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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37

The Days of the Week

The Days of the Week.

The Roman calendar presents us with the Dies Solis, Lunæ, Martis, Mercurii, Jovis, Veneris, and Saturni. It is worthy of observation that these planets, to which all the nations of the earth dedicated their days of the week, had Celtic names and were Celtic gods. The Celtic name for day was Di, and the Sanscrit name Divos; and the name for Sunday Die-sul, the last syllable denoting the Sun, from which the Romans had their Sol, and not, as they absurdly imagined, from the word solus, alone; for surely a body accompanied by a number of planets, as they well knew, could not be called alone. The second was from the word Lun, the Moon, from which the Latins made Luna. The third day of the Celts was Die-meurs or Di-mers, whence came the Mamers and Mars of the Subines and Osci. The fourth day was Di-mercher, page 51 the Mercury of the Gauls. The fifth clay was Die-Jou, whence the Romans got their Dies-Jovis, Di-Jou-Pater. Their sixth day was Di-Guener or Di-Wener, whence the Dies Veneris. And lastly, their Di-Sadorn was the Dies Saturni.

The Romans thus received and retained this truly antient Celtic arrangement of days. Had it been of their own institution they had doubtlessly assigned the first day to the great Jupiter, the "Hominum Pater atque Deorum." It is an extraordinary coincidence that the days of the week in all languages are derived from the names of the planets, and retain the same order, the Sun giving name to the first day.