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A regnal year is a year of the reign of a sovereign, from the Latin regnum meaning kingdom, rule. Regnal years considered the date as an ordinal, not a cardinal number. For example, a monarch could have a first year of rule, a second year of rule, a third year of rule, and so on, but not a zeroth year of rule.
Applying this ancient epoch system to modern calculations of time, which include zero, is what led to the debate over when the third millennium began. Regnal years are "finite era names", contrary to "infinite era names" such as Christian era, Jimmu era, Juche era, and so on.
In ancient times, calendars were counted in terms of the number of years of the reign of the current monarch. Reckoning long periods of times required a king list. The oldest such reckoning is preserved in the Sumerian king list. Ancient Egyptian chronology was also dated using regnal years. The Zoroastrian calendar also operated with regnal years following the reform of Ardashir I in 3rd century.
The Canon of Kings is a list that dates the reigns of various Babylonian, Persian, Macedonian, Egyptian, and Roman monarchs, that was used by ancient astronomers as a way to date astronomical phenomena. The Liberian Catalogue is a similar list of popes of Early Christianity, that was used to date early events in the religion's history.
Regnal years were generally used for year marking in the Chinese cultural sphere before the advent of era names. In China, the first continuous use of era names was in 140 BC, during the rule of the Emperor Wu of Han.Prior to that, years were usually marked as regnal years of the monarch.
Since 140 BC, era names served as titles for the purpose of numbering and identifying years. Era names were used for over two millennia by Chinese emperors and are still used in Japan.
The Lanfang Republic era, Republic of Formosa era and Republic of China calendar are systems adapted from the traditional era name system, but they are not effectively era names. The Confucius era and Juche era are based on the year of birth of the thinker or eternal president. The Huangdi era, Dangun era and kōki were counted in terms of the number of years of the reign of the first monarch.
As a result of Chinese cultural influence, other polities in the Sinosphere—Korea, Vietnam and Japan—also adopted the concept of era name as a result of Chinese cultural influence.
Abolished era names may be reused, for example as a means of claiming or denying political legitimacy. An example of this is, that when the Yongle emperor usurped the throne from his nephew he dated the year of his accession as "洪武三十五年", the 35th year of his father, the Hongwu Emperor's reign, i.e. 1402. Hongwu had in fact died in 1398, and the short reign of the Jianwen Emperor, who ruled between 1398 and 1402 was written out of the official record. However, they would sometimes still be used. 景初四年 (240) was used on Japanese bronze mirrors. [ clarification needed ]廣德四年 (766) and 建中八年 (787) were used in a Western Regions tomb and a document. Kuchlug did not change the era name.
After the Ming Dynasty fell, the Joseon Dynasty still used Chongzhen, and the Kingdom of Tungning still used Yongli regnal years,thus denying the legitimacy of the Qing dynasty, and showing continued allegiance to the Ming regime.
The short lived Daxi kingdom, post Zhang Xianzhong, used the Ganzhi calendar without era names. Overseas Chinese used Longfei (龍飛) or Tianyun (天運).
Chinese era names (年號, niánhào) were used since 140 BC. Until 1367 AD several were used during each emperor's reign. From 1368 AD until 1912 AD only one era name was used by each emperor, who was posthumously known by his era name, which meant that the era name became equivalent to a regnal year. The tradition of Chinese era names survives in the Republic of China's Minguo calendar, with Minguo, the Chinese for Republic, taking the place of the era name.
The official Japanese system or Gengō (元号) numbers years from the accession of the current emperor, regarding the calendar year during which the accession occurred as the first year. The system was in use sporadically from 645 and continuously from 701. Until 1867 several era names were used during each emperor's reign. From 1868 only one has been used by each emperor. Since 1868 each emperor has been known posthumously by his era name.
The current emperor, Naruhito succeeded to the throne on 1 May 2019, after his father Akihito abdicated the throne, citing age and poor health.The name of his era is Reiwa, which was formally announced by the Government of Japan a month before Naruhito succeeded the throne, on 1 April 2019. Therefore, 1 May 2019 is considered the beginning of the Reiwa 1.
