Girandole: a spinning, rotating firework
Happy Fourth of July!
When the Julius Caesar unit rolls around in sophomore English I ask what students know about the famous (or infamous) Roman. Their lack of knowledge is deplorable. Most think answering “salad creator” is going to win them points. It doesn’t. They are surprised, and some students think I’m joking when I trot out the fact the month of July is named or rather renamed for Julius Caesar.
Originally July was known as Quintilis, which was Caesar’s birth month. Quintilis means “fifth month” in Latin and in the Roman calendar that is where this month found.
Caesar was a man of action. Gaul is one example. When he wasn’t conquering countries and people he set about improving Roman life. The calendar is an example. It did need attention. The early Roman calendar had a glitch. Once every two years a month lasting 27 or 28 days would be added after February 23 to help even out accrued time. Caesar straightened this out and today’s calendar is pretty much the one he formalized 2000 years ago.
Whether July was renamed as a tribute to his leadership or as a nod to inventing the calendar requires further Googling.
Happy July. Stay cool. Watch out for stray sparkler flickers. Hydrate and wear sunscreen.