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Opinion: The eclipse, and the ancient gods of our weekdays

Last Monday, many people put on their special glasses to watch the total eclipse of the sun. It struck me as being significant that the phenomenon occurred on Monday, a day that is named for the Moon.


Our current use of English derives from Middle English, which was heavily influence by the invasion of England and its occupation by the Angles and Saxons from the region of Europe that is now Germany. That’s why English is referred to as a “Germanic” language, although many of our words have Latin, as well as French, roots.


Several hundred years ago, our “Monday” was “monandaeg.” “Monan” was the word for moon, and “daeg” was “day.” Other days of the week were named for other celestial bodies as well as ancient gods. And there is an interesting story about this hypothetical connection between astronomical science and the deities.

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