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Roman Provincial Calendars and the Hemerologia - 04-05-06/07/2016, London (England)


The ERC Advanced Grant Project ‘Calendars in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages’ is delighted to issue a call for papers for a colloquium to be held on 4-6 July 2016 at University College London on the theme of ‘Roman Provincial calendars and the Hemerologia’.


Calendars were an important manifestation of cultural diversity in the Roman Empire, especially in the provinces of the Roman East, where the Julian calendar was generally not in use. The calendars of cities and provinces were very diverse, some remaining lunar or lunisolar, but most becoming adapted in a variety of forms to the solar, Julian calendar of the imperial rulers.


This diversity is evident in epigraphic sources, but most explicitly in texts known as Hemerologia, which are attested in a few early medieval manuscripts. The Hemerologia consist of calendar tables with the days of the Julian calendar in the first column, and in the rest of the table,the equivalent days ina range of calendars from the Roman Eastern provinces and cities.These textsare a powerful testimony of calendar diversity in the Roman East, but at the same time, of the standardizationof these calendars and theirassimilation with the 365-day year of the Julian calendar. The historical reality behind the Hemerologia was probably more complex and flexible than theyconvey. But by describing or indeed prescribing a changeless, fixed relationship between the Julian and provincial calendars, the Hemerologia may have played a critical role in the standardization of time reckoning in late Antiquity.


One hundred years after W. Kubitschek’s (1915) edition and study of the Hemerologia, the time has come to reconsider the contents and meaning of these texts, and their relationship with ever-increasing epigraphic discoveries. How consistent are the Hemerologia with the evidence of epigraphic and literary sources, and how can one account for differences? When and how were the Hemerologia originally composed, and what was their intended function and purpose? Did they serve the needs of the imperial administration, of local government, or of commercial and other private uses? Were they produced, alternatively, purely out of intellectual interest, or for the sake of making some sort of political, ideological statement? Were they a ‘celebration of diversity’ or, on the contrary, an instrument for forcing provincial calendars into conformity with the Julian calendar?


FECHA/DATE/DATA: 04-05-06/01/2016


LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University College London (London, England)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Sacha Stern, Ilaria Bultrighini (University College London)

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