Today is Shakespeare the 22nd

While researching this week’s article I came across the Positivist calendar, the brainchild of the nineteenth century French thinker, Auguste Comte, the founder of sociology. It was designed to be an alternative to the Gregorian calendar. It had 13 months of 28 days:

  1. Moses
  2. Homer
  3. Aristotle
  4. Archimedes
  5. Caesar
  6. Saint Paul
  7. Charlemagne
  8. Dante
  9. Gutenberg
  10. Shakespeare
  11. Descartes
  12. Frederic
  13. Bichat

That makes a total of 364 days so an additional festival day commemorating the dead was added. On leap years there is a festival day to celebrate holy women. Here is a link to the calendar.

Alas it never really took off. But you have to admit that Comte was a prolific thinker.  He actually created his own secular religion – the Religion of Humanity, whose adherents built chapels in France and Brazil. John Gray gives this description of Comte;

An obsessive and at times unbalanced personality, Comte – a fervent believer in phrenology, like many atheists at the time – developed an elaborate daily ritual that included tapping the forehead at the points where science had supposedly located the impulses of progress, altruism and order. He also created a “virgin mother of humanity”, based on a married woman whom he had fallen in love with. When she died, he appointed her grave a place of pilgrimage.

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