|The only surviving sculpture of |
made during his lifetime
Err, or go build an aqueduct or road or something. It's kind of like if the Massachussets Institute of Technology used Ouija boards.
Today is a great example of this. The old Roman calendar was 355 days long. Sharp-eyed readers will think that's ten days (actually ten and a quarter days) too short. As a practical people, they also knew this was too short, and so they added a Leap Month every year or two. This month was called Mercedonius, and began on this date. The rules for the month grew over time and became enshrouded in superstition, to the extent that they were fabulously complex and Julius Caesar didn't bother to try to rationalize them in his Julian Calendar - he just eliminated the whole thing. Just as an example, the month didn't follow February, it was embedded within it. Caesar's simplified calendar had a 365 day year which was also wrong (but still a big improvement) and which lasted until Pope Gregory got the year changed to 365 and a quarter days - which is the calendar we have today. We get an extra day every four years, a Leap Day, rather than the weirdness of a Leap Month.
As a weird coincidence, the ancient Roman Mercedonius was authorized each year by the Pontifex Maximus priest; the Popes are the descendants of that office, and the twitter account of the Pope is @Pontifex. As another weird coincidence, Pope Gregory introduced his calendar on this day in 1582.
No telling if Pope Gregory used a Ouija Board in making his new calendar. Probably not.
But Happy Mercedonius anyway!