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New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
Posted by Nathan on 1 January 2000, 01:00 GMT

Sources at the U.S. Naval Observatory, the official time keepers for the United States of America, were perplexed to see that there was no roll over to the 21st century or the third millennium at 00:00:00 GMT. Insiders speculate that the new millennium was not Y2K compliant. Official statements have not been issued yet, but our sources are confident they can have the problem solved within a year: in time to roll over the century and millennium with 2001.

Okay, you have all heard about Y2K and the millennium. But maybe some of you don't know why people are saying the new millennium doesn't start until 2001.

The year-numbering system the Julian and Gregorian calendars use was invented in A.D. 562 by a Roman monk named Dennis the Short. Now, he obviously didn't have too much going for him as he couldn't come up with a better nickname than "the Short." He decided that, since Luke 3:1 from the Bible stated "Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,...the word of God came onto John the son of Zacharias [John the Baptist, who announced the coming of Jesus], and Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age." He knew when the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius (an old Roman emperor) was, so he decided that that year was anno Domini 30. That's also why some people complain that the year A.D. 2000 should have been around A.D. 1997 or so.

There are now two reasons that there is no year A.D. 0. The first is logical: if Jesus was born, that is the first year of our Lord or A.D. 1. The year before that was, of course, 1 B.C. The other reason is quite simply common sense: Dennis the Short was a Roman monk, and the Romans had no numeral zero, neither much of a concept of zero at all. So our friend Dennis could not have started at A.D. 0 because for him it could never have existed.

The staff of ticalc.org wishes you a safe and happy new year! :)

Update (Nick): Here's my explanation for exactly why the millennium doesn't start until 2001.
Think back to kindergarden, when you were taught to count numbers. What number did you start with? 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. and so on. You started with 1. Therefore, it's logical to assume the new millennium starts on 2001 as well.
Another way of thinking of it: The Julian calendar was invented by the Romans. As a result, Roman numerals were used to name years for a very long time (they still are in many cases, movies and TV shows instantly come to mind). What's the Roman numeral for zero?


The comments below are written by ticalc.org visitors. Their views are not necessarily those of ticalc.org, and ticalc.org takes no responsibility for their content.

Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
Reno  Account Info

the way I see it:

There was a year before Christ came. 1 BC. Now, Christ came. But he didn't take a whole year to come to earth. That's why it isn't 0 AD. A year AFTER Christ came, though, would logically be 1 AD, so there couldn't be a year 0, because if there were, it would mean that it took an entire year for Christ to come down to earth. People must look at the wording, Before Christ and After Christ. There was no "During Christ's Coming" because DCC wouldn't sound as good.

     1 January 2000, 03:44 GMT

Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
Reno  Account Info

my pre-newyear drinking has emerged in my posts :P

that shouldn't say "After Christ" but Anno Domini (sp?) which i don't know what it means since I decided to take espanol rather than latin.

     1 January 2000, 04:29 GMT

Re: Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
dtc0405  Account Info

You spelled it right.
Anno Domini means (The) Year of the Lord for all of you who happen not to know that.
Happy New Year!

     1 January 2000, 04:54 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
Greg Myers  Account Info
(Web Page)

Just a thought:
If the Millennium starts in 2001, then did the 90's start in 1991? If I were born in 1980 am I part of the 70's generation?

     1 January 2000, 08:56 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
Ig0r  Account Info

You'd still be in the 80's, because that's not the decade. You'd be born in the 197'th decade not the 198'th.

     1 January 2000, 09:08 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
Ig0r  Account Info

Correction: 1980 is in the 198'the decade, because there was no decade 0 :)

     1 January 2000, 09:09 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
(Web Page)

Decades go from 1970-1979, 1980-1989, 1990-1999 and so on
the FIRST decade of A.D. would only have gone from the years 1-9 a 9 year decade

Anyone who believes there was a year 0 deserves to be locked up for idiocy.

And was it not Dionysus Exiguus who developed the B.C/A.D. way of dating? I guess Dennis the Short was like his nickname maybe... Dionysus... Dennis... close enough to be.

     1 January 2000, 16:47 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
Ig0r  Account Info

There wasn't a nine-year decade; decades go from 1 to 10, starting with, say 1971 to 1980.
It seems wierd, but that's the way it is.

     1 January 2000, 18:35 GMT

Decades and Millennia
Ben K  Account Info

Right, decades are by definition ten-year periods. However, any 10 year period can be a decade. Jan. 1, 1964 to Dec. 31, 1973 was a decade. It's not wrong to call 1960 to 1969 the decade of the 60's, because that was a ten year period. But the 197'th decade was indeed 1961 to 1970. We just don't really care.

Similarly, with the millenium stuff, 1999 IS the last year of a millenium, the period of time from Jan. 1, 1000 to 2000. But Dec. 31, 1999 was NOT the last day of the second millenium.

With decades, we break years into groups of ten depending on the number in the tens unit just so we can call them the 80's or the 90's. Unquestionably, the 90's are over, and it's now the 00's(oughts?). The Millenium of the 1000's has ended just like the Decade of the 1990's has, and just as the Century of the 1900's has.

Of course, only 1999 years have passed since the BC to AD(BCE to CE) switch, and we're still in the second millenium since then.


     2 January 2000, 04:01 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
raw33 Account Info

Dionysius Exiguus (sp?) is (roughly) translated into dennis the short.

     4 January 2000, 02:28 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
ikecam  Account Info

No, it's okay to say that 1990 is part of the 90s because you're designating it by the first three digits, not by the number of the decade. However, it is true that the 200th decade didn't start until 1991.

     2 January 2000, 03:39 GMT

Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
Michael Brunner  Account Info
(Web Page)

Nobody really knows when Jesus was born anyway. We assume it was the year 1, but scientists have theorized that Jesus was born in 4 B.C.

     1 January 2000, 20:54 GMT

Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
SPUI  Account Info

yy - then moses's flood could be a dcc flood :P
/me ducks

     1 January 2000, 22:09 GMT

Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
Samir Ribic  Account Info
(Web Page)

-so there couldn't be a year 0, because if there were, -it would mean that it took an entire year for Christ to come down to earth.

Why not? Generally it takes 9 month from concieve to birth, one month to give name to baby and finish all the formalities and yep: almost one year!

     3 January 2000, 19:32 GMT

Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
mysteryegg  Account Info
(Web Page)

Oh, my poor eyes... so many ones and zeros (which apparently don't exist for some people) and... oh, by the way... I was born at 3/4... a little longer and I would have been 1... but who's counting? (Apparently not the Romans... seeing how Jesus was probably already 2 or 3 years old by 1 AD... if you care about the millenium mark because of computers, why don't you just write your posts in binary? (I'm expecting a binary response now... perfect bait...) if you're thinking digits, well, you're weird... and if you are thinking "millenium = 1000 years"... then good for you, you have the support of most of these wondrous posts. Also, if you are reading this post, you need a life... (forgetting that I need one more desperately to type it)

     1 January 2000, 22:00 GMT

Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
Niten  Account Info
(Web Page)

01010010 01101001 01100111 01101000 01110100 01101111 00101110 00101110 00101110 00100000 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100101 00100111 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01110000 01101111 01110011 01110100 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100001 01110011 01101011 01100101 01100100 00100000 01100110 01101111 01110010 00101110 11111111

     2 January 2000, 05:12 GMT

Re: Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
Niten  Account Info
(Web Page)

Phew... that took me WAY too long... :)

     2 January 2000, 05:16 GMT

Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
Jeff Barrett  Account Info

OK, Im about to make things sound even worse.
It is in fact probably impossible to prove that 2001 is exactly 2000 years after year 1 (there was NO year 0).

The reason for this is because at one time, they didnt have leap years.
For a long time, the Pope and various kings in Europe declared periods of time where the calendar didnt advance, to compensate for the "drift" of the seasons. (every 100 years or so, it became blatantly apparatnt that the seasons had become horribly out of sync with the calendar) but more often than not, the calendar wasnt reset to exact accuracy, so our calendar may be as much as a week out of sync with the "origingal" calendar.
To make this woorse, since the Pope and the kings declared these periods of "dead time" separately, there were at a couple times, several calendars in operation in Europe, ofset by a few days from one another.

Now, another problem:
The Cristian calendar (or rather the Liturgical Calendar), which the Gregorian and Julian calendars are based on, does not begin a new year on January 1. It restets on the first day of Advent, which is somewhere around the beginning of December or the end of November.

One way or the other, in the year 2001, no matter which view you prefer, we will all be in agreement that the millenium HAS begun.

     1 January 2000, 23:37 GMT

Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
Derrick  Account Info
(Web Page)

The 'Cristian' calander? Please tell me that was a typo.

     2 January 2000, 00:30 GMT

Semantic nonsense
meingts Account Info

Does the expression call for "wasn't" instead of "was"?

     2 January 2000, 07:23 GMT

Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
ikecam  Account Info

Most of your post was good, but there's a slight hitch in the logic. A year is one revolution around the sun, which is not neccessarily exactly 365 days. The reason the seasons were off was because the calendar used exactly 365 day years. The corrections put the calendar back on the correct time of 364 and 1/4 day years. Thus, the corrections didn't throw us off, they kept us on.

     2 January 2000, 03:48 GMT

Re: Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
Erich Oelschlegel  Account Info
(Web Page)

Actually, it's 365.25 days. Approximately. Although this number isn't accurate enough, they accounted for this by not having a leap year this year, or in any other year divisible by 400. The leap day on February 29 that was added when they found their mistake OVER-corrects slightly, so the lack of a Feb. 29 in the year 2000 is necessary. If you want a better estimate of the time it takes for one revolution about the sun, my source is 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes, and 9.54 seconds. Do the math, it works out to approximately 365.256360416666666666666666666666667 days.

I have too much time on my hands.

     2 January 2000, 05:47 GMT

usaar33  Account Info

actually, there is a Feb. 29 this year...
they only skip it on years divisible by 100, except those divisible by 400...
thus, there is no leap year on 1900 or 2100, but there is on 2000

     2 January 2000, 06:25 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
Nathan Haines  Account Info
(Web Page)

David Ellsworth tells me the year is 365.2422 days long. He also tells me that our current leap year (and leap century) puts us at 365.2425 days per year after a 4000 year period.

It scares me that he knew this. :) Keep in mind, also, that the earth's orbit and rotation is irregular, so it changes every now and again. It's usually about the same, but is slowly lengthening as the earth slows down.

     2 January 2000, 07:21 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: New Millennium Not Y2K Compliant
ikecam  Account Info

Right, I meant 365.25.

Regardless of the exact decimal value, you see my point; changes in calendar to make of for differences between the calendar and the seasons makes us more accurate about the date, not less accurate.

     2 January 2000, 17:45 GMT

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