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Fundamental of Decade, Lustrum, Century & Millennium

A decade is a period of 10 years. The word is derived (via French) from the Ancient Greek dekas which means ten. This etymology is sometime confused with the Latin decas (ten) and dies (days), which is not correct.

The other words for spans of years come from Latin: lustrum (5 years), century (100 years), millennium (1000 years).

Although any period of 10 years is a decade, a convenient and frequently referenced interval is based on the tens digit of a calendar year, as in using "1960s" to represent the decade from 1960 to 1969. Often, for brevity, only the tens part is mentioned (60s or sixties), although this may leave it uncertain which century is meant. These references are frequently used to encapsulate popular culture or other widespread phenomena that dominated such a decade, as in The Great Depression of the 1930s.

Since the common calendar starts with year 1, its first full decade is the years 1 to 10, the second decade from 11 to 20, and so on. So while the "2000s" comprises the years 2000 to 2009, the "201st decade" spans 2001 to 2010.
A decade may also refer to an arbitrary span of 10 years. For example, the statement "during his last decade, Mozart explored chromatic harmony to a degree rare at the time," merely refers to the last 10 years of Mozart's life without regard to which calendar years are encompassed.

Thus, an unqualified reference to, for example, "the decade" or "this decade" may have multiple interpretations depending on the context.

Lustrum (5 years)


A lustrum (plural lustra) was a term for a five-year period in Ancient Rome.
The lustration was originally a sacrifice for expiation and purification offered by one of the censors in the name of the Roman people at the close of the taking of the census. The sacrifice was often in the form of an animal sacrifice, known as a suovetaurilia.

These censuses were taken at five-year intervals, thus a lustrum came to refer to the five-year inter-census period. Lustrum (from luo, Gr. λούω) is a lustration or purification of the whole Roman people performed by one of the censors in the Campus Martius, after the taking of the census was over. As this purification took place only once in five years, the word lustrum was also used to designate the time between two lustra.

The first lustrum was performed in B.C. 566 by king Servius, after he had completed his census, and afterwards it is said to have taken place regularly every five years after the census was over. In the earliest period of the republic, the business of the census and the solemnities of the lustrum were performed by the consuls. The first censors were appointed in B.C. 443, and from this year down to B.C. 294 there had, according to Livy (X.47), only been 26 pairs of censors, and only 21 lustra, or general purifications, although if all had been regular, there would have been 30 pairs of censors and 30 lustra. Sometimes the census was not held at all, or at least not by the censors. The census might take place without the lustrum, and indeed two cases of this kind are recorded, in B.C. 459 and 214. In these cases, the lustrum was not performed because of some great calamities that had befallen the republic.


Century (100 years)


A century (from the Latin centum, meaning one hundred; abbreviated c.) is one hundred consecutive years. Centuries are numbered ordinally in English and many other languages (e.g. "the 7th century AD/CE").

Start and end in the Gregorian Calendar

According to the Gregorian calendar, the 1st century AD/CE started on January 1, 1 and ended on December 31, 100. The 2nd century started at year 101, the 3rd at 201, etc. The n-th century started/will start on the year (100×n)-99 and ends in 100×n . A century will only include one year, the centennial year, that starts with the century's number (e.g. 1900 is the final year in the 19th century).
[edit]1st century BC and AD

There is no "zeroth century" in between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD. Also, there is no year 0 AD.[1] The Julian calendar "jumps" from 1 BC to 1 AD. The first century BC includes the years 100 BC to 1 BC. Other centuries BC follow the same pattern.

Millennium (1000 years)

A millennium (plural millennia or millenniums) is a period of time equal to one thousand years. It derives from the Latin mille, thousand, and annus, year. It is often, but not necessarily, related to a particular dating system.
Sometimes, it is used specifically for periods of one thousand years that begin at the starting point (initial reference point) of the calendar in consideration (typically the year "1"), or in later years that are whole number multiples of a thousand years after it. The term can also refer to an interval of time beginning on any date. Frequently in the latter case (and sometimes also in the former) it may have religious or theological implications (see millenarianism). Sometimes in use, such an interval called a "millennium" might be interpreted less precisely, i.e., not always being exactly 1000 years long. It could be e.g. 1050, 1500 etc. .

Source: Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
Fundamental of Decade, Lustrum, Century & Millennium Reviewed by Sartaj Husain on Monday, May 07, 2012 Rating: 5

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