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The Twelve Horae (or Horai) were goddesses of the hours of the day and possibly even the twelve months of the year. Their duty was to oversee the path of Helios, the sun god. They are the daughters of Chronos, the personification of time.

The Horae

  1. Auge - the first light
  2. Anatolia - sunrise
  3. Musica - the morning hour of music and study
  4. Gymnastica - the morning hour of exercise
  5. Nymphe - the morning hour of bathing and washing
  6. Mesembria - noon
  7. Sponde - libations poured after lunch
  8. Elete - prayer, the first of the afternoon work hours
  9. Akte (also called Acte or Cypris) - eating and pleasure, the second of the afternoon work hours
  10. Hesperis - evening
  11. Dysis - sunset
  12. Arktos - night sky, constellations

Hour Differences

The ancient Greeks had their hours of the day fixed differently than we do today. They divided their hours into only twelve portions, rather than twenty-four, and it was identified by the position of the sun in the sky. This method had a major flaw. The actual length of the hour changed between summer days and winter days.

Trivia

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