incarnation of the word. on this day in history.


March 25, 1, [yes, just 1] was the origin of the Dionysian Incarnation of the Word.  Interpretation of that ambiguous sounding event?  In the 2nd century, dioceses in the Eastern Roman Empire counted the years starting with the birth of Christ.  At that time, however, there was not full agreement among them on the specific date of that event.  Dionysius, a 6th-century monk, devised a dating system to enumerate years in an Easter table. Easter tables were essentially tools to mark the days until, well, Easter.  In his Easter table design, he distinguished the years by using the names of the Roman consuls who held office in each particular year. He also used astronomy, mathematics and the Incarnation.  The year in which he created his Easter table was 525, which he noted was under the consul Probus Junior and referred to it as ‘the present year’ and 525 years ‘since the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ’.  Incarnation could refer to Christ’s birth or conception, but no clear indication was made about which.  Scholars have since deduced that March 25, 1, was the point at which 1 BC began. And, AD 1 immediately follows the year 1 BC.  Like much in history, we rely on interpretations of implied evidence, such as Dionysius’ references noted above. Today, March 25, AD 2014, Dionysius Exiguus is known as the ‘inventor’ of the Anno Domini (AD) era.

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