Origins of the Months of the Year

It's no secret that Latin and French heavily influenced the English language. The way we measure time, particularly the months, is heavily influenced by this ancient language. Many English (and French and Spanish and Italian speakers) have probably noticed the clear similarities between September, October, November, and December. However, the other day I realized a striking connection between September, October, November, and December and the Latin numbers: seven (septem), eight (octo), nine (novem), and ten (decem).

Let's delve into the similarlities cross-linguistically in terms of the months. I've listed below the months in 4 different languages heavily influenced by or descended from Latin:
 English  French Italian  Spanish
 January Janvier Gennaio Enero
February Février Febbraio Febrero
 March Mars Marzo Marzo
 April Avril Aprile Abril
May Mai Maggio Mayo
 June Juin Giugno Junio
 July Juillet Luglio Julio
 August Août Agosto Agosto
 September Septembre Settembre Septiembre
 October Octobre Ottobre Octubre
 November Novembre Novembre Noviembre
 December Décembre Dicembre Diciembre
The similarities are pretty clear, eh? Beginning with September, October, November, December, they originate from the number 7, 8, 9, 10 because they were originally the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th months. In the Latin calendar, March was the first month of the year, which would make September the 7th, October the 8th, November the 9th, and December the 10th. When Julius Caesar reformed the calendar (creating the Julian Calendar), he shifted the year to begin with January skewing the original order.
January is named after the Roman god Janus and March is named after the Roman god Mars. Similarly, May is named after the goddess Maia and June named after the goddess Juno. February originally comes from Februarius meaning purification. In Ancient Rome, Februa was a key purification ritual in this month which eventually gave it its name. This ritual allowed followers to purge and confess their sins. According to Wikipedia, April has two possible origins. The first is that April originates from aperire (the latin verb meaning to open) which symbolizes the opening of the buds in the Spring time. Another origin suggests that April is Venus' month. In Ancient Greece, Venus was Aphrodite (Aphros in Greek; Apru in Etruscan). According to mythology, Venus treasured the month of April. For me, July and August are the most interesting! Originally named Quintilis and Sextilis as the fifth and sixth months prior to the reformation of the calendar, Julius Caesar chose to name Quintilis after himself: Julius which can be seen quite clearly in the Spanish spelling of July: julio. Following Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar chose to name Sextilis after himself: Augustus. Augustus ensured that his month had just as many days as Julius so that he was not seen as lesser to Julius. I recently discovered that historians don't necessarily agree on this legend but it still sparks an interesting debate about the calendar and its close connection to Latin! References

7. L'Amore è una cosa semplice

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