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Lately I waymarked a statue that has a chronogram on its pedestal. I noticed that there is no category for chronograms. Usually these can only be found on objects that can be posted in other categories and it seems that chronograms are not a global thing. So, I doubt that this idea will survive the discussion in the forums or peer review, but I still wanted to let you know that it's an interesting topic in my humble opinion. I think it's fascinating, that people played with words and letters of the text to create a chronogram, instead of simply including the year using digits.

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Interesting, I have not heard of Chronograms before. My first impression is that they are too special for a viable category. I see problems with prevalence and globality. And after all, they are basically an esoteric* variant of the Dated Structures.


*in the Pythagorean meaning of the term, of course

Edited by fi67
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Well, if you search for "chronogram" on Waymarking.com you will find more than 70 waymarks in various European countries (and I'm sure that there are many more), but none in any other continent. On the other hand, you won't find (for example) Fraternal Order of Eagles waymarks outside the american continent, right? ;-)


8 hours ago, fi67 said:

Interesting, I have not heard of Chronograms before.


That sentence makes me think that a category would be great. Subjects that aren't widely known are (for me) always much more interesting than things that everybody knows. In other words: I think that searching for chronograms in my hometown would be much more interesting than searching for red cross stations, police departments and all the other things that you can find with a telephone book or see at almost every corner (like telephone booths or advertising columns).

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On 5/21/2018 at 7:34 PM, WistfulKate said:

I agree with PISA-caching on both points!  


As do I, but I doubt I'll ever find one on this side of the pond. It is, however, as interesting a category as has been proposed in quite a while. If it ever saw the light of day I'd vote yea, for its interest value and for its "uniqueness". For all I know I've seen one (or more) and didn't realize it. After all, Europeans brought all their customs with them on crossing the sea.


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Ok, here is my very first try to write a description for a new Chronograms category. Please be gentle and let me know what you think of it. I started a Chronograms Group already and would love to welcome interested members. Here we go:




This category is looking for chronograms all over the world. They have to be permanent (not in a book of your local library) and on public display.


Expanded Description:

A chronogram is a text in which the sum of all letters interpreted as numerals gives a year. Most of the time the year indicates an important event, e.g. the year of construction of a monument or building. The event can also be a natural disaster, a battle, the birth of a heir to the throne or something similar. Often, but not always, the text is written in Latin language and using Roman numerals. Chronograms can also be found with Hebrew or Arabic numerals, which will also be accepted as long as the description is clear enough to understand how the text is converted into a year.


The letters used are almost always highlighted by increased size or color deviation (mostly red or gold).


If the order of the letters corresponds to the usual spelling of the Roman year, we call that a natural chronogram. In any case a smaller number is not subtracted from a larger number following it (IX = 10-1 = 9), as usual with Roman numbers, but all numerals are always summed up.


If every word of the text contains at least one numeral, it is a pure chronogram.


Roman numerals

I or J = 1
Y = I + I = 2
V or U = 5
X = 10
W = V + V = 10
L  = 50
C  = 100
D  = 500
M  = 1000



May My neXt Venture begIn wIthout rIsks. MMXVIII = 2018

This is a pure chronogram, because all words contain at least one numeral and it is also a natural chronogram, because the letters appear in the correct order.


My neXt Venture May begIn wIthout rIsks. MXVMIII -> MMXVIII = 2018

This is still a pure chronogram, but not a natural chronogram anymore.


May My neXt Venture begIn wIthout any rIsks. MMXVIII = 2018

This is not a pure chronogram, because the word "any" doesn't contain any Roman numerals, but it is a natural chronogram.


Type of numerals used? Roman / Hebrew / Arabic / other

Text of the original chronogram:

English translation of the chronogram:

Pure chronogram? Yes / No / Don't know
Natural chronogram? Yes / No / Don't know



So, please let me know what you think about it. If the feedback is encouraging, I will continue and add more details, instructions for posting and visiting and whatever else is missing so far.

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4 hours ago, PISA-caching said:


May My neXt Venture begIn wIthout rIsks. MMXVIII = 2018

My neXt Venture May begIn wIthout rIsks. MXVMIII -> MMXVIII = 2018

May My neXt Venture begIn wIthout any rIsks. MMXVIII = 2018



Looks good so far. My only question is: How long did it take you to come up with the example sentence? Or did you steal it from somewhere? :)

It's pretty craftily crafted. :huh:


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I think it took me about half an hour and no, I didn't steal it. Of course I started with the year 2018 and I wanted the letters in the correct order. So, I began playing with words like "Many more...", "Much more...", "My mother..." and so on. Finally I had "Make my next villa in Illinois", but there were too many I's at the end. so I changed Illinois to Idaho, but there is a D in Idaho. Italy has an L and at that point I noticed the two L's in Villa. :mad: So the Villa had to go and after some more minutes the final sentence was done.


