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Not being ready to deal with negative year counts, he sought an initial epoch in advance of any historical record.
While scholars generally believe that Christ was born a few years before AD 1, the records are too sketchy to allow a definitive dating.Even as Dionysius' practice of dating from the Incarnation became common in ecclesiastical writings of the middle ages, traditional dating practices continued for civil purposes.In the 16th century Joseph Justus Scaliger tried to resolve the patchwork of historical eras by placing everything on a single system.However, he did not want his Easter table "to perpetuate the memory of an impious persecutor of the Church, but preferred to count and denote the years from the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ." To accomplish this he designated the years of his table Anni Domini Nostri Jesu Christi 532-550.Thus, Dionysius' Anno Domini 532 is equivalent to Anno Diocletiani 248, so that a correspondence was established between the new Christian Era and an existing system associated with historical records.
For a calendrical epoch to be useful, however, it must be tied to a sequence of recorded historical events.