Greek Time

Shorter hours in Winter, longer in Summer. An ancient good idea?

Slow days have passed that make a year,
Slow hours that make a day...
- Elizabeth Siddal

Sir Edward Burne-Jones, painting The Hours
The Hours
by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, 1882

More information on the painting above on

This digital timepiece has been inspired by a passion for the classical, Graeco-Roman way of understanding time, in which each daylight hour was presided over by one of twelve goddesses, each with a specific role for the duration. These deities were called, as a group, the Horai (Ὡραι) in Greek or Horae in Latin. Their task was to assist the Sun (Helios) in his daily passage from sunrise to sunset.

Rather than today's fixed lengths, the hours of the classical world varied in length: shorter in winter to reflect the shorter periods of daylight. Thus the Horae are calibrated to latitude, as you must do with sun dials.

Read this article that presents in detail the 12 hours of the day, and which inspired the creation of this timepiece. Explore more about Greek and Roman mythology and its connection with time starting with this Encyclopaedia Britannica entry.

Current hora of popular cities

Reload the page to see the latest Hora for the cities below, each links to their modern time page.

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