CHAP. XIV. OF OUR ACCOMPT OF TIME & HIR PARTS.
to the Romans for their weight, and the foot in standard measure: so in our accompt of the parts of time, we take the daie consisting of foure and twentie houres, to be the greatest of the least, and least of the greatest, whereby we keepe our reckoning: for of the houre (to saie the truth) the most ancient Romans, Greeks, nor Hebrues had anie vse; sith they reckoned by watches: and whereof also Censorinus cap. 19. sheweth a reason wherefore they were neglected. For my part I doo not sée anie great difference vsed in the obseruation of time & hir parts, betwéene our owne & any other forren nation, wherfore I shall not néed to stand long on this matter. Howbeit to the end our exact order herein shall appéere vnto all men, I will set downe some short rehearsall thereof, and that in so briefe manner as vnto me is possible. As for our astronomicall practises, I meane not to meddle with them, sith their course is vniformelie obserued ouer all. Our common order therefore is to begin at the minut, which conteineth 1/60 part of an houre, as at the smallest part of time knowne vnto the people, notwithstanding that in most places they descend no lower than the halfe quarter or quarter of the houre; and from whence they procéed vnto the houre, to wit, the foure and twentith part of that which we call the common and naturall daie, which dooth begin at midnight, and is obserued continuallie by clockes, dialles, and astronomicall instruments of all sorts. The arificiall varietie of which kind of ware is so great here in England, as no place else (in mine opinion) can be comparable therein to this Ile. I will not speake of the cost bestowed vpon them in perle and stone, neither of the valure of mettall, whereof they haue béene made, as gold, siluer, &c: and almost no abbeie or religious house without some of them. This onelie shall suffice to note here (as by the waie) that as antiquitie hath delighted in these things, so in our time pompe and excesse spendeth all, and nothing is regarded that bringeth in no bread. Of vnequall or temporall houres or daies, our nation hath no regard, and therefore to shew their quantities, differences, and diuisions, into the greater and the lesser, (whereof the later conteineth one vnequall houre, or the rising of halfe a signe, the other of a whole signe, which is in two houres space, wherof Marke seemeth to speake cap. 15 c 25, as the rest of the euangelists (yea and he also ibid. vers. 33) doo of the other, Matth. 27 e 45, Luke 23 e 44, John 10 b 14) it should be but in vaine. In like sort, wheras the elder Aegyptians, Italians, Bohemians, latter Atheniens, and Iews begin their daie at the sun set ouer night; the Persians, Babylonians, Grecians, and Noribergians, at the sun rising (ech of them accompting their daies and nights by vnequall houres) also the elder Atheniens, Arabians, Dutchmen, Vmbers, Hetrurians, and Astronomers at high noone, and so reckon from noone to noone: we after Hipparchus and the latter Aegyptians, or to speake more properlie, imitating the Roman maner vsed in the church there of long time, choose the verie point of midnight; from whence we accompt twelue equall houres vnto middaie insuing, and other twelue againe vnto the aforesaid point, according to these verses;
Manè diem Græca gens incipit astra sequentes
In medio lucis Iudæis vespere sancta,
Inchoat ecclesia media sua tempora nocte.
And this is our generall order for the naturall daie. Of the artificiall we make so farre accompt, as that we reckon it daie when the sun is vp, and night when the sun leaueth our horizon. Otherwise also we diuide it into two parts, that is to saie, fore noone and after noone, not regarding the ruddie, shining, burning and warming seasons (of thrée vnequall
houres a péece, which others seeme to diuide into spring time, summer, autumne, and winter, in like curious manner) and whereof I read these verses:
Solis equi lucis dicuntur quatuor horæ,
Hæc rubet, hæc splendet, hæc calet, ilia tepet.
Indeed our physicians haue another partition of the daie, as men of no lesse learning no doubt than the best of forren countries, if we could so conceiue of them. And herein they concurre also with those of other nations, who for distinction in regiment of our humors, diuide the artificiall daie and night in such wise as these verses doo import, and are indéed a generall rule which ech of them doth follow:
Tres lucis primas, noctis tres sanguinis imas,
Vis choleræ medias lucis sex vendicat horas.
Dátque melam primas noctis, tres lucis & imas,
Centrales ponas sex noctis phlegmatis horas.
