The American Cyclopædia (1879)/January

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Edition of 1879. See also January on Wikipedia; and the disclaimer.

4034356The American Cyclopædia — January

JANUARY (Lat. Januarius), the first month of the year, consisting of 31 days. It is said to have been added with February by Numa to the Roman year, which previously had but ten months. It was named from the double-faced god Janus, to whom its first day, which looks back upon the past year and forward upon that to come, was sacred. It had originally but 29 days, but two additional days were given to it by Julius Cæsar when he reformed the calendar. It was symbolized in Rome by a consul in consular robes, because those magistrates were installed in office on its first day. It corresponded in the Athenian calendar with the latter half of Poseideon and the first half of Gamelion. Among the Scandinavians it was called primitively month of Thor, and later Ice month. The French revolutionary calendar merged it in parts of Nivose and of Pluviose. It was not uniformly the beginning of the year among Latin Christian nations until the 18th century.