Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Time is to Emit; or Matter Moving in Space

Time is a succession of phenomena in the universe; or a mode of duration marked by certain periods or measures, chiefly by the motion and revolution of the sun. The parts of time are Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Days, Years, Cycles, Ages, and Periods. The original standard or integral measure of time, is a year; which is determined by the revolution of some celestial body in its orbit, viz. the sun or moon.

The time measured by the sun's revolution ecliptic, from any equinox or solstice to the same again is called the Solar or Tropical Year, which contains 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 57 seconds; and is the only proper or natural year, because it always keeps the same seasons of the same months.

The quantity of time measured by the sun's revolution, as from any fixed star to the same star again, is called the Syderal year; which contains 365 days 6 hours, 9 minutes, 14 1/2 seconds; and is 20 minutes 17 1/2 seconds longer than the true solar year.

The time measured by the twelve revolutions of the moon, from the sun to the sun again, is called the Lunar year; it contains 354 days, 8 hours, 48 minutes, 36 seconds; and is therefore 10 days, 21 hours 0 minutes, 21 seconds shorter than the solar year. This is the foundation of the epact.

The civil year is that which is in common use among the different nations of the world; of which, some reckon by the lunar, but most by the solar. The civil solar year contains 365 days, for three years running, which are called common years; and then comes in what is called bessextile or leap-year, which contains 366 days. This is also called the Julian year, on account of Julius Cesar, who appointed the intercalary-day every forth year, thinking thereby to make the civil and solar year keep pace together. And this day, being added to the 23d of February, which in the Roman calendar was the sixth of the calendar of March, that sixth day was twice reckoned, or the 23d and 24th were reckoned as one day, and was called bis sextus dies; and thence came the name bissextile for that year. But in our common almanacs this day is added at the end of February.

The civil lunar year is also common or intercalary. The common year conflicts of 12 lunations, which contain 354 days; at the end of which, the year begins again. The intercalary, or embolimic year is that wherein a month was added, to adjust the lunar year to the solar. This method was used by the Jews, who kept their account by lunar motions. But by intercalating no more than a month of 30 days, which they called Ve-Adar, every third year, they fell 3 1/4 day short of the solar year in that time.

The Romans also used the lunar embolimic year at first, as it was settled by Romulus their first king, who made it to consist only of ten months or lunations , which fell 61 days short of the solar year, and so their year became quite vague and unfixed; for which reason, they were forced to have a table published by the high priest, to inform them when the spring and other seasons began. But Julius Caesar, as already mentioned, taking this troublesome affair into consideration, reformed the calendar, by making the year to consist of 365 days 6 hours.

The year thus settled, is was what we still make use of in Britain; but as it is somewhat more than 11 minutes longer the solar tropical year, the times of the equinoxes go backward, and fall earlier by one day in about 130 years. In the time of the Nicean Council, (A.D. 325), 1414 years ago, the vernal equinox fell on the 21st of March; and if we divide 1444 by 130, it will quote 11, which is the number of days which the equinox has fallen back since the Council of Nice. This causes great disturbances, by unfixing the times of the celebration of Easter, and consequently of all the other movable feasts , Pope Gregory XIIIth, in the year 1582, ordered ten years to be at once struck out of that year; and the next day after the 4th of October was called the 15th. By this means vernal equinox was restored to the 21st of March; and it was endeavored, by the omission of three intercalary days in 400 years, to make the civil or political year keep pace with the solar for time to come. This new form of the year is called the Gregorian account, or new style; which is received in all countries where the pope's authority is acknowledge, and ought to be in all places where truth is regarded.

