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Re: The Emacs Calculator and calendar

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: The Emacs Calculator and calendar
Date: Sat, 06 Oct 2012 23:49:00 -0400

    Almost nobody who writes about ancient history specifies dates in the
    calendars that were used at the time.  Instead, people typically use a
    more-modern calendar, and write things like "Caesar was assassinated
    in 44 BC" or "Wu became emperor of all China in 280".

China used neither the Julian calendar nor the Gregorian calendar then,
so there is no argument in favor of using the Julian calendar rather than
the Gregorian calendar when talking about dates in ancient China.

However, all of Europe used the Julian calendar for hundreds of years.
That is where the issue arises most strongly.

Jan 5, 1000 in the Gregorian calendar was Dec 31, 999 in the Julian calendar.
If something happened in Europe on that day, which year do modern historians
say it occured in?  Is there a convention for which calendar should be used
when describing those dates?

    It's true that it's also common practice to use the Julian calendar
    when talking about events that occurred before 1752 in British-contolled
    territory, and to use the Gregorian calendar for later events in that
    territory.  But this is a special case, and it does not generalize well

This special case is rather important -- it includes what shortly
thereafter became the US.  I think that is enough reason to support it
as an option.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
www.fsf.org  www.gnu.org
Skype: No way! That's nonfree (freedom-denying) software.
  Use Ekiga or an ordinary phone call

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