What day is it – and why?
I’m writing this on September 15, 2018 but why is it September 15, 2018? Who decided when and where time started, when and where did the dates start to get us here?
Right now, most of the countries of the world operate according to the Gregorian Calendar. The Gregorian Calendar, commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII (Ugo Boncompagni) was first realized in October 1582, replacing the Julian Calendar.
Ten days in October 1582 were basically scrubbed from history to accommodate for the shift.
The Julian Calendar, created under a proposal by Emperor Julius Caesar, had replaced the previous calendar, the Roman Calendar, first taking effect on January 1, 45 BC.
The Roman Calendar was not very effective. It featured twelve months and 355 days.
Like a leap day added to our current calendar, the Roman Calendar required a leap month, the Mensis Intercalaris, with 22 or 23 days.
The shift to Coptic, Julian and Gregorian was also a move away from Lunar Calendars to Solar Calendars. Lunar Calendars operated basically on a cycle of 8 years called the octaeteris. I won’t say much more about this right now but there is a wondrous history to all of this time designation for those interested in pursuing it.
As for the Gregorian Calendar, we must remember that not every country currently employing it, changed immediately.
In England, the Gregorian Calendar was introduced in 1752, and to accommodate the change, September 2 was followed by September 14. No one was born between September 3 and September 13, 1752 because the dates don’t exist.
Russia didn’t start using the Gregorian Calendar until 1918.
Why do I bring all this up?
Because, in writing Historical Fiction, dates and times aren’t always relative to what we see on the calendar today. Right now, I’m working on a new book that will focus on events occurring in 1170 Italy. In 1170 Italy, they were still using the Julian Calendar. To be accurate, to get my days of the week correct, I must refer to the Julian Calendar. It is not something the average reader would probably notice if it were not accurate but it’s something a writer of historic fiction strives for – precision. We want to make it difficult to separate our work from real history. We want it to see plausible even when there is fantasy, magic and dragons thrown into the fray. You should walk away wondering was real and what wasn’t, hardly able to divide the two without research of your own.
So what happened in 1170 that relates to my theme in The Crystal Crux series?
Well, several things.
Lady Bertina Fabbro rose from her sick bed during the night – May 28 – to a state of utter madness, demanding the heads of six children who mistreated her during her illness.
Tancred Fabbro, her father-in-law, intimidated by Lady Bee’s newly acquired second-sight, bent submissively to her earnest will and executed the Foolish Six.
Unsettled by his cruel decision, suffering nightmares and criticism, Tancred Fabbro seeks relief from several spiritual sources. When none can mitigate his tortured guilt, he turns to the Sybil of Cumae for answers.
Not even a month later, after getting answers from the Sybil, Tancred lies dead on the floor of his study, his dear wife Meliore’s body cold on his throne with an arrow in her chest.
Excited yet? This yet untitled next book is not part of the actual Crystal Crux series but focuses instead on the horrible events of the past which do play a part on the things happening to Pero de Alava, Francis Whitehall and Anthea Manikos in 1198. Stay tuned.
BETRAYAL – BLUE GROTTO – COLD KNIGHT
More to come…
There is also a YA edition covering the first two books only…
Remember to recommend The Crystal Crux series to family, friends and acquaintances. The best advertising for self-published authors is word of mouth.