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A Day for Research
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The weekend is here, which doesn't mean as much to me as it used to before I turned freelance nearly twelve years ago (i.e. lost my job). I guess that makes me a bit like the Romans of the early empire to whom weekends meant nothing. They didn't have weekends. Because they didn't have weeks.

Near as I can puzzle it out, the Romans regulated their affairs on a monthly basis. Days were figured by their relationship to the Kalends (first day of the month), the Nones (nine days before the Ides), and the Ides (the day of the full moon). (To make things worse, since some months were longer than others, the Nones and Ides didn't always fall on the same day of the month). Other days were referred to according to the number of days they fell before the Kalends, Nones or Ides.

No wonder the plotters decided to make thing easier on themselves and stab Caesar right smack on the Ides.

Would we remember the date if it had been a more typical one? Beware the fifteenth day before the Kalends of April doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

The Babylonian, Jewish and Christian cultures all used a seven day system which had essentially been adopted by the Romans long before 386 when Emperor Theodosius I, officially abolished the old Roman calendar and declared Sunday a holy day.

So luckily we don't need to deal with it in our sixth century Byzantine mysteries.

I learned a lot more about the history of the Roman calendar yesterday while doing some writing research. Unfortunately I still haven't found out whether Theodosius II actually did expel the Jewish population of Constantinople from the area known as the Copper Market, which is what I was looking for.

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