« A.U.C. 492 = 262 B.C. »

Polybius 1.17.6 notes that the consuls for this year, L. Postumius Megellus and Q. Mamilius Vitulus, arrived in Sicily with their legions, assessed the situation, and laid seige to Agrigentum at the height of the harvest, i.e. in early June 262. This date is supported by Polybius 1.18.6 and Polybius 1.19.6, from which we may infer that the siege lasted around seven months, while Dio 11.10.6 tells us that after the fall of Agrigentum Postumius and Mamilius retired to Messana because it was winter. Evidently it was not yet too cold to campaign, so we can safely date the siege from early June to late December 262.

M. G. Morgan, Chiron 7 (1977) 89 at 93 budgets 2 weeks to raise the legions, 3 weeks to get them to Regium, a few days to ferry them across to Sicily, 2 weeks to march to Agrigentum, and another week to fully invest the city, i.e. a little over 8 weeks in all; none of this sounds unreasonable. Hence the latest date for the start of the consulate was early April 262.

The following table gives the dates for Kal. Mai. in this year, for 28-31 intercalations between this year and A.U.C. 564 = 190, the most recent year whose dates are certain. The bounds are determined from the results for A.U.C. 494 = 260:

Number of Intercalations   Number of intercalated days     Kal. Mai. A.U.C. 492
     A.U.C. 492-564                                                           

              28                              616-644                6 Apr. - 4 May 262
              29                              638-667                14 Mar. - 12 Apr. 262   
              30                              660-690                19 Feb. - 21 Mar. 262   
              31                              682-713                27 Jan. - 27 Feb. 262
              32                              704-736                4 Jan. - 5 Feb. 262

The date ranges compatible with the data for both this year and A.U.C. 494 = 260 are highlighted in blue. 28 intercalations is also marginally possible. Fundamentally, we are finally reaching the far limits of what can be distinguished by the accumulated imprecisions in the both the Roman civil data (arising from uncertainty about the length of intercalations) and the seasonal indications available from the literary sources.

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