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The Bostran Era. March 22, 106 AD.

The Bostran Era (also called Arabian Era) started corresponding to March 22, 106 AD. This was the official dating of the Roman Province Arabia Petraea, and it was introduced in order to make it coincide with the regnal years after the inclusion of the Nabatean Kingdom to the Roman Empire. It has the name of the city of Bostra, that soon was the home of the Sixth Legion. The start date of the Bostran Era was a controversial matter, in part because the Chronicon Paschale states that it started at the time of the consuls Candidus and Quadratus (105), while the discoveries of the Cave of Letters´ manuscripts made it clear that the Bostran Era started on 106. The Bostran year was lunisolar: it has 12 months with 30 days with five epagomenal days at the end of each year. The names of the months ...

The Walls of Constantinople collapse. November 6, 447.

Like Severus before him, Constantine began to punish the city for siding with his defeated rival, but soon he too realized the advantages of Byzantium‘s location. During 324–336 the city was thoroughly rebuilt and inaugurated on 11 May 330 under the name of “Second Rome“. The name that eventually prevailed in common usage however was Constantinople, the “City of Constantine” (Greek Κωνσταντινούπολις, Konstantinoupolis). The city of Constantine was protected by a new wall about 2.8 km (15 stadia) west of the Severan wall. Constantine’s fortification consisted of a single wall, reinforced with towers at regular distances, which began to be constructed in 324 and was completed under his son Constantius II (r. 337–361). Only the approximate course of the wal...

Deciphering Rosetta Stone. July 15, 1799.

The Rosetta Stone is a granodiorite stele, rediscovered in the western world in 1799, inscribed with three versions of a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt, in 196 BC during the Ptolemaic dynasty on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The top and middle texts are in Ancient Egyptian using hieroglyphic script and demotic scripts, respectively, while the bottom is in Ancient Greek. As the decree has only minor differences between the three versions, the Rosetta Stone proved to be the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs, thereby opening a window into ancient Egyptian history. The stone, carved during the Hellenistic period, is believed to have originally been displayed within a temple, possibly at nearby Sais. It was probably moved in Late Antiquity or during the Mameluk period, and was eventually use...

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