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INDICTION, a period or cycle of is years, the origin of which is obscure. It is thought to have originated in Egypt in A.D. 312, the year of the defeat of Mascentius. The assessment and dating of Roman tax censuses took place every 15 years (the "indiction" period), and became a recognized form of reck oning during the Middle Ages, particularly in Ecclesiastical affairs. See CHRONOLOGY and EGYPT.