The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Calchas – Caldarium – Calendar



IqultSu, and of ordinary citizens, was also black. The latter was called pero ; it rose as high as the ankle, and was fastened with a simple tie.

CalcBas (Kalchas). Son of Thestor of Mycenae. Calchas was the celebrated seer who accompanied the Greeks on their expe­dition against Troy. Homer calls him the best of soothsayers, who knew the past, the present, and the future. Before the fleet started from Aulis, Calchas predicted that the Trojan war would last ten years. His own death (so ran the prophecy) was to occur whenever he met a wiser seer than himself. After the Trojan war he came to the island of Clares, where, in the sacred precincts of Apollo, he fell in with the soothsayer Mopsus, who beat him in a match of guessing riddles. [See mopsus (2)]. Calchas died of grief, or, according to an­other story, took away his own life. A temple was erected to him in Apulia, where the votaries lay down to sleep on sheepskins, and received oracles in their sleep.

Caldarinm. See baths.

Calendar (Kalendce). See calendar.

Calendar. (1) Greek. The Greek year consisted of twelve months, some " full"— i,e. of 30 days each—the others "hollow" or incomplete, of 29 days each. This made up a lunar year of 354 days, 11 days short of the solar year. To maintain some corre­spondence between the lunar and solar years, and to provide at least for the festivals of the seasons always occurring at the right time of year, the Athenians early resorted to the method of intercalation. A space of time was taken which included as many days as would exactly make up eight solar years, and could easily be distributed among the same number of lunar years. This space of time was called a " great year." Then in every 3rd, 6th, and 8th year a month of 29 or 30 days was in­serted, so that the years in question con­sisted each of 383 or 384 days. This system was introduced at Athens by Solon. The period of eight years was sometimes called tnndfterls, or a period of nine years, because it began again with every 9th year; some times oktdltSms, or space of eight years. For this the astronomers, of whom Meton in the Periclean age may be taken as a represen­tative, substituted a more accurate system, which was afterwards adopted in Athens and other cities as a correction of the old calendar. This was the ennSakaidlkdeteris of 19 years. The alternate "full" and "hollow " months were divided into three de-

cades, consisting of 10 or 9 days each as the case might be. The days of the last decade were counted from more to less to corre­spond with the waning of the moon. Thus the 21st of the month was called the 10th of the waning moon, the 22nd the 9th, the 23rd the 8th, and so on. The reckoning of the year, with the order and names of the months, differed more or less in different states, the only common point being the names of the months, which were almost without exception taken from the chief festivals celebrated in them. The Athenians and the other louians began their year with the first new moon after the summer solstice, the Dorians with the autumnal equinox, the Boeotians and other ^Eolians with the winter solstice. The Attic months are as follows: 1. Hlkatombaion (July-August); 2. Metd-geitnton (August-September); 3. Ededrfi-mtOn (September-October); i. Pydnepsion (October - November); 5. MaimaktHrion (November - December) ; 6. PSseideon (December-January); 7. GamellOn (Janu­ary-February) ; 8. Anthesterion (February-March); 9. EldphebdKon (March-April); 10. MunycMOn (April-May); 11. Tharge-lion (May-June); 12. SkeirdphSrlon (June-July). The intercalary month was a second Poseideon inserted in the middle of the year. The official system of numbering the years differed also very much in the various states. The years received their names from the magistrates, sometimes secular, sometimes spiritual. (See EpONYMUS.) Historical chronology was first computed according to Olympiads, beginning b.c. 776, by the historian Timseus in the 3rd cen­tury b.c.

(2) The Unman 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, Quintllis 31, Sextllis 29, September 29, October 31, November 29, December 29, January 29, February 28. Numa is also credited with the attempt to square this

About | First | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.