Tuesday, September 11, 2007

After that, I got nothing

Somehow Matt and I got to talking about months and how they were named. I think it's because Matt mentioned that "November" means "ninth month," which is understandably odd considering that we know it as the eleventh. So, we looked up the months and the derivation of their names (with the help of Wikipedia):

January - named after Janus, the god of the doorway (makes sense, right?)

February - named after the Latin term februum meaning purification

March - Roman god of war Mars

April - no one's certain, though the lead theory is it comes from the Latin word aperire, meaning "to open"

May - most believe it's named after the Greek goddess Maia (fertility)

June - Roman goddess Juno

July - Julius Caesar

August - Augustus Caesar

September - 7th month

October - 8th month

November - 9th month

December - 10th month

Now, regardless of the fact that two months were thrown in somewhere and screwed up the meaning of the last four months, I think it's pretty funny that the whole list seems like a work in progress, an uncompleted bit of legislature. There's something wonderful about the Roman senate sitting around and saying:

"...and this month shall be named after Gaius Julius Caesar, this month shall bear the name of his nephew, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, or the beloved Augustus. The next months...uh...shall...be named...uh...seven eight nine ten? Is that...does anyone object to that? That's all I got..."

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