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LOTR unoffcial read through Appendices
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Murlo
Rivendell


Sep 30 2017, 8:11pm

Post #76 of 87 (2445 views)
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Comparison of Calendars in Appendix D [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
If anyone would like to discuss aspects of the ... calendar systems please feel free to do so.


I'm new to these forums, but I'd like to contribute some of my insights since I've become familiar with Appendix D over the past couple of years :)

Tolkien only directly compared the Shire Calendar with "real-world" years once, in the following passage from Appendix D:


Quote
It appears, however, that Mid-yearís Day was intended to correspond as nearly as possible to the summer solstice. In that case the Shire dates were actually in advance of ours by some ten days, and our New Yearís Day corresponded more or less to the Shire January 9.


All other calendars in Appendix D are only compared with the Shire Calendar:


  • Rivendell New Yearís Day "corresponded more or less with Shire April 6".

  • "March 25" of the Shire Calendar, "the date of the downfall of Barad-dŻr" in the Third Age 3019, "was, however, March 25 in both Kings' and Stewards' Reckoning." This became New Year's Day in the New Reckoning calendar of King Elessar's Reunited Kingdom.

  • The New Reckoning's YavanniŽ 30 "corresponded with former September 22", Frodo's birthday. Since Shire "March 25" was equivalent with "March 25 in both Kings' and Stewards' Reckoning" at that time, then "former September 22" must be a reference to the Shire Calendar; because if the New Reckoning New Year's Day was equivalent with Stewards' Reckoning "March 25" as well, then the New Reckoning YavanniŽ 30 and Shire "September 22" would be equivalent with Stewards' Reckoning "September 23".




Murlo
Rivendell


Sep 30 2017, 8:48pm

Post #77 of 87 (2440 views)
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Shire vs. Gregorian calendar and Mid-year's Day vs. the Summer Solstice [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
so perhaps his math was just a little bit off


While it's true that June 21st is the most common date of the summer solstice in modern times, I think Tolkien may have been referencing the solstice of the ancient past, and around 6000 years ago (the "gap" he gave in his letter #211 between modern times and the story) the summer solstice would have commonly fallen on a June 23rd in the (proleptic) Gregorian calendar. Maybe even up until ancient Roman times, at least according to this graph: http://www.thetropicalevents.com/...s/eSS_Gregorian1.png

So that could explain why he stated "our New Year's Day corresponded more or less to the Shire January 9", since that would put the Shire Mid-year's Day "more or less" on Gregorian June 23rd, and Shire New Year's Day "more or less" on Gregorian December 23rd.

I also think Tolkien was vague with these comparisons because he had in mind the differences in the leap-year rules between the Shire and our Gregorian calendars.

So maybe he said "more or less to the Shire January 9" because he knew every 400 years that date would shift by 1 day; and if the Shire Calendar had "millennial adjustments" like the Gondor calendars, then it would shift back 2 days the other way every 1000 years.

This also explains the other vague statement that "the Shire dates were actually in advance of ours by some ten days", because depending on where the Shire Calendar starts in the Gregorian calendar (December 21, 22, or 23), and considering that all Shire months have 30 days, whereas the Gregorian calendar months have anywhere from 28 - 31 days, a Shire month could be in advance of the corresponding Gregorian month by anywhere from 7 - 12 days.

So I'm inclined to give Tolkien more credit than he even gave to himself when he said "I am not skilled in these matters, and may have made many errors" in Appendix D ;)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Sep 30 2017, 8:57pm

Post #78 of 87 (2435 views)
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The Shire's Mid-year's Day and the Gregorian calendar [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Tolkien only directly compared the Shire Calendar with "real-world" years once, in the following passage from Appendix D:

Quote
It appears, however, that Mid-yearís Day was intended to correspond as nearly as possible to the summer solstice. In that case the Shire dates were actually in advance of ours by some ten days, and our New Yearís Day corresponded more or less to the Shire January 9.



Yes, and we seem to have a slight contradiction here. If our New Year's Day roughly corresponds with the Shire-date of January 9 then the Mid-year's Day of the Shire Reckoning would similarly correspond with our June 23. That does not seem to "correspond as nearly as possible to the summer solstice."

My personal observation is that if we assume that the Shire's Mid-year's Day can be equated to our June 21 then that better fits Tolkien's assertion that "the Shire dates were actually in advance of ours by some ten days," That would also place our own New Year's Day on the Shire-date of January 11 rather than January 9.

It seems as though either: 1) Tolkien's statement concerning the summer solstice was not literally accurate; or 2) Tolkien's math was off. Thoughts?

