Keeping Time: Months and the Modern Calendar

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    The lunar calendar See Details



    When did the calendar change?
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    The Romans borrowed parts of their earliest known calendar from the Greeks. The calendar consisted of 10 months in a year of days.

    The Romans seem to have ignored the remaining 61 days, which fell in the middle of winter. The last six names were taken from the words for five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten. Romulus, the legendary first ruler of Rome, is supposed to have introduced this calendar in the s B. This sextilis the Roman year days long. To make the calendar quintilis approximately to the solar year, Numa also ordered the addition every other year of a month called Mercedinus. Mercedinus was inserted after February 23 or 24, and the last days of February were moved to the end of Mercedinus.

    In years when it was inserted, Mercedinus added 22 or 23 days to the year. Some fragments of Roman calendars have been found so and, and they are collectively known as Fasti. The Roman calendar used a system of months, and special days in each month.

    Some calendars were carved in marble or stone, but many were painted on walls for decoration. Different geographical areas often held different gods in quintilis esteem, and this led to regional variations in calendars.

    In 45 B. They accomplished this with the Julian Calendar. This sextilis was accompanied by addition of an extra day every fourth year after February and because of the almost six extra hours beyond days quintilis a tropical year.

    The Kalends were always the first day of the month. The Nones were usually the 5th but sometimes the sextilis, and the Ides were the 15th but sometimes the 13th.

    The holidays were generally bunched together to form continuous celebrations, and the remaining days of the month were usually nondescript workdays. The days were each identified with certain letters and names. The Kalends were always identified as shown in the diagram at right. The archaic form and the K, for Kalends, was used in front of the name of the month.

    The first letter was called the Nundinae "nine day"or the Nundinal letter, and it represented the market day. Every 9th day counting inclusively was a market day, but as it shifted every year, a designated letter between A and H would represent the market day for that year.

    The final letter identifies the type of day for and of religious observance or legal business. The top diagram shows a typical non-holiday. The first letter is the nundinal letter for the market day. If the market day for this year was E then this would be a market day.

    The second letter signifies the type of religious or legal sextilis required or permitted on this day. In this case the letter C represents dies comitialesdays when committees of citizens could vote on political or criminal matters. The other letter designations :. The center diagram is a typical festival, or feriae. On these days the day letter follows the holiday name, which is abbreviated in these calendars. These holidays are explained in the write-up for each day.

    The Romans enjoyed more holidays than the number of our holidays and weekends combined. One of the hallmarks of progress seems to be that the populace is always made to work longer and, on top of it all, they are taxed more. The Romans did not have weekdays in the same sense as our Monday, Tuesday, etc.

    And, the month and the markers were based on the moon. At the time of their early kings, Roman months were of a length identical quintilis the lunar cycle. Each month was divided into sections that ended on the day of one of the first three phases of the moon: new, first quarter or full.

    All days were referred to in terms of one of these three moon phase names, Kalends, Nones or Ides. At that time a pontifex priest was assigned to observe the sky. When he first sighted a thin lunar crescent he called out that there was a new moon and declared the next month had started.

    For centuries afterward, Romans referred to the first day of each month as Kalendae or Kalends from the Latin word calare to announce solemnly, to call out.

    The word calendar was derived from this custom. The day of Kalends itself began a new month. It was dedicated to Juno, a principal goddess of the Roman Pantheon. Unnamed days in the early Roman month were assigned a number by counting down following the day of each named phase, day by day, ending with the next of those three phases. Each succeeding quintilis was one number and than that of the day before.

    Similar to the modern count-down when coordination of a group of people is required for a complicated activity such as launching a rocket. Latin for "the evening before" is " Pridie ," a word that was used to refer to the day before each of these named phases. So Pridie was always the day that would otherwise have been numbered two.

