Talk:Dominical letter

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Make the introduction shorter

The introduction should be shorter. Right now it redundantly states things that will be repeated later on. It is also difficult to understand.--Gheuf 19:24, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

The lede is intended to repeat information that appears in the body of the text. Consult WP guidelines on ledes before altering. (talk) 04:46, 28 January 2015 (UTC)


The author of "The Oxford Companion to the Year is Leofranc Holford-Strevens (not Colfred-Strevens).-- 16:35, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Fixed. — Joe Kress 21:43, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

C code

It should be made clear whether m is 0-indexed or not. --Belg4mit 18:12, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


I'm wondering about some points. Perhaps the answers could be included in the article.

- where the name dominical comes from?

- is the Dominical letter system still in use?

One specific question. The 3rd paragraph of the article says "In the original 1582 Catholic version, it did, but in the 1752 Anglican version it did not. " Versions of what? It is not clear to me if 'version' refers to a) versions of the calendar, or b) versions of the Dominical letter system. Thanks. Wanderer57 14:47, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Dominical comes from the Latin word dominica, meaning Sunday. In a year with a dominical letter A, then days marked with an A in the Calendar are Sundays. In B years, b days are Sundays, etc. Rwflammang (talk) 19:30, 20 January 2010 (UTC)


Not sure where or how to add this issue/question: However,...

I note the similarity of 7 Dominical Letters A-G to the 7 Musical Notational Letters A-G. Is there any cross-significance -- or is it pure coincidence related to the number "7"? With both Calendars and Music dominated by the church, I suspect a connection -- but have no expertise in this. Should there be discussion here, as well as a (reference, link?) to Music and/or Numbers? Thanks. HalFonts (talk) 01:26, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

This is pure conincidence:
  • The 7 natural notes in music come from a major harmonic rule and physiology of humane ear to distinhuish easily some harmonics that resonnate "well" for most people, and the ability to reproduce them easily with voice. But people are also limited by their instruments that often cannot create all exact harmonics. People have then their ear trained to recognize the notes of common instruments. There are subtle aspects for harmonics because people also want to place notes on an integer scale and be able to count them on their fingers (they can't count twelth roots of two as they are irrational, for this reason, some combinations of notes willl be approximated well). Some combinations will not sound very well because the human ear will recognize that they "beat" if played on instruments. So some of the twelth roots will be skipped and within them, people recognoze 7 notes on 12 whose combination sound "major" working well in lots of combination with a base note, and the other five are "minor" and cannot sound well with the others. So we get 7 notes.
  • The dominal letters come from the choice of the week, which oiginates from the natural subdivision of the lunar moon cycle in four parts; the 7-day week originate from the Roman calendar. Here peole wanted to be able to count easily on their fingers. The week could have been 10 days (like in the former French Republican calendar) only if months had been created initially with 30 days based on solar year cycle instead of the lunar moon. But initially the moon was more easily observable than the solar month.
So in summary we have 7 major musical notes and 7 days in a week. It has been natural in medieval times to note ordinals with letters starting by A (this is an old tradition that also existed in Phenician, Greek, Hebrew, and later in the Cyrillic alphabet as well, long before the adoption of Arabo-Indic digits in Europe that replaced the uneasy Roman number notation for cardinals by decimal digits. But the notation of ordinals has persisted up to today when we use letters in chapters or book numbers or for alineas.
Note that the use of letters A to G is not very practical for singing and remembering. Other languages than English (Romance languages) prefer naming these 7 notes on the major harmonic gammut : do, re, mi, fa sol, la, si (plus ut for do in the next gamut), instead of letters (respectively C to G, then A, B), these names come from syllables in Italian poestry, and are easier to sing, to memoize in sequences.
Other countries that have a different tradition for their instruments, have trained their ear differently and recognize more major notes, simply because their instruments allow it and are less "incremental" This is facilated in cultures whose language uses many distinctive tones (e.g. Sino-Tibetan and Japanic languages).
In summary, the similarity is that both musical notes and dominical letters are derived as some type of very old but very common ordinals. verdy_p (talk) 10:16, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

1712 in Sweden

What is the dominical letter of 1712 in the Swedish calendar?? Georgia guy (talk) 01:31, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Very interesting question! The year 1712 in the Swedish calendar had two leap days, February 29 & 30. The extra leap day restored that year to the Julian calendar after the year 1700 when it skipped a leap day, and 1704 and 1708 when Julian leap days were included. Using Calendrica, January 1 was a Tuesday in the Julian calendar. A lost leap day in 1700 meant that the Swedish January 1, 1712 was a Monday. Regarding it as A, the next Sunday is G. The two leap days decreased the Dominical letter to E. So the Dominical letter of 1712 in Sweden was GE, G for the Sundays between January 1 and February 28, and E for the Sundays between March 1 to December 31. This is confirmed by Easter Sunday/Jewish Passover Calculator by Robert van Gent, which yields FE for a normal Julian year of 1712. — Joe Kress (talk) 05:50, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Opening to history section all but completely plagiarised

… so edited to make it — though not yet acceptable — a quote rich section, rather than an near continuum of cribbed text. The source of the text appears, but only in a very limited and non-specific way, and so this does not excuse the wholesale appropriation of the words of this author: Thurston, H. (1909). Dominical Letter. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from New Advent:

Note, the used material does not begin to approach a close paraphrase; it is simple plagiarism. (There was little or no attempt either to modify the text from the source to make it original work, nor to demarcate the text that was appropriated.)

