the Gothic Calendar




An incomplete Gothic calendar (23 Oct to 30 Nov) listing church feast days is preserved on the penultimate page of the Codex Ambrosianus, with eight blank pages before it and one after, sufficient to contain the rest of the year with the exception of two months, probably December and March, as the fasts of Advent and Lent lacked specific saint's days (Streitberg, 1919).

The only month names definitely attested in this Gothic are two alternative terms for November contained in this calendar: the Latin derived Naubaimbair and the native Fruma Jiuleis "First Yule Month". This implies that two sets of interchangeable month names were known to the Goths, as among the Franks in Charlemagne's day (according to Einhard's Vita - see below). The Gothic forms of the Roman months should be fairly easy to reconstruct, and the parallel between Fruma Jiuleis and Old English Ærra Geola "First Yule Month" offers a clue towards recreating the native Gothic calendar by analogy with Anglo-Saxon and other Germanic traditions. For example, it would be only reasonable to assume a second Yule month (corresponding to the the OE Æfterra Geola "the After Yule Month"), which may have been Anthar Jiuleis, or Aftuma Jiula - or, perhaps more likely: Afarjiuleis (on the analogy of Got. fruma sabbato "the day before the sabbath", and afarsabbato "the day after the sabbath").

But when it comes to constructing a complete year, the situation is complicated by the multiplicity of forms across the Germanic world. Comparing the different Germanic calendars, one is immediately struck by the variety, from the lunar/solar English system, to the solar Julian-style Norse and German (& Gothic) calendars, each with their own sets of names. Even where they do have names in common, these often apply to different months, as is the case with Gothic Fruma Jiuleis (November) and OE Ærra Geola (December) - or English Hrethmonath, which is approximately March, while the German Redimonet, quoted by Grimm, was attached variously to March or February.

That said, some names are quite widespread. On the basis of Old English and Old High German cognates, I think it is not so far fetched to imagine there could once have been a Gothic *Austramenoths (although against this is the fact that no trace of the goddess Eastre/Ôstara, or her feast, survive in North Germanic; cf. ON Páskir "Easter", though there is in Norse mythology a male Austri; and a related goddess name elsewhere in Indo-European: Skr. Ushas, Lat. Aurora, Lith. Auszrinne, though this could be coincidental...). It is also quite possible, if at present unprovable, that there existed a Gothic *Hailagamenoths "holy month", as in OE (September) and OHG (December).

The individual elements of OE Winterfylleth appear in Gothic separately as wintrus & fullithe (, so perhaps there was a month *Wintrufulliths. The elements of OHG Aranmanoth, Hewimanoth & Winnemanoth all have attested Gothic equivalents, so we could reconstruct: *Asanamenoths, *Haujamenoths & *Winjamenoths. OHG Witumanoth might have had a Gothic equivalent *Widumenoths (cf. *widus in Koebler, recorded in personal names). It's hard to say which exact month these would have corresponded to, though the rough time of year is often implied by the meanings.

As for choosing between alternative possibilities, Bede's Anglo-Saxon names have the advantage of being older, albeit somewhat more remote in space than the German ones, although they differ from the Gothic calendar in being variable and lunar rather than fixed according to the Julian calendar. Bede's thoroughly heathen explanations of the Anglo-Saxon months also point to their antiquity, especially where parallels can be seen with later German regional traditions. The Norse system is very different again, perhaps due to later innovations - although it does share with OE the practice of summertime intercalations, and with OE and OHG the feast of Jól (Geol), and with OE and Gothic the month Y'lir (Geola/Giuli, Jiuleis). Another underlying continuity is the plural nature of the great feasts: Jól and Páskir, even with the name change of the latter (But Gothic Paska "passover" is indeclinable). Now, a more detailed look at the Germanic calendars, followed by some thoughts on reconstructing the Gothic calendar, Gothic translations of the OE names, and a finally a rather arbitrary list of 'guesses' at the Gothic months, mixing and matching the different traditions.


The recorded name Naubaimbair implies that the Roman months were in use among the Goths, alongside native names. The liturgical calendar, as attested, appears to be a product of the Goth's time in the Balkans, judging by local references, and a by the lack of concord with the Italian catholic calendar of the day (Streitberg, 1919), although this doesn't exclude the possibility that the names of the Latin months were adopted later. Things to think about when transcribing the Roman names into Gothic orthography:

-ARIUS/-AREIS. As a suffix in personal names, and a productive suffix that could be attached to native Gothic words, the Latin -arius > areis in Gothic. Whether this would apply to the month names I don't know: it would probably depend on when they where adopted by the Goths. Although a later loan could always have been assimilated to the Gothicised suffix - and see below. In any case, Latin authors regularly substituted -arius for -areis in Gothic personal names.

SEMIVOWLES. Biblical names beginning I- (Iesus, Iohannes, etc.) almost always represent the consonantal J by I, as in Greek spelling, probably a written convention with no bearing on the pronunciation in Gothic. There are a small handful of names that do use J for Greek I, e.g. Jannis < Iannes. The name of the mother of God is invariably Maria, while the woman healed of devils is Marja Magdalene. Naturalised loanwords (e.g. placenames already familiar to the Goths) generally have J however: Makidonja, Aikklesjo (Braune & Helm, 1956, §43 A.2), and perhaps this included the month names. In respect of May, note Gk. Achaia > Got. Akaja, Axaia + dat. Akaijai; and the corresponding adjective, Akaje.
In respect of Jan. & Feb., note also Gk. Eddoua > Got. Aiddua (MnE Jedaiah); Gk. Phanoueel > Got. Fanuel. From this it seems most likely that Latin -u- > Got. -u- in Jan. & Feb., rather than -w-.

DIPHTHONGS. Another clue to the treatment the months might lie in the name of the Emperor Augustus, recorded in Gothic as Agustus (L 2,1). According to Wright, this is probably a scribal error for *Awgustus (Wright, 1917, p. 361), but Köbler cites Vulgar Lat. Agustus, which could have been taken into Gothic if the months were borrowed from the spoken language, rather than as literary loans. If the Latin month names were in common use among at least some of the Goths, this popular form could well have influenced the spelling of the emperor's name in the Gothic Bible. Compare the adoption of the Latin ablative form Agusto in the Old English translation of Bede.

AFFRICATION. The Latin combination -tio- appears affricated in the Gothic borrowing kawtsjo (6th century deed), reflecting innovations in Latin pronunciation, but if Martius had been borrowed early enough it would have escaped this change. The four other Latin loans with relevant combinations all escape affrication/assimilation in Gothic: faskja, laiktjo, unkja, plapja - presumed error for *platja (Braune & Helm, 1956, §43 A.1). Also in favour of a non-affricated form in Gothic might be the German dialect variants Marte, etc. - see below - and at some time the Latin name was borrowed unaffricated into Greek as Martios, but I don't know when. As well as date (Vulgar Latin tj > tsj probably in the 3rd c., see Elcock, 1960, p. 53), the form of the Gothic word might depend on whether these names were literate or popular borrowings, since Latin orthography didn't necessarily keep pace with changes in the spoken language, and even on which part of the Roman empire they were derived from: e.g. in the West, with regional exceptions, kj > tsj, but in the East, again with localised exceptions in the Balkans, kj > tsh (Elcock, 1960, p. 54). Since the Gothic calendar, as attested, shows the influence of Balkan Christianity in its feast days, an earlier borrowing lends weight to the likelihood of a nonaffricated *Martius.