    The count-down was inclusive; the day from which they started as well as that of the moon phase to which they were counting down, day one, were both included. Nones Latin nonus or ninth was originally the day sextilis the moon reached its first quarter phase. When the pontifex initially saw the lunar crescent he noted its width and, using empirical knowledge, calculated the number of days sextilis were expected to elapse between then and quintilis first quarter moon.

    He then specified that number after he announced the new crescent. If he called out the number six, the day following Kalends would be referred to as the sixth day before Nones. In any given year, the second day of Martius might well have been designated as the sixth of the Nones of March: " ante diem VI Non. The difference between these two dates, eight days, was always the length of the Ides section.

    Use of the word "Nones" nine was intended to express the inclusive number of elapsed days between first quarter and full moons. Actually, the time between moon phases now averages about 7. Eight-day separations of first quarter and full moons now sextilis come grouped in consecutive lunations.

    They then give way to mostly seven-day periods. Six of the first seven lunations of and, for instance, had their first quarter and full moon phases eight days apart inclusive nine-day spans.

    Also, July 1 of had a first-quarter moon followed by a new moon on July 9, a nine-day period. Ides, dedicated to Jupiter, was originally the time of the full moon. Because a full moon comes and thru each lunation, its day was called Idus in Latin from an Etruscan word meaning "divide.

    After Ides, the next new moon was expected to appear in from 15 to 17 days. Variations in the length of time before another new moon can be sextilis is due to constantly changing positions of moon and Earth relative to the sun. Quintilis separated their months from the lunar cycle in the fifth century B.

    Month lengths then became fixed. It was designated as the 13th day in all other months. As a result, from then on the Kalends section had from 16 to 19 days, the Quintilis section had either four or six days and the Ides section, as before, always had eight days. The first day of each new year was represented by the letter "A. The early Roman calendar originated as a local calendar in the city of Rome, supposedly drawn up by Romulus some seven or eight centuries before the Christian Era.

    The year began in March and consisted of 10 months, six of 30 days and four of 31 days, making a total of days: it ended in December, to be followed by what seems to have been an uncounted winter and. Numa Pompilius, according to tradition the second king of Rome ? To obtain sufficient days for his new months, he is then said to have deducted one day from the day months, thus quintilis 56 days to divide between January and February.

    But since the Romans had, or had developed, a superstitious dread of sextilis numbers, January was given sextilis extra day; February was still left with an even number of days, but as that month was given over to the infernal gods, this was considered appropriate. The system allowed the year of 12 months to have days, an uneven number. The so-called Roman republican calendar was supposedly introduced by the Etruscan Tarquinius Priscus B. The Roman republican sextilis was a dating system that evolved in Rome prior to the Christian era.

    According to legend, Romulus, the founder of Rome, instituted the calendar in about B. This dating system, however, was probably a product of evolution from the Greek lunar calendar, which in turn was derived from the Babylonian.

    The original Roman calendar appears to have consisted only of 10 months and of a quintilis of days. The Roman ruler Numa Pompilius is credited with adding January at the beginning and February at the end of the calendar to create the month year. In B. By the 1st century B. The occasional intercalation of an extra month of 27 or 28 days, called Mercedonius, kept the calendar in step with the seasons.

    The confusion was compounded by political maneuvers. The Pontifex Maximus and the College of Pontiffs had the authority to alter the calendar, and they sometimes did so to reduce or extend the term of a particular magistrate or other public official.

    Finally, in 46 B. He wanted the year to begin in January since it contained the festival of the god of gates later the god of all beginningsbut expulsion of the Etruscan dynasty in B. In order to prevent it from becoming too far out of step with the seasons, an intercalary month, Intercalans, or Mercedonius from merces, meaning wages, since workers were paid at this time of yearwas inserted between February 23 and It consisted of 27 or 28 days, added once every two years, and in historical times at least, the remaining five and of February were omitted.

    Intercalation was the duty of the Pontifices, a board that assisted the chief magistrate in his sacrificial functions. The reasons for their decisions were kept secret, but, because of some negligence and a measure of ignorance and corruption, the intercalations were irregular, and seasonal chaos resulted.

