Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November.
All the rest have thirty-one
Excepting February alone—
Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine,
Till leap year gives it twenty-nine.
That convenient little rhyme above helps us remember the odd distribution of days in our various months. It also reminds us that February has but twenty-eight days in common years, while all of the other months have either thirty or thirty-one.
Why did the Western calendar’s architects short-change February by two or three days? A thirty-day February would provide a much more symmetrical means of marking the year’s progress. Two additional days beyond February’s twenty-eight could easily have been taken from a couple of thirty-one day months to give February its fair share.
Actually, having more thirty-day months in the year is hardly a new notion. Several thousand years ago, calendars of the earliest civilizations in Mesoamerica, Europe, Asia and Africa all had twelve thirty-day months in the year. Their calendar years each consisted of a nice, round, 360 days. Most of these calendars were developed independently of the others.
While this manner of modeling the year was followed in some parts of the world for many hundreds of years, it was abandoned in most places between the eighth and fourth centuries B.C. But old customs die hard. Some calendars based upon twelve thirty-day months are still in use today.
Why did most early peoples modify their tidy 360-day calendar? No doubt it was for practical reasons. Calendars have long been an indispensable part of everyday life—they tell us when to expect a change in seasons; they tell the farmer when to plow or plant; they tell the priest when to prepare for fasts or festivals; they provide a measure of years that have passed since some important event and they help us all plan for the future as well as keep track of passing time.
In the modern world, calendars have become indispensable for the financial community. Many debits and credits are scheduled for fixed dates within each month. Certificates of deposit have lengths that are various multiples of 30 days.
We all like Casio G-shock watches, as they are rugged, long lasting, and very easy to clean and to take care of. They are made to take long and intense wear and tear, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean them on a regular basis, to keep them in the best shape all the time.
In one phrase, if your G-shock is water resistant, you may rinse it in warm water and simply brush it, for removing all dirt. If not, it’s best to spot clean your G-shock with some water or rubbing alcohol, using some Q-tips to get rid of the buildup from small crevices.
What you need
A white G-Shock is more special because you’re trying to keep it look as clean as on the day it came out of the box for as long as you can.
The plastic resin of this type of watch does get dirty faster than other watches, even with regular use. You may notice how the grooves on the underside of the strap gather oils and grime, so the watch loses its white color in time. You want to clean very careful your white G-Shock as you want to also maintain its nice appearance, not to mention the functions also.
The list of things you need for cleaning includes paper towel, towel, cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol. You may also use a melamine foam cleaning sponge or a nail polish remover.
How to clean it
You should begin by placing your white G-Shock face down on a nice, soft towel, dropping some isopropyl alcohol onto the folded paper towel.
Use a slightly moistened paper towel and rub smoothly all the surfaces of your watch. You should do it until the towel turns dark and looks blackish. Now it’s a good time to get a new paper towel and keep on cleaning your white watch, wiping it down entirely.
Splash a couple of drops of the alcohol onto a cotton swab and get its tip into all the dark grooves or dirt you notice on your watch. Use the other end on the swab or get a new swab entirely when the one you’re using got dark and dirty.
Don’t stop now and soak a melamine foam sponge with some water, wiping down all the white plastic resin on the wristband. Do the same thing on the watch face as it’s part of your watch as well.
Be meticulous and take a very good look at your watch to see if you did remove all the collected dirt. Sure enough, some stubborn spots and ink marks may need several cleaning sessions for the whole removal.
In case you also want to try the nail polish remover, you only need a single drop on a cotton swab for wiping down the areas that still have some marks on the white surface. Pay attention and avoid rubbing the nail polish remover on any painted area of your white G-Shock or its band as well. The risk for smudging the paint is quite high.
You may complete the cleaning by rinsing the watch with some cold running water. Let it dry entirely until you’re putting it back on, no matter how much you miss it on your wrist.
Some easy tricks
When your watch presents some really stubborn dirt, it’s more efficient to scrub the buildup, and not wipe it. You may dip a toothbrush (that you’re not gonna use anymore!) in some warm water or rubbing alcohol. Continue by shaking it a bit for removing all the excess liquid. Scrub smoothly, in circular motions, the bristles of the toothbrush right on the dirt or buildup on your white G-Shock. Always use soft and not stiff bristles for cleaning the stubborn dirt.
Don’t forget about the Q-tips to get into the crevices of your watch-dirt and buildup often appears in those cracks. Q-tips are great for the hard-reaching areas. You need to dip them in water or rubbing alcohol. Pay attention when you’re done as you should also pick out any fluff from the Q-tip that may remain on the edges of your G-Shock.
What about the scuffs?
Wearing your white G-Shock on regular basics may add some scuffs and markings. Even though it may sound surprising, you may remove them easily by using a common pencil eraser. Rub it carefully on the scuff more than once and wipe away the eraser dust when you’re done.
It’s always best to use a white eraser and not a pink one- after all; you do want to maintain the white color of your watch.
Keep in mind that scuffs aren’t the same thing as scratches. Scuffs are in fact a shallow skid marks on the surface of your white watch, whereas scratches go deeper than the surface of your watch.
Get a jeweler’s cloth for removing the minor scratches of your white G-Shock, rubbing smoothly for 30 seconds or so.
In a world where everything is about computers, smartphones, tablets and all sorts of gadgets, having a wristwatch for simply telling the time has become a bit weird. One of these watches that never go out of style are the Swiss Legend watches and there are many models to choose from.
The looks of Swiss Legend Watches
Many of the Swiss Legend models present a rather rugged appearance, featuring a steel case and a long lasting silicone strap.
In most Swiss Legend, models you’re gonna notice the chronograph face with three sub dials. A unidirectional rotating bezel surrounds the sub dials, whereas the hands and hour markers are luminous.
It’s also common for the Swiss Legend watches to have a small date box at the four o’clock marker.
The silicone strap may be embossed with a special tire tread pattern and Swiss Legend watches do present a rather sporty, sleek overall appearance.
