« A.U.C. 582 = 172 B.C. »

V. M. Warrior, Latomus 50 (1991) 80 at 86, argues that the dating of an election in this year with reference to March, on a.d. XII Kal. Mart., indicates that this year is intercalary. This proposal is open to serious doubt.

A stronger argument is presented by P. Brind'Amour, Le calendrier romain, 150f., who notes that Livy 42.27.5 states that the consul C. Popilius was instructed by the senate to assemble a legion from Liguria at Brindisium by Id. Feb. Since Liguria was his assigned province (Livy 42.10) this would normally have required his presence in Brindisium, although Livy does not expressly state that this was required in this instance. But in Livy 42.28.3 it is noted that he received a chilly reception for having returned to Rome later than he should have, in view of the need to hold the elections. The distance from Id. Feb. to a.d. XII Kal. Mart. is only 5 days if the year was regular, in which case the chiding is rather unjustified. Thus Brind'Amour holds it is very likely that the year is intercalary. I find this reasoning convincing. N. Prack, Der römische Kalendar (264-168 v. Chr.) 165, has also endorsed this argument, although he has mistakenly applied it to A.U.C. 583 = 171.

Under the reconstructed Lex Acilia proposed here, an intercalary year preceding a regular year must be 378 days long. Since A.U.C. 583 = 171 was a regular year, and A.U.C. 582 = 172 was intercalary, it follows that A.U.C. 582 = 172 was 378 days long. Since the absolute Julian dates of A.U.C. 583 = 171 are known, this fixes the Julian dates of A.U.C. 582 = 172.

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