Hic aues incipiunt cantare: Shifts in the Beginning of Seasons in Medieval Calendars of Rome and the Nordic Countries

Halonen, Marko

Medieval calendars contain a great deal of information concerning not only liturgical feasts but also the movements of celestial objects, the beginning of seasons, and other natural phenomena. This case study analyzes approximately 500 Roman and Fenno-Scandinavian calendars with especial attention to their mention of sea-sonal conditions. This material reveals some general trends in the seasons’ gradual shifts earlier or later in these calendars, depending on the century and location. The general pattern of these shifts gives some indication of how climatic and social changes of the fourteenth century became recorded in a practical tool for organizing time such as a calendar. Comparing these shifts at the opposite ends of Christendomalso reveals how differently the same phenomena were perceived in different parts of the continent.

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