Monday, October 20, 2014

October

So if anything octo in most languages is eight, why is the tenth month of the year October? Shouldn't it be the eighth month? I queried and found the following:


c.1050, from Latin October (mensis), from octo "eight," from PIE root *octo(u)- "eight." Eighth month of the old Roman calendar (pre-46 B.C.E.), which began the year in March.
 

The original Roman calendar had just 10 months, starting with Martius (became March), and then after December came an indeterminate "winter period" of about 61 days that were not assigned to any month. The original months were: Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Iunius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September (7th), October (8th), November (9th) and December (10th). Note that the Latin names for the later months actually do correspond with their numbered positions.

The last two months added to the Roman Calendar were Ianuarius (now January) and Februarius (now February). This pushed all the other months forward two numbers when later people came to regard January as the "First" month. Probably because of the winter solstice, January became regarded as a time of "renewal" for the sun, and hence the start of a new solar cycle.

September then became the 9th month, October the 10th, and so on, but the original names remained, without matching up with the number their name was first based on. 


In the meantime, the bright colored leaves have dropped in the foothills and mountains, but the landscape is still spectacular. 

October • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $200

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