October the 8th Month? What are you talking about? August is the 8th month Steve! Find out why October is no longer the 8th month. #October
August is the 8th month of the year! But, did you know that October use to be the 8th month of the year? Many people are aware that the prefix “oct” means “eight” but are unsure why October isn’t the eighth month of the year. If you think about it, an octagon has eight sides.
The answer is that October at one point was, in fact, the eighth month of the year. There were initially 10 months in the Roman calendar, which started with March. Eventually adding January and February and then the months no longer lined up sequentially – making October the tenth month of the year.
That would mean August was the 6th month then. I am not sure why they didn’t keep October as the 8th month. If they did that would mean by birthday would be October instead of August. However, October was always linked to the autumn season. They knew they had to add 2 months during the winter.
Just think if they added days to the months of the year instead and kept the 10-month calendar. They would have to add 59 days to those 10 months, or 60 during a leap year. That calendar has six months of 30 days and four months at 31 days. That brings us to a total of 304 days per year. We have 365 days currently. Roughly 61 more days!
The calendar didn’t seem to sync with seasons, so they figured out they needed to added days, and in order to do that they added two months, instead of adding days onto the existing months. I estimate if they choose to add days to the months, then they would need to add five to six days to each month. So instead of 30 to 31 days per month, we would have ended up with 35 to 36. But, they choose to add two months instead. Even creating a Leap Year.
I guess that might be mostly why they would say in the Year of this king and that king. They would also state the length of that reign too. I am sure trying to remember what day it was, was confusing back then. Today, we have technology that tells us the exact day and time.
The original Romans 10 Month Calendar list and the order of the months.
- Martius (March)
- Aprilis (April)
- Maius (May)
- Iunius (June)
- Quintilis (Fifth – July)
- Sextilis (Sixth – August)
- September (Seventh)
- October (Eighth)
- November (Ninth)
- December (Tenth)
So as you can see … October the 8th Month … Yes it was at one time!
First published August 4, 2017. Last updated or republished October 1, 2021.
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