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Fasti: 3-4 Feb 2009

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:10 am
by Aldus Marius
Salvete omnes!

The Fasti for Tuesday, 3 Februarius:

ante diem III Nonas Februarias [N]

"May the Gods Immortal make happy results come from pious acts." (Livy 6.26.6-7)

And for Wednesday the 4th:

Pridie Nonas Februarias [N]

* Death of Septimus Severus; ascension of Caracalla and Geta, 211 CE.
* SVR founds Collegium Militarium, 2002 CE.

"As bread feeds the stomach, so reading feeds the mind." (Anonymous)

In fide,

Fasti: Thursday, 5 Feb 2009

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:59 am
by Aldus Marius
Salvete amici!

The Fasti for Thursday, 5 Februarius:

Dies Nonibus

* Feast of Faunus
* Feast of Concordia in Her aspect of goddess of harmonious relations in marriage.

I think Concordia deserves special consideration these days. She has endured many insults in the OP, and She could probably use some lovin'.

In fide,

Fasti: Friday, 6 Feb 2009

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:42 am
by Aldus Marius
The Fasti for :

ante diem VIII Idus Februarias [N]
Dies Ater

"Radiant Concordia, ever reside in this marriage, and so, fitly joined in matrimony, may Venus always bless with children this couple." (Martial IV.13.7-8)

In fide,

Re: Fasti

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:52 pm
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salvete, Quirites Interretiales - Be ye hale, Internet Citizens of Rome -

The Fasti for Saturn's Day, 2/7/09, et sequentibus, Soli Lunaeque, 2/8 atque 2/9/09:

Ante diem VII Idus Februarias N (2/7/09)
Nefastus: Comitia no, Courts no.

- Arrival of Favonius, the westerly wind,that begins the spring and opens the earth; it is moderately cool, but healthy. (Pliny, Nat. Hist. 18.77)

Ante diem VI Idus Februarias N (2/8/09)
Nefastus: Comitia no, Courts no.

- "Invincible Holiness, with venerating prayers I ask that You send good portents to signify a change for the better for the people of our nation." (Accius, Aenead sive Decius fr. 4)

Ante diem V Idus Februarias N (2/9/09)
Nefastus: Comitia no, Courts no.

- As soon as (Favonius) begins to prevail, it indicates that the time has arrived for pruning the vine, weeding the corn, planting trees, grafting fruit-trees, and trimming the olive, for its breezes are productive of the most nutritious effects. (Pliny, Nat. Hist. 18.77)

From the Kalends of February until the day after the Quirinalia, each day is either Nefastus or Nefastus Publicus. I have to ask: Why are all these days Nefastus, one after the other? Does anyone know if there's a reason for that?

Valete omnes, et vestri et nostri.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:04 am
by Aldus Marius
Salvete omnes!

All those days are not ater, unlucky or ill-omened; they are simply nefas, more the equivalent of a Federal holiday (or a series of them). Businesses might be open, but government offices were not. If I had to take a guess as to the reason, it might have something to do with the nature of Februarius as the month of purification. Maybe the ordinary Citizen was encouraged or expected to spend those days renewing his acquaintance with the gods or the virtues, and not dusting it up with somebody at an extortion trial? One might wish today's litigants were so "centered" in the Zen sense.

Mea sententia,

Re: Fasti

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:58 am
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Avete, Cives -

For the upcoming three days:

Ante diem IV Idus Feb N: (2/10/09)
[N] Nefastus: Comita no, Courts no.

- "I pray by the Gods that everything will be made fortunate." (Afranius, Fabula Togata fr. 11)

Ante diem III Idus Feb N: (2/11/09)
[N] Nefastus: Comita no, Courts no.

- FORNICALIA. Festival held by the Curiae, on an unfixed date, when grain is roasted in the Forum in the ancient fashion, to honor Fornax, goddess of ovens and bakers.

Pridie Idus Feb N: (2/12/09)
[N] Nefastus: Comita no, Courts no.

- "The diligent farmer plants trees he will never see." (Cicero, Disputationes Tusculanae 1.14.31).

Valete bene.

Re: Fasti

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:36 pm
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Val.Claudius Iohannes Sodalibus Omnibus s.p.d.