Or thus, as Tansteter hath giuen them foorth in his prelections:
A nona noctis donec sit tertia lucis,
In English thus in effect:
Est dominus sanguis, sex inde sequentibus horis
Est dominans cholera, dum lucis nona sit hora
Post niger humid inest donec sit tertia noctis,
Posthæc phlegma venit, donec sit nona quietis.
Three houres yer sun doo rise,
and so manie after, blud,
From nine to three at after noone,
hot choler beares the swaie,
Euen so to nine at night,
swart choler hath to rule,
As phlegme from thence to three at morne;
six houres ech one I saie.
In like sort for the night we haue none other parts than the twilight, darkenight, midnight,
and cocks crowing: wheras the Latins diuide the same into 7 parts, as Vesper
as Plautus calleth it, as Virgil vseth the word Hesper
the euening, which is immediatlie after
the setting of the sun. Crepusculum
the twilight (which some call Prima fax,
because men begin then to light candles) when it is betwéene daie and night, light and darkenesse, or properlie
perlie neither daie nor night. Concubium
the still of the night, when ech one is laid to rest.
the dull or dead of the night, which is midnight, when men be in their first
Gallicinium. Conticinium. Matutinum. Diluclum.
or dead sléepe. Gallicinium,
the cocks crowing. Conticinium,
when the cocks haue left rowing. Matutinum,
the breach of the daie, and Diluculum siue aurora,
the ruddie, orenge, golden or shining colour, séene immediatlie before the rising of the sun, and is opposite to the euening, as Matutinum
is to the twilight.
Other there are which doo reckon by watches, diuiding the night after sun setting into foure equall parts. Of which the first beginneth at euening called the first watch, and continueth by thrée vnequall houres, and so foorth vntill the end of the ninth houre, whereat the fourth watch entreth, which is called the morning watch, bicause it concurreth partlie with the darke night, and partlie with the morning and breach of the daie before the rising of the sun.
As for the originall of the word houre, it is verie ancient; but yet not so old as that of the watch, wherof we shall read abundantlie in the scriptures, which was deuised first among souldiors for their better safegard and change of watchmen in their camps; the like whereof
is almost vsed among our seafaring men, which they call clearing of the glasse, and performed from time to time with great héed and some solemnitie. Herevnto the word Hora
among the Grecians signified so well the foure quarters of the yéere, as the foure and twentith part of the daie, and limits of anie forme. But what stand I vpon these things to let my purpose staie? To procéed therefore.
Of naturall daies is the wéeke compacted, which consisteth of seauen of them, the fridaie
being commonlie called among the vulgar sort either king or worling, bicause it is either the fairest or foulest of the seauen: albeit that I cannot ghesse of anie reason whie they should so imagine. The first of these entreth with mondaie, whereby it commeth to passe, that we rest vpon the sundaie, which is the seauenth in number, as almightie God hath commanded in his word. The Iews begin their wéeke vpon our saturdaie at the setting of the sun: and the Turks in these daies with the saturdaie, whereby it commeth to passe, that as the Iews make our last daie the first of their wéeke, so the Turks make the Jewish sabaoth the beginning of their Hebdoma:
bicause Mahomet their prophet (as they sale) was borne and dead vpon the fridaie, and so he was indéed except their Alcharon deceiue them. The Iews doo reckon their daies by their distance from their sabaoth, so that the first daie of their wéeke is the first daie of the sabaoth, and so foorth vnto the sixt. The Latins and Aegyptians accompted their daies after the seauen planets, choosing the same for the denominator of the daie, that entreth his regiment with the first vnequall houre of the same after the sun be risen. Howbeit, as this order is not wholie reteined with vs, so the vse of the same is not yet altogither abolished, as may appéere by our sunday, mondaie, and saturdaie. The rest were changed by the Saxons, who in remembrance of Theut sometime their prince, called the second day of the wéek Theutsdach, the third Woden, Othin, Othon, or Edon, or Wodensdach. Also of Thor they named the fourth daie Thorsdach, and of Frea wife to Woden the fift was called Freadach. Albeit there are (and not amisse as I thinke) that suppose them to meane by Thor, Iupiter, by Woden, Mercurie, by Frea (or Frigga as Saxo calleth hir) Venus, and finallie by Theut, Mars: which if it be so, then it is an easie matter to find out the german Mars, Venus, Mercurie, and Iupiter, whereof you may read more hereafter in my chronologie. The truth is, that Frea albeit that Saxo giueth hir scant a good report, for that she loued one of hir husbands men better than himselfe, had seauen sonnes by Woden; the first, father to Wecca, of whome descended those that were afterwards kings of Kent. Fethelgeta was the second, and of him came the kings of Mercia. Baldaie the third, father to the kings of the west Saxons. Beldagius the fourth, parent to the kings of Brenicia or Northumberland. Weogodach the fift, author of the kings of Deira. Caser the sixt race of the east Angle race, & Nascad originall burgeant of the kings of Essex. As for the kings of Sussex, although they were of the same people, yet were they not of the same streine, as our old monuments doo expresse. But to procéed.
