Today I Found Out
Feed your brain
the video today we are answering a viewer qestion
Someone ask us
Through most of history
There were few clocks and only recently alarm clocks
So how did people know when to get up precisely
Or how did they schedule meetings or
When to open up or close shop, etc..?
说白了 我只是好奇 人们是怎样
Basically, I guess I’m just wondering how people kept track of time
In order to go about managing daily life
All right, let’s get into it.
As much as we might hate that alarm that
drags us from the wonderful slumber of sleep to face the day,
it is hard to imagine
how people organized themselves and their collective activities before the invention
and widespread use of mechanical or digital clocks.
Clever and adaptable,
we humans actually seem to have managed rather easily by relying on
simple methods, some of which we still see in our timekeeping today.
Universally, human timekeeping has always been related to the Sun and its movement across the sky.
像古巴比伦 中国 埃及 印度这些文明古国
Ancient cultures, like the Babylonians, Chinese,
Egyptians and Hindus, even from the earliest days of civilization
were dividing the Sun’s cycle into periods.
Of course, one of the drawbacks to this early way
of keeping time was that depending on the season,
the length of each period could vary quite a lot.
Another drawback was that at night
the Sun was most unhelpfully missing from the sky,
但是埃及人 像我们一样 仍需要度量时间
but Egyptians, like us, still needed to measure time.
After all, how else would they know when the bars closed?
To get around this problem,
their astronomers observed a set of 36 stars,
18 of which they used to mark the passage of time after the Sun was down.
Six of them would be used to mark the 3 hours
of Twilight on either side of the night,
and twelve then be used to divide up the darkness into 12 equal parts.
Later on, somewhere between 1550 and 1070 BC,
this system was simplified to just use a set of 24 stars,
of which 12 were used to mark the passage of time.
Sixty was important to the Babylonians,
who inherited a base 60 calculation system from the Sumerians
This is actually ingenious,
because 60 is a convenient number for doing math without a calculator
since it is evenly divisible by each of the numbers
1 through 6, among others, and most relevant to timekeeping, the number 12.
Rather than using variable length hours,
Greek astronomers in the 2nd century BC
began using equal length hours.
The idea was to simplify the galatians needed
when devising their theories and in experiments,
although the practice did not become widespread until after the
introduction of mechanical clocks;
as such, regular folks continued to rely on seasonally-adjusted
hours well until the middle ages.
The impetus to develop mechanical clocks
in Europe first arose among monks who needed
accurate timekeeping in order to properly observe daily prayer,
as well as maintain their rigid work schedules.
The first recorded mechanical clock
in medieval Europe was constructed in 1996 in Magdeburg, Germany.
By the 14th century,
large mechanical clocks were being installed in churches across Europe,
and the oldest surviving example, at Salisburycathedral, dates to 1386.
Innovation led to smaller clock parts,
since the 15th century saw the appearance of domestic clocks,
while personal timepieces were seenin the 16th century.
Note that, even well into the Renaissance,
clocks did not display minutes, since the idea that an hour was divided
into 60 of them was not well known until nearly the 17th century.
So how did people keep appointments?
One early method, practiced especially around the Equator,
was to point at the place in
the sky where the sun would be when you wanted to meet.
A more common practice, particularly in the middle latitudes,
was to rely on a sundial;
all types proliferated and included everything
from a simple stick shoved into the ground
to the shadows that fell from landmarks ( such
as Egypt’s obelisks ) to formally crafted devices.
This popular method of telling time
adds the fact that matches a civilization
sprang up in the northern hemisphere
is in fact tell the whole clockwise thing came about
If you look directly in the northern pole from space
It would appear to spin count-clockwise
given that spin, when a stick is sticked in the ground
parallel to the earth’s axis, in say, Egypt.
The shadow cost by the stick cause the sun moved
across the sky will move in a clockwise direction
Noticeablely, a similarly place sticks in Australia would
cost the shadow that moves count-clockwise.
As for all back it went to the Egyption since Babylonians
were fashion in the first shadow clocks around 3,500 BC
The measurement of time moved to a clockwise direction
Even has more precise time-keeping methods came about
some dials reach being analyzed around 1,500 BC
remains popular through out the middle ages
and beyond given their simplicity of construction learns
relative reliability, in fact early mechanical clocks
were often regularly calibrated to MI sundials.
so, when mechanical clocks were introduced in Europe in the 14th century
their inventors were quite familiar with sundials since the clockwise
direction the shadow moves to mark time with.
Accordingly by the end of the century when even Cathedral
clocks were sporting clockfaces
they were made in imitation of their sundial forebears which included
hands that move in a clockwise direction.
moving on from sundials advanced ancient
civilizations had a variety of other timekeepers as well.
This included water clocks and hourglasses,
that go all the way back to at least 1400-1500 BC.
Of course, these methods were far less efficacious
in extreme northern (or southern) latitudes.
To accommodate their mercurial Sun,
the Scandinavians invented daymarks – a system of dividing
the horizon into eight sections, one eachfor north (midnight), south (midday), east (rise-measure),
west (mid-evening), northeast(ótta), southeast (day-measure), southwest
(undorn) and northwest (night-measure).
The time of day was known by noting
over which of these daymarks the Sun stood at that moment.
Regardless of the method of knowing the hour,
our ancestors also had to come up with ways
to get up on time.
One simple technique relied
on a full bladder and was accomplished by the simple expedient
of drinking a lot of liquid at bedtime.
Yet another time-tested simple method, at least in rural settings,
was keeping a rooster
close at hand (see: Why Do Roosters Crow?)
On the other hand, some approaches were dependent on the kindness of others.
In communities served by a sizable religious institution,
residents could often rely on
the ringing of church bells or the call toprayer. Likewise,
when factories were first introduced
in the 18th century, workers could depend
on the factory whistle to get them where they needed to be on time. Later,
as people moved further away from their employers,
some paid Knockers-Up, early-risers
who carried long sticks,
to tap on their doors and windows at the appointed time.
Now for a bonus fact
Have you ever wondered what a.m. and p.m.stand for?
Well, wonder no more
a.m. stands for “ ante meridiem, ”
which is Latin for “ before midday ”;
p.m. stands for “ post meridiem,
which in Latin for “after midday”
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