CHRONOLOGICAL NOTES ON BYZANTINE DOCUMENTS VIII1
85. "New Style" Reckoning in the Later Sixth Century
In an important article2 E. Stein identified a "style nouveau"
employed under Justinus II, whereby in some contexts the actual
year of the emperor's consulate is numbered as year 1 ETT& T~v
ObncTEcav or post consulatum, "after the consulate," whereas before this
time (and still in many texts of this time), the yearafter the consulate was usually numbered "one," i.e. the first post-consular
year. This "style nouveau" is found already under Justinian, in the
count of the postconsular years of Fl. Basilius, but our inquiry in
the present case is limited to Justinus II and later reigns.
To put things in tabular form, the difference between "old"
and "new" styles is as follows:
Orthodox count "New Style" count
566 cos. Justinus p.c. Justinus, year 1
567 p.c. Justinus, year 1 p.c. Justinus, year 2
568 p.c. Justinus, year 2 p.c. Justinus, year 3
What is peculiar about "new style" is obviously that it combines
reference to postconsulate with a numbering which takes its start
not from the year after the consulate but from the year of the consulate itself. This type of numbering from the start of the consulate we will refer to as "consular." Stein cited (320-21, nn. 4 and
5) three examples from the papyri among his documentation, which
also includes inscriptions, for the New Style: BGU III 838, PSI III
243, and P.oxy. VII 1042. No more have been found from this reign
since he wrote. "New Style" in these three cases, it should be emphasized, consists of the consular count coupled with the phrase
1 For the purpose of this series and the abbreviations used, see BASP 15
2 "Post-consulat et AYTOKPATOPIA," Melanges Bidez (Bruxelles 1934) 869-912
= Opera Minora Selecta (Amsterdam 1968) 315-58. We cite according to the pages
of the latter edition.