Posts Tagged ‘Auguste Comte’

O Frabjous Day!

I’ve just highlighted 8th March 2020 in my calendar, to make sure that I prepare properly for next year’s Thucydides Day. I must admit that I had not previously spent any time wondering why, despite his undeniable continuing influence in many areas of modern life, Thucydides fails to gain the level of attention and respect offered to Books, Martin Luther King, Women etc. Yes, one can imagine the ways in which one might celebrate it – very bitter chocolate brownies (probably with chilli), neat gin, Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s The Dead Flag Blues on repeat – but it’s not something one would choose to event. However, it turns out that someone has already invented it.

Yes, the great French thinker Auguste Comte proposed, in 1849, a Positivist Calendar, with 13 months of 28 days each, plus an extra day each year to commemorate the dead (Periclean epitaphios influence? I’ll have to look into that), with an additional Festival day every leap year to celebrate great women. Naturally Year Zero is 1789. Months and days are named after great figures in history (almost entirely male, inevitably) – and the 11th day of the month of Aristotle is Thucydides (since all months have 28 days, the 11th Aristotle is equivalent to our 11th March). Next year I will be fully prepared to break out the brownie mix…

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