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  • Title: Life of Caesar
  • Editor: John D. Cox

  • Copyright John D. Cox. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Plutarch
    Editor: John D. Cox
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Life of Caesar

    59

    LIX.

    Caesar reformed the inequality of the year.

    But the ordinance of the calendar, and reformation of the year, to take away all confusion of time, being exactly calculated by the mathematicians and brought to perfection, was a great commodity unto all men. For the Romans, using then the ancient computation of the year, had not only such uncertainty and alteration of the month and times, that the sacrifices and yearly feasts came, by little and little, to seasons contrary for the purpose they were ordained: but also, in the revolution of the sun (which is called Annus Solaris) no other nation agreed with them in account: and, of the Romans themselves, only the priests understood it. And therefore when they listed, they suddenly (no man being able to control them) did thrust in a month above their ordinary number, which they called in old time Mercedonius. Some say that Numa Pompilius was the first that devised this way, to put a month between: but it was a weak remedy, and did little help the correction of the errors that were made in the account of the year, to frame them to perfection. But Caesar, committing this matter unto the philosophers and best expert mathematicians at that time, did set forth an excellent and perfect calendar, more exactly calculated than any other that was before: the which the Romans do use until this present day, and do nothing err as others in the difference of time. But his enemies notwithstanding, that envied his greatness, did not stick to find fault withal. As Cicero the orator, when one said, "to-morrow the star Lyra will rise :" "Yea," said he, "at the commandment of Caesar;" as if men were compelled so to say and think by Caesar's edict.

    Why Caesar was hated.