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Friday, March 23, 2007
Calendars and Dates

Research had come to a halt.
Things were going badly.
Nothing added up.
Especially the dates.
Then it hit me. . .
The difference was TWELVE DAYS!

Why, you might ask, was this so important? And why did it finally relieve the tension headache I was brewing trying to decide on a topic for today? Simple.

I was going to write about Tsar Paul I of Russia today. The son of Catherine II and Peter III, he was born on October 1, 1754 - and died in March 1801. For some reason all my sources (books and internet) are fine with his birthdate, but his death date varies by, you guessed it, TWELVE DAYS! Some sources say he died on March 11, 1801 and others say March 23, 1801.

What they all agree on was that he was assassinated - murdered - bumped off - dispatched - done in -- you get the picture. After less than 5 years on the throne, he had managed to piss off nearly all of the nobility in Russia and they didn't mourn his death. The account of his death is interesting, however. This is wikipedia's:

On the night of the March 11, 1801, Paul was murdered in his bedroom in the newly built St Michael's Castle by a band of dismissed officers headed by General Bennigsen, a Hanoverian in the Russian service. They charged into his bedroom, flushed with drink after supping together, and found Paul hiding behind some drapes in the corner. The conspirators pulled him out, forced him to the table, and tried to compel him to sign his abdication. Paul offered some resistance, and one of the assassins struck him with a sword, after which he was strangled and trampled to death.

Trampled? What did they do, walk on him? It sounds like a horrible way to die - no matter what happened.

So today's question is in honor of the twelve day discrepancy that nearly gave me a migraine. In what year did most of the world (but not Russia) switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar - thereby deleting 12 days? Hint: It was before Paul was born.

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Blogger robynl said...
Wednesday, September 3, 1752

Anonymous Jewell said...
I know it was after the 14th century. I know because I nearly drove myself insane researching the exact date of an attack on Nottingham Castle.

Earlier recounts have the original date, later items reference the date based on the new calendar!

I was ready to lose my mind until I found the reason for my madness.

Sigh. Time wasted.


Blogger Denise Patrick said...
LOL Jewell. I understand completely - and I even knew about the twelve days but, for some reason, it just didn't connect with me until I checked to see when Russia synchronized with the rest of the world (not until 1917). It is interesting that, of all the accounts I perused, only his death date has the discrepancy. His birthdate is always the same date.

Good researching, Robyn.

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