VOWEL LENGTH. The Gothic names might sometimes preserve the length distinctions of the Latin vowels. This seems to have been the case for some Latin/Celtic place names borrowed via Gothic into Slavonic: Got. *Dona:wi > Pol., etc. Dunaj; Got. *Ta:nu- > Pol. Tanew (Czarnecki). I'm not sure of the ultimate etymology of this last one (Does it share the same IE root for water as the Danube?), but the long a: in both these words is not a native phonetic development. Preservation of vowel length would be more likely for earlier borrowings, or literate borrowings, as later spoken Latin ceased to distinguish vowel quantity, as distinct from stress, although in some instances the difference survived as a qualitative one, e.g. long u: > u, but short u > open o (Or the influence of length survived in dictating where the word was stressed, for instance in Apri:lis). It may have been that as in OE, stress distinctions in Latin loans were converted into length differences when borrowed in Gothic with its fixed stress on the initial syllable. In most Romance dialects, the development of long and short /a/ was identical (Elcock, 1960, p. 43).
It's likely however that the penultimate vowel of -areis was long as in OHG -ære, since this suffix was borrowed early, though it's not easy to say whether Januarius & Februarius were assimilated to this familiar suffix, or retained their Latin termination.

Ia:nua:rius > *Januareis, (or *Ianuarjus)
Februa:rius > *Faibruareis, (or *Faibruarjus)
Martius > *Martjus (or *Martsjus, but see above)
Apri:lis > *Apreilis
Maius > *Majus
Iu:nius > *Junjus
Iu:lius > *Juljus
Augustus > Agustus (Attested only as the Emperor's name, but see "DIPHTHIONGS" above.)
September > *Saiptaimbair
Octo:ber > *Auktobair
November > Naubaimbair (The one that's attested)
December > *Daikaimbair


Here is the Old English calendar in normalised West Saxon spelling (These names are often cited in earlier Northumbrian forms used by the Venerable Bede, or in some confusing mixture of West Saxon & Northumbrian...) with approximate modern equivalents. I've marked long vowels with colons in this list, but only erratically elsewhere:

Æ:rra Ge:ola (later Ge:olmo:nath) - December
Æfterra Ge:ola - January
Solmo:nath - February
Hre:thmo:nath, Hly:da - March
E:astremo:nath - April
Thrimilcemo:nath - May
Æ:rra Li:tha - June
Æfterra Li:tha - July
We:odmo:nath - August
Ha:ligmo:nath (later: Hærfestmo:nath) - September
Winterfylleth - October
Blo:tmo:nath - November

Another name, Rugern, is recorded, but of uncertain application (see below). Sweet's dictionary gives Giululing, with a possible meaning of "July". May is also found as: Thri:meolce. Other OE names for June: Se:remo:nath ("dry month"), Midsumormo:math. Brewer's "Dictionary of Phrase & Fable" (1895) lists more alternatives (identified as "old Saxon"), for January: Wulfmo:nath & Forma-mo:nath ("first month"), February: Sprote ca:l ("from the sprouting of pot-wort or kele", cf. OE sprota "sprout"), July: Mæ:dmo:nath "because the cattle were turned into the meadows to feed"), September: Gerstmo:math ("barley month"), October: Te:omonath ("tenth month"), Wi:nmo:nath (wine/vintage month"), November: Windmo:nath, December: Midwintermo:nath. But I'm not sure of the exact provenance of Brewer's names. The spelling of some OE names in my copy of Brewer is a bit unreliable.

Two six-month half-years/semesters or "missere", neuter, (ON misseri) were distinguished: winter started with Winterfylleth (Bede: Wintirfyllith), named after the "winter full moon". The summer missere began with Eastremonath (Bede: Eostur-). This word is thought to be ain origin a compound, Gmc. *missa-jæ'rjam (Go. *missajeri), the prefix refering to the difference of the two semesters. The year commenced on what Bede calls Modranect (West Saxon *Modraneaht "mother's night" = Christmas Eve (the night of the 24th of December). In addition, some years would have a third Litha, although Bede doesn't give the rule for calculating when these would be. They were called "a year of three lithas".

Incidentally, similarities to the mismatch between Gothic & Anglo-Saxon names for November/December, exist among the Slavonic month names, where etymologically cognate names are sometimes applied to neighbouring months in different modern Slavonic languages, e.g. Listopad = November in Czech, Polish, Ukrainian & Belorussionan, but October in Croat. The months were originally not rigidly fixed by convention in relation to the solar cycle, but calculated as they came by observation of the moon. It was only the practice of intercalating the extra month that kept them from wandering out of synch with the solstices. The trick was to stop the "after" solstice months (Æfterrra Geola & Æfterra Litha) from creeping forward to before midwinter & midsummer respectively. But note that even the heathen English made use of one date, 24 Dec, fixed according to the Julian calendar.

Observing Bede's Anglo-Saxon Calendar, by John Robert Stone:

The Anglo-Saxon Year by Arlea Hunt-Anschütz

According to Stone, the new month began with the first sighting of the crescent moon at sunset as was the practice of other lunar calendars, such as the Babylonian; this ties in with the idea of beginning days at sunset, hence Tue's Day becomes Woden's Eve when the sun goes down, and Sunnanniht is what we would call Saturday night. Grimm, on the other hand, quotes Tacitus's mention of a "nox illunis (night without a moon) chosen for a festival", and considers that this dark night (Latin: interlunium; ON nidamyrkr; MnSw. nedmörk 'pitch black') would have been counted as the first of the "New Moon", just as the full moon was regarded as the first night of the waning half of the month (He cites OHG bruch 'breaking [off]' as an alternate name for the full moon). That the interlunium was not considered separate from the cycle of waxing and waning is confirmed by the Old Gutnish formula ny ok nidar "at all times" (In the Guta saga, the emigrant Gotlanders trick the Greek emperor by asking to stay for the "waxing and waning of the moon", which he takes to mean just "one month", but at the end of the month, they protest that the moon is still waxing and waning...) Grimm adds that the reckoning of time went by nights because of the importance of lunar observation for the calendar, and Jordanes refers to observations of the moon (Chapter 11), as well as testifying to the sophistication of Gothic astronomy - see below.

