I wanted to make a guide on how to use calendar dates, so here it is. I hope you like it.
The roman numerals are ordered in a sequence of numbers that are repeated thrice and numbers that are not repeated. "I" is the number for 1. It is repeated twice more as "II" (2) and "III" (3). The repeating numbers only repeat thrice, so there is no "IIII". To make the fourth sequenced number, you get the fifth one (V, 5) and put before it the amount that, subtracting from the fifth, becomes the fourth. In this case, "IV" is 4. Because 5 - 1 = 4. After that is V as I said (5). The process then repeats with the V as a marker. 6 is "VI" (5+1). "VII" is 7. "VIII" is 8. There is no "IIII" as we said before, nor is there any repetition of "V", so we need a new number symbol to represent 9. We use in this case the same logic as before, with an "X" representing 10 and a "IX" (10-1) representing 9. 20 would then be "XX". 30 "XXX". 38 would be "XXXVIII" and 39 "XXXIX". 40 would be 50 - 10. 50 being "L", so 40 is "XL". This same process repeats on and on, with repeating and non repeating numerals in alternation. These numerals are:
I - 1 (repeats)
V - 5 (doesn't repeat)
X - 10 (repeats)
L - 50 (doesn't repeat)
C - 100 (repeats)
D - 500 (doesn't repeat)
M - 1000 (repeats)
This year, in Ab Urbe Condita (AUC) would then be MMDCCLXIX (2769).
The start of the year, the month names and abbreviations
Two months have different names depending on the tradition you follow. July can be named either Quintilis (the original name of the month) or Iulius (named in honor of the Divus C. Julius Caesar). August can be named either Sextilis (the original name of the month) or Augustus (named in honor of the Divus Imperator Caesar Augustus).
The names of the months, their abbreviation and their corresponding gregorian month are:
Ianuarius - Ian. - January
Februarius - Feb. - February
Martius - Mar. - March
Aprilis - Apr. - April
Maius - Mai. - May
Iunius - Iun. - June
Quintilis/Iulius - Quin./Iul. - July
Sextilis/Augustus - Sex./Aug. - August
September - Sept. - September
October - Oct. - October
November - Nov. - November
December - Dec. - December
The Kalends, the Nones and the Ides
The Kalends is the first day of the month. The Nones can be either the 5th or the 7th day of the month. The Ides can be either the 13th or the 15th of the month.
The Nones and Ides are on the 7th and the 15th in March, May, July and October. They are on the 5th and the 13th in all other months.
The count of days is done, in most cases, by counting the days before that given day or by saying that given day. The 1st of January would then be written as "Kal. Ian.", the Kalends of Ianuarius. The day after that is, in inclusive counting, 4 days before the Nones of Ianuarius, expressed in latin as "a.d. IV Non. Ian." In which "a.d" means "ante diem" or "before the day". The day BEFORE any of the three marks (Kalends, Nones, Ides) are not marked by a number, but by the word "pridie" or "day before" abbreviated as "pr." So the 4th of January is not "a.d. II Non. Ian." but instead "pr. Non. Ian." The day after the Ides is counted by the Kalends of the next month. The 14th of January would then be "a.d. XXVIII Kal. Feb."
The Counting of the Years
Consular Year - The form in which romans generally marked years was with the Consular Year, the year in which this and that persons were Consuls. To do so, you state the abbreviated form of the praenomina and Nomina (first and second name) of the Consuls of that year on the Dative Case (men usually ending in -o instead of -us and women ending in -ae instead of -a) together with the word "Consulibus" abbreviated as "cos." The year 2016 CE in the Roman Republic is, for example, T. Flavio P. Iunio cos., which means "Titus Flavius and Publius Iunius being Consuls". Since it is versed as such, one does not say "this happened in T. Flavio P. Iunio cos.", but simply "this happened T. Flavio P. Iunio cos." This form of dating would be the one used in most official documents.
Olympiads - This form of dating was used when speaking of the time before the founding of Rome. It counts a period of 4 years from one Olympic Game to the next and would be used counting either the number of the Olympiad or the name of the Victor of one of the games (usually the Stadium). Dyonisius of Halicarnasus, foi example, dates the founding of Rome at 752 BCE by saying that it happened "in the first year of the seventh Olympiad", which could also be said as "the year in which Deocles of Messenia won at the Stadium" or "In the first year of the Olympiad in which Deocles of Messenia won at the Stadium".
How would a normal roman date look?
a.d. VI Id. Iul. T. Flavio P. Iunio cos.
If there are ANY other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
C. Atius Victor