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Things of Middle-earth

King's Reckoning

Type: Calendars & Measurements


The calendar used in Númenor and by the realms in exile during the time of the Dúnedain Kings; it was later modified by the Hobbits and later by the Stewards of Gondor:
In the west-lands of Eriador, when [the Hobbits] had begun to settle down, they adopted the King's Reckoning of the Dúnedain, which was ultimately of Eldarin origin....

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix D, The Calendars

The Númenórean system, as used in Númenor, and in Arnor and Gondor until the end of the kings, was called King's Reckoning. The normal year had 365 days. It was divided into twelve astar or months, of which ten had 30 days and two had 31. The long astar were those on either side of the Mid-year, approximately our June and July. The first day of the year was called yestarë, the middle-day (183rd) was called loëndë, and the last day mettarë, these 3 days belonged to no month. In every fourth year, except the last of a century (haranyë), two enderi or 'middle-days' were substituted for the loëndë.

In Númenor calculation started with S.A. 1. The Deficit caused by deducting 1 day from the last year of a century was not adjusted until the last year of a millennium, leaving a millennial deficit of 4 hours, 46 minutes, 40 seconds. This addition was made in Númenor in S.A. 1000, 2000, 3000. After the Downfall in SA. 3319 the system was maintained by the exiles, but it was much dislocated by the beginning of the Third Age with a new numeration: S.A. 3442 became T.A. 1. By making T.A. 4 a leap year instead of T.A. 3 (S.A. 3444) 1 more short year of only 365 days was intruded causing a deficit of 5 hours, 48 minutes, 46 seconds. The millennial additions were made 441 years late: in T.A. 1000 (S.A. 4441) and 2000 (S.A. 5441). To reduce the errors so caused, and the accumulation of the millennial deficits, Mardil the Steward issued a revised calendar to take effect in T.A. 2060....

The Revised Calendar introduced by Mardil was called Stewards' Reckoning and was adopted eventually by most of the users of the Westron language, except the Hobbits.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix D, The Calendars

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 20Dec09

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