Water clocks were also used to time events. From at least the fourth century BC, water clocks (such as the one depicted as this article’s featured image) were used in court houses to make sure that speakers stayed within their allotted time to talk. This practice was also adopted by the more litigious Romans in their own courts and ensured that proceedings moved along at a steady clip.
Hellenistic astronomers of the last few centuries BC, who still used the Egyptian system of dividing the day into 24 hours, began dividing the hours into sixty minutes for more accurate time-keeping, following the Babylonian system of counting (which was sexagesimal). This system survived the middle ages and is still used today.
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