|  |  | 

History Quick History

Quick History: The Month of August

If you’re like me, you just realized that 2016 is already well over halfway finished. We’ve entered the eighth month of the year 2016, yet I still feel like it’s 2012. For the next thirty-one days (counting today), the Gregorian calendar will be flipped to the month of August. The month of peridot and sardonyx, of gladiolus and poppy, and of Leo and Virgo.

Originally titled Sextilis on Latin-written, Roman-made calendars sporting only ten months, August started out as the sixth month in the year. During this period of time, around 753 BC, each year started with March as the first year.

It wasn’t until 53 years later, in 700 BC, when Sextilis became the eighth month we know today. January and February were added by Numa Pompilius, the legendary second king of Rome.

In the year 8 BC, Sextilis was renamed August – a symbolic gesture towards Augustus.

According to Macrobius, the brilliant 5th-century writer, Augustus chose the month to coincide with his own history. In the past, the month had been generous to him. It was during this time of the year that Augustus went through several of his greatest and most historical triumphs – such as his conquest of Egypt.

To combat a commonly associated theory, August did not change the amount of days in his new month from 30 to 31. Many people believe that August has 31 days because Augustus wanted his month to match the exact length of Julius Caesar’s July. However, this rumor didn’t even exist until the 13th century. Sextilis had 31 days way before its initial renaming ceremony.

So, in August we celebrate International Beer Day (August 5th), International Clown Week (August 1st – 7th), and the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition (August 23rd). But, if you take a look at history, the month remains as an “eternal” memorial to Augustus that will “stand the tests of time”.

augustus

quick-history-august

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I’m a writer and historian. Simple enough, right? I enjoy philosophy, sociology, social psychology, politics, basic programming, statistics, and old books. Unlike the stereotypical leftist, I do not necessarily censor myself. I apologize in advance if you find yourself offended by something I’ve said; but I do enjoy hearing criticism and having debates.

Related Articles

  • Book Review: The Elizabethan Renaissance by A. L. Rowse

    Book Review: The Elizabethan Renaissance by A. L. Rowse

    Alfred Leslie Rowse, oftentimes shortened to A. L. Rowse, is best known for his work on England under Queen Elizabeth I’s reign as monarch. He was born on December 4th, 1903, in Cornwall. Mr. Rowse is the perfect example of a man of greatness born against all odds, as both his mother and father lived

  • Women’s Roles in New England vs Women’s Roles in The South

    Women’s Roles in New England vs Women’s Roles in The South

    How could you compare and contrast women’s roles in New England with women’s roles in The South? Colonial America had a rather deep division between the north and south. As we know from generalized American history, the northern and southern traditions in America would eventually clash together to cause a great Civil War. But, as for

  • Professionalizing History 6: The Public History of Our Community

    Professionalizing History 6: The Public History of Our Community

    In the last installment of Professionalizing History, we talked about the new age question of whether or not it’s important to apologize for mistakes we’ve made in the past. I highly recommend reading this series in order by publish date in order to fully understand what it means to professionalize history. This time around, I’d like to

  • Napoleon Bonaparte, Anne Boleyn, and the Image of History

    Napoleon Bonaparte, Anne Boleyn, and the Image of History

    When it comes to history, we have to remain skeptical about traditional facts. Now, that doesn’t mean we should accept fake history. It means we shouldn’t take everything history presents to us as acceptable. Historians should go against the flow of contemporary politics, going as far to be at war with the victors in a sense.

POST YOUR COMMENTS

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *

Email *

Website

Joseph Kaminski
I’m a writer and historian. Simple enough, right? I enjoy philosophy, sociology, social psychology, politics, basic programming, statistics, and old books.

Subscribe

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive up-to-date notifications.

Join 348 other subscribers

AN IMPORTANT NOTICE

Dear reader,

In September 2016, my website server crashed. I've been working on fixing everything since.

This site is currently in a beta state, meaning that design changes and the addition of new features will be frequent.