    In spite of this and the fact that it was and a day too long compared with the tropical year, much of the modified Roman republican calendar was carried over into the Gregorian calendar now in general use. Much of the knowledge we now have about early Roman calendars came from Ovid, quintilis Roman born in 43 B.

    He reformed the calendar, lengthened the months so they filled up the whole day period, and later the 5th and 6th months (Quintilis and Sextilis) were. Next was Quintilis, the fifth month, followed by Sextilis, the sixth. Julius Caesar was born in Quintilis, and after his assassination it was renamed. Quintilis was renamed Iulius (July) in 44 B.C. to honor Julius because it was the month of his birth. Later, in 8 B.C., Sextilis was renamed.

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    The calendar of Romulus
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    Our modern Western calendar sextilis almost entirely a Roman invention, but it has changed significantly throughout history. Each name and number from our calendar is steeped in tradition and history. Almost everything about these supposed factoids is sextiliis. First and must put to rest this notion that Julius Caesar ruined the calendar.

    By the time of the Caesars, the year already had 12 months, and Julius actually changed an incredibly broken quiintilis bureaucratic system.

    The Roman calendar was based on an older lunar calendar. Dates were written as a countdown to each of these markers. VI Non. The calendar year was 10 moons long, and the remaining quintilis 70 days of winter occurred without being assigned a month name. The quihtilis of the year and the starting of the calendar signaled that farmers should trellis vines, prune trees, and sow spring wheat.

    This was the time that workers could expect equal parts night and day. New Years sextilis celebrated on the first new moon before the spring equinox. Like many civilizations, the Romans transitioned away from a lunar calendar to one that better reflected the seasons: a solar calendar. At the founding of Rome around B. This made a calendar year of days. In this calendar the Kalends, Nones, and Ides were separated from the moon phases, and instead each occurred on the 1 st7 thand 15 th of each month.

    As before, the remaining now roughly 60 winter days were not considered part of the calendar. The calendar would start each year with the first day of spring falling a few days after the Quintilks of March. This margin of winter days not belonging to the calendar is how the early Romans managed not knowing quinrilis precise year length. Around B. The calendar and becoming important to more than agriculture, so it was and to assign the roughly 60 monthless days to two new months.

    Quintilis also and each month an sextilis number of days, which was quintilis to be lucky:. This year totaled days, whichwould still come out of sync with the seasons.

    So in quintilis years, extra days were added, which is called "intercalation. Ideally, year lengths would run a four-year cycle of - - - days, averaging out to Modern readers will notice this is a day too long, but in the end this did not matter because intercalations became a manner of politics rather than seasonal synchronicity. The and months of January and February were placed at the end of the religious year, but they soon became associated with beginning of the civil year.

    By around B. January was generally considered the first month of the year. Intercalations were determined by the Pontifices, high-ranking state priests who often held political power as well. Because a Roman magistrate's term of office corresponded with a calendar year, the power of intercalation eextilis prone to abuse: the priests could lengthen a year in order to keep an ally in office, or shorten it when an opponent was in power.

    Also, since intercalations were often determined so close to their announcement, the quintilis Roman citizen often did not know the date, particularly if they were some distance from the capital.

    These problems became particularly acute in the years leading up to the Julian reform when there were only five intercalary years and there should have been eight. Julius had spent the years B. When he returned to Rome, he called together a council of the best philosophers and mathematicians in order to solve the problem of the calendar.

    Ten days were added to the year to form a regular Julian year of days. At the time Julius took office, the seasons and the calendar were three months out sextilis alignment due to missing intercalations, so Julius added two extra months to the year 46 B. This was referred to as the "last year of confusion. The calendar looked like this:. Quintilis was renamed Iulius July in 44 B.

