The Kalends of March  

rm_amuffinman 72M
10 posts
3/1/2005 11:59 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

The Kalends of March


Beware the Ides of March. Julius Caesar ignored that warning and you know what happened to him.

Okay, now listen carefully. The Romans did not count the days of the month from 1 through 30. Instead, three days in every month had names:

the Kalends fell on the 1st
the Nones on the 5th or 7th
the Ides on the 13th or 15th.
And before you ask, there's no such thing as a single Kalend or None, and neither of them is anything like a Druther.

When a Roman wanted to say "March the 14th", she had to say: "the day before the Ides of March" ( It goes faster in Latin). March the 6th would be: "The day before the None of March." (you never counted after, always before). April fool's day fell 'On the Kalends of April." After the Ides (the 13th or 15th, according to the month) you counted the days to the Kalends of the next month. March the 16th was "17 days before the Kalends of April." (with March 16 and April 1 in ancient fashion counting as full days). It was complicated stuff. A Roman had to know the rhyme In March, July, October, May; and when the date fell after the Ides, he hadda be able to manipulate "thirty days hath September" pretty quick too.

So May you be happy/lucky on this Kalends of March.

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