From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Years  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Years, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Years on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Time (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Time, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Time on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Christianity (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Christianity, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Christianity on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.

Start Date of the millennium[edit]

It would improve this article if the reason for stating that millennia start on Years 1001, 2001, 3001, etc. could be spelled out - i.e. the authority for such a statement should be made plain. This authority should be internationally-recognised.

If one was to take the recent millennium celebrations as the most recent statement of the world consensus - these were mostly celebrated at midnight on December 31 1999 / January 1 2000, which contradicts this article. The 3rd millennium article contains the year 2000 and states that the millennium started on 2001.

I believe there are two schools of thought on this issue, and we should either state our authorities or else present both arguments as a matter on NPOV.

For myself, I understood the reason for this was that the years were commonly treated as ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, etc) when the counting started, but that by recent times these years were treated as cardinal numbers (1998, 1999, 2000). Ian Cairns 10:33, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I don't get it. As far as I can see, what you want is already given in the article, so what is it you want to add? Aliter 22:20, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The letter by Darian Hiles currently cited is inadequate to support the claim that "most historians agree that Dionysius nominated Christ's birth as December 25 of the year before AD." This is just a letter; there is no evidence that it underwent peer review or that Darian Hiles is an authority on what most historians believe. Jc3s5h (talk) 15:32, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

I have removed the paragraph citing Darian Hiles. Having found an internet copy of the letter, I saw that the letter doesn't even claim that most historians believe that Dionysius placed the Nativity in 1 BC, nor does the letter state any qualifications possessed by Mr. Hiles. The paragraph also contained an unsupported claim that the birth year of Christ was too holy to mention, and implied that the Great Jubilee observed by the Roman Catholic Church was to avoid having to mention AD 2000, and would allow "Great Jubilee" to be used as a euphemism for AD 2000. While there was a jubilee, there is not the slightest verification that it was instituted to provide a euphemism for AD 2000. Jc3s5h (talk) 15:49, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Names for longer periods of time[edit]

Please fill in this blank:

10^1 years: decade 10^2 years: century 10^3 years: millennium 10^6 years: __________ 10^9 years: eon 16:38, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Recent reversion of edits[edit]

I added a second table and some additional text to ensure the fairness of both viewpoints in this article, and avoid POV. I am happy to discuss this, but a simple rv and insertion of 'sex' into the article doesn't bring the discussion any further forward. Ian Cairns 03:52, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Apologies if I misunderstood your rv. It looks as though I had moved the article during your consideration. Ian Cairns 14:17, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

         100 years = century
       1,000 years = millennium
   1,000,000 years = megennium  (I coined this. Couldn't find any
                                 word for "million years")

1,000,000,000 years = eon Compact Oxford English Dictionary

                           concise_oed/aeon?view=uk def #3 --
                           "astronomy & geology -- a unit of time
                            equal to a thousand million years".

Submitted by [User=Timothy S Carr, Ph.D.]

Counting years[edit]

I've added an early section on the issues of counting years as ordinals vs cardinals. I believe I've done this in a NPOV manner - but would welcome comments. Thanks, Ian Cairns 14:17, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)


This article doesn't seem to focus much on Millennium. Instead, for the most part it appears to be about the starting point of the Common Era, and the starting points of time units within it that follow from this. Aliter 16:46, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

A thousand whats?![edit]

Somewhere around 1999 I read that the misspelling millenium (one n) for millennium (two ns) was particularly unfortunate for the following reason. Millennium has two ns because it comes from the Latin annus, meaning year. Spelled with one n, the reference would be to the Latin anus, one of whose meanings is quite similar to the English.

I suspect, however, that the Romans never had any particular use for a word meaning one thousand assholes, and for this reason the word millenium is not attested in the literature. Clearly, this proves that the Vandals were not really as bad as Wikipedia vandals, who form a millenium indeed. --FOo 09:58, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Unless my Latin isn't as good as it could be, I think you might mean 'Anulus' which just means ring. Such a perverted mind...--Arkracer 18:18, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Link for community review[edit]

I removed this self-link on grounds of WP:COI and WP:SPAM (see User talk:Jan Z). What's the general consensus for/against its inclusion? Tearlach 14:02, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

