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A Hstory Of The Councils Of The Church Volumes 1 to 5 by Charles Joseph Hefele D.D.

THE frequent designation of dates in this volume by the word Indiction seems to require a few words of explanation. The word signifies primarily, a “declaration,” and in particular, “a declaration or imposition of a tax,” and finally, “a space of fifteen years.” It appears in this sense for the first time about the middle of the fourth century, followed by a numeral from i. to xv. Originally it meant a “notice of a tax on real property,” an assessment. From this it came to mean the year on which the tax was assessed, beginning September 1, the epoch of the imperial fiscal year. “It seems that in the provinces, after Constantine, if not earlier, the valuation of property was revised upon a census taken at the end of every fifteen years. From the strict observance of this fiscal revaluation there resulted a marked term of fifteen years, constantly recurrent, the Circle of Indictions, which became available for chronological purposes as a ‘period of revolution’ of fifteen years, each beginning September 1, which (except in the Spanish peninsula) continued to be used as a character of the year, irrespectively of all reference to taxation.” See Dict. of Antiquities, s.v., where authorities are given. What is further necessary will be found in the text of the History.








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