Ab urbe condita

Ab urbe condita (Latin pronunciation: [ab ˈʊrbɛ ˈkɔndɪtaː]), or Anno urbis conditæ (Latin pronunciation: [ˈannoː ˈʊrbɪs ˈkɔndɪtae̯]), often abbreviated as AUC in either case, is a convention that was used in antiquity and by classical historians to refer to a given year in Ancient Rome. Ab urbe condita literally means "from the founding of the City," while anno urbis conditæ means "in the year since the City's founding." Therefore, the traditional year of the foundation of Rome, 753 BC, would be written AUC 1, while AD 1 would be AUC 754. The foundation of the Empire in 27 BC would be AUC 727.

Usage of the term was more common during the Renaissance, when editors sometimes added AUC to Roman manuscripts they published, giving the false impression that the convention was commonly used in antiquity. In reality, the dominant method of identifying years in Roman times was to name the two consuls who held office that year. In late antiquity, regnal years were also in use, as was the Diocletian era in Roman Egypt after AD 293, and in the Byzantine Empire after AD 537, following a decree by Justinian.

Antoninianus-Pacatianus-1001-RIC 0006cf
Antoninianus of Pacatianus, usurper of Roman emperor Philip in 248. It reads ROMAE AETER[NAE] AN[NO] MIL[LESIMO] ET PRIMO, "To eternal Rome, in its one thousand and first year".

Significance

The traditional date for the founding of Rome, 21 April 753 BC, is due to Marcus Terentius Varro (First Century BC). Varro may have used the consular list (with its mistakes) and called the year of the first consuls "ab urbe condita 245," accepting the 244-year interval from Dionysius of Halicarnassus for the kings after the foundation of Rome. The correctness of this calculation has not been confirmed, but it is still used worldwide.

From the time of Claudius (ruled AD 41 to AD 54) onward, this calculation superseded other contemporary calculations. Celebrating the anniversary of the city became part of imperial propaganda. Claudius was the first to hold magnificent celebrations in honor of the anniversary of the city, in AD 48, the eight hundredth year from the founding of the city. Hadrian and Antoninus Pius held similar celebrations, in AD 121, and in AD 147 and AD 148, respectively.

In AD 248, Philip the Arab celebrated Rome's first millennium, together with Ludi saeculares for Rome's alleged tenth sæculum. Coins from his reign commemorate the celebrations. A coin by a contender for the imperial throne, Pacatianus, explicitly states "[y]ear one thousand and first", which is an indication that the citizens of the empire had a sense of the beginning of a new era, a Sæculum Novum.

Calendar era

The Anno Domini (AD) year numbering was developed by a monk named Dionysius Exiguus in Rome in AD 525, as a result of his work on calculating the date of Easter. Dionysius did not use the AUC convention, but instead based his calculations on the Diocletian era. This convention had been in use since AD 293, the year of the tetrarchy, as it became impractical to use regnal years of the current emperor.[1] In his Easter table, the year AD 532 was equated with the 248th regnal year of Diocletian. The table counted the years starting from the presumed birth of Christ, rather than the accession of the emperor Diocletian on 20 November AD 284, or as stated by Dionysius: "sed magis elegimus ab incarnatione Domini nostri Jesu Christi annorum tempora praenotare" ("but rather we choose to name the times of the years from the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ").[2] Blackburn and Holford-Strevens review interpretations of Dionysius which place the Incarnation in 2 BC, 1 BC, or AD 1.[3]

It has later been calculated (from the historical record of the succession of Roman consuls) that the year AD 1 corresponds to AUC 754, based on the epoch of Varro. Thus,

  • AUC 1 = 753 BC
  • AUC 753 = 1 BC
  • AUC 754 = AD 1
  • AUC 1000 = AD 247
  • AUC 1229 = AD 476
  • AUC 2206 = AD 1453
  • AUC 2753 = AD 2000
  • AUC 2772 = AD 2019

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ J. David Thomas, "On Dating by Regnal Years of Diocletian, Maximian and the Caesars", Chronique d'Egypte 46.91 (1971), 173–179, doi:10.1484/J.CDE.2.308234.
  2. ^ Liber de Paschate, Migne, Patrologia Latina, Volume 67, page 481, note f
  3. ^ Blackburn, B. & Holford-Strevens, L, The Oxford Companion to the Year (Oxford University Press, 2003 corrected reprinting, originally 1999) 778–780.
115 BC

Year 115 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Scaurus and Metellus (or, less frequently, year 639 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 115 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

149

Year 149 (CXLIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Scipio and Priscus (or, less frequently, year 902 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 149 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

201

Year 201 (CCI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Fabianus and Arrius (or, less frequently, year 954 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 201 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

216 BC

Year 216 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Varro and Paullus (or, less frequently, year 538 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 216 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

228

Year 228 (CCXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Modestus and Maecius (or, less frequently, year 981 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 228 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

372

Year 372 (CCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Modestus and Arintheus (or, less frequently, year 1125 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 372 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

399 BC

Year 399 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Tribunate of Augurinus, Longus, Priscus, Cicurinus, Rufus and Philo (or, less frequently, year 355 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 399 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Ab Urbe Condita Libri

The book History of Rome, sometimes referred to as Ab Urbe Condita, is a monumental history of ancient Rome, written in Latin between 27 and 9 BC by the historian Titus Livius, or "Livy", as he is usually known in English. The work covers the period from the legends concerning the arrival of Aeneas and the refugees from the fall of Troy, to the city's founding in 753, the expulsion of the Kings in 509, and down to Livy's own time, during the reign of the emperor Augustus. The last event covered by Livy is the death of Drusus in 9 BC. About 25% of the work survives.

