On Wednesday, May 27, 1998 1:10 PM, bvining@VNET.IBM.COM [SMTP:bvining@VNET.IBM.COM] wrote: > Dean, > > I realize you're simply playing Devils Advocate here, and I am > definitely > out of any area I can claim expertise in, but I can only think of two > methods that a historian/archeologist/etc. could use to determine a > given > date out of the past. One would be using a technology such as carbon > dating (or whatever is used these days), the second would be to find an > artifact with a date on it. > > In the case of technology, I usually see dates that are plus or minus > a few ten/hundred/thousand/million years so I doubt many applications > will try to set a particular day within a year (and then have a > dependence on the accuracy of that date). -snip- Bruce, Excellent discussion! There are several other ways to determine ancient dates to the very day: Proclaimation on Death Taxes, the 293rd day of the reign of Caesar Augustus, blah blah blah. This was a very common way to date transactions and documents for several millennia. One can accurately date astronomical events to the day based upon the recording of eclipses/occultations, etc. Historical dates are often used for comparison purposes: Did Henry II live before Louis VI? Did his famous "Peace with the French" speech before Parliament come before Louis dispatched the troops? In such cases, converting their birth/death dates to "Gregorian" is a useful common denominator, even though none of the dates can strictly be expressed as a Gregorian date. Likewise, dates in the 2nd century can be useful when trying to do comparative timelines from different countries. In these cases, dates are converted from "local" to "Gregorian" simply to facilitate comparisons within a familiar framework. Astronomers use another date system (I *think* it's called Lilian, but am not sure.) This system picks an arbitrarily old date (like 1 Jan 4000BCE) and calls it 1. The date increments by one every day. 1 Jan 2000CE is 2,451,545. 27 May 1998CE is 2,450,961. So... there are legitimate reasons to take old dates and express them as Gregorian dates. Having said all that, I'd guess that the big worry is converting to native date format and then finding problems with it. Finding one bug manes one wary that there may be more... Buck Calabro Commsoft, Albany, NY mailto:email@example.com * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * This is the RPG/400 Discussion Mailing List! To submit a new * * message, send your mail to "RPG400-L@midrange.com". To unsubscribe * * from this list send email to MAJORDOMO@midrange.com and specify * * 'unsubscribe RPG400-L' in the body of your message. Questions should * * be directed to the list owner / operator: firstname.lastname@example.org * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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