Hellenic calendars

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The Hellenic calendar—or more properly, the Hellenic calendars, for there was no uniform calendar imposed upon all of Classical Greece—began in most Greek states between Autumn and Winter except the Attic calendar, which began in Summer.

The Greeks, as early as the time of Homer, appear to have been familiar with the division of the year into the twelve lunar months but no intercalary month Embolimos or day is then mentioned. Independent of the division of a month into days, it was divided into periods according to the increase and decrease of the moon. Thus, the first day or new moon was called Noumenia. The month in which the year began, as well as the names of the months, differed among the states, and in some parts even no names existed for the months, as they were distinguished only numerically, as the first, second, third, fourth month, etc.

Of primary importance for the reconstruction of the regional Greek calendars is the calendar of Delphi, because of the numerous documents found there recording the manumission of slaves, many of which are dated both in the Delphian and in a regional calendar.

Calendars by region[edit]

Aetolia[edit]

The months of the Aetolian calendar have been presented by Daux (1932) based on arguments by Nititsky (1901) based on synchronisms in manumission documents found at Delphi (dated to the 2nd century BC).[1] The month names are: Prokuklios, Athanaios, Boukatios (sic, corresponding to Delphian Daidaphorios, while Delphian Boukatios is Aetolian Panamos), Dios, Euthaios, Homoloios, Hermaios, Dionusios, Agueios, Hippodromos, Laphraios, Panamos. The intercalary month was Dios, attested as Dios embolimos in SEG SVI 344, equivalent to Delphian 'Poitropoios ho deuteros.

Attic[edit]

See Attic calendar

  • Hekatombaion - Εκατομβαιών (~ 15 June)
  • Metageitnion - Μεταγειτνιών
  • Boedromion - Βοηδρομιών
  • Pyanepsion - Πυανοψιών (later Πυανεψιών)
  • Maimakterion - Μαιμακτηριών
  • Poseideon - Ποσιδεών (later Ποσειδεών)
  • Gamelion - Γαμηλιών
  • Anthesterion - Ανθεστηριών
  • Elaphebolion - Ελαφηβολιών
  • Mounichion - Μουνυχιών (later Μουνιχιών)
  • Thargelion - Θαργηλιών
  • Skirophorion - Σκιροφοριών

Boeotian[edit]

  • Bucatios - Βουκάτιος (~ 23 December)
  • Hermaios - Ἑρμαίος
  • Prostaterios - Προστατήριος
  • Agrionios - Ἀγριώνιος
  • Theilouthios - Θειλούθιος
  • -
  • Homoloios - Ὁμολώιος
  • Hippodromios - Ἱπποδρόμιος
  • Panamos - Πάναμος
  • Pamboiotios - Παμβοιώτιος
  • Damatrios - Δαμάτριος
  • Alalcomenios - Ἀλαλκομένιος

Cretan[edit]

  • Thesmophorion (~ 23 September)
  • Hermaios -
  • Eiman
  • Matarchios
  • Agyios
  • Dioscouros
  • Theodosios
  • Pontos
  • Rhabinthios
  • Hyperberetos
  • Necysios
  • Basilios

Delphic[edit]

  • Bucatios (~September)
  • Heraios
  • Apellaios
  • -
  • Dadaphorios
  • Poitropios
  • Bysios
  • Artemisios
  • Heracleios
  • Boathoos
  • Ilaios
  • Theoxenios

Epirotic[edit]

  • Phoinikaios
  • Kraneios
  • Lanotropios, Heliotropios and Haliotropios (Doric), the Sun changes inclination, hence June?
  • Machaneus
  • Dodekateus
  • Eukleios
  • Artemisios
  • Psydros
  • Gamilios
  • Agrianios
  • Panamos
  • Apellaios

per the months of the Antikythera mechanism, which are Epirotic and the order is known from the sequence on the dial of the Antikythera mechanism:

