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Having won his war with Pompey, Caesar used his position as Rome's chief pontiff to enact a calendar reform in 46, coincidentally making the year of his third consulship last for 446 days.

In order to avoid interfering with Rome's religious ceremonies, the reform added all its days towards the ends of months and did not adjust any nones or ides, even in months which came to have 31 days.

Rome's 8-day week, the nundinal cycle, was shared with the Etruscans, who used it as the schedule of royal audiences.

It was presumably a feature of the early calendar and was credited in Roman legend variously to Romulus and Servius Tullius. The system is usually said to have left the remaining 50-odd days of the year as an unorganized "winter", although Licinius Macer's lost history apparently stated the earliest Roman calendar employed intercalation instead and Macrobius claims the 10-month calendar was allowed to shift until the summer and winter months were completely misplaced, at which time additional days belonging to no month were simply inserted into the calendar until it seemed things were restored to their proper place.

The revised calendar remaining slightly longer than the solar year, the date of Easter shifted far enough away from the vernal equinox that Pope Gregory XIII ordered its adjustment in the 16th century.

After the establishment of the Roman Republic, years began to be dated by consulships and control over intercalation was granted to the pontifices, who eventually abused their power by lengthening years controlled by their political allies and shortening the years in their rivals' terms of office.

Constantine formally established the 7-day week by making Sunday an official holiday in 321.

Consular dating became obsolete following the abandonment of appointing nonimperial consuls in These are thought to reflect a prehistoric lunar calendar, with the kalends proclaimed after the sighting of the first sliver of the new crescent moon a day or two after the new moon, the nones occurring on the day of the first-quarter moon, and the ides on the day of the full moon.

It is usually exclusive of the Alexandrian calendar of Roman Egypt, which continued the unique months of that land's former calendar; the Byzantine calendar of the later Roman Empire, which usually dated the Roman months in the simple count of the ancient Greek calendars; and the Gregorian calendar, which refined the Julian system to bring it into still closer alignment with the solar year and is the basis of the current international standard.

Roman dates were counted inclusively forward to the next of three principal days: the first of the month (the kalends), a day less than the middle of the month (the ides), and eight days—nine, counting inclusively—before this (the nones).

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