The link to my website is a very old one, and it is not known to me who added it. It is no self-link. You (Tearlach) removed without any reason a link which was added by an other editor several years ago. So it is reasonable to apologize and to redeem your mistake by restoring the link in question. Moreover, it certainly compensates for the two remaining, quite biased, external links. Jan Z 18:04, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

No one is altogether free from prejudice. Just for that reason, let us try to get clarity. The first millennium (AD) consists of the (thousand) years 1 up to and including 1000, the first millennium BC (before Christ) consists of the (thousand) years 1 BC down to and including 1000 BC; these two millennia are separated from each other by a moment zero, i.c. the moment zero of our era (the term era within the meaning of a coherent system of numbered calendar years). Our era (since the year 1582 in combination with the Gregorian calendar the most widespread dating system on earth) is no other one than the one introduced by Dionysius Exiguus (about the year 500) and promoted by Beda Venerabilis (about the year 700); never some authority or government did away with this era or substituted this era for another. These simply verifiable facts, including the fact that a year zero is lacking in our era (this important fact is the key to the solution of the millennium question), are expounded succinctly in my sextilingual website Millennium, for English languaged people accessible by entrance Millennium Question. But an argumented answer to the question why our era has no year zero, which answer ultimately rests on the simple fact that the counting of years is not different from the counting of any other kind of things, can be found in my English language website Millennium Mistake. As long as no argumented answer to that essential question can be found in the English language Wikipedia article Millennium itself a hyperlink from the article to my website Millennium Mistake (MM) is not superfluous. So my fellow editors, specially Tearlach and RJASE1, are kindly requested to consider to support such a hyperlink, which has the added advantage that, for the sake of the wikipedic neutral point of view, it certainly will compensate for the two remaining, quite biased, external links. Of course the description "the definitive solution of the millennium question" on the homepage of MM is quite an ironic one, but I realize now that "a definitive solution of the millennium question" looks much better. It was and is my intention to challenge open minds by clarifying that question by separating the relevant arguments from the irrelevant ones. It were critical pupils wanting (and having the right) to know all the ins and outs of the question who inspired me to get round to find out why 1-1-2000 could not be the first day of the third millennium. Jan Z 20:05, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Jan Z is an advocate for a particular position. The website espouses that position, but is not particularly notable (Google=69 hits). Application of WP:COI seems like a no-brainer. I don't see any reason to include the link. Sorry, Jan, nothing personal. SheffieldSteel 23:13, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
The material in the link supports a mathematical untenable position. In the terms of well researched examples including moment zero and years in the same set is like including fence posts and post-intervals in the 11-posts vs 10-intervals fence problem. Jclerman 16:09, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Or, it is equivalent to the erroneous mixing of some elements counted with origin 1 and others with origin 0. BTW, it would be time to clarify these aspects vs the confusion of different points of view approach. Mathematically and logically the sets must contain homogeneous elements. Jclerman 16:14, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Leave it out. It's a poorly-written, self-published webpage. Maybe the website lost something in the translation, but it seems to be saying "There is no year zero," but using tens of thousands of words to do so. I don't think it's a useful website, even it doesn't violate any guidelines. Andyparkerson 21:30, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't see the need to link to a self-published website unless the publisher is particularly notable or the site is particularly useful. This doesn't meet those criteria. CMummert · talk 02:47, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I am here at the invitation of Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Maths,_science,_and_technology. Based on the fact that the owner of the website says he did not put the link in, I do not think the link should be removed on conflict of interest or spam grounds. Now that it was removed on COI and SPAM grounds, there is a COI in the website owner bringing and/or responding to this RFC. However, as others have noted, there may have been other good reasons to remove the link in the first place (quality, notability, etc.). ImprobabilityDrive 03:03, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Would it be worth mentioning here when the Pope celebrated the new Millennium? December 31 2000, St Peter's Basilica, Prayer Vigil for the passage to the new millennium

Not to beat a dead horse, but I agree with the statements above that this is not a well-known website and there is no justification for linking to it; the fact that you wrote a long article on the subject does not make you an expert in the field, it is simply an advocacy for a particular position that isn't based in any real research (it doesn't appear to me that any sources are cited). You may be a mathematician, but this is hardly a mathematical question being raised in this article. Metsfanmax (talk) 22:11, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

