Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Italy Blog #77: Our Calendar Months: From Ancient Rome

This blog wraps up ancient Rome from our May 2016 Italy trip and we're sharing how the ancient
Romans provided the names for the months on our current calendar. After this, we're taking you to Naples and Pompeii). So, if you didn't know the origin of the months of the year, now you will and you can thank the ancient Romans for it! You'll see how the months and the days are all named for Roman gods, emperors and numbers.

SIDE NOTE - For those who don't know, the christian holidays were actually appointed to the dates of ancient roman feasts (including Christmas and Easter), but that's another blog.  Back to the calendar months: The calendar that we all use today celebrates Roman, not Christian deities.

FACT: A number of months are named after Roman gods. Two months are named for Roman Emperors, one is for an ancient roman feast.
JANUARY - was in honor of the god Janus, the god of the beginning and of the end.
FEBRUARY - comes from the Latin word februare or to purify. It does not celebrate a god but was named in reference to the Roman feast of purification called Lupercalia (from the word lupus or wolf), which took place between February 13th and 15th. The feast’s purpose was to expel the evil spirits and to purify the city thereby bringing health and fertility.
MARCH - was actually considered the first month of the year in the old Roman calendar, and is named in honor of the god of war Mars.
APRIL - (Aprilis in Latin) the meaning is unclear, some historians believe that it comes from the Etruscan word Apru meaning the goddess Aphrodite, thereby celebrating the goddess Venus (the Roman equivalent of Aphrodite) the goddess of love and fertility.
MAY - honored the goddess Maia, the goddess of spring and plants.
JUNE - named to honor of the goddess Juno. Juno was the wife of Jupiter, the god of light and sky and the protector of the state and its laws.
JULY & AUGUST  - These months were named after Julius Caesar and Emperor Augustus respectively.
SEPTEMBER THROUGH DECEMBER - It seems as though the Romans stopped naming months after gods and emperors and named these months after the number of month they were.
SEPTEMBER - (from septem, seven in Latin) was the seventh month of the year in the old Roman calendar
OCTOBER - (from octo or eight in Latin) was the eighth month of the year (remember the Roman calendar started with March)
NOVEMBER -(from novem or nine in latin) was the ninth month of the year
DECEMBER -(from decem or ten in Latin) was the tenth and last month of the year in the old Roman calendar. 
A 355 DAY YEAR, 8 DAYS A WEEK -   The calendar changed over time from the 355 days the Romans had (and they had an eight-day week just like the Etruscans.  Before the Julian calendar, the Romans did not name their days but marked them from A to H. 
Sunday (dies Solis) was the day of the god sun Sol.
Monday (dies Lunae) was the day of the moon and celebrated the goddess Luna.
Tuesday (dies Martis) was the day of Mars, the god of war.
Wednesday (dies Mercurii) was the day of the god Mercury.
Thursday (dies Iovis) was the day of the god Jupiter.
Friday (dies Veneris) was the day of goddess Venus.
Saturday (dies Saturni) was the day of god Saturn

Want to know more? Go here:
NEXT: Arrival in Naples!      

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next