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Caesar's CalendarAncient Time and the Beginnings of History$
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Denis Feeney

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520251199

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520251199.001.0001

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· Synchronizing Times I

· Synchronizing Times I

Greece and Rome

(p.7) One · Synchronizing Times I
Caesar's Calendar

Denis Feeney

University of California Press

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

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