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xiv. Division of Time.
The Romans divided time into years, months, days, and hours. A civil day, as recognised in law, was from midnight to midnight; a natural day, from sunrise to sunset. The duodecimal system was applied here also, the natural day being divided into twelfths, called hore, which were therefore of different absolute lengths according to the time of year. From Dec. 23rd, when the day at Rome was, according to modern reckoning, 8 hrs. 54 m. long, and the Roman hour was 44 m., the length increased up to 25 June, when the day was 15 hrs. 6 m., and the Roman hour 75 m. At the equinoxes, 23 March, 25 Sept., the Roman hour was of the same length as our own. The civil day is sometimes spoken of as divided into twenty-four hours.
The night was for military purposes divided into four watches (vigilia prima, &c.) of equal length. And a similar division of the day into four parts is also implied by Varro's account of the prætor's marshal crying the 3rd hour, noon, and the 9th hour. Various loose names for different parts of the day and night came into vogue, and are arranged by Censorinus (c. 24) in the following order, starting from midnight:
1. De media nocte; 2. gallicinium; 3. conticinium, general silence; 4. ante lucem; 5. diluculum; 6. mane; 7. ad meridiem; 8. meridies; 9. de meridie; 10. suprema; II. vespera; 12. crepusculum; 13. luminibus accensis, or, anciently, prima face; 14. concubium; 15. intempesta nox; 16. ad mediam noctem; 17. media nox.
Expression of the Date.
(Partly from Madvig. Suppl. to Gram.)
The division of time into weeks of seven days with distinct names was not used by the ancient Romans (before the introduction of Christianity). The months were distinguished by the names adopted by us from the Romans, excepting that, before the time of the Emperor Augustus, Julius and Augustus had the names of Quinctilis and Sextilis (i.e. fifth and sixth month, March being the first). The days of the month were computed from three leading days in each, which were called respectively Calendæ (Kal.), None (Non.), and Idus (Id.); to these the name of the month was appended as an adjective. The Calendæ was the first day of every
month; the Nonæ and Idus the fifth and thirteenth, except in the months of March, May, July, and October, in which they were the seventh and fifteenth respectively. From these days they counted backwards, the days between the 1st and the Nones being reckoned as so many days before the Nones; the days between the Nones and Ides as so many days before the Ides; and the remaining days of the month as so many days before the Kalends of the next month. The day immediately preceding any of these reckoning points was called pridie Nonas, &c.; the day next but one before was the third day before, (in consequence of the Nones, &c. being themselves included in the reckoning), and so on.
There are two abbreviated modes of denoting the date; e.g. the 27th of March might be marked as vi Kal. Apr., or a. d. vi Kal. Apr. The first is for sexto (die ante) Kalendas Apriles; the second for ante diem sextum Kalendas Apriles. The latter expression appears to have originally signified before (on the sixth day) the Kalends of April; the exact day being thrown in parenthetically, and attracted from the ablative into the accusative case in consequence of following ante. Similarly we find the date sometimes denoted by the number of days preceding a festival; as, a. d. v Terminalia, i.e. 19th Feb. (the festival of the god of boundaries being on the 23rd Feb.). This expression was considered as one word, before which in or ex may stand; as, Ex ante diem iii Nonas Junias usque ad pridie Kalendas Septembres, from the 3rd to the 31st August; differre aliquid in ante diem xv Kalendas Novembres, to put off something to the 18th October.
The readiest way of reckoning the day is, (1) if the date lie between the Kalends and Nones, or between the Nones and Ides, to subtract the number of the day mentioned from the number of the day on which the Nones or Ides fall, and add one (for the inclusive reckoning): (2) if the date lie between the Ides and the Kalends, to subtract the number of the day mentioned from the number of the days in the month, and add two (i.e. one for the inclusive reckoning, and one because the Kalends are not the last of the month in which the date lies, but the first of the following month).
In leap year the intercalated day was counted between a. d. vi Kal, Mart. and a. d. vii Kal. Mart. and denominated a. d. bissextum Kal. Mart., so that a. d. vii. Kal. Mart. answers as in the ordinary February to Feb. 23, and a. d. viii Kal. Mart. to Feb. 22nd, &c. (Hence the name of leap year, annus bissextilis).
Before the reformation of the Calendar by Julius Cæsar, B.C. 45, the number of days in the months were in March, May, July, and October, 31; in February 28; in all the rest 29. Hence, as
these four months were two days longer, the Nones and Ides were two days later. This should be remembered in reading Cicero's letters, many of which were written before 45 B.C. After that year the number of days in each month was the same as it is with us to this day.
The following examples suppose the date to be subsequent to B.C. 45. The usual abbreviated form is given. [It must be remembered that Kalendæ, Nonæ, and Idus are feminine, and the months adjectives; that the date (on the first,' &c.) is in the ablative (Kalendis, Nonis, Idibus); and that a. d. vi Non. Mart. &c. is for ante diem sextum Nonas Martias.]
March (So also May, Jul., Oct.).
a. d. vi Non. Mart.
noverca = pater=mater=vitricus, stepfather stepmother
i. By marriage.
iii. All the names in the above tables denote their relation to me. be denoted analogously.
Their relation to others would of course
In Table i. are omitted, for clearness' sake, (a) all ascendants of the mother, the names being the same as for
amitinus, consobrinus, patruelis are properly adjectives, and frater (or soror) is often used with them.
In Table ii. the descendants of a filia would be described by the same names as those of a filius; and prosocer, prosocrus would apply to the father and mother of a socrus as well as a socer.
levir (174, 4) is a husband's brother; glos (comp. yáλws), a husband's sister.
agnatus is a relative through males; consequently it includes a soror, filia, amita, &c., but not any of their descendants. Cognatus is any relative by blood; affinis a relative by marriage.