Roman Mythology

11 June 2007

the early history of the Gregorian Calendar.

Roman Mythology

by Stewart Perowne
Library of the World’s Myths and Legends
New York – Peter Bendrick Books, c. 1969, 1983.

Ch 1 Origins

“In the neolithic era, a people whom the Romans called Ligures, and we Ligurians entered Italy. They came from north Africa, by way of Spain, and settled in the coastland round Genoa which we still know as Liguria.”

c 4000 – 3000 BC
“At some date in the 3rd millennium BC came other invaders, again from the North … bearing a wholly new element. The element was metal, and the metal was bronze.”

1000 – 1100 BC
“In the eleventh Century BC, the Bronze-agers were supplanted by yet a third wave of northerners armed this time with iron. They are known as Villanovans, from Villanova, a small town near Bologna…”

800 – 900 BC
“This time the new arrivals were highly civilised. They came from … Asia Minor, and are known as Etruscans [with a taste for good living and maritime commerce].”

“… the Greek colonies in Southern Italy, some of them hardly a hundred miles from Rome and so numerous that the region was called Magna Graecia.”

Ch 2 Gods

p 12
“Romulus is traditionally held to have founded Rome in the year 735 BC.”

“It is here that the Tiber is first fordable, thus providing a vital north-south link. So it was on those two hills nearest the river that the first settlements arose.”

“Jupiter was the supreme god of the confederation of the forty-seven Latin cities, and they met [n Rome] for celebrations every spring and autumn.”

Numa = 2nd king of Rome c. 715 – 673 BC

“But not only was [Janus] the god of the gate, he was the gate itself.”

“… in the primitive calendar [23 February] was reckoned as the last or terminal day of the year.”

“Febris brought fever, malaria, and was attended by Tertiana and Quartiana.”

Ch 3 Worship

Ch 4 The State Cult

“… the Fasti of Ovid, a poem of 4792 lines in six books, in which month by month and day by day the poet describes the festivals of the first half of the year.”

“The Roman Calendar passed through three distinct phases. First… the Romans observed a year of ten months… they reckoned ten months from March to December, and simply ignored the ‘dead’ months…”

“This primitive Roman calendar started with the month of Mars (March), followed by Aprilis from aperire, to open… Then came May, dedicated to Maia, an ancient goddess, consort perhaps to Vulcan, next June which commemorated the Etruscan deity Uni or Juno. The remainder were simply numbered, Quintilis and Sextilis… followed by September to December… Quintilis and Sextilis were replaced in imperial times by July and August in honour of Julius Caesar and Augustus.”

~ 900 BC
“Stage two was introduced by the Etruscans, who added January and February, thus bringing the ‘dead’ months to life…”

“… the first of March remained the first day of the year until … 153 BC.”

“February was dedicated… to Februus who was in later days identified with Dis, the Latin Pluto. February was the month during which the city was purified by appeasing the dead with offerings and sacrifices, called februalia. Februus is no more than a personification of this rite.”

“This calendar was, like all early calendars, lunar. March, May, Quintilis, and October had 31 days each, February 28, and the rest 29: total 355. … a month was… intercalated… from time to time, being placed between the 23rd and 24h February.”

[NB naturally – where else would you intercalate a month?]

3rd Stage
“The intercalation was so carelssly done that by the time of Julius Caesar (who as Pontifex Maximus was responsible for the calendar) the official year had become three months ahead of the solar. He therefore borrowed and improved the calendar from Egypt in the year 46 BC. This is the Julian calendar…”

“[The Julian calendar] was amended by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582.”

“… the days of the month were not numbered serially, as they now are. The month had three fixed lunar points; kalends, the first day; ides, the full moon; and nones midway between, so called because it was the ninth day counting inclusively from the full moon.”

“… the days of the new moon, first quarter, and full moon were observed. The rest of the month, when the moon was waning, and therefore unlucky, had no name at all.”

“Saturn, the god of sowing…”

“… the calendar shows both political and military development, but its chief emphasis is n agriculture which as the basis of the life of these people.”

“March… was devoted predominantly to military preparations.”

“April is more concerned with agriculture.”

“May was comparatively slack, because the precautions taken in April were considered adequate.”

movable feast = weather-dependent

“In June, the chief task was… the cleaning of the penus of Vesta.”

“july brought a group of festivals so obscure that it is profitless to examine them.”

[NB what???]

“Harvest festivals began properly in August.”

