AUGUST: WHAT’S IN A NAME? August is named for the Roman emperor Augustus Caesar, grandnephew of Julius Caesar. When Augustus defeated Cleopatra and Mark Anthony at the Battle of Actium in 30 B.C., he became emperor of Rome, and the Roman Senate quickly decided that since the month of July was named for Julius, their new emperor should also have hisown month. At the time, Sextillius (the sixth month of the year in the pre-Gregorian calendar) had only 30 days, so the Senate also decreed that the newly named August should be equal to July, and took a day from February to keep the calendar in balance. Other emperors tried to get months named for them: May was called Claudius for a while, and April became Neronius, but the names didn’t stick.