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  • Although February 2015 might fit perfectly on the page, every year it's the runt of the monthly litter.

    在月曆上,雖然 2015 年的 2 月排列看起來非常完美,但每年的 2 月都是每個月份中不討喜的小矮子。

  • This deficit of days, this calendar craziness, this oddity of the annum, like so much of modern culture, is the Romans' fault.

    就像當代的眾多文化一樣,這個極怪的月曆、極亂的日曆、怪里怪氣的年曆,都是羅馬人的傑作。

  • Here's the crazy story of why February has 28 daysexcept when it doesn't.

    而為什麼 2 月有只 28 天,有時候還會變 29 天?這其中潛藏一個令人難以置信的故事。

  • Romulus, the maybe-mythical, maybe-real founder and first king of Rome, had a problem.

    羅穆盧斯,這個可能是神話人物,也可能真的是羅馬城的建立者與第一任羅馬君王遇到了一個麻煩。

  • 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.

    隨著節慶、宴會、軍事儀式、和宗教慶典日益增加,為了記得所有重要日子,羅馬人需要制定曆法來安排這些事項。

  • Ancient astronomers already had accurate calculations for the time between two solar equinoxes or solstices,

    古天文學家已經能夠準確地計算出春、秋分和冬、夏至之間的時間,

  • but nature had given people a nice, easy pie chart in the sky to track the passage of time,

    不過大自然早就在天空中為我們打造出一個簡單好用的圓餅圖,方便人們記錄時間,

  • so early Rome, like many other cultures, worked off a lunar calendar.

    所以早期的羅馬像其他文化一樣,使用陰曆來計算日子。

  • 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.

    而在羅馬共和國中的曆法中每年有 10 個月,每個月有 30 天或 31 天,從 3 月開始一路到12 月結束,而我們能在現代的日曆中看到它的痕跡。

  • Problem was, that year was a few days short of four seasons.

    問題是,那一年比起正常的四季會少了許多天。

  • Romans were too busy not dying during winter to count those 61 and a quarter extra days.

    羅馬人為了活過冬天忙得焦頭爛額,無暇計算出那額外多出的 61.25 天。

  • They'd just start the next year on the new moon before the spring equinox.

    在春分前,他們以第一個新月作為一年的開始。

  • 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.

    其實,這個計算方式並不差... 如果忽略掉 3 月到 12 月之間的日期對你來說無所謂的話。

  • So the second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, tried something else.

    所以,羅馬的第二任君王努瑪·龐皮留斯嘗試了別的方式。

  • Even numbers were bad luck in Ancient Rome, so Numa started by removing a day from all the even-numbered months.

    在古羅馬,偶數被視為不吉利的數目。所以,努瑪決定在將所有偶數月的日子減去一天。

  • And being loony for Luna, Numa wanted his calendar to cover 12 cycles of the moon, but that would have been an even number, so he rounded his year up to 355.

    努瑪熱衷於月神 (Luna),於是改了曆法為來符合月亮的 12 個週期,但這樣算下來總共的天數會是偶數,於是他便加上一天,最後總天數就便成了奇數的 355 天。

  • Numa split the remaining days into two months and tacked them on to the end of the year.

    努瑪把所剩的天數分成 2 個月,並把它們塞到一年的最後面去。

  • And that's how February got 28 days.

    這就是為什麼 2 月只有 28 天的原因。

  • Yes, it's an even number, but since the month was dedicated to spiritual purification, Romans let that one slide.

    沒錯,28 是偶數,但由於這個月是所謂的淨化節,羅馬人就不計較這一次了。

  • But, as powerful as Rome may have been, they couldn't change the rules of the universe, and neither of these calendars add up to anywhere close to the time it takes us to orbit the sun.

    但就算羅馬人再怎麼強大,也無法違抗宇宙的定律。這兩部曆法都無法符合太陽的運行時間。

  • After a few years, the seasons are out of whack with the months, dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria!

    幾年之後,季節與月份因此變得更加混亂不堪,貓貓狗狗打成一團,簡直是一團糟!

  • Did we already use that joke?

    我們之前用過這個笑話了嗎?

  • This is where it gets even weirder.

