If ‘Septem’ means ‘Seven’,why is September the 9th Month?


Posted on Sep 11, 2012 by Taakjhaak Editorial

Are you intrigued? Don’t be because you will soon know the answer! Let’s take you through a trip down history lane to the times when the Roman Calender (Calendar of Romulus initially and later reformed as the Calendar of Numa) was prevalent.

We are talking about the period before 46 BC. Between the founding of Rome and the fall of the Roman Empire, the Roman calendar went through several reforms. You can call it the ‘pre-Julian’ calendar. Initially, the Roman calendar started with ten months, March through December, but changes were made every now and then before a standard was established by the great Julius Caesar during his rule. The month of ‘July’ is named after him; while ‘August’ takes its name after his successor Augustus.

Did you know that Julius Caesar and Augustus did not add two months (July and August) in between to push September down to the 9th month? Many of us have the misconception that they named ‘July’ and ‘August’ after themselves to prove their might to the world. No, they didn’t do that. The months of Quintilis (July) and Sextilis (August) were renamed later in their honour.

In Latin, the word ‘Septem’ means seven, the number of luck and perfection. Till about the 46 BC, September was indeed the seventh month of a year according to the Roman calendar in which Kalendas Martius (1 March) was the first month. Then came the Julian Calendar (the one we follow now), which takes Kalendas Januarius (1 January) as the beginning of a new calendar year. We also refer to the Julian calendar as the Gregorian calendar. Our present day calendar system puts the winter season on both ends of a year.

September is one of the four months that have 30 days. And guess what?? The ongoing month is September too. Interesting piece of trivia for you to read as you sip that hot cup of coffee in this cool weather; thanks to the downpour! 

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