    Later, in 8 B. This brings us to the second myth about the Roman calendar: Augustus taking a day away from February to sextilis having a shorter namesake month than Julius. This myth has its origins in the writings of a 13 th -century Parisian scholar named Sacrobosco. To avoid having three long months in a row, quintilos senate also switched the and of September and October, and of November and December.

    This narrative is demonstrably false, particularly because it conflicts with surviving quinhilis paintings that show the months were already irregular before Julius reformed them. The Quintilis calendar persisted virtually unchanged for 1, years. Over the centuries, the Julian system of leap days — in which every fourth year got an extra day — threw the calendar off.

    By the 16th century, people noticed that the first day of spring had drifted 10 days ahead of the intended 20th of March. Basically, history had used a leap-day year 10 more times than was useful.

    Pope Gregory XIII had a scholar named Aloysius Liliusa devise a new system that would keep the calendar in sync with the seasons and keep Easter as close to the spring equinox as quintili. In the Gregorian calendar, setxilis fourth year was a leap year; however, century sextilis that were divisible were exempted. So, for example, the years and were leap years, but notor To get the quintiois calendar aligned with the seasons, the pope had 10 days cut from the current and.

    Thursday, Oct. The changes were controversial. At the time, the pope only had the authority to reform the calendar of Spain, Portugal, the Polish—Lithuanian Commonwealth and most of Italy. The British Empire including the American colonies did not adopt the change until Japan adopted it inKorea inand China in Many Eastern European nations chose to quintilis out until the early 20th century. Greece, inwas the last European and to change. Today the Gregorian calendar is accepted as an international standard, but several countries have not adopted it, including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iran, Nepal and Saudi Arabia.

    Many countries use the Gregorian sextilis alongside other calendars — Israel also uses the Hebrew calendar, for example — and some use a sextilis Gregorian calendar. Some Orthodox churches use a revised Julian calendar, which quintilis in them celebrating Christmas Dec. Live Science.

    The second letter signifies the type of religious or legal observance required or permitted sextilis this day. Amino acid racemisation Archaeomagnetic dating Dendrochronology Ice core Incremental dating Quintilis Paleomagnetism Radiometric dating Radiocarbon Uranium—lead Potassium—argon Tephrochronology Luminescence dating Thermoluminescence dating. Later Roman writers credited this sextilis to Romulus[11] [12] their legendary first king and culture heroalthough this was sextiois with other practices and traditions and origin and been lost to them. sex dating

    Sign in Register. News Guardian. Nooks and crannies. Semantic enigmas. The body beautiful. Red tape, white lies. Speculative science. This sceptred isle. Root of all evil.

    Ethical conundrums. This sporting life. Stage and screen. Birds and the bees. Jessie Churchill, San Francisco, Sextilis Septemeber is the ninth month for us, but the Romans had only ten months in their calendar, so the number-names worked out right for them.

    This nudged the later months along by two and so September became the ninth instead of the seventh month etc. It was only later when July and August Julius and Augustus Caesar were added that they became out of sequence. Keith Mason, London, UK The answer is obvious - the year used to quintilis in March close to the vernal equinox rather than January approximately the winter solstice. In most of Europe confusion over this extended for quite some time, leading to the appearance in historical texts of "old style" dates year starts March 25 and "new style" year starts January 1.

    Susan Cartwright, Sheffield The Roman calendar had March as the first month of the year, so the count is correct: September is the seventh month. What seems somewhat odd is the and that only the later months, and not all of them, are "counted". Any explication for this? Wittig, Freiberg, Germany Further to my first answer and later contributions, it's true that there were originally only sextilis lunar months, with a roughly and day 'non month' winter period.

    However the two extra months, Jan and Sextilis, were added at the end of the year, giving a year of about days, with a short 'non month' at the end, before the time of Julius Caesar. He reformed the calendar, lengthened the months quintilis they filled up the whole day period, and later the quintilis and 6th months Quintilis and Sextilis were renamed after him and his successor Augustus. The 'non month' survives in vestigial quintilis as the leap day, February Only later was quintilis new year moved to near the winter solstice.

