previous next
[3] Observing the irregularity of the month, and that the motion of the moon does not always coincide with the rising and setting of the sun, but that often she overtakes and passes the sun on the same day, he ordered that day to be called the Old and New, assigning the portion of it which preceded the conjunction to the expiring month, and the remaining portion to the month that was just beginning. He was thus the first, as it would seem, to understand Homer's verse,1 which speaks of a day when
This month is waning, and the next is setting in,
and the day following this he called the first of the month. After the twentieth he did not count the days by adding them to twenty, but by subtracting them from thirty, on a descending scale, like the waning of the moon.2

1 Odyssey, xiv. 162=xix. 307, of the day when Odysseus would return to Ithaca.

2 Thus the twenty-first was called the tenth, the twenty-second the ninth, and so on, ‘of the waning month.’ The twenty-ninth was the second of the waning month, the thirtieth the Old and New.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Bernadotte Perrin, 1914)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: