My Incredibly Unremarkable Life
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Twenty-five--a perfect square, one-fourth of a nice round 100.

And the date picked to celebrate Jesus' birth.

We do not know when, precisely, he was born. Calendars were essentially (probably totally, but I'll cover my a** by saying probably) non-existent. Dates were given in relation to who was ruling what and where.

And so much was not written down at all. Even the year isn't really known. Supposedly the Anno Domini (Year of Our Lord) dating system begins with the birth of Jesus. But, based on comparisons of political events in the gospels and the same events as reported in various state papers, Jesus was born about 4 B.C.

It wasn't until relatively recently--maybe four hundred years ago or so--that the majority of people actually used specific dates. Event occurrences were described in terms of "that winter with so much snow," "the summer the neighbors arrived," etc. etc.

Births were not officially recorded, although if the family was literate and owned a Bible events of that nature were generally recorded. But still without specific dates.

Consider the level of literacy for the vast majority of our past. Reading was only for those who did not have to wrok from can-see to can't-see. What need was there for literacy when you spent your life trying to provide enough food for the family?

(A very interesting book about this period in Europe is Down the Common: A Year in the Life of a Medieval Woman.)

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