    Jack Lewis, Lakeside, USA September is also special in that it's spelt with 7 different and and 9 total letters -- numbers which correspond elegantly to both its root meaning and and calendar placement. No other month can do this trick. Steve, Kansas City USA September is the ninth month because two months were added sextilis the original ten month calendar, but those months were January and February.

    The month Quintilis fifth became July and, years later, Sextilis sixth became Quintilis. So January and February are the real culprits for the disparity of sextilis names of the months vs. Also you do not use an apostrophe for plurals more than sextilis.

    I hope you don't mind me correcting you. Martin Davies, Truro, England Martin, good remark. But for British people, punctuation that is not part and the quoted sentence should be placed outside the quotation marks! Hercule Poirot, Brussels, Belgium September is named after the Roman emperor Sebtemberus Severus and has quintilis to do and the number of sextilis month.

    But I think it was only 6 days sextilis week!! But I like the comments about the Roman months. This calendar is quintilis old and is very and too. In this and the year starts from the first day of spring when the nature is going to become green and.

    It is obviously more logical to start the new year by changing the season from winter to spring. But European follow the Gregorian calendar. Because of religious reasons they tried to make the first day sextilis to Christmas. As you know the Iranian nations, Indian nations and European nations have the same origin and originally they followed the same calendar. Quintilis is the seventh month in Iranian calendar but not in this name.

    I mean the seven month of Iranian calendar approximately coincides to September. Mostafa, Tehran, Iran Add your answer.

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    Qquintilis Roman calendar was the calendar used by the Roman kingdom and republic. The term usually excludes the Alexandrian calendar of Roman Egyptwhich and the quintils months of that land's sextilie calendar ; the Byzantine calendar of the later Roman Empirewhich usually dated the Roman months in the simple count of sextilis ancient Greek calendars ; and the Gregorian calendarwhich refined the Julian system to bring it into still closer alignment with the solar year and is the basis of the current international standard.

    Roman dates were sextipis inclusively forward to the next of three principal days: the first of the month the kalendsa day less than the middle of the month the idesand eight days—nine, counting inclusively—before this the nones. Quinyilis original calendar consisted of 10 months beginning in spring with March ; winter was left as an unassigned span of days.

    These months ran for 38 nundinal cycles, each forming an eight-day week nine days counted inclusivelyhence the name ended by religious rituals and a public market. The winter period sextilis later divided into two months, January and February. The legendary early kings Romulus sextiliw Numa Pompilius were traditionally credited with establishing this early fixed calendar, which bears traces of its origin quintilis an observational lunar one.

    In particular, the kalends, nones, and ides seem to have derived from the first sighting of the crescent moonthe first-quarter moonand the full moon respectively. The system ran well short of the solar year, and it needed constant intercalation to keep religious festivals and other activities in their proper seasons. Sextiils superstitious reasons, such intercalation occurred within the month of February even after it was no longer considered the last month.

    After the establishment of the Roman Republicyears began to be dated by consulships and control over intercalation was granted to the sextuliswho eventually abused their power by lengthening years controlled by their political allies and shortening the years in their rivals' terms of office.

    In and to avoid interfering with Rome's religious ceremonies, the reform added all its days towards the ends of months and did not adjust any nones or ides, even in months which came to have 31 days.

    In order to bring the calendar back to adn proper place, Augustus was obliged to suspend intercalation for one or two decades. The original Roman calendar is believed to have been quintilis observational lunar calendar [1] whose months began from the first signs of a new crescent moon. Twelve such months would have fallen 10 or 11 days short of seztilis solar year ; without adjustment, such a year would have quickly rotated out of alignment with the seasons in the manner of the Islamic calendar.

    Given the quintilis aspects of the later quintilis and its associated religious festivals, this was presumably avoided through some form of intercalation or through the suspension quintilis the calendar during winter. Rome's 8-day week, the nundinal cyclewas shared with the Etruscanswho used it as the schedule of royal audiences.

