Re: Questions about March 21
            Fri, 21 Mar 1997 07:10:12 -0800
            Simon Cassidy <>
            East Carolina University Calendar discussion List <CALNDR-L>

Richard McCarty wrote:
> By the way, the reason Gregory XIII and Clavius cut just 10 days
> out of October in 1582 is because that's how many extra days had
> accumulated in the Julian Calendar since the Council of Nicea
> anchored Easter to March 21.

Simon responds:
  This explanation is seductively easy to swallow but does not hold up
under examination. Working back from 1582 to 325 we find that there are
nine leapdays difference between the two calendars not ten. Based on the
equinox observations of accurate astronomers in the 1580s, it was known
that the equinox was then usually falling on the 10th. March. This would
compel an eleven day correction to restore the equinox to the Nicene
date of 21 March. Ten days thus appears to be a typical bureaucratic
compromise, with the actual arguments hushed up in order to leave the
question of the fallibility of the Nicene council unexamined on the
public record.

Dee's Y'rs, Simon Cassidy, 1053 47th.St. Emeryville Ca.94608. ph.510-547-0684.