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But kings do not always come to the throne on the 1 of January, and some rule for less than a year, and some are obliterated from the lists for political reasons.
In consequence any reckoning based upon regnal years was bound to be in error, sometimes substantially as errors in a dynasty accumulated.
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 Romans, rather than using AUC, tended to date a year by the names of the annual consuls then in office. The most common system of dating was by the regnal year of a reigning monarch, and inscriptions often record that they were erected in the nth year of king xyz.
Lists of kings and the number of years they reigned circulated, and exist still, carved on the walls of Egyptian temples.
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.
But there were so many of these, and they enjoyed such limited use, that these did not advance things.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.Each city would have its own calendar and reckoning.There were several different systems of months in use.