Calendar: Humanity's Epic Struggle To Determine A True And Accurate Year

Calendar Humanity s Epic Struggle To Determine A True And Accurate Year The adventure spans the world from Stonehenge to astronomically aligned pyramids at Giza from Mayan observatories at Chichen Itza to the atomic clock in Washington the world s official timekeeper si

  • Title: Calendar: Humanity's Epic Struggle To Determine A True And Accurate Year
  • Author: David Ewing Duncan
  • ISBN: 9780380793242
  • Page: 453
  • Format: Paperback
  • The adventure spans the world from Stonehenge to astronomically aligned pyramids at Giza, from Mayan observatories at Chichen Itza to the atomic clock in Washington, the world s official timekeeper since the 1960s We visit cultures from Vedic India and Cleopatra s Egypt to Byzantium and the Elizabethan court and meet an impressive cast of historic personages from JuliusThe adventure spans the world from Stonehenge to astronomically aligned pyramids at Giza, from Mayan observatories at Chichen Itza to the atomic clock in Washington, the world s official timekeeper since the 1960s We visit cultures from Vedic India and Cleopatra s Egypt to Byzantium and the Elizabethan court and meet an impressive cast of historic personages from Julius Caesar to Omar Khayyam, and giants of science from Galileo and Copernicus to Stephen Hawking Our present calendar system predates the invention of the telescope, the mechanical clock, and the concept ol zero and its development is one of the great untold stories of science and history.How did Pope Gregory set right a calendar which was in error by at least ten lull days What did time mean to a farmer on the Rhine in 800 A.D What was daily life like in the Middle Ages, when the general population reckoned births and marriages by seasons, wars, kings reigns, and saints days In short, how did the worldThe adventure spans the world from Stonehenge to astronomically aligned pyramids at Giza, from Mayan observatories at Chichen Itza to the atomic clock in Washington, the world s official timekeeper since the 1960s We visit cultures from Vedic India and Cleopatra s Egypt to Byzantium and the Elizabethan court and meet an impressive cast of historic personages from Julius Caesar to Omar Khayyam, and giants of science from Galileo and Copernicus to Stephen Hawking Our present calendar system predates the invention of the telescope, the mechanical clock, and the concept ol zero and its development is one of the great untold stories of science and history How did Pope Gregory set right a calendar which was in error by at least ten lull days What did time mean to a farmer on the Rhine in 800 A.D What was daily life like in the Middle Ages, when the general population reckoned births and marriages by seasons, wars, kings reigns, and saints days

    • Calendar: Humanity's Epic Struggle To Determine A True And Accurate Year BY David Ewing Duncan
      453 David Ewing Duncan
    • thumbnail Title: Calendar: Humanity's Epic Struggle To Determine A True And Accurate Year BY David Ewing Duncan
      Posted by:David Ewing Duncan
      Published :2019-07-17T06:18:36+00:00

    About " David Ewing Duncan "

  • David Ewing Duncan

    David Ewing Duncan is the author of seven books including the worldwide bestseller Calendar He is Chief Correspondent of public radio s Biotech Nation, a commentator on NPR s Morning Edition, and a contributing editor and a columnist for Conde Nast Portfolio He has been a contributing editor to Wired, Discover and Technology Review, and has written for Harper s, The Atlantic, Fortune, and many other publications He is a former special correspondent and producer for ABC Nightline and a correspondent for NOVA s ScienceNOW He has won numerous awards including the Magazine Story of the Year from the American Association for the Advancement of Science He lives in San Francisco and is the Director of the Center of Life Science Policy at UC Berkeley.

  • 825 Comments

  • ერთ-ერთ ინტერნეტ მიმში, ძველ საბერძნეთში, ერთი ფილოსოფოსი ეკითხება მეორეს: - "რომელი წელია ახლა?" მეორე პასუხობს: "ქრისტესშობამდე 380 " "ქრისტე ვინღა ჯანდაბაა?" უკვირს პირველს. "წარმოდგენა არ მაქვ [...]


  • One gets the sense that the author felt the material on the actual calendar wasn't quite long enough for a book, and had to bulk the text out. Half of the book doesn't deal with the calendar at all, but rather digresses into lengthy exposition on how barbaric and benighted the middle ages were. There are also digressions into the history of our number system and into various other sorta-kinda related topics. I would have much preferred the author stuck to the topic. Also, minor errors that were [...]


