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vague and undefined. The Attic or Athenian lunar year included twelve months, numbering alternately twenty-nine and thirty days. But after fruitless attempts by Meton, about four hundred and thirty years before Christ; and by Callippus, about one hundred years later, to effect a correspondence between lunar and solar time, they finally, “mistaking a lunar month to consist exactly of thirty days, in compounding their year of twelve of them, made it amount to three hundred and sixty-five days.” Subsequently, however, upon the observance of their festivals, especially when connected with the Olympiads, as the time for celebrating their games, “being the first full moon after the summer solstice, it always fell in the compass of one lunar month, either sooner or later in the solar year; and there being just four years between Olympiad and Olympiad, this necessarily made these years to be solar years; and cycles, and rules of intercalation were invented of purpose to bring them to it.” Hence, “although they might measure their months by the motion of the moon, they always regulated their years according to that of the Sun.” " Besides the Attic or Athenian, there is also the Macedonian calendar; which, though it differed from the above in the names of the months, yet in other respects it corresponded with it, except that the former began with the winter solstice, and the latter with the autumnal equinox. It was used principally in those Asiatic States founded by Alexander's generals. In A.D.681, at an AEcumenical Council of the Greek or Eastern Church, the birth of Christ was fixed at the five thousand five hundred and eighth year from the Creation. This era was adopted as the civil mode of reckoning by the Oriental Churches, and also by the Greek Emperors, upon the rejection of the “Consular Era,” and continued in use down to the time of Peter I., A. D., 1700, when the Christian Era, (the JulianoGregorian year.) then in use throughout all Europe, was adopted in its place. The Era of the Seleucida is founded upon the conquest of Babylon and the erection of a powerful monarchy under Seleucus, one of the most valarous generals of Alexander; and falls in with the first year of the one hundred and seventeenth Olympiad, or the last half of the year three hundred and twelve, and the first half of the year three hundred and eleven, B. C. It is mentioned in the Books of the Maccabees, and as connected with the history of Asia and of the Christian Church during the middle ages, it is sometimes used by the Christian Fathers. Of the Cecropian Era, and Parian Chronicle, introduced into England from the Levant by William Petty in the form of a tablet of Parian Marble, about A. D. one thousand six hundred and twenty-eight, and upon which was engraved a short chronicle of Grecian history, which commences with, and marks the date when, Cecrops first came into Greece; though at first considered as a safe guide in the department of Grecian Chronology; yet its authenticity has been so undermined by the pen of the learned Robinson, that it has now fallen into comparative desuetude. . The Consular Era just alluded to, which was regulated by the succession of two Annual Consuls, was the only mode of reckoning in the business of civil life among the Romans. It commenced about five hundred years B. C., and terminated by an ordinance of Leo the Philosopher, between A. D. eight hundred eighty-six and nine hundred and eleven. The Olympiads were of Roman origin, and commenced at an early period. The first Olympiad however is dated from Coroebus, who flourished B. C., seven hundred and seventy-six, he being the first victor in those games to whose honor a statue was erected. Prior to the time of Julius Caesar, the Roman year, which was Lunar, and introduced by Numa Pompilius, consisted of three hundred and fifty-five days. Thus it continued, till the time of the Decemvirs, when a change took place in the order of the months, an intercalated month of twenty-two days every two years, and one of twenty-three days every four years being introduced, with a view to harmonize the Lunar with the solar year. But even with this improvement, though it agreed with the Tetraeteris of the Athenians, yet it exceeded by four days both the Attic Cycle and four Julian years. In this imperfect and confused state it remained for years, subject to the caprices of the College of Priests, who either lengthened or diminished the year, as best served their mercenary ends. Upon the accession of Julius Caesar to the Roman throne, however, an attempt was made to reform the Calendar. For this purpose the emperor selected Sosigenes, according to Pliny, but Marcus Flavius, according to Macrobius. This reformation commenced in Caesar's fourth consulate, B. C. fortyfive, and the seven hundred and ninth from the building of the city. The preceding year, (which, from the endless confusion that arose from the difference in the number of days of the several months, together with the introduction of the intercalary months, was styled by Macrobius, the year of confusion,) ending on the twenty-ninth of December, the New Calendar commenced on the first of January, as above. The Julian year is solar time, and consists of three hundred and sixty-five days and six full hours, which six hours making in four years one intercalary day, is added to the above every fourth or leap year. Even this year, however, had its defects. For, in its subsequent division into fifty-two weeks of seven days each, which gave only three hundred and sixty-four days to the year, it overran the fifty-two weeks in common years one, and in leap years two days. Nor was this all. It exceeded the true time by eleven minutes, fourteen seconds, and thirty thirds. This it was found by the course of the sun after the lapse of a century amounted to about ten days, and hence, that it materially affected the time, designated in the Julian Calendar for the celebration of Easter, viz., the twenty-first of March, which always fell on the first Sunday after the full moon immediately succeeding the vernal equinox, and that in the sixteenth century the time was anticipated by ten days. Finally, under Pope Gregory XIII., in order to obviate the recurrence of a like difficulty, Aloysius Lilius, an eminent astronomer of that period, reformed the Julian Calendar by throwing ten days out of the month of October of one thousand five hundred and eighty-two, by which process the first of January ensuing was made to coincide with the right point in the sun's motion. This, however, gave to that year only three hundred and fifty-five days .Hence, in order to prevent the recurrence of a similar difficulty by the above fractions of the Julian over the true solar year, it was determined that every hundredth year for three centuries in succession, which, according to the Julian Calendar would be leap years, should be common years, but for the fourth century a leap year. Hence the Juliano-Gregorian year, or new style. It was not, however until A. D. one thousand seven hundred, that the German Protestants consented to adopt the New Calendar, which example was afterwards followed by Denmark, Holland, and Switzerland; by England in one thousand seven hundred and fiftytwo, and by Sweden in one thousand seven hundred and fifty-three. The Russians have always adhered to the Old Calendar. The ancient Persian astronomy attained to great accuracy in the adjustment of solar time, their common and leap years agreeing precisely with those of the Julian year; with the exception that, as the new year, by their mode of intercalation, always fell on the
1. Prideaux, vol. ii., pp. 41, 42.