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Both takvims, therefore, apparently intend to record both the best and the worst planetary conjunctions for a given year, a choice that could probably make some sense to astrologers. August The takvim applies the Syrian version of the Seleucid calendar, i. October Julian Era. This solar calendar was quite popular in the Middle East for many centuries as a seasonal adjusted alternative to the lunar Islamic calendar. According to the calendar reform made by this Seljuk sultan the era of his solar calendar began during the Islamic year of AH with 1 Ferverdin 1 at the vernal equinox, which was equivalent then to 15 March Because the Julian year exceeds the true solar year by approx.
Nawruz of Sultan Malikshah. The Western date corresponding to the dates given by four of these five calendars, the Coptic, Rumi, Malikshah and Hijra, is uniformly Sunday, 9 March AD , thus confirming the takvim.
T he Yezdegerd date 29 Shahrivar coincides with 9 March , however, i. Yet on the detailed calendar pages we find an entry about the start of year Yezdegerd era on The author was well aware then that Nawruz of that year corresponded to 29 Shahrivar the previous year of the Yezdegerd Era. The error was thus only due to an oversight, when he or a copyist wrote the first page of the takvim. March AD is therefore correctly defined as Nawruz of this year and constitutes the starting date of the takvim. It is remarkable that the two most important calendars of the late Ottoman Empire besides the Islamic calendar are not mentioned.
They are the Julian and the Ottoman Financial Mali calendars, both following almost identical rules except for dating the years and both beginning on the 1st of March. We have to bear in mind, however, that the takvim was primarily meant to be an astrological tool with a focus on astronomy and less a record of civilian dates like the Julian and Mali calendars.
On the bottom right of page one is a rhomboid grid with the year names of the Central-Asian animal calendar that counted the years in cyclical periods of 12 years, of which each one was named after an animal. Unlike the other years the year of the Monkey is especially marked as year nine. This calendar follows the rules established in the better known Chinese animal calendar, still popular in China for special feasts. I use the commonly accepted English equivalents of the Chinese year names, although the exact translation of the almost exclusively Persian year names in the takvim might be slightly different.
Years in this cycle were counted starting from the year of the Rat year One until the year of the Boar year Twelve - in a grid roughly arranged counter-clockwise. A delegation of pagan Turks visiting the court of Mahmud of Ghazna explained how to convert Rumi Seleucid calendar years into the animal calendar.
This is the year of the Monkey, i. It is in fact mainly a horoscope for children born during that year  , not a dating system due to its general lack of month or day entries. It is defined as the zodiac sign rising first above the Eastern horizon, which is supposed to exert a profound influence on a person born at that time. At New Year of 9 March Istanbul witnessed Gemini as the ascendant correctly marked in the grid between 8.
The horoscope is based on the time, when Gemini became the ascendant for Istanbul that lasted approx.
The Sun is still in Pisces, the zodiac sign that precedes Aries, which marks the beginning of the New Year. We obtain following results  , which prove that the Ottoman astrologer got the correct astronomic data for his horoscope:. They do not remain at their position, however. The Moon does not travel around the Earth in a plane that always cuts the ecliptic at the same points, but its orbital plane changes its place slowly backwards, like a wobbling spinning top, making one complete tour through the zodiac in approx.
Their position at any time during the day  , is defined in degrees as the distance between Moon and Sun added to the degree of the ascendant, where the zodiac ascends over the Eastern horizon.
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The exact time of Nawruz, i. If we define the time of sunrise as usual, i. A computer check gives us 9h23m19s local Istanbul time MLT. A closer look at the salname could possibly offer an explanation, why the takvim differs so much from the astronomical result. The relatively recent Iranian salname lists several equinox times for Isfahan from which to choose according to the preferred source: e. B Detailed Calendar folio 2 verso to folio 8 verso; here page 1 of folio 2 verso.
This page as all the others of the main part of the takvim contains astronomical, chronological and meteorological data as well as advice for every day. No prayer times are listed unlike those in later takvims. The reason must be the still general absence of clocks or watches in 18th century Turkey; only the muezzin could call to prayer.
According to this table takvim differs from the astronomically correct data in five of eight entries listed. In Islamic astrology these terms denote the place of exaltation for a planet, like its throne, and its opposite place of dejection, respectively. These places are not defined by their highest or lowest position in one of the known astronomical coordinates, as the terms might suggest, but by a certain degree a planet has reached in one of the zodiac signs. Takvim lists only two entries for sharaf corresponding data of an astronomical programme added as a check :.
These dates have been omitted in the takvim for unknown reasons.
The lunar mansions and their rising is a phenomenon in need of some explanation. Each lunar mansion occupies approx. There is a striking parallel of these Moon-related mansions with the traditional concept of the zodiac as the background for the annual movement of the Sun.
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The lunar mansions rise, when the associated fixed stars first become visible during their so-called heliacal rising above the eastern horizon at dawn, after a period when they were still hidden below the horizon and before the rising Sun prevents their view again. The heliacal rising of fixed stars is changing over longer periods, because the Earth axis moves in a complete circle every years like the wobbling motion of a spinning top, when some force is exerted from the side i. The Sumerians, the Babylonians, and the ancient Greeks also used the heliacal risings of various stars for the timing of agricultural activities.
