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Egyptian Dates

Intro page      |      How to Read the Tables      |      The Egyptian Calendars       |       Sources      |      Analysis

Civil dates: (Excel) (HTML) (CSV)                                                   Lunar cycle: (Excel) (HTML) (CSV)

This page gives access to a set of conversion tables for determining the Julian equivalent of Egyptian civil and lunar dates in the Ptolemaic era. Two tables are provided: a table converting civil dates to Julian dates, and a table notionally converting lunar dates to civil dates according to the lunar cycle of pCarlsberg 9.

Sources for the Civil Conversions

The original classical source for our knowledge of the Egyptian calendar is the Almagest of Claudius Ptolemy, most conveniently available in the English translation of G. J. Toomer. This also gives many astronomical synchronisms, although the calendar dates associated with these must be interpreted carefully when used chronologically. The regnal eras of the kings, or most of them, are given in the Canon of Kings of Ptolemy's Handy Tables, through the Commentary of Theon of Alexandria. This original structure has been supplemented in the last century or so, to the point of replacement, through a mountain of papyri and other contemporary documents. Many individual points of chronology are discussed in the genealogical pages.

The basic modern surveys of the chronology of the period are:

Except for Depauw et al., all of these works are, in some respects, out of date. Further, Samuel's work in particular is much more concerned with the Macedonian calendar than the Egyptian one.

Other books and papers with significant studies of specific topics related to the Ptolemaic Egyptian calendar, mostly in connection with regnal eras, are:

Not all the results of these studies are accepted here.

The most important books and articles used for the discussion of the calendar of the Canopic reform at this website are:

The English translation used here is that of Roger Bagnall. The clearest technical discussion of the relationship of the Canopic calendar to the Julian calendar and to the heliacal rising of Sothis in English -- despite its Velikovskian background, radical and completely unacceptable chronological conclusions, and rather hectoring tone -- is that of Rose. For Spalinger's relentlessly hostile review of this work, which spares only Rose' mathematical analysis of the Sothic cycle (which is what is relevant to these pages!), see here; for Rose's reply see here.

Sources for the Lunar Conversions

The Egyptian lunar calendar is a discovery of modern Egyptology. Its structure and its relationship to the civil calendar are discussed in extraordinary detail in:

The basic document for synchronising the Egyptian lunar calendar to the civil one is pdem Carlsberg 9. The two most important treatments are in Parker and in:

With additional useful discussion in:

Most of the lunar/civil double dates considered here, but not known to Parker or Depuydt, are given and studied in:

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