The Origins & Myths of Our Months and Days

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Every single one has a margin of error.

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And in general, this error is corrected by introducing leap days or leap months. Therefore any calendar that wishes to remain in sync with what is observable in the sky must make corrections every so often. Finally, calendars can either follow only the sun, only the moon or both. That it has months of 28 days.

Importantly there is no suggestion of any other corrections, other than this extra day each year. There are four main observable cycles of the moon. The first is the synodic month, or lunation cycle. This is the time it takes from full moon to full moon, and results in what we know as phases of the moon. The apparent full, waxing and waning of the moon is a result of this cycle, and it takes The second cycle is the sidereal month. This is the time it takes the moon to orbit the earth once and it takes The third cycle is lunar nodal period.

This cycle takes The final cycle is the anomalistic month. This is the time it takes for the moon to travel from its closest point to earth perigee when it appears biggest, to its farthest point apogee where it appears smallest, and then back again. The claim is that the day calendar follows the phases of the moon.

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As stated above, this cycle actually takes Anyone who tried to follow a day calendar that aligned to the phases of the moon would quickly notice this discrepancy of 1. If you were to start counting from a full moon, after only 4 months you would notice that the full moon occurred 6 days after you expected it.

Why Does February Only Have 28 Days?

Over the course of the year 13 months you would accumulate a discrepancy of Add on the extra day and you are now It is simply not possible. Perhaps the anomalistic month, which at Well there are a number of problems with this theory. It is also rather difficult but not impossible to measure the apparent size of the moon. And that is not to mention that What about the sidereal month? This is the time it takes the moon to complete an orbit of the earth. The simplest way to measure this is to select a fixed point in the sky and time how long it takes for the moon to pass this point.

The first problem you have is selecting a fixed point. This means that you have to pick a star somewhere along the ecliptic. The Zodiac. The issue here is that for a good proportion of the year, any of these stars will be over head during the day light. So, you could not use only one star, but several of them around the ecliptic. The second issue is the third cycle of the moon, the lunar nodal period. This results in the moon appearing anywhere up to plus or minus So, the moon could pass far above or below any selected fixed point. But how does the maths stack up? Well the cycle is 0.

After only one year 13 months the discrepancy is 9. This means that the if you select a point in the sky that you expect the moon to pass, after 13 months the moon will pass that point 9. This again is an unacceptable discrepancy for any astronomer dreaming up a calendar and actually watching the sky in the ancient world, if their objective is to create either a lunar or lunisolar calendar.

The maths clearly highlights that there is no way to have a calendar where each month is 28 days long and remain in sync with any cycle of the moon for even one year. What about the claim of 13 lunar months in a year? Well full moon to full moon synodic month is If you started your year with a full moon on January the 1 st. Then the next year 13 months later you would be starting your next year on January 19 th. The year after that, February the 8 th.

If the lunar cycle that defines a month is the moon phases synodic month then there is no way you can have 13 full months in a year. To get over this problem, the Gregorian calendar was introduced.

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This is a solar calendar, based on a day year divided into 12 months. Each month consists of either 30 or 31 days with one month, February, consisting of 28 days. A leap year every 4 years adds an extra day to February making it 29 days long. Turkey was the last country to officially switch to the new system on January 1st, Its introduction was not straightforward.

It meant that the year was a short year, lasting just days from 25th March New Year in the Julian calendar to 31st December. The year then began on 1 January. There remained the problem of aligning the calendar in use in England with that in use in Europe. It was decided that Wednesday 2nd September would be followed by Thursday 14th September The Tories can be seen outside the window, demonstrating. The changing of the calendar was indeed one of the issues debated in the election campaign of between the Whigs and the Tories. The Olympian gods led by Zeus twice defeated the sources of chaos represented by the Titans and the Giants.

A further mythological explanation of the seemingly random nature of life is the blind god Pluto who randomly distributes wealth. The gods also illustrated that misdemeanours would be punished, e. Finally, certain abstract concepts were also represented by specific gods, e. The Heroes - the most famous being Hercules , Achilles , Jason, Perseus , and Theseus but including a great many more - all have divine parents and therefore bridge the gap between mortals and gods.

They pursue fantastic adventures and epitomise ideal qualities such as perseverance e. Heroes also added prestige to a city by being credited as its founder, e.

http://coquidorado.com/qizil-cellphone-number-tracking.php The heroes and events such as the Trojan War also represented a past golden age when men were greater and life was easier. Heroes then were examples to aspire to, and by doing great deeds a certain immortality could be reached, either absolutely as in the case of Hercules or through commemoration in myth and tradition. In contrast, many mythological figures represent qualities to be avoided and their sad tales illustrate the dangers of bad behaviour.


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King Midas , for example, was granted his wish that everything he touched turned to gold , but when he found out that this included food and drink, his avarice almost resulted in his death from starvation and thirst. The myth of Narcissus symbolises the dangers of vanity after the poor youth fell in love with his own reflection and he lost the will to live. Finally, the story of Croesus warns that vast riches cannot guarantee happiness when the fabulously rich King misinterpreted the Delphic oracle and lost his kingdom to Persia. Natural phenomena were explained with myth, e. Greek mythology also includes a number of monsters and strange creatures such as the one-eyed Cyclops in the Odysseus story, a gigantic boar in the fabled Kalydonian hunt, sphinxes, giant snakes, fire-breathing bulls and more.

These creatures may represent chaos and lack of reason, for example, the centaurs - half-man and half-horse. Fierce and fantastic creatures often emphasise the difficulty of the tasks heroes are set, for example, the many-headed Hydra to be killed by Hercules, the gorgon Medusa whose look could turn you into stone and whom Perseus had to behead, or the Chimera - a fire-breathing mix of lion, goat and snake - which Bellerophon killed with the help of his winged-horse Pegasus.

Alternatively, they may represent the other-worldliness of certain places, for example the three-headed dog Kerberos which guarded Hades or simply symbolised the exotic wildlife of distant lands visited by Greek travellers. Do the Amazons represent an encounter with another culture where women were treated more equally than in the Greek world? Do the myths of the Sirens and Charybdis warn of the dangers of travel beyond familiar territory? Such questions may well remain unanswered but starting with the discovery of Troy in the 19th century CE, archaeological finds have steadily contributed an ever-growing body of physical evidence which illustrates that the Greek myths had an origin and a purpose they were not previously credited with.

Editorial Review This Article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior to publication. Cartwright, M. Greek Mythology. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Cartwright, Mark. Last modified July 29, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 29 Jul This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms.

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