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31 août 2014 7 31 /08 /août /2014 08:55

D'après « La Semaine illustrée », paru en 1899


On s'étonne que, contrairement à l'ordre d'alternance des mois courts et longs, le mois d'août ait trente-et-un jours comme le mois de juillet qui le précède. On donne à cela une singulière raison.


Lorsque Jules César réforma le calendrier, il donna son propre nom (Julius) au cinquième mois de l'anée, qui jusque-là s'était appelé quintilis. Dans le calendrier Julien les mois avaient alternativement trente et trente-et-un jours, à l'exception de février, qui n'en avait que vingt-neuf, et les années bissextiles, trente.



Plus tard l'empereur Auguste voulut, lui aussi, qu'un mois portât son nom, et il choisit celui qui suit juillet (sextilis). Mais ce mois n'avait que trente jours, et Auguste, ne jugeant pas convenant que son mois fût plus court que celui de son oncle, réduisit février à vingt-huit jours et en ajouta un trente-et-unième au mois d'août ou d'Auguste (Augustus).

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