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Thus, depending on the time and place, the year number changed on different days in the year, which created slightly different styles in chronology: but the date is estimated through two different approaches - one by analyzing references to known historical events mentioned in the Nativity accounts in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, and the second by working backwards from the estimation of the start of the ministry of Jesus.During the first six centuries of what would come to be known as the Christian era, European countries used various systems to count years.Two major theories are that Dionysius based his calculation on the Gospel of Luke, which states that Jesus was "about thirty years old" shortly after "the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar", and hence subtracted thirty years from that date, or that Dionysius counted back 532 years from the first year of his new table.It is convenient to initiate a calendar not from the very day of an event but from the beginning of a cycle which occurs in close proximity.

When he devised his table, Julian calendar years were identified by naming the consuls who held office that year—he himself stated that the "present year" was "the consulship of Probus Junior", which was 525 years "since the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ".Thus Dionysius implied that Jesus' Incarnation occurred 525 years earlier, without stating the specific year during which his birth or conception occurred."However, nowhere in his exposition of his table does Dionysius relate his epoch to any other dating system, whether consulate, Olympiad, year of the world, or regnal year of Augustus; much less does he explain or justify the underlying date." It is not known how Dionysius established the year of Jesus's birth.For example, the Islamic calendar begins not from the date of the Hijra, but rather weeks prior, on the first occurrence of the month of Muharram (corresponding to 16 July 622).that Dionysius' desire to replace Diocletian years with a calendar based on the incarnation of Christ was intended to prevent people from believing the imminent end of the world.

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