Talk:Byzantine Creation Era

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Revision as of 20:59, January 12, 2009 by Angellight 888 (Talk | contribs)
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I notice the wide use of Byzantine, especially in the expression "Byzantine Orthodox Church". The term Byzantine, apparently aimed at the Greek verses Latin context, is a Western European construct of recent vintage: seventeenth/eighteenth century. There is only one "Orthodox" Church. There maybe different rites, but certainly there is NO Byzantine Orthodox Church.Wsk 12:58, October 9, 2008 (UTC)

Granted I see how the term can be ambigious, especially in a modern context. However the term was used in a historical context to identify that this was the accepted dating system originating in Byzantine Church and is referred to as such. Cheers, Angellight 888 13:50, October 9, 2008 (UTC)

Is it the official teaching of the Orthodox Church that this (or any other date) is the true date of creation? That is, is this defined by one of the ecumenical councils? I am doubtful about the first sentence of the article. --Fr Lev 14:55, October 9, 2008 (UTC)

Point well taken thanks Father. I have tried to rework the article to reflect this. Would appreciate anyone's help in the section "Church's Position". Thanks, Angellight 888 00:05, October 10, 2008 (UTC)

Last week, in Istanbul, I was chatting to various locals who do not prefer the terminology "Byzantium" but rather referred to it as "Rum" or Rumanos Orthodox (I am not sure if I understood the word/spelling and I know what they said is not to be confused with the Rumanian country) ... Does anyone have any knowledge on the correct word they were referring to and the thinking behind it? I would be interested to learn more ... do we have an article on OrthodoxWiki about this - Vasiliki 00:47, October 29, 2008 (UTC)

Hi Vasiliki!! Welcome back hope you had a fantastic trip! Yes, the first footnote in the article refers to this:
"Eastern Roman Empire. The term Byzantine was invented by the German historian Hieronymus Wolf in 1557 but was popularized by French scholars during the 18th century to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire. The citizens of the empire considered themselves Romaioi ("Romans"), their emperor was the "Roman Emperor", and their empire the Basileia ton Romaion ("Empire of the Romans"). The Latin West designated the empire as "Romania", and the Muslims as "Rum"."
Since this Era (calendar) was used by the Orthodox Church until 1728 in the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and until 1700 in Russia, and since the word "Byzantine" is not as historically accurate, I was wondering if it would be better to rename the article more generically as "Orthodox Creation Era"? (Using a title such as "Era of the World" is a little more ambiguous because the Hebrew Calendar also uses their own World Era with a different date). The current title as is does reflect the historical origins of the Era better though.
Angellight 888 14:03, October 29, 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! I had an amazing time overseas and was fortunate to venerate MANY of our Saints - it was a trip filled with obstacles but also filled with the miracles that only God can provide and I have many wonderful photos to share with family and friends and, when I am ready to upload, OrthodoxWiki can take ownership of these ...
This is an interesting topic ... personally, I have no idea what the correct answer should be but I can only point you in the direction of a phone call to a Orthodox Theological department to ask for clarity. These schools usually have many textbooks that you can cite from ...Good luck. Vasiliki 22:44, October 29, 2008 (UTC)

Rename - Era

Research has shown that it will be much more accurate to rename this article "Byzantine Creation Era", since it was actually an Era -- An era (Latin aera) is a sequence of years that is reckoned from a definite point in time, which is called the epoch (Greek εποχη).

For example, some ancient eras / dating systems / calendars included the:

  • "Era of the Olympiads",
  • "Era of the City of Rome"
  • "Era of the Greeks" (Seleucid Era) [Annus Greacorum, AG]
  • "Enoch Calendar"
  • "Era of Adam" [Annus Adami, AA]
  • "Jewish Era".

In the Christian period examples include the

  • "Era of the Incarnation" [Annus Incarnationis, AI]
  • "Christian Era" [Anno Domini, AD],
  • "Alexandrian Era",
  • "Era of the Martyrs",
  • "Era of the World" (Era of the Creation) [Annus Mundi, AM]

See also: 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica - List of Calendars at Wikisource.

Angellight 888 21:40, October 17, 2008 (UTC)

5508 BC or 5509 BC?

The corresponding page on Wikipedia,, states that the Byzantine world era began on 5509 BCE instead of the 5508 BC mentioned here. Is there any basis for selecting one over the other?

On the page, which is footnoted in the article, a note states that "By the time Skylitzes wrote a unified system was widely recognized, according to which the world was created 5508 years before the Incarnation, or more precisely on 1 September 5509 BC". It also states that "31 August 1999 ends the year AM 7507". Which would make Sept. 1, 1999 the beginning of the year AM 7508, and September 1, 2008 (old style) the beginning of the year AM 7517.

I have a picture of an Old Believer calendar from September 2005 that shows that the new year of 7514 from the creation of Adam began on September 14, 2005. This would make Sept. 14, 2008 the beginning of the year 7517 AM.

Thanks for the info. A couple of things on this to be aware of,
A) Because the years of this Era begin on September 1st, when referring to those dates from the perspective of the Christian Era they may be referred to as two years - for example "5508/5507 BC" (because the Creation Era starts in September, runs past the Christian Era new year on January 1st, and it finishes in August 31st); therefore it actually spans two years of the Christian Era, from the perspective of the Christian Era.
B) All of the sources reviewed (except the source you quote above) refer to 5508 BC as the actual date, (not 5509), with Christ being born in the actual year 5509 AM according to this system. If that is indeed the case, thus 5508 BC + AD 2008 = 7516 AM. The Old Believer calendar date of 7517 (not 7516) is interesting therefore -- it may be that the year of Christ's birth is counted as the extra year, OR, as you say, the Era begins in 5509, not 5508, and the majority of the secular literature is in error. Will have to look into this some more. If you want to add the Old Believer calendar as a source on the article please do so. We can easily correct the date to 5509 (with explanations) if that is the case later.
C) The medieval primary sources quoted in the article (in translation), including Skylitzes and Choniates, support 5508 as the date:
"In the year 6508 [1000], in the thirteenth indiction, the emperor sent a great force against the Bulgarian fortified positions (kastra) on the far side of the Balkan (Haimos) mountains,..."
"The queen of cities fell to the Latins on the twelfth day of the month of April of the seventh indiction in the year 6712 [1204]."
We know the in AD 1204 Constantinople fell to the Fourth Crusade; Choniates reports this year as 6712. If AD 1204 is 6712 AM, then AD 2008 is 7516 AM. Based on this historical evidence, I suspect/question the accuracy of the 7517 date found in the calnedar you mention, and believe the article here (in agreement with the majority of the lietrature) is correct as is.


Angellight 888 03:46, January 13, 2009 (UTC)
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