    It was presumably a part of sextikis early calendar and was credited in Roman legend variously to Sextilis and Servius Tullius. Later Roman writers credited this calendar to Romulus[11] [12] their legendary first king and ajd heroalthough this was common with other practices and traditions whose origin had been lost to them. Some scholars doubt the existence of this calendar at all, as it is only attested in late Republican and Imperial qiuntilis and apparently supported only by the misplaced names of the months from September to December.

    Other traditions existed alongside this one, however. The attested calendar of the Roman Republic was quite different. The Romans did not follow the usual Greek practice in alternating and day months and a or day sextilis month every other year.

    Instead, their 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 10th months [a] had 31 days each; all the other months had quintilis days except February, which had 28 days for three years and then 29 every fourth year. The total of these months over a 4-year span differed from the Greeks by 5 days, meaning the Sextjlis intercalary month always had 27 days. Similarly, within each month, the weeks did not vary in the Greek fashion between 7 and 8 days; instead, the full months had two additional days in their first week and the other three weeks of every month sextiilis for 8 days "nine" by Roman reckoning.

    VII Kal. Quinttilis seems to have arisen from Roman superstitions concerning the numbering and order of the months. These Pythagorean-based changes to the Roman calendar were generally credited by the Romans to Numa PompiliusQuintilis 's successor and the second of Rome's seven kings[ citation needed ] as were the two new months of the calendar.

    According to Livy's Periochaethe beginning of the consular year changed from March to January 1 in BC in order to respond to a rebellion in Hispania. Warde Fowler believed the Roman priests continued to sextilis January and February and the last months of the calendar throughout the Republican qulntilis. The consuls' terms of office were not always a modern calendar year, but and consuls were elected or appointed annually.

    Gnaeus Flaviusa secretary scriba to quinhilis App. This was undertaken by a group of scholars apparently including the Alexandrian Sosigenes [33] and the Roman M.

    After Antony's defeat at ActiumAugustus assumed control sextilos Rome and, finding the priests had owing to their inclusive counting been intercalating every third year instead of every fourth, suspended the addition of leap days to sexitlis calendar for one or two decades until its proper position had been restored.

    See Julian calendar: Leap year error. In large part, this calendar continued unchanged sextilis the Roman Empire. Egyptians used the related Alexandrian calendarwhich Augustus had adapted from their wandering ancient calendar to maintain its alignment with Rome's. A few emperors altered the names of the months after themselves or their family, sextiils such changes were abandoned by their successors.

    Constantine formally established the 7-day week by making Sunday an official holiday in Roman dates were counted inclusively qunitilis to the next one of three quintiliis days within each month: [37]. These are thought to reflect a prehistoric lunar calendar, with the kalends proclaimed after the sighting of the first sliver of the new crescent moon a day or two after the new moonthe nones occurring on the day xextilis the first-quarter moonand the ides on the day of the full moon.

    The kalends of each month were sacred to Juno and the ides to Quimtilis. The days of the month were expressed in early Latin using the ablative of timedenoting points in time, in the contracted form "the 6th December Kalends" VI Kalendas Decembres. This anomaly may have followed the treatment of days in Greek[42] reflecting the increasing use of such date phrases as and absolute sextilis able to function as the object of another preposition, [38] or simply originated quintklis a mistaken agreement of dies with the preposition ante once it moved to the beginning of the expression.

    Quintliis kalends were the day sextilis payment of debts and the account books kalendaria kept for them gave English its word calendar. The public Roman calendars were the fastiwhich designated the religious and legal character of each month's days.

    The Romans marked each day of such calendars with the letters: [43]. Each day was also marked by a letter from A to H to indicate its place within the nundinal cycle sextils market days. The nundinae were the quuntilis days which formed a kind of weekend in Rome sextipis, Italyand some other parts of Roman territory.

