Definition of IDES, NONES and CALENDS


civil law. This mode of computing
time, formerly in use among the Romans, is yet used in several
chanceries in, Europe, particularly in that of the pope. Many
ancient instruments bear these dates; it is therefore proper to
notice them here. These three words designate all the days of the

2. The calends were the first day of every month, and were known
by adding the names of the months; as calendis januarii, calendis
februarii, for the first days of the months of January and
February. They designated the following days by those before
the nones. The fifth day of each month, except those of March, May,
July, and October; in those four months the nones indicated the
seventh day; nonis martii, was therefore the seventh day of March,
and so of the rest. In those months in which the nones indicated
the fifth day, the second was called quarto nonas or 4 nonas, that
is to say, quarto die ante nonas, the fourth day before the nones.
The words die and ante, being understood, were usually suppressed.
The third day of each of those eight months was called tertio, or
3 nonas. The fourth, was pridie or 2 nonas; and the fifth was
nonas. In the months of March, May, July and October, the second
day of the months was called sexto or 6 nonas; the third, quinto,
or 5 nonas; the fourth, quarto, or 4 nonas; the fifth, tertio, or
3 nonas; the sixth, pridie, usually abridged prid. or pr. or 2
nonas; and the seventh, nones. The word nonae is so applied, it is
said, because it indicates the ninth day before the ides of each

3. In the months of March, May, July and October, the fifteenth
day of the months was the Ides. These are the four mouths, as above
mentioned, in which the nones were on the seventh day. In the other
eight months of the year the nones were the fifth of the month, and
the ides the thirteenth in each of them the ides indicated the
ninth day after the nones. The seven days between the nones and the
ides, which we count 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14, in March, May,
July and October, the Romans counted octave, or 8 idus; septimo, or
7 idus; sexto, or 6 idus; quinto, or 5 idus; quarto, or 4 idus;
tertio, or 3 idus; pridie, or 2, idus; the word ante being
understood as mentioned above. As to the other eight mouths of the
year, in which the nones indicated the fifth day of the month,
instead of our 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12, the Romans counted
octavo idus, septimo, &c. The word is said to be derived from the
Tuscan, iduare, in Latin dividere, to divide, because the day of
ides divided the month into equal parts. The days from the ides to
the end of the month were computed as follows; for example, the
fourteenth day of January, which was the next day after the ides,
was called decimo nono, or 19 kalendas, or ante kalendas febrarii;
the fifteenth, decimo octavo, or 18 kalindas februarii, and so of
the rest. Counting in a, retrograde manner to pridie or 2 kalendas
februarii, which was the thirty-first day of January.

4. As in some months the ides indicate the thirteenth, and in
some the fifteenth of the month, and as the months have not an
equal number of days, it follows that the decimo nono or 19
kalendas did not always happen to be the next day after the Ides,
this was the case only in the months of January, August and
December. Decimo sexto or the 16th in Fedruary; decimo septimo or
17, March, May, July and October; decimo octave or 18, in April,
June, September, and November. Merlin, Rpertoire de Jurisprudence,
mots Ides, Nones et Calendes.

A Table of the Calends of the Nones and the Ides.

Jan., Aug., Dec. March, May, April, June, February
31 days. July, Oct., Sept., Nov.,
31 days. 30 days. 29 days.

1 Calendis. Calendis Calendis Calendis
2 4 Nonas. 6 Nonas 4 Nonas 4 Nonas
3 3 Nonas. 5 Nonas 3 Nonas 3 Nonas
4 Prid. Non. 4 Nonas Prid. Non. Prid. Non.
5 Nonis 3 Nonas Nonis Nonis
6 8 Idus Prid. Non. 8 Idus 8 Idus
7 7 Idus Nonis 7 ]dus 7 Idus
8 6 Idus 8 Idus 6 Idus 6 Idus
9 5 Idus 7 Idus 5 Idus 5 Idus
10 4 Idus 6 Idus 4 Idus 4 Idus
11 3 Idus 5 Idus 3 Idus 3 Idus
12 Prid. Idus 4 Idus Prid. Idus Prid. Idus
18 Idibus 3 Idus Idibiis Idibus
14 19 Cal. Prid. Idus 18 Cal. 16 Cal.
15 18 Cal. Idibus 17 Cal. 15 Cal.
16 17 Cal. 17 Cal. 16 Cal. 14 Cal.
17 16 Cal. 16 Cal. 15 Cal. 3 Cal.
18 15 Cal. 15 Cal. 14 Cal. 12 Cal.
19 14 Cal. 14 Cal. 13 Cal. 11 Cal.
20 18 Chl. 13 Cal. 12 Cal. 10 Cal.
21 12 Cal. 12 Cal. 11 Cal. 9 Cal.
22 11 Cal. 11 Cal. 10 Cal. 8 Cal.
23 10 Cal. 10 Cal. 9 Cal. 7 Cal.
24 9 Cal. 9 Cal. 8 Cal. 6 Cal.*
25 8 Cal. 9 Cal. 7 Cal. 5 Cal.
26 7 Cal. 7 Cal. 6 Cal. 4 Cal.
27 6 Cal. 6 Cal. 5 Cal. 3 Cal.
28 5 Cal. 5 Cal. 4 Cal. Prid. Cal.
29 4 Cal. 4 Cal. 3 Cal.
30 3 Cal. 3 Cal. Prid. Cal.
31 Prid. Cal. Prid. Cal.

* If February is bissextile, Sexto Calencas (6 Cal.) it is counted
twice, viz: for the 24th and 25th of the month, Hence the word

Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition