millennium should be celebrated in the transition from 2000 to 2001 (i.e., December 31, 2000, to January 1, 2001) argued that the Anno Domini system of counting years began with the year 1 (There was no year zero) and therefore the first millennium was from the year 1 to the end of the year 1000, the second millennium from 1001 to the end of 2000, and the third millennium beginning with 2001 and ending at the end of 3000.

Popular culture supported celebrating the arrival of the new millennium in the transition from 1999 to 2000 (i.e., December 31, 1999, to January 1, 2000), in that the change of the hundreds digit in the year number, with the zeroes rolling over, is consistent with the vernacular demarcation of decades by their 'tens' digit (e.g. naming the period 1980 to 1989 as "the 1980s" or "the eighties"). This sometimes referred to as "the odometer effect". [2] Adding to its cultural significance, the "year 2000" had been a popular phrase referring to an often utopian future, or a year when stories in such a future were set. There was also media and public interest in the Y2K computer bug.

A third position was expressed by Bill Paupe, honorary consul for Kiribati: "To me, I just don't see what all the hoopla is about ... it's not going to change anything. The next day the sun is going to come up again and then it will all be forgotten." [3] And even for those who did celebrate, in astronomical terms, there was nothing special about this particular event. [4]

Stephen Jay Gould, in his essay Dousing Diminutive Dennis' Debate (or DDDD = 2000) ( Dinosaur in a Haystack ), discussed the "high" versus "pop" culture interpretation of the transition. Gould noted that the high culture, strict construction had been the dominant viewpoint at the 20th century's beginning, but that the pop culture viewpoint dominated at its end. [5]

The start of the 21st century and 3rd millennium was celebrated worldwide at the start of the year 2000. One year later, at the start of the year 2001, the celebrations had largely returned to the usual ringing in of just another new year, [6] although some welcomed "the real millennium", including America's official timekeeper, the U.S. Naval Observatory, [7] and the countries of Cuba [8] and Japan. [9]

The popular [10] approach was to treat the end of 1999 as the end of "a millennium" and to hold millennium celebrations at midnight between December 31, 1999, and January 1, 2000, with the cultural and psychological significance of the events listed above combining to cause celebrations to be observed one year earlier than the formal date. [10]

See also

Related Research Articles

A century is a period of 100 years. Centuries are numbered ordinally in English and many other languages. The word century comes from the Latin centum, meaning one hundred. Century is sometimes abbreviated as c.

The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age and the Bronze Age. The concept has been mostly applied to Europe and the Ancient Near East, but also, by analogy, to other parts of the Old World.

Millennialism or chiliasm is a belief advanced by some religious denominations that a Golden Age or Paradise will occur on Earth prior to the final judgment and future eternal state of the "World to Come".

New Year The beginning of another calendar year

New Year is the time or day currently at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar's year count increments by one. Many cultures celebrate the event in some manner. In the Gregorian calendar, the most widely used calendar system today, New Year occurs on January 1. This was also the first day of the year in the original Julian calendar and the Roman calendar.

2nd millennium Millennium spanning the years 1001 to 2000

The second millennium of the Anno Domini or Common Era was a millennium spanning the years 1001 to 2000.

Mystery play Medieval European play

Mystery plays and miracle plays are among the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe. Medieval mystery plays focused on the representation of Bible stories in churches as tableaux with accompanying antiphonal song. They told of subjects such as the Creation, Adam and Eve, the murder of Abel, and the Last Judgment. Often they were performed together in cycles which could last for days. The name derives from mystery used in its sense of miracle, but an occasionally quoted derivation is from ministerium, meaning craft, and so the 'mysteries' or plays performed by the craft guilds.

The 7th millennium BC spanned the years 7000 BC to 6001 BC. It is impossible to precisely date events around this millennium, and all dates mentioned here are estimates mostly based on geological and anthropological analysis. Towards the end of this millennium, the islands of Great Britain and Ireland were severed from continental Europe by rising seawater.

Millenarianism Belief in a coming fundamental transformation of society

Millenarianism, from Latin mīllēnārius "containing a thousand", is the belief by a religious, social, or political group or movement in a coming fundamental transformation of society, after which "all things will be changed". Millenarianism exists in various cultures and religions worldwide, with various interpretations of what constitutes a transformation.