SOL "mud", with a short vowel and thus nothing to do with the sun! (cf. Sollman, etc. in the list of modern German names), is neuter in OE. But Bede explains it as the month of cakes: mensis placentarum, which he says the English offered to their gods. Were they buried in the mud? Or did the cakes have the nature or colour of mud? Or was it just a muddy month: February Fill-dyke, as now nicknamed? Some of the German variants (Zelle, Zille, Zulle) suggest a semantic connection with NHG Zolle 'clod' (cf. Got. *tulla, posited on the basis of It. tolla).
In support of Bede's statement, and of the idea of burying cakes, the Old English Æcerbot, a charm, or gealdor, for restoring fertility to bewitched land, speaks of pouring oil, honey & yeast, milk, herbs & holy water on the soil, and of placing bread kneaded with milk and holy water into the first furrow (Herbert, 1994, pp. 20-21; Wyatt, 1919, pp. 128-130 + notes 254-255). So maybe Solmonath signified the month of the earth/soil, with a seasonally appropriate emphasis on the earth as potential, personified in the charm as eorthan modor "earth's mother", and folde, fira modor "ground, mother of men" (be thou growing in God's grip, filled with fodder, for the good of mankind).

HRETH(E), long root vowel, as an abstract noun is masculine, but previously a neuter es/os-stem, as shown by the mutation, and by the related neuter hrothor. The hypothetical Gothic *hroth, neuter, is from Koebler - maybe *hrothis existed too? The month name however is reckoned to refer to a valkyrie-like goddess of ferocity & victory (Herbert, 1994), but what declension might the name be: a jo-stem (Gothic *Hrothi, like *gunthi, *hildi) perhaps? Or an on-stem from the adjective OE hrethe, maybe Gothic *Hrothjo "the fierce". Grimm cites German forms: Retmonat (Strassburg, 1644, = March), Redtmonet (origin?, 1404, = month?), Redimonet (Appenzelle, Switzerland, date?, =February) - though none with the standard mutation o > ö; also an OHG female name Hruodâ. It might be debated to what extent Hrethmonath meant "fierce month" or "Hreth(e)'s month" - the coming of Christianity probably led more to the former meaning, but Bede does explicitly mention Rheda, the goddess to whom the English sacrificed in this month (and as Grimm points out, the devoutly Christian Bede would hardly be expected to invent pagan deities). An alternate form hrædmonath occurs, apparently with a short æ (suggesting OE hræd "quick"). The variation recalls the two terms Hræ:das, Hre:thgotan, probably an old ethnic name corrupted by false etymology from Hræ:d- to Hre:th-gotan "victory-goths" (Chambers 252-3).

HLYDA. The name Hlyda "the loud" is attested in the OE Leechdoms: "thone Martius the menn hatath Hlyda" (March, which is called Hlyda), and in the Menologium, c. 1050 as a synonym of Martius: "Martius rethe, hlyda healic" (fierce March, excellent Hlyda / Loud One), the old name (H)rethe reduced here to a mere qualifier. But Hlyda survived in the west (the latest examples in the OED are from Cornwall, late 19th c.), in the form Lide; also in compounds such as: lide-flower, lide-lily = Narcissus pseudo-narcissum, daffodil - also called lent-lily (Grieve, 1931). And the AA "Book of the British Countryside", in its entry for Ransoms, Allium ursinum, quotes the following "ancient proverb":

Eat leckes in lide (March)
and ramsins in May,
And all the year after
physitians may play.

THRI-MILCE-(monath). A ja/jo-stem adjective, the second element identical with MnE milch, as in "milch cow". The early Northumbrian form given by Bede is Thrimilci. A later form, with unpalatalised -c- is: thimeolce, a (?weak) neuter. According to Bede this referred to a time of bounty in the continental homeland of the English, when the cows were milked thrice, so perhaps this one was unknown to the Goths. If it was known, it might have been *Thrimilukeis Menoths, or if grammatically definite like Fruma Jiuleis, then *Thrimilukja Menoths, or if treated as a compound: *Thimilukimenoths.

EASTREMONATH, derived by Bede from the goddess Eostre (Northumbrian spelling = West Saxon Eastre). Was there a Gothic goddess *Austro, a feast day *Austrons (grammatically plural, like *Jiula), and maybe a month *Austramenoths? Or did the Goths, as Christians, adopt Paska (originally Passover), from the Greek? (cf. ON páskir "easter"). Grimm mentions Basque Ostara "May", but he says this is "a mere accidental resemblance", apparently, and derives from Basque ostoa "leaf, foliage" (Grimm Vol 1, p. 291). He also lists some German place names which he supposes to refer to the goddess, but this seems quite speculative (Grimm Vol 4, p. 1371) - maybe they just refer to the east.

LITHA (long i). The gentle month? Bede's explanation points both to the mildness of the weather, but also to the verb lithan 'go, travel': what people did on account of the mild weather - at least one of these explanations must be a folk etymology... No adjective *lintheis appears in Gothic, but it might lie behind Germanic loans in Romance: Spanish, Portuguese lindo (see Koebler *lind-). Another idea is that OE Litha might have been a term for the moon (Stone, 1998), but I don't know the full reasoning behind this argument, or the etymology. Then there's Gothic leithu 'strong drink, fruit wine', OE li:th, which one hopes was part of the celebrations at least, if not the name... Or is the month name an ancient term for summer cognate with Slavonic (Czech) léto? Lith "limb" is not related, having a short vowel. The Oxford English Dictionary, however, sides with the first explanation, "gentle", citing examples of _lithe_ used of calm weather or a lull, also a "warm shelter". And this would match the adjectival name for March: Hlyda "the loud [one]". Of course, a more obscure etymology might have been interpreted this way by the Anglo-Saxons.

WINTERFYLLETH. Winter full moon, cf. Gothic fullithe ( "of full moons" - see below.

RUGERN. "Rye harvest." I can't find it in Bosworth & Toller ( least not as that appears currently on Sean Christ's Indo-European Resources site.) But Sweet gives Rugern, though defining it no closer than "a month". It appears in the preamble to Laws of the Kentish king Wihtræd (c. 695), which mentions a conference on the 6th day of Rugern. On the etymology, see Hellquist: , who cautiously connects rugern to OE ryge "rye", and according to whom the name was brought from the continent by the Anglo-Saxon settlers.
When would the rye harvest be in ?Poland, ?the Ukraine, ?the Balkans during the migration era? July? August? Rugern is listed as October in one online summary (Wodening: ), but this seems rather late in the year. Steve Pollington's August sounds more likely (Pollington, 1993). A complication here is that - in England, at least - rye was sometimes cut before ripening to make thatch (AA, 1973). But if the month did indeed refer to the rye harvest, presumably it would have originally applied to the cutting of the ripe crop.

BLOTMONATH (long o in blot). Cf. ON Blót "sacrifice, heathen religious observance" is a neuter a-stem. This name, like the Dutch Slagtmaand & ON gormánudr, alludes to the slaughter of beast in preparation for winter.

GEOLA. The earlier form Giuli, given by Bede, agrees more with the Gothic JIULEIS. ON y'lir (that's meant to be a long "y") was at one time "the month beginning on the second day of the week falling within Nov 10-17"). The feast of Yule itself is a neuter plural in ON jól, and sometimes in OE geol, suggesting a Gothic plural *Jiula. I think this is because the "yules" were the Twelve Nights over which celebrations continued. Similarly, according to Grimm, Easter was originally plural because the feast lasted two days, the (OHG) Ôstartagâ.

