In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

The Catholic Historical Review VOL.LXXXVlJANUARY, 2000No. 1 GOING GREGORIAN, 1582-1752: ASUMMARYVIEW Malcolm Freiberg* In 1582 the papal decree of Gregory XIII dropped ten days from the Julian calendar then in use, thus synchronizing the year and its seasons. Western Europe's Catholic countries rapidly adopted the "New Stile" calendar, so-called; Protestant ones did so more slowly.Among the latter, Great Britain was a long-term holdout. She clung to the "Old Stile"Julian calendar until 1752, when she and her dominions finally abandoned it in favor of the Catholic construct of 170 years before. Some hostility accompanied the change in Britain; adoption was not contentious in colonial America. For civil purposes, most nations of the world now use the calendar that Pope Gregory had promulgated for religious purposes, the incidence of the Resurrection being at the core of Christianity. As we leave one millennium and enter another, a brief look at 1582 and 1752 and the years before, between, and after may be of more than antiquarian interest . In 46 B.C. (as we now reckon time) Julius Caesar by decree imposed the calendar that bears his name. To achieve seasonal harmony, it lengthened the year to 445 days, began 45 B.C. and succeeding years on January 1 , and, on the advice of the Greco-Alexandrian astronomer Sosi- *Dr. Freiberg is Editor of Publications, Emeritus, of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston. After this article was accepted in June, 1998, for publication in the year 2000, the William and Mary Quarterly published in October, 1998 (3rd series, Vol. Ly pp. 557-584), Mark M. Smith's article on "Culture, Commerce, and Calendar Reform in Colonial America." (To that point neither was aware of the other's interest in aspects of calendrical history.) Professor Smith's excellent essay is highly recommended. I GOING GREGORIAN, 1582-1752: A SUMMARY VIEW genes, set a year's duration at 365 days and six hours, with common years to run 365 days and with every fourth year to contain an extra day. Its year-length estimate was eleven minutes and fourteen seconds greater than a natural year, a difference adding up to an entire day every 128 years. In addition, the Julian rule resulted in three too many leap years about every 400 years. As the centuries advanced, the spring equinox receded. By the time of the Council of Nicaea1 in 325 A.D., it had drifted from March 25 to March 21. The council set March 21 as the date of the spring equinox. In addition, it mandated that Easter should fall on the Sunday after the full moon following the spring equinox and avoid coinciding with the Jewish Passover. By the sixteenth century, the spring equinox was back at March 1 1 , the autumnal at September 1 1, the longest day of the year was June 1 1 , and the shortest, December 1 1 . In short, the calendar was ready for revision. Ready, that is, after a long interval of sixteen centuries from the imposition of the Julian calendar. In that interval, there were numerous attempts , all undertaken in the name of religion, to purge Caesar's calendar ofits errors.2 In 625 A.D. a monk in Rome named Dionysius Exiguus postulated Christ's date of conception as March 25 (when a year should begin) and date of birth as December 25. Also, the monk abandoned reckoning time from the foundation of Rome ("a& urbe condita ") and opted for the year of Christ's birth, which he assumed occurred in 1 A.D. (^Anno Domini" "in the year of the Lord"). The lack of a Year Zero in the Dionysian scheme still troubles those who insist that the new millennium properly begins on January 1, 2001.3 By the sixteenth century, movements for calendar reform were accelerating , mostly at various ecumenical councils—Constance, Basle, and 'Nicaea, today's Iznik, at the eastern end of Lake Iznik, in northwest Anatolia, Turkey. On some of these attempts, see Bertha M. Frick, with the collaboration of S. A. Ives, "Calendar Reform across Eighteen Centuries,"/oMrae/ of Calendar Reform, Third Quarter , 1943, pp. 130-138, and Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent...