« A.U.C. 705 = 49 B.C. »

Cicero, Ad Atticum 9.10, lists by date a series of letters he sent every few days between a.d. X Kal. Feb. and a.d. VII Id. Mart. on matters he considered urgent. If an intercalary month had occurred in this year, it would have introduced a large gap into this sequence. Therefore no intercalation occurred, and this year was 355 days long.

G. Radke, Fasti Romani 60, ignores this evidence. He believes that A.U.C. 709 = 45 was a 366-day leap year, and that the year of the tumultus Lepidianus, with nundinal letter of A, was A.U.C. 711 = 43 (though in Fasti Romani 58 n. 125 he assumes that the year of the tumultus Lepidianus was A.U.C. 676 = 78!). Noting that the letter for A.U.C. 702 = 52 was also A, that A.U.C. 708 = 46 was 445 days long, and that all other intervening years were regular 355 or 365 day years, he argues that this year must have been intercalary.

Normally, this analysis, if accepted, would result in reconstructing an intercalation of 23 days. However, based on a synchronism he (incorrectly) believed he had identified, which is discussed under A.U.C. 697 = 57, Radke argues that there was in fact a 31 day intercalation this year. He supposes that it consisted of a regular 23 day intercalation combined with the 8 days that would be added to Aprilis, Iunius, Sextilis, September, November and December in the Caesarian reform. Supposedly this was a first attempt by Caesar to institute the Julian reform.

I can only describe this analysis as bizarre. Radke admits that it has no historical support. Moreover, it is unclear on this model when or how Caesar is supposed to have arrived at the theory of calendrical reform, since he had spent the greater part of the previous decade conquering Gaul.

In view of the evidence cited by Brind'Amour, however, this year was almost certainly regular, so Radke's entire argument is moot.

Since the Julian dates of A.U.C. 706 = 48 are known, this result fixes the Julian dates of A.U.C. 705 = 49.

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