週日の名前と神話

I found this interesting, but the names of the days of the week match up in both Japanese and English, perfectly reflecting the names of the planets and their corresponding gods, and in turn the actual names of the days themselves.

DayPlanetRoman MythosGreek MythosNorse MythosCeltic MythosReasonName
曜日惑星ローマ神話ギリシャ神話ノード神話ケルト神話理由名前
日曜日(日)太陽SolHeliosSun's DaySunday
月曜日LunaSeleneMoon's DayMonday
火曜日火星MarsAresTiwTiw's DayTuesday
水曜日水星MercuryHermesOdinWodenWoden's DayWednesday
木曜日木星JupiterZeusThorThor's DayThursday
金曜日金星VenusAphroditeFreyjaFriggFrigg's DayFriday
土曜日土星SaturnChronosSaturn's DaySaturday
天王星UranusCaelus
海王星NeptunePoseidon
冥王星PlutoHades
地球TerraGaia

In addition, a lot of the Greek and Roman words are used as roots in English as well. Greek, as usual, for scientific and higher-level vocabulary, and Roman/Latin for more common words. This seems to reflect, interestingly, the use of Chinese-based words in Japanese as higher-vocabulary versions of native words.

Some examples in English:

  • Helios: Helium, heliocentric, heliotrope, perihelion
  • Sol: Solar system, solarium, solstice, south
  • Selene: selenography (study of the moon), sultry, swelter
  • Luna: lunar, lunatic
  • Moon: menopause, month, menstrual, meniscus
  • Mercury: mercurial, market, merchant
  • Odin/Woden: wood
  • Aphrodite: aphrodisiac, april
  • Ares: ire
  • Mars: march, martial
  • Jupiter: father
  • Thor: thunder
  • Chronos: chronological, anachronism, chronic, chronicle, crony
  • Pluto: plutocracy
  • Terra: territory, terrestrial, terraform
  • Gaia: geography, pangea, apogee, perigee

 

It makes me wonder what the old names of the days of the week were, before they took on the current Western-influenced ones, or even if the concept of a week or weekday existed, say pre-Meiji era…


UPDATE:

Looks like the order of the days of the week may have gone back further than this. The above is still the derivation of the English words, but the order and name preceded all that: http://www.cjvlang.com/Dow/dowjpn.html

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