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The Byzantine Calendar, also "Creation Era of Constantinople," or "Era of the World" (Greek: Έτη Γενέσεως Κόσμου κατά 'Ρωμαίους , also Έτος Κτίσεως Κόσμου or Έτος Κόσμου ) was the Calendar officially used by the Eastern Orthodox Church from c. AD 691 to 1728 in the Ecumenical Patriarchate, by the Byzantine Empire from AD 988 to 1453, and in Russia from c. AD 988 to 1700. Derived from the Septuagint version of the Bible, it placed the date of creation at 5,509 years before the Incarnation, and was characterized by a certain tendency which had already been a tradition amongst Hebrews and Jews to number the years from the foundation of the world. (Latin: Annus Mundi /‘Ab Origine Mundi’ (AM)).. Georgios makes it clear that the main advantage of the Byzantine era is the common starting point of the astronomical lunar and solar cycles, and of the cycle of indictions, the usual dating system in Byzantium since the 6th century. He also already regards it as the most convenient for the Easter computus. Complex calculations of the 19-year lunar and 28-year solar cycles within this world era allowed scholars to discover the cosmic significance of certain historical dates, such as the birth of Christ or the Crucifixion.
This date underwent minor revisions before being finalized in the mid-7th century AD, although its precursors were developed c. AD 412 (see Alexandrian Era). By the second half of the 7th century the Creation Era was known in Western Europe, at least in Great Britain. By the late 10th century around AD 988, when the era appears in use on official government records, a unified system was widely recognized across the Eastern Roman world.
The era was ultimately calculated as starting on September 1, and Jesus was thought to have been born in the year 5509 Annus Mundi (AM) - the year since the creation of the world.. Thus historical time was calculated from the creation, and not from Christ's birth, as in the west. The Eastern Church avoided the use of the Anno Domini system of Dionysius Exiguus, since the date of Christ's birth was debated in Constantinople as late as the 14th century. Otherwise the Creation Era was identical to the Julian Calendar except that:
The leap day of the Byzantine calendar was obtained in an identical manner to the bissextile day of the original Roman version of the Julian calendar, by doubling the sixth day before the calends of March, i.e., by doubling 24 February (numbering the days of a month from its beginning and hence the leap day of 29 February was an invention of the late Middle Ages).
The Byzantine World Era was gradually replaced in the Orthodox Church by the Christian Era, which was utilized initially by Patriarch Theophanes I Karykes in 1597, afterwards by Patriarch Cyril Lucaris in 1626, and then formally established by the Church in 1728. Meanwhile as Russia received Orthodox Christianity from Byzantium, she inherited the Orthodox Calendar based on the Byzantine Era (translated into Slavonic). After the collapse of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the era continued to be used by Russia, which witnessed millennialist movements in Moscow in AD 1492 (7000 AM) due to the end of the church calendar. It was only in AD 1700 that the Byzantine World Era in Russia was changed to the Julian Calendar by Peter the Great.. It still forms the basis of traditional Orthodox calendars up to today. September AD 2000 began the year 7509 AM.
The "Alexandrian Era" (Greek: Κοσμου ετη κατ’ Αλεξανδρεις ) developed in AD 412, was the precursor to the Byzantine Era. After the initial attempts by Hippolytus, Clement of Alexandria and others, the Alexandrian computation of the date of creation was worked out to be 25 March 5493 BC..
The Alexandrine monk Panodoros reckoned 5904 years from Adam to the year AD 412. His years began with August 29, corresponding to the First of Thoth, or the Egyptian new year.Annianos of Alexandria however, preferred the Annunciation style as New Year's Day, the 25th of March, and shifted the Panodoros era by about six months, to begin on 25 March. This created the Alexandrian Era, whose first day was the first day of the proleptic Alexandrian civil year in progress, 29 August, 5493 BC, with the ecclesiatical year beginning on 25 March, 5493 BC.
Dionysius of Alexandria had earlier emphatically quoted mystical justifications for the choice of March 25 as the start of the year:
The Alexandrian Era of March 25 5493 BC was adopted by church fathers such as Maximus the Confessor and Theophanes the Confessor, as well as chroniclers such as George Syncellus. Its striking mysticism made it popular in Byzantium especially in monastic circles. However this masterpiece of Christian symbolism had two serious weak points: historical inaccuracy surrounding the date of Resurrection as determined by its Easter computus, and its contradiction to the chronology of the Gospel of St John regarding the date of the Crucifixion on Friday after the Passover.