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Season of the Harvest

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Season of Low Water[1][a]
Šmw
Egyptian hieroglyphs

The Season of the Harvest or Low Water[1] was the third and final season of the lunar and civil Egyptian calendars. It fell after the Season of the Emergence (Prt) and before the spiritually dangerous intercalary month (Ḥryw Rnpt), after which the New Year's festivities began the Season of the Inundation (Ꜣḫt).[1] In the modern Coptic calendar it falls between Tobi 11 and Paoni 11.[3]

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Egyptian calendar

Egyptian calendar

The ancient Egyptian calendar – a civil calendar – was a solar calendar with a 365-day year. The year consisted of three seasons of 120 days each, plus an intercalary month of five epagomenal days treated as outside of the year proper. Each season was divided into four months of 30 days. These twelve months were initially numbered within each season but came to also be known by the names of their principal festivals. Each month was divided into three 10-day periods known as decans or decades. It has been suggested that during the Nineteenth Dynasty and the Twentieth Dynasty the last two days of each decan were usually treated as a kind of weekend for the royal craftsmen, with royal artisans free from work.

Season of the Emergence

Season of the Emergence

The Season of the Emergence was the second season of the lunar and civil Egyptian calendars. It fell after the Season of the Inundation and before the Season of the Harvest. In the modern Coptic calendar, the season falls between Paopi 10 and Tobi 10.

Intercalary month (Egypt)

Intercalary month (Egypt)

The intercalary month or epagomenal days of the ancient Egyptian, Coptic, and Ethiopian calendars are a period of five days in common years and six days in leap years in addition to those calendars' 12 standard months, sometimes reckoned as their thirteenth month. They originated as a periodic measure to ensure that the heliacal rising of Sirius would occur in the 12th month of the Egyptian lunar calendar but became a regular feature of the civil calendar and its descendants. Coptic and Ethiopian leap days occur in the year preceding Julian and Gregorian leap years.

Season of the Inundation

Season of the Inundation

The Season of the Inundation or Flood was the first season of the lunar and civil Egyptian calendars. It fell after the intercalary month of Days over the Year and before the Season of the Emergence. In the modern Coptic Calendar, this season lasts from Paoni 12 to Paopi 9.

Coptic calendar

Coptic calendar

The Coptic calendar, also called the Alexandrian calendar, is a liturgical calendar used by the Coptic Orthodox Church and also used by the farming populace in Egypt. It was used for fiscal purposes in Egypt until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar on 11 September 1875. This calendar is based on the ancient Egyptian calendar. To avoid the calendar creep of the latter, a reform of the ancient Egyptian calendar was introduced at the time of Ptolemy III which consisted of adding an extra day every fourth year. However, this reform was opposed by the Egyptian priests, and the reform was not adopted until 25 BC, when the Roman Emperor Augustus imposed the Decree upon Egypt as its official calendar. To distinguish it from the Ancient Egyptian calendar, which remained in use by some astronomers until medieval times, this reformed calendar is known as the Coptic or Alexandrian calendar. Its years and months coincide with those of the Ethiopian calendar but have different numbers and names.

Tobi 11

Tobi 11

Tobi 10 - Coptic Calendar - Tobi 12

Paoni 11

Paoni 11

10 Paoni - Coptic calendar - 12 Paoni

Names

The Season of the Harvest was known to the Egyptians themselves as "Low Water" (Ancient Egyptian: Šmw), variously transliterated as Shemu or Shomu,[4] in reference to the state of the Nile before the beginning of its annual flood.

It is also referred to as Summer or the Dry Season.[5]

Lunar calendar

In the lunar calendar, the intercalary month was added as needed to maintain the heliacal rising of Sirius in the fourth month of this season. This meant that the Season of the Harvest usually lasted from May to September. Because the precise timing of the flood varied, the months of "Low Water" no longer precisely reflected the state of the river but the season was usually the time for the collection of Egypt's grain harvest.[6]

Civil calendar

In the civil calendar, the lack of leap years into the Ptolemaic and Roman periods meant the season lost about one day every four years and was not stable relative to the solar year or Gregorian calendar.

Months

The Season of the Harvest was divided into four months. In the lunar calendar, each began on a dawn when the waning crescent moon was no longer visible. In the civil calendar, each consisted of exactly 30 days[7] divided into three 10-day weeks known as decans.

In ancient Egypt, these months were usually recorded by their number within the season: I, II, III, and IV Šmw. They were also known by the names of their principal festivals, which came to be increasingly used after the Persian occupation. These then became the basis for the names of the months of the Coptic calendar.