“Thereafter, the rest of the year, there was nothing to do but plow and sow.”

“But when the autumn sowing was over, on 17 December the Saturnalia was celebrated, Saturnus being connected with the root meaning ‘sow.'”

“We find, in short, that Rome had come to worship four superior gods… namely Janus, jupiter, mars and Quirinus, and one goddess, Vesta.”

Ch 5 The Newcomers

“Gladiators perpetuated the typically barbarous Etruscan custom of killing slaves on their master’s grave… the idea being that instead of killing men like brutes, it was more civilised to watch them kill each other like men. Gladiators were first seen in Rome in 264 BC.”

260 – 205 BC
“… two forward-looking innovations were to come. First, the magistrates ordered a combined lectisternium and supplicantio, in which twelve Gods, Greek and Roman, were displayed side by side… henceforth the religion of Rome was to be not Roman but Graeco-Roman.”

“… in April [204 BC], the Great Mother, or Cybele as she was known, arrived in Rome…”
acknowledged on April 4th

“with her came her partner Attis and his devotees.”

c180 BC
“The Senate not only forbade Bacchus worship in Rome, but took unprecedented and high-handed action of compelling her Latin allies to enforce a similar ban.”

Ch 6 Epicurians and Stoics

“[a particular school of Greek philosophy] proclaimed an ethic which Christianity in large measure assimilated…”

quoting Epicurus
“… Death, the king of terrors, is nothing to us, because as long as we exist Death is not present, and when Death is come we are no more.”

quoting Epicurus
“It were better to follow the fairy-tales of gods than to be a slave to the determinism of the scientists. The one does suggest a hope of appeasing the gods by reverencing them, but the other implies a necessity which is implacable.”

Lucretius On the Nature of Things

Ch 7 Immortal Longings

Manes – Roman term for the dead

Ch 8 Orontes Nile and Tiber

“Syrians introduced the crucifix in the 6th century.”

Ch 9 Moses and Mithras

plain of Shinar – perfectly suited for early astronomy

“In the sixth century BC, Persia became lord of Babylonia and Assyria, that is of southern and northern Mesopotamia, and then of Lydia and Ionia.”


Ch 10 The Eternal City


Julius Caesar assassinated March 15th 44 BC

“At the battle of Actium in 31 BC Antony and Cleopatra were defeated and fled to Egypt where they took their own lives. This meant that Octavian was now master of the Roman world [at 32 years].”

Ch 11 Christ and Caesar

Remogrifying the Calendar

6 June 2007

from theAbyss to theAbysmal

check here instead:  theAbysmal from theAbyss

The simplest way to approach the division of the Days of the Year lies in leaving the Leap Year question until later. Consider the 365 complete Days that occur for every Year.

In considering the Year, the Days can be further divided into 364 Weekdays plus 1 Day. In this case, the 364 Weekdays exclude the Norther Winter Solstice and Southern Summer Solstice. A 364 Weekday Year contains exactly 52 Weeks.

The Circle of 365 Days

Each individual circle represents 1 Day, whereas the large circle created by them represents 1 Year of 365 Days. The 100% Black Day represents the Winter Solstice, as the longest Night of the Year, and finds its place at the bottom of the circle. The 100% White Day represents the Summer Solstice, as the longest Day of the Year, and finds its place at the top of the circle.

The Circle of 364 Days

The 364 Days of the Year (excluding the Winter Solstice), divided into 52 Weeks of 7 Days,  13 Months of 28 Days, 4 Quarters of 91 Days.


91 = 13 + 12 + 11 + 10 + 9 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1
Northern Hemisphere – The Circle of 360 + 5 Days

The 364 Weekdays plus the Northern Winter/Southern Summer Solstice, divided into 4 Quarters, marking the Day that falls midway between the Equinox and Solstice. This image represents the Year in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Circle of 52 Weeks

364 Weekdays divided into 4 Quarters of 91 Days or 13 Weeks.
Northern Hemisphere – Quarter 0, Weeks 0 to 12

Northern Hemisphere – Quarter 1, Weeks 0 to 12

Northern Hemisphere – Quarter 2, Weeks 0 to 12

Northern Hemisphere – Quarter 3, Weeks 0 to 12

Southern Hemisphere – Quarter 0, Weeks 0 to 12

Southern Hemisphere – Quarter 1, Weeks 0 to 12

Southern Hemisphere – Quarter 2, Weeks 0 to 12

Southern Hemisphere – Quarter 3, Weeks 0 to 12

The Circle of 13 Months

364 Weekdays of the Year equal 13 Months of 4 Weeks or 28 Days each.

Northern Hemisphere – 13 Month Calendar

Southern Hemisphere – 13 Month Calendar

The Circle of 7 Weekdays

The 7 Days of the Week evolved from the Hebrew and Hellenic traditions. Their Weeks began with Saturday. The Circles below indicate order of the weekdays.

