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Once he started work, the problems of Greek chronography must have become exceedingly evident.By the time of Eusebius, Greek chronography was a mess. There was no agreement in the ancient world on which date the year should begin.When a king came to the throne, he placed his name on a separate line by itself, for any events of that king which had no specified year.Beneath it he then enumerated the years of his reign on succeeding lines; 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on.Thus for each year there was a line on which information could be entered.Also, by running along the line, it could be seen precisely who ruled where at any given time.An occasional note might be attached to the name of a king, stating that in the 3 year of his reign such-and-such event occurred.Each kingdom would be treated separately, and its rulers or magistrates listed.
This universal dating foreshadowed the invention of the standard Anno Domini dating by Dionysius Exiguus.Once the Olympic games had begun, with a group of four years between games known as an Olympiad, some of the Greeks began to refer to those four-year groups by the name of the victor in the games. Chronicles based on the four-year cycle began to come into existence, since this dating was more universal for Greek affairs than lists of annual officials in each city.Anyone trying to write a history had to struggle with these obstacles.The revolutionary tabular format forces the chronologist to be precise in whatever data is entered and highlights any errors involved in synchronising lists from different kingdoms of kings and the number of years they reigned. 311 AD, and is responsible for the revolutionary format which transformed the study of history.Prior to Eusebius, a chronography would consist of lists of kings, and how long they reigned.
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There were also systems like Ab Urbe Condita (AUC from the founding of the City, Rome).