« A.U.C. 642 = 112 B.C. »

SIG3 705 is an Athenian inscription recording a senatus consultum passed on [..../EI]DW[NI]OUNIWN of this year. G. Colin, BCH 23 (1899) 303 at 306 notes that the restoration [....KAL/AN]DW[NI]OUNIWN is epigraphically possible but it would be extremely unusual for a word to be broken over two lines like this. Hence he restored the date as a.d. [lost] Id. Iun. rather a.d. [lost] Kal. Iun. This restoration has never been questioned, and the argument seems perfectly reasonable to me. The year of the senatus consultum is certain, since the two consuls M. Livius and L. Calpurnius are both named in it. The prescript dates the inscription to [EKATOMB]AIWN in the archonship of [Dion]ysio[s]. Given the clear A, this is the only possible month. Unfortunately the day is completely lost.

G. Colin, BCH 23 (1899) 303 at 313, equated Id. Iun. to the start of Hekatombaion. The synchronism cannot be this precise, since we do not have a date in Hekatombaion, and since, as Colin himself showed, the language of the text clearly showed that it had not been translated into Greek by a native speaker. Rather, we should conclude that Id. Iun. A.U.C. 642 fell some time in the month before the start of Hekatombaion, to allow time for the decree to be translated into Greek, sent to Athens, and published there.

J. W. Müller, ZPE 103 (1994) 128, has argued that the Athenian lunar calendar at this time was regulated according to a Metonic cycle. Müller's data does not conclusively show a Metonic cycle, but it does show a lunisolar alignment of the Athenian calendar to the solstice, which suggests that we need only worry about misalignment in years that begin or end with a new moon close to the summer solstice. From this we may infer that Hekatombaion (in the lunar calendar -- kata qeon -- but this will be close in the festival calendar (kat 'arconta) since its the first month of the year) corresponds to c. 20 July - 18 August 112, from which we may infer that Id. Iun. A.U.C. 642 should lie in the interval from mid June to mid July 112, or perhaps a little earlier.

Given that Kal. Ian. A.U.C. 677 = 17 December 78 B.C., the relationship between the Julian date of Id. Iun. A.U.C. 642 and the number of intercalations between A.U.C. 642 and A.U.C. 677 is as follows:

Number of Intercalations   Number of intercalated days      Julian date of Id. Iun. A.U.C. 642
     A.U.C. 642-677                                                           

              13                          286-299                               24 July - 6 August 112
              14                          308-322                               1-15 July 112
              15                          330-345                               8-23 June 112

Thus this synchronism implies that there were 14 or 15 intercalations between A.U.C. 642 = 112 and A.U.C. 677 = 77.

Under the reconstruction of the Lex Acilia proposed in A.U.C. 563 = 191, all intercalations involved were 23 days long, thus the senatusconsultum should be dated to 24/30 June 112 (14 intercalations) or 1/7 June 112 (15 intercalations). 14 intercalations give the better match. 

26 Dec 2005: Note that Muller's Athenian alignments are not perfectly Metonic (thanks to Sacha Stern)

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