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Year system + counting years

Discussion in 'World Building' started by mulierrex, Aug 27, 2016.

  1. mulierrex

    mulierrex Scribe

    I've sorted out my amount-of-races ordeal but now I'm trying to make a calendar aaaand I'm stuck again. I have the months and such down, but I have no idea how I should measure years as they pass. I was thinking of making an era 1000 years; I.E., 5676 years would be written as 5E 676. However that screams Skyrim to me and I don't wanna rip off anything. Has anyone else made a unique year system, and if so, how did you go about it?

    To make things easy, let's say that years have been counted since sentient beings came around.
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    The Greeks--Athens, to be exact--used named years. They did not count sequentially. This was done again in the Middle Ages, where most people reckoned the year by referring to the king. In the fourth year of King Charles, that sort of thing.

    The Romans counted ab urbe condite, from the founding of the city, by which they of course meant Rome. That is traditionally dated to 753BC. But you could rip of that idea pretty easily. No need for eras or anything, just count from the First Emperor, or founding of the city, or whatever originating event you wish.
  3. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

    What I will add is that you should probably have main calander and stick with it mostly throughout the story. Running several calenders at the same time sounds like it will just confuse the reader unless there's some good story reason to introduce it.
  4. jm.milks

    jm.milks Scribe

    Eras in my story are based on major events and leadership through the timeline. For instance, when a group of intellectual mystics try to forge peace on the world, the Era of Mystics lasted a more than a thousand years and each one relinquished power once a major goal for the world was achieved by them (ie, to successfully incorporate the humans of the South into the system of improving the world), so counting years would look like m16 136. (m for mystic, 16 for the number of generations and major goalsthat have been accomplished, and 136 for the number of years (however long an orbital period takes for them) that the particular member has been in their position.)

    But the mystic era is followed by the orphaned era, when much fell into disorder and the new kingdoms vied for power after the final generation of Mystics, so the era would look more like o286, and ect.

    I don't know how this system compares to other systems, or even if it isn't just an overcomplicated mess for years to be written like this in history.

    My recommendation is to identify what is important to the culture. For instance, the Christians adopted the Gregorian calendar, based on the sun, while the lunar calendar was chosen by the Muslims because of the significance of the Moon, and certain practices.
  5. johnsonjoshuak

    johnsonjoshuak Troubadour

    In general, the nations and societies in my world measure time relative to an event.

    One nation measures since its founding, some measure based on the leader, there are city-states that measure the time since the Republic that once held them together dissolved, and so on.

    I think that's a pretty common way to do things, especially if you don't have a society that takes over most of the civilized world at some point (ala Rome).
  6. In my world they measure time from the time of the last re-creation of the world (the gods keep re-creating the world because they screw it up each time, according to their mythology)
  7. mulierrex

    mulierrex Scribe

    Thanks for all the answers!

    @DragonOfTheAerie, I actually do have a recreation by the gods (singular however) so I planned to do sort of two separate timelines, one from before and one for after, which is where my stories will take place as well.

    I do like the idea of starting a new era each time some large event occurred, but I'm not sure how to go about deciding what 'large' means to them. However I do also like @jm.milks idea, albeit a bit more simpler (so probably much like what I did in my first post).

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