September Begins

The morrow was a bright September morn;

The earth was beautiful as if new-born;

There was that nameless splendor everywhere

That wild exhilaration in the air.

–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82)
"September Morning" by William Patterson

Tomorrow begins the seventh (septem) month in the old Roman calendar. When Julius Caesar decided to start the year with January instead of March, September kept its name but not its position. We love it right where it is.

Perhaps the only thing prettier than a September morn is the sight of the Full Harvest Moon rising, bathing the fields in golden light.  This year it will be full on September 23rd at 5:18 a.m.

In medieval Europe, harvest festivals started later this month, and the greatest of them was Michaelmas, on the 29th.

Amid the hustle and bustle of school starting, we take the first Monday of September off to honor workers.

Origin of Month Names

Named for the Roman god Janus, protector of gates and doorways. Janus is depicted with two faces, one looking into the past, the other into the future.

From the Latin word februa, "to cleanse." The Roman Februalia was a month of purification and atonement.

Named for the Roman god of war, Mars. This was the time of year to resume military campaigns that had been interrupted by winter.

From the Latin word aperio, "to open (bud)," because plants begin to grow in this month.

Named for the Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants. Also from the Latin word maiores, "elders," who were celebrated during this month.

Named for the Roman goddess Juno, patroness of marriage and the well-being of women. Also from the Latin word juvenis, "young people."

Named to honor Roman dictator Julius Caesar (100 B.C.– 44 B.C.). In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar made one of his greatest contributions to history: With the help of Sosigenes, he developed the Julian calendar, the precursor to the Gregorian calendar we use today.

Named to honor the first Roman emperor (and grandnephew of Julius Caesar), Augustus Caesar (63 B.C.– A.D. 14).

From the Latin word septem, "seven," because this had been the seventh month of the early Roman calendar.

From the Latin word octo, "eight," because this had been the eighth month of the early Roman calendar.

From the Latin word novem, "nine," because this had been the ninth month of the early Roman calendar.

From the Latin word decem, "ten," because this had been the tenth month of the early Roman calendar.

[Information from The Farmer's Almanac]

1 comment:

R. Burnett Baker said...

An interesting post, and the painting is so soothing! I will certainly check out the William Patterson link.