New Years Day Holiday that celebrates the new year

New Year's Day is a festival observed in most of the world on 1 January, the first day of the year in the modern Gregorian calendar. 1 January is also New Year's Day on the Julian calendar, but this is not the same day as the Gregorian one. Whilst most solar calendars begin the year regularly at or near the northern winter solstice, cultures that observe a lunisolar or lunar calendar celebrate their New Year's Day at less fixed points relative to the solar year.

Premillennialism, in Christian eschatology, is the belief that Jesus will physically return to the Earth before the Millennium, a literal thousand-year golden age of peace. The doctrine is called "premillennialism" because it holds that Jesus' physical return to Earth will occur prior to the Millennium. Premillennialism is based upon a literal interpretation of Revelation 20:1–6 in the New Testament, which describes Jesus's reign in a period of a thousand years.

Ussher chronology 17th-century chronology of the history of the world

The Ussher chronology is a 17th-century chronology of the history of the world formulated from a literal reading of the Old Testament by James Ussher, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. The chronology is sometimes associated with young Earth creationism, which holds that the universe was created only a few millennia ago by God as described in the first two chapters of the biblical book of Genesis. Ussher fell into disrepute in the 19th century.

A calendar era is the period of time elapsed since one epoch of a calendar and, if it exists, before the next one. For example, it is the year 2022 as per the Gregorian calendar, which numbers its years in the Western Christian era.

A decade is a period of 10 years. The word is derived from the Ancient Greek: δεκάς, romanized: dekas, which means a group of ten. Decades may describe any ten-year period, such as those of a person's life, or refer to specific groupings of calendar years.

A millennium is a period of 1,000 years.

Amillennialism Belief there will be no millennium

Amillenarism or Amillennialism is a type of chillegorism which teaches and believed that there will be no millennial reign of the righteous on Earth. Amillennialists interpret the thousand years symbolically to refer either to a temporary bliss of souls in heaven before the general resurrection, or to the infinite bliss of the righteous after the general resurrection.

<i>IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth</i>

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth was a nighttime show performed nightly at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida. The show utilized fireworks, pyrotechnics, water fountains, fire effects, lasers, searchlights, and a large rotating globe with curved LED screens to create a visual production on the park's World Showcase Lagoon.

Proto-writing consists of visible marks communicating limited information. Such systems emerged from earlier traditions of symbol systems in the early Neolithic, as early as the 7th millennium BC in China. They used ideographic or early mnemonic symbols or both to represent a limited number of concepts, in contrast to true writing systems, which record the language of the writer.

Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration

The Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration was an event at the Walt Disney World Resort as part of millennium celebrations held around the world. Running from October 1, 1999 to January 1, 2001, the celebration was primarily based at Epcot, with its emphasis on human potential and the possibilities of the future.

Millennium celebrations Celebrations of the year 2000

The millennium celebrations were a worldwide, coordinated series of events celebrating the end of 1999 and the start of the year 2000 in the Gregorian calendar. The celebrations were held as marking the end of the 2nd millennium and the 20th century, and the start of the 3rd millennium and the 21st century. Countries around the globe held official festivities in the weeks and months leading up to the date, such as those organised in the United States by the White House Millennium Council, and most major cities produced firework displays at midnight. Equally, many private venues, cultural and religious centres held events and a diverse range of memorabilia was created – such as souvenir postage stamps.

Hillel Schwartz is an American cultural historian, poet and translator.

References

  1. "Millennium", Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford University Press, 2016).
  2. "For the Chronologically Correct, Now It's Time for the Millennium". Los Angeles Times. December 26, 2000. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  3. "Millennium: Date Line Politics". WaybackMachine. Archived from the original on June 28, 2006. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  4. "When Did the 21st Century Start?". timeanddate.com. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  5. Gould, Stephen (1995). Dinosaur in a Haystack. Harmony Books.
  6. "Millennium Gets Little Notice". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  7. "For the Chronologically Correct, Now It's Time for the Millennium". Los Angeles Times. December 26, 2000. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  8. "Castro hosts party for the 'true Millennium'" . The Telegraph. Archived from the original on January 12, 2022. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  9. "Japanese purists prepare to welcome new millennium". DeseretNews. December 15, 2000. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  10. 1 2 Associated Press, "Y2K It Wasn't, but It Was a Party", Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2001.