The month of August, or Mensis Augustus in Latin, was originally the sixth month of the year. It was called Mensis Sextilis before the months of January and February were added to the calendar. Similar to July, which was named after Julius Caesar, the month’s name was changed to honor Caesar Augustus, the first Roman Emperor. August received its name in 8 BCE, when Emperor Augustus was alive and well.
The Latin word augustus means great or noble. It was used as a term to show respect among Romans. Emperor Augustus, whose original name was Gaius Octavius Thurinus, liked it so much that he made it his official name. Then, he named the month after himself. Another reason is that it was also a month in which he had celebrated many military victories during his political career.
In ancient Rome, August was known for the summer heat and the harvest of crops. The god that was in charge of the month was Ceres. Also, many of the festivals during the month were related to agriculture and food. Festivals and rituals in August included an event to honor Hercules, ceremonies for the goddess Diana, and games and sacrifices for the god Vulcan.