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Harvard Classics

July 2 – Plutarch: Caesar

2 “Julius” Becomes “July”
So that the date for certain festivals would not fall one year in midwinter and in the heat of summer another year, Cæsar reformed the calendar. July was named for him.
Read from Plutarch‘s CÆSAR Vol. 12, pp. 310315

Plutarch – Plutarch was a Greek Middle Platonist philosopher, historian, biographer, essayist, and priest at the Temple of Apollo. He is known primarily for his Parallel Lives, a series of biographies of illustrious Greeks and Romans, and Moralia, a collection of essays and speeches.

In the hope that the government of a single person would give them time (the citizens) to breather after so many civil wars and calamities, made him (Caesar) dictator for life.

Affections of the people to be the best and surest guard (against death) // promised consulships, provided feasts, public entertainment

Past honor a motivation to continue with ideas of greater action

Parthians – The Parthian Empire, also known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran from 247 BC to 224 AD.

Hyrcania – a historical region composed of the land south-east of the Caspian Sea in modern-day Iran and Turkmenistan, bound in the south by the Alborz mountain range and the Kopet Dag in the east.

Pontus – a region on the southern coast of the Black Sea, located in modern-day eastern Black Sea Region of Turkey.

Calendar adjustment to account for the “irregularity of time” // Romans wanted to make revolutions of their months to fall within the course of their year

Intercalary month – Mercedonius // was the intercalary month of the Roman calendar. The resulting leap year was either 377 or 378 days long. It theoretically occurred every two (or occasionally three) years, but was sometimes avoided or employed by the Roman pontiffs for political reasons regardless of the state of the solar year. Mercedonius was eliminated by Julius Caesar when he introduced the Julian calendar in 46 BC.

JULY: This month used to be called Quintilis – the Roman word for “fifth” as it was the fifth month of the Roman year. It was later changed to July by the ruler of Roman world, Julius Caesar, after his family name (Julius).

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