display | more...

Happy New Millennium Everybody!

This is for the many misinformed Americans who think that the beginning of the year 2000 was the beginning of the new millennium.

United States Naval Observatory (The official timekeeper for the U.S.A.)

"The end of the second millennium and the beginning of the third will be reached on January 1, 2001. This date is based on the now globally recognized Gregorian calendar, the initial epoch of which was established by the sixth-century scholar Dionysius Exiguus, who was compiling a table of dates of Easter. Rather than starting with the year zero, years in this calendar begin with the date January 1, 1 Anno Domini (AD). Consequently, the Third Millennium does not begin until January 1, 2001 AD."

The preceeding information was stolen directly from a compilation by Phil Konstantin at http://americanindian.net.


Note to eponymous - all centuries have 100 years each. A century of soldiers is 100 soldiers. A dollar is made up of 100 cents. Anything less that 100 per cent is not the whole.

Here are some other "expert" sources on the issue of the new millennium, and each favors the view that the third millennium of the so-called Christian Era will begin on 1/1/01.

The Royal Observatory at Greenwich
http://www.rog.nmm.ac.uk/leaflets/new_mill.html

The (above-mentioned) US Naval Observatory
http://www.usno.navy.mil/millennium/

Scientific American magazine
http://www.sciam.com/askexpert/math/math10/math10.html

These are the fruits of a five-minute Web search. Also, see my writeup on Dionysius Exiguus for more information on the "scribe" that started all the controversy. Of course he wasn't a mathematician--hell, even the concept of negative numbers wasn't to appear in Europe for some time yet. But the idea that a "century" (from the Latin word for "one hundred") of 99 years would be somehow more acceptable to a mathematician than a system with no Year Zero is preposterous. My apologies for being rough on eponymous, but if you want to quote an expert, you should be prepared to back it up with some documentation.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.