Tag Archives: Roman calendar

HISTORY TIDBIT: MONTH NAMES

In the northern hemisphere, many kids begin their school year in September. And September got to be called September because, until the Romans added the months of July (for Julius Caesar and August (for Augustus Caesar) to their ten-month calendar, this time of year was the seventh month and the word comes from the Roman […]

MONTH NAME ORIGIN: DECEMBER

The last of the months the Romans named numerically was December, from decem, the Latin word for ten, and like September, October, and November, it kept its old name.    

MONTH NAME ORIGIN: NOVEMBER

November was yet another numeric month, getting its name from novem, the Latin word for nine. The Roman emperor Tiberius was born in November but apparently wasn’t as egotistical as certain other emperors, so when it was suggested that what was now the eleventh month should be named after him, he refused, and November went […]

MONTH NAME ORIGIN: OCTOBER

As with several other months, October was originally named numerically (Octo – eighth), but its name stayed the same even after it became the tenth month because the general public couldn’t be persuaded to call it anything else. (Power of the People?)

MONTH NAME ORIGIN: SEPTEMBER

The name September comes from the word septem, the Latin word for seven. That was because, on the old Roman calendar (the one that started with March), it was the seventh month. When January became the first month, this month became the ninth month, but the Romans neglected to change the name. Some emperors tried, […]

MONTH NAME ORIGIN: JULY

July was once the fifth month on the Roman calendar, and was simply called Quintilis (fifth). It was later renamed Julius in honour of Julius Cæsar.

MONTH NAME ORIGIN: FEBRUARY

The name for February comes from the Roman name, Februarius, which in turn comes from februare, and means ‘to purify’. When this month was first added to the Roman calendar, it was the last month, and during it, Romans purified themselves in preparation for the start of a new year. The painting above is entitled […]

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