See also the Old English Menologium, a verse calendar, which includes some native terms amongst the Latin ones:

And Maxims II, which describes the four seasons:

...whose names survived into Middle English, cf. Orm: sumarr, herrfesstid, winneterr, lenntenn.

In more recent folklore, many picturesque names have been given to the full moons of the year, and by extension the fortnight either side. Lists abound on the internet (search for: "wolf moon", "buck moon", "blood moon", "disting moon", etc.), but the provenance of these names is sometimes unclear, many of these lists being eclectic compilations (in time & space). Some are Wiccan inventions, or adaptations of various traditions (the "disting moon", which features on many modern Wiccan calendars is derived from the ancient Swedish festival of Distingen, OSw. dísa-thing + enclitic article -in, "the assembly of the dísir", that is the guardian goddesses), and at least some of the modern names have their origin in Native American lore:

One oft-cited list goes back at least to an old Maine Farmers' Almanac for the year 1937, mentioned in J. Hugh Pruett's April, 1946, infamous article in Sky and Telescope magazine entitled Once in A Blue Moon (credited with inspiring the modern usage of that term):

Moon after Yule
Wolf Moon
Lenten Moon
Egg Moon
Milk Moon
Flower Moon
Hay Moon
Grain Moon
Fruit Moon
Harvest Moon
Hunters' Moon
Moon Before Yule

See "Double Blue Moons" by Deborah Byrd:

Of these, the pair of Yule months is likely to be a traditional English feature, of course; so too Lenten Moon. Harvest Moon and Hunters' Moon are both to be found in the OED, along with Harvest Month ( < OE Hærfestmonath), which survived the conquest (most recent quote: 1826), and Hay Month (1832), although not Hay Moon. In the Maine Almanac list, however, they are shifted one month on from their usual spots. Though Wolf Moon is sometimes explicitly attributed to Native American tradition, it does have a German parallel (see below) - which raises the possibility of German influence (not that the extinction of wolves in England has removed them from proverbs and popular lore). For Egg Moon (April) cf. ON eggtíd (May-June). Milk Moon, for May, recalls OE thrimilceonath & thrimeolce (with no continental Germanic equivalents, as far as I know). In individual cases, it is hard to know whether to attribute a name to heritage or to agricultural verities shared by different peoples - there are almost certainly some 'reinventions' of names in amongst these calendars - but there are here, I think, enough specifics about this list to point to an English tradition.


Thorri - name of a frost giant or popular deity (mid January to mid February)
Gói (originally indeclinable feminine, but later became Góa) - another giant: the daugher of Thorri

Einmánudr - One/single month
Gaukmánudr, Sádtíd, Harpa - Cuckoo month, Seed tide, ?
Eggtíd, Skerpla - Egg tide, ?
Sólmánudr, selmánudr, Stekktíd - Sun month, Shieling month, Lamb-fold time
*Auknætr (four days) - Addition nights
Midsumar, Heyannir, Ormamánudr - Midsummer, Hey time, Snake month
Tvímánudr, Heyaanir - Double month, Hey reaping
Haustmánudr, Kornskurdarmánudr - Harvest month, Corn-cutting month
Gormánudr - Slaughter month
Frermánudr, Ylir (acute accent on Y) - Frost month, Yule (mid November to mid December)
Hrútmánudr, Jólmánudr, Mörsugr - Ram month, Yule, Fat sucker

*Sumarauki "summer addition" was added to Auknætr every five or six years (it was one week long). It has been speculated that the name Tvímánudr might point to an earlier system of intercalation in which this month was periodically doubled. It is also possible that Yule was originally a shorter period (cf. Norwegian Skammtid "short time" - unless that just refers to the shortness of daylight?).

The months could also be referred to as "first, second, etc. (fyrsti, annarr) month", starting with Gaukmánudr, the first month of summer.

The West Norse Calendar, by Arild Hauge

Runic Calendars: Time Reckoning in the Viking Age

The name Thorri (Icelandic)

Here I have included some extracts from Cleasby & Vigfussen's Icelandic Dictionary (I've replaced the thorns with "th" and the eths with "d", but still beware as the text, as it appears on Sean Christ's Indo-European Resources Page, is currently still a bit garbled by the automatic transcription process...). The complete dictionary is online at:

And scanned pages (ungarbled) of the earlier entries can also be viewed here:

ár 'year': "...divided into twelve lunar months, each of 30 days, with four intercalary days, thus making 364 days; as the year was reckoned about the middle of the 10th century (the original calculation probably only reckoned 360 days, and made up the difference by irregular intercalary months). About the year 960 Thorstein Surt introduced the sumarauki (intercalary week), to be inserted every seventh year, thus bringing the year up to 365 days. After the introduction of Christianity (A. D. 1000) the sumarauki was made to harmonize with the Julian calendar; but from A.D. 1700 with the Gregorian calendar..."

(This last entry also comments that the Gothic JER translates not only Greek etos, Latin annus 'year', but also kairos & chronos 'time'.)

Thorri, a, m. [perh. from thverra thorrinn = the month of the waning or 'ebbing' winter]:-the name of the fourth winter month, the first after mid-winter; of thirty days, beginning on a Friday and eliding on a Saturday inclusively ; in the old calendar thorri is entered as beginning between the yth and 10th of Jan., and the next month, Gói (q. v.), between the 8th and 15th of Feb., see H.E. i. 595 ; but in the new style, in Icel. Almanack, the first day of Thorri, 1873, is Friday, Jan. 24, and the last, Saturday, Feb. 22 ; mid-thorri, the. middle of the month Th., Edda 103, Grág. ii. 306, Rb. 46, Landn. 324: the name of this month is still the common term in Icel., the names of Jan. and Feb. being almost unknown in Icelandic country life; thorra-dægriu þykja long | thegarhann blæs á nordan, a ditty, see Gói. For the mythical origin of this month, see Orkn. (begin.) and Fb. i. 21, 22. COMPDS: thorra-blot, n. the great sacrifice when Thorri begins (in heathen times), Fas. i. 17. thorra-kyrrur, f. pi. calm, frosty weather, said to prevail in this month. thorra-mánudr, m. (he month Thorri, Fb. i. 22, Rb. 516. thorra-thræll, m. the thrall of Th., i. e. the Last day of Thorri, sec Almanack, /873, Feb. 22.

(In Fundinn Nóregr & Hversu Nóregr byggdisk, Thorri is the son of Snaer "snow", in a genealogy of elemental ancestors to the Norwegian dynasties).

