This chapter investigates the contours and reliefs in the patterns that the Romans imposed on the time of the city and the empire. The systems under investigation include their calendar, with its near-total perfection in capturing the progress of natural time; the annual rhythm of consular government, with the accompanying annalistic frame of historical time; the plotting of sacred time onto sacred place; the forging of significant links across time so as to impose meaningful shapes on the past in the form of anniversary and era; above all, the experience of empire, by which the Romans took the temporal consciousness of a city-state and meshed it progressively with foreign time systems as their horizons expanded to embrace the entire Mediterranean, and beyond. Since so much of this process was carried out in dialogue with Greek schemes of time, the article returns to the problem of cross-cultural comparisons between Greece and Rome.
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