Intro page | How to Read the Tables | The Roman Calendars | Sources | Analysis
Conversion table: (Excel) (HTML) (CSV) Fasti consulares: (Excel) (HTML)
These pages give access to a conversion table in Excel format, with copies in HTML and text (CSV) formats. This table is useful for determining the Julian equivalent of Roman civil dates in the Hellenistic era from the First Punic War to A.D. 60. The tables open in a new window.
Additionally, the Fasti consulares from 300 B.C. to A.D. 60 are given in Excel and HTML format. The Fasti Consulares is the list of eponymous consuls for each Roman year (though not necessarily under the names they were known at the time). This table also gives the pontifices maximi during the period, since the pontifex maximus was primarily responsible for regulating the calendar. A supplementary chart gives a visual map of the coverage and accuracy of the sources for the fasti in Excel and HTML format.
The dates of a number of important events in late Ptolemaic history, from about 56 B.C. onwards, are known to us only as Roman civil dates. However, even though the dates of a few earlier Egyptian events can usefully be bounded from Roman data, these tables are only marginally useful for Ptolemaic history before 56. Nevertheless, conversions and analysis for the earlier period are presented here for three reasons:
The problems of Roman chronology are very interesting in their own right.
- Recently published data from Egypt, notably the ephemeris table pOxy 61.4175, allows us to fix the dates of a number of years in the period 190-1 B.C., which in turn provides improved insight into how the calendar was regulated in this period
- So far as I can determine, there is no comprehensive study of the problem available in English.
For those familiar with these problems, the analysis and reconstruction presented here offers two major new proposals, based largely on contemporary evidence that has not been considered in previous analyses (mostly because it was not available when those analyses were performed):
The sequence of leap years after the Julian reform is reconstructed as 44, 41, ... 11, 8 B.C., A.D. 4, 8, 12 ... . The standard analysis, based solely on literary evidence, reconstructs it as (45), 42, 39 ... 12, 9 B.C., A.D. 8, 12 ... .
The regulatory principles of the Lex Acilia are reconstructed. This allows us to extend considerably the number of pre-Julian years that can certainly be converted to Julian dates.
I don't pretend that these pages are comprehensive, but I hope they are a useful introduction. Except for the period in which the Julian calendar was operated with a triennial leap year cycle, I have not tried to review all the theories of Roman chronology. In particular, I have relied mostly on 20th century papers, and have only studied the 19th century German scholarship on particular issues. As always, if you spot errors or significant omissions, please mail me.
19 Aug 2004: Removed extrapolations of Brind'Amour model. Extended Augustus birthday discussion.
19 Aug 2004: Added discussions on Plut. Sulla 14.6, SIG 709, SIG 674 with implications for the Lex Acilia
19 Aug 2004: Reworked model in light of the above. Added full annotations to spreadsheets.
19 Aug 2004: Miscellaneous improvements, corrections and typos.
2 Sep 2004: Reworked discussions of 77-58 to take account of Emiliozzi's redatng of CIL I2 2511
6 Jun 2005: Added review of Buxton/Hannah proposal to reinterpret OGIS 458 as introducing the Augustan reform to Asia in 5 BC
11 Sep 2005: Correct and extend discussion of eclipse of Ennius
18 Sep 2005: Present arguments that eclipse of Ennius is that of 20 March 405, adjust model accordingly
13 Oct 2005: Note Fast Caeretani as probable evidence of a 28-day February before the Augustan reform.
5 Aug. 2007: Note Grzybek's critique of Skeat's analysis of the early Augustan calendar in Egypt and discuss its implications for the Roman calendar
27 Aug. 2007: Adjust reconstruction to move closer to solstice in 101 BC
13 Dec 2007: Add extensive discussion of Passehl's revision of the chronology of the battle of Magnesia in 190 BC
2 Feb 2008: Add discussion on the original position of the Julian leap day.
23 Feb 2008: Add page on earliest known true Julian synchronism in AD 6.
2 Sep 2008: Add rebuttal to Gonzalez/Belmonte claims that pOsy LXI 4175 may have been dated incorrectly.
19 Sep. 2009: Add rebuttal to Lewis' objections to my analysis of Augustus' horoscope
7 Mar 2010: Rework linkages to force fully framed pages to appear if a link is accessed from a subframe accessed through Google or other search engines
17 July 2010: Add discussion of Chantraine's theory of a nundinal collision avoidance in AUC 584 = 170.
14 Jan 2012: Revise discussion of eclipse of Ennius to cover Rüpke's suggestion that it was a retrocalculated date and to consider drift since a presumably aligned decemviral reform; this reduces the viability of proposed date of 20 March 405
15 Jan 2012: Incorporate Rupke's model of the 67-day intercalation into discussion of AUC 708 = 46 BC and conversion tables; revert to alternatiing intercalation lengths for model before 190.
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