Front Page Titles (by Subject) 10.: A CHRONOLOGICAL QUESTION OF THE EIGHTH CENTURY — ( P. 234 , 236 ) - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 8
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10.: A CHRONOLOGICAL QUESTION OF THE EIGHTH CENTURY — ( P. 234 , 236 ) - Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 8 
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ed. J.B. Bury with an Introduction by W.E.H. Lecky (New York: Fred de Fau and Co., 1906), in 12 vols. Vol. 8.
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A CHRONOLOGICAL QUESTION OF THE EIGHTH CENTURY — (P. 234, 236)
From the year 726 to the year 774 there is a consistent inconsistency in the dates of the chronicle of Theophanes. The Anni Mundi and the Indictions do not correspond. Thus a.m. 6220 is equated with Ind. 12; but while a.m. 6220 answers to 727-8, Ind. 12 should answer to 728-9. It has been generally assumed that the Indications are right and the Anni Mundi wrong; and the received chronology (of Baronius, Pagi, Gibbon, Lebeau, Muralt, Finlay, Hopf, &c. &c.) is based on this assumption. But it was pointed out (Bury, Later Roman Empire, ii. 425-7) that the anomaly was not due to an error of Theophanes (of the same kind as that which he perpetrated in his annals of the preceding century, see above, Appendix 1), since a contemporary document (the Ecloga of Leo and Constantine) presents the same inconsistency; and that we must infer that the Anni Mundi are right and the Indictions wrong. For, while the Anni Mundi represented a chronological system based on historical data, with which the government could not conceivably have tampered, the Indictions were part of a financial system which might be manipulated by the Emperor. The conclusion was drawn (Bury, ib.) that Leo III. had packed two indictions into one year of twelve months, for the purpose of raising a double capitation tax; and that, nearly fifty years later, Constantine V. spread one indiction over two years of twelve months ( 772-4), so restoring the correspondence between Anni Mundi and Indictions according to the previous method of computation. This reasoning was confirmed especially by one fact (Bury, op. cit. p. 426) — the eclipse of the sun noticed by Theophanes under a.m. 6252, on Friday, Aug. 15, clearly the annular eclipse of 760 on that day of the month and week. The received chronology would imply that the eclipse took place in 761, Aug. 15; but astronomy assures us that there was no eclipse on that day, nor was that day Friday.
It follows that the dates of forty-seven years in the 8th century (from 726-7 to 773-4) are a year wrong. Thus Leo III. died, not in 741, but in 740; the Iconoclastic Synod was held, not in 754, but in 753.
These conclusions have been recently confirmed and developed by M. H. Hubert (Chronologie de Théophane, in Byz. Zeitschrift, vi. p. 491 sqq., 1897), who has gone through the Papal acts and letters of the period. He points out two important consequences of the revised dating. While the Iconoclastic Council of Constantinople was sitting, there were deputies of the Pope in that city, — though not necessarily as his representatives at the Council. More important still is the circumstance that the Council preceded the journey of Pope Stephen II. (in 754) to the court of Pippin and the famous compact which he concluded with the Frank king at Quiersy. The Council would thus appear to be the event which definitely decided the secession of Rome from the Empire.
(The chronological question dealt with in this Appendix has been since discussed by Mr. E. W. Brooks [in Byzantinische Zeitschrift, viii. p. 82 sqq., 1899; The Chronology of Theophanes, 607-775], who arrives at the conclusion that Theophanes has used two different schemes of chronology, and in the period under discussion dates sometimes by the one, sometimes by the other.)