The Fasti for tomorrow, 2/13/09, Dies Veneris, the Ides of February:

Idibus Februariis [NP] Religiosus. (2/13/2009)
Nefastus Publicus [NP] :
    - Comitia: no; Courts: no.
    - Ordinary citizens may not commit acts of physical violence, or begin lawsuits, and
    should try to avoid quarrels.
Religiosus (Vitiosus): A dies religiosus is like a dies atri, but less bad:
    - Avoid making journeys, starting new projects, doing anything risky.
    - No private religious rites may be performed, subject to the same comment as for dies atri.
    - Every Ides is sacred to IUPPITER.
    - "Idibus alba Iovi grandior agna cadit." (Ovidius)
    - Parentalia performed by the Vestal Virgins at the tomb of the first Vestal Virgin, Tarpeia.
    - Dedication of the Temple of Faunus on the Insula Tiberis, 193 BCE.
    - Feralia begins at the sixth hour of daylight but continues until 21 Feb, honoring the Manes.
Dii nos omnes incolumes custodiant.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:04 am
by Aldus Marius
Salvete, amici Romani!

The Ides is actually just the kickoff for the Parentalia festival. Parentalia (loosely, "for all our ancestors") is something like All Souls' Day, and something like the Latin American Day(s) of the Dead; we honor and remember those of our familiares who have left us, and in many cases have gone on to become the lares or guardian spirits of our household. The festival runs through the 21st, and is followed immediately by the Caristia which, as noted, is for celebrating the people who are most dear to us, living or dead.

Happy Holidays! >({|:-)

Fasti: Saturday, 14 Feb 2009

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:24 am
by Aldus Marius
Salvete, Romani viatores!

The Fasti for Saturday, 14 Februarius:

ante diem XVI Kalendas Martias [N] Ater

Our SVR calendar still has us thinking of
"Amorous Faunus, from whom the Nymphs flee, step lightly across my boundaries and sunny fields, and soon depart, leaving your blessing on my young lambs and kids, and leveled tender shoots." (Horace, Carmina Liber III.xviii.1-8)

In fide,

Fasti: Sunday, 15 Feb 2009 - LUPERCALIA!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:08 am
by Aldus Marius
Salvete omnes!

(I get to do Lupercalia, I get to do Lupercalia!) *dance dance dance* >({|8-)

The Fasti for Sunday, 15 Februarius:

ante diem XV Kalendas Martias [NP]
Dies Religiosus: LUPERCALIA
Purification rite of the februatio, beginning with the sacrifice of a buck in the Lupercal cave on the Palatine, followed by the running of the Luperci (the "wolf-brethren").

The Lupercalia observed a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral festival, held on February 15 to avert evil spirits and purify the City, releasing health and fertility.

This festival's origins are older than the legendary founding of Rome: according to Varro, the race-course was originally run round the boundaries of the most ancient Palatine settlement, later extended to the whole City, according to Ovid's Fasti. In front of the Porta Romana, on the western side of the Palatine hill, close to the Ficus Ruminalis and the Casa Romuli, was the cave of Lupercus (the Lupercal); in it, according to the legend, the She-wolf had suckled the twins, and the Etruscan bronze Capitoline Wolf (which is still preserved in the Museo Capitolino) was placed in it in 296 BC.

The object of the festival was, by expiation and purification, to secure the fruitfulness of the land, the increase of the flocks and the prosperity of the whole people. It survived until 494, when it was changed by Pope Gelasius into the feast of the Purification of the Virgin (then on February 14, now on February 2).

(In the absence of goatskin straps, would it be OK just to put on a really good pillow-fight?) >({|;-)

In fide,

Fasti: Monday, 16 Feb 2009

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:00 am
by Aldus Marius
Salvete Romani!

The Fasti for Monday, 16 Februarius:

ante diem XIV Kalendas Martias [EN] Religiosus
Dies Endotercisus (morning: N; afternoon: F; evening: N)

"Romulus, O Romulus, may You eternally live in Heaven among the children of the Gods." (Ennius, Annales I.121)

In fide,

Fasti: Tuesday, 17 Feb 2009

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:40 am
by Aldus Marius
Salvete, Romani viatores!

The Fasti for Tuesday, 17 Februarius:

ante diem XIII Kalendas Martias [NP]
Dies Religiosus: QUIRINALIA
Notes: Quirinus
was originally a god of the Sabines. He may have been another form of Mars. By the late Republic he was identified with Romulus. His festival, the Quirinalia, was celebrated on February 17, on which day Romulus (Quirinus) was said to have been carried up to heaven (Ovid, Fasti II.475; Festus, s.v.; Varro, de Ling. Lat. VI.13, ed Müller). His temple was one of the oldest in Rome.

