Resolving the Confusion on the 8th Month

October, derived from the Latin word Octo, meaning eight, would naturally lead one to believe that it is the eighth month of the year. However, this is not the case in our modern calendar system. To understand why October is not the eighth month, we must delve into the history of the Roman calendar.

In ancient Rome, the calendar originally began in March. This meant that October was indeed the eighth month, fitting perfectly with its name. However, in 153 BCE, the Roman senate made a significant change to the calendar. They decided to start the new year in January, which pushed October back two months, making it the tenth month instead.

So, why did the Romans decide to alter the calendar in such a way? The reasons behind this change are not entirely clear, but it is believed that it was done to align the calendar more closely with the natural progression of seasons. By starting the year in January, the Romans could better coordinate agricultural activities with the changing seasons.

It is also worth noting that the addition of January and February to the calendar played a role in shifting October to the tenth position. These two months were added to the original ten-month calendar, resulting in September becoming the ninth month.

Contrary to popular belief, the months of July and August were not added during this calendar reform. Instead, they were renamed. July, originally known as Quintilis, was renamed in honor of the Roman general Julius Caesar, who was born in this month. Similarly, August, previously known as Sextilis, was renamed to commemorate the first Roman emperor, Augustus.

October is not the eighth month of the year because of a historical change made by the Roman senate. The decision to start the year in January and the addition of two months to the calendar pushed October to the tenth position. Despite its name meaning eight, October now holds the distinction of being the tenth month in our modern calendar system.

Is October Really The 8th Month?

October was originally the eighth month in the Roman calendar. The name “October” itself is derived from the Latin word “Octo,” which means eight. The Roman calendar, which began in March, had October as the eighth month.

However, in 153 BCE, the Roman Senate made changes to the calendar, shifting the start of the new year from March to January. This modification meant that October, despite its name, no longer held the position of the eighth month. Instead, it became the tenth month in the revised calendar.

The reason for this change was primarily to align the calendar with the natural agricultural cycle. January was chosen as the new year’s start because it marked the beginning of the civil year and matched the timing of various festivals and religious observances.

While the name “October” originates from the Latin word for eight, the month itself is now recognized as the tenth month due to calendar reforms implemented by the Roman Senate in 153 BCE.

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Is It The 8th Month Of The 9th Month?

The ninth month is not the eighth month. The confusion might arise due to the addition of two months to the original Roman calendar. In the earlier calendar, which had only ten months, September was indeed the seventh month. However, when January and February were added to the calendar, September became the ninth month. It is important to note that July and August were not added to the calendar but rather renamed. Here is a breakdown of the changes made to the calendar:

Original Roman Calendar (10 months):
1. Martius (March)
2. Aprilis (April)
3. Maius (May)
4. Junius (June)
5. Quintilis (July)
6. Sextilis (August)
7. September
8. October
9. November
10. December

Revised Roman Calendar (12 months):
1. Januarius (January)
2. Februarius (February)
3. Martius (March)
4. Aprilis (April)
5. Maius (May)
6. Junius (June)
7. Julius (July) – formerly Quintilis
8. Augustus (August) – formerly Sextilis
9. September
10. October
11. November
12. December

So, in the current calendar system, September is the ninth month, not the eighth month.

Is July The 8th Month?

July is not the 8th month. It is the 7th month of the year. In both the Julian and Gregorian calendars, July is assigned the position of the 7th month. It is one of the four months that have a length of 31 days. The Roman Senate named this month in honor of Julius Caesar, the Roman general, in 44 B.C. as it was the month of his birth.

What Month Is 9th?

The ninth month of the Gregorian calendar is September. It is one of the 12 months in the calendar and follows the month of August. September consists of 30 days, making it one of the longer months in terms of duration. It is positioned towards the end of the year, just before October.


The fact that October is not the eighth month of the year is a result of historical changes in the Roman calendar. Originally, October did indeed signify the eighth month, as indicated by its Latin root “Octo.” However, when the Roman senate introduced the new calendar in 153 BCE, the year began in January instead of March. This shift in the calendar caused October to be pushed back to the tenth position.

It is worth noting that the addition of two extra months, January and February, further contributed to the displacement of October as the eighth month. September, which now follows August, became the ninth month due to these adjustments. Interestingly, the popular misconception that July and August were added to the calendar is incorrect. These months were simply renamed, with July being named after Julius Caesar and August after Augustus Caesar.

The shifting of October from its original eighth position to the tenth position in the calendar serves as a reminder of the complex and fascinating history behind our modern system of timekeeping.

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William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.