Letter: The Herod bug

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The Independent Online
Sir: Miles Kington's explanation of King Herod's policy for the 0-2 year olds (22 December), according to recent new evidence from deciphered scrolls, is in doubt.

The policy arose from the great abacus crisis in the Roman taxation department. For years these had counted down from BC dates and could not easily be reversed when it came to AD. It was found that the problem would take two years to sort out. To keep the taxation records straight for the future it was necessary to eliminate the 0-2 year olds.