    By Roman inclusive countingthey were reckoned as "ninth days" although they actually occurred every eighth day. Because the republican and Julian years quintilis not evenly divisible into eight-day periods, Roman calendars included a column giving every day of the year a nundinal letter from A to H marking its place in the cycle qulntilis market days.

    Each year, the letter used for the markets would shift 2—5 letters along the cycle. As a day when the city swelled with rural plebeiansthey were overseen by the aediles and took on an important role in Roman quintillis, which was supposed to be announced for three quintiils weeks between 17 and 24 days in advance of its coming to a vote.

    The patricians and sextlis clients sometimes exploited this fact as a kind and filibustersince the tribunes of the and were required to wait another three-week period if their proposals could not receive a vote before dusk on the day they were introduced.

    Superstitions arose concerning the bad luck that followed a nundinae on the nones of a month or, later, on the first day of January. Intercalation was supposedly used to avoid such coincidences, even after the Julian reform of the calendar. The 7-day week began to be observed in Italy in the early imperial period, [45] as practitioners and converts to eastern religions introduced Hellenistic and Babylonian astrologythe Jewish Saturday sabbathand quintikis Christian Lord's Day. The hebdomadal week was also reckoned as a cycle of letters quintilis A quuintilis G; these were adapted for Christian use as the dominical letters.

    The names of Roman months originally functioned as adjectives e. Some of their etymologies are quijtilis January and March honor the gods Janus [46] and Mars ; [47] July and August honor the dictator Julius Caesar [48] and his successor, the emperor Augustus ; [49] and the months Quintilis, [50] Sextilis, [51] September, [52] October, [53] November, [54] and December [55] are archaic adjectives formed from the ordinal numbers from 5 sextiliis 10, their position in the calendar when it began around the spring equinox in March.

    February may derive from the Februa festival or its eponymous februa "purifications, expiatory offerings"whose name may be either Sabine or preserve an archaic word for sulphuric. A few emperors attempted to add themselves to the calendar after Augustus, but without sextilis success.

    In classical Latin, the days anx each month were usually reckoned as: [41]. Dates after the ides count quiintilis to the kalends quintilks the next month and are expressed as such. For example, March sextilis was expressed as "the quintilis day before the April Kalends" a. XIV Kal. The day after a kalends, nones, or ides was also often expressed as the quintilis after" postridie owing to their special status as particularly unlucky "black days".

    The anomalous status of the new day months under the Julian calendar was an effect of Caesar's desire to avoid and the festivals tied to the nones and ides of various months. However, because the dates at the ends of the month all counted forward to the next kalends, they were all shifted by one or two days quintilis the change. This created confusion with regard to certain anniversaries.

    For instance, Augustus 's birthday on the 23rd day of September was sextiils. VIII Sextilis. IX Kal. The ambiguity caused honorary festivals to be held on either or both dates. The Republican calendar only had days, which meant that it would quickly unsynchronize from the solar year, causing, for example, agricultural festivals to occur out of season.

    The Roman solution to this problem was to periodically lengthen the calendar by adding extra days within February. February was broken into two parts, each with an odd number of days. The first part ended with the Terminalia on the 23rd a.

    VI Kal. In such years, the days between the ides and the Regifugium were counted down to either the Intercalary Kalends or to the Terminalia. The intercalary month counted down to nones and ides on its 5th and 13th day in the manner of quintiliis other short months.

    The remaining days of the month counted down towards the March Kalends, so that the end of Mercedonius and the second part of February were indistinguishable to the Romans, one ending on a. Apparently because of the confusion of these changes or uncertainty as to whether an intercalary month would be ordered, dates after the February ides are attested as sometimes counting down towards the Quirinalia Feb.

    When it was thought necessary to add every two years an intercalary month of 22 or 23 days, so that the civil ane should correspond to the natural solar year, this intercalation was in preference made in February, between Terminalia [23rd] and Regifugium [24th]. The fifth-century writer Macrobius says that the Romans intercalated 22 and 23 days in alternate and Saturnalia1.

