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Chronology (from the Greek χρόνος, chrónos, "time" and λόγος, lógos, "doctrine") is the doctrine of time .

Different aspects have to be distinguished:

Time as a physical phenomenon

Physics is the study of time and space. Just as chorology represents the theory of space , chronology in general is a method of scientific phenomenology to investigate aspects of phenomena .

Order of time and calculation of time: natural, cyclical and linear chronology


Chronology knows the natural cosmic time order ( day , lunar month , solar year ) as a representation of the physical time concept, the cyclical time order ( calendar ) and the linear time order (year counting) .

In the year counting, the time is given as a measure, for example "before today" ( BP - Before Present ) or "before Christ" ( BC ) or "after Christ" ( AD ).

History of the year counting

In Roman antiquity, numbers were often counted from the supposed year the city of Rome was founded . In reality, however, the " Anno Urbis Conditae " census - just like the " Anno Domini " census - did not exist in ancient times, because it was first used systematically no earlier than around the year 400, namely by the Iberian historian Orosius . Although Dionysius Exiguus probably knew (but never used) the “Anno Urbis Conditae” year count, Pope Boniface IV seems to have been the first (around the year 600) to have the connection between these two important year counts (ie AD 1 = AUC 754) recognized.

Dionysius Exiguus' "Anno Domini" era, which only contains calendar years after Christ, was extended by Beda Venerabilis to the complete Christian year count (which also contains calendar years before Christ, but not a year zero ). Beda Venerabilis can be considered the most important chronologist of the first millennium because he was the first to actually use the Christian calendar as a full-fledged system for dating historical events. He was thus the great promoter of the year counting, which would ultimately become the only common one worldwide.

Ten centuries after Bede, the French astronomers Philippe de La Hire (in 1702) and Jacques Cassini (in 1740 ) adopted the Julian system ( proposed by Joseph Scaliger in 1583 ) and thus an astronomical one , merely to facilitate certain astronomical calculations Year counting in use that contains a leap year zero which precedes year 1 ( after Christ) but does not exactly coincide with year 1 before Christ.

Dating: Relative and Absolute Chronology, Astronomical Chronology

In archeology and geology / paleontology , the distinction between relative and absolute chronology is common:

  • Relative chronology is based on the comparison of two contexts (e.g. archaeological layers), i.e. H. both are either the same age or one is younger than the other. The method comes from stratigraphy .
  • Absolute chronology is possible using secure historical records, dendrochronology , or other physical methods (e.g. radiocarbon dating , thermoluminescence dating ). Additional possibilities of absolute dating arise in rare cases through the text sources of early history research, e.g. B. by comparing historical or dynastic dates with cosmic events that can be verified by modern science.

The Astronomical chronology is an additional interdisciplinary field between the chronology and astronomy and auxiliary science of historical studies . With their help or with the help of, for example, archeology or comparative text science , temporal sequences of historical events are determined.

See also


(in alphabetical order)

  • Adriano Cappelli : Cronografia e Calendario perpetuo dal principio dell'èra cristiana a nostri giorni. Hoepli, Milan 1978/1988, ISBN 88-203-1687-0 .
  • Christian A. Caroli: A Brief Introduction to Chronography. In: M. Badawi, Ch. A. Caroli (Ed.): Europe and Islam. As-Sabil anthologies for cultural pluralism. Vol. 1. Konstanz 2007, ISBN 3-938828-04-8 , pp. 213-229.
  • Anna-Dorothee von den Brincken : Historical Chronology of the Occident. Calendar reforms and millennia, an introduction. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-17-015156-8 .
  • Eduard Brinckmeier: Practical manual of the historical chronology of all times and peoples, especially the Middle Ages. Berlin 1882, Graz 1972.
  • Friedrich Karl Ginzel : Handbook of mathematical and technical chronology. Timekeeping of the Nations. 3 vols. Leipzig 1906–1914. (In Vol. 3: Middle Ages) Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3.
  • Hermann Grotefend : Outline of the chronology of the German Middle Ages and modern times. Outline of the science of history. Vol. 1-3. Hanover 1891, Berlin 1912, Aalen 1970.
  • Hermann Grotefend: Pocket book of the time calculation of the German Middle Ages and the modern times. Edited by Jürgen Asch. 14th edition. Hahn, Hannover 2007, ISBN 3-7752-5177-4 .
  • Philipp Harnoncourt , Hansjörg auf der Maur: Celebrate in the rhythm of time. Vol. 2,1: The calendar. Festivals and feasts of the saints. Handbook of liturgical science. Vol. 6.1. Pustet, Regensburg 1994, ISBN 3-7917-1403-1 .
  • Ludwig Ideler : Handbook of mathematical and technical chronology. Berlin 1825.
  • Bernhard Maximilian Lersch : Introduction to the chronology. Aachen 1889
  • Wolfgang Leschhorn : Ancient eras. Calculation of time, politics and history in the Black Sea region and in Asia Minor north of the Tauros ( Historia . Einzelschriften, H. 81). Steiner, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-515-06018-9 .
  • Franz Rühl: Chronology of the Middle Ages and the Modern Age. Berlin 1897.
  • Alan E. Samuel: Greek and Roman Chronology. Calendars and Years in Classical Antiquity. Munich 1972.
  • Robert Schram: Calendar and chronological tables. Leipzig 1908.
  • Gerard Serrade: Empty times, or - The abstract image of history. Logos, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-89722-016-4 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Chronology  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations