Literature on Calendars

The following list of dates and names was originally taken from Stern (2012).[1, p.20] I then augmented the list to include the names of the works of each individual person. I also added the dates for when each person lived and the full name of each person when possible. Scaliger and al-Biruni already had the names of their works included.

I further alienated the following list from the original list by adding more books to it. Macdonald (1897), Plunket (1903), Dowd & Milbrath (2015), Martzloff (2016), and Reingold & Dershowitz (2018) are all additions to the original list.

“Without dating and time-keeping devices, it would be close to impossible to coordinate political, economic, religious, and all other social activities; without calendars, society would not be able to function.”
– Sacha Stern (2012)[1, p.1]

“The standard works on ancient Greek and Roman calendars in English are Bickerman (1968/1980) and Samuel (1972). …They stand at the end of a long and venerable European tradition in the history of chronology which goes back through Ginzel (1906-14) to Ideler (1825-6) to Scaliger (1629). These latter works remain fundamental, but they are also practically inaccessible for most people.”
– Robert Hannah (2005)[19, p.1]

Main List

1st c. BCE: Geminus (fl. 1st c. BCE), Introduction to the Phenomena[2]

3rd c. CE: Censorinus (3rd c. CE), De Die Natali[3]

c.1000 CE: al-Biruni (973-1048), “Chronology of the Ancient Nations”

1586: Joseph Justus Scaliger (1540-1609), “De Emendatione Temporum”

1825-6: Christian Ludwig Ideler (1766-1846), Handbuch der mathematischen und technischen Chronologie[4]

1897: James Cecil Macdonald, Chronologies and Calendars

1903: Emmeline M. Plunket, Ancient Calendars and constellations

1911: Friedrich Karl Ginzel (1850-1926), Handbuch der mathematischen und technischen Chronologie: Das Zeitrechnungswesen der Völker, Vol. 2[5]

1920: Martin Persson Nilsson (1874-1967), Primitive Time-Reckoning; A Study in the Origins and First Development of the Art of Counting Time Among the Primitive and Early Culture Peoples[6]

20th c.: Otto Eduard Neugebauer (1899-1990), he has a lot of works and Stern didn’t specify which works he was talking about. I’m not going to list them all here but with the name it will be easy to find them. I’ll update this paragraph when I write the article for his biography.[7]

1958: Venance Grumel (1890-1967), Traité d’études byzantines[8]

1968: Elias Joseph Bickerman (1897-1981), “Chronology of the Ancient World”

1972: Alan Edouard Samuel, “Greek and Roman chronology : calendars and years in classical antiquity”[9]

1993: Mark E. Cohen, “Festivals and Calendars of the Ancient Near East”[10]

1998: Edward Graham Richards, Mapping Time: The Calendar and Its History[11]

1999: Bonnie Black-burn & Leofranc Holford-Strevens, “The Oxford Companion to the Year: An Exploration of Calendar Customs and Time-reckoning”[12]

2005, 2009: Robert Hannah (alive),
2005: Greek and Roman Calendars[13]
2009: Time in Antiquity[14]

2015: Anne S. Dowd & Susan Milbrath, Cosmology, Calendars, and Horizon-Based Astronomy in Ancient Mesoamerica

2016: Jean-Claude Martzloff, Astronomy and Calendars – The Other Chinese Mathematics (first edition printed in 2009 in French)

2018: Edward M. Reingold & Nachum Dershowitz, Calendrical Calculations: The Ultimate Edition (first edition printed in 1997)

Other Mentions

Other mentions: W. Kendrick Pritchett (Greek calendars), Chris Walker (Babylonian calendar), Leo Depuydt (Egyptian calendar), Francois de Blois (Iranian calendar), and Chris Bennett (Ptolemaic, Roman, and Julian calendars).[1, p.20]

William Kendrick Pritchett has a number of publications (of which I’ve read none) but if I had to guess which one went into the most detail about calendars I would guess his 1940 “The chronology of Hellenistic Athens”.[15]

Christopher B. F. Walker has a number of publications listed on Semantic Scholar.[16]

Leo Depuydt has numerous publications listed on researchgate.[17]

Francois de Blois has a number of publications listed on academia.[18]

Chris Bennett has a website @

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[1] – Sacha Stern. “Calendars in Antiquity: Empires, States, and Societies” (2012). Accessed 19 Dec. 2020.

[2] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[3] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[4] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[5] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[6] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[7] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[8] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[9] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[10] ––_sgEACAAJ. Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[11] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[12] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[13] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[14] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[15] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[16] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[17] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[18] – Accessed 23 Dec. 2020.

[19] – Robert Hannah. “Greek and Roman Calendars: Constructions of Time in the Classical World” (2005). Accessed 18 Dec. 2020.

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