Ancient Greek calendars

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The various ancient Greek calendars began in most states of ancient Greece between Autumn and Winter except for 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]

Aetolian[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 - Προκύκλιος
  • Athanaios - Ἀθαναίος
  • Boukatios - Βουκάτιος
  • Dios - Διός
  • Euthaios - Ἑυθυαίος
  • Homoloios - Ὁμολώιος
  • Hermaios - Ἑρμαίος
  • Dionusios - Διονύσιος
  • Agueios - Ἀγύειος
  • Hippodromos - Ἱπποδρόμιος
  • Laphraios - Λαφραίος
  • Panamos - Πάναμος

The intercalary month was Dios, attested as Dios embolimos in SEG SVI 344, equivalent to Delphian Poitropoios ho deuteros. The month Boukatios corresponds to Delphian Daidaphorios, while Delphian Boukatios is Aetolian Panamos.

Argolian[edit]

  • Ermaios - Ερμαίος
  • Arneios - Αρνείος
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Panamos - Πάναμος
  • Aguieos - Αγυιέος
  • Karneios - Κάρνειος
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -

Attic[edit]

See Attic calendar

  • Hekatombaion - Ἑκατομβαιών
  • Metageitnion - Μεταγειτνιών
  • Boedromion - Βοηδρομιών
  • Pyanepsion - Πυανεψιών
  • Maimakterion - Μαιμακτηριών
  • Poseideon - Ποσιδεών (later Ποσειδεών)
  • Gamelion - Γαμηλιών
  • Anthesterion - Ἀνθεστηριών
  • Elaphebolion - Ἑλαφηβολιών
  • Mounichion - Μουνυχιών (later Μουνιχιών)
  • Thargelion - Θαργηλιών
  • Skirophorion - Σκιροφοριών

Boeotian[edit]

  • Bucatios - Βουκάτιος
  • Hermaios - Ἑρμαίος
  • Prostaterios - Προστατήριος
  • Agrionios - Ἀγριώνιος
  • Homoloios - Ὁμολώιος
  • Theilouthios - Θειλούθιος
  • Hippodromios - Ἱπποδρόμιος
  • Panamos - Πάναμος
  • Pamboiotios - Παμβοιώτιος
  • Damatrios - Δαμάτριος
  • Alalkomenios or Alkumenios - Ἀλαλκομένιος or Ἀλκυμένιος
  • -

Corinthian[edit]

The Corinthian months and their order is known from the sequence on the dial of the Antikythera mechanism [2][3]

  • Phoinikaios - Φοινικαίος
  • Kraneios - Κράνειος
  • Lanotropios, Heliotropios or Haliotropios - Λανοτρόπιος
  • Machaneus - Μαχανεύς
  • Dodekateus - Δωδεκατεύς
  • Eukleios - Εύκλειος
  • Artemisios - Ἀρτεμίσιος
  • Psydros - Ψυδρεύς
  • Gamilios - Γαμείλιος
  • Agrianios - Ἀγριάνιος
  • Panamos - Πάναμος
  • Apellaios - Απελλαίος

Cretan[edit]

  • Thesmophorion
  • Hermaios
  • Eiman
  • Matarchios
  • Agyios
  • Dioscouros
  • Theodosios
  • Pontos
  • Rhabinthios
  • Hyperberetos
  • Necysios
  • Basilios

Delphic[edit]

  • Bucatios - Βουκάτιος
  • Heraios - Ἡραίος
  • Apellaios - Ἀπελλαίος
  • -
  • Dadaphorios - Δαδαφόριος
  • Poitropios - Ποιτρόπιος
  • Bysios - Βύσιος
  • Artemisios - Ἀρτεμίσιος
  • Heracleios - Ἡράκλειος
  • Boathoos - Βοαθόος
  • Ilaios - Ιλαίος
  • Theoxenios - Θεοξένιος

Elian[edit]

