The origins of the seven-day week - Workshop
Thursday, 25 June 2015 from 09:30 to 18:00 (BST)
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
The seven-day week stems from two distinct traditions: the Biblical week of the Sabbath, and the astrological, planetary week. In this workshop, we investigate how these traditions emerged and spread in the Roman Empire, and how they combined remarkably into a single, seven-day unit of time reckoning that was to become standard in the medieval and modern worlds.
9:30 Registration and coffee
9:55 Sacha Stern (UCL): introductory remarks
The planetary week
10:00 Wolfgang Hübner (Münster): When and where was the planetary week invented?
11:00 Béatrice Bakhouche (Montpellier): Evidence of the planetary week in Rome: issues and debates.
12:00 Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim (Goldsmiths): Notes on the Tibetan planetary week and its possible sources.
The Jewish seven-day week
13:30 François de Blois (UCL): The etymology of ‘Shabbat’.
14:00 Jonathan Ben-Dov (Haifa): The early history of the Jewish week.
15:00 tea break
The seven-day week in the Roman Empire
15:15 Ilaria Bultrighini (UCL): The diversity and spread of the seven-day week in the Roman Empire.
16:15 Sacha Stern (UCL): The seven-day count in the Roman Empire: standardization and fixation.
17:15 Concluding discussion
18:00 end of workshop
When & Where
ERC Project ‘Calendars in Antiquity and the Middle Ages’
The ERC Calendars project organizes a series of workshops on specific themes. The aim of these workshops is to share, discuss, and broaden our research with colleagues from the wider academic community. Contributors to the workshops include members of our research team and international experts from outside the project. The workshops are open to anyone interested.
For more information see our project website: