The arrival of the new millennium has renewed interest in the evolution of our modern calendar. Unraveling the story of this evolution requires extensive knowledge of science, history, and religion. Most of us have little understanding of how the date of Easter is determined, or why we celebrate the New Year on January 1st. In Marking Time: The Epic Quest to Invent the Perfect Calendar, Duncan Steel takes readers on a revealing, meandering trip from several millennia B.C. to the present. As the author states, “By the time you finish reading this tome…it will be clear that the calendar has had much greater effect upon human destiny than you may have fondly imagined. It's not just about numbering the days: it's about the rises and falls of empires and religions…about controlling the masses and subverting your rivals. The calendar story is one of human strife and aspirations.” And so Steel reveals how our calendar is based as much on religion and politics as it is on physical science.