Chapter

· Synchronizing Times I

Denis Feeney

in Caesar's Calendar

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780520251199
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933767 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520251199.003.0002
· Synchronizing Times I

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This chapter brings to light the power and significance of the mentality with dates that was surrendered in the transition to the universal numerical grid. It has long been conventional to condole with the Greeks and Romans for never really coming up with a usable numerical dating system. However, this teleological view not only makes it hard for us to intuit how the ancients “coped,” as it were, without a numerical dating system. At the end of this chapter, looking at the synchronistic chapter from the Attic Nights of the late second-century C.E. writer Aulus Gellius, we are shown a sustained example of the kind of correlating work required of a Roman or Greek maneuvering through the past. This chapter illustrates the difficulties with the story Gellius tells to open his chapter, as a justification for the work he undertook in compiling his work on synchronism.

Keywords: dates; Greeks; Romans; dating system; Attic Nights; Aulus Gellius; synchronism

Chapter.  14451 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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