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Julian calendar

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The Julian calendar was issued by (and named for) Julius Caesar in 46 BC to standardize the Roman year, which had had a complicated and disruptive method of keeping it aligned to the seasons, resulting in severe misalignments, especially in times of war. Use of this calendar prevailed in the lands of the Roman Empire, its successor states, and their possessions, as well as other Christianized lands, until superseded by the Gregorian calendar, which was issued by Pope Gregory I in 1582. Adoption of the Gregorian calendar throughout Christendom was slowed by the Reformation and the Great Schism (Russia did not adopt it until 1917).

The system for accommodating the uneven number of days in a tropical year is very simple: every fourth year, a single day is added to February, the shortest month of the year.


Number of the month (modern) Name in 46 BC. Name after 44 BC.
(named after Julius Caesar)
Name after 8 AD.
(tribute to Emperor Augustus)
Number of days before 45 BC. Number of days in 45 BC.
1 Januarius Januarius Januarius 29 31
2 Februarius Februarius Februarius 28 28
3 Martius Martius Martius 31 31
4 Abrilis Abrilis Abrilis 29 30
5 Maius Maius Maius 31 31
6 Junius Junius Junius 29 30
7 Quintilis Iulius Iulius 31 31
8 Sextilis Sextilis Augustus 29 31
9 September September September 29 30
10 October October October 31 31
11 November November November 29 30
12 December December December 31 31