Who established the time units?

This is how time was measured in ancient times.
Who decided that 1 minute is 60 seconds, and 1 hour is 60 minutes? Who invented that measurement of time?

The division of the day into 24 hours and the hour into 60 minutes dates back to the Egyptians, who used duodecimal numbering, i.e. with base 12, and sexagesimal numbering, with base 60. Greeks and Romans.

Who determined the units of time?

The division of the day into 24 hours and the hour into 60 minutes dates back to the Egyptians, who used the duodecimal numbering, i.e. with base 12, and the sexagesimal numbering, with base 60.

A list of time relationships
Here is a list of time relationships. You likely already know most of them.

The Greeks and Romans divided the day into 4 parts: from dawn to mid-morning; from mid-morning to noon; from noon to mid-afternoon and from mid-afternoon to sunset. The night was also four parts. However, since during the year the Sun does not rise and sets always at the same time, during the summer the parts of the day were longer, in winter those of the night.

Who invented the clock?

Babylonian priests and astronomers began to divide the day into 24 hours, around the year three thousand B.C., but the first instruments for measuring time were invented in Egypt some 1500 years later. They were sundials. The sundials of today, where a pole illuminated by the Sun cast shadow on a graduated dial.

From light to water. Just under two centuries later, the Egyptians also invented the water clock: a simple vase from which liquid dripped through a hole. The time was determined by the amount of water left in the vase.

First mechanical watches

The first mechanical watches were invented in Europe around 1200 AD. But at that time, and for many years to come, timekeeping instruments were not accurate. So there was a common practice of putting them back on the exact time at noon, i.e. when the Sun reaches its highest point on the horizon.

Roman civilization operated this division into intervals such as:

  • "Gallicinium" (the cock crow). 
  • "Canticinium" (end of the cockcrow).
  • "Diluculum" (sunrise rising).
  • "Matutinum" (morning).
  • Meridies” (noon).
  • "Concubium" (time to go to bed, to "cumcub" to lie together).
  • "Intempesta nox" (deep night).

In the Middle Ages the day was divided into eight moments called canonical hours:

  • Morning (about three hours before dusk).
  • Laudi (beginning of twilight).
  • Hour before (dawn).
  • Third hour (mid morning).
  • Sixth hour (from which "siesta" - noon).
  • Hour 9 (mid afternoon).
  • Vespers (sunset).
  • Compline (end of twilight).

As for the hours, these are the result of a pure will based on the division of time between sunrise and sunset.

In the late eighteenth century a truly innovative fractionation calculation of time measurement became established: it was the French system, which had midnight as its reference. For example, 11 o'clock indicated that 11 hours had passed since midnight (and this is the system in use today).

Modern hours are based on the angle measurement system (360 degrees = full turn), with each degree / hour divided into 60 minutes ('first' minutes) and each minute in 60 seconds ('second' minutes).