Months Named for Pagan Gods?

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roman gods_calendar3
Original Names of Months

Roman Sun Worship
And Catholic Calendar

How do names of Ancient False Gods get easily accepted into modern day society?

READ . . .

Question: Is this true? - That names of 'false gods' are the months on the sun calendar (also called the Gregorian or "Christian Calendar" of Pope Gregory")


Origin of the Names of the Months begins with the Roman Sun Worshippers Calendar, having names of the months indicating the beginning of the "birth of the sun" (March or mars) and ending with the 12th or "shortest month of the sun". The most sun was in the 5th and 6th months: quintilis (5 or July) and sextilis (6 or August).


The Gregorian, calendar was instituted by Pope Gregory XIII, in 1592.

Pope Gregory XIII, of the Catholic Church - did change the official Roman, Latin calendar which started the first month with (March) Mars, to (Januay) Janus being the first month of the year.

But he is not the only one who has played with the "Sun Calendar", not the least at all.

Read . . .

January (janus)

"Janus" the Roman god of doors, beginnings, sunset and sunrise, had one face looking forward and one backward. Formerly, the numeric month of eleven for the Roman Latin calendar.

February (februare)

"februare" - Latin: meaning to purify. Romans celebrated the festival of forgiveness of sins in the middle of this month. This was originally the 12th or last month, and shortest month of the Roman calendar, having only 29 days, except every fourth year it would have 30 days. This was changed by August Caesar (see below).

March (mars)

"mars" - (originially the first month in the Julian or Roman Latin calendar) "Mars" - the Roman god of war

April (aprilis)

"aprilis" (Roman name in Latin), perhaps derived from aperire, (Latin to open, as in opening buds and blossoms) or maybe even from Aphrodite, original Greek name of Venus.

May (maia)

"maia" Roman goddess, mother of the god Mercury, whose father was the god Jupiter, and she was the daughter of the god they called Atlas.

June (juno)

"Juno" chief Roman goddess. Female godesses were popular amongst elite of the Roman empire. Some women were used as prophets or seers.

July (julios)

("Julios") NOTE: This was not named for the god "Jupiter" as some have thought. Originally in numerical order: "quintilis" Latin for fifth month, because the Roman year began in March instead of January). [see note below for more details]

August (augustos)

("Augustos") Like July, it was orginially named in numerical order - "sextilis" (sixth month in the Roman calendar); but was re-named in 8 BC for Augustus Caesar. [see notes below for more details]

September (septem)

"septem" - Latin for the seventh month in the Julian or Roman calendar. This was also established in the reign of Julius Caesar.

October (octo)

"octo" - Roman Latin for eight in the Julian calendar. Note the word "octagon" or eight sided coming from the same root. Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1582, skipping 10 days that October, correcting for too many leap years.

November (novem)

"novem" - number nine on Roman latin calendar. This name has more or less remained the same over 2,000 years.

December (decem)

"decem" - number ten, Julian or Roman calendar year's tenth month (decem, Latin for ten). Still essentially the same meaning.

We see now the names of the months on the sun calendar are more than just some words. These had meanings and were considered by the people of the times to be more or less sacred or holy to them.
For these reasons it would be wise to consider the calendar of the Jews and Muslim (based on the stages and sightings of the moon) as more valid, at least in respect to the naming convention.

NOTE 1. JULY (renamed for Julius Caesar)

- It was in 44 B.C. when Julius Caesar ordered the longest month of the year with the most sunshine, to be renamed for him (Julios), as this month had the most days and hours for sun worship and he claimed to be born of the sun god in that month.

NOTE 2. AUGUST (renamed for Augustus Caesar)

- Not to be outdone by his predecessor (Julius Caesar), August wanted the same number of days in "his month".

NOTE 3. FEBRUARY (lost a day to 'augustos')

- One more day was needed to bring August (formerly sextilis) to the level of July (formerly "quintilis").
So they took one day away from the last month of the year (February was the 12 month for the Romans).
This is how we end up with only 28 days in February, except 29 days every four years.

NOTE 4. CATHOLIC (meaning):

- Incidentally, the word "Catholic" is still used exactly today as it was 2300 years ago (Yes, even before Christ): ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH (Universal Church of Rome): Catholic - "universal".

