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Philip Newton wrote:
> On Jan 28, 2008 1:33 PM, Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> The next likely explanation was that, in a Hellenocentric
>> world, they were still using the analogue of the Julian calendar, as the
>> Eastern Orthodox continue to do for religious purposes today; 

For deterring the date of Easter, yes - but Christmas is generally 
celebrated according the Gregorian date! (Yes, I do know some groups 
stick to the Julian calendar even for the Christmas cycle)

> the current
>> difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars is 13 days, which maps
>> to a 1-day difference in weekdays in the same direction as that shown on the
>> WHAT calendar.
> 
> Ah; that does make a certain amount of sense, though it's not what happened.
> 
> The beginning of the year is fairly close to the winter solstice
> (though not quite on the exact date), meaning that the WHAT date is -
> in the first two thirds of our January - eight days after our date,
> since the first month starts on our 24 December of the previous year.
> (Ray's website doesn't mention why this particular day was chosen as
> the start of the year: "For some reason, which is not clear, New
> Year's Day is not the winter solstice itself, but a few days later,
> corresponding to our 24th December." I suppose it's possible that
> there's an internal reason, even if there's no in-universe reason.
> Ray?)

It did seem not inappropriate that I might not have full knowledge of 
all the workings of WHAT, but that it's something I am discovering  :)

The "For some reason, which is not clear, New Year's Day is not the 
winter solstice itself, but a few days later" is really an analog with 
our own timeline. Here Julius C. Caesar shifted the start of the year 
from the beginning to Spring (March 1st) to mid-winter. Yet January 1st 
is not the mid-winter solstice - he began it a week later (the solstice 
at that date fell on 25th Dec.). It is not clear to me why (the Romans 
had not adopted the seven day week at the time) - I have read somewhere 
that he began it on the new moon following the solstice, but I've never 
found confirmation of that.

I could've made New Year coincide with the solstice; I could have 
off-set it by a similar period to that which exists in our world (rather 
more than a week now). This was a sort of compromise    :)

> You'll also notice that the month lengths aren't the same as ours --
> most striking in the second month, which always has 30 days rather
> than 28 or 29, and in the second half of the year, since instead of
> going 31-31 for July-August the WHAT calendar continues the regular
> 31-30 alternation, so the date offsets in the second half of the year
> are longer than in the first half.
-----------------------------------------

Mark J. Reed wrote:
 > Well, one more silly question.  Why have a month alternate between 29 
and 30
 > days for leap years rather than 30 and 31, which would keep you down 
to only
 > two possible month lengths ever?  Was there an analog to the Romans'
 > superstitious dread of February?

I wasn't aware there was a dread of February - except that it's a pretty 
miserable month in the northern hemisphere. It was originally the last 
month of the year and one of purification, getting ready for the new 
year in March. Also it was the month into which Mercedonius (22 or 23 
days) was intercalated in alternate years to keep the year in sync with 
the earth's movement around the sun.

I have envisaged a development of the WHAT calendar from the old 
Macedonian lunisolar calendar in a vaguely analogous way to the 
development of our modern calendar from the old Roman lunisolar 
calendar.  The month Hyperberetaios, originally the 12th month, was the 
one often repeated in embolistic years (the other one which might be 
repeated was Xanthikos, the 6th month).

If lunar months are scrapped and we have months of 30 or 31 days, then 
we shall need an extra day intercalated roughly every fourth year. It 
did seem to me that the obvious month to have the intercalated day was 
Hyperberetaios. It keeps its original length, except in leap years, when 
it is one day longer; all the other months are simply increased 
permanently by one day from their original length in the lunisolar calendar.

