BornScythia Minor (Dobrudscha, Romania), mid to late fifth century
Diedpossibly Rome, (Italy), before 556
Dionysius, a monk of Scythian (or Gothic) birth educated in the ecclesiastical tradition on the west coast of the Black Sea, came to Rome sometime after 496, perhaps having earlier resided in Constantinople. Self-styled Exiguus (“the Slight”) out of intellectual humility, he was nevertheless an important figure in the canon law, theology, and computistics of Late Antiquity. Skilled in both Latin and Greek, Dionysius was instrumental in the translation of numerous Greek texts into Latin, including documents from the Church councils of Nicaea (325) and Chalcedon (451), along with a wide variety of theological treatises and ecclesiastical records. He was highly regarded by his contemporaries, especially by his friend Cassiodorus.
Despite his monumental work in the ecclesiastical sphere, Dionysius is best remembered for his reworking of the Christian calendar. Petitioned by many...
- Declercq, G. (2000). Anno Domini: The Origins of the Christian Era. Turnhout: Brepols, esp. pp. 97–147.Google Scholar
- Duncan, David E. (1998). Calendar: Humanity’s Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year. New York: Bard, pp. 71–75.Google Scholar
- Migne, J. P. (1865). Patrologia Latina. Vol. 67, cols. 483–508. Paris: Migne (For the Latin texts of Dionysius’s Liber de Paschateand related texts.)Google Scholar
- Richards, E. G. (1998). Mapping Time: The Calendar and Its History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 217–218, 350–351.Google Scholar
- Wallis, Faith (1999). Bede: The Reckoning of Time. 2 Vols. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, pp. liii–lv, 333–338, 347–348.Google Scholar