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hıstorıcal & lınguıstıc roots of the names of months

For a long period, time was calculated by observing the order of light and darkness that were alterning continuously. Such a time system formed in harmony of the movememts of   the Sun is considered the earliest form of the calendar. The second basic type of calendar was the arbitrary calendar, which was created by counting the number of days over and over again, either towards infinity or in a cycle. Calendars that were based on lunar and stellar cycles were also used in the ancient times.

One of the first truly scientific calendars was the Egyptian calendar. According to this calendar, a year comprised of 12 months, and each month had exactly 30 days. Later on, the Babylonian calendar was developed, and it was a lunisolar calendar. The Greeks used a calendar that was very similar to the Babylonian calendar, but they also had other calendars, such as the democratic state calendar with 10 arbitrary months and an agricultural calendar. The first Roman calendar was created by Romulus, and it had 10 months in a year, with each month lasting 30 or 31 days. The Romans had a number of calendars, and the most notable one was the Julian calendar.


The Fasti Antiates maiores, the oldest and only known pre-Julian calendar ever unearthed. Estimated to have been created between 67 and 55 B.C

The Julian Calendar

The Julian calendar was introduced in 45 BC by Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar that the year grew to include two more months, January and February. Although it had 12 months, many of its months were shorter than the months in the modern calendar.

As such, one Julian year only consisted of 355 days. Before Julius Caesar’s reforms. Julius Caesar brought in a number of reforms to the old Roman calendar. One of them was the addition of days to February to make it a 28-day month. The week was also reduced by one day to make it a 7-day week. Additionally, Caesar introduced the leap year rule, which stated that all leap years can be evenly divided by four.

The Gregorian Conversion

In the year 1582, Pope Gregory XIII decreed that there should be a change in the Julian calendar. The Gregorian calendar was a theoretical calendar, and it was created from very precise calculations of vernal equinoxes. The Julian calendar was based on the assumption that the duration between vernal equinoxes is 365 ¼ days, but in reality, it is approximate ly 11 minutes less. As such, the Gregorian calendar had three leap days removed every four hundred years. Also, changes were made to the lunar cycle, which helped in the calculation of Easter. Many European countries did not adopt the Gregorian calendar when it was introduced, mainly because of the Protestant Reformation that was taking place at that time. Nevertheless, by the 20th century, the calendar became the standard calendar in Europe. Today, it is the most widely used calendar in the world



Janus's month

Janus is the Roman god of gates and doorways, depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions. His festival month is January.

Januarius had 29 days, until Julius when it became 31 days long.


month of Februa

Februa is the Roman festival of purification, held on February fifteenth. It is possibly of Sabine origin.

Februarius had 28 days, until circa 450 BC .


Mars' month

Mars is the Roman god of war  which is the same with the Greek god Ares.

The months Martius has always had 31 days. İt was the original beginning of the year, and the time for the resumption of war.


Aphrodite's month

The linguistic root of the name of the month April is connected to the name of the Greek god Aphro which is the  short form of the name Aphrodite. İn Greek Mythology, Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She is identified with the Roman goddess Venus.

Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, sex, and beauty and there are many tales of how she could entice both gods and mortals to lust after her. In one of the most famous images of the goddess, we see her beautiful form emerge from the sea, a reference to her fascinating origin story. But the true origins of the goddess come from long before the Greeks.

Aprilis had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 30 days long.


Maia's month

Maius has always had 31 days.

the word ''Maia''  which means  "the great one") is the Italic goddess of spring who was the daughter of Faunus, and wife of Vulcan. In ancient Roman religion and myth, Faunus was the horned god of the forest, plains and fields; when he made cattle fertile he was called Inuus. He came to be equated in literature with the Greek god Pan

 In the Middle Ages, people went out Maying on the first of May. They would go to the fields and woods, collecting flowers and enjoying the sunshine. This might have been in honour of Maia, the goddess of May, or Flora, the goddess of flowers. Today, we still have the first Monday in May as a holiday. Sometimes people dance round a maypole.




Juno's month

Juno is the principle goddess of the Roman Pantheon. She is the goddess of marriage and the well-being of women. She is the wife and sister of Jupiter. She is identified with the Greek goddess Hera

Junius had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 30 days long.


Julius Caesar's month

Quintilis (and later Julius) has always had 31 days. Julius Caesar reformed the Roman calendar  in 46 BC. In the process, he renamed this month after himself.


Augustus Caesar's month

Latin sextilis mensis "sixth month"

Augustus Caesar clarified and completed the calendar reform of Julius Caesar. In the process, he also renamed this month after himself. Augustus was born as Gaius Octavius and called 'Octavian'. But, when he became the emperor, he was named 'Augustus', which meant 'consecrated'or 'venerable' in Latin. This is what gave rise to the English adjective 'august', which means respected and impressive.

Sextilis had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 31 days long.



the seventh month

latin september mensis "seventh month"

September had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 30 days long.

The month's name comes from Latin 'septem', meaning 'seven'. In the original 10-month ancient Roman calendar, September came at the seventh position.


the eighth month

Latin october mensis "eighth month"

The Latin word for eight 'octo' is the origin of the name of October, the eight month in the ancient Roman calendar. October has always had 31 days.


the nineth month

Latin Novembris mensis "nineth month"

Novembris had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 30 days long.

The name 'November' comes from the Latin word 'novem', meaning 'nine' - a reference to its ninth position in the ancient Roman calendar. 


the tenth month

latin december "tenth month"
It was the tenth andthe last month of the ancient roman calendar. December had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 31 days long.

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