« A.U.C. 529 = 225 B.C. »

Polybius 2.23.1 notes that the Gaulish invasion defeated by L. Aemilius Papus and C. Atilius at the battle of Telamon began 8 years after the founding of Picenum. Atilius was killed in the battle; Aemilius celebrated his triumph over the Gauls on a.d. III Non. Mart. A.U.C. 529. Polybius' account of the campaign is probably taken from the lost historian Q. Fabius Pictor, who took part in it (Eutropius 3.5).

L. Pedech, La méthode historique de Polybe 481, states that the battle was fought in April 224, suggesting that the Julian calendar was about a month ahead of the Roman calendar at this time. No explicit justification is given for this. Presumably, it is based on Polybius 2.31, which appears to imply that the triumph was shortly after the battle. If one assumes that the Gauls crossed the Alps when the passes were opened in mid-late March, then a date of late April probably is the earliest date one can reasonably assume for the battle. However, Polybius 2.22 describes the preliminaries to the invasion as clearly having taken some time, with embassies crossing the Alps and the raising of an army of Transalpine Gauls, and as distracting the Romans from efforts in Spain; further, in Polybius 2.26.4, that Aneroëstes, king of the Gauls, considered returning home with his booty rather than continuing the campaign. All this makes much better sense if the invasion started in mid-summer, i.e. some time shortly after August 225, rather than early in spring 224. But, if this were true, then, since the Roman was, in general, roughly aligned with the Julian year at this time, it would be necessary to assume that there was a significant gap between Telamon and the triumph of Aemilius. This would be compatible with Polybius 2.31.3 and 2.31.4, which notes that Aemilius sent the spoils to Rome and engaged in another brief campaign before celebrating his triumph. Telamon is in southern Tuscany; the campaign was through Liguria and the territrory of the Boii, quite far to the north.

In short, the Julian date of the battle is sufficiently doubtful that one cannot assume that it was close to a.d. III Non. Mart. A.U.C. 529, and there is no useful synchronism.

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