GÓI, f. indecl., always so in old writers, (gee, i. e. góe, BÍ. i. 9, v. 1.),
mod. góa, u, f.; the month Gói has thirty days, from the middle of February to the middle of March ; for the mythical origin of this word vide Fb. i. 22, Edda 103, Landn. 154, 225, Rb. 48, 50, Ann. 1276,1340, Bs. i. 9, 0. H. 64:-in Icel. the names of the winter months "Thorri and Góa are still very common. COMPDS : Gói-beytlar, m. pi., botan. equisetum vernum hyemale, Landn. 222. Gói-blót, n. a sacrifice in the month Góa, Fb. 1. c. Gói-mánadr, m. the month Gói, Landn. 256, Rb. 516. Gói-thræll, m. the last day of the month Góa, see the Icel. almanack.

(Grimm, Vol 4 p. 1364, says Rask linked Gói to Finnish koi "aurora" - i.e. dawn.)

skorpla, u, f. the second month in the summer, Edda 103; see Icel. Almanack, May 25, 1872.

(Unfortunately, I don't know if that o is genuine, or just an artefact of the scanning / conversion to computer text. Elsewhere I found it as Skerpla. Either way, I wonder if it comes from skarpr "sharp" - but why?)

VIKA, u, f., gen. pi. vikna, pi. vikur:
...The ancient Scandinavians and Teutons in heathen times seem to have counted the year by pentads, called fimt, as has already been remarked s. v. fimt (p. 153), to which may be added the authority of the late Prof. Schlegel of Copenhagen in a notice of 1825, mentioned in Lex. Mythol.p. 753. The time when the Scandinavians changed their system is quite unknown; it would seem that in Icel. 'weeks' were already in use in the middle of the 10th century, could we but trust the record in lb. ch. 4 as authentic in its details. II. spec, usages in the calendar; Helga vika, the Holy-week (i.e. after Whitsun), Thorn. 22, Dipl. iii. IO, D. I. i. 594; Efita-vika, the last week of Lent, i.e. Passion-week, Orkn. 386, D.I. i. 594; Páska-vika, Easter-week; Sælu-vika, Ember-week, passim, see Icel. Almanack ; as also Auka-vika or Lagningar-vika, the additional week, intercalary week, = sumar-auki, see p. 604; fyrsta Sumar-vika, sidasta vika sumars, sidasta vika vetrar.

(Vaster Gudmundsson also believed in a year of 72 five-day weeks = 360 days + a leap month every five or six years.)

MÁNUDR, and mánadr, m.:
...The old heathen year consisted of twelve months, each of thirty days, so that a pentad (fimt) added to that number made the year complete. For the names of the economical months sec Edda 103 (gor-m., frer-m., hnit-ni., ein-m., sol-m., and sel-m., kornskurdar-m.); tví-mánadr (q. v.), the ' double month;' út-mánudir, the last months of the winter (Thorri, Gói, Ein-mánudr), thad er komid fram á út-mánudi; see also the Icel. Almanack, where the old months are still marked. Of the Julian Calendar we have Martius mánadar, 623. 37, Rb. passim ; but that computation never came into household use in Iceland, where the old calendar (of Thorri, Gói, Ein-m., etc.) still prevails for all domestic affairs : astron., tungl-m., a lunar month; sol-m., a solar month. la popular usage, as elsewhere, a month often means 4 weeks, and halfr mánudr, half a month = a fortnight; halftun mánadi eptir mitt sumar, Nj. 4; ;'i hálfs mánadar fresti, within half a month, a fortnight,...

FIMT or fimmt, f. a number of five: fimtar-tala, u, f. a set of five or multiple of five (as fifteen, fifty, etc.), Bs. i. 190. 2. [Sweil. femt - a kind of court], a law phrase, a summoning before a court with a notice of five days : a standing phrase in the Norse law, so that the verb fimta means to summon: so, funtar-grid, n. pi. a truce during a fimt, N. G. L. i. 342, 351; fimmtar-nafn, n. a citation with a unit's notice, 86; fimmtar-stefna, u, f. a citation before a court ivilb a unit's notice, K.Á. 184: the phrase gera e-m fimt simply means to summon, N. G. L. i. 346, passim ; one fimt is the shortest notice for sum- moning, five units the longest,-fnnin fimtum hit lengsta, ef hann viitna'r thing skal vera, 21:-the law provides that no summouing shall take place on Tuesday, because in that case the court-day would fall on Sunday, the day of summoning not being counted, N. G. L., Jb., and K. A. passim.-This law term is very curious, and seems to be a remnant of the old heathen division of time into finits (pentads), each month consisting of six such weeks ; the old heathen year would then have consisted of seventy-two fimts, a holy number, as composed of 2 x 36 and 6 x 12. With the introduction of the names of the "planetary days (vide dagr) and the Christian week, the old fimt only remained in law and common sayings; thus in Hm. 73,-'there are many turns of the weather in five days (viz. a fimt), but more in a month,' which would be unintelligible unless we bear in mind that a fimt just answered to our week ; or verse 50, -'among bad friends love flames high for five days, but is slaked when the sixth comes;' in a few cases, esp. in ecclesiastical law, sjauud (heb-domad) is substituted for the older fimt, N.G.L. passim; it is curious that in Icel. law (Grág.) the unit scarcely occurs, as in Icel. the modern week seems to have superseded the old at an early time. COMPDS : Fimtar-domr, in. the Fifth High Court in the Icel. Commonwealth, vide dóinr, Grug. b. b., etc.; the form of the word is irregular, as it means the Fifth Court (added to the four Quarter Courts) - domr hum finnnti, as it is also called in Grág. b. b. ch. 24 sqq.; the old Scandin. law term fimt seems to have floated before the mind of the founders, as fnntar-domr etymologic-ally answers to Swed.yemt, i. c. a court before which one has to appear a ' unit' from the citation. Fimtardóms-eidr, in. the oath to be taken in the Fifth Court, Grag. b. b. ch. 26. 27, Nj. 241 ; in Sturl. ii. 128 used of an oath worded as the oath in the Fifth Court. Fimtardóms-lög, n. pi. the institution off., íb. 13, Nj. 166. Fimtar-dóms-mal, n. an action before the Fifth Court, Nj. 231. Fimtar-doms-stefna, u, f. a citation before the Fifth Court, Nj. 168. Fimtar-dóms-sök, f. a case to be brought before the Fifth Court, Grag. i. 360, Nj. 244. fimtar-thing, n. a (Norse) meeting called so, Js. 41.