I had to remove this external link (Millenium Mistake) again from the article. If you'll note above, the only two people that have advocated for the link to be kept are the website's owner and user ImprobabilityDrive, whose user page has been marked with a warning that the account is a sock puppet. Anyway, this external website is neither reputable nor very helpful for this article, so I am all for the "remove" side of this argument. Wikidsoup [talk] 07:01, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Lost Year 0?[edit]

The article states:
"Most historians agree that Dionysius nominated Christ's birth as 25th December of the year before AD 1 (ref History Today June 1999 p60 Letters, Darian Hiles: "Of Dates and Decimals"). This corresponded with the belief that the birth year itself was considered too holy to mention. Similarly in AD 1000 the church actively discouraged any mention of that year and in modern times it labelled AD 2000 as the "Jubilee Year 2000" marking the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Christ. Year 0 has always been there, it just didn't have a name in the AD system. Thus the unnamed year 0 marked the start of the first Christian millennium, 1000 the second and 2000 the third."

First: i dont see a source supporting this view.
Second: Does it suggest that the "year 0" have been sneakly deleted from history (and everything whithin) or that year 0 (or year before AD 1) was actually year BC 1? Is it valid to say that "year 0 has always been there"?
It doesnt really matter which year Christ was born (since the dates are quite arbitrary anyways). What is important is the point of epoch that was agreeed upon. Isnt it 1st of January 1AD? Misiu mp 02:20, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

If you want a year zero this would be the second millennium. 0 - 999 0, 1000 to 1999 1, 2000 2999 2. People refer to this being the third millennium so it began 1 1 2001 18:19, 31 August 2008 (UTC)~

Actually, there was no year zero as, I believe, during the time of Dionysius and prior, zero as a digit was non-existent (note there is no Roman Numeral 0), nor did the people at the time have a concept of negative numbers. When Dionysius and Bede worked on what has now become our Gregorian Calendar, they used the numbering/counting conventions of the time, thus December 31, 1 BC is followed by January 1, AD 1.

What popular culture was celebrating[edit]

"Although popular culture generally observed the start of the 21st century and 3rd millennium on January 1, 2000, the start of the 20th century was generally observed on January 1, 1901 (newspapers dated January 1, 1900 generally make little mention of the change of digit)."

My experience was that most were celebrating the start of the 'two thousands' millennium and the 'twenty-hundreds' century and people incorrectly celebrating the start of the 3rd millennium and 21st century was the exception and not what was 'generally' being observed.

This seems more like someone making some false assumptions about what people were celebrating if they didn't specify.

EvanS ( 13:24, 5 October 2007 (UTC))

In Times Square, perhaps the most famous New Year's Eve celebration spot, December 31,1999 was HUGE, while December 31, 2000 was a typical New Year's celebration. Now, to climb into the minds of all those people on 12/31/1999 to ask "What is it you are celebrating?" is not possible. But as so many official events and private parties had the word "Millennium" in them, to say nothing of the media coverage, I suspect that the majority of people would have considered 12/31/99 the dawn of a new millennium, without any qualifiers or explanations.

For decades prior, I anticipated 1/1/2001 as the start of the next millennium. But as 1/1/2000 approached, it was clear to me that this date was generally being accepted as the start of the next millennium. Yes, news stories and such would pop up here and there explaining the differences between 1/1/00 and 1/1/01. But the weight of media coverage, along with official celebrations, corporate events, advertisements, product tie-ins, and so on, put forth in the public consciousness that 1/1/2000 was the start of the next millennium. If we were able to question all those 12/31/99 revelers, party-goers, and people just watching at home, how many would have said "I believe the 'real' millennium starts 1/1/01"? Who knows, but I wonder if it matters anymore, as the giant celebrations occurred on 12/31/99, sort of a fait accompli.

Nyctc7 (talk) 16:35, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

I think it matters for two reasons:

  • for comparison to the celebrations of 1900/1901
  • as a footnote for future generations (2100/2101, 3000/3001, cf. The Long Now)
  • and I think this rationale should be included in the article

d<3vid seaward | Talk 19:47, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

By saying "I wonder if it matters anymore," I didn't mean the information should be deleted. Sorry if I left that impression. I agree it should stay. The comparision betweeen 1900/1901 and 2000/2001 is an interesting one.

