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When Did Shakespeare and Cervantes Die?

Writers William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes did not die on the same day. While both writers died on April 23, 1616, it was when countries were using two different calendar systems: the Gregorian and Julian calendars. Cervantes died in Spain which used the Gregorian calendar, now referred to as the Western calendar, and is widely used as of 2015. Shakespeare died in England which still used the Julian calendar. England would not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752. To switch from the Julian to Gregorian calendar, countries had to add 10 days to the current date to get on track with the new system. Therefore, if the switch to Gregorian was to occur after July 6, the next day would be July 14. Shakespeare died 10 days after Cervantes on May 3, 1616.

More about Shakespeare and Cervantes:

  • Cervantes' most famous book Don Quixote has been translated into 60 languages.

  • The language used in Shakespeare's plays and poems helped to shape modern English.

  • Despite that Cervantes and Shakespeare died on different days, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has established April 23 as International Day of the Book.

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