« AnteriorContinuar »
The days of the week are called Sunday, Mónday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. To these days the Pagans gave the names of the sun, moon, and planets; to the firft the name of the Sun, to the second of the Moon, to - the third of Mars, to the fourth of Mercury, to the.
fifth of Jupiter, to the sixth of Venus, and to the seventh of Saturn.
All nations do not reckon the days in the fame order. The Chriftians count from Sunday, in memory of the resurrection of our Saviour, the Jews from Saturday, and the Mahometans from Friday.
A day is either artificial or natural. An artificial day is the space of time, which passes between the sun's rifing and setting, or the time of his stay above the horizon. In opposition to which, the time between his setting and rising, or his duration - under the horizon, is called night:-A natural day comprehends both, being the time in which the sun makes one entire revolution ; or, to speak inore properly, the time in which the earth revolves once about its axis.
1 The natural day is divided into morning, roon, evening, and midnight; and consists of twenty-four hours.
The present Greeks begin their day at fun-rifing, as did the ancient Babylonians, Perfians, Syriang,,
and most other eastern nations. The modern Italians and Chinese reckon it from sun-setting ; as did the ancient Jews, Athenians, Bohemians, and Silesians. The Arabian's and modern astronomers begin' the day at noon. The English, French, Dutch, Germans, Spaniards, Portuguese, and Egyptians, begin it at midnight.
The length of the day and night is equal, in England, twice every year, once on the 21st of March, and again on the 21st of September. Both these times are called the equinoxes.
Those intensely hot days between the 19th of July and the 28th of August, are called dog-days, because the star called the canicular, or the great dog-star, during that time, rises and sets with the fun.
The longest day is on the 21st of June, at the beginning of Summer, after which the days begin gradually to decrease. This is called the summer folftice, because then the sun stops short in his journey towards the north, and begins to return fouthward.
The Mortest day is on the 21st of December, at the beginning of winter, after which the days begin gradually to increase. This is called the winter folftice, because then the fun stops short in his
course towards the south, and begins to return northward.
This change, however, is not the same in every part of the earth. There are, for example, some countries, where the length of the day and night is always exactly, or nearly the same *; and others where the night continues always six months, and the day consequently as many t.
The Romans divided their months into calends, nones, and ides ; calling the first day of every month its calends.
OF HOURS, MINUTES, AND SECONDS.
AN bour is the twenty-fourth part of a natural
day. Different people reckon the hours in a different manner. Babylonish hours are those, which are counted from fun-rising in a continued series of twenty-four. Italian hours are those reckoned from fun-setting in a like feries. European hours are those counted from midnight, twelve from thence to noon, and from noon to midnight' twelve more. Those which commence their order from noon, are called astronomical, be 'cause used by aftronomers.
* At the Equator.
+ At the Poles.
An hour is usually divided into sixty equal parts called minutes, each minute into fixty féconds ; these again into fixty thirds, and fo'on. The Jews, Chaldæans, Arabs, and other eastern people; divide the hours into a thoufand and eighty fcrúples, eighteen whereof are equal to our minute. it's
CI HAP. LVIII.
OF CYCLES, AND THE DOMINICAL LETTER:: A Cycle is a circle of years
, months and days, used by chronologers, to signify a perpetual round or circulation of the same parts of time, proceeding orderly from first to last, and recurring again from, laht to first, successively, and without interruption.
As the annual motion of the fun, and other heavenly bodies, i cannot be measured exactly without any remainder of minutes, seconds, &c. to swallow
up these fractions in whole numbers, that is, such as only express days and years, cycles have been invented; which, comprehending several revolutions of the fame body, replace it, after a certain number of years, in the same point of the heavens. whence it first departed; or, which is the same thing, in the same place of the civil calendar.
The most famous cycles are, the Cycle of the Moon; the Cycle of the Sun, and the Cycle of Ină diation.com ? The cycle of the moon, or lunar cycle, called also: the Metonic cycle, from its inventor Meton, an Athenian, is a circle or revolution of nineteen years, in which time the new and full moons are supposed to return to the same day of the month in the Julian calendar
• The cycle of the fun, or solar cycle, is a revolution of twenty-eight years. When these are elapsed; the Dominical, or Sunday Letters in the calendar, return into their former place, and proceed in the same order as before. It is from thefe Sunday. Letters, and not from any regard to the sun's course, that the cycle has obtained its name:
The feven förft letters of the alphabet, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, are used in our almanacks to denote the days of the week in order, from the first to the seventh, throughout the year. Now that which