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Author Topic: Medieval Calendars  (Read 1728 times)

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Offline Laurna

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Medieval Calendars
« on: January 01, 2014, 12:07:16 pm »
It is the new year and the 'calendar' is on my mind.

I was wondering if there was a way to know what the day of the week would be back in the 10th and 11th centuries. The game of research was afoot.

I found two sites most helpful on how medieval calendars worked and I thought I would share them with you.

First from the J. Paul Getty Museum is this very helpful tutorial on reading church calendars:
http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/videoDetails?cat=3&segid=2021

The most interesting is how they called days by counting down to Kalends, Nones, and Ides. And then there are "red letter days"

The second is a calendar calculator that can add realism to your story by knowing which days would be Sunday and which Saints day it was.  Take the dates of your stories and see what the equivalent modern day would be. Sunday-Saturday. Pick your chosen year and month and hit 'show year' or 'show month'.  I have no prof of its accuracy, but it is fun to play with.
http://www.wallandbinkley.com/mcc/

Enjoy your research.

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Medieval Calendars
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 09:12:38 pm »
Very interesting.  Thanks Laurna!
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Offline Evie

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Re: Medieval Calendars
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 11:05:25 am »
I used a Gregorian to Julian conversion calendar a few times when trying to calculate which date Easter fell on during certain years in some of my fanfics when knowing the date for Easter was important to the timeline.  It was one of those small details that probably wouldn't matter to the readers (I can't imagine the lot of you scurrying off to check medieval dates in the middle of reading my stories), but it mattered to me, and sometimes just knowing whether Easter was in March or April in a given year, and if it was happening close to some other major feast day (such as Lady Day) or an important anniversary in some character's personal timeline that had been established in some previous story, would give me an idea for something else I could work into the story.
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Offline Aerlys

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Re: Medieval Calendars
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 09:24:21 pm »
Ah yes, this will be a handy tool for messing up my timeline and driving me insane adding authenticity to my story. Thanks for the info, Laurna!
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Offline Laurna

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Re: Medieval Calendars
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 03:20:16 am »
Quote
Ah yes, this will be a handy tool for messing up my timeline and driving me insane adding authenticity to my story
ROFL
You've discovered the evil in my medieval plans.  :o

Truly Aerlys, it was only curiosity that made me look for such a calendar. Driving you insane was not my intention. Now driving myself insane, on the other hand, is a very possible side-effect.

Quote
I can't imagine the lot of you scurrying off to check medieval dates in the middle of reading my stories)
Evie, Oh no, lol,  I can't imagine it either.  ;D

I can understand Kalends being the first of the month and Ides being the middle of the month, but does anyone understand the importance of Nones being nine days before Ides.  (I feel like it is counting down to when the rent is due, but of course that is silly.)

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Medieval Calendars
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2014, 12:32:44 pm »
You made me look, Laurna!  ;)

With some trepidation I checked the year of the current story I'm working on, and my timeline will still work out!  *happy dance*

Whew!   ;D 
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

 

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