The Reckoning of Time
The Reckoning of Time (
The Reckoning of Time describes a variety of ancient calendars, including the
Bede based his reasoning for the dates on the
The work is divided into six sections:
This section familiarizes the reader with terminology regarding measurements.
In chapter 3 Bede defines a day as being 12 hours long. An hour consists of increments of puncti, partes and mementa. Each of which are small increments of time within the hour. The smallest increment of time is the atom.
Here, Bede gives an exhaustive overview of the date of the Earth's creation, the months, the weeks and the Moon.
He argues that the first day did not, as it was generally believed, take place at the time of an equinox. According to the religious accounts of God's creation of the universe, light was created on the first day. It wasn't until the fourth day, however, that God created the stars and therefore there was no measurement of hours.
Much of this section is devoted to the Moon. Bede goes into extensive detail about measuring the moon's cycles, the Moon's relationship to the Earth and Sun. Bede discusses the Moon's relationship to the tide and calculating kalends.
These two chapters pick up where the previous section left off on examining the irregularities of the Moon creating a leap year as well as why, according to Bede, the Moon appears older than it actually is.
This section explores different year cycles that include varying numbers of months and days, determining the year cycle of Christ's incarnation, Easter, and other moon cycles.
Bede gives an exhaustive description of the Six Ages of the World.
Bede details the First Age, from Adam to Noah, as being 1,656 years long according to the Hebrew Bible or 2,242 years according to the Septuagint.
The Second Age, from Noah to Abraham, is 292 years or 272 years long based on Bede's evaluation of the Hebrew Bible and Septuagint respectively.
The Third Age is said to be 942 years long according to both the Hebrew Bible and Septuagint spanning from the Abraham to David.
The Fourth age is from David until the Babylonian exile. This is 473 years according to the Hebrew Bible or 485 according to the Septuagint.
The Fifth age is from the Babylonian exile to the advent of Christ.
The Sixth age is the current age lasting from the advent of Christ until the end of days.
Finally, Bede goes on to discuss the end of the Sixth Age, discusses the second coming of Christ, the Antichrist, Judgement Day, and the Seventh and Eighth ages of the world to come.