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NUNDINAE 100.00%
The Roman term for the market day held on the last day of the week of eight days, on which countrymen rested from labour and came to Rome to buy and sell, as well as to do other business. Accordingly the Nundinae were used for public announcements, especially concerning public assemblies and the business to be conducted in them. The actual holding of the assemblies on these days was avoided, so as not to prevent the people from attending to the business of the market. Originally too no legal business was conducted on them, and it was not till the beginning of the 3rd century B.C. that it was introduced. The Nundinae, though not a regular feast-day, were nevertheless celebrated in private life by inviting strangers to one's table and exempting children from going to school.
The Roman week. (See NUNDINAe, and CALENDAR.)
The Roman year was supposed to have consisted, under Romulus, of 10 months, four full ones of 31 days (March, May, July and October), and six "hollow" of 30 days (April, June, August, September, November, December). But, as a space of 304 days makes up neither a solar nor a lunar year, it is difficult to understand the so-called "year of Romulus." King Numa was usually supposed to have introduced the year of 12 months by adding January and February at the end; for the Roman year, it must be remembered, began originally with March. On this system every month except February had an odd number of days: March 31, April 29, May 31, June 29, Quintilis 31, Sextilis 29, September 29, October 31, November 29, December 29, January 29, February 28. Numa is also credited with the attempt to square this lunar year of 355 days with the solar year of 365; but how he did it is not certainly known. The Decemviri in 450 B.C. probably introduced the system of adjustment afterwards in use. According to this a cycle of four years was taken, in the second year of which an intercalary month (mensis mercedonius) of 23 days was inserted between the 24th and 25th of February, and in the fourth year a month of 22 days between the 23rd and 24th February. Thus the period of 4 years amounted to 1465 days. But this gave the year an average of 366 1/4 days, or one day too many, so that a special rectification was necessary from time to time. This was probably carried out by the omission of an intercalary month. It was the business of the Pontifices to keep the calendar in order by regular intercalation; but, partly from carelessness, partly from political motives, they made insertions and omissions so incorrectly as to bring the calendar into complete disorder, and destroy the correspondence between the months and the seasons. The mischief was finally remedied by Caesar, with the assistance of the mathematician Sosigenes. To bring the calendar into correspondence with the seasons, the year 46 B.C. was lengthened so as to consist of 15 months, or 415 days, and the calendar known as the Julian was introduced on the 1st January, 45 B.C. This calendar is founded simply on the solar year, which is well known to be a discovery of the Egyptians. Caeesar fixed this year to 365 1/4 days, which is correct within a few Minutes. After this the ordinary year consisted of 365 days, divided into 12 months, with the names still in use. Every fourth year had 366 days, a day being inserted at the end of February. The Julian calendar maintained its ground till 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII corrected the trifling error which still attached to it. The old names of the months were retained with two exceptions, that of Quintilis, which, in honour of Caesar, was called Iulius, and that of Sextilis, which in 8 B.C. Was called Augustus in honour of the emperor. The old divisionsof the lunar month were also retained for convenience of dating. These were the Kalendae, marking the first appearance of the new moon; the Nonoe, marking the first quarter ; the Idus, marking the full moon. Kalendae> means properly the day of summoning, from calare, to summon. The Pontifex was bound to observe the first phase, and to make his announcement to the Rex Sacrorum, who then summoned the people to the Capitol, in front of the Curia Calabra, so called from calare. Here he offered sacrifice, and announced that the first quarter would begin on the 5th or 7th day (inclusive) as the case might be. This day was called Nonae, as (according to Roman calculation) the 9th day before the full moon, and fell in March, May, July and October on the 7th, in the other months on the 5th. The appearance of the full moon was called Idus (probably connected with the Etruscan word iduare, to divide), because it divided the month in the middle. The days of the month were counted backwards, in the first half of the month from the Nones and Ides, in the last half from the Kalends of the following month. The Romans also had a week called internundinum, or the interval between two nundinae. It consisted of eight days, and, like our weeks, could be divided between two months or two years. (For further details see FASTI.) After the establishment of the Republic the Romans named their years after the consuls, a custom which was maintained down to the reign of Justinian (541 A.D.). After the time of Augustus it became the practice in literature to date events from the foundation of Rome, which took place according to Varro in 753, according to Cato in 751 B.C. The Day. The Greeks reckoned the civil day from sunset to sunset, the Romans (like ourselves) from midnight to midnight. The natural day was reckoned by both as lasting from sunrise to sunset. The divisions of the day were for a long time made on no common principle. It was for military purposes that the Romans first hit on such a principle, dividing the night during service into four equal watches (vigiliae). Corresponding to this we find another division (probably calculated immediately for the courts of justice) into mane (sunrise to 9 or 10), forenoon (ad meridiem), afternoon (de meridie) until 3 or 4, and evening (suprema) from thence till sunset. After the introduction of sun-dials and waterclocks the day and night were divided each into 12 hours; but the division was founded on the varying length of the day, so that each hour of the day was longer, and conversely each hour of the night shorter, in summer than in winter.
Type: Standard
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