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Almanaque

Alexandre Cherman

Back to work!

I ended my last post in this Blog, on December, 20th, promising to come back in February. I lied. It was not a lie when I wrote it, but it turned into one, so it is a lie nonetheless. Here I am, back in March, in an unplanned homage to Romulus’ calendar…

If you can’t remember Romulus, I suggest a quick visit to the text “Romulan Calendar“. But here is its ending:

 

After the last month of the year, the Romulan calendar had a period that was unaccounted for, the Winter. It lasted roughly 60 days, and then, and only then, a new year would start, in a new Martius! Very unusual to us… one year ended and Roman citizens had to wait two months until the new year begun!

 

And here I am, back in March, committed to intrude on your Saturdays talking about Time and its measurements, but not only about that.

Picking up where we left, we were just about to introduce Julius Cesar in our story, and his rise to power. The Roman Calendar was completely out of sync with the seasons, and we had the comings and goings — led by the Senate, mostly — of various intercalations, the usual resource to keep the calendar faithful to the seasonal cycle. An intercalation is the creation of extra days or months every now and then, just top ut the civil calendar on the right track.

One of the many things Julius Cesar decided to do when he seized the command of Rome was to fix the calendar. The term “reform” is more common. Either way, I was relate this to a train wreck. The “calendar in distress” is the train; and there are two things one needs to do when one decides to fix a train wreck: (1) put the train baack on the tracks; (2) understand why the train got off the tracks and reform the tracks so it won’t happen again.

What Julius Cesar did? We will talk about that next week. But it should be no spoiler if I told you right away that he was under Egyptian influence… ■