Saturday, October 6, 2012

Just because I'm a geek

Since I adore history and Norse mythology I wanted to share fascinating facts about ancient history that still survives today. I love ancient history and early religions and crack up because so many beliefs and stories from ancient times have been borrowed and re-written into other religions, namely Christianity. And who was it that hated Pagans and all they stood for? You guessed it. So for me to see how much survived to this day and time is really cool. I've said it before....I'm a geek.

It should come as no surprise to some that so much of our lives today are still filled with traditions and names that came from these myths, or i.e. ancient religions. For instance, our days of the week are named after mythological figures. So some of your are thinking, "Yeah, right." No, really. Some of you already knew that, so bravo geeks.

The Norse Gods

Monday in Norse beliefs is devoted to a moon goddess. The name comes from monandaeg, "the moons day".  The second day of the month was sacred.

Tuesday to the Norse is named for Tyr, Tyr's Day. The Romans named Tuesday after their war god Mars.

Wednesday is devoted to Odin, also known as Wodan and Woden, therefore Woden's Day. The Romans on the other hand named the day for their god Mercury.

Thursday is Thor's Day, devoted to the Norse god. The Romans named it after Jupiter.

Friday is Frigg's Day or Freya's Day, devoted to the Norse goddess. The Romans devoted it to the goddess Venus.

Saturday is Saturn's Day, named after the Roman god also known as Chronos. This god was apparently the one and the same in Norse. Either way, it stuck.

Sunday is named for the Roman holiday Sun's Day. It is also called Dominica in Latin, referring to the Day of God.

What I find most interesting is that Sunday had been held as a day for God or a god in ancient times and still is. Whether it be one religion or another, most observed it as such. 

Roman gods

The Romans have gods and goddess that upon further inspection are very similar in personality and status as Norse gods and goddess's. For me they are almost one and the same, yet transformed over time to fit a cultures beliefs and ideals. Call me crazy, I don't care.

Do you want to know more? Let's discuss the months of the year. Anyone know how they got their names? I'll tell you.

January is named for Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings.

February is named for the Roman festival Februa. It was a purification festival and was held on the fifteen of the month.

March is named after Mars, the Roman god of War.

April is named after the Latin term Aprilis, meaning a time of fertility. April is the month we begin to see plants spring up.

May is named after Maia, the goddess of growth and increase. Makes sense, doesn't it?

June is a little more iffy. Two beliefs surface. One is that June is named after Jupiter's wife, the Queen of Heaven or Queen of mighty ones. It also believed that maybe June was named after Junius Brutus.

July was named after none other than Julius Caesar.

August is named after Octavius Augustus Caesar.

September is wierd in that it is derived from septem, a Latin word meaning seven.

October is similar to September in that its name is derived from the Latin root octo, meaning eight.

November is from the Latin novem, meaning ninth.

December is from the Latin decem, meaning ten.

The last four months are numerical named and go back to the early Roman calendar where that was the number where they fell on the calendar.

Anyway, my point is this, long lost beliefs that are considered myth today are still a part of our lives. Even through the Dark Ages and the rise of Christianity these names stayed the same.

Next time you want to say, "Thank goodness its Friday!" keep in your head, "Thank goodness its Frigg's Day!" 


  1. I think this is all very fascinating, too. If September was the seventh month for the Romans, that means their new year was in March. Makes sense - that IS when spring starts.

  2. I'm with you. March must have been considered the start of the year. Plants begin to come up, signifying new life and beginnings. Thanks so much for the comment :) I love hearing from people!