Collation of the Imperial reign length data from Bede’s Mai. Chron., Jerome’s Chronicle, Annals of Tigernach (AT) and Isidore’s Chronicle

D.P. Mc Carthy - 19 June 1999

 

Introduction

This table is intended as a Web appendix to accompany the paper ‘The Status of the pre-Patrician annals’ to appear in Peritia 12. The purpose of the table is to disclose the places where the chronology of these chronicles diverge, and to study, when reign lengths are not given in integral number of years, whether the actual position of the entry in the chronicle represents a rounding up or down of the cited reign length. For example, Bede, Jerome and AT all cite Octavian’s reign as 56 years and six months; however Bede assigns him the years AM 3911-3966, i.e. 56 years, so he rounds it down and this is indicated as B- in the Round column. Jerome effectively assigns the the years from 43 BC to 13 AD, i.e. 56 years, so he also rounds down and this is indicated as J- in the Round column. AT effectively assigns the years AK 40 (BC) to 17 (PC), i.e 57 years, so it rounds up and this is indicated as T+ in the Round column. In the case of Isidore, he always cites reigns as integral numbers of years so that his rounding must be judged relative to Jerome; for example, since Isidore has 56 years for Octavian he has rounded down relative to Jerome, and this is indicated as I- in the Round column.

As can be seen, with the single exception of Pertinax, Bede always rounds in the same direction as Jerome, and his divergence at Pertinax is neutralised immediately by Bede giving only seventeen years to the next emperor, Seuerus, where Jerome gives him eighteen years. As can also be seen the rounding of AT does not correlate in any way with Jerome/Bede. Isidore on the other hand generally follows Jerome, except in the cases of the emperors Antoninus, Marcus, Pertinax, Constantinus and Iulianus. To highlight the close relationship between Bede’s reign lengths and Jerome’s, the latter are only entered if they differ.

The editions from which this collation has been made are:

  1. Bede DTR C.W. Jones Bedae Venerabilis Opera in CCSL CXXIII B (Turnholt 1977), who refined Mommsen’s identifications, see T. Mommsen MGH Auctores Antiquissimi XIII (Chronica Minora III) (Berlin 1898) 223-354.
  2. Isidore’s Chronicle T. Mommsen Isidori Iunioris episcopi Hispalensis chronica maiora in MGH Chron. Min II (Berlin 1894) 391-502.
  3. Jerome’s Chronicle R. Helm Eusebius Werke - Die Chronik des Hieronimus, (Berlin 1956) in the series Die Griechischen Christlichen Schrisftsteller der Ehrsten Jahrhunderte.
  4. Annals of Tigernach W. Stokes, The Annals of Tigernach, first published in Revue Celtique 16(1895), 374-419, 17(1896), 6-33, 119-263, 337-420, 18(1897) 9-59, 150-97, 267-303. Reprinted more conveniently in two volumes by Llanerch (Felinfach 1993).

 

Please email any comments to Dan Mc Carthy at mccarthy@cs.tcd.ie

 

The definitions of the column headings are as follows:

EB = Reign AD dates taken from Encylopedia Britannica.

AM = Bede’s Anno Mundi taken from Jones/Mommsen’s edition of DTR

AM’ = Bede’s AM in Arabic numerals.

AM" = AM of the end of the previous imperial reign so that Bede’s actual reign length -

Bede* = AM’- AM", cf. Figure 3 in article. Jerome* and AT* follow similarly.

AD’ = AM" – 3951 = conversion of Bede’s AM to AD using his AM 3952 for the birth of Jesus Christ;

AD2 = AD data taken from Helm’s edition of Jerome’s Chronicle

AK3 = Annus Kalendae data taken from my copy of Whitely Stokes’ AT.

EB

Imperial

Bede - DTR

Bede

Bede

Bede

Bede

Jerome

Jerome

AT

AT

Isidore

AD

Reign

AM

AM’

AM"

AD’

Reg. Length

Reg. Length

AD2

AK3

Reg. Length

Reg. Length

Round

-

Caesar r.

ÎÎÎDCCCCX

3910

IIII m. VI

IIII m.VII

48 ac

44 bc

-

V

-

27bc

Octauianus r.

ÎÎÎDCCCCLXVI

3966

3910

-41

LVI m.VI

id.

43 ac

40 bc

lvi m. ui d xii

LVI

B-J- I-T+

14

Tiberius r.

ÎÎÎDCCCCLXXXIX

3989

3966

15

XXIII

iid

14 pc

18

xxiii

XXIII

37

Caligula r.

ÎÎÎDCCCCXCIII

3993

3989

38

III m.X d.VIII

III m. X

37

39

iiii - non plenis

IIII

B+J+I+T-

41

Claudius r.

ÎÎÎÎVII

4007

3993

42

XIII m. VII d. XXVIII

XIII m. VIII d. XXVIII

41

42

xxuiii

XIIII

B+J+I+T-

54

Nero r.

ÎÎÎÎXXI

4021

4007

56

XIII m. VII d. XXVIII

id.

55

55

xui

XIIII

B+J+I+T+

69

Vespasian r.