The principal division of the year is into months, which are of two sorts, namely, astronomical and civil. The astronomical month is the time in which the moon runs through the zodiac, and is either periodical or synodical. The periodical month is the time spent by the moon in making one complete revolution from any point of the zodiac to the same again; which is 27d 7h 43m. The synodical month, called a lunation, is the time contained between the moon's parting with the sun at a conjunction and returning to him again, which is 29d 12h 44m. The civil months are those which are framed for the use of civil life; and are different as to their names, number of days, and times of beginning, in several different countries. The first month of the Jewish year fell according to the moon in out August and September, old style; the second in September and October; and so on. The first month of the Egyptian year began on the 2pth of our August. The first month of the Arabic and Turkish year began the 16th of July. The first month of the Grecian year fell according to the moon in June and July, the second in July and August, and so on.

A month is divided into four parts called weeks, and a week into seven parts called day; so that in a Julian year there are 13 such months, or 52 weeks, and one day over. The Gentiles gave the names of the sun, moon, and planets, to the days of the week. To the first, the name of the Sun; to the second, of the Moon; to the third, of Mars; to the fourth, of Mercury; to the fifth, of Jupiter; to the sixth, of Venus; and to the seventh, of Saturn.

A day is either natural or artificial. The natural day contains 24 hours; the artificial the time from sun-rise to sun-set. The natural day is either astronomical or civil. The astronomical days begins at noon, because the increase or decrease of days terminated by the horizon are very unequal among themselves; which inequality is likewise augmented by the inconstancy of the horizontal refractions, and therefore the astronomer takes the meridian for the limit of diurnal revolutions, reckoning noon, that is, the instant when the sun's center is on the meridian, for the beginning of the day. The British, French, Dutch, German, Spaniards, Portugese, and Egyptians, begins, begin the civil day at midnight; the ancient Greeks, Jews, Bohemians, Silesians, with the modern Italians, and Chinese, begin it at sun-setting; and the ancient Babylonians, Persians, Syrians, with the modern Greeks, at sun-rising.

An hour is a certain determine part of the day, and is either equal or unequal. An equal hour is the 24th part of a mean natural day, as shown by well-regulated clocks and watches; but these hours are not quite equal as measured by the returns of the sun to the meridian, because of the obliquity of the ecliptic and sun's unequal motion in it. Unequal hours are those by which the artificial day is divided into twelve parts, and the nights into as many.

An hour is divided into 60 equal parts minutes, a minute into 60 equal parts called seconds, and these again into 60 equal parts called thirds. The Jews, Chaldeans, Arabians, divide the hour into 1080 equal parts, called scruples; which number contains 18 times 60, so that one minute contains 18 scruples.

A cycle is a perpetual round, or circulation of the same parts of time of any sort. The cycle of the sun is a revolution of 28 years, in which time the days of the months return again to the same days of the week; the sun's place to the same signs and degrees of the ecliptic on the same months and days, so as not to differ one degree in 100 years; and the leap-years begin the same course over again with respect to the days of the week on which the days of the months fall. The cycle of the moon, commonly called the golden number, is a revolution of 19 years; in which time, the conjunctions, oppositions, and other aspects of the moon, are within an hour and have of being the same as they were on the same days of the months 19 years before. The indiction is a revolution of 15 years, used only by the Romans for indicating the times of certain payments made by the subjects to the republic: It was established by Constantine A.D. 312.

The year of our Saviours birth, according to the vulgar aera, was the 9th year of the solar year, the first year of the lunar cycle, and the 312th year after his birth was the first year of the Roman indiction. Therefore, to find the year of the solar cycle, add 9 to any given year of Christ, and divide the sum by 28, the quotient is the number of cycles elapsed since his birth, and the remainder is the cycle for the given year: If nothing remains, the cycle is 28. To find the lunar cycle, add 1 to the given year of Christ, and divide the sum by 19; the quotient is the number of cycles elapsed in the interval, and the remainder is the cycle for the given year.: If nothing remains the cycle is 19. Lastly, subtract 312 from the given year of Christ, and divide the remainder by 15; and what remains after this division is the indiction for the given year: If nothing remains the indiction is 15.