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.Ē -- The Doctor

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Sep 30 2017, 9:00pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Sep 30 2017, 9:06pm

Post #79 of 87 (2424 views)
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Cross-post! [In reply to] Can't Post

I see I was responding to your last post at the same time you were replying to my previous post. Cool

I think I would want some confirmation about the summer solstice dates of 6000 years ago before I could fully embrace your premise, but well done just the same. However, even if we accept that the summer solstice of 6000 years ago would have fallen on our June 23, that would still move the Shire dates away from the estimate of being on average ten days in advance of our own.

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.Ē -- The Doctor

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Sep 30 2017, 9:10pm)


Murlo
Rivendell


Sep 30 2017, 9:21pm

Post #80 of 87 (2413 views)
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Yep, cross-post :) [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I see I was responding to your last post at the same time you were replying to my previous post. Cool


I figured Wink


In Reply To
I think I would want some confirmation about the summer solstice dates of 6000 years ago before I could fully embrace your premise, but well done just the same.


Thanks! I agree another source for the solstices would be helpful. This blog post by Aaron Chong has some dates for the solstice around 6000 years ago that seem to agree with June 23, but another source would also be welcome.


Murlo
Rivendell


Sep 30 2017, 9:23pm

Post #81 of 87 (2411 views)
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The 3 Calendars of Gondor [In reply to] Can't Post

The calendar of Gondor went through 3 variations throughout its history:

  1. Kings' Reckoning: The Kings' Reckoning was established in Nķmenor and was "used in Nķmenor, and in Arnor and Gondor until the end of the kings". That would make this calendar the one that was in use for the longest period of time in Middle-earth; except for maybe the Calendar of Imladris, but Tolkien never stated when that calendar was established (although I bet it was during the First Age). The Kings' Reckoning was in use probably throughout the entire history of Nķmenor, for over 3000 years during the Second Age, and up to the Third Age (T.A.) 2059 in Gondor.

  2. Stewards' Reckoning: The Stewards' Reckoning was established in the time of Mardil, the first Ruling Steward of Gondor, and replaced the Kings' Reckoning in T.A. 2060. It was only a minor modification of the Kings' Reckoning that added a "Spring-day" (TuilťrŽ) and an "Autumn-day" (YŠviťrŽ) and shortened the two 31-day months in summer to 30 days each. Could these new TuilťrŽ and YŠviťrŽ days have been in honor (or a reflection) of the holidays of Nķmenor for ErukyermŽ and EruhantalŽ?

  3. New Reckoning: As mentioned in my previous post, The New Reckoning was introduced by King Elessar (a.k.a Aragorn) and started its reckoning from the day the One Ring was destroyed, T.A. 3019 'March' (SķlimŽ) 25, which became its New Year's Day (YestarŽ). So the start of each month was shifted back by about a week to align the calendar with this new YestarŽ. It also removed the Stewards' "Spring-day" and "Autumn-day" and moved the Mid-year's Day (LoŽndŽ) to autumn, along with 2 Middle-days, which immediately followed its month of YavanniŽ.




Quote
But in honour of Frodo YavanniŽ 30, which corresponded with former September 22, his birthday, was made a festival, and the leap-year was provided for by doubling this feast, called CormarŽ or Ringday.


In other words, YavanniŽ 30 of the New Reckoning calendar falls on Frodo's birthday, Shire 'September' 22, except in leap-years when YavanniŽ 30 falls on 'September' 21 due to the Shire Calendar's leap-day in summer (Overlithe). So the New Reckoning calendar adds its leap-day, CormarŽ (Ringday), between YavanniŽ 30 and its Middle-days. This way YavanniŽ 30 is a festival in every year, but in leap-years CormarŽ falls on Frodo's actual birthday, and his birthday celebrations are doubled!

What's not clear to me from this quote: was CormarŽ just the name of the New Reckoning's leap-day? Or was the festival that took place on YavanniŽ 30 also called CormarŽ? Maybe both?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Sep 30 2017, 9:30pm

Post #82 of 87 (2410 views)
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Assuming our June 21 for the Summer Solstice [In reply to] Can't Post

I did the math for this a while back as it relates to the Shire Reckoning and converting Shire-dates to our Gregorian calendar.

If June 23 corresponded to Midyear's Day then the average difference between Shire dates and ours would be eight days.

If June 22 corresponded to Midyear's Day then the average difference between Shire dates and our own would be nine days.

If June 20 corresponded to Midyear's Day then the average difference between Shire dates and ours would be eleven days.