While it might indeed be neater to have months of only 31 or 30 days, to 
so would have meant greater changes to the old lunisolar calendar and 
would suggest that Kaisar Philodemos was aiming at a thorough-going 
calendar reform to make the thing as regular as possible. This was not 
my intention - after all both Kaisar Philodemos *there* and Julius 
Caesar *here* could simply have adopted the ancient Egyptian calendar if 
that had been their wish. Clearly it was not Caesar's wish - so I have 
assumed that it was not Kaisar's wish either   :)

It might be noted, however, that because Kaisar started with something a 
bit more regular that Caesar started with, the end result is a bit more 
regular. The WHAT calendar has months of only three different lengths, 
our modern calendar has _four_ different possibilities (28, 29, 30 or 31).

It was never my intention to impose upon WHAT what I think the perfect 
calendar reform would be. That will have to wait for another alternative 
history   :)
----------------------------------------------

Lars Finsen wrote:
[snip]
 >
 > I think it's lovely, too. As a suggestion I'd like to see lunar phases
 > and similar. I like such snacks in a calendar. I like the idea of a
 > Western Hellenism Alternate Timeline, too. Many interesting differences
 > could be explored. For example, I doubt if Christianity would have taken
 > hold.

Why on earth not?? After all *here* it precisely was in the 
Greek-speaking and thoroughly hellenized east that Christianity did take 
off!

But may be it's best not pursue this as we may easily trespass into the 
minefield of "cross and crown." Suffice it to say that in WHAT, as 
defined on the TAKE pages, Christianity did take hold as it did *here*.

 >TAKE is not my cup of tea, though. I like inflections.

It should be remembered, of course, that TAKE is not a natural language 
in WHAT, it is an artificial _auxlang_. The natural Hellenic languages 
of WHAT did, of course, retain inflexions     ;)

----------------------------------------

Philip Newton wrote:
 > On Jan 29, 2008 1:59 AM, Henrik Theiling <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
 >> Yes, I think so too: it is lovely!  Very nice work!
 >
 > Thank you!
 >
 >> Philip, was it easy to write the picture capture texts?
 >
 > Easy to type the Greek letters? Yes.
 >
 > Producing something that I hoped was valid TAKE, though, wasn't
 > trivial! Especially since it's not my language, so I can't just make
 > stuff up and declare it to be valid.

Yep - I haven't checked all the text yet! I must do that sometime.

 > I made some guesses for words based on my knowledge of Modern Greek
 > and the help of a German<->Ancient Greek dictionary; I think most of
 > the TAKE nouns are probably acceptable.

Yes - it's ancient Greek that the source of TAKE.

 > I can imagine the syntax might
 > be off; I don't know how a TAKE speaker would have formed a
 > construction "BUILDING in CITY, COUNTRY" so I guessed. (And
 > inconsistently, as well - I see I did it differently in the first
 > couple of months from how I did it later.)

I'll check the syntax.

 > I'm also not sure whether placenames would be nativised or not, and
 > ended up doing so only for the countries but not for the cities. (The
 > effect for a TAKE speaker might be as if I had written "London,
 > Royaume-Uni" in French, though, rather than "Londres".)

It might   :)

"London" would be Λονδίνιο

 > And I now wonder whether "Dablin" was the best choice for the capital
 > of Ireland; perhaps in WHAT the island is mostly Irish-speaking and
 > something like "Bal A Klia" would have been better?

Even if the island had remained mostly Irish-speaking, the name might 
still be similar to the modern name since it is of Gaelic origin (<-- 
dubh [black} + linn [pool], i.e. 'Blackpool'  :)

But I doubt very much that the southern British shift of [U] --> [V] 
would've happened, so something more like Δούβλιν, I think.

 > (And I noticed afterwards that I forgot a few accents.)

Tut, tut.

-- 
Ray
==================================
http://www.carolandray.plus.com
==================================
Entia non sunt multiplicanda
praeter necessitudinem.


-- 
Ray
==================================
http://www.carolandray.plus.com
==================================
Entia non sunt multiplicanda
praeter necessitudinem.



-- 
Ray
==================================
http://www.carolandray.plus.com
==================================
Entia non sunt multiplicanda
praeter necessitudinem.