(The quote "among bad friends love flames high for five days and is slaked when the sixth comes", reminds me of Éiriksmál: "There were five kings; I knew all their names; I was the sixth." (Konungar ru fimm, kennik their nafn allra; ek em inn sétti sjálfr). Similar formulas exist in Finnish and Khanty songs, with 6:7 alternations and 5:6 - "with my fingerly hand of five fingers, with my fingerly hand of six fingers..." (Lintrop: ))

It seems the Norse calendar differed from the English in being fixed to the sun rather than the moon. Though out of step with the Roman months, the Julian calendar was used in pre-Christian Scandinavia. Months varied not in order to accommodate the phases of the moon, but so as to begin on a certain day of the week. Later they were fixed to begin on set dates. At one time in Norway, an alternative tradition made use of double months of 59 days each, thus eliminating the irregularity caused by rounding off the lunar cycle of 29.5 solar days to 30. See Wodening, S, "Times & Tides: How the Months Were Kept?":


January - Lauwmaand ("chill month")
February - Sporkel, Spokkelmaand "vegetation/sprouting month?", Schrikkelmaand "the dread month", Sille
March - Lentmaant "lengthening"
May - Grasmaand "grass month"
June - Bloumaand, Bloeimaand "blooming month"
July - Hooymaand "hay month", Zomermaand "summer month"
August - Oogstmaand "harvest month"
September - Herstmaand, Hefstmaand "harvest month", Evenmaand "eventide month", Gerstmaend "barley month"
October - Wynmaand (i.e. Wijnmaand "wine month")
November - Slag(h)tmaand "slaughter month"
December - Wintermaand

& cf. schrikkeljaar "leap year". Is Oogst- derived from August? Or is the word oogst "harvest" a coincidence? The Dutch names can be compared with the other lists here:

Ancient & Medieval Germanic Month Names, by Swain Wodening:

See also Brewer's "Dictionary of Phrase & Fable":


a. Old High German (9-15th century)

Wintarmanoth - Winter month (January)
Hornung - The bastard?! (Feb)
Lenzinmanoth - Lent/lengthening month (Mar)
Winnemanoth - Grazing month (Apr)
Ostarmanoth - Easter month (May)
Brachmanoth - Blooming month (Jun)
Hewimanoth - Hay month (Jul)
Aranmanoth - Reaping month (Aug)
Witumanoth - Wood month (Sep)
Windumemanoth - Grape-harvest month = Vindemia (Oct)
Herbistmanoth - Harvest month (Nov)
Heiligmanoth - Holy month (Dec)

These names, or at least their official codification, are attributed to the Emperor Charlemagne by his biographer Einhard/Eginhart, who says that previously some Franks had used the Roman names, while others native names. Given Charlemagne's respect for tradition (e.g. his collection of ancient songs), it seems unlikely that he invented them from scratch (Vita Caroli Magni, Chapter 29), though he might have effected some standardisation. Available online in many places, e.g. parallel English & Latin:

The meaning of HORNUNG is uncertain. It might relate to words like ON hyrning (f) "corner", hyrningr (m) "angle", OE hyrne "corner, angle", MnE dialect: hurn, (h)on "river bend", etc. - maybe this month was seen as the turning point, when the first signs were felt that winter was ending - or maybe the name was displaced from some true (solsticial) turning point? More often though, Hornung is explained by Old Friesian horning, ON hornungr, OE hornungsunu, MLG, MDu. horninc "bastard" (from the idea of being conceived in the corner, as opposed to the marriage bed (Kluge, 1998)), since February is the odd one out and defective in days compared to the other months (Duden, 1996: "der [in der Anzahl der Tage] zu kurz Gekommene" - the one who went short, got the worst deal [in terms of the number of days]). Cf. NHG Winkelkind. These allusions to February as the defective month obviously depend on the Julian/Gregorian calendar, or something very like. Although the name is later found attached to other months - January, October - its most usual application seems to have been February; which is not to say it couldn't have drifted at some earlier date too.
Another theory links Hornung to deer, who shed their antlers in the spring (Kluge, 1998; Arnold et al. 1979, p. 63). It's possible the name was understood differently in different times and places, whatever its original signification. In later German is has also been applied, more rarely, to October - when the antlers are full grown.
Yet another idea is that Hornung derives from a verb "horen" meaning "to mate" (cf. MnE whore, etc.) - with reference to the animal world... - and cf. the later name Spökerl "the smutty one" - or could that be a reference to carnivalesque merriment? Or just to physical dirt: muddiness, as in OE Solmonath, and MnE February Fill-dyke?

At the following site, it is stated that Charlemagne (Karl der Sachsenschlächter) instituted another name for Hornung, namely Siegmanoth "victory month":
...but Sieg looks like a modern German spelling, the development of OHG sigu - so I'm not sure about that. But I have seen various references to this SIEGMONAT/Siegmond, so I've noted it in the modern German list.

LENZI- & OSTAR- have cognates in English, although Lent survives now only in the sense of the six week fast before Easter (OE lencten-faesten), however in OE lencten also denoted "spring" in general, the time when plants grow, as opposed to harvest, but not excluding the early and colder part: winter bith cealdost, lencten hrimogost "winter is coldest, spring frostiest" (Maxims II). Etymologically, lent refers to the "lengthening" of the days.

WITUMANOTH "wood month" could have once been the same as OE weodmonath "weed month", though the names as attested are not cognate, and I don't know which might closer to the original. Alternatively the similarity could be coincidence.

b. (Early) Modern German (c. 15-19th century) + dialect, including some nonstandard variants of the Latin names:

January - Hartung, Hartmond, Hartmonat, Hornung, Holzbrenner, Schneemond, Eismond, Wolfmond, Barmonat (in Switzerland), Dreschmonat, Dickkopp, Lasmand, Losmand, Lismand, Laumand, Loemand, Loimaend, Lauwe, Jahrmonat, Jenner, Jänner (still used in Austria), Senner (in Swabia)

February - Hornung, Sporkel, Spurkel, Spökerl (in Köln region, means "smutty", apparently, but Brewer explains the Dutch Sprokkel- as "sprouting"), Sprokille, Narrenmond, Schmelzmond, Schutzmonat, T(h)aumond, Volburn, Vulneborn (cf. English: "February fill-dyke"), Lichtmessmond, Weibermonat (Luxemburgish: Wievermoandje), Siegmond, Selle, Sille, Sulle, Silmaent, Sollman, Zelle, Zille, Zulle, Rebmonat, Redmonat, Redimonet (cf. OE hreth-), Feber

March - Lenzing, Lenzmonat, Frühlingsmond, Mertz, Merte, Mertemand, Marte, Retmonat, Redtmonet

April - Ostermonat, Launing, Keimmonat, Knospenmonat, Aberelle, Abrille, Eppurele, Eppilre, Prillemand, Ufrelle, Uffelre

May - Wonnemonat (="joy month"), Wonnemond, Winnemond ("grazing moon/month"), Winnemonat, Weidemond, Marienmond, Mai, Maie, Maien

June - Brachmonat, Brachmond, Brauchmonat, Brachet, Braemaent, Braimaint, Broimaent, broumaent, Gieskerec, gisserèche, Gunck (Lothringen), Midsomermonat, Prachmanet, Somertras, somertraz (in France), Wedemaent, Weidemaent, Rosenmond

July - Heumonat, Heumond, Heuert, Heuet, Hau, hauwemant, heuwet, Hoimanot, houw, houwet, houmaen, hoymaent, humand, Huwemaint, Bärenmonat

August - Erntemonat, Erntemond, Ährenmonat, Arnemonat, Bisemonet, Erne, Erster augst, Sichelmond, Ernting, Ouwest, Auwest, Oest, Oechstmoaent, Oigst, Ogst, Oost, Ougestmaent, Ougst, Owest, Owestman

September - Herbstmonat, Herbstmond, Herbsting, Engelmonat, Holzmonat, Ander augst, erster Herbst, evenmant (Lower Rhenish, Dutch), Gillismaent, Haberougst, Havermaent, Herbstsaat, Mand na de arne, Oegstin, Oigstin, Ougstin, Picmaent, Speltmant, Volmant, Vulmant, Scheiding

October - Weinmonat, Weinlesemonat, Weinmond, wimmant, wimmet, Winmonat, Winmond, Gilhart, Gilbhart ("yellow"- an allusion to autumn leaves), Nebelung ("foggy"), Dachsmond, Octember, Ander herbst, Hornung, Remeins maint, Ruselmaent

November - Wintermonat, Wintermond, Hartmond, Herbstmond, Nebelmond, Windmond, Dritter Herbst, laubreise, laubrost, lobrise, loufrise, lofrote, Negeder mand.

