The Roman End of Years

Perhaps we’ll get really lucky and survive past Dec. 21 of this year by the skin of our teeth. This will be in defiance of the Mayan doom but remember we still have other cultures of the world to contend with. Perhaps every single one has an end of days time that could be hard on our civilization.

I know for sure there is an end of years event with the Romans. You may question what this is so allow me to explain.

The Roman numbering system, Roman Numerals, can only go up to the number 3999. So the Romans can only count years up to year 3999. Not our year 3999, but the Roman year 3999. You see, the Romans marked their years from the founding of Rome in 753 BC. So 3999 – 753 (you’ve got to account for the fact there is no zero year between BC and AD) gives a value of 3246 as the year in AD terms when things fall apart.

But wait, there is one more accounting entry to be made. You see, Romans went by the Julian calendar, not the more accurate Gregorian calendar we now use. So typing December 31, 3246 into the Julian calendar entry in a Julian to Gregorian calendar converter, you get the date of January 22, 3247 AD as the last day of that calendar system.

So the Roman end of years is midnight on January 22, 3247 AD. What kind of apocalypse this will lead to we don’t quite know. But be very afraid.

Then similarly the western world’s end of movies will occur on December 31, 3999 AD because of course we won’t be able to decide on a pretentious enough replacement for Roman Numerals to date each movie.

I know some of you are saying aren’t there higher numbers possible with Roman Numerals like putting a line over an M to denote 1 000 times M, or a million. This and other schemes were developed in the middle ages after Rome itself fell. The Romans knew nothing of this which is why their end of years is still valid.

I think a more Roman way to add breadth to its numbering system would be to replace 5 000 with a letter, then 10 000 with another letter, then 50 000 with a third letter and so on. This might delay the End of Years in a marked way. But the Roman alphabet has only 26 letters so this only is a way to delay the apocalypse. The last year possible is 8 trillion 999billion 999million 999thousand 999. I won’t do the Gregorian calendar refinements or the since-the-founding-of-Rome refinements. But the world will end in an incredibly long time in the future even in a severely changed Roman counting system.

It’s just inevitable. So let’s all become preppers and survivalists, now. Maybe a shred of humanity will last.

About Larry Russwurm

Just another ranter on the Internet
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