From the SVR calendar:

* Parentalia continues.
* QUIRINALIA: Sacrifices to Quirinus and Hora on the Quirinal.
* Temple of Quirinus rebuilt by Augustus, 16 BCE.
* Feriae Stultorum: Those who did not make sacrifice at the Fornicalia (silly people! <g>) now make their offerings in the Curiae.

In amicitia et fide,

Fasti: Wednesday, 18 Feb 2009

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:25 am
by Aldus Marius
Salvete, all who gather here!

The Fasti for Wednesday, 18 Februarius:

ante diem XII Kalendas Martias [C] Religiosus

* Parentalia continues: Family procession to the tombs of relatives, bringing gifts of wine, water, milk, honey, oil, salt and black sacrificial victims, and decorating tombs with flowers.

In fide,

Re: Fasti FOR TH, FRI, SAT (2/19, 2/20, 2/21/09)

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:09 am
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salvete, Quirites -

How was the Quirinalia for our Sodales? I hate to admit it, but I lost track of it - the 17th is also my birthday. I do hope the cultores Deorum among us observed it.

Ante diem XI Kal Mart C: (2-19-09)
[C] Comitialis: Comitia yes, Courts yes.

- Septimus Severus defeats Clodius Albinus at Lugdunum, 197 CE.
- Constantius orders removal of statues and closing of the temples, 356 CE. [Eheu.]

Ante diem X Kal Mart C: (2-20-09)
[C] Comitialis: Comitia yes, Courts yes.
- "Divine Penates of our ancestors, to you I commend the good fortune of my parents, and to you, Spiritual Father of our family, that you safeguard them well." (Plautus, Mercator 834-5)

Ante diem IX Kal Mart F: (2-21-09)
[F] Faustus est dies: Comitia no; courts yes.

- FERALIA. Offering to the Manes of gifts of wine, water, milk, honey, oil, and salt on pottery shards at crossroad shrines, decorated with flowers.
- Death of Germanicus, 4 CE. [Eheu iterum.]

Also regarding the Feralia, from Wikipedia: "Feralia was a Roman feast honoring the 'infernal powers'. It fell on February 21 and was the last day of the Parentalia, a week-long festival that honored the dead. The Feralia was also a religious holiday sacred to Jupiter, whose surname was Feretrius."


Fasti: Sunday and Monday, 22-23 Feb 2009

PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:23 am
by Aldus Marius
Salvete, Romani viatores!

The Fasti for Sunday, 22 Februarius:

ante diem VIII Kal Mart [N]
Also known as Cara Cognatio ("Dear Relation"). A day to celebrate our best-loved ones, living or dead; to patch up quarrels; and to renew family ties.
"Lares, care for our house that you established." (Ennius, Annales I.141)

And for Monday the 23rd:

ante diem VII Kalendas Martias [NP]
Terminalia is celebrated annually by the Romans in honor of Terminus, who presides over boundaries. His statue is merely a stone or post stuck in the ground to distinguish between properties.

On the festival, the two owners of adjacent property crown the boundary-marker with garlands and raise an altar, on which they offer up some corn, honeycombs, and wine, and sacrifice a lamb (Horace, Epodes II.59) or a suckling pig. They conclude with singing the praises of the god (Ovid. Fasti II.639, &c.).

The public festival in honour of this god is celebrated at the sixth milestone on the road towards Laurentum (Id. 682), doubtless because this was originally the extent of the Roman territory in that direction.

The festival of the Terminalia is celebrated a. d. VII. Kal. Mart., or the 23d of February on the day before the Regifugium. The Terminalia was celebrated on the last day of the old Roman year, whence some derive its name. We know that February was the last month of the Roman year, and that when the intercalary month "Mercedonius" was added, the last five days of February were added to the intercalary month, making the 23d of February the last day of the year (Varro, de Lingua Latina VI.13, ed. Müller; Macrobius, Saturnalia I.13).

When Cicero, in a letter to Atticus (vi.1), says Accepi tuas litteras a. d. V. Terminalia (i.e. Feb. 19), he uses this strange mode of defining a date, because being then in Cilicia he did not know whether any intercalation had been inserted that year. [Calendarium, pp229b, 230a.]

