- Louis Sauvain
Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Asullus Anguli II ... Asullus Corner
So, Asullus’ here, fer all ye oldsters an’ wee ones alike as ha’ been writin’ wi’ yer requests an’ demands — some more polite than others — to be informed on the most serious an’ needful questions o’ our time.
I ha’ picked one scroll from the several as ha’ made their way to the Northern Tower, as it ha’ interested me, both fer its simplicity an’ its complexity, all at the same time.
Our petitioner fer knowledge, one Tomasse Passeo, ha’ asked now how ha’ the namin’ o’ the year an’ all the days come aboot. At first I thought the man must ha’ stepped on the wrong side o’ the rake on the ground an’ caused himself some small head injury — so daft was the query.
Howe’er, as I mulled o’er the question in me mind, (do yer think, at one time, this here verb was spelled ‘muled’?) it did seem that there be more to it than yer basic inquirin’ mind would think. So, I decided to give it some thought an’, as it had to do wi’ thinkin’, I went on a trek to Fornia — me Master, Thaddeus, was makin’ his way there anyway on one o’ his journeys at it happens an’ he’d been wantin’ me to be wi’ him durin’ his time away, ye see. Though me companionship, I believes, was always welcome to him, his greater need, I’m thinkin’, was to find a way to carry all his cargo an’ whatnot as he di’ no’ want to be haulin’ it all himself on his own back. But, p’rhaps I’m bein’ a bit uncharitable regardin’ his true motives. I donno’ think so, but ’tis possible, I supposes.
In any event, as he was goin’ to Fornia, an’ that bein’ the place Master o’ All Useful Knowledge, Anders, now o’ Fornia, hangs his hat, ’twas a simple decision fer this old mule to make.
So, once there, one night ‘round the fire out back, sharin’ brews, an’ passin’ gossip back an’ forth, I brought up this here Passeo’s queries. An’ wi’ sweet, little Morphia to scribble down his replies, here is what he said, minus a few things here an’ there gone away ferev’er durin’ one or two o’ her short naps, don’ ye know.
“So, Asullus, the Earth we stand on is a great ball hurtling through the Heavens and…”
“Ye’ll be excusin’ me ignorant ways, Laddie, but how can ye be certain this be a ball on which we be standin’ as, to most, it’ll be appearin’ straight flat?”
“Ah, to the point as always, good mule. Well, I’d wondered about that, too, so one day I arranged an experiment to find out. You remember that one Cinnian Ancient One we picked up after the Battle of the Linden Trees — the ill-featured one with the scraggly beard?”
“Aye, I do. Weren’t he now the one as was tryin’ to make his way off the field o’ conflict dressin’ up as one o’ the Ladies, an’ quite irritated when he was called on it?”
“Yes, indeed. That’s the one. Well, I asked Thaddeus and the others and no one could think of any particular use for him, so I sought the Fornian Admiral Spruants’ permission to borrow one of his ships with the tallest mast and tied the old Cin to it’s tip-top, then had the crew sail the ship out to sea, turn around and sail it back into the harbor.” Here Anders smiled in anticipation. The moment drew on.
“An’? Yes, Laddie?”
“Hmm. Oh, yes, yes. Well, you see, when the ship came back into port, you saw the grumpy old Ancient One first, then the mast, then the rest of the ship. That’s only possible when you’re sailing on a round ball.
Asullus, lost in though, suddenly blinked and grinned. “O’ course! I sees it most clear. Well, Clever Anders, as I ha’ always said on these many occasions.”
“Well, it turns out we’re on this great sphere — how big a sphere you might ask? Well, I expect to have the answer to that question in the near future. I’ve sent a colleague down to Mellisol in Mauretesia to hold a stick in the ground in the main public square at precisely noon on a day next month and…”
(Now, here be one o’ those places where me sweet Spritae ha’ dozed off, wi’ her writin’ completely stoppin’ but she picked it up only a bit later.)
“…and, thus, all the other planetary bodies circle Sol as well, and all in the same plane. It’s a marvelous system!
“Now, as near as I’ve been able to calculate it, each sphere travels in a perfect circle around our Sol. Now, for Earth, it takes us 364 days to get around back to the same spot from where we started all those days ago.
“Now, as I’ve heard it said, one of the old Emperors who fancied himself a Learned One was the fellow responsible for divvying up the year into 12 months of 30 days each. The extra four days are, of course, the Winter Solstice — the shortest day of the year — the Summer Solstice — the longest — then the two Equinoxes, spring and fall.”
Anders took a swig from his clay flagon, wiped the foam from his lips and continued on.
“Then someone else, along the way, took to naming all these divisions — the months and the days. And then…”
Ah, yer pardon all ye lads an’ lasses. Here, the narrative falters again due to our little sleepy-head’s nodding off. Anyway, I’ll do the summin’ up fer ye all as follows…
Now, probably best I recall fer ye Master Anders listed all the rotatin’ spheres circlin’ ‘round our old Sol, startin’ from the inside, so to speak, as: Mercurius, Veneris, Terra (that be us), Martius, Iovius, Saturnis, Uranus, and Neptunis.
The rest o’ it goes like this…
Months of the Year: Days of the Week:
Winter Solstice Sun’s Day
Ianuarius Moon’s Day
Februarius Mars’ Day
Martius Mercury’s Day
Vernal Equinox Jove’s Day
Aprilis Venus’ Day
Maius Saturn’s Day
Now, me Ma’am di’ no’ raise me to be disrespectful an’ all, but some questions do occur to me concernin’ this organization here.
Fer example, it’s me understandin’ that all these names are as to honor the various Gods and Goddesses as I ha’ heard it said that nothin’ so irritates the dieties as them not be gi’en adnowledgements fer this an’ that.
But, that said, I be curious as to what the Lady, Mater Naturae, do think o’ all this honorin’ wi’ herself not receivin’ a single planet, month or e’en a day to her credit?
Also, how is it that we ha’ Sun’s Day, but the planets circle around Sol, who, in some parts o’ this world also be called Helios, or e’en Apollo?
Likewise, Moon’s Day versus Luna’s Day, and, as above, Artemis and Diana?
An’, why tell, is the seventh month Iovius, but the fifth day of the week is Jove’s Day? Be it the same personage?
An’, curious I be as to how it is the planets’ order o’ advance is listed as Saturnis, Uranus and Neptunis but the months’ be listed as Neptunius, Uranius and Saturnius?
Well, these an’ several other question did tickle me fancy that night under the stars with me Masters and the Mistress, but, wouldn’ ye know, Morphia was off asleep again an’ I had me head a little too far into the booze bucket an’ I regrets to say I really don’ remember anything else.
Now ye know how things move aboot in the Heavens an’ the purposes thereo’, so now, by rights, be a good time to see how things move aboot wi’ the young Thaddeus an’ how it is he got to be. So, venture on in, ye brave o’ heart, an’ find what it is ye seek…
So, that bein’ said, I’ll close up fer this day, but donno’ be shy aboot sendin’ a scroll wi’ yer questions an’ such all listed an this old mule’ll see what he can do.
The Great North Tower, Northfast