This is my narrative and relevant references from the Books where Chronology is mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
That is actually a quote from Outlaw of Gor, page 178.
When I began to outline chronology for this section of ~The Gorean Cave~ I found this to be very true. "The normal chaos of Gorean chronology" is difficult to describe in a few short sentences. However, within this page and the others listed to the left, I will attempt to give you a better understanding.
Each city keeps track of time by virtue of its own Administrator Lists. This means, while one city might refer to the current year as 'the first year of the restoration of Marlenus', another will refer to it as 'Year 3 of the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains' and still another group doesn't even number the years but instead gives them names.
There have been efforts on behalf of some of the Initiates to institute a unified calendar but with the history of so many different cultures dating back over thousands of years, this idea has been met with considerable resistance. And even the Initiates themselves can't agree on it.
Proposals to reform chronology are also presented by the Caste of Scribes almost every year at the Fair of En'Kara, near the Sardar Mountains. Their proposals, sensible as they might seem, are seldom greeted with either interest or enthusiasm, even by the Scribes.
Most Gorean cities use the Spring Equinox as the date of the New Year. Turia, however, uses the Summer Solstice to begin counting a new year.
The years, as counted by the Wagon Peoples of the Great Plains, actually vary in length. But this does not bother them as it might you or me. They have 15 months in a year, named for the 15 types of bosk. And they do not even call the current year by number but instead name the years based on a significant event that happened. They also do not write down these names, preferring instead to commit them to memory. The names are remembered by the Year Keepers and some can recall the names of several thousand years in chronological order.
The Red Savages think of what part of the year they are in based on the name they have for that lunar cycle. These cycles have names like the Corn-Harvest Moon, the Sore-Eye Moon and the Moon of the Returning Giants.
The Rune-Priests of the North keep the calendars of Torvaldsland. They number years from the time of Thor's gift of the stream of Torvald to Torvald, legendary hero and founder of the northern fatherlands. In the calendars of the Rune-Priests this happened now some
1,043 years ago.
The Merchants, interestingly, keep their own calendar, for purposes of contracts, delivery dates, letters of credit, and such.
However all hope is not lost. While it is a forgone conclusion that cities and peoples will continue to count and number the years in their own way, most will also agree to the standard known as "Contasta Ar" or "from the founding of Ar".
As an example, in the chronology of Port Kar, Year 3 of the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains would also be referred to as 10,122 C.A., or Contasta Ar, from the founding of Ar.
Ar, as the myth goes, was founded by the first man on Gor, a hero whom the Priest-Kings are said to have formed from the mud of the earth and the blood of tarns. Ar was founded, now, more than
10,171 years ago.
Chronology, incidentally, is the despair of scholars on Gor, for each city keeps track of time by virtue of its own Administrator Lists; for example, a year is referred to as the Second Year when so-and-so was Administrator of the city. One might think that some stability would be provided by the Initiates who must keep a calendar of their feasts and observances, but the Initiates of one city do not always celebrate the same feast on the same date as do those of another city. If the High Initiate of Ar should ever succeed in extending his hegemony over the High Initiates of rival cities, a hegemony which he claims he possesses already incidentally, a unified calendar might be introduced. But so far there has been no military victory of Ar over other cities and, accordingly, free of the sword, the Initiates of each city regard themselves as supreme within their own walls.
There are, however, some factors which tend to reduce the hopelessness of the situation. One is the fairs at the Sardar Mountains, which occur four times a year and are numbered chronologically. The other is that sometimes cities are willing to add, in their records, beside their own dating, the dating of Ar, which is Gor's greatest city.
Chronology in Ar is figured, happily enough, not from its Administrator Lists, but from its mythical founding by the first man on Gor, a hero whom the Priest-Kings are said to have formed from the mud of the earth and the blood of tarns. Time is reckoned "Contasta Ar", or "from the founding of Ar." The current year, according to the calendar of Ar, if it is of interest, is 10,117.