"Holy Terminus, You define people and cities and nations within their boundaries. All land would be in dispute if without You. You seek no offices or anyone’s favour; no amount of gold can corrupt Your judgement. In good faith You preserve the legitimate claims to rural lands." (Ovid, Fasti II.658-62)

In fide,

Re: Ad Kalendas Graecas ?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:13 pm
by Formosus Viriustus
Salve Aldi Mari mi,

I have three questions for you :

1.Why didn't the Romans use a solar-lunar calendar ?
2.Who is responsible for that abomination (in my eyes) the 28-day-month ? Is it Julius Caesar ? Or do others share in the blame ?
3.It can't really be the Julian Calendar, since we have a month called August , right ?

I used to consider myself to be a bit of a calendar nerd. (Until I met you, that is.) Every year explaining to the Chinese people why they celebrate New Year on that particular day; and to muslim people why they loose about 11 days each year, and so on - you see ?
I must admit that until now however, I have never bothered to go into the old Roman calendar. I have a reasonable excuse for that, I hope : until now I had always assumed that the old Romans used a solar-lunar calendar pretty similar to what everybody else used in those days and that the trouble with their calendar started because at a certain point they were too busy with other things to care about inserting an intercalary month when they should have.
But now it seems it was much more complicated than that.

Why didn't the Romans use a solar-lunar calendar ? Everybody else did it. The Chinese did it. The Jews did it. Even the Greeks did it. So why didn't the Romans do it?
It's a dead simple system, and I am still a big fan of it. 235 moons equals 19 suns. You have months of alternatingly 29 and 30 days each, insert an intercalary month every 2 or 3 years, and you're as good as there. You cant really go wrong. No nonsense about months that are either 31 or 28 days long.

It has only one disadvantage : you have long and short years. But for the rest there are only advantages. If you stick with the moon cycle, you can always see, by looking at it, which day of the month you are about. You can plan things months ahead without any calculations : on the 15th of each month you have the full moon. Maybe not so relevant these days anymore, now that we each have 183 calendars, whether we want them or not, and more electricity than we can use. But in a farming community in those days, those things must have been of crucial importance : around the time of the full moon, if it's a bit of a clear sky, you can work outdoors all through the night if you have to, and people did. On the other hand, around the new moon, if it's a bit overcast, you're likely to break your neck if you venture outdours without light.

True, the Greeks always got in a fight with eachother over which month a sacred truce was to be observed or a certain festival celebrated. As if they needed yet another reason to have a go at eachother. But that was because each state had a different system for choosing the starting date of the year and for inserting leap months. In the long run all their calendars must have stayed in sync. (Does that mean that they had exactly the same arguments about exactly the same things every 19 years ?)

It seems to me that the Romans got it wrong from the start. And made it worse as they went along. I'm sorry, my fellow Romans, I have to say it, but I think that on this one we didn't do a good job. It seems that they started messing around with 31-day-months and intercalary months of 27 days and what not from the very start. The only explanation I found (I have been reading a bit diagonally), is something to do with superstitions about lucky numbers and such. But that is not the way we Romans usually do things ? We're a rational, logical and systematic people. So why ? Why mess up a perfectly good system. I'd say, in this one case : if it's good enough for the rest of the world, it's good enough for the Romans, and not the other way round, as I usually do.

Am I completely missing the point here ? Put me right.

Who's ultimately responsible for the 28-day-month ?
The universal opinion of the uninformed seems to be : JC. (Really, they couldn't care less. They don't see the absurdity of a 28-day-month. They think it's 'logical' because 'it has always been that way'. You see what kind of people I'm dealing with ?)They are most probably right of cause, but I'm still left with a lot of existential anxieties : If he did it, why did he do it ? He was a rational man, wasn't he ? Go for a fixed-lenght year of 365 or 366 days. Sure, that has big advantages. But, it seems to me that you then have 2 logical options : either 13 months of 28 days each (makes a month also exactly four weeks - handy) and have one leap day (or two) each year. Or you go for 12 months. But then 7 months of 30 days each and 5 months of 31 days. 6 of each in leap years. The last one seems to me the best and doesn't defer all that much from what we now have. But you wouldn't have all this knuckle counting nonsense we do to end up 2 days short anyway at the end of Februari.

