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Old 11 Jul 2007, 02:06   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Calendar question

A few recent topics about religion in 40k have come up recently, and got me thinking: regardless of what may have happened to Christianity over the next 38,000 years, the Imperium still uses the same calendar - it is dated from 1 AD, like the current Gregorian calendar.

Is this simply a contrivance for the players' sake, and in "real" terms the dating system is something completely different (like dating from the founding of the Imperium, or the Emperor's Ascension or something), or are the people in 40k actually using this system? If the latter is true, then what do they think it's dated from? Aren't they curious about what happened back at Year Zero?
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Old 11 Jul 2007, 09:04   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Calendar question

They still use our system of 0AD as the base template.

However, in all likelihood they have no idea why, or when it was started from. Why would it matter? It is only a frame of reference after all.
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Old 11 Jul 2007, 09:36   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Calendar question

Yes, most probably, this system whethered the centuries, and no one really thought about it. In the old, 3rd Edition rulebook, there was the system explained, a quite good idea, actually. Every human-controlled system uses it, with a reference number in front - 0 for being on Earth, 1 for a system in direct contact with earth, and so on, to make sure how "exact" the date is.

And exchanging this old, tried and tested system reliably with a new method of counting years/a new "year 0" would have be nearly impossible given the size of the Imperium and the long time it takes for news to travel...
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Old 11 Jul 2007, 20:29   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: Calendar question

But don't you think some people are just a little bit curious? There's always someone who wants to ask questions, and this isn't exactly an unreasonable one for an Imperial citizen to ask.
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Old 11 Jul 2007, 20:42   #5 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Calendar question

Asking the wrong questions in the Imperium can get you very fast very dead - and you only know what a "wrong" question is by finding out by trial and error... So people don`t ask any questions at all.

I don`t think the people of the Imperium are very curious - curiosity only breeds heresy. The are caught in a fundamental religious system, where whatever the Emperor (or the local priest) say is automatically the truth.

Of course, IF someone in some position of authority would want to find out (an Inquisitor, although I doubt he would waste his time to find something out like this), I doubt he`d find much - much was lost in the Dark Age of technology; the Imperium lived through hundreds of purges where history was "altered" to make it fit, and as such.
Maybe there is another explanation in the 40K universe for "year zero" - maybe it is the "birth of the Emperor", no matter how right/wrong this information is. The term "anno domini" (Year of the Lord) might give them reason to believe this. Maybe year zero is the first year mankind left Terra for the stars (which would be off only 2000 years, which is only a deviation of 5% in 40.000 years - not that bad ).

There sure exists SOME information about year zero, but I doubt it is the "right" one.
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