Part 2 - More Details

A History of the Months
& Meanings of the Names

A History of the Months

The original Roman year had 10 named months Martius "March", Aprilis "April", Maius "May", Junius "June", Quintilis "July", Sextilis "August", September "September", October "October", November"November", December "December".

There are likely two unnamed months in the dead of winter when not much happened in agriculture.

The year began with Martius "March".

Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome circa 700 BC, added the two months Januarius "January" and Februarius "February".

He also moved the beginning of the year from Marius to Januarius and changed the number of days in several months to be odd, a lucky number.

After Februarius there was occasionally an additional month of Intercalaris "intercalendar".

This is the origin of the leap-year day being in February. In 46 BC, Julius Caesar reformed the Roman calendar (hence the Julian calendar) changing the number of days in many months and removing Intercalaris.

January -- Janus's month

Middle English Januarie
Latin Januarius "of Janus"
Latin Janu(s) "Janus" + -arius "ary (pertaining to)"
Latin Januarius mensis "month of Janus"

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.

February -- month of Februa

Middle English Februarius
Latin Februarius "of Februa"
Latin Februa(s) "Februa" + -arius "ary (pertaining to)"
Latin Februarius mensis "month of Februa"
Latin dies februatus "day of purification"

Februarius had 28 days, until circa 450 BC when it had 23 or 24 days on some of every second year, until Julius when it had 29 days on every fourth year and 28 days otherwise.

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

Intercalaris -- inter-calendar month

Latin Intercalaris "inter-calendar"
Latin Mercedonius (popular name) "?"

Intercalaris had 27 days until the month was abolished by Julius.

March -- Mars' month

Middle English March(e)
Anglo-French March(e)
Old English Martius
Latin Martius "of Mars"
Latin Marti(s) "Mars" + -us (adj. suffix)
Latin Martius mensis "month of Mars"

Martius has always had 31 days.

March was the original beginning of the year, and the time for the resumption of war.

Mars is the Roman god of war. He is identified with the Greek god Ares.

April -- Aphrodite's month

Old English April(is)
Latin Aprilis
Etruscan Apru
Greek Aphro, short for Aphrodite.

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

Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She is identified with the Roman goddess Venus.

May -- Maia's month

Old French Mai
Old English Maius
Latin Maius "of Maia"
Latin Maius mensis "month of Maia"

Maius has always had 31 days.

Maia (meaning "the great one") is the Italic goddess of spring, the daughter of Faunus, and wife of Vulcan.

June -- Juno's month

Middle English jun(e)
Old French juin
Old English junius
Latin Junius "of Juno"
Latin Junius mensis "month of Juno"

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

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.

July -- Julius Caesar's month

Middle English Julie
Latin Julius "Julius"
Latin Julius mensis "month of Julius"
Latin quintilis mensis "fifth month"

Quintilis (and later Julius) has always had 31 days.

Julius Caesar reformed the Roman calendar (hence the Julian calendar) in 46 BC.
In the process, he renamed this month after himself.

August -- Augustus Caesar's month

Latin Augustus "Augustus"
Latin Augustus mensis "month of Augustus"
Latin sextilis mensis "sixth month"

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

Augustus Caesar clarified and completed the calendar reform of Julius Caesar.
In the process like Julius, he also renamed this month after himself.

September -- the seventh month

Middle English septembre
Latin September
Latin septem "seven" + -ber (adj. suffix)
Latin september mensis "seventh month"

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

October -- the eighth month

Middle English octobre
Latin October
Latin octo "eight" + -ber (adj. suffix)
Latin october mensis "eighth month"

October has always had 31 days.

November -- the nineth month

Middle English Novembre
Latin November
Latin Novembris mensis "nineth month"

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

December -- the tenth month

Middle English decembre
Old French decembre
Latin december "tenth month"
Latin decem "ten" + -ber (adj. suffix)

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


These sources are somewhat inconsistent. I have chosen interpretations that are predominate among sources or that seem most reasonable.

William Morris, editor, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, New College Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1976

Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Portland House, New York, 1989

William Matthew O'Neil, Time and the Calendars, Sydney University Press, 1975

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