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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





2 articles for "Babylonian"

Babylonian [DeVore]

An astrologer: so-called because the Babylonians were famed for their knowledge of Astrology.

See also:
♦ Babylon ♦ Anu ♦ Bel ♦ Nebo ♦ Marduk
Babylonian Calendar [Astro*Index]

The Babylonian year consisted of 12 lunar months, each fixed by actual observation of the first appearance of the lunar crescent in the evening sky, with the intercalation of an additional month when necessary to keep the calendar year in a definite relation to the seasons. The year began in the spring with the month Nisannu.

Up to about 480 BC, the intercalations show no regularity whatever; by some time very close to BC380, a regular cycle of 7 intercalations at fixed intervals during each 19 years came into use. The 19-year cycle had been introduced by Meton at Athens about 50 years earlier, but whether the Babylonians obtained it from the Greeks or discovered it independently is not known. This cycle equates 19 years to 235 lunations; it still survives in the modern Jewish calendar, with the same value for the length of the mean synodic month as in the Babylonian calendar. Conversion of dates in the Babylonian calendar to their exact equivalents in the Julian proleptic calendar is, in general, very difficult, and often uncertain or impossible. The ancient calendars that were regulated either arbitrarily or by observation of the lunar crescent cannot be completely restored with certainty and correlated with other calendars unless historical records are extant that give a sufficiently complete continuous record of the length of every month and attest to all the intercalary months. - Metonic Cycle - Julian Calendar

See also:
♦ Metonic Cycle ♦ Julian Calendar


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine






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