Systems of historical dating used on Ooranye:


The most commonly used of the three systems is the era-day count .  To see how this works, let us take a famous date in Uranian history, the day of First Contact with Terrestrials, which on our calendar took place on 10th July, 3564 A.D.  On Ooranye this was the 11,002,739th day of the Actinium Era and so is referred to simply as 11,002,739 Ac.  [Needless to say, when translating into English we use our own English chemical symbol for the element for which the era is named; however, the Uranians' own abbreviations are similar in style to ours.]

The Uranians seem not to feel inconvenienced by the need to use and remember seven- or eight- or even nine-digit numbers.  This is just as well since their basic unit is the day, and there are a lot of days in any of the major eras!  As for why they use the day:  Ooranye's orbit round the sun takes 84 Earth years, roughly a lifetime, and so is far too long a period for most purposes of accurate dating. 

However, the Uranian year does have a place in their culture - an astonishing place, to our way of thinking.  The U-year countdown is a phenomenon which many Earth minds have found impossible to accept.  It seems as ridiculous as a claim by an archaeologist to have found a Greek vase inscribed "300 B.C.".  Yet the evidence is incontrovertible: Uranians from the very beginning of their history have been counting the long years backwards!  During 91 eras they have experienced this countdown towards the 92nd and Last Era.   The numbers in this system are prefaced in English translation with the letters UTU [Until the Ultimate or U-years Till the Ultimate].  Thus, for example, the event mentioned in the previous paragraph as occurring on day 11,002,739 of era 89 occurred also in UTU-8.  A year later (remember, their years are 84 of ours) they were living in UTU-7.  So - to emphasize the point once more - the fact is that right from the start of their history, way back in UTU-14,286 (1.2 million Earth years ago), their psychic inner clocks were telling them how many U-years lay ahead of them before the Last Era.  Imagine a shadowy dial moving slowly towards the climax of a world's destiny; a remote but ever-present weight upon any reflective mind.

Lastly we must mention the most rarely used, and the simplest, Uranian dating system - the absolute day count.  This is simply a count of the days from the very beginning, taking no notice of the division into eras.  First Contact with Terrestrials according to this count took place  350,470,238 days after the first Uranian human being emerged from the pre-biotic sivvan at Dmara.  The absolute count has its uses.  It can be convenient to refer to it when calculating time spans which straddle several eras.


[Return to front page]