Re: Why not 13 months? (Was La Systeme Metrique)

Tony Belgrove (
11 Jul 1995 15:10:06 +0100

From: (Richard P. Muller)
> I think you also have to recognize the significance of the number 12
> to ancient cultures. Many of these cultures had a hard time with
> non-integers, so their number systems had bases that could be divided
> by many smaller numbers.
> I believe that the Sumerian number system was based on 60 (1*2*3*4*5).
> This is also a good explaination also for why there are 60 minutes in
> an hour. Similarly, the number 12 (1*2*3*4) plays a large role in many
> similar cultures.

Methinks someone should go back to school and relearn some basic
multiplication. 2*3=6, 6*4=24, 24*5=120
I'm sure the Sumerians understood maths better than that.

12 is the smallest number divisible by 1,2,3,4,6 and 60 is the smallest
divisible by 1,2,3,4,5,6

>I think that people believed that whatever calendar
> system they chose had to fit into cosmic harmony as they saw it, and
> so they shoe-horned the calendar into 12 months, even though 13 may
> have been more practical.
> --
> -Rick
> Dr. Richard P. Muller
> Department of Chemistry 213-740-7671 Office
> University of Southern California 213-740-2701 FAX
> Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands,
> hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. - H.L. Mencken