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The Spanish era or Era of the Caesars refers to the dating system used in Hispania until the fourteenth century and the adoption of Anno Domini. It began with year one in what is 38 BC, probably the date of a new tax imposed by the Romans on the subdued population of Iberia. Whatever the case, the date signifies the beginning of the Pax Romana in Hispania.
To convert from a date in the Spanish era to the corresponding year in the Christian era, just subtract thirty eight years.
The use of the Spanish era probably began in Iberia in the third century. The reason for its particular popularity is unknown. Usage died out in different provinces of Spain at different times:
- In Catalonia, usage ceased after the Council of Tarragona in 1180
- In Aragón, Valencia, and Majorca, it was abandoned during the reign of James I
- In Castile, use was suppressed by John I in accord with the cortes of Segovia in 1383 (in fact, on December 25 1384)
- In Portugal, usage ceased in the first quarter of the fifteenth century, on August 22 1422, during the reign of John I
- In Navarre, it survived longer, until the end of the fifteenth century