Dionysius Exiguus; Dionysius the Little

(died c.544) Monk and writer. Much of his life was spent in Rome, where he was abbot of a monastery. He translated standard works from Greek into Latin and the beginnings of canon law in Western Christendom are due to him. In a work on the calculation of Easter he introduced the use of the Christian Era fixing the date of Our Lord's birth as 753 years after the foundation of Rome, a date now known to be too late by four to seven years. His surname, "the Little," is believed to have been adopted in self-depreciation.

New Catholic Dictionary

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