Chapter

Transforming the calendar

Menno Fenger and Paul Henman

in Rome in Late Antiquity

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780748612390
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651009 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748612390.003.0011
Transforming the calendar

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The evolution of Rome's calendar is a major feature of the city's history in late antiquity, and demonstrates that there was no sharp break but, on the contrary, a slow modification. Its chief characteristic is the gradual superimposition of Christian time on pagan time. Until Dionysius Exiguus worked out a specifically Christian computation in the sixth century, the calendar had been a hybrid affair, reflecting the overlapping of pagan and Christian traditions. There is one outstanding document in evidence of this – the beautifully calligraphed codex called the Calendar of 354, executed by Filocalus for an illustris of the city named Valentinus – and in it one finds not only the festivals and games of the old republican tradition, with imperial anniversaries, but also the Christian festivals, including those of the martyrs.

Keywords: Rome; calendar; time; Dionysius Exiguus; codex; Calendar of 354; Filocalus; illustris; Valentinus; festivals

Chapter.  4571 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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