Most of the Swiss Legend watches out there feature a Swiss-made quartz movement and are water resistant up to 330ft.
The lower chronograph dial tells you the day of the week.
The Swiss Legend watches have a good weight and just the right size, whereas the price is right for the fashion-watch you’re getting.
How to set it up
If you have used chronographs before, setting a Swiss Legend shouldn’t me that difficult.
You may notice how the crown unscrews to the “normal position” easily. You continue by pulling the crown outward until you notice the first and the second click. You should spin the watch hands until you get to the right day of the week and time of day.
Once you did that, you’re supposed to push in the crown to the “second position” and spin the crown clockwise in order to set the date.
You should get to the end of it while pushing the crown in all the way. You should be able to feel an inmost click, screwing the crown closed afterwards.
If you have a Swiss Legend watch without a calendar, you may begin by unscrewing crown counter-clockwise, pulling out the crown to position 2. You continue to set the time by turning the crown in the direction you need. Push in and/or screw down the crown clockwise back into Normal Position.
Set the time
In the case of a Swiss Legend with calendar, you may set time by unscrewing crown counter-clockwise and/or pulling out the crown to position 2. You start turning the crown until you get to the preview days date in the calendar frame. You continue by pulling the crown to position 3 and move forward the hour and minute hands until you get the date you want. Keep in mind to set it according to AM or PM.
You may set the time by turning the crown in the direction you wanted. Carefully push in and/or screw down the crown clockwise back into Normal Position.
In case your Swiss Legend has three hands, pull out the crown when the second hand points at the 12 o’clock/00” seconds. This should ensure more accuracy for the time setting.
You should start by pressing and holding down Pusher A and B at the same time for 2 or 3 seconds. You may continue by setting the minute counter to 30, pressing down on Pusher B. when it’s all set, it’s time to push down on Pusher A, adjusting the chronograph second hand. You’re almost done by pressing pusher A and B at the same time.
Note to self: never adjust the date between 9:00 PM and 1:00 AM. This ensures accuracy to your Swiss Legend.
Some useful tips
Having a Swiss Legend puts you in the position where you need to take care of it, for extending its lifespan.
For instance, it’s important to rinse your watch with some fresh water after contact with salt water and to never use the crown or pushers when your watch is wet. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t do it at all while your Legend is immersed in water.
After you set your watch, it’s essential to carefully push in and screw down the crown tight, so you increase water resistance. If you don’t screw down the crown, some may water damage my occur and the warranty is going to be void.
Take your Swiss Legend for inspection once a year and replace the battery when it’s all worn out.
Getting an automatic watch is special as it doesn’t need a battery and winds itself. You wear it daily so the movement of your wrist gives the mainspring to wind gradually, with no need for additional winding.
You may start the automatic by rotating the crown clockwise a number of turns, when it’s in normal operating position, but the screw down crowns have to be unscrewed first. You may also swinging it side to side for 30 seconds. It would be also useful to house an automatic watch in a watch winder box.
Early Egyptians accounted for the year’s “extra” five days (beyond 360) by creating a myth about Nut, a sky goddess.1 According to the story, Nut was allowed to bear a child in “no month of no year.” In answer to her pleading, her lover Thoth played dice with the moon and won an extra five days in the year. He gave them to Nut.
Because these days were outside the old 360-day calendar, the prohibition against Nut bearing children did not apply. Nut’s son Osiris was born on the first of them. Earth-god Geb was said to be the father.
It’s easy to find a similarity between this Egyptian allegory and one written by Plutarch: “Hermes playing at draughts with the moon, won from her the seventieth part of each of her periods of illumination, and from all the winnings he composed five days, and intercalated them as an addition to the 360 days.” 2
In both of these stories the moon is the loosing player. Regardless of the game played, each account claims that the moon’s loss extended the year’s length from 360 to 365 days.
(1) Goudsmit, Samuel A. Time. New York:
Time Incorporated, 1966.
(2) Plutarch. Isis and Osiris (A.D. 75)
Translated by F.C. Babbit.
Gabriel and Michael are the only archangels named in Hebrew scriptures, but Tobit mentions seven. The Book of Enoch says: “And then Michael, Uriel, Raphael and Gabriel looked down from heaven…” Many dictionaries identify all four of these beings as archangels. Shown to the right is an image of Michael from a Russian Orthodox church.
An image of the god Mithras (identified with the sun) is frequently found standing upon a globe in Mithraic temples. These globes represent the ancient notion of a “cosmic sphere.” Images of many of these spheres include a large X in their center. It is intended to represent an intersection of the zodiac and celestial equator. Archangels are defined by Webster as follows:
arch an gel (ark anj l) n. [[ME < OFr archangel or LL (Ec) archangelus < LGr(Ec) archangelos < Gr archos (see ARCH-) + angelos, ANGEL]] 1
1. a chief angel; angel of high rank. . .
Note Webster’s reference to “(see ARCH-).” When most members of the solar system are seen, they follow an arch in their journey across the sky. This, plus the fact that some archangels are pictured standing upon, wearing or holding a sphere (often with an “x” in the center) suggests that the word from which “archangel” was translated may originally have applied to the sun, moon and planets. Many ancient peoples personified the planets and endowed them with superhuman abilities.
All seven days of the week were named after solar system objects 2 and perhaps as many as five months were also named for them. 3 Could the same fascination that resulted in days and months being named after solar system members also have resulted in them being regarded as “archangels?”
Again from Enoch: “I saw. . . paths of the angels,” which seems to imply that angel’s courses are fixed like those of solar system members. Physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman, when once discussing the force that tethers planets to the sun, remarked about a time when people thought angels pushed planets around.
Whether archangels can be identified as the sun, moon and planets or not, they correspond in number (seven) to those members of Mediterranian pantheons that have long been associated with solar system objects and days of the week. Some early Christian documents have also made this archangelic association. 4
Artists portray archangels, like they do God and saints, with halos—a sometime attribute of both the sun and moon as well as a prominent feature of Saturn. Incidentally, very faint rings have recently been discovered around Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.