Egyptian Coptic
Transliteration Meaning
I Šmw
Hnsw
First Month of Low Water
 
Pashons
II Šmw
Hnt-Hty
Second Month of Low Water
 
Paoni
III Šmw
Ipt-Hmt
Third Month of Low Water
 
Epip
IV Šmw
Wp Rnpt
Mswt Rꜥ
Fourth Month of Low Water
New Year's
Birth of the Sun
Mesori

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Coptic calendar

Coptic calendar

The Coptic calendar, also called the Alexandrian calendar, is a liturgical calendar used by the Coptic Orthodox Church and also used by the farming populace in Egypt. It was used for fiscal purposes in Egypt until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar on 11 September 1875. This calendar is based on the ancient Egyptian calendar. To avoid the calendar creep of the latter, a reform of the ancient Egyptian calendar was introduced at the time of Ptolemy III which consisted of adding an extra day every fourth year. However, this reform was opposed by the Egyptian priests, and the reform was not adopted until 25 BC, when the Roman Emperor Augustus imposed the Decree upon Egypt as its official calendar. To distinguish it from the Ancient Egyptian calendar, which remained in use by some astronomers until medieval times, this reformed calendar is known as the Coptic or Alexandrian calendar. Its years and months coincide with those of the Ethiopian calendar but have different numbers and names.

Egyptian calendar

Egyptian calendar

The ancient Egyptian calendar – a civil calendar – was a solar calendar with a 365-day year. The year consisted of three seasons of 120 days each, plus an intercalary month of five epagomenal days treated as outside of the year proper. Each season was divided into four months of 30 days. These twelve months were initially numbered within each season but came to also be known by the names of their principal festivals. Each month was divided into three 10-day periods known as decans or decades. It has been suggested that during the Nineteenth Dynasty and the Twentieth Dynasty the last two days of each decan were usually treated as a kind of weekend for the royal craftsmen, with royal artisans free from work.

Transliteration of Ancient Egyptian

Transliteration of Ancient Egyptian

As used for Egyptology, transliteration of Ancient Egyptian is the process of converting texts written as Egyptian language symbols to alphabetic symbols representing uniliteral hieroglyphs or their hieratic and demotic counterparts. This process facilitates the publication of texts where the inclusion of photographs or drawings of an actual Egyptian document is impractical.

Pashons

Pashons

Pashons, also known as Pachon and Bachans, is the ninth month of the ancient Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It lasts between May 9 and June 7 of the Gregorian calendar. The month of Pashons is also the first month of the Season of Shemu (Harvest) in Ancient Egypt, when the Egyptians harvest their crops throughout the land.

Paoni

Paoni

Paoni, also known as Payni and Ba'unah, is the tenth month of the ancient Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It lasts between June 8 and July 7 of the Gregorian calendar. Paoni is also the second month of the Season of Shemu (Harvest) in Ancient Egypt, where the Egyptians harvest their crops throughout the land.

Epip

Epip

Epip, also known as Epiphi and Abib, is the eleventh month of the ancient Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It lasts between July 8 and August 6 of the Gregorian calendar. The month of Epip is also the third month of the Season of Shemu (Harvest) in ancient Egypt, where the Egyptians harvest their crops throughout the land.

Mesori

Mesori

Mesori is the twelfth month of the ancient Egyptian and Coptic calendars. It is identical to Nahase in the Ethiopian calendar.

Source: "Season of the Harvest", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Season_of_the_Harvest.

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Notes
  1. ^ Alternative representations of the Season of Low Water include
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References
  1. ^ a b c Clagett, Marshall (1995), Ancient Egyptian Science: A Source Book, Vol. II: Calendars, Clocks, and Astronomy, Memoirs of the APS, No. 214, Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, p. 5, ISBN 9780871692146.
  2. ^ Vygus, Mark (2015), Middle Egyptian Dictionary (PDF).
  3. ^ "Image 8 of The Divine Liturgies of Saints Basil, Gregory, and Cyril". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. pp. 171–175. Retrieved 2022-11-01.
  4. ^ "Shomu", Encyclopaedia Britannica, retrieved 14 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Inundation", Glossary, Leiden University.
  6. ^ David P. Silverman, Ancient Egypt, Duncan Baird Publishers, London 1997. p.93
  7. ^ Allen, James P. (2000), Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 103–106.
Preceded by Egyptian Seasons
Season of the Harvest
Šmw

days: 125 or 126 days
Succeeded by
Days over the Year
Ḥryw Rnpt

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