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Reconstructing Metonic 19-year Lunar Cycles

(on the basis of NASA's Six Millennium Catalog of Phases of the Moon)

Jan Zuidhoek • Boek • paperback

  • Samenvatting
    Book and Author
    This book explains how, by following the mainstream of the history of the computus paschalis developed from early in the third century for the purpose of determining (Alexandrian or Julian calendar) dates of Paschal Sunday which rised shortly after AD 250 in Alexandria (Egypt) to ultimately (in AD 1582, turning point in the history of chronology) flow into the modern way of determining (Gregorian calendar) dates of Easter, of old dates of Paschal Sunday depend on phases of the moon and how, on the basis of NASA’s Six Millennium Catalog of Phases of the Moon, both lost Metonic 19 year lunar cycles constructed in Alexandria before the first council of Nicaea (in AD 325, turning point in the history of Christianity) were reconstructed.
    The author of this pioneering book was born in 1938, studied mathematics, physics, and astronomy at the university of Utrecht from 1960 to 1969, and was a teacher of mathematics from 1970 to 2001 at the Gymnasium Celeanum in Zwolle. After having gone deeply into the fields of history of mathematics, of chronology, and of early Christianity, ultimately resulting in his lucid webpage “Christian Era and Universal Time”, he became fascinated by the Alexandrian computus. In 2009 he succeeded, by using the Six Millennium Catalog, in determining the Metonic 19 year lunar cycle underlying the fifth century Latin text De ratione paschali containing the legendary 19 year Paschal cycle of the famous third century Alexandrian computist Anatolius. The presentations he gave at the international conferences on the science of computus at the university of Galway in 2010 and 2018 resulted in 2017 in an article entitled “The initial year of De ratione paschali and the relevance of its paschal dates” and in 2019 in the first edition of this book reducing that article to a preparatory study.
  • Productinformatie
    Binding : Paperback
    Distributievorm : Boek (print, druk)
    Formaat : 170mm x 240mm
    Aantal pagina's : 120
    Uitgeverij : JZ
    ISBN : 9789090324678
    Datum publicatie : 08-2021
  • Inhoudsopgave
    Table of Contents
    Introduction
    Two ante-Nicene Metonic 19 year lunar cycles
    (1) Anatolius’ 19-year lunar cycle
    Reconstructing Anatolius’ 19-year lunar cycle
    (0) The proto-Alexandrian (19-year lunar) cycle
    Searching for Anatolius’ 19 year lunar cycle
    Dating the spring equinox
    (2) The archetypal Alexandrian (19 year lunar) cycle
    Reconstructing the archetypal Alexandrian cycle
    Three post-Nicene Metonic 19-year lunar cycles
    (3) The Festal Index (19-year lunar) cycle
    (4) Theophilus’ 19-year lunar cycle
    (5) The classical Alexandrian (19-year lunar) cycle
    The ante Nicene Alexandrian 2-day gap
    More evidence
    Summary
    Epilogue
    Bibliography
    Index
    Appendix I (Dionysius Exiguus’ Paschal table)
    Appendix II (Beda Venerabilis’ Easter table)
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Summary
It is the development the Alexandrian computus underwent which formed the mainstream of the history of the computus paschalis that had risen in third century Alexandria (Egypt) to ultimately flow into the modern method of determining Gregorian calendar dates of Easter. Between the construction of the very first Metonic 19 year lunar cycle by the Alexandrian computist Anatolius (between AD 250 and 270) and the replacement of the Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar (in AD 1582, turning point in the history of chronology) it was only once, namely shortly before the first council of Nicaea (in AD 325, turning point in the history of Christianity), that in Alexandria a completely new Metonic 19 year lunar cycle was constructed, like its predecessor directly or indirectly on the basis of at the time recent lunar tables, but according to a different set of computistical principles. After having reconstructed both of these lost ante Nicene Metonic 19 year lunar cycles, we establish that:
1) the first of them (referred to as ‘Anatolius’ 19-year lunar cycle’) is equal to the proto-Alexandrian 19-year lunar cycle reconstructed in 2009;
2) the second of them (referred to as ‘the archetypal Alexandrian 19 year lunar cycle’) is nothing but the archetype from which after AD 325 one after another each of the three well known post-Nicene Alexandrian Metonic 19 year lunar cycles was obtained either by adopting the very same Metonic structure of the archetypal Alexandrian cycle or by moving its saltus 1 year afterward or 2 years forward (see Table 8);
3) the cause of the 2-day gap between them (referred to as ‘the ante-Nicene Alexandrian 2-day gap’) must be sought in the transition from the more Jewish Christian world of the third century to the more Gentile Christian world of the fourth (as a result of which Alexandrian computists began to use the Egyptian lunar calendar more familiar to them instead of the Alexandrian version of the Jewish lunar calendar);
4) both the first of them and the sequence of Paschal dates generated by it according to the old Alexandrian Paschal rule have de facto lower limit date 23 March;
5) the second of them has de facto lower limit date 21 March but the sequence of Paschal dates generated by it according to the new Alexandrian Paschal rule has de facto lower limit date 22 March (the same applies to the well-known three post Nicene Alexandrian Metonic 19-year lunar cycles).
We conclude that Anatolius can be considered to be the founder of the efficient Alexandrian Metonic 19-year lunar cycle method of determining Julian calendar dates of Paschal Sunday from which after the Gregorian reform in AD 1582, after preparatory work by the Italian astronomer Luigi Lilio, the German mathematician Christoph Clavius would develop a modern system for determining Gregorian calendar dates of Easter.
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