Only if our June 21 corresponds to the hobbits' Midyear's Day does the Shire dates average in advance of ours by ten days. So the professor's calculation of 9 Afteryule to equate to our January 1 is incorrect. It is 11 Afteryule that should correspond to our New Year's Day. Also, under this assumption, the Shire date 2 Yule corresponds well with the winter solstice as the first day of the year in Shire Reckoning.

What I find compelling is that if we do assume that our June 21 conforms with Midsummer's Day in Shire Reckoning then we meet almost all of Tolkien's conditions -- and the only one we don't is where we can apply his own qualification: "I am not skilled in these matters, and may have made many errors..."

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.Ē -- The Doctor


Murlo
Rivendell


Oct 1 2017, 3:31pm

Post #83 of 87 (2334 views)
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"some ten days" is too vague [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree that if we want to observe the Shire Calendar in modern times, then reckoning from December 21st so that June 21st falls on Mid-year's Day (or Overlithe) makes the most sense.

Even if Tolkien's statements were meant in the context of the summer solstice of the ancient past, I think reckoning from December 21st fits the seasons in modern times the way it was "originally" intended in those ancient times.

I'm still not convinced Tolkien made a calculation mistake in these statements, because without knowing the correct context and actually seeing his math, "some ten days" is vague enough that it can be interpreted in different ways.

For example, let's look at just the 1st day of the month in the Shire vs. Gregorian calendars for different possible Mid-year's Day alignments.

  • If Mid-year's Day corresponded with June 21 then Shire months would start 8-11 days in advance of the corresponding Gregorian month.

  • If Mid-year's Day corresponded with June 22 then Shire months would start 7-10 days in advance of the corresponding Gregorian month.

  • If Mid-year's Day corresponded with June 23 then Shire months would start 6-9 days in advance of the corresponding Gregorian month.



So without crunching any numbers or averages on these lists, if I just looked at these figures and wanted to sum them all up in one line (recall he may have been thinking of the shifting dates over millennia), I might think stating "Shire dates were actually in advance of ours by some ten days" would cover it.

I haven't done the averages for all Shire dates vs. all Gregorian dates in each calendar, so I'll accept your results for now, and I can also see that as a valid interpretation of "some ten days" as well.

So even if he didn't make a mistake in calculations, I think Tolkien's vagueness with these statements was at least an error of phrasing or language ;)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 1 2017, 3:47pm

Post #84 of 87 (2330 views)
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Fair enough. [In reply to] Can't Post

J.R.R. Tolkien's figures are certainly vague enough to provide some wiggle room in our interpretations. I equate our June 21 with the Shire's Midyear's Day (with the exception of leap years) because I find it the most convenient interpretation. If your mileage varies, I'm fine with that! Cool

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.Ē -- The Doctor


Murlo
Rivendell


Oct 1 2017, 4:23pm

Post #85 of 87 (2322 views)
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interpretation varies for modern vs. ancient times [In reply to] Can't Post


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I equate our June 21 with the Shire's Midyear's Day (with the exception of leap years) because I find it the most convenient interpretation. If your mileage varies, I'm fine with that! Cool


And just to reiterate, I agree that your interpretation makes the most sense in modern times Cool


Murlo
Rivendell


Oct 1 2017, 10:00pm

Post #86 of 87 (2296 views)
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Aragorn and the Kings' Reckoning [In reply to] Can't Post


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The New Reckoning's YavanniŽ 30 "corresponded with former September 22", Frodo's birthday. Since Shire "March 25" was equivalent with "March 25 in both Kings' and Stewards' Reckoning" at that time, then "former September 22" must be a reference to the Shire Calendar; because if the New Reckoning New Year's Day was equivalent with Stewards' Reckoning "March 25" as well, then the New Reckoning YavanniŽ 30 and Shire "September 22" would be equivalent with Stewards' Reckoning "September 23".


I overlooked another possibility when I made this comparison: the "former September 22" could have also been a reference to the Kings' Reckoning "September 22", which would have fallen on the same day as Shire "September 22" if "March 25" fell on the same day in both calendars.

If "former September 22" is a reference to the Kings' Reckoning, then I wonder if that implies that Aragorn and the Dķnedain of the North never adopted the Stewards' Reckoning and continued observing the Kings' Reckoning throughout the Third Age.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Oct 1 2017, 10:24pm

Post #87 of 87 (2290 views)
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That might make sense. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
If "former September 22" is a reference to the Kings' Reckoning, then I wonder if that implies that Aragorn and the Dķnedain of the North never adopted the Stewards' Reckoning and continued observing the Kings' Reckoning throughout the Third Age.


I could see that. There is no reason to assume that the Dķnedain of the North would have adopted the Stewards' Reckoning of Gondor.

"Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall.Ē -- The Doctor

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