Happy Calendae!

mensural-notation

May I sing my life in tempus perfectum,

dance the years still gifted me in perfect time,

each daybreak etch “o” upon the day’s potential,

from sunrise to sunset, an interval sublime.

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Universal ancient circumpunct, you call me,

creation’s primal point and vast eternity,

sun and gold,  most precious and blissful alchemy,

to that dot returning, after my life’s brevity.

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So much star-gazing, solar and lunar watching,

so many calendars, astrologers time-keeping

systematic constraint upon heaven’s majesty,

to balance the books this year, a day is leaping!

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circle-dot

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Three hundred and sixty days, a thousand years the norm,

then discord discovered, major system overhaul…

no Pontifex here new moon and month to announce,

Happy Calendae I proclaim, for one and for all!

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Daffodils declare a chilly St David’s Day,

whilst Winter tries hard his knot the more to tighten,

in boughs and branches can you not hear Spring sap stirring?

First “Beware the Ides of March”, our hearts can then brighten!

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Symbols courtesy of mymusictheory.com and google images.

Calendae : first day of the month in the Roman Calendar, the latter word originating from this Latin word. It is related to the verb calare,”to call out”, referring to the “calling” of the new moon when it was first seen. Calendarium meant “account book or register”, as accounts were settled and debts collected on the “calends” of each month, the day of the first crescent after a new moon, according to the old lunar calendar.

tempus perfectum : refers to a specific metrical division used in musical compositions in the 15th and 16th centuries, where a “breve” is divided into 3 “semibreves”.  This 3 in 1 principle identified with the Holy Trinity and was therefore known as Perfect Time, the symbol of which being an unbroken Circle.  It is curious to note that a dot could be added to the circle, making it prolatio major…but that goes deeper into mediaeval music theory.

“o” : symbol for tempus perfectum.

Circumpunct : The ancient circled dot, symbol.  It represents the sun in astrology, gold in alchemy, and is also a profound and deep esoteric symbol.  The circle represents Eternity, no beginning and no end, endless repeating cycles.  The Dot symbolizes the one eternal Source from which All creation emanates, Deity, Divinity and the centre point around which the Wheel of Eternity revolves. Before we draw anything we must always begin with a Dot.   The Circumpunct is also a symbol of Sufism.

Pontifex : ( Latin, “bridge builder”),  member of a council of priests in ancient Rome.  He was responsible for the regulation of the calendar, both astronomically and in it’s application to the public life of the State.

Beware the Ides of March : The Ides of March did not signify anything special in itself as it was the 15th March, but Shakespeare invented the notion of the Ides of March as being a dangerous date,  the soothsayer warning of Caesar’s approaching death, in his play, Julius Caesar dated 1601.

St David’s Day : Patron Saint of Wales, Feast Day celebrated on 1st March.

Pliny writes that there were 3 calendars in the Roman Empire at the time of Julius Caesar, the Chaldean, Egyptian and Greek.  All 3 could trace their origins back to the Babylonian calendar. On the advice of the Egyptian astronomer Sisogenes of Alexandria, a new strictly Solar calendar was formed.  Sisogenes calculated the Solar Year to have 365.25 days or 365 days and 6 hrs.  To correct this discrepancy, Julius Caesar adopted a calendar of 365 days like the Egyptians, but made every 4th year a Leap Year on the advice of the same Egyptian astronomer. It was strictly based on the Solar Year with no desire made to reconcile it with the Lunar Month.

Before this calendar reform, the Roman New Year was on 1st March, with Julius Caesar then beginning the New Year of his new calendar on 1st January.  We know now that the Solar Year is closer to 365 days, 5 hrs, 48 minutes and 45 .2 seconds.

The Julian Calendar was therefore “out” by about 11 minutes each year. This error was not noticeable during the days of the Roman Empire.  This small error was later corrected by Pope Gregory X111 in 1582, ( Gregorian Calendar).

So a very Happy Roman New Year to One and All!

As well as Calends, Nones and Ides were all important days in a Roman month.  Nones was the day of the moon’s first quarter, and Ides, the full moon.  Calends was the 1st of the month, Ides, the 13th or the 15th  of the month , depending on the month’s length and Nones always 8 days before Ides. Under the Julian Calendar, these days kept their original names but lost their association with phases of the moon.

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Thank you for your patience in the reading of so much background information: as you can see I got a little carried away with all the connections that suddenly became apparent!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Happy Calendae!

  1. I’m sooooooooo happy Krysia my dear friend. It’s soooooooooo beautiful. You outdid yourself. My new favourite on your blog. Spread the joy some more. :):):)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really? I wasn’t sure…thought it might be a bit too complex but then I found all these connections…just wanted to link them all up…Thanks so much my friend, you are so so kind! Yep…trying to spread the joy. I love your last poem to the moon. Shrouded in mystery…beautiful! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh it was fabulous, discounting the fact that I had to read it thrice :). Haha. The info helped a lot. And it was a wonderful idea to thread up the connections and make a grand whole out of it. I love your style. Beautiful, I’ll repeat.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And oh yes, thank you for your comment on mine. Please check out my sari post, if I’m not being too imposing. I’m going to bed now. See you soon. Happy Calendae to you! Don’t let the Ides of March dampen your vigour and make an otherwise beautiful day a ‘dreich’ one. Love and hugs.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. ha ha…I will! Not being imposing at all my dear. Got some catch up to do… been busy practising for a lot of organ playing this week end coming…4 services to play! Gulp…. Good night to you too, sweet dreams in the gentle light of that moon…take good care, 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Not since my high school years have I read anything so clear and distinct about the complexity of our calendar, which including its name we inherited from the Romans. Apart from the your elevated form of poetry I really enjoy reading the glossary. Congratulations, Krysia!

    Liked by 1 person

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