Attius Tullius

Attius Tullius was a political and military leader of the Volsci in the early fifth century BC, who sheltered the exiled Roman hero Gaius Marcius Coriolanus, then incited a war with Rome, in which he and Coriolanus led the Volscian forces. He appears in William Shakespeare's tragedy Coriolanus under the name of Tullus Aufidius.

Battle of Lake Trasimene

The Battle of Lake Trasimene (21 June 217 BC) was a major battle in the Second Punic War. The Carthaginians under Hannibal defeated the Romans under the consul Gaius Flaminius. Hannibal's victory over the Roman army at Lake Trasimene remains, in terms of the number of men involved, the largest ambush in military history. In the prelude to the battle, Hannibal also achieved the earliest known example of a strategic turning movement.

Battle of Numistro

The Battle of Numistro was fought in 210 BC between Hannibal's army and one of the Roman consular armies led by consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus. It was the fourth time they met in a battle. Previous encounters were located around the walls of Nola (Campania) in 216, 215 and 214 and had been favourable for the Roman side.

Fulvia (gens)

The gens Fulvia, originally Foulvia, was one of the most illustrious plebeian families at Rome. By the end of the fourth century BC, they had joined the nobiles through the patronage of the Fabii, who supported the successful candidacy of Lucius Fulvius Curvus for the consulship of 322 BC. They were long active in the politics of the Republic, and gained a reputation for producing excellent military leaders.

Lars Porsena

Lars Porsena (Etruscan: Pursenas; sometimes spelled Lars Porsenna) was an Etruscan king known for his war against the city of Rome. He ruled over the city of Clusium (Etruscan: Clevsin). There are no established dates for his rule, but Roman sources often place the war at around 508 BC.

Lucius Junius Brutus

Lucius Junius Brutus () was the founder of the Roman Republic and traditionally one of the first consuls in 509 BC. This followed his successful overthrow of the Roman monarchy. He was claimed as an ancestor of the Roman gens Junia, including Decimus Junius Brutus and Marcus Junius Brutus, the most famous of Julius Caesar's assassins.

Lucius Tarquinius Superbus

Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (died 495 BC) was the legendary seventh and final king of Rome, reigning from 535 BC until the popular uprising in 509 that led to the establishment of the Roman Republic. He is commonly known as Tarquin the Proud, from his cognomen Superbus (Latin for "proud, arrogant, lofty").Ancient accounts of the regal period mingle history and legend. Tarquin was said to have been the son or grandson of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, the fifth king of Rome, and to have gained the throne through the murders of both his wife and his elder brother, followed by the assassination of his predecessor, Servius Tullius. His reign is described as a tyranny that justified the abolition of the monarchy.

Overthrow of the Roman monarchy

The overthrow of the Roman monarchy, a political revolution in ancient Rome, took place around 509 BC and resulted in the expulsion of the last king of Rome, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, and the establishment of the Roman Republic.

The semi-legendary Roman histories

tell that while the king was away on campaign, his son Sextus Tarquinius raped a noblewoman, Lucretia. Afterwards she revealed the offence to various Roman noblemen, and then committed suicide. The Roman noblemen, led by Lucius Junius Brutus, obtained the support of the Roman aristocracy and the people to expel the king and his family and to institute a republic. The Roman army supported Brutus, and the king went into exile. Despite a number of attempts by Lucius Tarquinius Superbus to reinstate the monarchy, the citizens established a republic and thereafter elected two consuls annually to rule the city.

Publius Valerius Publicola

Publius Valerius Poplicola or Publicola (d. 503 BC) was one of four Roman aristocrats who led the overthrow of the monarchy, and became a Roman consul, the colleague of Lucius Junius Brutus in 509 BC, traditionally considered the first year of the Roman Republic.

Rhea Silvia

Rhea Silvia (also written as Rea Silvia), and also known as Ilia , was the mythical mother of the twins Romulus and Remus, who founded the city of Rome. Her story is told in the first book of Ab Urbe Condita Libri of Livy and in fragments from Ennius, Annales and Quintus Fabius Pictor.

Verginia (gens)

The gens Verginia or Virginia was a prominent family at Rome, which from an early period was divided into patrician and plebeian branches. The gens was of great antiquity, and frequently filled the highest honors of the state during the early years of the Republic. The first of the family who obtained the consulship was Opiter Verginius Tricostus in 502 BC, the seventh year of the Republic. The plebeian members of the family were also numbered amongst the early tribunes of the people.

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