Many sources identify archangels with members of the solar system. A problem arises because each archangel is associated with various planets, and vice versa. This is compounded by the fact that several names are used by the same people for each planet.
Take Raphael for instance. He appears in Tobit with the following quote: “I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels. . .which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One.”5 Some manuscripts have associated Raphael with Mercury, others say Raphael represents the sun. But Milton, in Book III of Paradise Lost, refers to Uriel as “Regent of the Sun.”
Then there’s Gabriel. It is sometimes identified as a name for the planet Mars, in other places it is said to be a name for the moon.
In Ginzberg’s Legends of the Jews, archangels are said to be “comptrollers” of the Sun, Moon and five planets. Venus’ archangel is named “Aniel” in that book. “Sammael” is named there as being in charge of Mars, and is considered to be an evil angel. 6
Here is a quote from Chapter 12 of Revelation, “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon.”7 Is this the same event represented by the Chinese celestial dragon which is depicted on pottery and paintings as attacking a “pearl”8 in the sky? If so, Michael and the iconographical Chinese sphere could represent the same object. On the other hand, Michael might represent one of the other “angels” that was involved in the “war in heaven.”
The theme of a god, saint or hero fighting a dragon in the sky appears in mythology of peoples all around the world. According to Aztec legend, Quetzacoatl was called the Feathered Serpent (another term for dragon?) and was associated with the planet Venus.9 They believed Quetzalcoatl descended to hell. As the morning and evening star, Quetzalcoatl was the Aztec symbol of death and resurrection. According to Plutarch, the serpent is also sacred to Athena (the Greek word equivalent to the Roman’s Minerva). 10
The sphere preceding a dragon in Chinese New Year’s Day parades possibly represents a planet. It is caused to spin on it’s axis and has attached ribbons that flow in a spiral such as yellow streamers shown on the sphere to the right, detail from a painting of Archangel Michael. Heads on some dragon boats include one or more spheres either in the dragon’s mouth or just in front of its head.
Venus is characterized by different peoples either as a fallen angel, a planet or both. Lucifer is the Christian name for a being that meets each test. According to Webster:
Lu ci fer (l s f r) [[ME < OE < L, morning star (in ML, Satan), lit., light-bringing < lux (gen. lucis ), LIGHT1 + ferre , to BEAR1]] 1 the planet Venus when it is the morning star 2 Theol. SATAN; specif., in Christian theology, Satan as leader of the fallen angels: he was an angel of light until he revolted against God and, with the others, was cast into hell. . . 11
Another clue comes from the Catholic Encyclopedia: “The name Lucifer originally denotes the planet Venus, emphasizing its brilliance.”12 Enoch claimed that Michael was the archangel leader. Webster defines Lucifer as leader of the fallen angels. As demonstrated here, both Michael and Lucifer are names that are often ascribed to our solar system neighbor.
Because Venus was once known as an archangel, was that planet, before being “cast into hell,” seen to describe a complete arch in its journey across the sky? And was a curling trail seen to follow it?
Next to the footnotes below is a view of the planet Venus as observed from a space probe.
(1) Webster’s New World™ Dictionary.
(2) Origin of the Seven-Day Week.
(3) Early Roman Calendars.
(4) Phillips, Robert. Angels thru the Ages. CompuServe Artist’s Forum. 1994.
(5) Tobit. The Book of Tobit. (12.15)
(6) Ginzberg. Legends of the Jews, Vol. V. Philadelphia, 1925. p. 164.
(7) Revelation – Chapter 12, Verse 7.
(8) Respers, Lisa. The Way of the Dragon. L.A. Times, Sunday, February 19, 1995.
(9) Aztec Calendar.
(10) Plutarch. Isis and Osiris. Section 71.
(11) Webster. op. cit.
(12) Catholic Encyclopedia: LUCIFER
At the time of their early kings, Roman months were of a length identical to the lunar cycle. Each month was divided into sections that ended on the day of one of the first three phases of the moon: new, first quarter or full. 1 All days were referred to in terms of one of these three moon phase names, Calends, Nones or Ides.
At that time a pontifex (priest) was assigned to observe the sky. When he first sighted a thin lunar crescent he called out that there was a new moon and declared the next month had started.2 For centuries afterward, Romans referred to the first day of each month as Kalendae or Calends from the Latin word calare (to announce solemnly, to call out). 3 Obviously, the word calendar was derived from this custom.
Of the three sections, Calends was the longest—it had more days than the other two combined. That’s because it spanned more than two lunar phases, starting from the day after full moon and continuing thru its last quarter and waning period, then past the dark new moon until another lunar crescent was sighted. The day of Calends itself began a new month. It was dedicated to Juno, a principal goddess of the Roman Pantheon.
Unnamed days in the early Roman month were assigned a number by counting down following the day of each named phase, day by day, ending with the next of those three phases. The first numbered day in each section had the section’s highest value. Each succeeding day was one number lower than that of the day before. (Similar to the modern count-down when coordination of a group of people is required for a complicated activity such as launching a rocket.)
Latin for “the evening before” is “Pridie,” a word that was used to refer to the day before each of these named phases. So Pridie was always the day that would otherwise have been numbered two. The count-down was inclusive; the day from which they started as well as that of the moon phase to which they were counting down, day one, were both included. 4
Nones (Latin nonus or ninth) was originally the day when the moon reached its first quarter phase. 5 When the pontifex initially saw the lunar crescent he noted its width and, using empirical knowledge, calculated the number of days that were expected to elapse between then and the first quarter moon. He then specified that number after he announced the new crescent. If he called out the number six, the day following Calends would be referred to as the sixth day before Nones.
In any given year, the second day of Martius might well have been designated as the sixth of the Nones of March: “ante diem VI Non. Mart.” If this were the case, Nones would be the seventh day and Ides would be the 15th day of that month. The difference between these two dates, eight days, was always the length of the Ides section.
