This calendar marks the L.A. Stoics meetings and any special events the group may host. I also included some information on Ancient Greek and Roman holidays in commemoration of the early Stoics. You’ll find blog articles I’ve written about dates on the “STOIC CALENDAR” in the “Justin’s Weblog” page on this site.
My source was Robert Hannah’s Greek and Roman Calendars (2013). You can check out the Wikipedia article on the Ancient Attic Calendar for more information.
You’ll notice that every month I’ve marked the new moon. I did this for three reasons:
- It’s nice to maintain a connection with ancient Athenians (like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Diogenes, Zeno, etc.) who used a partially lunar calendar, the Attic Calendar, and started each religious month with the new moon.
- It’s helpful to remember that many people still use lunar calendars to mark festivals and religious holidays: Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Mongolians, Turks, Nepali, Thai, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Hindu, and also Christians (for Easter and the “moveable feasts”).
- It’s important to maintain a connection to nature at every opportunity we can; keeping in mind the phases of the moon reminds us of the orderly — what Stoics deem ‘rational’ — processes of nature of which we are a part.
You may also notice that sometimes I’ve projected the Julian calendar backwards in order to give a fixed modern date to events recorded in the ancient Attic lunisolar calendar. I did this with the help of two sources:
- Using a collection of “Moon Phases Tables” courtesy of Fred Espenak, www.Astropixels.com [who himself calculated the dates of ancient new moons using the procedures described in the book Astronomical Algorithms by Jean Meeus (Willmann-Bell, Inc., Richmond, 1998)].
- Using an extensive table of ancient solstices and equinoxes courtesy of www.beda.cz/~jirkaj/seasons/ [which was also created using the Jean Meeus book along with formulas provided by NASA’s website]
With all these sources along with the Wikipedia article on the Attic Calendar mentioned above, anyone can calculate which date in the Julian/Gregorian Calendar corresponds to the date in the Attic Calendar in any particular year. For example, they should find that the date of Socrates’s trial (Thargelion 2) in 399 BCE corresponds to May 16th. If the math doesn’t work out the way that I’ve presented it in the calendar, please reach out to me.
― Justin K.