  • If popular science is your bag, this will go some way to filling up a corner - plenty of interesting material here about various aspects of the calendar as it is and has been, in various periods and cultures, and the science, numbers and reasoning behind it all.My major gripe with this book is the sheer quantity of errors it contains - figures are bungled, names are wrong, facts incorrectly reported - anybody who has read other books on the matter will spot these a mile off. Sometimes Duncan get [...]


  • A appealing fact-jammed book about something we use everyday - the calendar. I never thought there were so many events and people involved in its story dating back to time immemorial. Facts at times amusing, others outright dramatic. It's fascinating the interplay between time and who dictates it. Control over time and its deployment gives boundless power to the beholder that usually one can't even ponder. Last one on the list is the Roman Catholic Church, who's reform on the calendar is the one [...]


  • This is a really interesting book. It's a little hard to get through in parts, but I gave it 5 stars because it's just so darn fascinating. Did you know about the 10 days that were removed from the calendar by Pope Gregory in 1582 (but not until 1752 in the American colonies?) Read this book and you'll know!


  • Interesting examination of the concept of time, how the calendar (linear time) evolved and how human-made time doesn't reconcile with time as it happened and the confusion sown along the way by various interferences and the intersection of several different calendars. And all you asked was 'what time is it?' :)


  • At first I was disappointed that this was a history of only the western calendar. All others got, at best, a brief mention. But this was a THOROUGH history, of not only the calendar, but of the science and politics that influenced it. This is a well-written, worthy read.


  • The beginning with all the facts was interesting, but the book became more and more dry. I skimmed the last 70ish pages.2.5 stars



  • At first this was an interesting read, but as I read more the lustre has worn off. The author is focussing on his own narrative over historical detail and sometimes even facts. This is especially egregious in the chapters about the early Middle Ages, wherein the fall of Rome is portrayed as hordes of bloodthirsty barbarians destroying something glorious without reason, while St. Augustine and the church hate time and science but need them to calculate Easter.Someone got all their history from Gi [...]



  • There is no year zero. Have you thought about that? Once up a time--here is the word-- the subject of this thought-provoking book: time. Go back a mere five hundred years and people would rise with the sun, perhaps here a newfangled church bell rang at a nearby monastery, toil until the sun set, and then go to bed in order to repeat the same events the next day. Time had not been divided into hours and who needed a calendar to record a day that would be the same as its predecessors. Time has eve [...]


  • A deliciously scholarly book on the history and difficulties of creating accurate calendars across the centuries. If you think this sounds boring as hell, let me quote from the cover, "David Duncan takes his place in the ranks of the best explainers in print" (Hugh Downs).I had a dim notion that politics likely had a bearing on the adoption of our current calendar (which it did and does), what I did not realize was how much religion was a factor. Duncan emphasizes the conceptual differences betw [...]


  • This is a 5-star book up through about the year 1100. That's when most of the groundwork was done on our calendar. You get the story behind the naming of the months and the days and why and to whom having a calendar was important. Who would have guessed how complicated Easter would make things? There's even bonus coverage on how Europeans moved from Roman numerals to Arabic numerals and the positional notation that can come with such a system. It becomes a 2-star book for the next 500 years (abo [...]


  • My favorite aspect of microhistories is how the book's subject is a lens through which you view much more of history than you originally expect. Honestly, how much can a book talk specifically about cod/milk/toilets/cochineal/paper/a calendar, the thing? You'd run out of details about the specific thing pretty quickly, especially in a popular history book meant for general consumption. It's the context that I really love - the reasons that the thing mattered, or didn't matter; the historical eve [...]


  • Day to day, our time is marked by weeks, months and years. We take it for granted that no matter where you are on earth, you always know where you are in time. The calendar is such a routine concept that it takes excellent and most engaging book by David Ewing Duncan to make you stop and think.This book traces the origins, offshoots and upsets of the epic tale of the calendar. In doing so, Duncan finds a thread through all peoples over all time.Which is really the genius of David Duncan's work. [...]


  • There are things we take for granted either because of sheer ignorance of the history of development involved in their genesis or either they have been condemed to suffer a lackluster disposition compared to modern conveniences that have definitely occupied our questionable preferences. The calender suffers in both aspects, which is giddily overturned courtesy of this book. It is an objective post-modern work, which I may add, is relative to the author's background. The book does not contain aut [...]