Use of the word “Nones” (nine) was intended to express the inclusive number of elapsed days between first quarter and full moons. Actually, the time between moon phases now averages about 7.4 days, but they sometimes occur eight days apart. Eight-day separations of first quarter and full moons now usually come grouped in consecutive lunations. They then give way to mostly seven-day periods.
Six of the first seven lunations of 1997, for instance, had their first quarter and full moon phases eight days apart (inclusive nine-day spans). Also, July 1 of 1998 had a first-quarter moon followed by a new moon on July 9, a nine-day period. 6 This helps explain why the unlikely term of Nones, meaning ninth, was used to designate one fourth of the moon’s period that now averages about 29.53 days.
Ides, dedicated to Jupiter, was originally the time of the full moon. Because a full moon comes halfway thru each lunation, its day was called Idus in Latin from an Etruscan word meaning “divide.”
After Ides, the next new moon was expected to appear in from 15 to 17 days. Variations in the length of time before another new moon can be sighted is due to constantly changing positions of moon and Earth relative to the sun.
Romans separated their months from the lunar cycle in the fifth century B.C. Month lengths then became fixed. At that time, Ides was assigned as the 15th day in all months given 31 days in length—March, May, July and October. It was designated as the 13th day in all other months. As a result, from then on the Calends section had from 16 to 19 days, the Nones section had either four or six days and the Ides section, as before, always had eight days.
Sometime after Calends, Nones and Ides were fixed on predetermined days of the month rather than being defined by phases of the moon, Romans used letters A thru H on the left side of each month’s calendar column to indicate days of their eight-day marketing week. The first day of each new year was represented by the letter “A.”
It is both unfortunate and ironic that the first Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March in the year 44 B.C.
You can see a pre-Julian calendar’s first three months at Early Roman Calendars. That type of calendar was used following the time that months were identical with lunations.
(1) Key, Thomas Hewitt, M.A.,
William Smiths A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities
London, John Murray, 1875. pp. 226-233
(2) Bickerman, Elias Joseph. Chronology of the Ancient World.
Ithica, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1968. p. 17.
(3) Webster’s New World™ Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994
Compton’s NewMedia, Inc.
(4) Parise, Frank. The Book of Calendars.
New York: Facts On File, Inc. p. 43.
(5) Bickerman. op. cit., p. 44
(6) Osburn, Chris. Lunar Outreach
Lunisolar calendars have twelve lunar cycles in their common years. That’s about eleven days short of a solar year. Each month starts on the day of a new moon, or on the day a new lunar crescent is first sighted. Without intercalation, months start eleven days later in relation to seasons each successive year.
The Metonic Cycle is a period of about 6939.6 days, the approximate length of both 235 consecutive lunations and 19 solar years. Knowledge of this cycle is important in determining when to assign intercalary months to lunisolar calendars.
Meton, an Athenian who lived in the middle of the fifth century B.C., is the cycle’s namesake. Meton himself referred to it in a publication as the nineteen-year cycle. There is some question as to whether Meton discovered it on his own or whether he learned of it from Babylonian sources, because it was discovered there about fifty years before Meton’s time.
Lunisolar calendars will roughly keep in step with seasons if a thirteenth month is added to them in seven out of each 19 years. In order to do this almost perfectly, there should be an additional one-day correction after each 222 years.
The cycle was perhaps first used to determine frequency of intercalation of a thirteenth month in the Greek Calendar, which consisted of 12 lunar months (a total of 354 days) 1 and intercalation of an extra month every second year just before the rule was applied.
As late as the twenty-five hundred years ago, official letters in Babylon informed local officials when the current year should include an intercalary month. 2 It wasn’t until about 380 B.C. that Babylonian calendar authorities regularly applied a one month intercalation in years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 19 of each cycle.
Geminus pointed out that: “It is a matter of indifference if, while preserving the same disposition of intercalary months, you put them in other years.”
The Metonic cycle was improved by Hipparchus and Callipus of Cyzius (c. 370-300 BC). Calippus formed what has been called the Callippic period, a cycle of four Metonic periods. Moon phases repeat on about the same ordinal day of each of these periods.
One of the most unexplainable things about the Metonic Cycle is that mankind has observed the sky for hundreds of thousands of years, 3 but this easily recognized period was not known until only about twenty-five hundred years ago, less than one-half of one percent of mankind’s time on earth.
(1) The Academic American Encyclopedia,
Danbury, CT: Grolier Electronic Publishing, 1993.
(2) Bickerman, Elias Joseph. Chronology of the Ancient World.
Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1968. p. 23.
(3) Homo sapiens: Earliest forms of our own species.
This sketch is of a calendar similar to one on a terra cotta block in Rome’s Saint Felicity oratory (pictured near the bottom of this page). 1 Three sets of drilled holes held pegs to indicate day of the week and one of thirty day-numbers for each of twelve months.
- Day of the Week
- Month of the Year
- Date of the Month
- Date shown on the Calendar
- In Rome
Day of the Week
Carved across the block’s top are images representing seven pagan deities: Saturn, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus, left to right in that order. The sequence in which these gods appear is identical with that dictated by the hourly cycle that determined day names, so we know the holes beneath them were used to indicate day of the week. 2
Once each day the peg beneath a pagan deity would be moved one position to the right. (After the day named for Venus the peg would be moved to the far left under Saturn’s image.) A peg shown on the block in the photo near the bottom of this page is under the fourth image from the left, Mars. It indicates Tuesday, the English word used to name his day. 3
Month of the Year
The large engraved circle beneath day-of-the-week indicators is divided into twelve sectors, each of which represents a month in the calendar year. Zodiac signs indicating the solar year’s progression are positioned counter-clockwise within sectors for each of the twelve months. They are positioned with Aries just right of top center, then proceed counter-clockwise with Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces, in that order.
Twenty-four holes are drilled into that large circle’s circumference, one at the outer end of each radius and one in the center of each sector. A peg was probably positioned at the intersection of a radius and the circumference for the first fifteen days of a month and then moved to the hole between there and the following month’s radius-circumference intersection for the sixteenth thru thirtieth days.
