As I understand the facts:
1. When the Gregorian calendar was
established, the first year of the
calendar was called 1 AD.
2. The intent was to start the calendar
from the time of Christ's birth - but
current consensus is that Christ was
born a few years earlier than this.
3. At one point in history, 11 days
were "deleted" to correct errors in
the calendar. (I believe this was
when "leap years" were added to make
regular corrections to the erroneous
One area I don't udnerstand is the
relationship of BC to AD. Mark Deardorff wrote:
>There simply was never a year zero or
>a year minus zero. You will not
>find such a year in any timeline. The
>first year was simply year one...
>Now, if someone was born at 1 BC, at 1
>AD he would be 1 - (-1) = 2 years old.
>What is possibly so difficult about
I don't get it - if there was no "year
minus zero", then 1 BC starts at the
same point in time as 1 AD. So if
someone was born at the beginning of
1 BC they also would be born at the
beginning of 1 AD and would be zero
years old. (And the difference between
10 BC and 10 AD would only be 18 years?)
Based on the above facts, there is no
fixed historical event that actually
occurred at the beginning of 1 AD and
there is historical precedent to "change"
the calendar by decree to fix past
Thus I would propose that we simply
"define" year zero as occuring one
year prior to the beginning of 1 AD;
and thus we can say we just celebrated
the end of 2000 years and the start of
a new millenium, just as a person
celebrates their 100th birthday at the
beginning of their second century.
(Of course, based on Christ's actual
birth, the millenium started a couple of
years ago.) Historians can simply
make a correction for differences between
BC dates and AD dates as they already
have to do.
Unfortunately, this would take a "decree"
to get everyone to agree. So I propose
that a world leader's summit be established
called the World Calendar Workshop (WCW).
Of course the world leaders would likely
get into a power play on the method and
wording - perhaps it could be televised
by TBS. Then we could watch the world
leaders fight it out on WCW on TBS! :)