"Alas," said the Roman emperor Vespasian in 79 A.D., "I feel myself becoming a god." Vespasian, a one-time courtier of Nero’s, is known mainly for his reign’s relative tranquility; his death is mostly remarkable for its placidity (he died in his home province) and his deathbed witticism. And by Roman theological standards, he was right: becoming gods was what dying emperors did. And of these emperors, the first of the Caesars were undoubtedly the greatest. Gaius Julius, reshaped Rome and marched his armies down its streets, ending the Republic. His nephew, Gaius Octavius, later Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, later still Caesar Augustus (Caesar the Exalted), was the first true emperor of Rome. Special emperors deserve special recognition, which is why we have months called "July" and "August" but none called "Claud" or "Flav." The idea that days were carved from February to make August as lengthy as July and thus prevent from displaying a blasphemous preference for one Caesar or another. Alas, the real story may be more simple. The Roman calendar ended with Febrarius, the month of repentence leading to the Ides of March and the new year. Calendar reform is tricky enough as it is. All kinds of gaps can sneak in. If the creators of Julian calendar had a sense of roughly how long the year was supposed to be, February could just trail off to fill the gaps. The month was a lagniappe. If Julius Caesar were really looking down from the pantheon, however, one wishes he could have taken up a few more honors yet; who wouldn’t trade a lovely morning in June for a few miserable days slogging through the muck of February?