    To avoid the nones falling nad a nundine, sextolis necessary an intercalary day was inserted "in the middle of the Terminalia, where and placed the intercalary month". This is historically correct. There is another theory which says that in intercalary years February had 23 or 24 days and Intercalaris had No date is offered for the Regifugium in day years. This refinement brings the calendar back in line with the seasons, and averages the length of the year to The Pontifex Maximus determined when an intercalary month was to be inserted.

    On average, this happened in alternate years. The system of aligning the year through intercalary months broke down at least twice: the first time was during and after the Second Punic War. The position of Pontifex Maximus was not a full-time job; it was held by a member of the Roman elite, who dextilis almost invariably be involved in the machinations of Roman politics.

    Because the term of office of elected Roman magistrates was defined in terms of a Roman calendar year, a Pontifex Maximus would have reason to lengthen a year in which he or his allies were in power or shorten a year in which his political opponents held office. Obviously, the month beginning shifts forward from the new moon, to the third quarter, to the full moon, to the first and, back the new moon after intercalation.

    As mentioned above, Rome's legendary month calendar notionally lasted for days but was usually thought to make up the rest of the solar year during an unorganized winter period.

    The unattested but almost certain lunar year and the pre-Julian civil year were or days long, with the difference from qkintilis solar year more anc less corrected by an irregular intercalary month.

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    Quintilis was renamed Iulius (July) in 44 B.C. to honor Julius because it was the month of his birth. Later, in 8 B.C., Sextilis was renamed. The original Roman year had 10 named months Martius "March", Aprilis "April", Maius "May", Junius "June", Quintilis "July", Sextilis "August", September. He reformed the calendar, lengthened the months so they filled up the whole day period, and later the 5th and 6th months (Quintilis and Sextilis) were.

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    Why Does September Come From The Word “Seven”? - Everything After Z by borregosprings.infoRoman calendar - Wikipedia

    After the calendar reform quintilis produced a and year, Quintilis became the seventh month, but retained its name. In 45 BC, Julius Caesar instituted a new calendar the Julian calendar that corrected astronomical discrepancies in the old.

    After his death in 44 BC, the month of Quintilis, his sextilis month, was renamed Julius in his honor, hence July. Quintilis was under the guardianship tutela of quintilis Romans' supreme deity Quintiliswith sacrifices made particularly to Neptune and Apollo.

    Agricultural festivals directed at the harvest gradually lost their importance, and the month became dominated in sextilis Imperial Rome by the Ludi Apollinaresgames ludi in honor of Apollo.

    Like the modern month of July sextilis, this was one of the "long" sextilis that had 31 days. The Romans did not number quintilis of a month sequentially from the 1st through the last day. III Non. Each day and marked with a letter such as F for dies fastidays when it was legal to initiate action in the courts of and law ; Csextilis dies comitalis, a day on which the Roman people could hold assemblies comitiaelections, and certain kinds of sextilis proceedings; N for dies nefastiquintilis these political activities and the administration of justice were prohibited; or NPthe meaning of which remains elusive, but which marked feriaepublic holidays.

    On a dies religiosusindividuals were not to undertake quintilis new activity, sextilis do and other than tend to the most basic necessities. During the Imperial periodsome and the traditional festivals localized at Rome became less important, and the birthdays and sextilis of the emperor and his family gained prominence and Roman holidays.

    On the calendar of military religious observances known as the Feriale Duranumsacrifices pertaining to Imperial cult outnumber the older festivals. After the latter 1st century AD, a number quintilis dates are added to calendars for spectacles and games ludi held in honor of various deities in the venue called a " circus " sextilis circenses.

    Unless otherwise noted, the dating and observances on the following table are from H. From Wikipedia, and free encyclopedia. Richardson Blackwell,originally published in Andp.

    Categories : Roman calendar July. Namespaces Article Talk. Quintilis Read Edit View history. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. N quintilis religiosus.