On Sunday, Feb 18th Francis Ui N ill wrote:
>How did the celts -- the Irish in particular -- measure time?
An intricate study of the only known Celtic Calendar (The Coligny Calendar)
was done by Garrett Olmsted and is titled "The Gaulish Calendar" published in
1992. On page 184 he gives the following for Ordinal Numeral Named Days:
"Before analyzing the forms in the glossary I give a table with the day of
origin of the transferred day, the best attested forms of the abbreviations
for ordinal numeral signifying the day of origin, the fully reconstructed and
corrected form of the abbreviation (mostly in the dative), and the probable
original form of the ordinal numeral (rendered in the nominative).
DAY Notation CORRECTED ORIGINAL FORM
II ELE *ALE *alios "second"
II EXINGI EXINGI *excingis "shifted"
III TRI- TRI- *tritios "third"
IV PETIRIV *PETVRIV *peturios "fourth"
VIII OCIOMV OCIOMV *octiomos "eighth"
X [......]MIV *DECIOMIV *deciomios "tenth"
X DECVORIV DECVORIV *decuorios "group of ten"
XIII BRIC, [......]IOMV *TRICIOMV *triti-deciomos "13th"
30 TIOCO-, TIOMV *TIOCOTIOMV *triocontiomos "30th"
!A!LE: *ALIV: "from the second"
EXINGI: *EXCINGIS: "transported" "
and on page 11 he states, "Indeed, what makes the Coligny calendar unique in
the ancient world is that it was not only a calendar but also a complex
scientific instrument capable of predicting intercalary solstices within 1
day in 455 years and the position of the sun on other dates with an
additional error of +/- 1.5 days. IT could predict the lunar positions with
an inherent variational error of +/- 0.8 days, adding an additional 1-day
error overy 521 years. Such precision was unequaled until the Renaissance."
On pages 12-13 he gives a summary discription:
"Arrayed on the fragmentary calendar plate from Coligny are a total of 5
years, comproised of 62 months made up of 5 repetitions of the 12 regular
months and 2 intercalary months ... As in other lunar-based calendars,
intercalary months were utilized to achieve a realignment of the sun and the
moon vis a vis the calendar. Except for the first 5-year phase of a 25-year
or 30-year cycle, when the first intercalary month is not utilized, each
intercalary month is followed by a 30-month period on the calendar. Each
intercalary month then immediately precedes either the normal midwinter month
SAMON (*samonios) "summers end" or the normal midsummer month GIAMON
(*giamonios) "winters end".
The months thenselves are either MAT (*matus) "complete, good,
auspicious" containing 30 days counting in the PRINNI LOVDIN (*prinnios
loudinos) "the rising (solar path)way" or ANM (*anmatus) "incomplete, not
good, inauspicious" containing 29 days and counting in the PRINNI LAGET
(*prinnios lagetos) "the falling solar pathway" ... The PRINNI LOVDIN thus
supposedly constituted the pathway of the sun during the period from
midwinter to midsummer, when the sun is daily rising progressively northward
in its arc in the sky. The PRINNI LAGET supposedly constituted the pathway
of the sun during the period from midsummer to midwinter, when the sun is
daily falling progressively southward in tis arc in the sky.
The months on the calendar are devided into 2 fortnights of 14 or 15
days each, with the shorter fortnight always occuring in the second half of
the month. The term ATENOVX (*atenocts) "increased nights" seperates the
two fortnights. The use of this term indicates that at some stage in the
evolution of the calendar (presumably during the projected constant lunar
30-year-cycle phase of the calendar's evolution) this second half of the
month began at the full moon when the nights become continuously darker with
the moon's progressive waning. In the ANM 29-day months the abbreviated
phrase DIVERTIOMV (apparently for *divos ertos triocontiomu) "a lost day at
the thirtieth" occurs in place of the day 30 (l;abeled XV)."
Hope the above helps you in your study.
Patrick Murphy ([log in to unmask])