Date of the Month
Fifteen holes are drilled along each side of the block as shown here (from the sketch above). As you can see, between each of those holes and the carved circle in the center is a Roman numeral from one thru fifteen on the left and from sixteen thru thirty on the right. They were used to indicate the date of a month.
The probable reason for thirty of these holes (rather than some other number) is given in a quote attributed to the Midrash Rabbah: “The moon begins to shine on the first of the month and increases in luminance till the fifteenth day, when her orb becomes full; from the fifteenth till the thirtieth day, her light wanes, till on the thirtieth it is not seen at all.” 4 Obviously this calendar (or a prototype) was created when each lunation was considered to be a full thirty days in length.
Date shown on the Calendar
A peg has been inserted on the terra cotta block opposite the Roman numeral for twenty-two. That, combined with a peg on the circle’s circumference just below left center indicates the twenty-second day of a month in which the Sun passed thru the constellation Leo. 5 Currently, the sun passes through Leo at the end of summer, from mid-August through mid-September.
Date shown on the Calendar
A peg has been inserted on the terra cotta block opposite the Roman numeral for twenty-two. That, combined with a peg on the circle’s circumference just below left center indicates the twenty-second day of a month in which the Sun passed thru the constellation Leo. 5 Currently, the sun passes through Leo at the end of summer, from mid-August through mid-September.
Even though Roman numerals are shown on the block’s face, this was not an official Roman calendar. That’s apparent because early Romans used an eight-day week, not one of seven days. Also, official Roman calendars never had twelve thirty-day months for a calendar year length of 360 days like the one shown here.
Roman soldiers stationed in Egypt became accustomed to the pagan seven-day week and began to introduce it into their own homeland to replace their eight-day marketing week. Octavian (Caesar Augustus) and succeeding Roman rulers permitted this practice but it wasn’t made official until the emperor Constantine took that step in A.D. 321.
The ancient artifact pictured below represents a rare combination—a seven-day week together with a 360-day calendar year. 6 Most calendars of that length were modified or discarded between the 8th and 4th centuries B.C.
Photo of an ancient 360-day calendar on a terra cotta block:
(1) McCluskey, Stephen C.
Astronomies and Cultures in Early Medieval Europe
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. p. 57 – Figure 10 comments.
(A photo is just above these footnotes.)
(2) Representations of these seven deities can be ordered sequentially in over five thousand different ways. It’s not a coincidence that they are shown in the exact manner dictated by an Hourly Cycle that Determined Day Names
(3) “Tuesday” was derived from the old Anglo Saxon day name of Tiwes daeg. (Their name for the planet we know as Mars was “Tiw.”)
(4) The 30-day lunation-length quote from Midrash Rabbah, together with quotes from over a dozen other ancient sources can be found at this web page. It deals with events that took place just before Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt.
(5) The circle’s sector just below left center is occupied by a drawing of Leo, the fourth zodiac image counter-clockwise from Aries.
(6) Weeks of ten days were observed by Greeks, Egyptians and most other ancient peoples whose calendars contained twelve months of thirty days each. The more recent 360-day French Revolutionary Calendar (A.D. 1793-1806) also had weeks of ten days.
Saturn has been viewed from several very different perspectives thruout human history—as of now, the reasons are not completely understood. This page examines notions about Saturn that were held during various eras and in most cases by people with belief systems different than our own.
You can read current facts and historical ideas about Saturn by just scrolling down, or select instead any of the following six sections:
- Ages of Man
- Golden Age
- Father Time
Our solar system was created about five billion years ago from rotating gas that contracted to become the sun and its planets, moons, comets, asteroids and meteoroid streams. All of these bodies are now held together by sun’s gravitational attraction as they travel around that central star in the same direction as Earth.
Saturn is the second largest planet and sixth outward from the sun, about 800 million miles from Earth. Its equatorial diameter is 9.4 times that of Earth. Saturn rotates rapidly, spinning on average once every 10 hours 32 minutes, but because of its outer gaseous composition the spin rate varies with latitude. That large planet takes 29.5 Earth years to complete one orbit.
Mercury is shown as a speck next to the sun on the far left, above. Positioned next are Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and finally Pluto as a white dot on the far right.
Planet sizes are shown to scale but their distances from the sun are way out of proportion. Computer monitors are not nearly large enough to display meaningful views of solar system members if both planet sizes and a representation of their orbits around the sun are shown to scale.
Because hydrogen and helium (two of the lightest elements) make up much of Saturn’s mass, its average density is only 0.7 times that of water. But it has a central core made of either rock or a mixture of rock and ice. That core alone is believed to be fifteen times Earth’s mass and its total mass is about 95 times greater.
Winds blow at extremely high speeds on Saturn—often 1,100 miles per hour. Their primarily easterly direction indicates that the winds are not confined to the top cloud layer but must extend at least 1,200 miles downward into the atmosphere.
Saturn is known to have about 33 moons. Irregular shapes of the smallest indicate they may be remains of three or four larger moons which suffered disastrous collisions sometime in the past. One small moon, Phoebe, travels in a retrograde orbit. It is believed to be a captured asteroid. Two of the moons, Epimetheus and Janus, swap orbits about every 4 years.
Saturn’s complex ring system consist of thousands of narrow concentric ringlets. They are only a little over half a mile thick and are made up of many separate rocks, chunks of ice and particles that range in size from dust to house-sized bolders.
Ages of Man
The Greek poet Hesoid in his Works and Days (written in the 8th century B.C.) reported five “ages.” He claimed that four of them were experienced by mankind and that each age was a time period of uncertain duration that existed under a different god. According to Hesoid, the first god was Ouranos, the starry sky. Then Ouranos was replaced by Kronos (Saturn) who presided over a golden age until replaced by his son Zeus (Jupiter, also known to Romans as Jove). Hesoid wrote this about the ages of mankind:
“The golden age was first; But when good Saturn, banish’d from above, Silver Age Was driv’n to Hell, the world was under Jove.
