this article is about the year numbering system. for the book, see ab urbe condita libri.
ancient roman year-numbering system
antoninianus of pacatianus, usurper of roman emperor philip in 248. it reads romae aeter[nae] an[no] mil[lesimo] et primo, "to eternal rome, in its one thousand and first year".
ab urbe condita (latin pronunciation: [ab ˈʊrbɛ ˈkɔndɪtaː]), or anno urbis conditae (in latin with normal elision: [ˈan.no̯‿ʊrbɪs ˈkɔndɪtae̯]), often abbreviated as auc, is an expression used in antiquity and by classical historians to refer to a given year in ancient rome. ab urbe condita is rendered into idiomatic english as "from the founding of the city", while anno urbis conditae likewise translates to "in the year since the city's founding".[note 1] therefore, the traditional year of the foundation of rome, 753 bc, would be written auc 1, while ad 1 would be auc 754. the foundation of the empire in 27 bc would be auc 727.
usage of the term was more common during the renaissance, when editors sometimes added auc to roman manuscripts they published, giving the false impression that the convention was commonly used in antiquity. in reality, the dominant method of identifying years in roman times was to name the two consuls who held office that year. in late antiquity, regnal years were also in use, as was the diocletian era in roman egypt after ad 293, and in the byzantine empire after ad 537, following a decree by justinian.
Usage of the term was more common during the Renaissance, when editors sometimes added AUC to Roman manuscripts they published, giving the false impression that the convention was commonly used in antiquity. In reality, the dominant method of identifying years in Roman times was to name the two consuls who held office that year. In late antiquity, regnal years were also in use, as was the Diocletian era in Roman Egypt after AD 293, and in the Byzantine Empire after AD 537, following a decree by Justinian.