I always loved learning about mythology in school, particularly Greek and Roman mythology. It always amazed me how much of things we take for granted every day, like the names of months and the names of the days of the week, come from mythology, though not always of the Greek and Roman variety. For example, in Hellenistic astrology, where the seven planets (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon) all had an hour of the day, and the planet that was in charge (so to speak) for the first hour of the day gave its name to that day. A week of seven days was first introduced by the Egyptians to the Romans in the 1st or 2nd century, and the Roman names for the planets were given to each successive day. Interestingly enough, the Roman names for the planets do not correspond to how we know them in English. Monday is “dies Luna” or literally “Moon Day,” but the rest aren’t that obvious. The second day of the week in Latin was called “dies Martis” after Mars, the god of War. In Norse mythology, the god of war was Tiw, and hence “Tiw’s Day” became “Tuesday.” The third day of the week was called “dies Mercurii.” Now, that’s because the Germanic god of war, Woden, was interpreted as “Germanic Mercury.” Woden’s Day became Wednesday. The fourth day of the week was called “Iovis Dies” after Jupiter, the god of thunder, who you will know is Thor in Norse mythology. Iovis/Jovis became the root for “Thursday” in most Romance languages. In Spanish, Thursday is “Jueves,” in French, it’s “Jeudi,” and in Italian, it’s “Giovedi.” The fifth day of the week was called “dies Veneris” after Venus, the Roman goddess of love. “Friday” comes from “Frigg’s Day” after the old English goddess Frige, who was comparable to Venus in Roman lore. The sixth day of the week was called “Saturni dies” after Saturn, the god of wealth and agriculture. The seventh day of the week was called “dies Solis” or literally “Sun Day.”
There. Now you can say you learned something today.