please empty your brain below

i couldn't have put it better myself.

I found this interesting.

Am I sad?

A truly remarkable & scholarly posting this - not least for it's accomplished use of HTML - ind├Žd

I've got too say, you have just about the most interesting blog I've ever read! It's extremely well-written as well. My hubby, who's on the Blogging Brits ring( was the one who pointed me to your blog cuz he's also a fan. I'm a Canadian ex-pat living in the UK and my blog tries to portray my experiences over here, but I admit, your blog is like an easy-to-read Encyclopedia! Keep up what must be a lot of work! You're doing a great job!!!

Cheers Carla.

I did wonder if anyone would find a list of anorakky facts about the date of Easter interesting, apart from myself of course. Looks like I needn't have worried.

(Hmmm, maybe the first item of diamond geezer merchandise should be an anorak...)

One of the reasons I love your blog is its logic and coherence.

The council of Nicea didn't "decide" the Easter computation. It merely decided that there should be uniformity: all Christians should compute it in the same way. The practice prior to that time in most places seems to have been (though the evidence is subject to interpretation) for Christians to consult their Jewish neigbors to learn when the Week of Unleavened bread would fall, then fixing Easter for the Sunday that fell in that week. The Emperor felt that this dependence was undignified, and urged Christians to do their own computation. Also the Jewish calendar itself was in flux at this time: not all Jews agreed on when the Feast of Unleavened bread would fall. (The present Jewish calendar has been stable since the ninth century A.D., and references in the Talmud suggest that as late as about 600 A.D. it hadn't been completely worked out.) Using the old method of consulting Jewish neigbors (assuming this was the method) could have resulted in differing dates in different places.

The council itself seems only to have decreed uniformity, not necessarily the independence of the Jewish calendar that the Emperor urged. But it the Jewish calendar itself was not yet stable, then uniformity in practice would have meant independence as well. But the council didn't decree any details. It set no date for the equinox, no limits on the moon's age for defining the week within which Easter would fall, and no way of computing the moon's age for any particular day. These details were worked out over the subsequent centuries. The system that the western church eventually adopted was already in existence by the time the Council of Nicea met. It had a date of March 21st for the equinox, and defined the week within which Easter would fall as the third week (i.e. the 15th to the 21st) of the first lunar month in the year to have its third week entirely after March 21st.

My own description of the Gregorian Easter cycle can be found at

Thanks Tim. I realise I simplified the rules rather, and the history as well, but your information and page are fascinating - I love stuff like that.

It's a shame that the date of Christmas is so easy to work out, I reckon.

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