Ancient Macedonian calendar

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The Ancient Macedonian calendar is a lunisolar calendar that was in use in ancient Macedon in the 1st millennium BC. It consisted of 12 synodic lunar months (i.e. 354 days per year), which needed intercalary months to stay in step with the seasons. By the time the calendar was being used across the Hellenistic world, seven total embolimoi (intercalary months) were being added in each 19-year Metonic cycle. The names of the ancient Macedonian Calendar remained in use in Syria even into the Christian era. The Macedonian calendar was in essence the Babylonian calendar with the substitution of Macedonian names for the Babylonian ones.[1] An example of 6th century AD inscriptions from Decapolis, Jordan, bearing the Solar Macedonian calendar, starts from the month Audynaeus.[2] The solar type was merged later with the Julian calendar. In Roman Macedonia, both calendars were used. The Roman one is attested in inscriptions with the name Kalandôn gen. καλανδῶν calendae and the Macedonian Hellenikei dat. Ἑλληνικῇ Hellenic.[3] Finally an inscription[4] from Kassandreia of about ca. 306-298 BC bearing a month Ἀθηναιῶν Athenaion suggests that some cities may have used their own months even after the 4th century BC Macedonian expansion.

  • Δίος (Dios, moon of October)
  • Ἀπελλαῖος (Apellaiios, moon of November, also a Dorian month - Apellaiōn was a Tenian month)
  • Αὐδυναῖος or Αὐδναῖος (Audunaios or Audnaios, moon of December, Cretan month also)
  • Περίτιος (Peritios, moon of January) (and festival of the month; Peritia)
  • Δύστρος (Dystros, moon of February)
  • Ξανδικός or Ξανθικός (Xandikos or Xanthikos, moon of March) (and festival of the month; Xanthika, purifying the army, Hesych.)
    • Ξανδικός Ἐμβόλιμος (Xandikos Embolimos, intercalated 6 times over a 19-year cycle)
  • Ἀρτεμίσιος or Ἀρταμίτιος (Artemisios or Artamitios, moon of April, also a Spartan, Rhodian and Epidaurian month - Artemisiōn was an Ionic month)
  • Δαίσιος (Daisios, moon of May)
  • Πάνημος or Πάναμος (Panēmos or Panamos, moon of June, also an Epidaurian, Miletian, Samian and Corinthian month)
  • Λώιος (Lōios, moon of July - Ὀμολώιος, Homolōios, was an Aetolian, Boeotian and Thessalian month)
  • Γορπιαῖος (Gorpiaios, moon of August)
  • Ὑπερβερεταῖος (Hyperberetaios, moon of September - Hyperberetos was a Cretan month)
    • Ὑπερβερεταῖος Ἑμβόλιμος (Hyperberetaios Embolimos, intercalated once over a 19-year cycle)

Year numbering

Under the Seleucid Empire, the Macedonians adopted the Seleucid era. The year beginning on the 1st of Dios during what we call October 312 BCE was declared to be the year one of the Seleucid era.

See also


  1. ^ Bradley Hudson McLean (2002). An introduction to Greek epigraphy of the Hellenistic and Roman periods from Alexander the Great down to the reign of Constantine (323 B.C.-A.D. 337). University of Michigan Press. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-472-11238-8.
  2. ^ Syria, S./Arabia-DecapolisGerasa (Jerash) — 6th AD Epigraphical Database [1] 531 AD [2]
  3. ^ Thessalonica — 141 AD -252 AD, last lines [3] [4]
  4. ^ Makedonia (Chalkidike) — Poteidaia-Kassandreia — ca. 306-298 BC
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