I'm finally almost done working my way through Mapping Time
(by E.G. Richards), and while intellectually I understand how it works, stuff like this still BLOWS MY MIND:
[discussing corrections made to various ancient calendars when they got off track with the lunar and seasonal cycles, as they invariably did, nobody having noticed yet that the length of a year is closer to 365.24222 days than any whole number]
Thus 46 BC contained 445 days. [...] This mammoth year was known as 'the last year of confusion.'
It is unfortunate that Julius Caesar was assassinated on the ides of March in 44 BC [...] Caesar was unable to oversee the proper working of his new calendar and the pontifices, as usual, misunderstood their task and interpreted their orders to insert an intercalary day every fourth year as one every three years using Roman inclusive counting. Once more the calendar began to slip.
Then there's always the period when England and her colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar in September of 1752:
Wednesday, 2 September, was followed by Thursday, 14 September, and the intervening 11 days just did not exist in that year.
I understand it but I still can't wrap my head around it
. Where did those days GO?