Talk:12th Century Calendar

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Category: Calendar

I have deleted the "Category : Calendar" tag from this entry, because it is the only article attached to that category. This was done with regret -- personally I should like to see a small clutch of caledar-related articles, not least to compare and contrast the differing views of the calendar both across the geographical span of the Known World and the Real World, and also across the chronological span of period. I am therefore leaving this mote, to remind future editors that, if the category is revived, this article deserves to be re-attached to it. -- Simoncursitor

Medieval Timekeeping

Several years ago, I came across a book on the history of sundials. One photo showed a 10th Century English sundial. The hours were layed out on a half circle, which had been divided into eight equal divisions, not the usual twelve. The gnomon was a simple rod that projected straight out. The sundial was located on the south wall of the church. Not very accurate by modern standards but useful enough for local time keeping. I thought the 8-hour division interesting. I wonder if it was due to Danish influence, as the Norse also divided their money and weights into units of eight or sixteen. --Ld Hærek 05:35, 9 December 2006 (EST)

Very interesting. I'd love to find out more if you come across that again. I think in the 10th & 11th C there was a lot of work went into transforming the anglo-saxon church into a european church, - changing the scattered countryside independant thinking monks into something that obeyed the Pope in Rome rather more. (the monks needing to know the time to pray and predict feast days, whereas the farmers could mostly cope with estimates and biological pointers). I should know more about this, but I've never got around to it. I also saw a documentary recently that said brittain didn't really have a dark age after the fall of Classical Rome but continued as a centre of classical learning. (most of the archeological evidence got written off as roman overlords, with incorrect datings.) It's an interesting theory, and might also account for a culture with advanced timekeeping, great intellectual links with their neighbours (eg scandanavia), and that gets broken up rather by invasions of other memes (eg church reformation). Don't worry, I'm waffling based on too little evidence. Anyway, by the early 12th C, timekeeping seems to be fairly uniform with continental (eg france, and I think germany) standards. All the calendars I've seen seem based along the same rather narrow model. For the hours of the day I'm rather more reliant on secondary sources, but i think the same applies. I suspect tracing the services monks kept would be a sign of the hours the day was divided into although 8 hours in half a day is still going to fit with compline, lauds etc. The retention of the marc - 8 ounces of pennies, amoungst all the 12th_Century_monetary_units based on the unit of 12- could this be similar? must read more. Tiff