What I was responding to was the idea of what "popular culture was celebrating" vs. the technical questions surrounding "The Millennium." What EvanS seems to be suggesting is that on 12/31/99 the majority of people were celebrating the calendar turning over to 2000 (what he calls 'two thousands' millennium and the 'twenty-hundreds' century) and so understood that it really wasn't the beginning of the 3rd millennium. But does this lead to the false assumptions that EvanS is rightly concerned about? Who really knows what the majority of people thought? I certainly don't. But it is indisputable that the giant worldwide celebrations occurred on 12/31/99--1/1/2000. And that is the stuff that popular culture is made of.

Nyctc7 (talk) 16:31, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Nonsense in this article?[edit]

Parts of this (too long) article seem to be superfluous, confusing, and even nonsense. Especially the chapter 'Viewpoint 2' seems unsubstantiated. It is a well-known fact that there is no year zero in our calendar, and that the year 1 AD is preceded by the year -1. So the claim "Year 0 has always been there, it just didn't have a name in the AD system." is obviously untenable. A clean-up of this article seems desirable! Paul kuiper NL 01:26, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

It could be condensed to a few sentences. a) The AD/BC scales are defined with counting origin 1. b)Thus the millennia end in years numbered with multiples of 1000. c) Some prefer to begin the millennia with such multiples, thus they introduce one year before AD 1, which they call Year 0. This results in the first millennium being one Gregorian year shorter, i.e., it is 999 long (and the first decade, only 9 years long. And this is nonsense). Jclerman 04:15, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

The section is slightly better now, but still very unsatisfactory. An encyclopedia should bring clarification, not confusion. I agree that 'a millennium of 999 years' is sheer nonsense. But any mentioning of a 'year 0' is equally nonsensical. It is just a fact that there is no 'year 0' in our calendar. (It wouldn't even be possible because when our calendar was conceived in the 6th century, the number zero did not yet exist, the Roman figures do not have a figure 0!). I think any mentioning of a 'year 0' should just be deleted here. Furthermore, the whole section 'Commentary', already marked as 'Trivia', and therefore 'discouraged under Wikipedia guidelines' should be removed here. Paul kuiper NL 22:19, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

let's take the plunge[edit]

I suggest you copy the whole article to a sandbox page. Then you plunge into it and cut and recast as you believe it should be. Then I'll plunge into it and cut or add things. Since you carry the name of a famous astronomer, you have the priority. If you prefer a more private sandbox, we can use a Google Document that can be accessed by both. Then we can do the same with the Year 0 article. But beware of a few strange things: people are fascinated by 0, 13, and pi. A famous paleontologist-evolutionist believed in the Year 0 and argued about it so much that Scientific American decreed the existence of a Year 0 that had been hidden [I cancelled my subscription]. A famous paleoclimatologist-paleontologist invented the Holocene Calendar. In an article in Nature he showed that he couldn't do arithmetic across the AD/BC boundary. Then a famous paleoclimatologist-glaciologist replied with incorrect dates and theologies. Jclerman 02:24, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

And the 13th Floor is not missing from some elevators and airplane seats. It's always there, but it's labeled 14 or Exit or something else. Jclerman 02:33, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Explain or delete[edit]

The article says:

Arthur C. Clarke gave this analogy (from a statement received by Reuters):

"If the scale on your grocer's weighing machine began at 1 instead of 0, would you be happy when he claimed he'd sold you 10 kg of tea?" This statement illustrates the common confusion about the calendar.

Explain how it illustrates anything related to any calendar. The scale is not counting items in a set. Notice that Clarke's movie is titled 2001 rather than 2000. And, by the way, Gould found himself in a paradox after stating in his not terse web article DDDD that the little monk should have begun counting with zero. Gould's paradox was that he had misplaced a box with 5 marbles. When he found it, he counted: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4. He couldn't understand how there were 4 and not 5 marbles in his box. Did I loose a marble? he wondered... The illustration should be explained. Otherwise the paragraph should be deleted. Jclerman (talk) 13:54, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Seinfeld episode "The Millennium"[edit]

Perhaps the single most frequently asked question on the IMDB message board for "Seinfeld" asks what Jerry meant when he told Newman his (Newman's) millennium party would be one year late. People have theorized that the script was wrong and/or that Jerry misspoke.

So perhaps it is for the best that the bullet-point entry under "Commentary" has been edited down to one line. I present two arguments to show that there are alternative explanations for Jerry's remarks, and thus perhaps it is for the best that the entry in the article only reflects the single line of dialogue "since there was no year zero, the millennium doesn't begin until the year 2001."


