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|