Andrew Marr

“They then named one day after the Moon and another after the Sun, giving them a seven-day week. Seven was regarded as a perfect number; and the Sumerian week is of course our week, its days still named in the Sumerian fashion, though with Roman or Old English words. Saturn becomes Saturday, Sol (‘the sun’ in Latin) becomes Sunday. Luna, the moon, becomes lundi in French, or our Monday (Moon-day). Mars is mardi, though in English, thanks to a Norse god, Tuesday. Similarly, Wednesday is Wodin’s day, but Wodin was the god associated with the planet Mercury. Jupiter is jeudi; or in English, Thursday, Thor being the northern god associated with Jupiter. Venus is vendredi, or Friday. The Sumerians also developed a counting system based on the number sixty, which is divisible by eleven other numbers and so particularly handy for Bronze Age accountancy. From this we get our 60-second minutes, 60-minute hours, 360-day years and 360-degree circles.”


Andrew Marr, A History of the World
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A History of the World A History of the World by Andrew Marr
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