but also at this time people generally had no way of computing the actual solar year;1 the priests alone knew the proper time, and would suddenly and to everybody's surprise insert the intercalary month called Mercedonius. Numa the king is said to have been the first to intercalate this month, thus devising a slight and short-lived remedy for the error in regard to the sidereal and solar cycles, as I have said in his Life.2
1 At this time the Roman calendar was more than two months ahead of the solar year. Caesar's reform went into effect in 46 B.C.
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