overview of the re-assembled tablet
detail of Mid Samonios
The Gaulish Coligny Calendar was found in Coligny, Ain, France (46°23′N, 5°21′E) near Lyon in 1897, along with the head of a bronze statue of a youthful male figure. Gaul (Gallia was the Roman name for the region of Western Europe comprising present day northern Italy, France, Belgium, western Coligny is a commune, near Bourg-en-Bresse in the department of Ain in eastern France. Ain (ɛ̃ Arpitan: En) is a department named after the Ain River on the eastern edge of France. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. ||-||} Lyon, also known as Lyons in English is a city in east-central France. Year 1897 ( MDCCCXCVII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common It is a lunisolar calendar. A lunisolar calendar is a Calendar in many Cultures whose date indicates both the Moon phase and the time of the solar Year.
It was engraved on a bronze tablet, preserved in 73 fragments, that originally was 1. Bronze is any of a broad range of Copper alloys, usually with Tin as the main additive but sometimes with other elements such as Phosphorus 48 m wide and 0. 9 m high (Lambert p. 111). Based on the style of lettering and the accompanying objects, it probably dates to the end of the 2nd century (Lambert p. The 2nd century is the period from 101 to 200 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian / Common Era. 111). It is written in Latin inscriptional capitals, and is in the Gaulish language (Duval & Pinault). Gaulish or Gallic is the name given to the Celtic language that was spoken in Gaul before the Vulgar Latin of the late Roman Empire became The restored tablet contains sixteen vertical columns, with 62 months distributed over five years.
The French archaeologist J. Monard speculated that it was recorded by druids wishing to preserve their tradition of timekeeping in a time when the Julian calendar was imposed throughout the Roman Empire. A druid was a member of the priestly and learned class in the ancient Celtic societies The Julian calendar, a reform of the Roman calendar, was introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC and came into force in 45 BC (709 Ab urbe condita The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial However, the general form of the calendar suggests the public peg calendars (or parapegmata) found throughout the Greek and Roman world (Lehoux pp. 63-65).
A similar calendar, found nearby at Villards d'Heria (46°25′N, 5°44′E) is only preserved in eight small fragments. It is now preserved in the Musée d'Archéologie du Jura at Lons-le-Saunier. Lons-le-Saunier is a commune of France, préfecture (capital of the Jura département.
The Continental Celtic calendar as reconstructed from the calendars of Coligny and Villards d'Heria had the following properties:
- it was a lunisolar calendar, attempting to synchronize the solar year and the lunar month. A lunisolar calendar is a Calendar in many Cultures whose date indicates both the Moon phase and the time of the solar Year.
- the months were lunar. The month is a unit of Time, used with Calendars which is approximately as long as some natural period related to the motion of the Moon; Scholars disagree as to whether the start of the month was the new moon or the full moon, or per Pliny and Tacitus perhaps even the First Quarter.
- the common lunar year contained 354 or 355 days. A lunar calendar is a Calendar that is based on cycles of the Moon phase.
- the calendar year began with Samonios, which is usually assumed to correspond to Old Irish Samhain, giving an autumn start to the year. Samhain (ˈsaʊn or /ˈsɑːwɪn/ Irish /ˈsˠaunʲ/ from the Old Irish samain) is the word for November in a few Gaelic languages Autumn (also known as fall in North American English) is one of the four Temperate Seasons Autumn marks the transition from Summer However, as Samon is Gaulish for summer (Lambert p. 112), this assumed start is disputed. Le Contel and Verdier (1997) argue for a summer solstice start of the year. Monard (1999) argues for an autumn equinox start. Bonsing (2007) argues for a May beginning consistent with Irish Beltaine, and Fennian literature, notably Joyce (2000).
- the entry TRINVX[tion] SAMO[nii] SINDIV "three-nights of Samonios today") on the 17th of Samonios suggests that a festival of Samhain was considered to last for three nights.
- the solar year was approximated by the insertion of a 13th intercalary month every two and a half years (unlike the Islamic calendar, where the calendar year keeps shifting in relation to the solar year). Intercalation is the insertion of a leap day week or month into some calendar years to make the calendar follow the seasons or moon phases The additional months were intercalated before Samonios in the first year, and between Cutios and Giamonios in the third year. The name of the first intercalary month is not known with certainty, the text being fragmentary; the second intercalary month is Ciallos bis Sonnocingos (Lambert p. 116)
- the months were divided into two halves, the beginning of the second half marked with the term Atenoux. The basic unit of the Celtic calendar was thus the fortnight or half-month, as is also suggested in traces in Celtic folklore. The first half was always 15 days, the second half either 14 or 15 days on alternate months (similar to Hindu calendars). The Hindu calendar used in ancient times has undergone many changes in the process of regionalization and today there are several regional Indian Calendars, as
- months of 30 days were marked Mat(os), lucky. Months of 29 days were marked Anm(atos), unlucky.
