Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Quando Festeggiare Il 2000? Problemi Di Cronologia Cristiana

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Quando Festeggiare Il 2000? Problemi Di Cronologia Cristiana

Article excerpt

FEDALTO, GIORGIO. Quando festeggiare il 2000? Problemi di cronologia cristiana. (Rome: Edizioni San Paolo. 1998. Pp. 98. Lire 14.000 paperback.)

"When Do We Celebrate the Year 2000?" revisits "problems of Christian chronology" that have preoccupied scholars for centuries. The Patristic scholar and student of Christian antiquity Giorgio Fedalto challenges the widely held assumption that Dionysius Exiguus miscalculated the date of Jesus' birth by several years. Most scholars today date Jesus' birth sometime about 4-8 B.C., but Fedalto thinks it was closer to the date fixed by Dionysius that tradition has used to mark the beginning of the Christian era. A second problem, also age-old, is to fix a date for Easter that all Christian churches can agree on. No easy task.

Fedalto builds his case first by reviewing the information given in the Gospel according to Luke and the efforts of the early church Fathers to establish a continuous chronology. fie makes much of a reference in the history of the Olympian Games by Phlegon of Tralles that mentions an eclipse and earthquake that occurred in the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad. In a second essay Fedalto describes the efforts of the early Church to agree on a common method for fixing the annual celebration of Easter. Constantine thought that the Council of Nicaea. settled the issue once and for all, but the Nicene solution did not take into account the discrepancy between the lunar and solar calendars and the different methods of correlating them in Alexandria and Rome. …

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