Outlaw of Gor Book 2 Pages 178 - 179
A consequence of the chronological conventions of the Wagon Peoples, of course, is that their years tend to vary in length, but this fact, which might bother us, does not bother them, any more than the fact that some men and some animals live longer than others; the women of the Wagon Peoples, incidentally, keep a calendar based on the phases of Gor's largest moon, but this is a calendar of fifteen moons, named for the fifteen varieties of bosk, and functions independently of the tallying of years by snows; for example, the Moon of the Brown Bosk may at one time occur in the winter, at another time, years later, in the summer; this calendar is kept by a set of colored pegs set in the sides of some wagons, on one of which, depending on the moon, a round, wooden plate bearing the image of a bosk is fixed. The years, incidentally, are not numbered by the Wagon Peoples, but given names, toward their end, based on something or other which has occurred to distinguish the year. The year names are kept in living memory by the Year Keepers, some of whom can recall the names of several thousand consecutive years. The Wagon Peoples do not trust important matters, such as year names, to paper or parchment, subject to theft, insect and rodent damage, deterioration, etc. Most of those of the Wagon Peoples have excellent memories, trained from birth. Few can read, though some can, perhaps having acquired the skill far from the wagons, perhaps from merchants or tradesmen. The Wagon Peoples, as might be expected, have a large and complex oral literature. This is kept by and occasionally, in parts, recited by the Camp Singers.
Nomads of Gor Book 4 Page 12
It was the fourth day of the sixth passage hand, shortly before the Autumnal Equinox, which in the common Gorean calendar begins the month of Se'Kara. In the calendar of Ko-ro-ba, which, like most Gorean cities, marks years by its Administrator Lists, it would be the eleventh year of the administration of my father, Matthew Cabot. In the calendar of Ar, for those it might interest, it was the first year of the restoration of Marlenus, Ubar of Ubars, but, more usefully for the purposes of consolidating the normal chaos of Gorean chronology, it was the year 10,119 Contasta Ar, that is, from the founding of Ar.
Raiders of Gor Book 6 Pages 1 - 2
It was now near the end of the first passage hand, that following En'Kara, in which occurs the Spring Equinox. The Spring Equinox, in Port Kar as well as in most other Gorean cities, marks the New Year. In the chronology of Ar it was now the year 10,120. I had been in Port Kar for some seven Gorean months.
Raiders of Gor Book 6 Page 126
It was a day in the early summer, the second day of En'Var. In the chronology of Ar, that city for which we were bound, it was said to be the year 10,121.
Captive of Gor Book 7 Page 206
In the chronology of Port Kar, it was early in Year 3 of the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains. In the chronology of Ar, which serves, generally, to standardize chronology on Gor, it was 10,122 C.A., or Contasta Ar, from the founding of Ar. The battle of the 25th of Se'Kara had taken place in 10,120 C.A. In that same year, in its spring, in Port Kar, the Council of Captains had assumed its sovereignty, thus initiating Year 1 of its reign. Most Gorean cities use the Spring Equinox as the date of the New Year. Turia, however, uses the Summer Solstice. The Spring Equinox, incidentally, is also used for the New Year by the Rune-Priests of the North, who keep the calendars of Torvaldsland. They number years from the time of Thor's gift of the stream of Torvald to Torvald, legendary hero and founder of the northern fatherlands. In the calendars of the Rune-Priests the year was 1,006.
Marauders of Gor Book 9 Page 58
They had fought against the united fleets of Tyros and Cos and, without their help, doubtless Port Kar could not have won the great victory of the 25th of Se'Kara, in the first year of the reign of the Council of Captains, in the year 10,120 Contasta Ar, from the Founding of Ar.
Marauders of Gor Book 9 Page 283
It was currently in the late winter of Year 3 of the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains in Port Kar, the year 10,122 C.A., Contasta Ar, from the Founding of Ar.
Tribesmen of Gor Book 10 Page 26
"Of course," I said. "He is a member of the council. He was with us on the 25th of Se'Kara." This was the date of a naval battle which took place in the first year of the sovereignty of the Council of Captains in Port Kar. It had been, also, the year 10,120 C.A., Contasta Ar, from the founding of Ar, It was, currently, Year 7 in the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains, that year, in the chronology of Ar, which was 10,126 C.A. On the 25th of Se'Kara, in the first year of the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains, in the naval battle which had taken place on that date, the joint fleets of Cos and Tyros had been turned back from Port Kar. Bejar, and Samos, and I, and many others, as well, had been there. It was in that same year, incidentally, that Port Kar had first had a Home Stone.
Explorers of Gor Book 13 Page 25
The action is reputed to have taken place in 10,110 C.A., Contasta Ar, from the Founding of Ar. It was now, in that chronology, the year 10,127.
Rouge of Gor Book 15 Page 63
On the twenty-fifth of Se'Kara in Year One of the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains, the year 10,120 C.A., Contasta Ar, from the Founding of Ar, a sea battle took place in which the fleet of Port Kar defeated the fleets of Cos and Tyros. The monument, of course, commemorates this victory. The market forms itself about the monument. That year, incidentally, is also regarded as significant in the history of Port Kar because it was in that year that, as it is said, a Home Stone consented to reside within the city.