“Succeeding times a silver age behold, Excelling brass, but more excell’d by gold. Then summer, autumn, winter did appear: And spring was but a season of the year. The sun his annual course obliquely made, Good days contracted, and enlarg’d the bad. Then air with sultry heats began to glow; The wings of winds were clogg’d with ice and snow; And shivering mortals, into houses driv’n, Sought shelter from th’ inclemency of Heav’n. . .
“To this came next in course, the brazen age: Brazen Age A warlike offspring, prompt to bloody rage, Not impious yet… The Hard steel succeeded then: Iron Age And stubborn as the metal, were the men. Truth, modesty, and shame, the world forsook: Fraud, avarice, and force, their places took. Then sails were spread. . .”
Several hundred years later Herodotus addressed Hesoid’s notion of planets being gods in human form by repeating what Egyptian priests told him about four different ages:
“So, in eleven thousand three hundred and forty years, said the priests, there had never been a god in man-shape; nor, moreover, neither beforetime nor thereafter, among the rest of those who became kings of Egypt, had any such thing happened.
During this time, they said, there were four times when the sun rose out of his wonted place—twice rising where now he sets, and twice setting where now he rises—and, say the priests, nothing became different among the Egyptians, for all these disturbances, neither products of the Earth nor products of the river, nor yet in respect of diseases or death.” 1
If Egyptian priests who made the above statement to Herodotus were correct, the sun “twice rising where now he sets, and twice setting where now he rises” would probably have been the cause of new Ages of Man each time these changes occurred.
Saturnalia, which honored Saturn, was one of early Rome’s most important festivals. The Roman poet Ovid said Saturn was king of a “Golden Age” in the time of Arcadians who lived on Earth before Jupiter was born, and are of a race that “predates the moon.” 2 Ovid also wrote of that time:
“The earth gave forth all good things of her own accord, and mankind, content with foods created without labor, picked the fruit of the trees and the mountain strawberries and the cornel cherries and the mulberries clinging to the wild thickets and acorns that fell from the spreading oak of Jupiter.
“Spring was eternal, and the gentle breezes caressed the flowers, all springing forth without seed, with clear warm air. Soon, also, the unplowed earth was rich with grain, and fields always fertile, were white with the heavy beards of corn. Then rivers of milk, then streams of nectar flowed forth . . .” 3
Ancient Egyptians frequently referred to a Golden Age by the name of Zep Tepi, ‘The First Time’ of Osiris (the constellation known to us as Orion). They believed Zep Tepi had long predated the Pyramid Age. 4 Egyptians also referred to it as the “Age of Ra.” 5
Romans and Egyptians were not the only peoples who had a memory of a Golden Age. Greek tradition also recalls the prosperous epoch of the god Kronos (Saturn); they believed it was a time when the whole world enjoyed peace and plenty. Chinese referred to it as the Age of “Perfect Virtue;” 6 Hindus had a Golden Age called “Satya yuga” or perfect age; 7
Generally, the Golden Age was thought of as a timeless epoch before the arrival of discord and war, and before a “linkage” of heaven with Earth was broken. Most of those early cultures also connected the Golden Age with the rule of a Universal Monarch: the Akkadian Anu, the Sumerian An, the Hindu Yama, the Persian Yima, the Norse Frodhi, the Chinese Huang-ti and the Mexican Quetzalcoatl. All of these are claimed to be founding kings, often as the first in what those peoples believed was an unbroken line of rulers.
The Greek poet Hesoid in his Works and Days (written in the 8th century B.C.) gave a further account of mankind’s lot in the Golden Age:
“…They lived like gods without any care in their hearts, free and apart from labor and misery. Nor was the terror of old age upon them, but always with youthful hands and feet they took their delight in festive pleasures apart from all evil; and they died as if going to sleep. Every good thing was theirs to enjoy: the grain-giving earth produced her fruits spontaneously, abundantly, freely; and they in complete satisfaction lived off their fields without any cares in blessed abundance…”
Hesoid’s story is similar to the biblical tale of paradise, a time and place where no labor was required to obtain the blessings of an abundant life.
Much in Golden Age accounts is almost beyond belief. For instance, all Golden Age traditions maintain that it was a time of eternal spring. But that would have been possible only if Earth’s axis was nearly perpendicular to its plane of rotation. Ovid implied this was the case when he wrote “Then summer, autumn, winter did appear: And spring was but a season of the year. The sun his annual course obliquely made…” 8 (Apparently Ovid’s intent was to say that the sun’s annual course was not “obliquely made” during the Golden Age.) If true, that would explain why there were no seasons.)
Just when the Golden Age ended is unknown. One clue comes from a recent discovery by researchers from the University of Georgia who studied fish bones left by ancient peoples in Peru. The researchers reported in Science Magazine that the bones showed very little ocean temperature variation during the fishes” lifetime. 9 This indicates that El Nino, the periodic warming of Pacific Ocean waters that affects worldwide weather, began less than 6,000 years ago. If that’s true, then perhaps seasons also began after that time. By the way, the word ‘seasons’ derives from the word ‘sowing’ which in turn comes from a word for Saturn.
Planets appeared in mythology all around the world when they first became identified as gods sometime after the Golden Age’s close. Memories of the Golden Age do not include notions about any planet other than Saturn, but in mythology Saturn is father of the gods, the most important of whom are now known to be members of the solar system. This section describes beliefs held by early Romans and Greeks of the same period.
Mythology apparently was first consigned to text early in the first millennium B.C. – Herodotus, who lived from about about 485 to 425 B.C., indicated this when he wrote:
“I believe that Homer and Hesiod were four hundred years before my time—and no more than that. It is they who created for the Greeks their theogony; 10 it is they who gave to the gods the special names for their descent from their ancestors and divided among them their honors, their arts, and their shapes.” 11
For Romans, Saturn was the god of sowing and reaping. They thought he brought agriculture, prosperity and abundance. 12 Saturn’s festival, the Saturnalia, was the worship of Saturn—and oddly the Sun—to which Saturn is equated in various guises and many countries. 13 Saturnalia was held in Rome every December beginning at the time of the winter solstice.
