January Used to Be #11

The month of January, named for the two-headed Roman god Janus, originally appeared towards the end of the calendar year, along with the equally dark and boing February, the last month of the year.

Then power brokers in Rome decided it would be more politically advantageous to inaugurate their new consuls in January, two months before the country typically went off to wage war in March, named for the Mars, the god of war.  The rest is history.


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Not really weird, HB.

The Romans had three named days in the month: Kalends (hence, our "calendar"), Nones, and Ides. They simply counted the days until the next Kalends, Nones, or Ides.

Months were already named before the collapse of the Roman Empire, and the forerunners of the Germanic languages and the Romance languages parted company. The Roman calendar was retained, but the method for tracking was not implemented until after after that parting.

Our days are based on the Anglo-Saxons' language. Most Germanic languages name the days similarly. Romance languages (French, Italian, etc...) use the names of Roman gods.
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