Monday, December 4, 2017

THE SEVEN-DAY WEEK AND THE MEANINGS OF THE NAMES OF THE DAYS

The Greeks named the days week after the sun, the moon and the 5 known planets, which were in turn named after the gods Ares, Hermes, Zeus, Aphrodite, and Cronus. The Greeks called the days of the week the Theon hemerai "days of the Gods". The Romans substituted their equivalent gods for the Greek gods, Mars, Mercury, Jove (Jupiter), Venus, and Saturn. (The two pantheons are very similar.) The Germanic peoples generally substituted roughly similar gods for the Roman gods, Tiu (Twia), Woden, Thor, Freya (Fria), but did not substitute Saturn.

Sunday -- Sun's day
Middle English sone(n)day or sun(nen)day
Old English sunnandæg "day of the sun"
Germanic sunnon-dagaz "day of the sun"
Latin dies solis "day of the sun"
Ancient Greek hemera heli(o)u, "day of the sun"

Monday -- Moon's day
Middle English monday or mone(n)day
Old English mon(an)dæg "day of the moon"
Latin dies lunae "day of the moon"
Ancient Greek hemera selenes "day of the moon"


Tuesday -- Tiu's day
Middle English tiwesday or tewesday
Old English tiwesdæg "Tiw's (Tiu's) day"
Latin dies Martis "day of Mars"
Ancient Greek hemera Areos "day of Ares"

Tiu (Twia) is the English/Germanic god of war and the sky. He is identified with the Norse god Tyr.
Mars is the Roman god of war.
Ares is the Greek god of war.

Wednesday -- Woden's day
Middle English wodnesdaywednesday, or wednesdai
Old English wodnesdæg "Woden's day"
Latin dies Mercurii "day of Mercury"
Ancient Greek hemera Hermu "day of Hermes"

Woden is the chief Anglo-Saxon/Teutonic god. Woden is the leader of the Wild Hunt. Woden is from wod "violently insane" + -en "headship". He is identified with the Norse Odin.

Mercury is the Roman god of commerce, travel, theivery, eloquence and science. He is the messenger of the other gods.

Hermes is the Greek god of commerce, invention, cunning, and theft. He is the messenger and herald of the other gods. He serves as patron of travelers and rogues, and as the conductor of the dead to Hades.

Thursday -- Thor's day
Middle English thur(e)sday
Old English thursdæg
Old Norse thorsdagr "Thor's day"
Old English thunresdæg "thunder's day"
Latin dies Jovis "day of Jupiter"
Ancient Greek hemera Dios "day of Zeus".
Thor is the Norse god of thunder. He is represented as riding a chariot drawn by goats and wielding the hammer Miölnir. He is the defender of the Aesir, destined to kill and be killed by the Midgard Serpent.
Jupiter (Jove) is the supreme Roman god and patron of the Roman state. He is noted for creating thunder and lightning.
Zeus is Greek god of the heavens and the supreme Greek god.

Friday -- Freya's day
Middle English fridai
Old English frigedæg "Freya's day"
composed of Frige (genetive singular of Freo) + dæg "day" (most likely)
or composed of Frig "Frigg" + dæg "day" (least likely)
Germanic frije-dagaz "Freya's (or Frigg's) day"
Latin dies Veneris "Venus's day"
Ancient Greek hemera Aphrodites "day of Aphrodite"

Freo is identical with freo, meaning free. It is from the Germanic frijaz meaning "beloved, belonging to the loved ones, not in bondage, free".
Freya (Fria) is the Teutonic goddess of love, beauty, and fecundity (prolific procreation). She is identified with the Norse god Freya. She is leader of the Valkyries and one of the Vanir. She is confused in Germany with Frigg.
Frigg (Frigga) is the Teutonic goddess of clouds, the sky, and conjugal (married) love. She is identified with Frigg, the Norse goddess of love and the heavens and the wife of Odin. She is one of the Aesir. She is confused in Germany with Freya.
Venus is the Roman goddess of love and beauty.
Aphrodite (Cytherea) is the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

Saturday -- Saturn's day
Middle English saterday
Old English sæter(nes)dæg "Saturn's day"
Latin dies Saturni "day of Saturn"
Ancient Greek hemera Khronu "day of Cronus"

Saturn is the Roman and Italic god of agriculture and the consort of Ops. He is believed to have ruled the earth during an age of happiness and virtue.
Cronus (Kronos, Cronos) is the Greek god (Titan) who ruled the universe until dethroned by his son Zeus.

The etymology of most of the week days has a big relation with Roman mythology. Romans saw at night a connection between their Gods and the sky that was changing according to the days, so they began to use as a natural way the names of their Gods for planets. Those that were possible to be followed by vision in the sky were: the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
The Moon (Selena - Goddess of the moon, famous by its loves), Mars (Ares - God of the war, by the red like the blood), Mercury (Hermes - God of the traders, messenger of the Gods, and the nearest planet of sun), Jupiter (Zeus - God father, being the second most shining planet), Venus (Aphrodite - goddess of beauty and love, being the most shining planet), and Saturn (Cronos - God of time, being the slowest).
Under the Constantine empire and during great part of the Roman empire, it was named with some changes, the first day of the week doing reference to the Moon, followed by Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn.
In Spanish the planetary names remain in the five days of the week. These five days whose names finish in - es is an abbreviation of the Latin to say the word "día" dies, so that Monday or Lunes comes from the word moon and the planetary connection is also apparent in Tuesday or Martes (Mars), Wednesday Miércoles (Mercury), Thursday Jueves (Jupiter) and Friday Viernes (Venus).
Nevertheless, the words to designate to "Saturday" or Sábado and "Sunday"or Domingo , in Spanish were not adopted using the Roman model of denomination. Saturday comes from the word of Hebrew origin, that refers to the "Sabbat", the day of rest (in the Jewish and Christian tradition, God rested the seventh day of its creation).

And finally, Sunday Domingo has his origin in a Latin word, that means "the day of the God". It is not a coincidence that Sunday has a relation with the Sun and Jesus. Roman emperor Constantine adored Mitra (God of the Sun), but one day he had a dream in which he saw a cross in a sun with the inscription "win with this". It was in this way when he declared himself Christian and he dedicated Sunday like "the day of God". He also forbid to do manual works that day.

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