Dionysius Exiguus

Dionysius Exiguus
Dionysius Exiguus
According to his friend and fellow-student, Cassiodorus, though by birth a Scythian, he was in character a true Roman and thorough Catholic, most learned in both tongues i.e., Greek and Latin, and an accomplished scripturist

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Dionysius Exiguus
    Dionysius Exiguus
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Dionysius Exiguus
    The surname EXIGUUS, or "The Little", adopted probably in self-deprecation and not because he was small of stature; flourished in the earlier part of the sixth century, dying before the year 544. According to his friend and fellow-student, Cassiodorus (De divinis Lectionibus, c. xxiii), though by birth a Scythian, he was in character a true Roman and thorough Catholic, most learned in both tongues–i.e., Greek and Latin–and an accomplished Scripturist. Much of his life was spent in Rome, where he governed a monastery as abbot. His industry was very great and he did good service in translating standard works from Greek into Latin, principally the "Life of St. Pachomius", the "Instruction of St. Proclus of Constantinople" for the Armenians, the "De opificio hominis" of St. Gregory of Nyssa, the history of the discovery of the head of St. John the Baptist. The translation of St. Cyril of Alexandria's synodical letter against Nestorius, and some other works long attributed to Dionysius are now acknowledged to be earlier and are assigned to Marius Mercator.
    Of great importance were the contributions of Dionysius to the science of canon law, the first beginnings of which in Western Christendom were due to him. His "Collectio Dionysiana" embraces
    (1) a collection of synodal decrees, of which he has left two editions:
    –(a) "Codex canonum Ecclesiæ Universæ". This contains canons of Oriental synods and councils only in Greek and Latin, including those of the four œcumenical councils from Nicæa (325) to Chalcedon (451).
    –(b) "Codex canonum ecclesiasticarum". This is in Latin only; its contents agree generally with the other, but the Council of Ephesus (431) is omitted, while the so-called "Canons of the Apostles" and those of Sardica are included, as well as 138 canons of the African Council of Carthage (419).
    –(c) Of another bilingual version of Greek canons, undertaken at the instance of Pope Hormisdas, only the preface has been preserved.
    (2) A collection of papal Constitutions (Collectio decretorum Pontificum Romanorum) from Siricius to Anastasius II (384-498).
    In chronology Dionysius has left his mark conspicuously, for it was he who introduced the use of the Christian Era (see CHRONOLOGY) according to which dates are reckoned from the Incarnation, which he assigned to 25 March, in the year 754 from the foundation of Rome (A. U. C.). By this method of computation he intended to supersede the "Era of Diocletian" previously employed, being unwilling, as he tells us, that the name of an impious persecutor should be thus kept in memory. The Era of the Incarnation, often called the Dionysian Era, was soon much used in Italy and, to some extent, a little later in Spain; during the eighth and ninth centuries it was adopted in England. Charlemagne is said to have been the first Christian ruler to employ it officially. It was not until the tenth century that it was employed in the papal chancery (Lersch, Chronologie, Freiburg, 1899, p. 233). Dionysius also gave attention to the calculation of Easter, which so greatly occupied the early Church. To this end he advocated the adoption of the Alexandrian Cycle of nineteen years, extending that of St. Cyril for a period of ninety-five years in advance. It was in this work that he adopted the Era of the Incarnation.
    DIONYSIUS, works in P.L., LXVII, and the testimony of CASSIODORUS, ibid, LXX. See also MAASEN, Quellen der Lit. des can. Rechts im Abendlande (Graz, 1870); BARDENHEWER, Gesch. der altkirch. Lit. (Freiburg im Br., 1902).
    JOHN GERARD.
    Transcribed by WGKofron With thanks to St. Mary's Church, Akron, Ohio

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


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  • Dionysius Exiguus — oder auch Denys der Kleine bzw. der Geringe (* um 470; † um 540) war von Geburt Skythe und lebte seit etwa 500 als Mönch und Freund des Cassiodor in Rom. Dort übersetzte er griechische patristische Schriften ins Lateinische. Er wurde durch die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Dionysius Exiguus — Dionysĭus Exigŭus, d.i. der Kleine, ein Skythe, Abt in Rom, gest. um 556 n. Chr., veranstaltete eine Dekretalensammlung und ist der Begründer unserer christl. Zeitrechnung (Dionysische Zeitrechnung, Aera Dionysiāna) sowie der abendländ.… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Dionysius Exiguus — Dionysius Exiguus,   skythischer Mönch, in der 1. Hälfte des 6. Jahrhunderts in Rom lebend (✝ etwa 540 n. Chr.); gab die erste Sammlung der apostolischen Canones, Konzilienbeschlüsse und Dekretalen als Grundlage des kanonischen Rechtes heraus… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Dionysius Exiguus — [ig zig′yo͞o əs, igsig′yoo əs] 6th cent. A.D.; Rom. monk & Christian theologian, born in Scythia: believed to have introduced the current system of numbering years on the basis of the Christian Era …   English World dictionary

  • Dionysius Exiguus — St. Dionysius Exiguus (Dionysius the Humble) Born c. 470 Died c. 544 Honored in Romanian Orthodox Church Canonized 8 July 2008 …   Wikipedia

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  • Dionysius Exiguus (66) — 66Dionysius Exiguus, (4. Oct.). Dieser Dionysius, der Kleine (exiguus) genannt – nach Einigen wegen seiner kleinen Körpergestalt, oder der Unbedeutende, wie er nach Andern als Mönch aus klösterlicher Demuth sich selbst nannte – nimmt in der… …   Vollständiges Heiligen-Lexikon

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