Ancient Romans identifed the Greek God Zeus with Jupiter and the Greek Kronos with Saturn. Originally an ancient Roman god of agriculture, Saturn was much later identified with the Greek god CRONUS. They believed he fled to Italy after Zeus dethroned him from being ruler of the universe. They thought Saturn then settled on Rome’s Capitoline Hill and taught the people agriculture and other arts of civilization. In his temple in Rome, the feet of Saturn were bound in chains all year long as a symbol of his defeat by Jove. The chains were removed during Saturnalia, the celebration of a hoped-for return of the Golden Age.
Saturn was identified with Chronos (or Chronus) who was both the Greek god of harvest and the personification of time. Its root is used in “chronology” and other modern words. Chronos is always capitalized, which in ancient Greek signifies a proper noun such as a person. But Saturn was also compared with the Greek Cronus, a much later figure, who was the father of Zeus and his siblings. They were Olympian Gods. Because Chronos and Cronus are words that sound alike, there is much confusion as to with which Saturn is identified.
When the name Chronos is used, it is in relation to his role as father of the HORAE who are regarded as time within the day rather than seasons or years. But an ancient Greek word for spring—krounos—is clearly derived from Kronos. 14
In Greek, the spelling of these two words is identical except for their first letter. Chronos begins with the letter chi and Cronus begins with the letter kappa. For this reason, Cronus is often referred to as “Kronos” in English.
Perhaps because of a similarity between the Greek names of Chronos and Cronus, Saturn is often represented as being Time itself. To make this even more confusing there’s also a greek word “Cronus,” meaning “crow”. These three words are often connected. Whether this is because they sound similar or because they have similar roots isn’t known.
Catastrophism is a term used to describe the belief that our solar system has changed in significant ways during the time of man, and that some of these changes resulted in dramatic effects upon Earth and other planets. Several organizations are now exploring these notions.
The Kronia Group, 15 which does research in interdisciplinary investigations of planetary history and cosmic catastrophe, holds the view that Saturn was once seen as a huge stationary body in the sky.
The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies 16 (SIS) is a UK-based organization with worldwide membership. They have brought together people from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests including ancient history, archaeoastronomy, archaeology, astronomy, biblical studies, cosmology, evolution, geology, geomagnetism, mythology, palaeontology, physics and psychology as well as catastrophism. Many of those areas of interest are referred to in an informative and scholarly SIS web page, The Revision of Ancient History. 17
Cosmos & Chronos 18 is also an interdisciplinary research organization. They investigate mythology as it is related to ancient global catastrophes, the effects on chronology of various ancient cultures, possible orbital changes of planets and electrical effects in the solar system and universe. Chronos, as pointed out in the Mythology section of this page, is a name associated with Saturn.
Astral Religions and Planetary Gods 19 is a web page with links to many sites that elaborate on Saturn’s role in Catastrophisim.
In Quantavolution and Catastrophe 20 Alfred de Grazia proposes that changes in living beings occur largely as the result of catastrophic events and that these events originate in the skies from forces that are electrical in nature.
On Wal Thornhill’s Holoscience 21 web site he claims that “The Electric Universe takes a simplifying leap by unifying the nuclear forces, magnetism and gravity as manifestations of a near instantaneous electrostatic force.”
Astronomy & Cosmology in Collision with Reality 22 makes the claim that “There is a revolution taking place today in astronomy and cosmology that will rival the one set off by Galileo.” It too supports the notion of an electric universe.
In the sci.lang Newsgroup a prominent catastrophist recently suggested that Saturn is responsible for the word for “night” in several languages. 23 Here’s part of that posting:
In Hebrew, the word for “night” is “lail,” which word seems to be composed of the words “la El,” or “lo El,” which translate as “no El.” So also in Arabic, in which language the word for “night” is “leyla,” composed of “le Eyl,” that is “no El.” In Maltese, “night” is “lejl,” in which the “j” is pronounced “y,” and which also translates as “le El,” that is “no El.” Given that El is one of the most ancient Near Eastern names for Saturn, the term in question can also be translated as “no Saturn.”
But, in European languages, the word for “night” seems to translate as “no eight.” This can be seen in the following languages:
English: no eight = night.
French: non huit = nuit.
German: nein acht = nacht.
Italian: non otto = notte
Spanish: non oche = noche.
(End of extract from sci.lang posting)
Saturn was frequently depicted in rock art as an eight-pointed star. (See graphics below.) Perhaps ancient peoples thought of Saturn as representing eight.
Seen above, from left to right, are: a sun symbol, Shamash disc, Sumerian sun god, Saturn, and the Macedonian flag.
Saturn has been known as father time for at least the past three thousand years. According to Ovid:
An ancient story has it that when this land was called Saturn’s, the oracle of Jupiter spoke like this: “For the Old Man with the Sickle, pick out and toss in two of your people’s carcasses for the Tiber to take.” 24
Ovid also wrote:
“And the ship? A ship brought the god with the sickle to the Tiber after he’d wandered all over the world. I well remember when this land welcomed Saturn after Jove banished him from the heavenly kingdom. For a long time the name ‘Saturnian’ stuck to the people, and Latium was named for the lately evicted god. Following generations duly minted pennies with a ship to commemorate the divine stranger’s arrival.” 25
A footnote to the above passage states: “In translating latente deo, I have taken liberties to perserve the etymology of ‘Latium.’ Literally, the phrase means from the god in hiding.”
Shown below is an imaginative rendition of Saturn as a hooded, cloaked figure bearing a scythe in his guise as Father Time.
(1) Herodotus. The History. (5th century B.C.) Translated by David Grene.
Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press, 1987. Book 2. Line 142.
(2) Ovid. Fasti. (Roman Holidays) Translated by Betty Rose Nagle.
Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1995. Book 2 Line 289.
(3) Ovid. Metamorphoses. Book 1, Lines 115 thru 127. (A loose but poetic translation.)
(4) Buval, Robert The Age of the Sphinx
(5) Phillip, B. Living in Nature
(6) The Sacred Books of China, Part 1. Book 1. Translated by James Legge (1891).
and WORLDWIDE TRADITIONS OF A PRIMORDIAL PARADISE
(7) Evolution and Dissolution of Matter- Space – Time Triad Pre-SaraNAgati Issues
(8) Ovid. Metamorphoses. Book 1
(9) Andrus, C.F.T. Science Magazine. February 22, 2001.
(10) “Theogony” means “birth of the gods.”
(11) Herodotus. The History, op. cit. Book 2, Lines 54 thru 58.
(12) sator (sower), satur (gorged) Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology. p. 219 also Time
(13) Macrobius The Saturnalia, Book I
(14) Kronos vs. chronos The Mythic Roots of Time.
(15) KRONIA GROUP
(16) The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies
(17) The Revision of Ancient History
(18) Cosmos & Chronos
(19) Astral Religions and Planetary Gods
(20) Quantavolution and Catastrophe
(22) Astronomy & Cosmology in Collision with Reality
(23) Messages from the thread “Night – No Saturn – No Eight – No Night; A conundrum”
(24) Ovid. Fasti, op. cit. Book 5, Lines 625-628.
(25) Ovid. Fasti, op. cit. Book 1, Lines 233-240.
Like Romans in the middle of the 5th century B.C., some Greek states also made use of an intercalary month every second year at that time. 1 Here’s a quote from Herodotus, “the father of history:”
“I put the boundary of human life at seventy years. These seventy years have twenty-five thousand two hundred days, not counting the intercalary month; but if every other year be lengthened by a month so that the seasons come out right, these intercalary months in seventy years will be thirty-five, and the days for these months ten hundred and fifty. So that all the days of a man’s life are twenty-six thousand two hundred and fifty…” 2
Herodotus’ statement above is deciphered on the right. It indicates that during his lifetime (mid 5th century B.C.) the Greek calendar with which Herodotus was familiar had 12 months of 30 days each plus an intercalary month, also of 30 days, added every second year.
So the total number of days in two calendar years was 750 days then as compared with only about 730½ days in two solar years at the present time.
25,200 days ÷ 70 years = 360 days per year (not counting the intercalary month added every other year).
The days for intercalary months were 1,050 days ÷ 35 months = 30 days a month.
It’s interesting that Herodotus believed an average length of 375 days kept their calendar in step with seasons. Many modern historians have questioned that statement. They reason that average calendar year length would be off by only a little over five days in a year of twelve 30-day months without the intercalation Herodotus claimed, as compared with being off by almost ten days with it.
But according to Sir Thomas Heath (when writing about Greek astronomy) Geminus also said “The ancients added the intercalated month every other year.” 3
A modern writer, E. J. Bickerman, claimed they rounded off the length of each two months to a total of 59 days and intercalated a 29-day month every two years. That would have made the average length of a Greek lunisolar calendar year 368½ days. Nevertheless, he said, “Greek cities…and the Romans as well…were satisfied with this device.” 4
It’s quite possible that Bickerman was referring to a time period other than when Herodotus lived. But how could Greek states have been satisfied with intercalation that was almost ten days too long (according to Herodotus) or over 3 days too long (Bickerman)?
The calendar year-length problem was resolved when the Metonic Cycle was discovered and subsequently used to determine intercalation requirements. You can read about many nation’s calendar corrections around that time at 8th to 4th Century B.C. Calendar Changes
And you can find lots about the father of history by going to Herodotus on the Web.
(1) Bickerman, Elias Joseph. Chronology of the Ancient World.
Ithica, New York: Cornell University Press, 1968. pp. 44-45.
(2) Herodotus. The History. (5th century B.C.)
Translated by David Grene. Chicago & London:
The University of Chicago Press, 1988. Book 1, Chapter 32.
(3) Heath, Sir Thomas L. Greek Astronomy. 1932.
(Quote from Geminus.) (8,3)
(4) Bickerman. op. cit. p. 27.
Gregorian Calendars have fourteen arrangements of dates on days of weekly cycles. There’s one for each day of the week that begins common years and one for each day of the week that begins leap years.
Each of these fourteen arrangements repeat every 28 years as long as every fourth year has a 29-day February. This is the case within every century, and for two consecutive centuries if the second of them begins on an intercalary year.
During those time frames the repetitions are not only every 28 years—common year calendars also repeat after each six or eleven years in similar sequences with either 6-11-11, 11-6-11 or 11-11-6 years between them. A.D. numbers of repeating years that cycle thru those patterns for two centuries are shown in the table below.
Repeating Calendar Years for 1901 thru 2099
|Common-year calendar rows have a tan background. Leap year rows have a light blue background.
Each day of the week is followed in its rows by all year numbers from 1901 thru 2099 whose January 1st is on that day.
Column headings of + 6 or + 11 indicate the number of years following the prior identical calendar year.
|Sunday’s cycle:||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11|
|Monday’s cycle:||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11|
|Tuesday’s cycle:||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11|
|Wednesday’s cycle:||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11|
|Thursday’s cycle:||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6|
|Friday’s cycle:||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11|
|Saturday’s cycle:||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11||+ 11||+ 6||+ 11|
* 1900 also began on Monday but it doesn’t fit into that day’s common year 1906 thru 2091 repetition pattern of 11-6-11.
** 2100 will begin on Friday but it is a common year.
Table year numbers stop at 2099 because that’s where the repeating cycles of number of years between identical calendars for these two centuries end. However, those same patterns for time spans between identical years will begin again starting with 2101. All but two days of the week will have a different common year cycle pattern than they had from 1901 thru 2099.
Even though 1900 and 2100 are not included in this page’s table showing common year patterns of years between them, they are separated both before and after by 6 years from their nearest identical year.