Chronographus anni CCCLIIII, in Monumenta Germaniae Historica, auctorum antiquissimorum tomus IX, Chronicorum minorum saec. IV. V. VI. VII., vol. I, ed. Th. Mommsen, Berolini 1892, pp 39-76.
The Chronographus or Codex-Calendar of 354 is a collection of diverse texts (calendars, astronomical texts, fasti, lists of depositions, annals) that had independent traditions and circulations at Rome before being brought together into a single opus c. 354 AD. This material was collected by the calligrapher Furius Dionysius Filocalus (see author card), who dedicated his work to the wealthy Christian Valentinus.
According to Salzman (1990: 24-5), the collection can be divided into sixteen sections. It must be noted that no manuscript reports the Codex-Calendar in its entirety; rather, the following index results from a tentative reconstruction of the original produced by collating the codices that contain its various parts (Salzman 1990: 249-68):
1. Dedication to Valentinus
2. Representation of the Tyche of the chief cities of the
empire (Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Trier).
3. Dedication to the emperor and list of the Natales
4. The seven planets, together with their legends.
5. Effectus XII Signorum: the twelve signs of the zodiac
and their peculiarities.
6. A calendar that includes texts and illustrations for
7. Portraits of the consuls.
8. List of the consuls from 508 BC to 354 AD.
9. A calendar of Easter from 312-358 AD, with a preview
to 410 AD.
10. List of the urban prefects of Rome from 254-354 AD.
11. Depositions of the bishops of Rome from 255-352 AD.
12. Depositions of the martyrs.
13. List of Popes from Peter to Liberius, who held the office
from 352 AD.
14. Notitia, a description of Rome’s fourteen neighborhoods
[this work was probably not part of the original
15. Liber Generationis, an annalistic history from the
creation of the world to 334 AD [this work was probably
not part of the original collection].
16. Chronica urbis Romae, a history of Rome from its
beginnings to 324 AD.
The Chronographus can also be divided into two parts: the first (§1-7) is richly illustrated and concerned purely with pagan traditions and themes, without reference to Christian affairs; the second (§8-16) is not illustrated and is almost completely devoid of references to pagan religion.
The dating of this work has been an object of much discussion, but the arguments of Stern 1953: 42-5 have led scholars to agree that the Codex-Calendar was assembled in 354 AD. According to Stern, this happened under Constantius II (r. 337-361 AD), who is called Dominus noster in the list of Natales Caesarum and who became sole Augustus after the assassination of Constans on 11 January 351 AD and the end of the war against Magnentius in August 353 AD. The sections lacking illustration allow a more precise dating: the lists of consuls, urban prefects, and popes place the ultimate phase of the Codex-Calendar’s composition in the year 354 AD. The fact that the third section opens with a dedication to the Augusti (salvis Augustis) does not conflict with this proposition, since we find the same titulature on coins and medallions produced between 352 and 354 AD that depict Constantius together with one of the two Caesars (Constantius Gallus and Julian).
Mommsen based his edition on codex Vindobonensis 3416, copied between 1500-1510 from a codex Luxemburgensis, which was discovered and described by Nicholas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc in 1620, but lost upon his death in 1637. [G. Cattaneo; tr. C. L. Caterine].