Ærra Gēola

Ærra Gēola, m.n: “First Yule” or “Before Yule”, i.e. December. (“ar-ruh yeh-o-luh”)

news-manuscript-december

Image: Liturgical calendar for December from Calvin College’s medieval manuscript.

Further information from Kazutomo Karasawa’s The Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium) (Cambridge, 2015)

                             Þænne folcum bringð

morgen to mannum   monað to tune,

Decembris   drihta bearnum,

Ærra Iula.

—The Old English Metrical Calendar (Menologium), lines 218b-21a

Then the month of December, Ærra Iula, brings the next morning to town, to nations, to people, to children of men. (trans. by K. Karasawa)

Karasawa writes, ‘December and January shared the name Iula (Giuli, Geola) and Ærra ‘former’ or Æfterra ‘latter’ was added to distinguish the two’ (p. 126).