  • Well- this book would have earned a 4 star easily for me had it been titled "The Western Calendar". as while it goes in depth about the rise/development of Gregorian calendar; there is hardly any justice done to the likes of Hindu Panchang, or the Chinese calendars. The problem offcourse is that not much written material of excellence exist about them anyways. also as is the case is with most western authors, there are a few gaffe of history most of which could be attributed to the fact that the [...]


  • Do you know what the 31 days of August has to do with the Emperor Augustus? Or why there are seven days in a week and not some other random number? Have you ever sat in a pot induced stupor and wondered why humans decided to start keeping time in the first place? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, then this is the book for you!Overall, very, very entertaining read which probably deserves five stars, but the heady mathematics involved knocked it down a peg for me. Would definitely [...]


  • A triumph of history. Not only does it spell out the origins of our system of months, years, weeks, hours and so on, but it also contains a lengthy digression on the origins of our base-10 positional numbering system, which gives a great insight into why it was so difficult to be mathematically accurate for people who only used roman numerals or cuneiform script. It also cuts across a huge amount of social history, telling us en passant about the decline of the Roman Empire and the huge movement [...]


  • I love books that are the history of a concept or thing (salt, tea, E=MC2) so this book was right up my alley. I especially liked that the author included some substantial bits of history while still sticking to the calendar theme. It would have been easy to get sidetracked by some of the famous personalities that were involved with the creation of present-day timekeeping. But Duncan did not do this - he'd fill out details that were important to the development of accurate timekeeping but then m [...]


  • This was a well written account of the long struggle to create an accurate ongoing calendar of days. This task was much more difficult than I ever imagined. consider: do you use the moon as your base? The Sun? All the obvious ways of calculating the number of days in a year are inaccurate. A great irony is that the latest nuclear clocks are actually too precise because they fail to take into account the declining speed of the earth's rotation.


  • Very interesting and unusual look at history from the viewpoint of the development of the calendar and keeping time. Not a fast read as there are a lot of historical details and people involved in the equation of what is the best way to keep track of time in a world with a complicating set of circumstances that make making a calendar difficult. I learned a lot about some people that I had no idea existed and about some famous people and their attitudes toward time. Good read!


  • I thoroughly enjoyed this little book on the concept of calendars, time and mankind's involvement in putting into place something which we take so for granted that it seems odd when we realize how arbitrary the process sometimes was.Fascinating if one is interested in the quirky mundane bits of life. And while I called it little -- it was certainly not small in its concept nor execution. Wonderful reading.


  • This book focuses mainly on the calendar of that the Western world uses, and how it came into being. It does touch on various other calendars (Hebrew, Mayan, etc.) but does not explore these in depth. There is a good amount of math, which I found myself either going over several times to try and understand or skimming over in order to maintain focused on the story. Don't let this stop you though, because the book is really very interesting and quite well written.


  • It is going to take me a very long time to remember all of the wonderful books I have read, but I am really enjoying making this record of them.Dividing time into day and night, and even the sequence of the moon, both make sense as measurements of time. But where did the week come from?? And what about the hours. And eventually time zones, etc. This book is a fascinating account of the process and the way people lived while it was all being sorted out.


  • One of my favorite types of book are those that make you realize you know absolutely nothing about something you use everyday. This book succeeds brilliantly at that, although it does wade a little deep into higher mathematics for my taste. Do we really need a whole chapter on positional notation? A good, solid, highly educational book.


  • Was combing my history shelves -- for something else -- and pulled this down. Remembered what a fascinating read it was. Tells all about how the modern calendar developed. This was a 'reading room' (AKA powder room) read which is why it took almost a year to finish, but still I did read the entire book. Never knew what a complicated thing Time and its tracking is.


  • If the Moon is moving (shifting), is our calendar changing, then is time a perception of our vivid reality and what about the quickening? Look up the Moon has moved it's pole. Or we have shifted about 6 degrees, true N.Regards, David D. Ewing


  • It's amazing that the calendar, which we take for granted, had such a tumultuous history. And the we're still not exactly lined up! Duncan creates an inspiring narrative of intrigue and politics in defining our 365.24 days a year


  • Post Your Comment Here

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *