Octobris Was Once the Eighth Month of the Roman Calendar
October is the tenth month of the current Gregorian (New Style) calendar and has 31 days.
- It was the eighth month in the old Roman calendar which started in March.
- Its name is derived from the Latin word for eight, octo.
- Although the Roman calendar was changed several times, especially under Julius Caesar in 45 B.C., October kept its outmoded name even after it had become the tenth month.
- Many attempts were made to rename October in honor of Roman emperors or their wives.
- Traditionally, October 13, the Romans celebrated the fontalia, the festival of the fountains, by scattering flowers over the sources and springs.
- October 15 to 19, Romans honored the war god Mars in a feast known as the armilustrum.
- It was held as a counterpart to the festival of Mars celebrated in March and marking the beginning of the season for military campaigns.
- Armilustrum was the time for sacrificing a horse to the god of war and for purifying the sacred war shield and arms of the Roman army before retiring all weapons for winter.
Counting time is not nearly as important as making time count.
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