As certeine of our daies suffered this alteration by the Saxons, so in our churches we reteined for a long time the number of daies or of
feries from the sabaoth, after the manner of the Iews, I meane vntill the seruice after the Romane vse was abolished, which custome was first receiued (as some thinke) by pope Syluester, though other sale by Constantine; albeit another sort doo affirme, that Syluester caused the sundaie onelie to be called the Lords day, and dealt not with the rest.
In like maner of wéekes our moneths are made, which are so called of the moone, each
one conteining eight and twentie daies, or foure wéekes, without anie further curiosities For we reckon not our time by the yeare of the moone, as the Iews, Grecians, or Romans did at the first; or as the Turks, Arabians and Persians doo now: neither anie parcell thereof by the said planet, as in some part of the west Indies, where they haue neither weeke, moneth, nor yéere, but onlie a generall accompt of hundreds and thousands of moones. Wherefore if we saie or write a moneth, it is to be expounded of eight and twentie daies, or foure wéeks onelie, and not of hir vsuall period of nine and twentie daies and one and thirtie minuts. Or (if you take it at large) for a moneth of the common calender, which neuerthelesse
Triuethus in Antar.
in plées and sutes is nothing at all allowed of, sith the moone maketh hir full reuolution in eight and twentie daies or foure weeks, that is, vnto the place where she left the sun: notwithstanding that he be now gone, and at hir returne not to be found verie often in that signe wherin she before had left him. Plutarch writeth of diuers barbarous nations which reckoned a more or lesse number of these moneths for whole yeares: and that of these some accompted but thrée, as the Archadians did foure, the Acarnans six, and the Aegyptians but one for a whole yeare, which causeth them to make such a large accompt of their antiquitie and originall. But forsomuch as we are not troubled with anie such disorder, it shall suffice that I haue generallie said of moneths and their quantities at this time. Now a word or two of the ancient Romane calender.
In old time each moneth of the Romane calender was reckoned after the course of the moone, and their enterances were vncerteine, as were also the changes of that planet: whereby it came to passe, that the daie of the change was the first of the moneth, howsoeuer it fell out. But after Iulius Caesar had once corrected the same, the seuerall beginnings of euerie one of them did not onelie remaine fixed, but also the old order in the diuision of their parts continued still vnaltered: so that the moneth is yet diuided as before, into calends, ides and nones, albeit that in my dates, the vse of the same bée but small, and their order reteined onelie in our calenders, for the better vnderstanding of such times, as the historiographers and old authors doo remember. The reckoning also of each of these goeth (as you sée) after a preposterous order, whereby the Romans did rather note how many dales were to the next change from the precedent, than contrariwise, as by perusall of the same you shall more easilie perceiue.
The daies also of the change of the moneth of the moone, are called Calendœ,
which in time of paganisme were consecrated to Iuno, and sacrifice made to that goddesse on the same. On these daies also, and on the ides and nones they would not marie. Likewise the morow after each of them were called Dies atri,
blacke daies, as were also diuerse other, and those either by reason of some notable ouerthrow or mishap that befell vnto the Romans vpon those daies, or in respect of some superstitious imagination conceiued of euill successe likelie to fall out vpon the same. Of some they were called Dies Aegyptiaci.
Wherby it appeareth that this peeuish estimation of these daies came from that nation. And as we doo note our holie and festiuall daies with red letters in our calenders, so did the Romans their principall feasts & circle of the moone, either in red or golden letters, and their victories in white, in their publike or consularie tables. This also is more to be added, that if anie good successe happened afterward vpon such day as was alreadie blacke in their calender, they would solemnlie enter it in white letters by racing out of the blacke, whereby the blacke daie was turned into white, and wherein they not a little reioised.