Newman believed the millennium to commence 1/1/2000, as he told Kramer: "...he's out of my life, starting in the year 2000. For me, the next millennium must be, Jerry-free!" (furthermore, it was established that Kramer's millennium party is 12/31/99, and Kramer becomes upset upon learning Newman's party is on the same date)

If, when Newman made a "millennium new year" reservation, the hotel booked it for 12/31/2000 instead of 12/31/1999, his HOTEL RESERVATION will be 1 year late, as the date on the invitations (and thus the party) is for 12/31/1999.

So the party is scheduled for 12/31/1999, but the hotel reservation will be the people attending the party will find themselves without a place...


We learn earlier in the show that Newman made the reservation way back in 1978:

"I started planning this in 1978. I put a deposit down on that revolving restaurant that overlooks Times Square, and I booked Christopher Cross."

Newman believes the millennium commences 1/1/2000, as he states:

"...he's out of my life, starting in the year 2000. For me, the next millennium must be, Jerry-free!" (furthermore, it was established that Kramer's millennium party is 12/31/99, and Kramer becomes upset upon learning Newman's party is on the same date)

At the end of the show this exchange takes place:

Jerry: By the way Newman, I'm just curious. When you booked the hotel, did you book it for the Millennium New Year?
Newman: As a matter of fact, I did.
Jerry: Oh, that's interesting, because as everyone knows, since there was no year zero, the millennium doesn't begin until the year 2001, which would make your party one year late, and thus, quite lame.

COMMENT: Back in 1978, when Newman made the reservation, the hoopla over 2000 had not yet begun, so a reservation for "The Millenium New Year" would have been made for 12/31/2000, not 12/31/1999, as we learn from Jerry that the millennium commences 1/1/2001. But by telling Newman his party will be "one year late, and thus quite lame" Jerry acknowledges that popular culture has decreed the start of the millennium as 1/1/2000, even though Jerry knows it is not. A party on the actual millennium is one year late and lame, as huge, worldwide celebrations are being prepared for 12/31/1999. Or perhaps Jerry's "one year late" remark was simply to annoy Newman by showing him that his reservation doesn't match his expectations. He certainly did not congratulate Newman for having the correct date of 12/31/2000, nor did Jerry chastize Kramer for having the wrong date of 12/31/99.

However, I do think that the explanation above about the reservation, not the party, being one year late, is a good one, is perfectly logical, only hindered by the fact that Jerry did say "which would make your party one year late," and Jerry never told Kramer that his party of 12/31/99 was on the wrong date.

Nyctc7 (talk) 17:15, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

The principal problem with your analysis is that it is yours, that is, it is original research which is forbidden on Wikipedia. If you can find this analysis published by a reliable source (blogs are not reliable sources) then it can be in the article. — Joe Kress (talk) 19:21, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Acknowledged. As far as I know, Jerry, Larry David, or anyone else connected with the episode has not commented on this. They did not comment on it on the DVD bonus materials. Until they do I suppose it will be disputed and guessed at.

Nyctc7 (talk) 20:52, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

QUESTIONS (??????????????)[edit]

WHAT IS A MILLENIUM ABOUT? why is it so interesting? what do scientists find in a millenium or learning about it??

so how many years are there exactly in a millenium? can somebody please explain that in a understandable way? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:44, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

1000 years.bob bobato (talk) 19:46, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

A.D. to C.E.[edit]

I believe that usage of A.D. should be changed into the modern C.E. to remove religious affliation —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:07, 19 September 2009

This has been a contentious issue on Wikipedia for many years. The current rule at WP:ERA is "Do not change from one style to another unless there is substantial reason for the change, and consensus for the change with other editors." — Joe Kress (talk) 20:49, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

In the C.E. calendar this whole business is completely irrelevant-- (talk) 22:03, 7 March 2012 (UTC)


There is a Band called Millenium why do you redirect to Millennium ? EichertC (talk) 09:01, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

It's covered in the hatnote as per WP:NAME Jim.henderson (talk) 03:33, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


What is the most common abbreviation for "millennium"? -- (talk) 23:51, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Apparent 666 vandalism corrected.[edit]

This apparent vandalism-inspiring number appeared instead of the required 1000. Leprof 7272 (talk) 00:06, 9 December 2013 (UTC)