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Calendars of the peoples of the two rivers

  • Calendars of the peoples of the two rivers

    More than 5000 years ago in the south of the wide Mesopotamian plain, where the mighty Tigris and Euphrates rivers bear their full waters, several Sumer city-states appeared. This people not only invented the wheel, plow and sickle, built irrigation canals, palaces and temples;he also created a writing-cuneiform script, whose samples on burnt clay tablets have survived to the present day.

    There is every reason to believe that already around 2500 BC.e. The Sumerians used the lunisolar calendar with certain rules, although unknown to us, for inserting( intercalating) the 13th month. This is indicated by the names of some of their months. So, in the calendar of Lagash city-state there are names: Ezen-she-ku - "a celebration of barley eating", She-gurkud-do - "harvest month", Udu-she-she-a-il-la - "month of barleysheep and sheep. "In other cities there were such names as "month of sowing", "month of delivery of barley to the pier", "month of laying bricks in shape", "month of ignition of lights", etc. Obviously, it's possible to "hold" months in its place, the names of which correspond to certain seasons of the year, only if the calendar provides for a certain system of insertion of the 13th month.

    In 2310 BC.e. The Sumerian country was conquered by their northern neighbor - the Akkadian state. Very soon, however, this mighty power also died under the blows of neighboring tribes. A few centuries later, almost all of Mesopotamia was conquered by a new giant - the Babylonian kingdom, headed at that time by Hammurabi( 1792-1750 BC).

    So, it is known that the ancient Babylonian calendar year consisted of 12 months, and the names and distribution of the days( the latter, at least from the 10th century BC) in them looked as follows( Fig.):

    Fig. Images of the months of the ancient Babylonian calendar

    Nisanu - 30 Abu - 30 Kisliv - 30

    Airu - 29 Ululu - 29 Tebetu - 29

    Siwanu - 30 Tashritu - 30 Shabatu - 30.

    Duuzu -29 Arakhsamna - 29 Addaru -29

    These months names were mainly related to the peculiarities of the life of the ancient Babylonians. So, in the title of the month "Nisanu" there is a root, the meaning of which is "to move", "to walk", "Ira" means "bright", "bright," "Abu" - "hostile"( because of the heat of the sun)Tashritu "-" beginning "," Tebetu "-" muddy "," Shabatu "-" destruction "(rains and showers)," Addaru "-" cloudy ".

    In the ritual calendars of the ancient Babylonians - "Menology" - signs of happy and unlucky days are found. It turned out that for a month quite often there were four or even five days in which to fast, avoid all sorts of things, etc. But the numbers of these days in the months were not always a multiple of seven. Probably, only after the number of "wandering luminaries"( planets) was established, when ideas about their influence on human destinies were formed and began its continuous "procession" through the ages and millennia, the seven-day week. ..

    The month itself began in thethe evening when, for the first time, soon after the sunset, a new crescent of the Moon was visible in the sky. Therefore, a day in ancient Babylon began in the evening.