The word Calendœ
(in Gréeke Neomenia
) is deriued of Calo,
to call: for vpon the first day of euerie moneth, the priest vsed to call the people of the citie and countrie togither in Calabria, for so the place was called where they met, and shew them by a custome how manie daies were from the said calends to the nones, & what feasts were to be celebrated betwéene that and the next change. Their order is retrograde, because that after the moneth was halfe expired, or the moone past the full, they reckoned by the daies to come vntill the next change, as seuentéene daies, sixtéene daies, fourtéene daies, &c: as the Gréekes did in the latter decad onelie, for they had no vse of calends. The verie day therefore of the change is called Calendœ,
dedicated to Iuno, who thereof was also called Calendaris.
At the first also the fasts or feast daies were knowne by none other meanes vnto the people but by the denunciation of the priests (as I said) vpon this daie, till Flauius Scriba caused them to be written & published in their common calenders, contrarie to the will and meaning of the senat, for the ease and benefit of the people, as he pretended.
The nones commonlie are not aboue foure or six in euerie moneth: and so long as the nones lasted, so long did the markets continue, and therefore they were called Nonœ quasi Nundinœ.
In them also were neither holiedaies more than is at this present (except the day of
the purification of our ladie) no sacrifice offered to the gods, but each one applied his businesse, and kept his market, reckoning the first day after the calends or change, to be the fourth or sixt daie before the faire ended. Some thinke that they were called Nonœ,
of the word Non,
"quia in ijsdem dij non coluntur." For as Ouid saith, "Nonarum tutela deo caret," or for that the nones were alwaies on the ninth daie before the ides: other because Nundina dea
was honored the ninth day before the ides, albeit I suppose rather that Nundina dea
(a goddesse far yoonger than the name of Nonœ
) tooke hir name of the nones, whereon it was a custome among the Romans, "Lustrare infantes ac nomina maribus imponere," as they did with their maid children vpon the eight: but howsoeuer this be, sure it is that they were the mart daies of euerie moneth, wherin the people bought, sold, exchanged or bartered, and did nothing else.
The ides are so named of the Hethruscan word, Iduare,
to diuide: and before that Caesar altered the calender, they diuided the moneth commonlie by the middest. But afterward when he had added certeine daies thereto, therby to make it agrée to the yéere of the sunne (which he intruded about the end of euerie moneth, bicause he would not alter the celebration of their vsuall feasts, whereof the chiefe were holden alwaies vpon the day of the ides) then came they short of the middest, sometime by two or thrée daies. In these therefore (which alwaies are eight) the merchants had leisure to packe vp and conueie their merchandize, to pay their creditors, and make merie with their friends.
After the ides doo the calends follow, but in a decreasing order (as I noted) as the moone dooth in light when she is past the full. But herein lieth all the mysterie, if you can say so manie daies before the next change or new moone, as the number there expressed dooth betoken, as for 16 calends so manie dales before the next coniunction, &c: (as is aboue remembred.) Of these calends, I meane touching their number in euerie moneth, I find these verses insuing:
Ianus & Augustus denas nouémq; December,
In English thus:
Iunius Aprilis September & ipse Nouember
Ter senas retinent, Februs bis octo calendas,
Iulius October Mars Maius epta decémq;
December Iune and August month
In like maner doo the nones and ides.
full nineteene calends haue,
Septemb Aprill Nouemb and Iune
twise nine they doo desire,
Sixteene foule Februarie hath,
no more can he well craue,
October Maie and Iulie hot
but seuenteene doo require.
Sex Maius nonas, October, Iulius, & Mars,
Quatuor at reliqui, dabit idus quilibet octo.
To Iulie, Mars, October, Maie,
six nones I hight,
The rest but foure, and as for ides
they keepe still eight.
Againe touching the number of dales in euerie moneth:
lunius, Aprilis, Septémq; Nouémq; tricenos,
Vnum plus reliqui, Februs tenet octo vicenos,
At si bissextus fuerit superadditur vnus.
Thirtie daies hath Nouember,
Aprill, Iune, and September,
Twentie and eight hath Februarie alone,
and all the rest thirtie and one,
but in the leape you must ad one.
