History Series: June

History of June

Origin of the name and its meaning

Bill Petro
ILLUMINATION
Published in
3 min readJun 1, 2024

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Juno, Queen of the Gods. Goddess of Love and Marriage. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. Image: Wikimedia

June represents the year’s halfway point, the sixth of the twelve months of the Gregorian calendar, which we currently use in the West, and the earlier Julian calendar, named for Julius Caesar, the namesake of July. Where do we get the name for June?

What’s In A Name?

Ovid, author of the bi-millennial best-selling magnum opus Metamorphoses — where he takes the Greek myths and gives them Roman names — suggests two possible etymologies.

  • The first and more likely origin is the Roman goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter, who was referred to as Hera by the Greeks. She is the patroness of marriages, and most marriages happen during June. It was considered good luck to get married during June, though the good weather and school vacation could have something to do with it now.
  • Ovid also submitted that the month was named for Iuniores, Latin for “young people,” in the same way that May is named for “elders” or Maiores. And as we all recall from the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” there was no J in Latin in the 1st century.

Astronomy and June

June contains the longest days of the year, at least in the Northern Hemisphere…

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Bill Petro
ILLUMINATION

Writer, historian, technologist. Former Silicon Valley tech exec. Author of fascinating articles on history, tech, pop culture, & travel. https://billpetro.com