Wednesday, 1 December 2010

December -

Our calendar can trace its roots back over 6000 years to ancient Egypt. Its story features Julius Caesar, the Council of Nicaea (which gave us the Nicene Creed), a small Russian monk called Denis, the Venerable Bede and Pope Gregory XIII.  The first Roman Calendar (introduced in 535BC) had 10 months, with 304 days in a year that began in March.

There were twelve months in the Roman calendar, and they were named, in order: Martius, Aprilis, Maia, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, December, Januarius and Februarius. Apart from Quintilis and Sextilis, these names have come down to us almost unchanged in over 2500 years. The names of Quintilis to December are based on the Latin words for ``five'' to ``ten'', and we can therefore deduce that the Roman year began with March.