« A.U.C. 539 = 215 B.C. »
Livy 23.32 records that the consul Q. Fabius Maximus decreed that all grain had to be brought into secure storage by Kal. Iun.
Since there were 7 intercalations between A.U.C. 537 = 217 and A.U.C. 564 = 190, the most recent year whose dates are certain, there were at least 5 between this year and A.U.C. 564 = 190. The estimated dates for Kal. Iun. A.U.C. 539 for 5, 6 or 7 intercalations between A.U.C. 539 = 215 and A.U.C. 564 = 190, are given in the following table:
Number of Intercalations Number of intercalated days Julian date of Kal Iun. A.U.C. 539
5 110-115 24-29 June 215
6 132-138 1-7 June 215
7 154-161 9-16 May 215
There is debate whether Fabius' intent was to place the previous year's harvest out of Hannibal's reach, as soon as possible, i.e. as soon as the people could move freely enough to take their remaining winter supplies from their winter stores to a more secure central grainstore, or whether the intent was to secure the harvest of this year as soon as possible. In direct support of the second view, P. Brind'Amour, Le calendrier romain 164, points out that Livy uses the phrase "frumenta ex agri" -- grain from the fields -- which can only be interpreted as directly harvested grain.
The first interpretation is clearly ruled out by the absence of a possible date before May. Since the Italian harvest was in mid June, it follows that there were five intercalations between this year and A.U.C. 564 = 190, and that the previous two years had both been intercalary.
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