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RE: [ANE-2] Babylonian calendar converter

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  • Gent, R.H. van (Rob)
    Dear Ian, Thank you for your interest in my calendar converter. Please note that at the moment my converter only duplicates the Parker & Dubberstein (PD)
    Message 1 of 5 , May 17, 2011
      Dear Ian,

      Thank you for your interest in my calendar converter.

      Please note that at the moment my converter only duplicates the Parker & Dubberstein (PD) tables which were (largely) based on astronomically dated cuneiform tablets - not on Biblical sources.

      My revised version will not introduce much changes during the period covered by the PD tables.

      Some months may begin a day earlier or later (resulting from improved methods for computing the first visibility of the lunar crescent) and in a few years the month sequences will also change (due to erroneously assigned intercalary months by PD).

      As for your concern that my calendar converter will confuse possible users, it nowhere claims to give indisputable results. The source on which it is based is clearly stated and users are warned of its current limitations.

      Best wishes,

      Rob van Gent
      Utrecht University

      -----Original Message-----
      From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ian Onvlee
      Sent: 16 May 2011 23:14
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Babylonian calendar converter

      Hi Bob,

      I like your neat webpage with the calendar converter and await eagerly your refined version. We do indeed get erroneous results outside the stated timeframe. For instance, when going to 16 August 586 BC (-585), which is indeed a Thursday, and from noon that day until the next day is also correctly Julian day 1507614, it gives the Babylonian date 9 V -274 instead of correctly 10 V (mentioned in Jeremiah 52:12). Going to 31 March 561 (-560) it gives the Babylonian date 25 XII instead of correctly 27 XII (mentioned in 2 Kings 25:27).

      In the year 586 BC the first day of the Babylonian Fifth month began at sunset Tuesday 7 August and ended at sunset Wednesday 8-August (cf. Parker & Dubberstein, Babylonian Chronology 626 B.C.-A.D. 75, Brown University Press, 1956, p. 28). Babylonian 7-V and 10-V therefore fell on 13-14 August on Monday-Tuesday and on 16-17 August on Thursday-Friday, respectively.

      I have checked the lunar phases on these dates with the professional astronomical program Voyager 4 and these Babylonian dates I mention are astronomically entirely correct. I sure hope you can refine your calculator for this early period very soon, grom at least 590 BConward when the Babylonian calendar had been stabilized. Until then your calculator will alas not be useful in assisting discussions on early Babylonian and/or Biblical dates. One problem that may arrise now, is that some people may unwittingly use your calculator as some kind of solid reference and proof, and will thus confusingly bring incorrect dates into the discussions on various community sites despite your very clear comment about erroneous results. Therefore, I suggest you mention these and perhaps other known dates to be erroneous when using the calculator separately on your webpage, so that people are already informed about the correct dates when attempting to look for them with the calculator.
      Ian Onvlee
      Holland,Den Haag

      From: Robert M Whiting <whiting@...>
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Mon, May 16, 2011 2:26:54 PM
      Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Babylonian calendar converter

      On Mon, 16 May 2011, Gent, R.H. van (Rob) wrote:

      > Hi,
      > I have recently developed a web-application for converting Babylonian
      > calendar dates into Julian calendar dates at
      > http://www.phys.uu.nl/~vgent/babylon/babycal.htm
      > which some list members may find useful.
      > At the moment it is strictly based on the well-known conversion tables
      > of Parker & Dubberstein (1956) but in the near future I hope to extend
      > it further to earlier years, using modern algorithms for the
      > computation of first lunar crescent visibility, and also to correct
      > for the known errors in the Parker & Dubberstein tables.

      Thanks for this. I have added a link to your page in the ANE-2 Links section on the group's home page:


      It is in the section Chronolgy --> Calendars -- General Information.

      Bob Whiting

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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