We are taught in kindergarten that the names of each day of a week are distinct. Sunday is the most fun-day, monday makes us sick,etc. No one ever told us why these days are named that way though. To understand the nomenclature, we need to walk down the mythological lane of the different establishments in theism.
Let us start out with the most popularly known, the Germanic mythology - it consists of the body of myths native to the Germanic people. The category includes Norse mythology, Anglo-Saxon mythology, and Continental Germanic mythology. The second sect we ought to familiarize ourselves with is the gods and goddesses of Greek culture- they significantly influenced the development of Roman deities and mythology. Due to Rome’s geographic position, its citizens experienced frequent contact with the Greeks, who had expanded their territories into the Italian peninsula and Sicily. As the Roman Republic was rising to prominence, it acquired these Greek territories, bringing them under the administration of the Roman state. Romans adopted many aspects of Greek culture, adapting them slightly to suit their own needs.The main god and goddesses in Roman culture were Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. Jupiter was a sky-god who Romans believed oversaw all aspects of life; he is thought to have originated from the Greek god Zeus.
Alright,that was all for the class on history. Now let's hop to the factoids.
The Germanic name of Sunday is "Sunnon-dagaz" or the day of the sun. Sunday as the name suggests was the primary day according to ancient Greeks and Romans. In the ancient Greek, Sunday was also aliased hemera heli(o)u.
The old English name of Monday is monen-daeg, which roughly translates to the day of the moon. In ancient latin, the day was named dies lunae. In the modern English however we have decided to just skip out that extar 'o' and go on with Monday.
Tuesday comes from the Norse name Tiu's day or tewesday. Tiu (Twia) is the Germanic god who oversees war and the sky. In the norse mythology the same role is fulfilled by Tyr. The Greeks however believed in giving their god of war a catchy name. Any one, who has watched the wonder-women movie knows about Ares- the Greek god of war. Ironically, in the ancient Greek Tuesday was called as the "hem-era Areos".
Wodensdaeg as the old Germanic name goes, it translates to Woden's day but wait a minute who was this woden ? Woden in Germanic mythology comes from two words "wod " which means violently insane and "en"- headship.Although this is the most realistic approximation to the name it is not the only one. The Latins believe that wednesday is dictated by the movements of mercury, who in their opinion is the god of commerce and movement. The Greeks believed in something extremely similar. They believed that wednesday was the day of hermes, the god messenger. Now here comes the cool part,the Norse kings however believed that wednesday was the day of Odin - the violent chief protecting the realms. Y'all know Odin, don't ya? The beardy old man from the avengers movies.
At this point I am not even attempting a mockery at the marvel multiverse but Thursday was thorsdagr in Old English, which means thor's day. Yup ! you read it right, Thor in the norse mythology identified as the son of the cheif Odin and the god of thunder. Evidently, in other cultures such as the Romans (Jove - Creator of thunder and lightning) and the Greeks (Zeus - god of thunder and lightning) have also dedicated this day towards gods pleasing the thunder element.
Frigedaeg as read in the Old English scriptures dedicates the day to lady Frigga. Yes, this day is named after a women, don't make a big deal out of it now. Frigga was the Norse goddess of love and heavens and was one of the beloved wives of Odin. Identical to the Old English culture was the Greek in naming the day hemera aphrodite or the day of the aphrodite. The only disagreement however was from the Latins who believed it to be the day of the Venus or dies Venera.
saetur(nes)dagr is the Old English name of saturday. The Greeks, romans and Latins agree with the concept of saturn being the ruler of earth in happiness. Saturn was believed to be the god of Agriculture and the consort of Ops.
That's all the days we have. What are you waiting for?
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