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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Scaliger, Joseph Justus"

Scaliger, Joseph Justus [Astro*Index]

(skal'ih-jer) (1540-1609) French scholar. Born at Agen, Lot-et-Garonne; died at Leiden, Netherlands.

He acquired an encyclopedic knowledge of both Latin and Greek authors, due to the inhuman efforts of his intellectual slave-driving father. After becoming a Protestant, he left France for Geneva, just before the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of Protestants. He became a professor at the University of Leiden, a Protestant school, and remained there until his death. In 1606, he published a book comparing the various chronologies of Greek, Roman, and Oriental empires, using the astronomical knowledge of his time. He began the Julian Day numbering, naming the system after his father, Julius Caesar Scaliger. This system equates BC4713 JAN 01 as day 1, and numbers all days from that fiducial. Modern astronomers make extensive use of this numbering system, as it avoids all the imperfections introduced by various calendars.

See also:
♦ Julian Day Numbers


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine