Talk:Byzantine Creation Era

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I notice the wide use of Byzantine, especially in the expression "Byzantine Orthodox Church". The term Byzantine, apparently aimed at the Greek verses Latin context, is a Western European construct of recent vintage: seventeenth/eighteenth century. There is only one "Orthodox" Church. There maybe different rites, but certainly there is NO Byzantine Orthodox Church.Wsk 12:58, October 9, 2008 (UTC)

Granted I see how the term can be ambigious, especially in a modern context. However the term was used in a historical context to identify that this was the accepted dating system originating in Byzantine Church and is referred to as such. Cheers, Angellight 888 13:50, October 9, 2008 (UTC)

Is it the official teaching of the Orthodox Church that this (or any other date) is the true date of creation? That is, is this defined by one of the ecumenical councils? I am doubtful about the first sentence of the article. --Fr Lev 14:55, October 9, 2008 (UTC)

Point well taken thanks Father. I have tried to rework the article to reflect this. Would appreciate anyone's help in the section "Church's Position". Thanks, Angellight 888 00:05, October 10, 2008 (UTC)

Last week, in Istanbul, I was chatting to various locals who do not prefer the terminology "Byzantium" but rather referred to it as "Rum" or Rumanos Orthodox (I am not sure if I understood the word/spelling and I know what they said is not to be confused with the Rumanian country) ... Does anyone have any knowledge on the correct word they were referring to and the thinking behind it? I would be interested to learn more ... do we have an article on OrthodoxWiki about this - Vasiliki 00:47, October 29, 2008 (UTC)

Hi Vasiliki!! Welcome back hope you had a fantastic trip! Yes, the first footnote in the article refers to this:
"Eastern Roman Empire. The term Byzantine was invented by the German historian Hieronymus Wolf in 1557 but was popularized by French scholars during the 18th century to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire. The citizens of the empire considered themselves Romaioi ("Romans"), their emperor was the "Roman Emperor", and their empire the Basileia ton Romaion ("Empire of the Romans"). The Latin West designated the empire as "Romania", and the Muslims as "Rum"."
Since this Era (calendar) was used by the Orthodox Church until 1728 in the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and until 1700 in Russia, and since the word "Byzantine" is not as historically accurate, I was wondering if it would be better to rename the article more generically as "Orthodox Creation Era"? (Using a title such as "Era of the World" is a little more ambiguous because the Hebrew Calendar also uses their own World Era with a different date). The current title as is does reflect the historical origins of the Era better though.
Angellight 888 14:03, October 29, 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! I had an amazing time overseas and was fortunate to venerate MANY of our Saints - it was a trip filled with obstacles but also filled with the miracles that only God can provide and I have many wonderful photos to share with family and friends and, when I am ready to upload, OrthodoxWiki can take ownership of these ...
This is an interesting topic ... personally, I have no idea what the correct answer should be but I can only point you in the direction of a phone call to a Orthodox Theological department to ask for clarity. These schools usually have many textbooks that you can cite from ...Good luck. Vasiliki 22:44, October 29, 2008 (UTC)

Rename - Era

Research has shown that it will be much more accurate to rename this article "Byzantine Creation Era", since it was actually an Era -- An era (Latin aera) is a sequence of years that is reckoned from a definite point in time, which is called the epoch (Greek εποχη).

For example, some ancient eras / dating systems / calendars included the:

  • "Era of the Olympiads",
  • "Era of the City of Rome"
  • "Era of the Greeks" (Seleucid Era) [Annus Greacorum, AG]
  • "Enoch Calendar"
  • "Era of Adam" [Annus Adami, AA]
  • "Jewish Era".

In the Christian period examples include the

  • "Era of the Incarnation" [Annus Incarnationis, AI]
  • "Christian Era" [Anno Domini, AD],
  • "Alexandrian Era",
  • "Era of the Martyrs",
  • "Era of the World" (Era of the Creation) [Annus Mundi, AM]

See also: 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica - List of Calendars at Wikisource.

Angellight 888 21:40, October 17, 2008 (UTC)

5508 BC or 5509 BC?

The corresponding page on Wikipedia,, states that the Byzantine world era began on 5509 BCE instead of the 5508 BC mentioned here. Is there any basis for selecting one over the other?

On the page, which is footnoted in the article, a note states that "By the time Skylitzes wrote a unified system was widely recognized, according to which the world was created 5508 years before the Incarnation, or more precisely on 1 September 5509 BC". It also states that "31 August 1999 ends the year AM 7507". Which would make Sept. 1, 1999 the beginning of the year AM 7508, and September 1, 2008 (old style) the beginning of the year AM 7517.

I have a picture of an Old Believer calendar from September 2005 that shows that the new year of 7514 from the creation of Adam began on September 14, 2005. This would make Sept. 14, 2008 the beginning of the year 7517 AM.

Thanks for the info. The Creation Era actually does span two years of the Christian Era, from the point of view of the Christian Era. The statement in the article that AD 2000 was 7508 was partially correct (for the first half of the year); however strictly speaking, yes, September 1st 2000 did begin the year 7509 AM, and September 1st 2008 began the year 7517 AM.
This is supported by the primary sources (in translation) quoted in the article, Skylitzes and Choniates. Choniates refers to AD 1204 as 6712 AM:
"The queen of cities fell to the Latins on the twelfth day of the month of April of the seventh indiction in the year 6712 [1204]."
Sept. 1203 = 6712 AM; Sept. 2008 = 7517 AM
Apr. 1204 = 6712 AM; Apr. 2009 = 7517 AM
Therefore the following chart for simplicity and clarity can be given:

  • SEP. 5509 BC = 1 AM
  • JAN. 5508 BC = 1 AM

  • JAN. 1 BC = 5508 AM
  • SEPT. 1 BC = 5509 AM
  • JAN. AD 1 = 5509 AM

  • JAN. AD 2000 = 7508 AM
  • SEP. AD 2000 = 7509 AM
  • JAN. AD 2001 = 7509 AM

  • JAN. AD 2008 = 7516 AM
  • SEP. AD 2008 = 7517 AM
  • JAN. AD 2009 = 7517 AM

I will specify this distiction in the article. If you want to add the Old Believer calendar as a source please do so.
Angellight 888 03:46, January 13, 2009 (UTC)

Clarification - Jews/Hebrews

Greetings. We are trying to translate the article into Romanian. We've stumbled across this in the first paragraph: "and was characterized by a certain tendency which had already been a tradition amongst Hebrews and Jews to number the years from the foundation of the world". What do the terms "Hebrews" and "Jews" in this phrase mean? Is it a Judas/Israel kingdoms distinction or something else? We'd appreciate your help. Thank you. Kamasarye 13:40, October 20, 2010 (UTC)

See the Wikipedia articles: Jews and Hebrews, in particular: Hebrews vs. Israelites vs. Jew. There is definitely the historical distinction between the people of the Tribe of Judah / Kingdom of Judah on the one hand, and the Kingdom of Israel on the other; see also History of ancient Israel and Judah. This would be the distinction implied in the article here (although there are other facets or differences as well, including some political implications from a modern perspective).
As a point of interest note also that there is the historical distinction between Hellenistic Judaism (which had produced the Septuagint beginning in the 3rd century BC - Jews of Alexandria and Jewish Diaspora), which group was largely absorbed into or became the Early Christians by the 2nd century AD; and Rabbinic Judaism. However this distinction cannot be applied historically or with any equivalency to the Hebrew/Jewish distinction, although it also exists. Hope this helps. Angellight 888 22:19, October 21, 2010 (UTC)


Thanks a lot, it does help. I'm in for more than I bargained for, though :). Indeed, as the Wikipedia article states, in Romanian we don't distinguish between the (modern) terms Jew, Hebrew, or Israelite - but we do have a biblical distinction between Israelites and Judeans !, so we're OK for this translation :). Thanks again. Kamasarye 18:04, November 3, 2010 (UTC)