The elaborate rules of lunar mansions are also known in Western astrology, which even uses the Arabic terms for them. Of course his Iranian sense of intellectual superiority does not allow him to give credit to the Arabs, whose terms he used nevertheless, but to the Greek and Indians, who enjoyed his respect. Table 2 in the annex records the days in the Julian calendar, when the fixed stars associated with their lunar mansions made their first heliacal rise in that year, i. They advance from AD, the year recorded by Biruni, to the takvims of and by 7 [or 6] days and 9 days , respectively.
To check this we have Astrolabe Mater by Hans Baumann  to apply two opposite rules:. Due to the precession of the Earth axis and calculated in the astronomically correct Gregorian calendar the fixed stars rose - counted from - approx. As the Julian year is too long astronomically, all dates obtained in the Gregorian calendar have to be moved back again by approx. By applying both rules we get the correct advance of Julian dates for table 2, which would be 5 days from to both and The choice of religious and other memorable dates differs widely in Ottoman calendars.
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Some include Christian holidays in addition to Islamic feasts, some completely ignore other religions, while some also record Jewish holidays that are left out in other calendars. Takvim includes even birthdays of foreign rulers. It is still remarkable that the takvim published here, which was made for Sultan Mahmud I. As in takvim, takvim and takvim that date coincides with Easter Sunday of the Orthodox Church, it is obviously a synonym for Easter. This definition apparently tries to redraft in Ottoman terms  the Christian Easter formula confirmed by the Council of Nicaea in AD, viz.
As a full Moon is on the 15th of an Islamic lunar month, it seems logical to use the Islamic calendar for defining Easter. The Islamic day starts at sunset of the day that precedes the Christian date that is obtained by conversion programmes. This is because they are based on the later and larger part of the Islamic day midnight until the following sunset and not on its start at the previous sunset..
Easter is after Wednesday on or following the 15th of the Arabic month, the standard rule in pre-modern societies that included both start and end date in computing time. These rules are important in years like , , , , , , , when the 15th of the lunar month starting in March is marked as a Thursday in the data conversion programmes.
This is however true only for the later part and not for the start at sunset on Wednesday. The reason for the remaining mistakes appears at a closer examination. The ecclesiastical rule that the full Moon preceding Easter has to follow the vernal equinox on The fifteenth of an Islamic month, which starts in the range from 2nd  to 5th March, will however necessarily be a date before the vernal equinox on It can therefore not be considered as the Easter full Moon, although according to the formula it would be.
Example years are , , , and The true countdown to Easter starts in these cases with the next full Moon one month later. With a different wording ' Yet there are even more complications. Ecclesiastic rules going back to the 6th Century AD define Easter as the Sunday following a special Easter full Moon date, the Luna XIV paschalis, which is close to, but not necessarily identical with the astronomical full Moon.
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Therefore Easter was celebrated on the following Sundays Even one mistake would be one too many for a useful short rule to calculate Easter. I suspect that the author of the Hamburg ruzname created and possibly checked it for a few dates and that it was never applied in reality. Its results would always have needed to be confirmed by the Greek Orthodox church and their Easter tables.
The date universally accepted, also in the Greek Orthodox Church, for the nativity of the Theotokos, the Mother of God, is 8. The other Egyptian calendars do not mention that feast.
Julian Old Era respectively, which is not conform with any of the afore mentioned dates. Holy Cross Feast exaltatio sancti crucis. The date marks the dedication of the church of the Holy Sepulchre in , which is nine years after St. Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine I. The actual finding was on This date is also given in the Egyptian calendars published by Charles Pellat probably others as well  ,.
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The generally accepted date in the Western and the Greek Orthodox Churches is This date makes it perfectly clear that 1. A remotely possible interpretation would be that haml-i Meryem does not mean the day of the Annunciation but a date when she was already visibly pregnant with eight months. One explanation for these contradictory dates could be a different tradition in the Eastern not Greek churches for the Annunciation to Mary as opposed to the now generally accepted one. Nestorians formed a sizeable minority in Mesopotamia, therefore their tradition could perhaps explain that date in the almanac.
Nestorian Christians were largely represented in Ulug Beg's Central Asia, and it would confirm once more the importance of that astronomer for even late Ottoman almanacs. There is still no explanation, however, for the Coptic tradition in the work of the Egyptian historian Maqrizi , who died in , i. Already Biruni reports that while the annunciation date of Even the Jacobite Syrian Church according to one tradition, which is apparently forgotten now, dated the Annunciation on a Sunday in December.
It commemorates the baptism of Jesus epiphany. In the Orthodox church a priest during an open air ceremony used to toss a cross into the water as a sign for that baptism. Paskha, the Orthodox Eastern, in fell on Sunday For the Sunnis it is a day of commended fasting. It is remarkable that takvims in mainly Sunni Ottoman Turkey commemorate this event as well.