MONTH (AS. monalf (loth. menoPs, 0I10. ?fulacid, Ger. Monat connected with 01r. Lett.
Wm's, Lat. mensis, µ7)v, m(7n, month, Skt. Inds, moon, month, probably from Skt. to measure, and ultimately connected with Eng.
7110011) Originally the period of the moon's revolution round the earth. If this is reckoned from the position of the moon among the stars to her return to the same position, the period is called a sidereal month, and averages 27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes, 11V, seconds in length ; but if from new moon to new moon, it is longer, being on the average 29 days. 12 hours. 44 min utes, _3 seconds; this is called a synorlir month. (See SyNoloc.) The latter period forms one of the three natural measures of the lapse of time, and ranks next to the day in importance. There are several other periods used by astronomers to which the name 'month' is applied, the nodal month (27 days, 5 hours, 5 minutes, 36 seconds), from ascending node to ascending node (see NODES) ; the anomalistic month (27 days, 13 hours, 18 minutes, 37 seconds), from perigee to perigee; and the solar month, which is the twelfth part of a solar year, consisting of 30 days, 10 hours, 29 minutes, and 4 seconds. Dis tinct from all these is the civil or calendar month, fixed by lacy for ordinary purpose.. and consisting of a fixed number of days—from 28 to 31—according to the particular month. The calendar months, with the number of clays belong ing to each, are as follows: The names by which the months are designated throughout Christendom were given them by the Romans. In the earliest time the number of Ro man months seems to have been ten, namely: (1) Martins, (2) Aprilis, (3) Maims, (4) Junius; the remaining six were numbered as the fifth month, sixth month, etc.; (5) Quinctilis, (6) Sextilis, (7) Septembris, (8) Octobris, (9) No vembris, ( 10 ) Decembris. The months are thought to have been lunar; but how the year was filled out is unknown. To the time of the kings is ascribed a reform according to which were added two new months, Januarius and Februarius.
February had 28 days, March, May, Quinctilis, and October, 31; the rest 29. The sum is 355. be ing one in excess, seeing 354 days go to the lunar yeast The reason for the addition, and for making months of 31 days instead of 30, as usual, is said to have been that luck lies in odd numbers: but this explanation is only the conjecture of an ancient writer. Adjustment with the sidereal year was effected by intercalating two mouths, respectively of 22 and 23 days, inserted after February 23d, the feast of the Terminalia (and ritual conclusion of the year), added in the course of a four-year period. The odd day still was in excess; moreover, the Pontifices, who were charged with the duty of making the intercala tion, were, by reasons superstitious or political, often induced to neglect their task; accordingly, the Roman months were constantly varying from their proper seasonal position and required ar bitrary adjustment. In the reform of Julius Caesar (see CALENDAR) the ten days additional required to make a true solar year were dis tributed among the deficient months of 29 days; two each were given to Sextilis, December, and January; one each to April. Quinet His. Septem ber, and November. hence our present numeration. The year was made to begin with January, shortly after the winter solstice. The month Quinetilis received the name of Julius, and later Sextilis took that of Augustus. The Roman names were adopted throughout Europe. In the French revolutionary calendar (see CALENDAR) the months received new names, which had reference to the weather, vegetation, and harvest, but these were discarded when the revolutionary calendar went out of use. As to symbolic art, the months have borrowed from the zodiacal signs. (See ZODIAC.) In poetry, they have received symbolic representation chiefly on the basis of their sea sonal charaeteri.4ies in C'entral and Western Europe. Consult: Chambers. Book of Days, and (lone, Everyday Book. See CALENDAR ; NOON.