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Rome in Late AntiquityEveryday Life and Urban Change, AD 312-609$
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Bertrand Lancon

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780748612390

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748612390.001.0001

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Transforming the calendar

Transforming the calendar

(p.130) Chapter 10 Transforming the calendar
Rome in Late Antiquity

Menno Fenger

Paul Henman

Edinburgh University Press

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

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