Babylonian Month: October-November

The eighth month of Mesopotamia calendar is focused on the ending of the ploughing season. In Sumer, this month was called “Apin Du-a,” “the month that the seed plough is let go.” During the afczta festival, the plough is taken in a procession to its “home” – the shed where it is hung until the next ploughing season. (This farming implement is used only from the fourth month to the end of the seventh.) The “Disputation Between the Hoe and the Plough” is read as part of the festival.

Another festival held during this month is the Na-ab-ri-um. The focus is on divining for the coming agriculture year. Babylonians are well-known for their divination by liver (extispicy). Other divining methods used are oil in The Water (lecanomancy) and incense (libanomancy).

The name for the eighth month of the Standard Mesopotamia Calendar is odd. Usually the months are named for what happens during that time. However, this month is simply named, “Arahsamna,” the eighth month. Samsu-iluna, King of Babylon, created this luni-solar calendar to standardize time across the region. Other city states in the area used lunar calendars, all of them different. In constructing his calendar, Samsu-iluna selected various months from these other calendars. This name for this month was a corruption of the Old Persian Calendar for their name of the “eighth month.”

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