« A.U.C. 542 = 212 B.C. »
P. Brind'Amour, Le calendrier romain 164f. points to several, if imprecise, seasonal synchronisms in this year.
Livy 25.7: The proconsul M. Marcellus sent a letter to the Senate from winter quarters in Sicily which was read to the senate just after the new consuls had taken office. Hence Id. Mart. of this year was still in winter, or very early in the spring.
Livy 25.12: The consuls left Rome for Samnium on a.d. IV Kal. Mai. The first part of the campaign involved seizing stored winter grain that Hannibal's army was transporting to feed his allies in Campania, since the Roman army had prevented them from sowing the harvest (Livy 25.13). This must have been in Maius, and must correspond to a date after normal sowing, i.e. March. Some time later, the campaigning Romans sought to destroy the crops in Campania which were then "in the blade" (Livy 25.15), which indicates that the campaign was still early in the growing season, c. April/May.
Livy 25.22: The Roman army them laid seige to Capua, and gave the inhabitants the chance to leave before a date given in the surviving MS as Id. Mart. This is obviously impossible, and P. Brind'Amour, Le calendrier romain 165, reasonably suggests amending this to Id. Mai. This constrains the campaign to date as covering only about three weeks.
These indications, loose as they are, suggest that this Republican year was a little ahead of the Julian year at this time. Further there were 5 intercalations between A.U.C. 539 = 215 and A.U.C. 564 = 190, the most recent year whose dates are certain, and 2 between A.U.C. 551 = 203 and A.U.C. 564 = 190.
The following table gives the possible date ranges for Id. Mart. and Id. Mai. A.U.C. 542 assuming 2-5 intercalations between this year and A.U.C. 564 = 190.
Number of Intercalations Number of intercalated days Julian dates in A.U.C. 542
A.U.C. 542-564 Id. Mart. Id. Mai.
2 44-46 16-18 May 212 15-17 July 212
3 66-69 23-26 April 212 22-26 June 212
4 88-92 31 March - 4 April 212 30 May - 3 June 212
5 110-115 8-13 March 212 7-12 May 212
There is clearly only one possibility: there were 5 intercalations between this year and A.U.C. 564 = 190.
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