Monday, December 28, 2009
Who invented the seven-day week?
Who: The Babylonians who lived in Mesopotamia.
How: The Babylonians worshiped the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. They believed that those stars were so special and magical that they affected destinies of men and they also believed that they can predict the future by studying those stars. To them, Mars meant war and Venus meant love.
Five planets were known to them at that time and for each of the planets they dedicated a day, with the Sun and the Moon that made 7 days. Note that Sun-day refers to the Sun, Mon-day refers to the Moon and Satur-day refers to Saturn. In French and Italian, the rest of the days still refer to the other planets.
Source: A little History of the World, by E. F. Gombrich.
So if the all of the planets were known to them, we could have ended up with an 11-day week and probably with a 3-day weekend :p