    而事情還會繼續變得更加詭異。

  • See, February was actually split in two parts. The first 23 days andthe rest.

    是這樣的,二月實際上被分成兩部分,前部分的 23 天... 和剩下的天數。

  • Every year, Numa's superstitious calendar would be out of line with the seasons by a little more than 10 days.

    每一年,努瑪的曆法都會與季節不相符地多出大約十天。

  • So every other year, the last few days of February were ignored, and a 27-day leap month was added after February 23rd or 24th.

    因此每隔一年,二月尾端的天數便會被忽略掉,並在 2 月 23 或 24 日後接上一個 27 天的閏月。

  • This way every four years would average out to 366 and a quarter dayswhich is still too many days, but we're getting there.

    這樣的方式,每四年平均計算下來則有 366.25 天... 仍然多出了很多天,但我們就快結束了。

  • Confused? You should be. Numa!

    很難理解吧?我懂!努瑪的傑作!

  • This system could have worked, every 19 years, lunar and solar calendars tend to line up, so add enough leap months to keep the seasons in order and eventually everything will reset itself.

    這樣的計算方式的確可行,因為陰曆和陽曆每隔 19 年就會重合,所以只要加上必要的閏月,就能與自然界的季節相符,一切也能恢復正常運作。

  • Except those leap months weren't always added according to plan.

    但是這些閏月並沒有總是照著原本的計畫,每隔一年被加入進去。

  • Politicians would ask for leap months to extend their terms, orforgetthem to get their opponents out of office.

    因為政治家會要求增添閏月來延長自己的任期,或者「忘記」閏月來減少對手的任期。

  • And if Rome was at war, sometimes the leap month would be forgotten for years.

    而當羅馬在打仗的時候,有時則會連續好幾年忘記增加閏月。

  • By the time Julius Caesar came to power, things had gotten pretty confusing.

    到尤利烏斯·凱撒執政時,曆法變得更加混亂。

  • Caesar had spent a lot of time in Egypt, where 365-day calendars were all the rage, so in 46 BC, he flushed Rome's lunar calendar down the aqueduct and installed a solar calendar.

    凱撒曾在埃及待了一段很長的時間,而在那時的埃及盛行以 365 天為一年的曆法,所以在公元前 46 年,他廢除了羅馬的陰曆並改用了陽曆。

  • January and February had already been moved to the beginning of the year, and Caesar added 10 days to different months to get a total of 365.

    當時 1 月和 2 月已經被移到一年的開始了,而凱撒還在一年新增了 10 天並劃分到不同的月份中,讓一年變成了 365 天。

  • And since a tropical year is a tad longer than 365 days, Julius added a leap day every four years, except that they inserted it after February 23, right in the middle of the month.

    但因為回歸年並不是正好 365 天而是 365.242 天,尤里烏斯於是每隔 4 年便會加一天在 2 月 23 日的後面,就在 2 月的正中間。

  • Apparently February is just the trash heap of the calendar, just do whatever feels good.

    很明顯的,月曆中的 2 月就像是垃圾桶一樣,任人處置

  • For all their work to reform the calendar and other stuff they did,

    為了讚頌他們對月曆的計算方式和其他方面所推動的改革,

  • the 7th and 8th months of the year were renamed for Julius and his successor Augustus Caesar,

    一年中的 7 月於是以尤里烏斯 (Julius) 的名字命名,而 8 月則以他的繼承者奧古斯都 (Augustus) 的名字命名,

  • despite the fact that Pope Gregory would have to adjust it again in 1500 years.

    儘管在 1500 年後,曆法將再次歷經格雷戈里教皇的調整。

  • But that's a story for a different day. Or month. I don't even know anymore. Stay curious.

    但我們改天再聊這個故事吧。或是改月再聊?我自己也搞不清楚了。保持好奇。

Although February 2015 might fit perfectly on the page, every year it's the runt of the monthly litter.

在月曆上,雖然 2015 年的 2 月排列看起來非常完美,但每年的 2 月都是每個月份中不討喜的小矮子。

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到底為什麼 2 月只有 28 天呢?Why Does February Only Have 28 Days? (Why Does February Only Have 28 Days?)

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    Ashley Chen 發佈於 2018 年 02 月 17 日
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