Parts 1 and 2 of Our Latin Calendar were about the six deities for whom the months of January through June were named, and Part 3 was about Rome's two rulers for whom July and August were named. This last part is about the "Wrong Numbers" in the names of the last four months: September through December.
Julius Caesar replaced the ancient lunar Roman calendar of 10 months with the solar calendar of 12 months, based on Earth's revolutions around the sun. His Julian calendar was the major western world calendar for 15 centuries, until refined and replaced in 1582 by the 12-month Gregorian calendar, under the direction of Pope Gregory XII. Since neither Caesar nor Pope Gregory changed the names of the last four months of the old 10-month calendar, for 2000 years these months have had inaccurate names.
The name of this month is from the Latin mensisseptember,meaning "seventh month." September is from Septem ("seven") and -ber (a suffix equivalent to English "-th"). Note that -ber is the ending of all four of the names discussed here and that mensis is Latin for "month. " Although September was the seventh month in the ancient Roman calendar, since the year 46 BC (date of the Julian calendar) it has been the ninth month. The illustration on the right is described by Wikipedia as "a panel from a 3rd-century mosaic of the months, located at El Diem, Tunisia (Roman Africa)." It depicts two men making wine by crushing grapes with their feet, a characteristic activity of the month of September in Roman art.
How many arms does an octopus have? How many keys are in an octave? What does the word October mean? Octo is Latin for "eight." Mensis October was the eighth of ten months on that oldest Roman calendar. In ancient Rome, October "marked the close of the season for military campaigning and farming" (Wikipedia). The mosiac panel on the left has a 8-pointed star (appropriately) above the heads of the two men, who are facing each other. Their arms and empty hands suggest they are making peace, or perhaps congratulating each other after winning a battle or completing the hard task of harvesting.
1. NOVEMBER 4 (SATURDAY)--ANNUAL FALL LUNCHEON at CNU: SAVE THE DATE! INVITATIONS will be emailed soon!To register officially, follow CNU's INVITATION directions. PLEASE REPLY BY DEADLINE. A PLANNING TO ATTEND LIST will be posted on this website in OCTOBER.
2. HONORING "CECY" CUNNINGHAM: We honored our first CNC president, "Scotty" Cunningham, by dedicating our Memories book to him, plus putting over $10,000 into the scholarship fund in his name, and later, encouraging CNU to name its Student Center after him. From 2007 onward, his widow regularly traveled from Maryland to our campus to attend every First Decaders event she could, including 50th reunions, as long as she could, even into her nineties, and in 2014, along with her daughter and son-in-law, she came with many boxes of "Scotty's" memorabilia to donate to CNU. On August 31, "Cecy" died, at age 98. The family requests donations to the Cunningham Scholarship. Do we want to do more to honor her dedication to our university? Send your suggestions to First Decaders chair firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. MAY 12TH (FRIDAY) 50th Reunion, CLASS OF 1973: SAVE THE DATE! INVITATIONS will be emailed by CNU. To register officially, follow CNU's INVITATION directions. PLEASE REPLY BY DEADLINE. A PLANNING TO ATTEND LIST will be posted on this website in APRIL.
Donations to our Treasury are gratefully accepted. Make out checks to CNC First Decaders. Mail them to Sonny Short, FD Treasurer, 12738 Daybreak Circle, Newport News, VA 23602.
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