  • -
  • Apollonios - Ἀπολλώνιος
  • Parthenios - Παρθένιος
  • Alphioios - Ἀλφιοίος
  • Athanaios - Ἀθαναίος
  • Thuios - Θυΐος
  • -
  • Diosthuos - Διόσθυος
  • -
  • Elaphios - Ελάφιος
  • -
  • -
  • -

Epidaurian[edit]

  • Azosios - Αζόσιος
  • Karneios - Κάρνειος
  • Praratios - Πραράτιος
  • Ermaios - Ερμαίος
  • Gamos - Γάμος
  • Teleos - Τέλεος
  • Posidaios - Ποσίδαιος
  • Artamisios - Αρταμίσιος
  • Agrianios - Αγριάνιος
  • Panamos - Πάναμος
  • Kuklios - Κύκλιος
  • Apellaios - Απελλαίος

Laconian[edit]

  • Panamos - Πάναμος
  • Herasios - Ἡράσιος
  • Apellaios - Ἀπελλαίος
  • Diosthyos - Διόσθυος
  • -
  • Eleusinios - Ελευσίνιος
  • Gerastios - Γεράστιος
  • Artemisios - Ἀρτεμίσιος
  • Delphinios - Δελφίνιος
  • Phleiasios - Φλειάσιος
  • Hecatombeus - Ἑκατομβεύς
  • Karneios - Κάρνειος

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.[4]

Macedonian[edit]

See Macedonian calendar

  • Dios - Δίος
  • Apellaios - Ἀπελλαῖος
  • Audunaios or Audnaios - Αὐδυναῖος or Αὐδναῖος
  • Peritios - Περίτιος
  • Dystros - Δύστρος
  • Xandikos or Xanthikos - Ξανδικός or Ξανθικός
  • Artemisios or Artamitios - Ἀρτεμίσιος or Ἀρταμίτιος
  • Daisios - Δαίσιος
  • Panemos or Panamos - Πάνημος or Πάναμος
  • Loios - Λώιος
  • Gorpiaios - Γορπιαῖος
  • Hyperberetaios - Ὑπερβερεταῖος

Rhodian[edit]

on the Rhodian calendar[5]

  • Agrianios - Ἀγριάνιος
  • Badromios - Βαδρόμιος
  • Theudasios - Θευδάσιος
  • Dalios - Δάλιος
  • Artamitios - Ἀρταμίτιος
  • Panamos and Panamos embolimos - Πάναμος
  • Pedageitnyos - Πεδαγειτνύος
  • Hyacynthios - Ὑακίνθιος
  • Karneios - Κάρνειος
  • Thesmophorios - Θεσμοφόριος
  • Sminthios - Σμίνθιος
  • Diosthyos - Διόσθυος

Sicilian[edit]

  • Thesmophorios
  • Dalios
  • -
  • Agrianios
  • -
  • Theudasios
  • Artamitios
  • -
  • Badromios
  • Hyacinthios
  • Carneios
  • Panamos

Thessalian[edit]

The Thessalian calendar was standardised only in the Roman era. Previously, all poleis had their own calendars based on their respective festivals.[6]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ cited after Samuel (1972:76f.)
  2. ^ Freeth, Tony; Jones, Alexander; Steele, John M.; Bitsakis, Yanis (31 July 2008). "Calendars with Olympiad display and eclipse prediction on the Antikythera Mechanism" (PDF). Nature. 454 (7204): 614–7. Bibcode:2008Natur.454..614F. doi:10.1038/nature07130. PMID 18668103. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Freeth, T (2009). "Decoding an Ancient Computer". Scientific American. 301 (6): 76–83. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1209-76. PMID 20058643. 
  4. ^ Samuel (1972:76f.)
  5. ^ Origines kalendarlae hellenicae [1] by Edward Greswell
  6. ^ Cult and koinon in Hellenistic Thessaly by Denver Graninger, 87-114.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Alan Edouard Samuel, Greek and Roman Chronology: Calendars and Years in Classical Antiquity, Volume 1, Part 7, C.H.Beck, 1972.
  • Danezis Manos & Theodosiou Stratos, The Odyssey of the Calendars, 1st Book (in Greek), 1995

External links[edit]