Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info

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Greek. The Greek year consisted of twelve months, some "full"--i.e. of 30 days each-the others "hollow" or incomplete, of 29 days each. This made up a lunar year of 354 days, 11 days short of the solar year. To maintain some correspondence between the lunar and solar years, and to provide at least for the festivals of the seasons always occurring at the right time of year, the Athenians early resorted to the method of intercalation. A space of time was taken which included as many days as would exactly make up eight solar years, and could easily be distributed among the same number of lunar years. This space of time was called a "great year." Then in every 3rd, 6th,and 8th year a month of 29 or 30 days was inserted, so that the years in question consisted each of 383 or 384 days. This system. was introduced at Athens by Solon. The period of eight years was sometimes called ennaeteris, or a period of nine years, because it began again with every 9th year; some times oktaeteris, or space of eight years. For this the astronomers, of whom Meton in the Periclean age may be taken as a representative, substituted a more accurate system, which was afterwards adopted in Athens and other cities as a correction of the old calendar. This was the enneakaidekaeteris of 19 years. The alternate "full" and "hollow " months were divided into three decades, consisting of 10 or 9 days each as the case might be. The days of the last decade were counted from more to less to correspond with the waning of the moon. Thus the 21st of the month was called the 10th of the waning moon, the 22nd the 9th, the 23rd the 8th, and so on. The reckoning of the year, with the order and names of the months, differed more or less in different states, the only common point being the names of the months, which were almost without exception taken from the chief festivals celebrated in them. The Athenians and the other Ionians began their year with the first new moon after the summer solstice, the Dorians with the autumnal equinox, the Bceotians and other Aeolians with the winter solstice. The Attic months are as follows: 1. Hekatombaion (July-August); 2. Metageitnion (August-September); 3. Boedromion (September-October); 4. Pyanepsion (October- November); 5. Maimakterion (November - December); 6. Poseideon (December-January); 7. Gamelion (January-February); 8. Anthesterion (February-March); 9. Elaphebolion (March-April); 10. Munychion (April-May); 11. Thargelion (May-June); 12. Skeirophorion (June-July). The intercalary month was a second Poseideon inserted in the middle of the year. The official system of numbering the years differed also very much in the various states. The years received their names from the magistrates, sometimes secular, sometimes spiritual. (See EPONYMUS.) Historical chronology was first computed according to Olympiads, beginning B.C. 776, by the historian Timaeus in the 3rd century B.C.
Type: Standard
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