Everyone is now celebrating the Bimillennium, and very many are writing about it. Bimillennium of what? Of our era, of course: A.D. 2000. Our era is supposed to have begun with the birth of Jesus Christ. But Jesus Christ was not, unfortunately, born in A.D. 1: he was born in 11 or 7 or 6 or 5 or 4 B.C. We do not know exactly when, and our sources have made no particular effort to tell us. Our era was only established by a Russian monk Dionysius Exiguus, in the sixth century A.D. – he had been asked to attack the problem by Pope John I. The theory of Dionysius (which appears, incidentally, to be based on a mathematical error) was taken up by the West, and has held the field ever since. That is why, quite illogically, we commemorate the Bimillennium today: and why governments are spending a great deal of their peoples' money to do so. But let us not, all the same, belittle this misconceived Bimillennium. For it gives a great many people the opportunity to think a lot about their lives – to turn over a new leaf, hoping confidently that their new era and behaviour will be an improvement on the past. So for that reason let us welcome the Bimillennium. But not because it is the Bimillennium of the birth of Jesus Christ, because it is not. Not that the public, as a whole, minds. Any more than it minds about the religious basis of Christmas. It is, however, in my opinion, worth recording that this religious basis exists, and that on these grounds the whole foundation of the Bimillennium is fallacious, although no doubt it will receive the most massive celebrations, and these are justified in so far as they persuade people to change and improve their lives and the life of the community to which they belong. This was certainly the case in A.D. 1000, and I hope and believe it will be the case in 2000 as well.