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This is an invaluable chronological aid, because a solar eclipse was recorded as having taken place in the limmu of Bur-Sagale, governor of Guzana.Astronomers have identified this eclipse as one that took place on 15 June, 763 BC, which has allowed absolute dates of 892 to 648 BC to be assigned to that sequence of eponyms.The system was introduced by Marcus Terentius Varro in the 1st century BC.The first day of its year was Founder's Day (April 21), although most modern historians assume that it coincides with the modern historical year (January 1 to December 31).

The rule for computing the indiction from the AD year number, which he had just invented, was stated by Dionysius Exiguus: add 3 and divide by 15; the remainder is the indiction, with 0 understood to be the fifteenth indiction.

The Olympic Games provided the various independent city-states with a mutually recognizable system of dates. Another common system was the indiction cycle (15 indictions made up an agricultural tax cycle in Roman Egypt, an indiction being a year in duration).

Documents and events began to be dated by the year of the cycle (e.g., "fifth indiction", "tenth indiction") in the 4th century, and this system was used long after the tax ceased to be collected.

Another system that is less commonly found than might be thought was the use of the regnal year of the Roman emperor.

At first, Augustus indicated the year of his reign by counting how many times he had held the office of consul, and how many times the Roman Senate had granted him Tribunican powers, carefully observing the fiction that his powers came from these offices granted to him, rather than from his own person or the many legions under his control.

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