The Ancient Library

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our year, contained 30 days, and corresponds nearly to our July.












1. Herasius ('Hpcxtnos), nearly corresponding to our October.


would accordingly have contained 444 days. But this is not very probable. The period of 8 solar years, further, contains 99 revolutions of the moon, which, with the addition of the three inter­calary months, make 2923^ days ; so that in every 8 years there is 1^ day too many, which in the course of 100 years, again amounts to one month. The enneaeteris, accordingly, again was incorrect. The time at which the cycle of the en­neaeteris was introduced is uncertain, but its inac­curacy called forth a number of other improvements or attempts at establishing chronology on a sound basis, the most celebrated among which is that of Meton. The number of these attempts is a suf­ficient proof that none of them was ever sanctioned or adopted by law in any of the Greek republics. These circumstances render it almost impossible to reduce any given date in Greek history to the exact date of our calendar.

The Greeks, as early as the time of Homer, ap­pear to have been perfectly familiar with the divi­sion of the year into the twelve lunar months mentioned above ; but no intercalary month (/*V €/jL§6\i/jLos) or day is mentioned. Independent of the division of a month into days, it was divided into periods according to the increase, and decrease of the moon. Thus, the first day or new moon was called vovfjurjvia. (Horn. Od. x. 14, xii. 325, xx. 156, xxi. 258; Hes. Op. et Dies, 770.) The

a until the moon was full, and the latter

period from the

was expressed by fj,t]vbs

part during which the moon decreased by

$6lvovros. (Horn. Od.xiv. 162.) The 30th day

of a month, i. e. the day of the conjunction, was

called TpfaKas, or, according to a regulation of

Solon (Plut. SoL 25), eVrj Kal pea, because one

part of that day belonged to the expiring, and the

other to the beginning month. The day of the

full moon, or the middle of the month, is some-

times designated by $iy6iM\vis. (Find. Ol. iv.


1. Hecatombaeon

2. Metageitnion (MeTayeiTi/iwj/)

3. Boedromion (BoTjSpo/xicoi/)

4. Pyanepsion (nucweiftcyj/)

5. Maimacterion (MaijjLaKTepic&v)

6. Poseideon

7. Gamelion

8. Anthcsterion

9. Elaphebolion

10. Munychion (NLowvxu&v)

11. Thargelion (QapyTjAtcoi/)

32. Scirophorion

At the time when the Julian Calendar was adopted by the Athenians, probably about the time of the Emperor Hadrian, the lunar year ap­pears to have been changed into the solar year ; and it has further been conjectured, that the beginning

2. Apellaeus ('ATreAAaTos)

3. Diosthyus (Aioo-Qvos*)

4. Unknown.

5. Eleusinius ('EXevo-'wtos]

6. Gerastius (Tepacrrtos)

7. Artemisius ('Apreyufirioi

8. Delphinius (AeA^tVios)

9. Phliastus (*A '

10. Hecatombetis

11. Carneius

12. Panamus (Tl&vapos)



The month in which the year began, as well as the names of the months, differed in the dif­ferent countries of Greece, and in some parts even no names existed for the months, they being dis­tinguished only numerically, as the first, second, third, fourth month, &c. In order, therefore, to acquire any satisfactory knowledge of the Greek calendar, the different states must be considered separately.

The Attic year began with the summer solstice, and each month was divided into three decads, from the 1st to the 10th, from the 10th to the 20th, and from the 20th to the 29th or 30th. The first day of a month, or the day after the conjunction, was ia; and as the first decad was designated as i/ou fM}v6s, the days were regularly counted as Sevrepa, rpfr^, TeTapTo?, &c., ju^i/fcs fa-Ta^e-vov. The days of the second decad were dis­tinguished as eTrl Se/ca, or /ue^ouyroy, and were counted to 20 regularly, as tt/o^t^, Seurepa, rpirrj, T€TTapT?}, &c., €7rl SeW The 20th itself was called et'/ccb, and the days from the 20th to the 30th were counted in two different ways, viz. either onwards, as tt/jcott?, Seurepa, Tplrr]9 &c., ctt! etfc<£3t, or backwards from the last day of the month with the addition of <J>0tVoj/Tos,

or ctTrioi/Tos, as ei/^arr;, sckcitt?, &c., ', which, of course, are different dates in hollow and in full months. But this mode of count­ing backwards seems to have been more commonly used than the other. With regard to the hollow months, it must be observed, that the Athenians, generally speaking, counted 29 days, but in the month of Boedromion they counted 30, leaving out the second, because on that day Athena and Poseidon were believed to have disputed about the possession of Attica. (Plut. De Frat. Am. p. 489, Sympos. ix. 7.) The following table shows the succession of the Attic months, the number of days they contained, and the corresponding months of


— — September

—='- — October

— — November

—• — December.

— — January

— — February.

— — March.

— — April.

—' — May.

— — June.

of the year was transferred from the summer sol­stice to the autumnal equinox.

November. December.









The year of the Lacedaemonians, which is be­lieved to have begun at the time of the autumnal equinox, contained the following months : —•

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