The sequence around the circumference represents the order of the furthest Planet from the Sun to the nearest, where the Sun, stands in for Earth, and the Moon comes last, as it orbits the Earth.

Northern Hemisphere – The Weekday Circle

Southern Hemisphere – The Weekday Circle

Symbol Key

24-Hours by 7-Weekdays

h Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
0 Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus
1 Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
2 Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon
3 Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
4 Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter
5 Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars
6 Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun
7 Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus
8 Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
9 Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon
10 Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
11 Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter
12 Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars
13 Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun
14 Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus
15 Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
16 Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon
17 Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
18 Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter
19 Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars
20 Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun
21 Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus
22 Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
23 Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon

The sequence, if read vertically, corresponds to the sequence around the circumference of the 7 Weekday circles above. The top square of each column represents the first Hour of the Day, and if read horizontally from left to right, corresponds to the sequence of Weekdays.

The Perpetual Month

This perpetual Calendar has 13 perpetual Months or 52 perpetual Weeks, or 4 perpetual Quarters, or 26 perpetual Fortnights for that matter.

Northern Hemisphere – Perpetual Calendar Month

Southern Hemisphere – Perpetual Calendar Month

The End of theAbysmal

5 June 2007

365 Days of theAbysmal weblog.

TheAbysmal Calendar has taken a final form at this end. It’s up to everyone else, and their kids to decide what portion or portions to adopt or transmogrify.

The research into and development of theAbysmal Calendar (nee Synaptic Calendar) has lead to the creation of a concentration of information regarding our perception, understanding and marking of time, the days,  months, years and aeons.

The Summer Solstice burns a mere fortnight away.

Something to Plan For:

the- upcoming -Abysmal New Year’s Day – December 21st 2007 CE – has particular significance. It marks the point 260 Weeks prior to theAbysmal Calendar’s official Inception date, December 21st 2012 CE.

260 has significance in calendrical systems, as it represents the number of Days it takes a human being to form in the womb.

The self-similar structure of theAbysmal Calendar thus reflects this periodicity as follows:

260 Weeks = 5 Years
260 Months = 20 Years
260 Centuries = the Precession of the Equinoxes

This brings us yet further into unfamiliar territory. What can one do with this? If 260 Days makes a person, what do 260 Weeks make?

7 humans? or something an order of magnitude greater?

Ultimately, the advantage in such self-similarity lies in relating the various orders of magnitude to one another through a common image-system. To rely exclusively on numbers would prove efficient from the perspective of the Internet, yet less easy for human memory.

Calendars appear to incorporate a particular culture’s creation story, particularly the emergence of light from within the darkness or abyss or void, and the separation of the Heavens and the Earth. The Zodiacs of the world bear striking similarities across cultures, and have rich mythologies attached.

Replacing the Gregorian in one capacity only

theAbysmal Calendar replaces the Gregorian in its capacity as Global default Calendar. TheAbysmal remains, ultimately, numerical, with allowance for expression of all of the world’s cultures  to adorn it with the richness of our imagery, symbolism, stories and imagination.

Friday October 15th 1982 – Does this date have any significance? Did anyone throw a huge celebration?

It marks the beginning of the 401st Year, which represents the conclusion of one full 400-Year Cycle of the Gregorian Calendar. It repeats itself exactly once every 400 Years.

Yet, no celebration.

January 1st, 2000 CE – this represents the date of the largest disappointment shared by such a large number of people, when we may have had a celebration to fill the streets of the world’s cities.

January 1st 2001 CE – the beginning of the new millennium – again, a disappointment, perhaps a foreshadowing of the year, and indeed beginning of the millennium to come.

December 21st 2012 CE – this date represents the last Day of the Gregorian Calendar as a global standard, and the first Day we should truly celebrate. together.

which requires some planning…

260 Weeks… we have half a year to think about it.

The- revised & final -Abysmal Calendar pends…

any thoughts? throw them into theAbyss:

a t
d o t