A century is one interval of time 100 years in length. While technically a century deserve to refer to any period of 100 years, many often people use words century in recommendation to a certain century. These details centuries begin at a date based on the Gregorian calendar, beginning with the very first century in the year 1 CE.

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Let’s check out the different ways centuries can be defined/occur, and also how the Gregorian calendar serves as the basis for tracking the passage of centuries.


Where walk A Century Begin and also End?

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While a century have the right to technically be any period of 100 years, from any kind of arbitrarily chosen date to a date 100 years in the future, there space two various ways the centuries room usually defined. The strict construction of the Gregorian calendar specifies a century together every 100 years start in the year 1 CE, so from 1 CE to 100 CE is the very first century, and the second century beginning in 101 CE and proceeds to 200 CE. The exact same pattern continues onwards, with a new century starting every 101 years. Under this strict construction, the Centennial year is the only year within the century that starts with the century’s number for this reason the 20th century only had one year through the number 20 in it – the year 2000.

On the other hand, over there is another means a century have the right to be defined. In the general, much more colloquial usage of the term, century are identified by subdividing them right into decades and also grouping those decades based turn off of their common digits. As an example, the 21st century will certainly be the years 2000 come 2099. The international Standard for days (the ISO 8601) and the astronomical year numbering system have year zeros within them, and a repercussion the very first century is said to start with the year zero quite than in 1 CE.

The century device is based upon the Gregorian calendar, i m sorry is likewise the many widely offered civil calendar in the entire world. The an initial century starts where it does due to the Gregorian calendar. Let’s study the background of the Gregorian calendar and also see what alternate sorts of dating systems and calendars came prior to it.

Before The Gregorian Calendar

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The way our culture divides time right into years, days, hours and even minutes owes much to ancient Egyptian civilization. The Egyptian world has its root in ancient farming societies that based your lives about the flooding the the Nile, which would take place every year. The yearly floods the the Nile helped human being determine once to thrive their crops, so that was crucial to have actually an idea of as soon as the floods would begin. To save track that the passage of years based on the yearly Nile flooding, the ancient Egyptian world invented three different calendars.


One of the calendar they followed was based upon 12 lunar months, and each of this months started on the an initial day where the Crescent moon to be no much longer visible at dawn in the eastern sky. A second calendar, chiefly offered for the purposes of bureaucratic tasks, was based on the rising of the star recognized as Serpet, and also it was detailed at the time that over there was typically 365 days in between the helical rising of this star. This polite year-long calendar was separated into 12 months of 30 work each, with second five job attached come the calendar in ~ the end of the year. The 3rd calendar Egyptian society used joined the polite calendar and the lunar cycle calendar together. Attempts to revolutionary this calendar would be made, v the on purpose of including a leap year, however this change wouldn’t take place until the rule of Emperor Augustus in roughly 31 BCE, who let the roman inn Senate decree that the Egyptian calendar should have a leap year consisted of in it.

Calendars and timekeeping would proceed to get much more sophisticated end the next century or so, and also around the year 127 CE, Hipparchus of Niceae proposed that the day have to be divvied up into 24 equal hours. Another philosopher, Claudius Ptolemeus, would later divide those hours into 60 minutes apiece. Ptolemeus would likewise create a brochure of the positions of the stars and various constellations, noting down these positions in good detail. These star charts and tables would later educate the reformation of the Julian calendar through Gregory XIII in 1582, The event responsible for creating the Gregorian calendar.

The creation Of The Gregorian Calendar

Around 1572 Pope Gregory XIII was educated that the church was enduring a dilemm with the current calendar system. Easter’s day of monitoring is based upon the vernal equinox, the very first day that spring, and also the i of years on the modern calendar system meant that the day of Easter’s celebration was being shifted ever before backwards. As a result, the vacation was being commemorated too early in March.

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At this point, the church was still making use of the Julian calendar, the calendar initially established by Julius Caesar during his reign in the year 46 BCE, which at this allude was end 1600 years old. Caesar had made changes to the Egyptian calendar, taking the 365 days the the calendar to be based around and making a correction to a calendar based upon 364 1/4 days, i m sorry is incredibly close to the size of the tropic year, the dry year being the quantity of time that takes because that the planet to revolve roughly the sun once. The calendar denote by Caesar was generally 365 work in length, yet every four years there was an extra day included to the calendar, a leap job in a leap year.

While the calendar instituted by Caesar was quite accurate, it still wasn’t specific enough since a full tropical year is in reality 365 days and five hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds long. This means that the calendar instituted by Caesar was about 11 minutes and 14 seconds off. When this may seem like a little amount, it intended that the calendar would be turn off by a full day within 128 years. These errors had accumulated such the by the time of Pope Gregory XIII, the calendar was a full 10 job off. For this reason, Pope Gregory 13 made decision that the current calendar device must it is in changed, and also astronomers worked to build a brand-new calendar that would certainly be much more accurate than the Julian calendar – this brand-new calendar gift the Gregorian calendar.


The brand-new Gregorian calendar mandated that years would continue to be 365 job long, with another day added every four years, except there could be no leap years on year which ended in 00 – unless that year to be divisible by the number 400. Therefore while the year of 1600 and also 2000 would have a leap day, the year 1700, 1800, 1900, and also 2100 wouldn’t it is in leap years. This new calendar system was much more accurate 보다 the Julian calendar, in fact, present scientists only need to add a leap 2nd every couple of years to keep the calendar aligned with the tropical year.

Pope Gregory XIII mandated the the correction for the Julian calendar be immediate, with 10 work taken off the calendar because that the year. In other words, October 4, 1582, would certainly be flourished by October 15, 1582. Pope Gregory XIII additionally decreed the the new year would now start on January 1, whereas it had actually previously started on march 25. Furthermore, the an approach of identify Easter’s day would be changed.

As you can expect, over there was part resistance come this substantial change. Plenty of countries were no willing or merely not all set to change the calendar. Furthermore, by 1582 the Catholic Church no longer had the authority it once had in Europe, many thanks to the spread of Protestantism transparent the 1500s. Initially, only a handful of countries, consisting of Portugal, France, and also Italy do the readjust to the calendar. Gradually over the food of the adhering to centuries, other nations would do the switch to the Gregorian calendar. In 1584, Belgium, the Netherlands, and also Catholic Germany made the switch, while protestant Germany and Denmark would certainly make the switch in 1704. Great Britain and also the swarms under its dominance would readjust their calendar in 1752, and also Sweden would readjust its calendar the following year. Japan finished up adopting the Gregorian calendar in 1873 as part of the westernization that arisen during the Meiji era. Egypt would readjust its calendar in 1875, and also between the years of 19 12 and 1917, Albania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Turkey, and also Romania would certainly all change their calendars. Greek switched to using the Gregorian calendar in the year 1928, and also China would take on the Gregorian calendar as late as 1949.

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Many nations in the human being still have their own unique calendar equipment that they may use in enhancement to the Gregorian calendar. Because that instance, Japan has a device of count the years that uses details eras or periods based upon the life the the Emperor. This system is offered in conjunction with the Gregorian calendar in Japan.


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