The former emperor, Akihito, succeeded the throne on 7 January 1989 on the death of his father Emperor Shōwa, with the name Heisei decreed as the name of his regnal era by the Cabinet. Thus the year 1989 corresponds to Heisei 1 (平成元年, Heisei gannen, or "first year").
|Gregorian year||Era name||Era name (Kanji)||Emperor|
|1868 CE||Meiji||明治||Meiji (Mutsuhito)|
|1912 CE||Taishō||大正||Taishō (Yoshihito)|
|1926 CE||Shōwa||昭和||Shōwa (Hirohito)|
The use of era names was common throughout the various historical states that occupied the Korean peninsula. Korean endemic eras were used from 391 to 1274 and from 1894 to 1910. During the later years of the Joseon Dynasty, years were also numbered from the founding of that dynasty in 1393. From 1952 until 1961, years were numbered in Dangi in South Korea, counting from the legendary founding of Gojoseon in 2333 BC.
During the Joseon Dynasty, Korea used Chinese era names as a demonstration of its respect and loyalty to Ming and Qing dynasty of China. [ citation needed ] However, this was done mostly privately, because of the pressure exerted by the Qing government.[ citation needed ]Even after the Ming Dynasty was replaced by Qing, Koreans continued to use the Ming era names, using the era name of the last Ming emperor, the Chongzhen Emperor, after his death in 1644, and continued to do so for nearly 200 years.
The tradition of Korean era names survives in the North Korean Juche calendar, with Juche year 1 being 1912 the year of the birth of Kim Il-sung.
The use of era names in Vietnamese history starts since the middle of the 6th century CE, when independent Vietnamese dynasties started to proclaim their own era names.The titles were adopted in historical Vietnam for the purpose of year identification and numbering. It continued until 1945 when the reign of Nguyễn dynasty came to an end.
The Anka year (Odia : ଅଙ୍କAṅka) system is a unique regnal year system instituted by the Eastern Ganga kings for dating their reigns. It had a number of features that mark the regnal year different from that actual duration of the year elapsed during the reign. The system still survives today and is used in the Odia panjis to mark the titular regnal year of the King of Puri, Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb of the Bhoi dynasty, whose title carries the legacy of historical ruling monarchs of Odisha. It is also known as the Odisha style of dating.
Hence no Anka years exist for 1, 6, 16, 20, 26, 30, 36, 40, 46, 50, 56 and so on.
|Gregorian year||Regnal year||Odia year||Anka year|
|2021 CE||50||୧୪୨୮ ଉତ୍କଳାବ୍ଦ|
Regnal years continues to see limited use in the Commonwealth realms, a group of sixteen sovereign states that share the same monarch. The present conventions for regnal years in the Commonwealth realms originates with the Kingdom of England, which used regnal years to date its public documents. The start of a new regnal era in the English regnal dating system originally began on the date of the monarch's coronation. However, the system was changed in 1307 to begin on the date the monarch succeeds the throne, beginning with the ascension of Edward II.
The regnal years used throughout the Commonwealth realms are identical to one another, as they share the same line of succession. The present monarch, Elizabeth II, became the sovereign on 6 February 1952, after the death of her father George VI. Thus, 6 February 1952 is considered the beginning of the year 1 Eliz. 2; with the last day of each Eliz. 2 regnal year being 5 February.
|Gregorian year||British regnal year||British monarch|
|2021 CE||69 Eliz. 2 – 70 Eliz. 2||Elizabeth II|
The regnal dating system is used in the numbering system for all Acts of the Parliament of Canada. All Acts are given an individual chapter number, assigned by its numeric order of when it received royal assent, along with the regnal year, and the name of the reigning Monarch of Canada.The use of regnal years in legal citations is acceptable in Canadian legal practices, although usage of the Gregorian calendar is more common.
The use of the regnal year was used throughout the legislative sessional volumes of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, until it was replaced by the calendar year in 1949. However, the regnal year continues to be used on the title pages of the legislature's sessional volumes.
The use of regnal years in the United Kingdom originated in England, a country of the United Kingdom. The regnal dating system was used to date documents of parliamentary sessions until 1963, when it began to date its documents using the Gregorian calendar.The change to the Gregorian calendar was legislated under the Acts of Parliament Numbering and Citation Act 1962 .
