Interested in taking a few walks through Rome, from either the comfort of your armchair or in person next time you’re here?!
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Way way back, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, Romans celebrated the new year on March 1st. Okay, obviously not that far back in time, but 2059 years ago is pretty close if you ask me.
The Roman calendar was first introduced in the seventh century B.C. The system attempted to follow the lunar cycle, but had to be changed a lot because it fell out of sync with the seasons
due to leap years. The people were in charge of running the calendar, and this caused problems as well because some modified the calendar to their benefit as far as elections or “extended” seasons were concerned.
When Caesar came to power, he decided that the calendar system needed a makeover. Astronomer Sosigenes was enlisted to the task, who suggested switching to the solar year, like the Egyptians.
“The Alexandrian astronomer Sosigenes, who wrote Revolving Spheres, was one of Julius Caesar’s key advisers on this matter. Caesar himself, however, provided the intellectual energy behind this much needed change in the way time was recorded.”
– A Walk With the Emperors: A Historic and Literary Tour of Ancient Rome
Due to a mathematical miscalculation however, the calendar that Caesar put into effect is not the calendar that we know today. The church became aware of the inaccuracy in the 1500’s and corrected the error, giving us the Gregorian calendar that we know today.
Today’s note on the Julian calendar covers just one of the many Ancient Roman tidbits found in “A Walk With the Emperors: A Historic and Literary Tour of Ancient Rome,” available on Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes&Nobles.