The first seven letters of the alphabet are commonly placed in the annual almanacs, to show on what days of the week the days of the months fall throughout the year. And because one of those seven letters must necessarily stand against Sunday, it is printed in a capital form, and called the dominical letter. The other fix being inserted in small characters, to denote the other six days of the week. Now since a common Julian year contains 365 days, if this number be divided by 7 (the number of days in a week) there will remain one day. If there had been no remainder it is plain the year would constantly begin on the same day of the week; but since one remains, it is plain, that the year must begin and end on the same day of the week; and therefore the next will begin on the day following. Hence, when January begins on Sunday, A is the dominical or Sunday letter for that letter for that year: Then, because the next year begins on Monday, the Sunday will fall on the seventh day, to which is annexed the seventh letter G, which therefore will be the dominical letter for all that year; and as the third year will begin on Tuesday, the Sunday will fall on the sixth day; therefore F will be the Sunday letter for that year. Whence it is evident, that the Sunday letters will go annually in a retrograde order thus, G, F, E, D, C, B, A. And, in the course of seven years, if they all were common ones, the same days of the week and dominical letters would return to the same days of the months. But because there are 366 days in a leap-year, if this number be divided by 7, there will remain two days over and above the 52 weeks of which the year consists. And therefore, if the leap-year begins on Sunday, it will end on Monday; and the next year will begin on Tuesday, the first Sunday whereof must fall on the sixth of January, to which is annexed the letter F, and not G, as in common years. By this means, the leap-year returning every fourth year, the order of the dominical letters is interrupted; and the series cannot return to its first slate till after four times seven, or 28 years; and then the same days of the week as before.

From the multiplication of the solar cycle of 28 years into the lunar cycle of 19 years, and the Roman indiction of 15 years, arises the great Julian period, consisting of 7,980 years, which had its beginning 764 years before Strauchius's supposed year of the creation (for no later could all the three cycles begin together) and it is not yet completed. And therefore it includes all the l other cycles, periods, and aeras. There is but one year in the whole period that has the same numbers for the three cycles of which it is made up. And therefore, if historians had remarked in their writings the cycles of each year, there had been no dispute about the time of any action recorded by them.

The Dionysian or vulgar aera of Christ's birth was about the end of the year of the Julian period 4713; and consequently the first year of his age, according to that account, was the 4714th year of the said period. Therefore, if to the current year of Christ we add 4713, the sum will be the year of the Julian period. So the year 1796 will be found to be the 6432d year of that period. Or, to find the year of the Julian period answering to any given year before the first year of Christ, subtract the number of that given year from 4714, and the remainder will be the year of the Julian period. Thus, the year 585 before the first year of Christ ( which was the 584th before his birth) was the 4129th year of the said period. Lastly, to find the cycles of the sun, moon, and indiction for any given year of this period, divide the given year by 28, 19, and 15; the three remainders will be the cycles sought, and the quotients the numbers of cycles run since the beginning of the period. So in the above 4714th year of the Julian period, the cycle of the sun was 10, the cycle of the moon 2, and the cycle of indiction 4; the solar cycle having run through 168 courses, the lunar 248, and the indiction 314.

The vulgar aera of Christ birth was never settled till the year 527, when Dionysius Exiguus, a Roman abbot, fixed it to the end of the 4713th year of the Julian period, which was fours years too late. For our Saviour was born before the death of Herod, who fought to kill him as soon as he heard of birth. And, according to the testimony of Josephus there was an eclipse of the moon in the time of Herod's last illness; which eclipse appears by our astronomical tables to have been in the year of the Julian period 4710, March 13th, at 3 hours past midnight, at Jerusalem. Now, as our Saviour must have been borne some months before Herod's death, since in the interval he was carried into Egypt, the latest time in which we can fix the true aera of his birth as about the end of the 4709th year of the Julian period.

As there are certain fixed points in the heavens from which astronomers begin their computations, so their are certain points of times from which historians begin to reckon; and these points or roots of time are called aeras or epochs. The most remarkable aeras, are those of the Creation, the Greek Olympiads, the building of Rome, the aera of Nabonassar, the death of Alexander, the birth of Christ, the Arabian Hegira, and the Persian Jesdegird.