  • ΦΟΙΝΙΚΑΙΟΣ, PHOENIKEOS, Corinthian name, mountain in Corinth
  • ΚΡΑΝΕΙΟΣ, KRANEIOS, Kranion is a region in Corinth
  • ΛΑΝΟΤΡΟΠΙΟΣ, LANOTROPIOS, Heliotropios and Haliotropios (Doric), the Sun changes inclination, hence June?
  • ΜΑΧΑΝΕΥΣ [ΜΗΧΑΝΕΥΣ], MACHANEUS, Mechanic, referred to Zeus, Jupiter that finds new solutions, ΜΑΧΑΝΕΟΣ in Corfu
  • ΔΩΔΕΚΑΤΕΥΣ, DODEKATEUS, ΔΥΩΔΕΚΑΤΟΣ in Corfu
  • ΕΥΚΛΕΙΟΣ, EUKLEIOS,
  • ΑΡΤΕΜΙΣΙΟΣ, ARTEMISIOS referred to Artemis, Diana, ΑΡΤΕΜΙΤΙΟΣ in Corfu
  • ΨΥΔΡΕΥΣ, PSYDREUS
  • ΓΑΜΕΙΛΙΟΣ, GAMILIOS, ΓΑΜΗΛΙΩΝ, seventh month of the Attic year, fashionable time for weddings.
  • ΑΓΡΙΑΝΙΟΣ, AGRIANIOS
  • ΠΑΝΑΜΟΣ, PANAMOS
  • ΑΠΕΛΛΑΙΟΣ, APELLAIOS

Laconian[edit]

  • Herasios (~October)
  • Apellaios
  • Diosthyos
  • -
  • Eleusinios
  • Gerastios
  • Artemisios
  • Delphinios
  • Phliastos
  • Hecatombeus
  • Carneios
  • Panamos

Locris[edit]

A number of Locrian calendars are recorded, but only from the 2nd century BC. The Ozolian Locris for practical reasons also had a federal calendar which simply enumerated months from one to twelve. The first month (Protos) corresponds Delphian Boukatios, and the remaining months correspond in sequence to the regular sequence of Delphian months. Separate month names are recorded from the Locrian cities of Amphissa, Physkos, Oianthea, Tritea and Tolophon.[2]

Macedonian[edit]

See Macedonian calendar

  • Dios (~October)
  • Apellaios
  • Audynaios
  • Peritios
  • Dystros
  • Xanthikos
  • Artemisios
  • Daisios
  • Panamos
  • Loios
  • Gorpiaios
  • Hyperberetaios

Rhodian[edit]

on the Rhodian calendar[3]

  • Agrianios (~ 7 January)
  • Badromios
  • Theudasios
  • Dalios
  • Artamitios
  • Panamos and Panamos embolimos
  • Pedageitnyos
  • Hyacynthios
  • Carneios
  • Thesmophorios
  • Sminthios
  • Diosthyos

Sicilian[edit]

  • Thesmophorios (~October)
  • Dalios
  • -
  • Agrianios
  • -
  • Theudasios
  • Artamitios
  • -
  • Badromios
  • Hyacinthios
  • Carneios
  • Panamos

Thessalian[edit]

The Thessalian calendar was standardised only in the Roman era. Previously, all polis had their own calendars based on their respective festivals.[4]

  • Itonios - Ἰτῶνιος (~ August-September)
  • Panemos - Πάνημος
  • Themistios - Θεμίστιος
  • Agagylios - Ἀγαγύλιος
  • Apollonios - Ἀπολλῶνιος
  • Hermaios - Ἑρμαῖος
  • Leschanorios - Λεσχανόριος
  • Aphrios - Ἂφριος
  • Thyios - Θυίος
  • Homoloios - Ὁμολῶιος
  • Hippodromios - Ἱπποδρόμιος
  • Phyllikos - Φυλλικός

References[edit]

  1. ^ cited after Samuel (1972:76f.)
  2. ^ Samuel (1972:76f.)
  3. ^ Origines kalendarlae hellenicae [1] by Edward Greswell
  4. ^ Cult and koinon in Hellenistic Thessaly by Denver Graninger, 87-114.
  • Alan Edouard Samuel, Greek and Roman Chronology: Calendars and Years in Classical Antiquity, Volume 1, Part 7, C.H.Beck, 1972.

External links[edit]