Few people could read or write, and there was no such thing as books. The idea that people panicked as the year 1000 approached, thinking the world would come to an end, is a legend. The first instance of a new century being celebrated on the Christian calendar was 1300.The celebration was facilitated by the invention of the mechanical, weight-driven clock that was used in monasteries to determine times for worship and prayer.Everything was just part of the great circle of seasons, never changing or progressing.The idea of progress from past to future did not exist.Because there is no attempt to align this lunar year with the solar year, Muslim months have no relation to the seasons.The months move around the year, and major festivals, like Ramadan, can occur in any season.The masthead of the Jerusalem Post always carries three dates.
Cahill says the concept of a distant, unseen future, and a personal or national destiny, was unheard of prior to this time.A pure lunar calendar presents a major difficulty because the solar year exceeds 12 lunar months by about 11 days.Thus, if the lunar calendar is not adjusted periodically, the calendar dates will rotate through the year, ending up with winter months falling in the summer and summer months in the winter.This extra month, called Adar 2, is referred to technically as an intercalary month since it is intercalated, or inserted, into the calendar. He adopted a plan devised by the Egyptian astronomer, Sosigines.The insertion of this extra month in the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th years of the cycle is the reason that Jewish feasts and historical dates jump around on the calendar. The calendar used in the Western world today dates back to Roman times. It provided for a 365 day year, with one day added every fourth or "leap" year. This error of 11 minutes and 14 seconds per year amounted to almost one and a half days in two centuries, and seven days in 1,000 years.This is exactly what happens with the Muslim calendar.The Islamic year has 12 months alternating between 29 and 30 days, making a year of 354 or 355 days.For example, the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashana), which marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year, fell on September 11 in 1999. The later date in 2000 is due to the fact that 2000 is a leap year, so an extra month (Adar 2) was inserted during the time of March on the Western calendar. He distributed the extra ten days among the 29 day months, making them identical with the months we know today. To remedy this problem, Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal decree in 1582 directing that ten days be dropped from the calendar.In like manner, Israels Independence Day (May 14, 1948 on the Western calendar) moves back and forth on the Hebrew calendar (within a 30 day parameter). This new calendar became known as the Julian calendar. The decree went into effect in October, when October 5 was declared to be October 15.People were not time conscious except with regard to the seasons of the year and how they related to the agricultural cycle. They knew only about their own lives, their family, and their village. When Moses wrote Genesis, it was the first time anyone had written a history that included a true sense of time, as well as accurate dates.In like manner, the story of Abrahams call from Sumeria to the Promised Land represented a pronounced break with the familiar cyclical mindset.