While not strictly a regnal year, time in the United States of America can be derived from the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776). For example, the U.S. Constitution is dated as signed in "the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth," and Presidential proclamations will often be ended "IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this [ordinal] day of [month], in the year of our Lord [year], and of the Independence of the United States of America the [year]." 2021 is the 246th year of the Independence of the United States of America on and after July 4 of that year. Time is also sometimes reckoned in terms (and sessions, if necessary) of Congress; e.g. House of Representatives Bill 2 of the 112th Congress is dated "112th CONGRESS, 1st Session".
The traditional Chinese calendar, is a lunisolar calendar which reckons years, months and days according to astronomical phenomena. In China it is defined by the Chinese national standard GB/T 33661–2017, "Calculation and promulgation of the Chinese calendar", issued by the Standardisation Administration of China on May 12, 2017.
An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy, a calendar era used for a given calendar, or the geological eras defined for the history of Earth.
Japanese calendar types have included a range of official and unofficial systems. At present, Japan uses the Gregorian calendar together with year designations stating the year of the reign of the current Emperor.
The Japanese era name, also known as gengō (元号), is the first of the two elements that identify years in the Japanese era calendar scheme. The second element is a number which indicates the year number within the era, followed by the literal "nen (年)" meaning "year".
Korean era names were titles adopted in historical Korea for the purpose of year identification and numbering. Era names were used during the period of Silla, Goguryeo, Balhae, Taebong, Goryeo, Joseon, and the Korean Empire. Dangun-giwon, the era name originating from the foundation of Gojoseon is also widely used in Korea as an indication of the long civilization of Korea.
The Wanli Emperor, personal name Zhu Yijun, was the 14th Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigned from 1572 to 1620. "Wanli", the era name of his reign, literally means "ten thousand calendars". He was the third son of the Longqing Emperor. His reign of 48 years (1572–1620) was the longest among all the Ming dynasty emperors and it witnessed several successes in his early and middle reign, followed by the decline of the dynasty as the Emperor withdrew from his active role in government around 1600.
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, the Gregorian calendar numbers its years in the Western Christian era.
A regnal name, or reign name, is the name used by monarchs and popes during their reigns and, subsequently, historically. Since ancient times, some monarchs have chosen to use a different name from their original name when they accede to the monarchy.
The Yongli Emperor, personal name Zhu Youlang, was the fourth and last emperor of the Southern Ming dynasty. His era name means "Perpetual calendar".
The Republic of China calendar or Minguo calendar is one of the calendars used in the Greater China area. The calendar uses 1912, the year of the establishment of the Republic of China (ROC), as the first year. The term "minguo" simply means "republic". The ROC calendar follows the tradition of using the sovereign's era name and year of reign, as did previous Chinese dynasties. Months and days are numbered according to the Gregorian calendar. The ROC calendar has been in wide use in the ROC since 1912, including in early official documents.
The Saimei period is a chronological timeframe during the Asuka period of Japanese history. The Saimei period describes a span of years which were considered to have begun in the 1315th year of the Yamato dynasty.
The Jitō period is a chronological timeframe during the Asuka period of Japanese history. The Jitō period describes a span of years which were considered to have begun in the 1347th year of the Yamato dynasty.
This is a family tree of Chinese emperors from the Yuan dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty.
Chinese era names were titles used by various Chinese dynasties and regimes in Imperial China for the purpose of year identification and numbering. The first monarch to adopt era names was the Emperor Wu of Han in 140 BCE, and this system remained the official method of year identification and numbering until the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912 CE. Other polities in the Sinosphere—Korea, Vietnam and Japan—also adopted the concept of era name as a result of Chinese cultural influence.
The Odia calendar is a lunisolar calendar followed in the state of Odisha, India. The calendar follows the sidereal solar cycle while using the lunar Purnimanta phase for the religious dates. The New Year in the Odia calendar is known as Pana Sankranti. It occurs on the first day of the traditional solar month of Meṣa, hence equivalent lunar month Baisakha. The Odia calendar follows the Amli era, which began on Bhādra śukla dvādaśī from 592 CE.
Anka year system is a unique regnal year system used in the state of Odisha, India and was instituted by the rulers of the Eastern Ganga dynasty for dating their reigns. It had a number of features that mark the regnal year different from that actual duration of the year elapsed during the reign. The system still survives today and is used in the Odia calendar (panji) to mark the titular regnal year of the King of Puri which is currently held by Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deva IV of the Bhoi dynasty, whose title carries the legacy of the historical ruling monarchs of Odisha.
The Dating system found in the Manuscripts