Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Egyptian month names

The Egyptian names of months are not included in LSJ, but some were added to the Revised Supplement): Μεσορή, παῦνι (and variant spellings), Παχών; cf. Φαρμουθιακός.

The first of these name is explained simply as a month with some papyrological and Egyptian and Cyrenean epigraphic citations. The  names in π- are explicitly months 'in N. Africa'. Τhe adjective is glossed as 'of the Egyptian month...'. Capitalisation is inconsistent.

The set is incomplete even though a hexameter poem from the Greek Anthology (9.383, cited by Rev.Supp. for Μεσορή, παῦνι and Παχών) tells what there is to know as far as the order goes:
Πρῶτος Θὼθ ἐδάη δρεπάνην ἐπὶ βότρυν ἐγείρειν.               August-September 
ἰχθυβόλοισι Φαωφὶ φέρει πανδήμιον ἄγρην.                       September-October 
Πληιάδων φαίνουσαν Ἀθὺρ τεκμαίρεται ὥρην.                   October-November 
Χοιὰκ σπειρομένων σταχύων δείκνυσι γενέθλην.                November-December 
Τυβὶ δὲ πορφύρεον βουληφόρον εἷμα τιταίνει.                    December-January
<σημαίνει πλωτῆρσι Μεχεὶρ πλόον ἀμφιπολεύειν.>             January-February 
Ἄρεος ὅπλα φέρειν Φαμενὼθ δείκνυσι μαχηταῖς.               February-March 
εἰαρινῶν Φαρμουθὶ ῥόδων πρωτάγγελός ἐστι,                    March-April 
λήια δ’ αὐανθέντα Παχὼν δρεπάνῃσι φυλάσσει,                 April-May 
εὐκάρπου δὲ Παϋνὶ προάγγελός ἐστιν ὀπώρης,                   May-June 
καὶ σταφυλὴν κατέχων εὐάμπελός ἐστιν Ἐπηφί,                 June-July 
καὶ Μεσορὶ Νείλοιο φέρει φυσίζοον ὕδωρ.                         July-August

9.384 is an elegy that does not name the Roman months, but has each of them speak for themselves about their distinguishing features. 9.580 is a similar hexameter piece (not '530' as in Paton's General Index s.v. Months..., Roman' on p. 451 of the Loeb edn, volume III).

No comments: