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Stewards' Reckoning

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Stewards' Reckoning, also known as the Revised Calendar, was the calendar system introduced in Gondor by its first Ruling Steward, Mardil Voronwë, in Third Age 2060. It replaced the previous system known as the Kings' Reckoning and, following the War of the Ring, it was replaced by the New Reckoning.[1]


[edit] Background

Arnor and Gondor used a Númenórean calendar called Kings' Reckoning but even after the fall of Sauron at the end of that Age, the old calendar was maintained by the Exiles of Númenor in Middle-earth into the Third Age. When the era of the Kings passed with the fall of Arnor and the loss of King Eärnur, the Kings' Reckoning presented (through the continued accumulation of the millenial deficits) an offset of about 1.6 days[2] out of synchronicity with the astronomical observations.

[edit] History

To correct the accumulating deficit of the calendar, Steward Mardil inserted two leap days into T.A. 2059. In addition, he reformed the calendar, to take effect in 2060, by making all months of equal length at 30 days and arranging the two extra days as holidays outside of the months. In 2360 Steward Hador added 1 day to that year. However, there was no millennial addition in 3000, so by 3020 the calendar was once again in deficit according to Tolkien, but by less than 1 day.[1]

It is unclear whether the leap day in 2060 was dropped in consequence. The deficit Tolkien would have calculated ignoring the additions in 2059 for the end of 2060 is 1 day, 8 hours, 5 minutes, 26 seconds; his claim that the deficit then was about 8 hours would imply that one extra day had occurred and therefore that the leap day was skipped. By contrast, his claim that a deficit of less than one day existed in 3020 would imply that the 2060 leap day as retained.[3]

The Stewards' Reckoning was eventually adopted by most speakers of Westron such as the Dwarves and even the Elves (who maintained their former traditions only for ritual purposes).

In the Fourth Age, the calendar was replaced by the New Reckoning.

[edit] The Calendar

The Revised Calendar consisted of twelve months, each of thirty days, and five additional days that belonged to no month. The months were taken from those of the Kings' Reckoning, with the change that the seventh and eighth months were shortened to thirty days, and the two days placed outside the months as tuilérë, meaning Spring-day, and yáviérë, meaning Autumn-day.

Month number Quenya Sindarin Length
  Yestarë 1
1 Narvinyë Narwain 30
2 Nénimë Nínui 30
3 Súlimë Gwaeron 30
Tuilérë 1
4 Víressë Gwirith 30
5 Lótessë Lothron 30
6 Nárië Nórui 30
  Loëndë/Enderi 1/2
7 Cermië Cerveth 30
8 Úrimë Urui 30
9 Yavannië Ivanneth 30
Yáviérë 1
10 Narquelië Narbeleth 30
11 Hísimë Hithui 30
12 Ringarë Girithron 30
  Mettarë 1

The names of the months and days were now popularly used in Quenya (though Dale and Rohan, retained old names, at least among the lower population); the Dúnedain adhered to Sindarin versions.

[edit] Observations


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix D, "The Calendars"
  2. Andreas Moehn, "The Reckoning of Time", Lalaith's Middle-earth Science Pages (accessed 19 April 2018)
  3. Aaron Chong, "Tolkien's Legendarium versus Astronomical Reality", Redirected Insanity (accessed 11 July 2015)