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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.The carvings recount the key event when Tikal's king, Jasaw Chan K'awiil I, defeated Yich'aak K'ahk, known as "Claw of Fire," who headed a rival kingdom at Calakmul, 55 miles away.Using a technique called accelerator mass spectrometry, the team concluded the tree was cut down and carved around AD 658-696.His system was to replace the Diocletian era that had been used in an old Easter table because he did not wish to continue the memory of a tyrant who persecuted Christians.The last year of the old table, Diocletian 247, was immediately followed by the first year of his table, AD 532."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.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 (the period during which the dates of Alexandrian Easter repeat) from the first year of his new table.
There is no year zero in this scheme, so the year AD 1 immediately follows the year 1 BC.It has also been speculated by Georges Declercq 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.At the time, it was believed by some that the Resurrection and end of the world would occur 500 years after the birth of Jesus.It occurred at nine Bak'tuns, 13 K'atuns, three Tuns, seven Winals and 18 K'ins - or 1,390,838 days from the start of the count.Attempts to transcribe this into the European calendar have given estimates that vary by hundreds of years.