Coligny calendar

Calendar of Coligny is the name of a Celtic calendar from the Gallo- Roman period, the end of the 19th century was found in Coligny ( Ain department ) in the form of sheet bronze pieces. Investigations revealed that these pieces were the remains of a Gallic calendar, which was created for a period of five solar years.


In November 1897, the small town of Coligny were discovered in southeast France parts of a 174 cm large bronze statue of Mars together with 153 fragments of a bronze metal sheet two kilometers north. This panel originally had a size of 148x90 cm and was composed to around 45 % of their original area. The board fragments are in the Latin alphabet ( Roman majuscule ) labeled in the Gallic language. The plug calendar includes 2021 rows with about 60 words in the preserved part and has long been the most comprehensive text in the Gallic language, only surpassed by the inscriptions of Chamalières and Larzac. The statue and the calendar were originally apparently kept by the fund situation in a sanctuary where they may also have served ritual purposes. They were formerly dated to the 1st century AD, more recent research palaeographic take more of a development towards the end of the 2nd century. The calendar is now preserved at the Musée de la civilization gallo -romaine in Lyon.

Comparable Calendar fragments were also 1807 and discovered in 1965 in Villard - d'Héria which is just 30 kilometers east of Coligny. Inscription and structure are identical so far as appears.


The calendar is set up according to the lunisolar cycle. The basis is a lunar year with 12 months and 355 days, with seven months have 30 each and five months each 29 days. Which the solar year resulting difference is compensated for by starting with the first year and after two and a half years - was inserted a leap month to 30 days - ie 31 months. The leap months have names Quimonios and Rantaranos (or Bantaranos ). The thus found calendar contains 62 months. Each month has a name and in addition with the words MAT - in 30 days - or ANM (AT) - in - in 29 days. These additives may be associated with the words mittelkymrischen mad ( " auspicious " ) and anfad ( " sinister " ) into connection, but it can also be the words " complete" and " incomplete" be meant. Religlöse Fixed or names of gods are in defiance of attempts at interpretation - not listed - in contrast to other ancient cultures.

The calendar can be despite many missing fragments reconstructed thanks to its unique scheme. The only exception is the 9th month Equos. He is in Years 1 and 5, a full month to 30 days, but is still marked as Anmatus. Thus he would have to have at least one of the years 2, 3 or 4 a few days. However, these fragments are not present. Due to the existing specification of the total days of the third year, but can be closed to a monthly length of 30 days in the third year. Remains an uncertainty for the years 2 and 4 In the literature, there are mainly two interpretations. Once Mac Neill, who takes 28 days each for the two missing months. As well as the interpretation of Olmsted, which has for the second year and 28 days for the fourth 29 days.

These 1831 days are very close to the real 62 × 29.530585 = 1830.90 days for 62 synodic months. The moon phases are therefore with this calendar, as opposed to our current Gregorian calendar, reproduced very well. The goal of the 365.24219052 × 5 = take 1826.21 days for the 5 tropical solar years, but about 1831 - = 1826,21 missed 4.79 days. After every 5 years thus would begin the seasons earlier by about 5 days.

But already mentioned Ricci in 1898 that was based on a 30-year period, according to Pliny the Elder in the 16th book of his Natural History of the Celtic era. Can you fail a leap month in these 30 years, we conjecture, the solar time corrected to an error of only 30 - ( 6 × 4,79 ) = 1.27 days.