ÎÎÎÎXXXI

4031

4021

70

VIIII m. XI d. XXII

id.

69

70

ix m. xi d. xxii

X

B+J+I+T-

79

Titus r.

ÎÎÎÎXXXIII

4033

4031

80

II m. II

id.

79

79

ii m ii

II

B-J-I-T-

81

Domitianus r.

ÎÎÎÎXLVIIII

4049

4033

82

XV m. V

id

81

81

xu m. u

XVI

B+J+I+T-

96

Nerua r.

ÎÎÎÎL

4050

4049

98

I m. IIII d. VIII

I m. IIII

97

96

i m. iiii d. uiii

I

B-J-I-T-

98

Traianus r.

ÎÎÎÎLXVIIII

4069

4050

99

XVIIII m. VI d. XV

XVIIII m. VI

98

97

xix m. ui d. x

XVIIII

B-J-I-T-

117

Hadrianus r.

ÎÎÎÎXC

4090

4069

118

XXI

id

117

116

xxi

XXI

138

Antoninus r.

ÎÎÎÎCXIII

4113

4090

139

XXII m. III

id

138

136

xxii

XXII

B+J+I-T+

161

Marcus r.

ÎÎÎÎCXXXII

4132

4113

162

XVIIII m. I

id

161

160

xix m. i

XVIII

B+J+I-T-

180

Lucius r.

ÎÎÎÎCXLV

4145

4132

181

XIII

id.

180

179

xiii

XIII

193

Pertinax r.

ÎÎÎÎCXLVI

4146

4145

194

m. VI

id.

193

192

m. ui

I

B+J-I+T+1

193

Seuerus r.

ÎÎÎÎCLXIII

4163

4146

195

XVII

XVIII

193

193

xuiii

XVIII

211

Caracalla r.

ÎÎÎÎCLXX

4170

4163

212

VII

id.

211

211

uii

VII

217

Macrinus r.

ÎÎÎÎCLXXI

4171

4170

219

I

id.

218

218

i

I

218

Marcus r.

ÎÎÎÎCLXXV

4175

4171

220

IIII

id.

219

219

iiii

III

222

Aurelius r.

ÎÎÎÎCLXXXVIII

4188

4175

224

XIII

id.

223

223

xiii

XIII

235

Maximinus r.

ÎÎÎÎCXCI

4191

4188

237

III

id.

236

236

iii

III

238

Gordianus r.

ÎÎÎÎCXCVII

4197

4191

240

VI

id

239

239

ui

VII

244

Philippus r.

ÎÎÎÎCCIIII

4204

4197

246

VII

id.

245

245

uii

VII

249

Decius

ÎÎÎÎCCV

4205

4204

253

I m. III

id.

252

251

i m. iii

I

B-J-I-T+

251

Gallus r.

ÎÎÎÎCCVII

4207

4205

254

II m. IIII

id.

253

253

ii m.iiii.

II

B-J-I-T+

253

Valerianus r.

ÎÎÎÎCCXXII

4222

4207

256

XV

id.

255

256

xu

XV

268

Claudius r.

ÎÎÎÎCCXXIIII

4224

4222

271

I m. VIIII

id.

270

271

i m. uii

II

B+J+I+T-

270

Aurelianus r.

ÎÎÎÎCCXXVIIII

4229

4224

273

V m. VI

id.

272

272

u m. ui

V

B-J-I-T+

275

Tacitus r.

ÎÎÎÎCCXXX

4230

4229

278

m. VI

id.

277

278

m. ui.

I

B+J+I+T+

276

Probus r.

ÎÎÎÎCCXXXVI

4236

4230

279

VI m. IIII

id.

278

279

ui m. iiii

VI

B-J-I-T-

282

Carus r.

ÎÎÎÎCCXXXVIII

4238

4236

285

II

id.

284

285

ii

II

284

Dioclitianus r.

ÎÎÎÎCCLVIII

4258

4238

287

XX

id.

286

287

xx

XX

287

Maximinus r.

ÎÎÎÎCCLVIIII

4259

4258

307

[1]2

id.

306

-

-

II

305

Constantinus r.

ÎÎÎÎCCXC

4290

4259

308

XXX m. X

id.

307

307

xxx.ii m. ix

XXX

B+J+I-T-

337

Constantius r.

ÎÎÎÎCCCXIIII

4314

4290

339

XXIIII m. V d. XIII

id.

338

333

xx.iiii m. u d. xiii

XXIIII

B-J-I-T+

364

Iulianus r.

ÎÎÎÎCCCXVI

4316

4314

363

II m. VIII

I m. VIII

362

3583

i m. uiii

II

B-J-I+

Iouianus r.

ÎÎÎÎCCCXVII

4317

4316

365

m. VIII

id.

364

-

-

I

B+J+I+

 

 

  1. This is the only instance where Bede and Jerome round in different directions and the effect is immediately cancelled by Bede giving Seuerus one less year than Jerome does.
  2. No reign is given but simply that Constantius died in the third year of the persecution and Maximinus and Severus made Caesares.
  3. Iulianus is the last AT emperor - lacuna follows.