So, was it Caesar that put the lenght of Februari at 28 days and if he did, was that because Februari just had to be 28 days for some reason dating back to the past ? (And are thus the Old Ones also partially to blame ?)

My last question might seem frivolous to you, but it's not. It's dead serious. It has kept me awake for nights and nights. And I still haven't found an answer yet. If I'm not nagging my friends about the Greeks and the Romans, I'm usually nagging them about calendar dilemma's such as the above. And most of all : which callendar did we really use until 1582 or there abouts in the CE. I say it's definitely not the Julian. ( I am sure, had the Man lived, he would have put things right in the end. But that was, alas, not to be - traitors !)

I know of cause about the Quintilis (or Quintilus)and the Sextilis (or Sextilus) business. But they never give any names : who's responsible ? They'd like to stay anynomous, do they ? Wiki says 'The Romans' did it. Yes, yes, I know that, that's obvious isn't ? It wasn't the Chinese did it. The Quintilis / Quintilus guy or guys, I'm not all that interested in, but the guy or guys who invented August. Who is it or who are they ? And should'nt we ultimately lay the blame on him or them, instead of on JC ?
Until today I haven't met a living organism yet, that shares only the slightest bit of my concerns. Or sympathises with my torments. They have no compassion. Help me out.


Re: Fasti

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:30 am
by Aldus Marius
* >({|8-|

...Amice, I just post the things. For me it's a kind of pilgrimage, an opportunity to ask myself, every day, what an ancient Roman might have been doing or thinking about on that day. It's a bit like when I used to observe the ecclesiastical year of the Catholic Church; it's got the same flavor. Posting and thinking about the Fasti puts me in touch with the Ancestor-spirits. I don't know what it does for anybody else, but nobody's asked me or Iohannes to stop, so we're continuing until about 9 March. By then we will have recorded an entire Roman year, and they're not expected to vary much except in the case of the moveable feasts, which we will announce each year as soon as Nova Roma has fixed the dates. (They're the only other group I know of that's keeping track in realtime.)

But as to the whys and the wherefores of the Roman calendar...I remand you to the custody of M Horatius Piscinus. He's our resident Calendar Expert; he wrote the one on the site, and will, given the chance, bend your ear (OK, inbox) for days on the hidden blessings of the sidereal year. He's all done being a Nova Roman Consul; perhaps your query will coax him back here for a well-deserved rest-break? >({|:-)

In fide (if you only knew...)

Re: Fasti for 2/24, 2/25, 2/26/09

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:53 pm
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salvete, Amici -

Festinans verum magnopere lentus
, I see that we've missed posting Fasti for two days! Ah, well. Let me try to make amends while simultaneously admitting that I haven't yet done any more than briefly scan the latest posts here, despite Formosus's excellent discussion points (eg, "It can't really be the Julian Calendar, since we have a month called August , right ?").

Ante diem VI Kalendas Martias N: (02/24/09)
[N] Nefastus (comitia: no; courts: no)

- Regifugium: The Rex Sacrorum, attended by the Salii, made a sacrifice in the Comitia, from which he would then flee, as an act of purification to renew the City. By the Late Republic it was believed to represent the flight of Tarquinius Superbus from Rome.
- Theodosius bans all blood sacrifices, 391 CE.

Ante diem V Kalendas Martias C: (02/25/09)
[C] Comitialis (comitia: yes; courts: yes)

- "Has Procne, spring’s herald, come unafraid of winter’s return?" (Ovid, Fasti 2.853-54)

Ante diem IV Kalendas Martias EN: (02/26/09)
[EN] Endotercisus (morning N - comitia no; courts no; afternoon F - comitia no; courts yes); & evening N again)

- "Io! Lares, give us fine harvests and fruitful vines." (Tibullus 1.1.24)

Ab vestro Iohanne et legente et currente -

Re: Fasti

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:18 pm
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salve, Sempronii Formose -

I'm so glad you posted on this one. I post the Fasti (along with Marius) because I, myself, want to know the Roman Calendar better. It has always been - from a distance - the most confusing Calendar I could imagine. But I am a calendar dunce and both fascinated and mystified by things solar, lunar and sidereal. No head for details, but in love with them, it seems. And so, for your exposition of the Solar-Lunar Calendar, gratias ago, for I've never had it explained so succinctly before.

I will make two remarks:

The first is one that Horatius Piscinus once made to us, the gist of it being, "the more you use and follow the Roman Calendar, the more you begin to see logic and connections and unlooked-for wisdom in it," if I'm not misremembering his meaning.

