November 30, 2021

The Latin expression ab Urbe condĭta ("since the City was founded") or Anno Urbis conditæ ("in the year from the founding of the City") or even anno Urbis alone, in acronym AUC, AVC, a.U.c. or AU, refers to a system of calculating the years that took hold among the Romans starting from the end of the republican period: the years were calculated starting from 753 BC, the presumed date that the scholar Marco Terenzio Varrone had established at the time by Julius Caesar for the foundation of Rome, the City, "the City" par excellence. This calculation was more widespread in learned circles than in popular reality, where, to measure the years, the use of eponyms with the name of the two consuls in office was preferred (and this usage dates back to the beginning of the Republican age). The so-called "Varronian date" was obtained by setting it to 509 BC. the first year of the Republic and attributing 35 years of reign to each of the seven kings of Rome. Modern historiography denies the foundation of the city as a voluntary act, favoring instead the hypothesis of the progressive reunion of scattered pre-urban villages, with a phenomenon of urban synecism remembered in the myths about the foundation itself and in the events of the royal age.

The Roman calendars

At least two are the main calendar reforms adopted by the Romans: a first reform is attributed to King Numa Pompilius (Roman calendar); a second was established, in historical times, by Gaius Julius Caesar, in his capacity as Pontifex maximus. From the nomen of Caesar, this calendar is called Julian.

Varro's calculation

The traditional date for the founding of Rome (21 April 753 BC, the Birth of Rome) was defined by Varro. In fact, the Romans dated the events of the city from the beginning of the reign of the king in office and then, during the republican period, from the name of the consuls, who lasted only one year. Varro had to have at his disposal a list of consuls containing some errors and called the year in which the first consuls (Brutus and Collatino) took office "245 ab Urbe condita" (CCXLV aUc), accepting the interval of 244 years indicated by Dionigi of Halicarnassus for the total number of years in which Rome was ruled by the legendary seven kings. The correctness of Varro's calculation has never been proven in a scientific way (and on the other hand, Rome probably has no "real" date of birth) but is still universally used.

Alternative calculations

According to Velleio Patercolo (I, 8, 5) Rome was founded 437/438 years after the fall of Troy (11 June 1182 BC), while Marcio Porcio Cato places the foundation of Rome 432 years after the destruction of Troy. , according to Lucius Tarutius of Firmum, Romulus and Remus were conceived on the twenty-third day of the Egyptian month of Choiac, at the time of a total solar eclipse. Romulus and Remus, again according to this tradition, were born on the twenty-first day of the Egyptian month of Thoth. The first day of Thoth in that year fell on March 2. This would mean that Rea Silvia's pregnancy lasted 281 days. Rome would have been founded on the ninth day of the month of Pharmuthi, or April 21.According to Plutarch, at the time of the founding of Rome an eclipse of the sun was observed by the poet Antimachus of Theeus.Dionysius of Halicarnassus fixes the foundation of Rome in the second year reign of Numitor, 432 years after the capture of Troy, in the year of the seventh Olympiad, in which Diocles of Messene won the race, then in 752 BC, referring to 776 BC, the year in which the According to tradition, Romulus disappeared when he was 54, at None di Quintile (July), on a day when the sun was dark (but others speak of a storm). Plutarch places the event in the thirty-seventh year of its foundation, on the day that for us is July 5, which was then called Quintile, at the None Caprotine. Tito Livio also states that Romulus reigned for 37 years later

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