Our yeare is counted after the course of the sunne, and although the church hath some vse of that of the moone for obseruation of certeine mooueable feasts, yet it is reducible to that of the sunne, which in our ciuill dealings is chieflie had in vse. Herein onelie I find a scruple, that the beginning thereof is not vniforme and certeine, for most of our records beare date the 25 of March, and our calenders the first of Ianuarie; so that with vs Christ is borne before he be conceiued. Our sundrie officers also haue sundrie entrances into their charges of custome, which bréedeth great confusion, whereas if all these might be referred to one originall (and that to be the first of Ianuarie) I doo not thinke but that there would be more certeintie, and lesse trouble for our historiographers, notaries, & other officers in their account of the yere. In old time the Atheniens began their yeare with the change of the moone that fell néerest to the enterance of the sunne into the crab, the Latines at the winter solstice, or his going into the goat, the lewes in ciuill case at the latter equinoctiall, and in ecclesiasticall with the first. They of Calecute begin their yeare somewhere in September, but vpon no daie certeine, sith they first consult with their wisards, who pronounce one day or other thereof to be most happie (as the yeare goeth about) and therewith they make their entrance, as Osorius dooth remember, who addeth that vpon the eleuenth calends of September, they haue solemne plaies, much like to the idoll games, & that they write in leaues of tree with a pencill, in stead of paper, which is not found among them. Some of the old Grecians began their yere also in September: but sith we seeke herein but for the custome of our countrie onelie, it shall be enough to affirme that we make our account from the calends or first of Ianuarie, and from the middest of the night which is Limes
betweene that and the last of December, whereof this maie suffice. I might speake of the Cynike yeare also in this place (for the ease of our English readers) sometime in vse amongst the Egyptians, which conteineth 1460 common yeares, whose beginning is alwaies reckoned from the rising of the lesser dog. The first vse thereof entered the selfe yeare wherin the Olimpiads were restored. And forsomuch as this nation hath no vse of intercalation, at the end of euerie 1460 yeares, they added an whole yeare of intercalation, because there are 365 leape yeers in the period, so that 1460 Iulian yéers doo conteine 1461 after the Egyptians account, wherby their common yeare is found to be lesse than ours. Furthermore, wheras our intercalation for the leape yere is somewhat too much by certeine minuts, which in 115 yeares amount vnto about an whole day, if one intercalation in so manie were omitted, our calender would be the more perfect: and I would wish that the same yeare wherein the said intercalation trulie found out should be ouerpassed, might be obserued and called Annuss magnus Elizabethœ,
in perpetuall remembrance of our noble and souereigne princesse now reigning amongst vs.
I might here saie somewhat also of the prime and hir alteration, which is risen higher by fiue daies in our common calender than it was placed by Iulius Cæsar: and in seauen thousand yeares some writer would grow to an error of an whole, if the world should last so long. But for somuch as in some calenders of ours it is reduced againe to the daie of euerie change, it shall suffice to saie no more therof. The pope also hath made a generall correction of the calender, wherein he hath reduced it to the same that it was or should haue beene at the councell of Nice. Howbeit as he hath abolished the vse of the golden number, so hath he continued the epact, applieng it vnto such generall vse, as dooth now serue both the turnes, whose reformation had also yer this time béene admitted into England, if it had not procéeded from him, against whom and all whose ordinances we haue so faithfullie sworne and set our hands.
Certes the next omission is to be performed if all princes would agrée thereto in the leape yeare that shall be about the yeare of Grace 1668: if it shall please God that the world may
last so long, and then may our calender also stand without anie alteration as it dooth alreadie. By this also it appeareth how the defect of our calender may be supplied from the creation, wherein the first equinoctiall is séene higher toward the beginning of March than Cæsars calender now extant dooth yéeld vnto by seauen daies. For as in Cæsars time the true equinoctiall was pointed out to happen (as Stadius also noteth) either vpon or about the sixtéenth or seauentéenth of March, albeit the manifest apperance thereof was not found vntill the fiue and twentith of that moneth in their dials or by eie-sight: so at the beginning of the world the said entrance of the sunne into the ram, must néeds fall out to be about the twentith or one & twentith of Aprill, as the calender now standeth, if I faile not in my numbers. Aboue the yeare we haue no more parts of time, that carie anie seuerall names with them, except you will affirme the word age to be one, which is taken for a hundred yeares, and signifieth in English so much as Seculum or Æuum dooth in Latine; neither is it néedfull to remember that some of my countrimen doo reckon their times not by years but by summers and winters, which is verie common among vs. Wherefore to shut vp this chapiter withall, you shall haue a table of the names of the daies of the wéeke, after the old Saxon and Scotish maner, which I haue borowed from amongst our ancient writers, as I haue perused their volumes.
The present names.
||Sunday, or the Lords daie.
The old Saxon names.
The Scotish vsage.