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Roman Dates

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How to Read the Fasti Consulares

Each row in the Fasti Consulares gives the two ordinary consuls, who acted as the eponyms, for the corresponding Varronian year, which is given in the first column. The Julian year that nominally corresponds to the Varronian year is given in the second column.

Spelling of consular names is anglicised in traditional fashion, anachronistically distinguishing between I and J, and between U and V. The names are normally given in the form <prenomen> <nomen> <cognomina>, where the <prenomen> is the consul's personal name, usually identified only by initial; the <nomen> is the name of the gens or clan that the consul belonged to; and the <cognomina>, if present, are the additional name(s) that distinguished the branch of the gens that the consul belonged to. Occasionally, well-known agnomina (nicknames; sometimes these became hereditary, becoming additional cognomina) may be added. For additional details on the Roman naming system see here.

If the consul was patrician his name is given in blue. If he was plebeian it is given in red. If I have not determined his class (which applies mostly after the rise of Augustus) it is left in black. By the beginning of the Empire, most of the great republican consular families were extinct, and the emperors began to raise new families to the patriciate. Unless a consul is of the same gens as a republican consul, I have generally not been able to determine the class of a consul after 30 B.C., with the exception of the Vitellii and the Salvii, who Suetonius informs us were raised to the patriciate.

If a man was consul more than once the number of his consulate is also given. Note that the number includes both ordinary and suffect consulships; only ordinary consulships are listed here.

For example, the sole consul in A.U.C. 709 = 45 is given as C. Julius Caesar V: Gaius of the gens Julius, Caesarian branch, a patrician; his fifth consulate.

Filiations are omitted from the tables given here. Thus, Caesar's fifth consulate is not identified as C. Julius C. f. C. n. Caesar V, identifying him as the son of another Gaius and the grandson of year another Gaius Julius Caesar. These filiations are only given in the Fasti Capitolini Consulares and were normally omitted for dating purposes.

The final column gives the succession of the pontifex maximi. These men are given since they presided over the college of pontiff, who had responsibility for the managing the calendar. Their class is encoded as with the consuls.

How to Read the Source Map of the Fasti Consulares

The discussion of the Fasti Consulares gives access to a spreadsheet containing a colour-coded visual map of the coverage and accuracy of the major sources.

As with the Fasti Consulares, the leftmost column gives the Varronian year and the second column gives the Julian year that nominally corresponds to the Varronian year. The following conventions apply.

The third column indicates whether a censorial lustrum was held in that year, by giving the number of the lustrum in red, as recorded or [reconstructed].

The remaining columns give colour coded summaries of the reliability of a source datum, with some symbolic data as well. The conventions are summarised in a Legend at the top of the table. They are as follows:

No data

Accurate

Minor Corruption -- correct name recognisable

Major Corruption -- correct name not recognisable

Conflict -- suffect or replacement to designate consul named

Traces only remain (Epigraphic fasti only)

Partial entry remains (Epigraphic fasti only)

X

Consul deliberately omitted (A.U.C. 784 = A.D. 31 only)

®

¬

Order swapped

­

­

Out of order -- later in source

¯

¯

Out of order -- earlier in source

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