December - Christmonat, Christmond, Heilmond, Heiligmond, Julmonat, Wintermond, Hartmond, Schlachtmond, Christmonat, Heilig-, Winter-, Hart-, Schlacht-, Winter- oder Wolfmonat. Andere Namen waren: Adventmonat, Andreas-Monat, Andreismaent, Dustermant, Hasenmaen (Holstein, 16th c.), lestemant, Letzter herbstmond, Smeremaent (Brügge), Speckmaen, vierter Herbstmonat, Volrot, Wendelmaent.

For more on German months, search Google for these names, or see:

Dr. theol. Manfred Beckert-Huberti: Kirchliches Festjahr

Germanische Monatsnamen und ihre Bedeautungen



It will be noted that the months of October and November, as they appear in the Gothic calendar, both have 30 days - and that the concept of Fruma Jiuleis, as the month before the festival, was familiar enough for Wulfila to translate Gk. prosabbaton "the day before the sabbath", as fruma sabbato (Mk 15,42) - see Reconstructing the Gothic Week below. The analogy with afarsabbatus dags, suggests maybe Afarjiuleis for the name of the second Yule Month (rather than Anthar or Aftuma Jiuleis).

The following comments on Gothic astronomy appear in Jordanes (trans. Threedrich Geat):

Thus by teaching them ethics he restrained their barbarous customs; by instructing them in the science of nature, he made them live naturally under laws of their own, which they possess in written form to this day and call bi-lageineis {"laws"}. He taught them logic and made them skilled in reasoning beyond all other races; he showed them practical knowledge and so persuaded them to abound in good works. By explaining theoretical knowledge he urged them to contemplate the progress of the twelve constellations {of the zodiac} and the courses of the planets passing through them, and the whole of astronomy. He told them how the disc of the moon waxes or wanes, and showed them how much the fiery globe of the sun exceeds in size our earthly planet. He explained with which names or designations in the arching heavens the three hundred forty-six stars hurtle from their rising to their setting.

Nam ethicam eos erudiens, barbaricos mores compescuit; physicam tradens, naturaliter propriis legibus vivere fecit, quas usque nunc conscriptas "belagines" nuncupant; logica instruens, rationis eos supra ceteras gentes fecit expertes; practicen ostendens, in bonis actibus conversari suasit; theoreticen demonstrans, signorum duodecim et per ea planetarum cursus omnemque astronomiam contemplari edocuit, et quomodo lunaris orbis augmentum sustinet aut patitur detrimentum, edixit, solisque globus igneus quantum terrenum orbem in mensura excedat, ostendit, aut quibus nominibus vel quibus signis in polo caeli vergente et revergente trecentae quadraginta et sex stellae ab ortu in occasum praecipites ruant, exposuit.

The Goths are also described here as studying the waxing and waning of the moon. Could the number 346 have some relation to the number of days in the Gothic year, minus feast days & intercalated extras? (E.g. 346 + twelve nights of Yule + two nights of Easter (see below) = 360. And the variable remainder perhaps added at midsummer?)

Some elements of the Old English month names are attested in Gothic, or hypothecized:

MENOTHS, m. - month (consonant stem)
MILUKS, f. - milk (consonant stem)
HROTHEIGS - glorious, triumphant
*hroth - triumph, glory (in personal names)
WINTRUS - winter, in the bahuvrihi compound adjective: twalib-wintrus "twelve-years old" (as in other early Germanic languages, a number of years was usually counted in "winters")
FULLITHE - of full moons (this actually translates Saint Paul's words "of new moons", Col 2,26, but presumed a mistake for *niujithe; could this imply that the Goths had a full moon festival of more significance than the new? Not according to Grimm, who considered it a "mere oversight"). The gender and declension of fullith(s) is unknown. It could be a masculine or neuter a-stem, or a masculine or feminine consonant stem (like menoths).
BLOTAN - to worship (Class VII)
blotinassus - worship
gudblostreis - worshipper of God
*blostr, n. - worship, sacrifice (a-stem)
usbloteins - worship
BISAULJAN, bisaulnan - sully, be sullied (Related by vowel gradation to OE sol 'mud'?)
*AUSTR- - east (as in Ostrogoti)

Gothic cognates to elements in the OHG months:

wintrus - winter (see above)
haurn - horn
winja - meadow
*austr- - east
hawi - grass
gras - grass, vegetables
asans - harvest, summer
*widus - wood
hailags - holy

So... Here's my attempt at a reconstructing the Gothic months based on Old English.

Ærra Geola - December - *AFARJIULEIS
Æfterra Geola - January - *SULAMENOTHS
Solmonath - February - *HROTHIMENOTHS
Hrethmonath - March - *AUSTRAMENOTHS
Eostremonath - April - *THRIMILUKIMENOTHS
Thrimilci - May - FRUMA *LINTHJA? or *leitha?
Ærra Litha - June - AFARLINTHJA? or *leitha?
Æfterra Litha - July - *WIUDAMENOTHS, *RUGJA-ASANS
Haligmonath (later: Hærfestmonath) - September - *WINTRUFULLITHS
Winterfylleth - October - *BLOTAMENOTHS
Blotmonath - November - FRUMA JIULEIS

Of course, chances are the real Gothic calendar diverged from the Anglo-Saxon much more than this, both in names and their application, just as the Norse and German did. Maybe it shared features with the calendars of other Germanic peoples. Or maybe the old names were soon abandoned in favour of the Roman ones. Or maybe just a few relics survived like Fruma Jiuleis alongside the Latin names. Possibly there were multiple variants across the wide area settled by the Goths, just as there were within the other Germanic traditions. Probably we'll never know.

Here's an alternative speculative calendar, being mainly a mix of English and (Old High) German names, mostly using (hypothetical) cognates although Friusa- is a calque on Lauwmaand, Eismond, etc.):

February - *HAURNIGGS, *SULAMENOTHS (or *Muldamenoths)
April - *AUSTRAMENOTHS (or *Paskamenoths)

I wonder if there is any other evidence lurking out there... I guess it might be possible to narrow down when the harvesting of these various crops would have been in various Gothic territories. Peter Heather mentions the following as the most important crops in Chernjakhov agriculture: wheat, barley & millet. Also harvested were: rye, oats, peas, acorns & hemp (Heather, 1998, p. 77).