- a simple five year cycle would be insufficiently accurate; the sequence of intercalary months is completed every thirty years, after five cycles of 62 lunations with two intercalary months each, and one cycle of 61 lunations, with a single intercalary month, or after a total of 11 intercalary months. This assumes that there are exactly 371 lunations in 30 years, which is accurate to a one day every 20 or 21 years on average (this is less accurate than the Julian calendar, which shifts a day in about 130 years, but which ignores lunar months). The Julian calendar, a reform of the Roman calendar, was introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC and came into force in 45 BC (709 Ab urbe condita It may be assumed that the "30 years cycle" was not prescriptive, and that an extra month would have been omitted as the need arose (i. e. some 300 years after the calendar's inception).
The interpretation of atenoux as "returning night" is improbable (Delamarre p. 58) and "renewing" would seem more probable; thus the month would start at new moon and atenoux would indicate the renewal, ie the full moon.
Gaulish calendar in historical sources
Pliny the Elder
The Natural History of Pliny the Elder states, in a discussion of Druidic gathering of mistletoe (Pliny NH 16. Naturalis Historia ( Latin for "Natural History" is an Encyclopedia written Circa AD 77 by Pliny the Elder. Gaius or Caius Plinius Secundus, ( AD 23 – August 25, AD 79 better known as Pliny the Elder, was an ancient Author A druid was a member of the priestly and learned class in the ancient Celtic societies Mistletoe is the common name for a group of hemi-parasitic Plants in the order Santalales that grow attached to and within the 95):
The mistletoe, however, is but rarely found upon the robur; and when found, is gathered with rites replete with religious awe. This is done more particularly on the sixth day of the moon, the day which is the beginning of their months and years, as also of their ages, which, with them, are but thirty years. This day they select because the moon, though not yet in the middle of her course, has already considerable power and influence; and they call her by a name which signifies, in their language, the all-healing.
This comment supports the grouping of five-year Coligny calendar periods into thirty-year ages, with the loss of one intercalary month per age to more accurately align the solar and lunar cycles.
Julius Caesar in The Gallic Wars states (Caesar, DBG 6. 18) that days, months, and years start with a dark half followed by a light half.
All the Gauls assert that they are descended from the god Dis, and say that this tradition has been handed down by the Druids. For that reason they compute the divisions of every season, not by the number of days, but of nights; they keep birthdays and the beginnings of months and years in such an order that the day follows the night.
This is consistent with a month starting at the dark of the moon, or at the sixth day of the moon as with Pliny; it is inconsistent with a month starting at full moon, as mentioned in many Neopagan discussions of the Coligny calendar. Neopaganism or Neo-Paganism is an Umbrella term used to identify a wide variety of modern religious movements particularly those influenced by historical
The sequence of month names of the following table assumes the calendar starts with the autumn equinox and is derived from the analysis of Monard (1999) and others.
|#||Month names||Julian months||Remark|
|1||SAMON[IOS]||(Oct/Nov)||see Samhain for etymology|
|3||RIVROS||(Dec/Jan)||cf. Samhain (ˈsaʊn or /ˈsɑːwɪn/ Irish /ˈsˠaunʲ/ from the Old Irish samain) is the word for November in a few Gaelic languages Irish reo "frost"|
|6||CVTIOS||(Mar/Apr)||cf. Irish cith/cioth "shower of rain"|
| ||(SONNOCINGOS)|| ||"beginning of spring"?|
|7||GIAMONIOS||(Apr/May)||see the etymology section of Samhain cf. Samhain (ˈsaʊn or /ˈsɑːwɪn/ Irish /ˈsˠaunʲ/ from the Old Irish samain) is the word for November in a few Gaelic languages Irish geimhreadh "winter"|
|9||EQVOS||(Jun/Jul)||"horse" (Irish each) or "livestock"|
The festivals of Beltane (Giammonios full moon) and Lughnasadh (Elembivios full moon) have been claimed to be indicated by small sigils . Beltane is the anglicized spelling of Bealtaine ( or Bealltainn ( the Gaelic names for either the month of May or the festival that takes place on Lughnasadh ( Old Irish, pronounced luɣnəsəð Modern Irish Lá Lúnasa; Modern Gaelic Lùnastal) is a Gaelic A correspondence to Imbolc (Anagantios full moon) is not indicated. Imbolc is one of the four principal festivals of the Irish calendar, celebrated among Gaelic peoples and some other Celtic cultures either at the beginning
- Bonsing, John (2007). The Celtic Calendar (available online).