The accuracy of the moon phase is improved by a missing leap month in 30 years. There are now 6 × 62-1 = 371 calendar months with 6 × 1831-30 = 10956 days. This results in a month-end of 10956/371 = 29.53100 with an error at 30 years of ( 29.531 to 29.530585 ) × 371 = 0,154 days. Thus, the beginning of a moon phase shifts only after 30 / 0.154 = 195 years a day. From Pliny we learn in addition that would not begin until the sixth day of the moon of the month. Assuming an initial match of the month and the moon, the calendar to Pliny times an age of 195 × 5 = 975 years would have had. This would correspond to a time of origin around the year 900 BC

The beginning of each day line is provided with a hole in the sheet metal for a pen, with which the current date is marked. A month is each divided into 15 15 and 15 14 days. After the 15th day, the note is to find atenoux indicating clearly the middle of the month. Atenoux consists of ' ate ' and ' Noux ' together. ' Ate ' here would go back to the Indo-European ' ati ', with the meaning " about", "behind", and also with the Irish ' aith ' are " again " in conjunction. ' Noux ' could derive from the Indo-European origin ' nokow - ts' "night" have arisen, such as the Irish ' i- nnocht ' or Welsh ' nos '. To see Mac Neill and Olmsted the meaning of the word ' atenoux ' roughly as " The Return of the Night" at. Catch the months with the new moon, it would at the time of ' atenoux ' Full Moon and the designation clear that it again reaches the moon.

The additional day note ' prinni Loudin ' is the first day of the first month ' Samonios '. ' Prinni Loudin ' you will return in the next ' MAT' month on the second day, the third ' MAT' month on the third day and so on until the end of the year. So there are incremented, the ' MAT' - months. The same high count finds ' instead ANMAT' - months, only that it half a year later with the month 'is also the day note ' prinni laget ' for the start Giamonios '. Also ' Prinni laget ' is then incremented for a year until the next ' Giamonios ', sometimes a month or two beyond. After Olmsted's derivation means ' prinni ' way, course or path, ' Loudin ' increasing or increasing and ' laget ' waning. So he sees represented by the six-month distance the course of the sun. ' Prinni Loudin ' month ' Samonios ' would consequently the winter solstice and ' Prinni laget ' month ' Giamonios ' denote the summer solstice.

' Prinni Loudin ' may also be a good example here, as some days are displaced on the calendar. So the first entry is not on the first day of ' Samonios ' special on the first day of the following month ' Dumannios '. A presented month name, here ' Samon ' can recognize the move-destination. Such shifts occur everywhere on the calendar, it may have space reasons or other causes.

Other days notice is ' diuertomu ' ( at the end of short months), ' edutio ... ', ' exo ', ' gano ', ' IVUS ', ' ns ', ' amman ... ' and so on.

The fact that many of the above have already been in Gallic names for the Gallo- Roman period as incomprehensible indicates older models for the calendar. The month names are samon ( 30) Dumann ( 29) riuros (30) anagantio ( 29) ogronn ( 30) cutios (30) giamoni ( 29) simiuisonna ( 30) equos (30) elembiu ( 29) edrini-/aedrini- (30) cantlos (29) and are usually no obvious etymology and without disruption for the reason of naming. Possible explanations are there for equos ( to Gallo * epos, Irish ech, "horse" - see also the Calabrian " Horse Month " ίππιος ) and cantlos ( to Irish CETAL, "singing" ). In samon and giamoni - is "Summer" ( to samrad Irish, welsh haf ) and " Winter" ( to geimred Irish, welsh Gaeaf ) suspected. Whether this terrible start, middle or end of these seasons are meant ultimately remains unanswered. The to bring occurring in the text uncertain word to read LVGO with the God Lugh Connect is usually doubted, as in the sequence of letters BANTARAN the connection to God Taranis. Birkhan also implied nor ogronn - called " cold ".

On the second day, and in the second half of the day Trinox [tion ] samonis samon - stated, probably a day of celebration, the Meid with " Midsummer " translate attempts (after Birkhan on the 17th day with the label Trinox sam [on] sindiu, " today [ is ] the three- night of [ month ] Samon ").

Neopagan reception

The uncertain etymology of the calendar of Coligny favors speculative and imaginative interpretation of the neo-paganism ( neo-paganism ) and its versions Celtic neo-paganism, latter day Druidism, the feminist wiccans and others. From these interpretations, the esoteric systems of the Celtic annual cycle, the Celtic tree horoscope and tree calendar developed.