THE BIBLICAL EVIDENCE. In the Bible, we find an indeclinable sabbato "sabbath", as well as sabbatus, with the confused i/u-declension common to many Biblical loanwords. Also: fruma sabbato "the day before the sabbath" = Gk. prosabbaton (Mk 15,42), although the same expression is used at Mk 16,9 for "on the day after the sabbath": frumin sabbato (Gk. prootee sabbatou) - perhaps a mistake. The more reasonable afarsabbatus dags, for "the day after the sabbath" is attested in the genitive at Mk 16,2: this afarsabbate dagis (=Gk. tees mias sabbatoon). Gk. sabbaton is also rendered as Got. sabbato/sabbatus dags, reminiscent of the day naming practice in other Germanic languages.

SURVIVALS. Much more can be guessed about the Gothic week from borrowed day names which have survived in Eastern European languages, especially the southern German dialects. It seems there existed a set of Gothic day names derived from Greek. These originated in popular, rather than learned, Greek and are thought to have been spread by the Goths. Here is a list, based on such reconstructions:

*FRAUJINSDAGS? "lord's day" (calque on Gk. hee kureiakee) - Swiss G Frontag = Sunday; alternatively: *KIRIKADAGS "church day", based directly on the Gk. According to one theory, the Goths may have been responsible for the diffusion of the word "church", and its cognates, among the Germanic languages.
? (Modern Greek has hee deutera)
*ARJAUSSDAGS, or *Areinsdags ( < Gk. areeos heemera) - NHG Arestag, Ertag, Irtag, Irchtag, Erchtag, Erichtag
*MIDJAWIKO? - NHG Mittwoch, Pol. S'roda, etc.
*PINTADAGS, or *paintedags ( < Gk. pemptee heemera) - Pfinztag - NHG dialects: Pfincztag, Pfünztag, Pfinztag, Pfinstag
*PAREINSDAGS ( < Gk. paraskeuee) - Pol. pia,tek (That comma is supposed to be a nasal mark under the "a"), Cz. Pátek
*SAMBATODAGS ( < Gk. Sambaton) - OHG sambaztag > NHG Samstag; OBulg. Sabota, Rum. Sambata, Hung. Szombat, Pers. Samba

See entries in Köbler for: Arjausdags, Paintedags, Pareinsdags, Sabbato

& Dr. theol. Manfred Beckert-Huberti

As stated above, each "day" began at sunset, thus Monday night would probably have been *Arjausnahts.


The language of the Gothic calendar fragment shows a couple of interesting deviations from that of the Bible. Unstressed vowels are confused in althjano (for anthjono) and Fritha- (for Frithu-).
Where a name and a title appear in apposition in the Calendar, only one carries the genitive inflexion. This may be either the name or the title. The other is nominative. Kustanteinus thiudanis 'of King Constantine', Filippaus Apaustaulus 'of the apostle Philip', Andriins apaustaulus 'of the apostle Andrew'. In the Bible, however, name and title agree: atta fraujins Jesuis father of the Lord Jesus (2Cor 11,31); Araitins thiudanis 'of king Aretas' (2Cor 11,32).


Cz. - Czech
Got. - Gothic
Gk. - Greek
Hung. - Hungarian
IE - Indo-European
It. - Italian
Lat. - Latin
MDu. - Middle Dutch
MLG - Middle Low German
MnE - Modern English
MnSw. - Modern Swedish
NHG - New (i.e. Modern) High German
OBulg. - Old Bulgarian
OE - Old English
OHG - Old High German
ON - Old Norse (Old Icelandic)
Pers. - Persian
> - "becomes"
< - "comes from"

AA (Automobile Association), "Book of the British Countryside), 1973
Arnold, N, Ovenden, D & Corbet, G, "Collins Handguide to the Wild Animals of Britain and Europe", 1979
Bede, the Venerable, "De temporum ratione" (On the Reckoning of the Seasons), Chapter 15
Bosworth, J & Toller, TN, "An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary", 1898 + supplement (Toller), 1921
Braune, W, (revised Helm, K), "Gotische Grammatik", 1956
Brewer, EC, "The Dictionary of Phrase & Fable", 1895
Campbell, A, "Old English Grammar", 1959
Chambers, RW, "Widsith: A Study in Old English Heroic Legend", 1912
Cleasby, R & Vigfusson, G, "Icelandic Dictionary", 1874
Czarnecki, T, "Gotisches im Wortschatz des Polnischen", ?
Duden, "Universal deutsches Wörterbuch", 1996
Einhard/Eginhart, (trans. Turner, SE, 1880), "Vita Caroli Magni" (Life of Charlemagne)), Chapter 29
Parallel English & Latin:
Parallel French & Latin, trans. Alain Canu:
Elcock, WD, "The Romance Languages", 1960
Geat, Th. (trans.), "Jordanes: The Origin & Deeds of the Goths"
Grieve, M, "A Modern Herbal", 1931
Grimm, J, (trans. Stallybras, J), "Teutonic Mythology", (trans.) 1883 (orig. Deutsche Mythologie. For the moon & time, see Vol 2, 708-715; for Eastre & Hreth, see Vol 1, 288-291)
Hauge, A, "The West Norse Calendar"
Heather, P, "The Goths", 1998
Hellquist, E, "Svensk etymologisk ordbok", 1922 (entry for råg "rye")
Herbert, K, "Looking For the Lost Gods of England", Anglo-Saxon Books, 1994 (especially pp. 19-22 & the chart on p. 47)
Hunt-Anschütz, A, "The Anglo-Saxon Year"
Kluge, F & Seebold, E, "Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache", 1998
Köbler, G, "Gotisches Wörterbuch", 2. Auflage, 1989
Lintrop, A, "Khanty Bear Feast Songs Collected by Wolfgang Steinitz"
Mierow, (trans.), "Jordanes: The Origins & Deeds of the Goths"
Pollington, S, "Wordcraft: Wordhoard & Wordlists, a concise New English to Old English Dictionary & Thesaurus", 1993
Simek, R, (trans. Angela Hall), "Dictionary of Northern Mythology", 1993 (orig. Lexikon der Germanischen Mythologie, 1984)
Stone JR, "Observing Bede's Anglo-Saxon Calendar", Tha Engliscan Gesithas Members Handbook, 1998 (pp. 21-33)
Streitberg, W, "Die gotische Bibel", 1919
Wely, PF (ed.), "Kramers' Engels Woordeboek", 17th ed., 1938
Wodening, S, "Ancient & Medieval Germanic Month Names"
Wodening, S, "Times & Tides: How the Months Were Kept?"
Sweet, H, "The Student's Dictionary of Anglo-Saxon", 1893
Viking Answer Lady, "Runic Calendars: Time Reckoning in the Viking Age"
Wright, J, "Grammar of the Gothic Language", 1917
Zoega, GT, "Old Icelandic Dictionary", 1910