"Januaro estas la unua monato de la jaro, kaj februaro la dua."
Translation:January is the first month of the year, and February the second.
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I wonder whether Zamenholf was aware of how months were named in East Asia. January is literally "month one", February is "month two", and it goes all the way up to "month 12". He could have named January "Unmonato", February "Dumonato", etc., rather than have their names derived from the Romance languages.
And, going back to the ancient Roman roots of the current Gregorian calendar, September, October, November and December were the 7th (Sept), 8th (Oct), 9th (Nov) and 10th (Dec) months of the year. Then the Caesars added July (Julius) and August (Augustus) and those months no longer had their numerical place in the year.
Then the Caesars added July (Julius) and August (Augustus) and those months no longer had their numerical place in the year.
I believed this for years, but I have become convinced this is not true.
July and August were not "added" to the calendar. They were renamed. Formerly they were called something like Quartillus and Quintillus. The added months are actually January and February.
Ah, ancient Roman history!
July and August were not "added" to the calendar. They were renamed. Formerly they were called something like Quartillus and Quintillus.
Correct! (But off by one... According to Wikipedia, they were Quintilis and Sextilis.)
The added months are actually January and February.
Technically correct. While January and February were indeed the last months to be established, they were added as the final two months of the year, keeping March the first month of the year. It wasn't until after 300 years (or so) after their addition that the start of the year was shifted from March to January, which was the cause of the months of September, October, November, and December (and Quintilis and Sextilis) to be shifted away from the positions their names indicated.
Even long after Julius Caesar's calendar reform, some European regions considered March to be the start of the year. It wasn't until Pope Gregory's calendar reform that it was established that January was the official start of the year. And even then, the Gregorian calendar wasn't universally accepted, creating some confusion (to people of the time, and to historians of today) when the start of the year was considered to be.
And the days of the week could have been unu, du, tri ... or A, B, C... For that manner, the first 10 digits and the first 10 letters of the alphabet could have been the same, and animals could have been named by the number of chromosomes they have,with suffixes describing their class, habitat, and typical diet. There are certainly many ways that Esperanto could have been more schematic. There are also ways it could have been more naturalistic.
My first guess is that he probably wasn't aware - and more importantly, if he had been aware of this, it wouldn't have seemed all that important to him since everybody around him was familiar with January, February, March - Moonday, TiwMars's day, WodenMercury's Day - 1, 2, 3, and A, B C. Esperanto came from a specific historical context - and remember, Zamenhof's dream was once to travel the word and with "firey words" convince people to learn Latin.
It's called ellipsis. When two sentences are joined like that and have otherwise parallel construction, key words in the second part can be omitted because they're understood to be the same as in the first part.
January is the first month of the year, and February [is] the second [month [of the year]].