Although February 2015 might fit perfectly on the page,
every year it’s the runt of the monthly litter.
This deficit of days, this calendar craziness, this oddity of the annum,
like so much of modern culture, is the Romans’ fault.
关于为什么二月有28天 有个离奇的故事…… 不是28天除外
Here’s the crazy story of why February has 28 days… except when it doesn’t.
罗穆卢斯 一位可能只存在于神话中的罗马城建造者和首任国王 遇到个问题
Romulus, the maybe-mythical, maybe-real founderand first king of Rome, had a problem.
随着需要记录的节日 宴会 军事仪式和宗教庆典的增加
With an increasing number of festivals, feasts,military ceremonies, and religious celebrations to keep track of,
Romans needed a calendar to organize all of them.
Ancient astronomers already had accurate calculations for the time between two solar equinoxes or solstices,
but nature had given people a nice,easy pie chart in the sky to track the passage of time,
因此 早期的罗马 和其他文明一样 使用阴历
so early Rome, like many other cultures,worked off a lunar calendar.
The calendar of the Romulan republic had ten months of either 30 or 31 days,
beginning in March and ending in December,
and we can still see traces of that calendar today.
Problem was, that year was a few days shortof four seasons.
到了冬天 罗马人忙得焦头烂额 并不热衷于记录多出来的61.25天
Romans were too busy not dying during winter to count those 61 and a quarter extra days…
they’d just start the next year on the new moon before the spring equinox.
从十二月到三月 如果你不管今夕何夕 这个历法其实还不错
It’s actually not a bad system, as long as you don’t have to figure out what day it is between December and March.
罗马的第二任国王 努马•庞皮留斯 进行了新的尝试
So the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, tried something else.
Even numbers were bad luck in Ancient Rome,
so Numa started by removing a day from all the even-numbered months.
And being loony for Luna, Numa wanted hiscalendar to cover 12 cycles of the moon,
不过那样就会是个偶数 所以努马又加了一天 把一年凑成了355天
but that would have been an even number, so herounded his year up to 355.
Numa split the remaining days into two months and tackedthem on to the end of the year.
And that’s how February got 28 days.
but since the month was dedicated to spiritual purification, Romans let that one slide.
不过 哪怕像古罗马那么强大 也不能改变宇宙法则
But, as powerful as Rome may have been, theycouldn’t change the rules of the universe,
and neither of these calendars add up anywhereclose to the time it takes us to orbit the sun.
After a few years, the seasons are out of whack with the months,
dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria!!
Did we already use that joke?
This is where it gets even weirder.
你看 二月实际上被分成了两个部分 开始的23天和剩下的几天
See, February was actually split in two parts.The first 23 days and… the rest.
Every year, Numa’s superstitious calendarwould be out of line with the seasons by a little more than 10 days.
因此 每隔一年 二月的最后几天都会被忽略
So every other year,the last few days of February were ignored
and a 27-day leap month was added after February23rd or 24th.
This way every four years would average outto 366 and a quarter days…
还是差了很多天 不过 我们马上就算好了
which is still too many days, but hey, we’re getting there.
Confused? You should be. Numa!
这种历法也还可以 每19年 阴历和阳历会统一
This system could have worked, every 19 years,lunar and solar calendars tend to line up,
所以 只要增加足够的闰月保证和季节相对应 最终一切都会回到正轨
so add enough leap months to keep the seasonsin order and eventually everything will reset itself.
Except these leap months weren’t alwaysadded according to plan.
Politicians would ask for leap months to extend their terms,or “forget” them to get their opponents out of office.
并且 若是罗马处于战时 人们可能会好几年都忘记加闰月
And if Rome was at war, sometimes the leapmonth would be forgotten for years, and by
and by the time Julius Caesar came to power, thingshad gotten pretty confusing.
恺撒在埃及呆了很久 在那儿 365天的历法正流行
Caesar had spent a lot of time in Egypt, where365-day calendars were all the rage,
so in 46 BC, he flushed Rome’s lunar calendardown the aqueduct and installed a solar calendar.
January and February had already been movedto the beginning of the year,
and Caesar added 10 days to different months to get a totalof 365.
And since a tropical year is a tad longerthan 365 days, Julius added a leap day every four years,
除此之外 他们在2月23日之后添加闰日 也就是在这个月中旬添加
except they inserted it afterFebruary 23, right in the middle of the month.
显然 二月就是历法中的垃圾桶 任人宰割
Apparently February is the trash heap of thecalendar, just do whatever feels good.
For all their work to reform the calendarand other stuff they did,
the 7th and 8th months of the year were renamed for Juliusand his successor Augustus Caesar,
despite the fact that Pope Gregory would have to adjustit again in 1500 years.