The plagiarism was addressed by setting off the purloined text in quotes.

Note, it is likely that much of the rest of the article is similarly corrupt, but this is all I have time and stomach for this evening. Bloody awful. (talk) 04:43, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Note as well, whatever the WP policy, the fact that something is in the public domain (as is the volume from which the Thurston quotations were taken part and parcel) does not relieve one of the scholarly duty of stating ones sources, clearly and consistently, both when appropriating text as quotes, and when converting original prose to a paraphrase. (talk) 06:11, 28 January 2015 (UTC)


The sequence of dominical letters in the 400-year cycle is as follows: BA, G, F, E, DC, B, A, G, FE, D, C, B, AG, F, E, D, CB, A, G, F, ED, C, B, A, GF, E, D, C, BA, G, F, E, DC, B, A, G, FE, D, C, B, AG, F, E, D, CB, A, G, F, ED, C, B, A, GF, E, D, C, BA, G, F, E, DC, B, A, G, FE, D, C, B, AG, F, E, D, CB, A, G, F, ED, C, B, A, GF, E, D, C, BA, G, F, E, DC, B, A, G, FE, D, C, B, AG, F, E, D, C, B, A, G, FE, D, C, B, AG, F, E, D, CB, A, G, F, ED, C, B, A, GF, E, D, C, BA, G, F, E, DC, B, A, G, FE, D, C, B, AG, F, E, D, CB, A, G, F, ED, C, B, A, GF, E, D, C, BA, G, F, E, DC, B, A, G, FE, D, C, B, AG, F, E, D, CB, A, G, F, ED, C, B, A, GF, E, D, C, BA, G, F, E, DC, B, A, G, FE, D, C, B, AG, F, E, D, CB, A, G, F, E, D, C, B, AG, F, E, D, CB, A, G, F, ED, C, B, A, GF, E, D, C, BA, G, F, E, DC, B, A, G, FE, D, C, B, AG, F, E, D, CB, A, G, F, ED, C, B, A, GF, E, D, C, BA, G, F, E, DC, B, A, G, FE, D, C, B, AG, F, E, D, CB, A, G, F, ED, C, B, A, GF, E, D, C, BA, G, F, E, DC, B, A, G, FE, D, C, B, AG, F, E, D, CB, A, G, F, ED, C, B, A, G, F, E, D, CB, A, G, F, ED, C, B, A, GF, E, D, C, BA, G, F, E, DC, B, A, G, FE, D, C, B, AG, F, E, D, CB, A, G, F, ED, C, B, A, GF, E, D, C, BA, G, F, E, DC, B, A, G, FE, D, C, B, AG, F, E, D, CB, A, G, F, ED, C, B, A, GF, E, D, C, BA, G, F, E, DC, B, A, G, FE, D, C, B, AG, F, E, D, CB, A, G, F, ED, C, B, A, GF, E, D, C. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 21:12, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

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Century letter

In The odd plus 11 method

Count forward T letters from the century's dominical letter (A, C, E or G see above) to get the year's dominical letter.

The only plausible candidate for (the description) "above" that is in § Calculation:

for one century within two multiples of 400, go forward two letters from BA for 2000, hence C, E, G.

That is not at all clear, at least to readers not already familiar with the dominical calculations. It needs rewriting, to make the procedure comprehensible and accessible to the ordinary reader. --Thnidu (talk) 20:45, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

Doesn't Add Up

"Dominical letters are derived from the Roman practice of marking the repeating sequence of eight letters A–H (commencing with A on 1 January) on stone calendars to indicate each day's position in the eight-day market week (nundinae)."

"Thus, 2017 is A, indicating that all A days are Sunday, and by inference, 1 January 2017 is a Sunday."

Well... no. January 1, 2017 is a Sunday. If the letters A-H are used, the next Sunday, January 8, 2017 will be H, and the next "A" day will be a Monday, January 8, 2017. The next A day will be a Tuesday, the next will be Wednesday, then Thursday, and so on -- there will be seven full weeks between weeks in which Sundays are A days.

Some part of the given definition is wrong. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:05, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

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