The Names of the Months
Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
See also Greek and Roman Mythology
- January: named after Janus, the god of doors and gates
- February: named after Februalia, a time period when sacrifices were made to atone for sins
- March: named after Mars, the god of war
- April: from aperire, Latin for “to open” (buds)
- May: named after Maia, the goddess of growth of plants
- June: from junius, Latin for the goddess Juno
- July: named after Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.
- August: named after Augustus Caesar in 8 B.C.
- September: from septem, Latin for “seven”
- October: from octo, Latin for “eight”
- November: from novem, Latin for “nine”
- December: from decem, Latin for “ten”
NOTE: The earliest Latin calendar was a 10-month one, beginning with March; thus, September was the seventh month, October, the eighth, etc. July was originally called Quintilis, meaning fifth; August was originally called Sextilis, meaning sixth.