There are a number of dating inconsistencies in Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe, which make it difficult to create a fully accurate timeline. They are listed here.


  • The Encyclopedia Galactica gives Hari Seldon's lifetime as 11,988-12,069 GE, but then says that the dates are more commonly given as -79 to the year 1 FE. However, if 11,988 GE is -79 FE, then 12,067 is 1 FE, not 12,069.
  • Hari says he has been working on psychohistory for 21 years. The prequels would later reveal he had been developing it for much longer.

Foundation and Empire[]

  • The dating in Empire is overall unclear. While the Mayor is looking at Pritcher's information, he says he has been an Officer of the Armed Forces for seventeen years, and that he joined in 293 FE, which should place the story in 310 FE. However, in the first part, Ducem Barr recalls the events of The Merchant Princes as "forty years ago", which ended in 160 FE, so it should place around 200 FE, and this part, which takes place 100 years after, about 300 FE. In the third book, Second Foundation, it is said in Part I that it is 300 FE and that the events of Part II of Empire took place "five years ago", which would place the two parts at 195 and 295 - however, The Mule also places part one at 150 FE, even more inconsistent with other references.

Second Foundation[]

  • Bail Channis says he is 29, but later says he joined the Foundation's army 23 years ago - this would require him to have joined when he was 6.
  • In Chapter 16, which is set in 377 FE, a number of dating systems are mentioned revolving around certain events. None of these line up:
    • It is said to be 11,692 GE; however, the Foundation Era began in 12,069 GE, and so it would be 12,446 GE.
    • It is said to be 419 AS (dating from the birth of Seldon), however, with Seldon born in 11,988, and this set in GE 12,446, it would be 458 AS.
    • It is said to be 348 YF (dating from the establishment of the Foundation), but this would require for the Foundation to not be officially established until 29 FE - unlikely.
    • It is said to be 56 FC (dating from the First Citizenship of the Mule); this would date from 321, and the Mule died in 305, long before.
  • At the end of the book, part II said to have lasted six months, not lining up with any of the other references that seem to show it takes place over one and 1/2 years.

Foundation's Fear[]

  • It is said to be 12,026 GE in Part II; however, according to Asimov's original dating from Forward the Foundation, it should be 12,028.