Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Addressing the Calendar Salad Tossed by Caesar

So starts July.
For Julius Caesar.
August is next, for Augustus Caesar.
And he’s the one who messed up the calendar.
He did.
He wanted himself and ol’ Jules to have the nice warm months named after them.
Sounds okay, sure, but look what he did in his arrogance.
September is from Septe, or seven.
October is from Octo, or eight.
November is from Nove, or nine.
September is now the ninth month?
And we just accept this?


Sunshine said...

AND to make things more bizarre, isn't it called the JULIAN (not Julius) calendar? What was wrong with these people!?!

dbz said...

September as the ninth month works for me :D GOOOOOO Caesars!

crap! now I want Caesar salad too!

Anonymous said...

First of all, it's the 'Julian Calendar' because Julian is an adjective, like American in 'American automobile', or a 'Proustian themes'.

Secondly, Gaius Julius Caesar reformed the out-of-whack lunar calendar by eliminating the so-called intercalary month and lengthening the number of days in each month (except for February). There were no new months added.

July had always been Quintilis (Fifth), and August was Sextilis (Sixth). They were later renamed Julius and Augustus to honor the two men.

These months were not inserted, thereby ruining, as you say, the calendar. The Romans celebrated the New Year on March 1st (a practice that lasted through the Middle Ages), making March month 1, April 2, May 3, June 4, 'Fifth' 5, 'Sixth' 6, Sept 7, Octo 8, and so on.

Danielle Mari said...

America.... American
Proust... Proustian
Julius... Julian. Though I guess Juliusian would be just silly! Why not Caesarian?

And wasn't there, for a while at least, another month? Inter... intercalary? Grrr. Great. Now I'm off to find THAT. Ain't OCD grand?

Peter Von Brown said...

Well, anonymous, thank you for the info. Even as Juilian is an adjective, it's still named for him. Either way, my point is not the HOW, but that the calendar has gotten screwed up and we just accept the oddity of "misnamed" months. Beginning the year in Spring makes much more sense anyway. (Which is probably why it somehow became "abandoned.")

The Generic Dragon said...

Now is it really Julius Caesar's fault for shifting around the months? Sure he gave the name for July, and later one was given to August was named for Augustus. However, we don't use that calendar form anymore. We use the Gregorian calendar. So if you want to blame anyone for the "misnamed" months, blame Pope Gregory XIII and Doctor Aloysius Lilius (1510 - 1576). Lilius is the guy that moved the New Year to January 1.

Stupid renaissance people. ;)