Ancient Rome Calendar

The Roman Calendar

The Romans gave us the calendar. It was developed when Julius Caesar asked the Alexandrian astronomer Sosigenes to reform the calendar the Romans were presently using. Sosigenes suggested the new calendar have 365.25 days in a year.

The Roman Senate changed the name of the month Quintilis to July for Julius and the name of month Sextilis to August for Augustus. The calendar became known as the Julian calendar.

January 1 was the beginning of the year on the Julian calendar until 567 AD when the Council of Tours changed this to March. This calendar was used until 1582.

The reason for a change was the Julian calendar was too long, causing an error of 11 minutes and 14 seconds per year which added 7 days every 1000 years. The new calendar became known as the Gregorian calendar. The correction was made by adding leap years every 4 years.

 

 

See the meanings of each month on the chart below:

January named for the Roman God Janus, who was the god of doorways, entrances and beginnings - He has two faces which look in opposite directions.
February named for Februarius which was the purification festival
March named for the Roman God Mars, who was the god of war and guardian of the state -Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus.
April named for the Roman calendar month of Aprilis - considered a scared month for the goddess Venus - April also comes from the Latin word aperire meaning "to open" referring to a spring season, opening of the flowers and leaves.
May named for the goddess Maia, the daughter of Atlas and one of the Pleiades
June named for the goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter and queen of the heavens and gods
July named for Julius Caesar in 44 BC.
August named for the Roman Emperor Augustus in 8 BC who was the first emperor of  Rome
September name came from the Latin word septem meaning seven which was the seventh month of the Roman calendar
October name came from the Latin word octo meaning eight which was the eight month of the Roman calendar
November name came from the Latin word nove meaning nine which was the nineth month of the Roman calendar
December name came from the Latin word decem meaning ten which was the tenth month of the Roman calendar

Learn more about the Julian Calendar with our online activities.

The Roman Week

The Roman Calendar

Click the images to go to the individual pages.


Ancient Rome Introduction
Romulus and Remus
The History of Rome

 

The City of Rome
Ancient Roman Emperors
Roman Gods

 

Ancient Roman Gladiators
The Roman Meal
Ancient Roman Entertainment

 

Ancient Roman Baths
Ancient Roman Clothing
Ancient Roman Children

 

Ancient Roman Slaves
Ancient Roman Soldiers
Ancient Roman Homes

 

Ancient Roman Art
Ancient Roman Calendar
Ancient Roman Building

 

Roman Numerals
Roman Catacombs
Pompeii