Calendar

On The Reckoning of Time

The ancient Germanic calendar is generally assumed to have been luni-solar, with months corresponding to lunations, prior to the adoption of the Julian calendar. In fact, Bede’s work is the only surviving attestation of a pre-Christian Germanic system of time-reckoning. For more information about Bede’s work on the Reckoning of Time, as well as an accessible translation to the Latin text, see: Faith Wallace, Bede: The Reckoning of Time, Liverpool University Press, 1999.

The following is short hand for the Old English conception of the Calendar and associated terms.  Alternative translations to common word translations is provided by the Bosworth-Toller Anglo-Saxon Dictionary.

Modern Term Old English
Day (24 Hours) Dæġ / Dōgor
Night Niht
Week Wicu/Wucu
Month Mōnaþ
Year Ġēar
Time (Interval) Tīd
Time (Period) Tīma
Spring Lencten
Summer Sumor
Autumn Hærfest
Winter Winter
Month (Julian) Old English
January Æfterra Gēola After Yule
February Solmōnaþ Month of Cakes or Mire Month
March Hrēþmōnaþ Month of the Goddess Hrēþ
April Ēostremōnaþ Month of the Goddess Eostre
May Þrimilcemōnaþ Month of Three Milkings
June Ærra Liþa Before Midsummer
Intercalation Þrilīþa Third Midsummer/Līþa (Leap year)
July Æftera Līþa After Midsummer/Līþa
August Weodmōnaþ Plant month.
September Hāligmōnaþ Holy month
October Winterfylleþ Winter full moon.
November Blōtmōnaþ Blood month/Sacrifice month
December Ærra Gēola Before Yule
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