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Roman Calendars

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 4 months ago

The Roman Calendars borrowed part of their calendars from the early Greeks. The Roman calendar consisted of 10 months and 304 days. They have not taken to account of the remaining 61 days which fell in the middle of the winter, and just simply ignored them. The names of the 10 Roman calendar months are Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November and December.


King Nuna Pompilius replaced the calendar with that of a similar Greek calendar in which they derived the calendar in the first place. The calendar now had 12 months and 355 days. Months that originally had 30 days now had 29. Months of Januarius and Februarius were added. Januarius was added at the beginning and Februarius was added at the end, but over time Februarius was shifted after Januarius. Today, we still use this order with January and February as our first two months.



In Roman calendars, the year began on Martius 1, the day which new consuls were inaugurated.




The table of the Roman months with derivation of name and the number of days each month consisted is shown below.


Name of month Derivation of Name Number of days


from the god Mars 31






from the goddess Juno, wife of Zeus 29


fifth 31


sixth 29


seventh 29


eighth 31


ninth 29


tenth 29


from Janus, god of gates 29


from Februa, a goddess of purification 28


One might wonder if Roman calendars have weekdays. Roman calendars do not have weekdays. However, they have defined points during each month. These defined points were based on lunar cycles (phases). There were three names of days which depended on the lunar phase. The day of Kalends was basically the first day of the month and was based on the crescents and new moon. It was also the longest day because it involved three phases such as waning crescent, new moon, and waxing crescent. The second day was called Nones which was when the moon reached the first quarter phase. Nones meant "nine" because it took nine days (inclusive) from first quarter phase to full moon phase. Last but not least, the third day was Ides. Ides was when the moon reached full moon phase.




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