of the eponymous magistrate in republics and to the anniversary of accession of the ruler in monarchies. For instance, the Achaean New Year, between 227 and 208 B.C., moved from the spring to the fall, in conformity with the shifted time in which the strategus of the League entered on his office.3 Accordingly, in a monarchy, New Year's day changed with every reign, as was still the practice in Ptolemaic Egypt until the adoption of the Egyptian calendar by the court by the end of the third century B.C.4 The Seleucids gave to Babylonian months the corresponding names of Macedonian lunar months, but accepted the Babylonian system of intercalations and accordingly abandoned the variable regnal year. For the same reason the Achaemenidae, having introduced in the Persian Empire the same Babylonian system of time-reckoning,5 used the device of the "accession year." The last civil year of a previous ruler was identified with the "year of the beginning" of his successor, and "year 1" of the latter started at the next Nisanu 1 only. Under the Macedonian rulers the natives of Asia continued to reckon regnal years from Nisanu 1. But since the Macedonian usage did not have an "accession year," which in accordance disappeared from Babylonian datings,6 the natives now counted as "year 1" the period between the accession of a king and the next Nisanu I. Thus, between Nisanu I and the anniversary of accession the Babylonian year's number would be always greater by one than the Macedonian.

The Seleucids (and the Macedonian colonies in Asia) calculated the regnal years of Seleucus I, and then the Seleucid Era, from an autumnal date,7 which we are still unable to precise,8 of year 312 B.C. But in Seleucid reckoning the Babylonian year's number is lesser by one than the Macedonian, in the winter half year, and both numbers coincide between Nisanu I and the fall only. For instance, the restoration of the temple of Jerusalem by Judas Maccabaeus, approximately 15 December 164 B.C., fell in the year 148 of the Seleucid Era according to Jewish (and Babylonian) calculation, but in the year 149 for the court, since the latter counted from the autumn 312 while the natives reckoned Nisanu I (April 3) 311 as the initial date of the Seleucid computation. How to explain the paradox that the natives did not take into account the period between the fall 312 and Nisanu I, 311 ?

The explanation is to be found in the historical situation. Seleucus I, we are told,

3. Cf. now Aymard, Les Assemblées de la Confédération Achaienne, Thèse, Paris 1938, p. 247
4. See, e.g., my Chronologie, 1933, p. 13
5. See now Parker, AISL, 1941, p. 297.
6. Parker and Dubberstein, p. 17, n. 3. The "accession year" was still used at the beginning of the reign of Artaxerxes 11 (405-404). Goetze, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 1944, p. 45.
7. Since Norisius' Annales ef epochae Syro-Macedonum (1695) the opinion was established that the Seleucid Era was calculated from Dios I (or October 11) 312 B.C. But this theory merely confounds the (cyclic) Seleucid New Year and New Year's day of a form of the Julian calendar used in Antioch, where New Year's day fluctuated between I Dios and I
    Hyperberetaios (Eltester, Zeitschrift für Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, 1938, 286, cf. Downey, Byzantion, 1940-41, p. 39) in conformity with the relative position of the Tashritu which was first identified with Dios, and then with Hyperberetaios (on this still obscure question cf. now Parker and Dubberstein, p. 2).
8. A Seleucid letter from 254 B.C. apud Welles, Royal Correspondence, p. 18, giving dates for some payments, shows that the Seleucid year began between 1 Loos and 1 Audynaios. P. Dura, 21 (87 A.D.), written in Panemos, mentions a transaction in the month of Dios "of the same year." Thus the Seleucid year began between 1 Loos and 30 Dios, that is, in the late summer or in the early autumn.


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