Gunta Jaunmuktāne

Mg. soc., LU Akadēmiskās bibliotēkas Misiņa bibliotēkas vadītāja.
Pētnieciskās intereses: Latvijas literatūra, kultūra, vēsture, grāmatniecība, “Valtera un Rapas” darbība laikposmā no 1912. līdz 1940. gadam un latviešu grāmatniecības vēsture. 

Atslēgvārdi: kalendārs, gads, mēnesis, diena, Gajs Jūlijs Cēzars, Augusts, Gregora kalendārs, Jūlija kalendārs, vecais stils, jaunais stils. | 93–105 | PDF

About History of Calendars

Since the 7th century BC, Roman calendar consisted of ten months. The year started in March and the first month of the year was called “Martius”, followed by “Aprilis”, etc. In the 6th century BC, two additional months were added to the calendar: the 11th month called “Januarius” and the 12th called “Februarius”. As of mid-1st century BC, the days in the calendar had drifted out of alignment by 80 days.

Julius Caesar, the Roman general and statesman, proposed the reformation of the Roman calendar, based on the designs of Greek astronomers, including Sosigenes of Alexandria. In this calendar, today also known as Julian calendar, January was established as the first month of the year, a month in which during that era the statesmen were elected.

During the medieval times, the calendars were not compiled for a single year, instead, the calendars were permanent, designed to function for a long period of time.

The first permanent calendar to be used in Riga dates back to 1554, and has been compiled by Tarquinius Schellenberg – the physician to Riga archbishop. However, no copy of this calendar has survived. A copy of a subsequent calendar to be used for Riga in 1565, compiled by physician and astronomer Zacharias Stopius, and printed in Koenigsberg has fortunately been still preserved to date. This calendar is titled Schreibcalender auf das Jahr 1565.

The Latvian names for the months in the calendar along with the Latin names were included in the calendar for the first time by Paul Einhorn, a historian and Lutheran pastor, in his historical book published in 1649 under the title Historia Lettica. In this book, he referred to winter month “Janvāris”; candle month “Februāris”, etc.

The first Latvian calendar bore the title “Peasant or Latvian Time Book” and the titles subsequently of this calendar changed to “New and Old Latvian Time Book”, “Old and New Latvian Time Book” and “Time Book”, printed in Jelgava, Latvia.

The wide range of Latvian calendars can be divided into several groups: generic calendars, local calendars (dedicated to certain cities, towns or districts), Latvian calendars published outside Latvia, specialised calendars, such as those dedicated to literature, jurisdiction, music, trade and manufacturing, children, religions, including specific congregations, farming, medicine, crafts, love and women’s activities, sailing, humour and many more, designed to suit the needs of multiple activities and professions.