Kalends of March


Tomorrow is the Kalends of March.  On this day in 293 AD the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian appointed Constantius Chlorus and Galerius as Caesars.  Constantius Chlorus and Galerian eventually became Emperors.  On the death of his father, Constantine seized the title of Emperor.  After a series of wars he became sole Emperor and proclaimed  the legalization of Christianity in the Edict of Milan and became, on his deathbed, the first baptized Christian Emperor of Rome.  Take that Ides of March, always hogging all the limelight!


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  1. From Roman Emperor to desert prince to Soviet Commissar before he mastered the ways of the Force. Quite the journey. It was the stint as Commissar that doomed both him and the Skywalkers. Commissars always have trouble with the truth.

  2. Constantius may have been forced to put Helena aside, but it seems that she left an impression on him. Though indisputably pagan, he was rather dilatory in enforcing Diocletian’s persecution edict in his provinces, contenting himself pulling down the occasional church and burning a few Christian books.

  3. He went through the motions of persecution and that is all. A first rate general, he rose from quite humble origins. He may have been a secret Catholic, a theory which has much in the historical record to recommend it.

  4. A good look at Constantius and the ambiguous evidence as to his religion. Our knowledge of the man is too limited to draw any hard and fast conclusions.


  5. Fascinating that our names for months and days came from the pagan Romans. In the Slavic world, which was left alone by the Pagan Romans, the names for the days and months have no connection to the pagan Romans gods.

  6. Penguin’s Fan wrote, “Fascinating that our names for months and days came from the pagan Romans.”

    The names of the months do; the names of our days are Germanic, as they are in English and were later latinised (The Romans didn’t use weeks). So we have Monday – Dies Lunae or Lundi in French.

  7. My response to MPS’ comment above is at the link below – I don’t know how to post screen captures of tables in this combox. I am sure MPS will correct any error. 🙂 As far as the Romans not using weeks, my research shows the word for week in Latin is hebdomas (3rd declension feminine) – a Latinization of the Hebrew word. I think MPS is right – use of the week became prevalent only after Christianity became ascendant. But I’m really not sure. History is Donald’s field of expertise, so maybe he knows. And yes, for Latin names of days you can say (for the example of Monday) “Lunaedies” or “Dies Lunae” and be grammatically correct. Again, I defer to MPS’ expertise because I am not the linguist of ancient languages that he is.


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