Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Chronology is the science of computing the lapse of time by observation of the periodical movements of the heavenly bodies. The word is also applied to the arrangement of historically interesting events in the order of their sequence as taken from some one central event It is difficult to realise in the midst of modern civilisation, with its provision of clocks, calendars, and books of reference, that the idea of time is by no means simple. Time is to the individual a subjective idea, to be measured not by the beat of a clock, but by the intensity and variety of emotions. To the schoolboy the holidays pass more quickly than the school term, and every one knows how quickly time flies if a task has to be accomplished by a given moment. The idea of time, then, like the cultivation of memory, is the growth of civilisation. Jacky, the savage, in Never Too Late to Mend, admires the white man's power of being able to look a long way backwards. Chronology may be described as the objective view of time. The ancient methods of computing time were vague. The Greeks computed their time by Olympiads, ie. in groups of four years, each of which group was marked by the recurrence of the Olympic Games (q.v.). The Romans, again, dated by the consuls, and sometimes from the supposed year of the foundation of Rome. Their lives they would measure by lustrums, periods of five years. Christendom, for the most part, dates events backward and forward from the supposed moment of the birth of Christ, which is generally put at the fourth year of the 194th Olympiad. But here scientific, and ordinary chronology present a discrepancy, since the one represents the year of Christ's birth by a cipher, and the other as the first year. The Greek Church counts time in a way differing from that of the West; the Mohammedans date from the flight of Mohammed; and the Jews have their own method of computation. The question of intercalated days, which are rendered necessary by the earth's motions not fitting in with the exactly rounded periods of years, comes more naturally under the head of Calendar. The French, during the revolution at the end of the last century, endeavoured to inaugurate a new system of chronology, but this never really took root.