What I like about the sentence is, that if you choose to use the two Ys for 2s, you can use the same sentence in 4 years (or 6 years if the word "any" is included as in the third example). If the Us are used for 5s, you can use it in 10 years and so on. It was quite funny to do it (especially in a foreign language) and it gave me a good idea of how hard it must have been for them to create a meaningful text in Latin.

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Soooooo, the group has been created. Several members have joined. Thank you all for your interest and for providing your assistance.


I created a category, added whatever I thought is necessary and/or helpful. I'm sure that there is a lot than can be improved, so before I call for officer vote, I ask the officers and anybody else to check out the category description and let me know what you think about it.

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It could be interesting to add "The description must be in English, but if you want you can add other languages." because if you misunderstand "An English translation of the text would be great, but might be difficult to find - therefore it's optional." you could think there is no need to have an english translation.

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Unfortunately I missed the start of the discussion in the forum completely, but fortunately I became aware of this interesting category by listing the newest groups. I have now read through the thread and find the topic very exciting. According to Wikipedia, there are many chronograms, but the description "only" refers to the pure and natural chronograms. What about the consideration of an unclean chronogram? Which is also not yet quite clear to me: Among the "Roman numerals" is also the letter Y (Y = I + I) and W (W = V+V). Why is the Y and the W then not taken into account in the examples from the description or would this otherwise be considered an unclean chronogram?
Edited by kaschper69
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Hi Frank,


Well, the pure and the natural chronograms are just a special kind of chronogram, but if you find a chronogram that is neither pure nor natural (like the real world example I included a photo of), you can still post it and of course it will be accepted.


The Y can be used for the number 2, but that is up to the author of the chronogram. Same with the W. As far as I understand the German Wikipedia entry, a chronogram is "unclean" (unsauber), if you have to ignore one of the Roman numerals (I, V, X, L, C, D, M). Also, I have seen chronograms, where a U (like in Josephus) has been replaced with a V, but if a chronogram doesn't replace an U with a V, I wouldn't call it unclean because of that. And like I said before, we will accept all chronograms the community will find - may they be old or new, natural, pure, unclean,...


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I've been googling to see if there are any in my area. I wish I could find one. They are so interesting.

If I ever happen to stumble across one, there will be some jumping and exclamations of glee!

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15 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

I've been googling to see if there are any in my area. I wish I could find one. They are so interesting.

If I ever happen to stumble across one, there will be some jumping and exclamations of glee!


I will keep my fingers crossed for you. If no chronogram is to be found, paint one on your own house. :-)


Peer review has started and I can't wait to see what the community thinks. 

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Peer Review has ended and I want to thank everybody who participated in it (no matter how you voted). The last time I checked the votes, I saw 2 "Astained", 3 "Deny" and 37 "Approved". So, it looks good, but there are also the anyonymous votes. I can't wait to receive the results. Any idea how long this usually takes? I know that Groundspeak has the final decision, but will I get a result of the votes first or just the final decision?

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2 hours ago, *Team Krombaer* said:

Habe eben mein erstes Chronogramm gesichet . Da weis ich, was ich am Wochenende zu tun habe ... B) Glückwunsch zur Kategorie 1113 :back:


Vielen Dank und wo hast Du das Chronogramm entdeckt?


Thanks a lot and where did you see your first chronogram?

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17 minutes ago, *Team Krombaer* said:

Das verrate ich erst, wenn ich alles in "Trockenen Tüchern" habe, nicht, daß ihr mal fix rauf zu uns düst ... :lol:


Keine Sorge, ich habe noch genug damit zu tun, die Chronogramme in meiner Umgebung zu fotografieren. :-)


Don't worry, I'm quite busy with taking photos of the chronograms in my area. :-)

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So werte Forengemeinde!

Ich war heute auf einer Radtour u.a. im Kloster Speinshart  in der von Franken argwöhnisch betrachteten Oberpfalz :wub:  und habe dortselbst von meiner selbst auferlegten Internetrecherche bestätigen lassen.  Big surprise! <_<

Euer sportlicher Baer :-)

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2,5 years and we have more than 500 Chronogram waymarks! Wow! It's interesting to see that the vast majority (more than 400) of them is in Czechia and most of them are made by ToRo61. And it's fabulous that we now have one or more chronogram waymarks in 11 other countries (Belgium, Austria, Netherlands, UK, Slovakia, Poland, Denmark, France, Italy, USA and Canada). Can't wait to see the first Chronogram in a new country or maybe a Hebrew or Arabic chronogram.

Edited by PISA-caching
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