Easter dating method

In particular we learn that they had become neglectful (or at least the Christians of Rome and Alexandria declared they were neglectful) of the law that the fourteenth of Nisan must never precede the equinox (see Schwartz, Christliche und judische Ostertafeln, pp. Thus Constantine in the letter quoted above protests with horror that the Jews sometimes kept two Paschs in one year, meaning that two Paschs sometimes fell between one equinox and the next.

The Alexandrians, on the other hand, accepted it as a first principle that the Sunday to be kept as Easter Day must necessarily occur after the vernal equinox, then identified with 21 March of the Julian year.

In Rome and Alexandria the lunar cycles by which the occurrence of Easter was determined was not uniform.

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But it seems to be clearly established by the most recent researches (see Schwartz, op. 28-29) that the lunar cycles were never understood to be more than aids towards ascertaining the correct date of Easter, also that where the calculations of Rome and Alexandria led to divergent results, compromises were made upon both sides and that the final decision always lay with accepted ecclesiastical authority.

It was to the divergent cycles which Rome had successively adopted and rejected in its attempt to determine Easter more accurately that the third stage in the paschal controversy was mainly due.

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