And the second is this: The Romans, despite all their revolutions, loved their own lore, and the Calendar was Religious lore, not a matter of philosophy or science. When Caius Caesar decided to reform it, indeed, he couldn't simply discard the old Calendar, it was too essential to the Roman nation and state; so he brought in brainy Egyptians (as I understand it) to repair it, instead. And that fits very well with one quintessentially Roman mos, I think: Conquer the sophisticated, and then use them.

So it seems to me. Optime vale.

P.S. Where does Xanthippe stand on this calendar question?!?

Re: Ad Kalendas Graecas ?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:30 am
by Formosus Viriustus
Salve Omnes !

Doing some googling I found the following on wikipedia :

The Julian months were formed by adding ten days to a regular pre-Julian Roman year of 355 days, creating a regular Julian year of 365 days: Two extra days were added to Ianuarius, Sextilis (Augustus) and December, and one extra day was added to Aprilis, Iunius, September and November, setting the lengths of the months to the values they still hold today:

Before 45 BC : 29, 28 (leap years 23 or 24), 31, 29, 31, 29 , 31 , 29 , 29 , 31 , 29 , 29 (Intercalaris : leap years, 27 , inserted between shortened February and March)

Length as of 45 BC : 31 , 28 (leap years : 29 ), 31 , 30 , 31, 30 , 31 , 31 , 30 , 31 , 30 ; 31

The Julian reform set the lengths of the months to their modern values. However, a 13th century scholar, Sacrobosco, proposed a different explanation for the lengths of Julian months which is still widely repeated but is certainly wrong. According to Sacrobosco, the original scheme for the months in the Julian Calendar was very regular, alternately long and short. From January through December, the month lengths according to Sacrobosco for the Roman Republican calendar were:
30, 29, 30, 29, 30, 29, 30, 29, 30, 29, 30, 29

He then thought that Julius Caesar added one day to every month except February, a total of 11 more days, giving the year 365 days. A leap day could now be added to the extra short February:
31, 29/30, 31, 30, 31, 30, 31, 30, 31, 30, 31, 30

He then said Augustus changed this to:
31, 28/29, 31, 30, 31, 30, 31, 31, 30, 31, 30, 31
so that the length of Augustus would not be shorter than (and therefore inferior to) the length of Iulius, giving us the irregular month lengths which are still in use.

There is abundant evidence disproving this theory. First, a wall painting of a Roman calendar predating the Julian reform has survived, which confirms the literary accounts that the months were already irregular before Julius Caesar reformed them:
29, 28, 31, 29, 31, 29, 31, 29, 29, 31, 29, 29

The Senatorial decree (senatus consultum) renaming Sextilis to Augustus reads in part:
"Whereas the Emperor Augustus Caesar, in the month of Sextilis, was first admitted to the consulate, and thrice entered the city in triumph, and in the same month the legions, from the Janiculum, placed themselves under his auspices, and in the same month Egypt was brought under the authority of the Roman people, and in the same month an end was put to the civil wars; and whereas for these reasons the said month is, and has been, most fortunate to this empire, it is hereby decreed by the senate that the said month shall be called Augustus." (8 BC)

So it is the Julian Calendar after all. But it was the Old Romans who were at least partly responsible for the 28-day-month and it had to do with lucky and unlucky numbers. Why Caesar stuck to it we may never know.

And it is the Sacrobosco-version I must have picked up somewhere years ago. How about that ? He wrote this in 'de Anni Ratione' (or 'Compotus') in 1235 CE. I find it remarkable that Sacrobosco assumed that the Republican Romans did use a solar-lunar calendar (alternating months of 29 and 30 days respectively). The system that was used by nearly everybody else in those days. And Sacrobosco was not a stupid man : he is supposed to be the first one to have noticed that by his time the Julian Calendar was off again by some ten days.

So, here's a wild idea : what if they both were right ? I have to dig into that a bit deeper, but I have seen somewhere that the Athenians had no less than five calendars, all for different aspects of life. I just can't get it out of my head that, certainly in a rural farming community the moon cycle was too important to neglect.

Any ideas on that ?

Yes, of cause, my Xanthippe has her own opinion on the subject. Does that surprise you ? But don't pay too much attention to her. She's not the sharpest tool in the shed.