Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Beware the Ides of March - or the calender it's from, anyway

Hey, today is the Ides of March.

Which means that this is the anniversary of Julius Ceasar's death. I think a lot of people think it means that it's a day to be wary of, but that's not really true. Unless you think that Julius' karma is reaching out to you across the centuries.

Apparently calling March 15 the "Ides of March" is part of a rediculously complicated calender that might have been devised by Romulus, mythincal founder of Rome.

So see if you could ever decipher a date with this system:
  • Kalends (1st day of the month)
  • Nones (the 7th day in March, May, July, and October; the 5th in the other months)
  • Ides (the 15th day in March, May, July, and October; the 13th in the other months)
To figure out what to call the other days is oh so straightforward - count backwards from Kalends, Nones, or Ides. And include the date you're counting from (huh??!).

So March 3 would be V Nones—5 days before the Nones.

Let's see - so Christmas would fall on - what, VIII Kalends January?

I'm so confused.

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