Savages of Gor Book 17 Page 60
This was now Wayuksapiwi, in the calendar of the Dust Legs, the Corn-Harvest Moon, or, as it is spoken of in the reckoning of the Kaiila, Canwapekasnawi, the moon when the wind shakes off the leaves.
Only too dearly did the browning grass and the cool winds presage the turning of the seasons, and the advent of the gray skies and long nights of the bitter moons, Waniyetuwi, called the Winter Moon; Wanicokanwi, called the Mid-Winter Moon; Witehi, the Hard Moon; and Wicatawi, the Urt Moon. The vernal equinox occurs in Istawicayazanwi, the Sore-Eye Moon. Grunt and I had originally come to the Barrens, it now seemed long ago, in Magaksicaagliwi, the Moon of the Returning Giants.
Blood Brothers of Gor Book 18 Page 466
at one of the fairs of En'Kara, that which occurred in 10,124 C.A., Contasta Ar, from the Founding of Ar, or in Year 5 of the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains, in Port Kar.
. . .
It was now two days before the Twelfth Passage Hand, in the year 10,129 C.A. Soon it would be Year Eleven in the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains, in Port Kar.
Players of Gor Book 20 Page 8
I went to Torvaldsland in the Rune-Year 1,006. Years, in the chronology of Torvaldsland, are counted from the time of Thor's gift of the stream of Torvald to Torvald, the legendary founder and hero of the northern fatherlands. The calendars are kept by Rune-Priests. That would have been 10,122 C.A., or Year 3 of the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains in Port Kar. I suspected, though I did not know, that the events recounted by Yngvar had occurred from four to five years ago.
Players of Gor Book 20 Page 31
"He lost in the great tournament, in 10,125 Contasta Ar," he said, "to Centius, of Cos."
"Centius is a fine player," I said. The tournament he referred to was doubtless the one held at the Sardar Fair, in En'Kara of that year. It had occurred five years ago. It was now 10,130 C.A., Contasta Ar, from the Founding of Ar. In the chronology of Port Kar, it was now Year Eleven, of the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains.
Players of Gor Book 20 Page 249
The current year was 10,130 C.A. In the chronology of Port Kar, it was Year 11 in the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains.
Mercenaries of Gor Book 21 Page 246
The fellow, incidentally, had given the year of the aforementioned battle as 10,127 C.A. It was natural that he of Ar's Station, would give the date in the chronology of Ar. Different cities, perhaps in their vanity, or perhaps simply in accord with their own traditions, often have their own chronologies, based on Administrator Lists, and such. A result of this is that there is little uniformity in Gorean chronology. The same year, in the chronology of Port Kar, if it is of interest, would have been Year 8 of the Sovereignty of the Council of Captains. The reform of chronology is proposed by a small party from among the caste of scribes almost every year at the Fair of En'Kara, near the Sardar, but their proposals, sensible as they might seem, are seldom greeted with either interest or enthusiasm, even by the scribes. Perhaps that is because the reconciliation and coordination of chronologies, like the diction and convolutions of the law, are usually regarded as scribal prerogatives.
Renegades of Gor Book 23 Page 347
There had not been a major engagement since the battle of the 25th of Se'Kara, in the first year of the sovereignty of the Council of Captains in Port Kar, or, to use the chronology of Ar, 10,120 C.A., Contasta Ar, from the Founding of Ar.
Vagabonds of Gor Book 24 Page 108
"Lastly," said the father, "they are ignorant. What is the month following the month of Hesius?"
"I do not know, Master," said Ellen. She had not been familiarized with the Gorean calendar. To be sure, chronologies, and such, can differ from city to city. The Merchants, interestingly, keep their own calendar, for purposes of contracts, delivery dates, letters of credit, and such. Many cities in the northern hemisphere use the chronology of Ar, along with their own. I understand that cities in the southern hemisphere may similarly supplement their own chronologies, but with the calendar of Turia, which, as I understand it, is the largest city in the southern hemisphere.
Prize of Gor Book 27 Page 259
The sixth passage hand was done, the autumnal equinox had been marked in the scribal calendar of Jad, Se'Kara was done, and, as nearly as I could tell, it was the third or fourth day in the seventh passage hand.
Mariners of Gor Book 30 Page 99