primitive time reckoning
Post on 21-Dec-2014
Embed Size (px)
SKRIFTER UTGIVNA AVHUMANISTISKA VETENSKAPSSAMFUNDETI
ACTA SOCIETAT1S HUMANIORUM LITTERARUM LUNDENSIS
PRIMITIVE TIME-RECKONINGA STUDYTHE ORIGINS AND FIRST DEVELOPMENT OF THE ART OF COUNTING TIME AMONG THE PRIMITIVE AND EARLY CULTURE PEOPLESIN BY
MARTIN PNILSSONPROFESSOR OF CLASSICAL ARCHAEOLOGY
AND \NCJESXJiJSTORY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LUND SECRETARY TO THE SOCIETY LETTERS OF LUND MEMBER OF THE R. DANISH ACADEMY
LUND, C. W. LONDON, HUMPHREY MILFORD OXFORD, UNIVERSITY PRESS
devote only a few pages to
the Greek Althoughin
yet the work has arisen from a desire to
of the initial stages of the
of my investigations into Greek time-reckoning. Greek festivals I had from the beginning been brought up against chronological problems, and as I widened the circle so as to include the survivals of the ancient festivals in the Middle Ages, more
particularly in connexion with the origin of the Christmas festival,I
was again met by difficulties of chronology, In the earlier Germanic time-reckoning.in
time in regard
Religionswissenschaft an article on the
presumptive These preliminary.
origin of thestudiesof the
Greek calendar circulated from Delphi.ledto
taking over myself, in thearticle
Greek and Roman Religions, theInit
on the calendaroutthein
in its sacral connexions.of
This article was worked
chronological systems, which have little to do with religion, but on the question of origins, in which religion plays a decisive part. In order to arrive at an opinion it was not enoughhistoricalto
work over once more the extremely scanty material for the origin of the Greek time-reckoning; I had to form an idea from my hitherto somewhat occasional ethnological reading as to how a
time-reckoning arose under primitive conditions, and what was its nature. This idea obviously required broadening and correcting
by systematic research.tion of the
The war, which suspendedvery beginning, gave '
leisure to under-
more extensive research.
rich libraries of
Certainly it has also imposed on the work, since I could not make use of the England and the Continent but had to be contentof
with what was offered by thoseI
not disposed to regret this limitation too deeply.
Sweden and Copenhagen. But The ma-
many readers as being and monotonous and the numerous books of travels copious enough, and ethnological works which I have ransacked, often to no profit,seemto hold out little prospect that
here reproduced will probably strike
anything new and surprising conviction Webster's work has strength-
two or three instances
have derived material
value from personal communications.of the
For very interestingI
time-reckoning of the Kiwai Papuansof
indebted to Dr.
Helsingfors, and Prof. G. Kazarow of Sofia has valuable information as to the Bulgarian names, of months.of
W. von Sydowexhaustivelead
Lund has communicatedin
more exact conception of the Above all, large districts with more accurately
time-reckoning could be
The Arctic regions form adiffers
district of this nature.
North America; Africa, the characteristically again East Indian Archipelago, and the South Sea Islands all have theirpeculiarities.
The borrowings which have undoubtedly taken placeat least in part pointed out.
on a very large scale would be
of the material is
however the task
of the ethnological
solely to attain the
tioned goal of a general foundation.
matters varies greatly in
without result, and in other casesIt
gone through many books gains have often been small.
only in quite recent times that attention has been paid withprofit to this side of primitive life.
PREFACE.authors Frazer hasin
of ethnological questions (printed
Royal Anthropological Institute, 18, 1889, separately), paying due attention to timeresult, as
which has had a lasting and happyin
Of the workselaborate
predecessors only one has had any more
the ninth chapter of Ginzel's handbook, which
deals with the time-reckoning of the primitive peoples, divided up
according to the different parts
the time-reckoning of the primitive peoples for the history of chro-
nology seems to have been only gradually grasped by the author in the course of his work, since it is not until after he has touchedoccasionally
upon the question
time-reckoning in the
course of his account of the chronological systems of the Orientalpeoples that he inserts the chapter in question between the latter andthe chapters on the chronology of antiquity.
Ginzel has in
spects a sound view of the nature of primitive time-reckoning, and
pertinent remarks, but on the whole his treatment, asis
not seldom the case,
lacking in exactness and depth.material collectedoriginal
by him, going back,Ofother previous
Andree and Frazer on byits
the latter especially distinguished
usual extensive acquaintance with the sources and byof
and the dissertation
of the primitive peoples of Australia
Kotz upon the astronomical and the South Seas,
an industrious work which however only touches superficially upon the problems here dealt with, and in regard to the lunisolar "We can here disreckoning adopts the view of Waitz-Gerland:
meanly the possibility of our knowHubert's paper, Etude sommaire de la representation du ledge. temps dans la religion et la magie, is composed throughout in theto
spirit of the neo-scholastic school of
The present work,
on the other hand, is based upon facts and their interpretation. The book was ready in the spring of 1917, but could not be published on account of the war. Later I have only inserteda
few improvements and additions.
ing touches to
hands, after a delayof
of the time, the
whose Primitive SecretThis
Societies has gained
him fame and
in detail with a subject akin to
chronological standpoint here
Only upon the origin of the lunisolar calendar does the a few general remarks (pp. 173 ff.), which howeversubject