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Xander Hahn

@xanderhahn

Joined in October 2019

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Why do we call 12 p.m. noon?

The nickname dates back to the Roman Empire, believe it or not. The Romans had a pretty interesting timekeeping system, dividing the day into four chunks of three hours beginning at 6 a.m. The ninth hour (3 p.m.) was called None and signaled the start of the last section of the day. Over time, the church rituals that happened at None began earlier and earlier (maybe because monks could end their fasts after those rituals). The rest of the story is pretty murky, but at least partially due to these ever-earlier prayers, “noon” meant “midday” by the middle of the 13th century.

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