Tuesday, October 4

Twyecescore-eine days hath October?

Pity the poor toddler in 1582.

Children (and adults) have been using a mnemonic rhyme for centuries to remember how many days are in each month. A medieval version of the verse is in a 15th-century manuscript in the British Library:
Thirtey days hath November,
Aprile, June, and September:
Of twyecescore-eightt is but eine,
And all the remnante be thrycescore-eine.
O´course Leap yare comes an´pynes,
Ev'rie foure yares, gote it ryghth.
An´twyecescore-eight is but twyecescore-nyne.
A literal translation of this would be:
Thirty days has November,
April, June, and September:
Of twenty-eight is but one,
And all the remnant is thirty-one.
Of course Leap year comes and stays,
Every four years got it right,
And twenty-eight is but twenty-nine.
However, when Pope Gregory XIII implemented the Gregorian Calendar in 1582, Oct. 4 skipped directly to Oct. 15 in Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain. (Great Britain didn't adapt the Gregorian Calendar until 1752.)

Imagine, Oct. 5-14 just didn't happen in 1582! I feel sorry for those who missed their birthdays that year.

The mere thought of losing 10 days right now fills me (and Momma!) with terror. Maybe Pope Gregory chose October for a reason?

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