- Bostock, John and H. T. Riley (eds) (1855). Pliny the Elder, The Natural History Book 16, "the natural history of the forest trees". English translation (available online). Original Latin (also available). The Latin text of the specific passage is est autem id rarum admodum inventu et repertum magna religione petitur et ante omnia sexta luna, quae principia mensum annorumque his facit et saeculi post tricesimum annum, quia iam virium abunde habeat nec sit sui dimidia.
- Julius Caesar, The Gallic Wars 6. 18. English translation (available online). Original Latin (also available). The Latin text of the specific passage is Ob eam causam spatia omnis temporis non numero dierum sed noctium finiunt; dies natales et mensum et annorum initia sic observant ut noctem dies subsequatur.
- Delamarre, Xavier (2003). Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise: une approche linguistique du vieux-celtique continental. 2nd edition, Paris, Editions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-237-6
- Lambert, Pierre-Yves (2003). La langue gauloise. Paris, Editions Errance. 2nd edition. ISBN 2-87772-224-4. Chapter 9 is titled "Un calandrier gaulois".
- Le Contel, Jean-Michel and Verdier, Paul (1997). Un calendrier celtique: le calendrier gaulois de Coligny. Paris, Editions Errance. ISBN 2-87772-136-1
- Lehoux, D. R. Parapegmata: or Astrology, Weather, and Calendars in the Ancient World. PhD Dissertation, University of Toronto, 2000.
- Duval, Paul-Marie and Pinault, Georges (eds) (1986). Receuil des Inscriptions Gauloises (R. I. G. ), Vol. 3: Les calendriers du Coligny (73 fragments) et Villards d'Heria (8 fragments). Paris, Editions du CNRS.
- Hitz, Hans-Rudolf (1991). Der gallo-lateinische Mond- und Sonnen-Kalender von Coligny.
- Joyce, P. W. (2000). "Old Celtic Romances". The pursuit of the Giolla Dacker and his horse. Wordsworth Editions Limited, London.
- Laine-Kerjean, C. (1943). "Le Calendrier Celtique". Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie, 23, pp. 249-84.
- McCluskey, Stephen C. (1990). "The Solar Year in the Calendar of Coligny". Études Celtiques, 27, pp. 163-74.
- Mac Neill, Eóin (1928). "On the notation and chronology of the Calendar of Coligny". Ériu, X, pp. 1-67.
- Monard, Joseph (1996). About the Coligny Calendar. privately published monograph.
- Monard, Joseph (1996). Découpage saisonnier de l'année celtique. privately published monograph.
- Monard, Joseph (1999). Histoire du calendrier gaulois : le calendrier de Coligny. Paris, Burillier. ISBN 2-912616-01-8
- Olmsted, Garrett (1992). The Gaulish calendar: a reconstruction from the bronze fragments from Coligny, with an analysis of its function as a highly accurate lunar-solar predictor, as well as an explanation of its terminology and development. Bonn: R. Habelt. ISBN 3-7749-2530-5
- Parisot, Jean-Paul (1985). "Les Phases de la Lune et les Saisons dans le Calendrier de Coligny". Studies Indo-Européennes, 13, pp. 1-18.
- Pinault, J. (1951). "Notes sur le vocabulaire gaulois, I. Les noms des mois du Calendrier de Coligny". Ogam, XIII, pp. 143-154
- Rhys, John (1909). Sir John Rhys (also spelled Rhŷs; 21 June 1840 &ndash 17 December 1915) was a Welsh scholar Fellow of the "The Coligny Calendar". Proceedings of the British Academy, 4, pp. 207-318.
- Thurneysen, Rudolf (1899). Eduard Rudolf Thurneysen ( March 14 1857 &ndash 9 August 1940) was a Swiss linguist and Celticist. "Der Kalendar von Coligny". Zeitschrift für celtishe Philologie, 2, pp. 523-544
© 2009 citizendia.org; parts available under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License, from http://en.wikipedia.org
network: | |