Quid dies est? What day is it?Discover the days of the week in Latin
Passed down from theGreeks to the Romans, thedays of the week in Latinhave been named aftergods and goddesses.The word “day”, “dies” isnominative and the nameof the god/dess is in thegenitive case.
Sunday = Dies SolisDay of the SunThe ancient Romans saw the sun as apersonification of a god. At the winter solsticein December they celebrated the feast of “SolInvictus” (Unconquered Sun) whichrepresented the rebirth of the sun. Inmythology the sun is associated with theGreek gods, Helios and Apollo.
Monday = Dies LunaeDay of the MoonThe ancient Romans looked at the heavensand saw the moon as an embodiment of thegoddess Selene or Diana. Poets and otherwriters often personify the moon simply as“Luna”.
Tuesday = Dies MartisDay of MarsMars was the Roman god of war andagriculture. Consider how war and agricultureare related: when ancient people went towar, often they fought over land. Also, astribal populations increased, people needmore land for farming.His Greek name is Ares.
Wednesday = Dies MercuriiDay of MercuryMercury was the messenger of the gods. Heis often represented with a caduceus, the staffthat has become the symbol of medicine. Hisjob was to deliver important messages tovarious heroes on their journeys as well asguide dead souls to the Underworld. He isalso known in mythology as a “trickster” whoplays pranks and practical jokes.His Greek name is Hermes.
Thursday = Dies JovisDay of Jove“By Jove, I think I’ve got it!” Sherlock HolmesJove is another name for Jupiter, the king ofgods and mortals who rules the heavens. Hisbrothers are Neptune, who rules the sea, andPluto who rules the Underworld.His Greek name is Zeus.
Friday = Dies VenerisDay of VenusVenus is the goddess of love and beauty.Currently, she has a razor named after her.Her Greek name is Aphrodite, which meansborn from sea foam. She is often depicted inart wearing very little clothing and standing ona sea shell.Nota Bene: to pronounce “Veneris” say the “v”with the sound of “w”
Saturday = Dies SaturniDay of SaturnSaturn’s Greek name is Kronos (Cronus).Saturn was a Titan, one of the “old” gods, whowere eventually overthrown by theOlympians, as the mythic stories go. LikeMars, Saturn is a god of agriculture. He is alsothe father of Jupiter.