Common Era

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Common Era
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{{Redirect|BCE}}{{Redirect|Era Vulgaris|the Queens of the Stone Age album |Era Vulgaris (album)}}{{For|the Christian Era|Anno Domini}}Common Era (CE) is one of the notation systems for the world's most widely used calendar era. BCE (Before the Common Era or Before the Current Era) is the era before CE. BCE and CE are alternatives to the Dionysian BC and AD system respectively. The Dionysian era distinguishes eras using AD (, "[the] year of [the] Lord")ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Anno Domini, Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, 2003, Merriam-Webster, Etymology: Medieval Latin, in the year of the Lord, 2011-10-04, and BC ("before Christ"). Since the two notation systems are numerically equivalent, "{{currentyear}} CE" corresponds to "AD {{currentyear}}" and "400 BCE" corresponds to "400 BC".WEB,weblink Controversy over the use of the "CE/BCE" and "AD/BC" dating notation/, Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, 2011-11-12, DICTIONARY, Common Era, American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 3rd, 1992, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, {{efn|Two separate systems that also do not use religious titles, the astronomical system and the ISO 8601 standard, do use a year zero. The year 1 BCE (identical to the year 1 BC) is represented as 0 in the astronomical system, and as 0000 in ISO 8601. Presently, ISO 8601 dating requires use of the Gregorian calendar for all dates, however, whereas astronomical dating and Common Era dating allow use of either the Gregorian or Julian calendars.}} Both notations refer to the Gregorian calendar (and its predecessor, the Julian calendar). The year-numbering system used by the Gregorian calendar is used throughout the world today, and is an international standard for civil calendars.BOOK,weblink 585, E. G., Richards, Calendars, Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac, 3rd, 2012, University Science Books, Mill Valley, CA, Urban, S. E., Seidelmann, P. K., The expression has been traced back to 1615, when it first appeared in a book by Johannes Kepler as the Latin usage ',WEB, Coolman, Robert, Keeping Time: The Origin of B.C. & A.D.,weblink Live Science, 11 November 2017, and to 1635 in English as "(wikt:Vulgar|Vulgar){{efn|From the Latin word (wikt:vulgus|vulgus), the common people — to contrast it with the regnal year system of dating used by the Government.}} Era". The term "Common Era" can be found in English as early as 1708, and became more widely used in the mid-19th century by Jewish religious scholars. In the later 20th century, the use of CE and BCE was popularized in academic and scientific publications as a culturally neutral term. It is also used by some authors and publishers who wish to emphasize sensitivity to non-Christians by not explicitly referencing Jesus as "Christ" and Dominus ("Lord") through use of the abbreviation{{efn|AD is shortened from ' ("in the year of Our Lord Jesus Christ").}} "AD".NEWS,weblinkweblink dead, 10 August 2017, BCE date designation called more sensitive, Andrew Herrmann, Chicago Sun-Times, 27 May 2006, Herrmann observes, "The changes – showing up at museums, in academic circles and in school textbooks – have been touted as more sensitive to people of faiths outside of Christianity." However, Herrmann notes, "The use of BCE and CE have rankled some Christians", 2016-09-18, BOOK,weblink Westminster dictionary of theological terms, Common Era entry, Donald K, McKim, 1996, 2011-05-18, 978-0-664-25511-4,



{{See also|Anno Domini}}The year numbering system used with Common Era notation was devised by the Christian monk Dionysius Exiguus in the year 525 to replace the Era of Martyrs system, because he did not wish to continue the memory of a tyrant who persecuted Christians. He attempted to number years from an initial reference date ("epoch"), an event he referred to as the Incarnation of Jesus.Doggett, L.E., (1992), "Calendars" in Seidelmann, P.K., The Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac, Sausalito CA: University Science Books, 2.1BOOK,weblink The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Geoffrey W., Bromiley, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1995, 978-0-8028-3781-3, 2011-05-18, Dionysius labeled the column of the table in which he introduced the new era as "Anni Domini Nostri Jesu Christi".Pedersen, O., (1983), "The Ecclesiastical Calendar and the Life of the Church" in Coyne, G.V. et al. (Eds.) The Gregorian Reform of the Calendar, Vatican Observatory, p. 52.Numbering years in this manner became more widespread in Europe with its usage by Bede in England in 731. Bede also introduced the practice of dating years before what he supposed was the year of birth of Jesus,Bede wrote of the Incarnation of Jesus, but treated it as synonymous with birth. Blackburn, B & Holford-Strevens, L, (2003), The Oxford Companion to the Year, Oxford University Press, 778. and the practice of not using a year zero.{{efn|As noted in History of the zero, the use of zero in Western civilization was uncommon before the twelfth century.}} In 1422, Portugal became the last Western European country to switch to the system begun by Dionysius.

Vulgar Era

{{wikt|vulgar}}File:Johannes Kepler 1610.jpg|thumb|upright|Johannes Kepler first used "Vulgar Era" to distinguish dates on the Christian calendar from the regnal yearregnal yearThe term "Common Era" is traced back in English to its appearance as "(wikt:vulgar|Vulgar) Era" to distinguish dates on the Ecclesiastic calendar in popular use from dates of the regnal year, the year of reign of a sovereign, typically used in national law. (The word 'vulgar' originally meant 'of the ordinary people', with no derogatory associations).The first use of the Latin term anno aerae nostrae vulgaris{{Efn|name=VulgarisAerae0|In Latin, Common Era is written as Aera Vulgaris. It also occasionally appears, in Latin declination, as æræ vulgaris, aerae vulgaris, aeram vulgarem, anni vulgaris, vulgaris aerae Christianae, and anni vulgatae nostrae aerae Christianas.}} discovered so far was in a 1615 book by Johannes Kepler. Kepler uses it again, as ab Anno vulgaris aerae, in a 1616 table of ephemerides,BOOK, Second use of "vulgaris aerae" (Latin for Common Era) (1616),weblink Plancus, Kepler, Johann, 1616, 2011-05-18, BOOK, Ephemerides novae motuum caelestium, ab Ä€nno vulgaris aerae MDCXVII en observationibus potissimum Tychonis Brahei hypothesibus physicis, et tabulis Rudolphinis..., Johann, Kepler, Plancus, 1616, and again, as ab anno vulgaris aerae, in 1617.BOOK,weblink Third use of "vulgaris aerae" (Latin for Common Era) (1617), sumptibus authoris, excudebat Iohannes Plancus, Kepler, Johannes, Fabricus, David, 1617, 2011-05-18, BOOK, Ephemerides novae motuum coelestium, ab anno vulgaris aerae MDCXVII[-XXXVI]..., Part 3 has title: Tomi L Ephemeridvm Ioannis Kepleri pars tertia, complexa annos à M.DC.XXIX. in M.DC.XXXVI. In quibus & tabb. Rudolphi jam perfectis, et sociâ operâ clariss. viri dn. Iacobi Bartschii ... Impressa Sagani Silesiorvm, in typographeio Ducali, svmptibvs avthoris, anno M.DC.XXX., Johannes Kepler, Jakob Bartsch, Johannes Plancus, 1617, * Translation of title (per 1635 English edition): New Ephemerids for the Celestiall Motions, for the Yeeres of the Vulgar Era 1617–1636 A 1635 English edition of that book has the title page in English – so far, the earliest-found usage of Vulgar Era in English.BOOK,weblink Earliest so-far-found use of vulgar era in English (1635), Kepler, Johann, Vlacq, Adriaan, 1635, 2011-05-18, BOOK, Ephemerides of the Celestiall Motions, for the Yeers of the Vulgar Era 1633..., Johann Kepler, Adriaan Vlacq, 1635, A 1701 book edited by John LeClerc includes "Before Christ according to the Vulgar Æra, 6".BOOK,weblink vulgar era in English (1701), Clerc, Jean Le, 1701, 2011-05-18, BOOK, The Harmony of the Evangelists, John LeClerc, John LeClerc, London, Sam Buckley, 5, 1701, Before Christ according to the Vulgar AEra, 6, A 1716 book in English by Dean Humphrey Prideaux says, "before the beginning of the vulgar æra, by which we now compute the years from his incarnation."BOOK,weblink Prideaux use of "Vulgar Era" (1716), 1799, reprint, reckoning it backward from the vulgar era of Christ's incarnation, Prideaux, Humphrey, 2011-05-18, BOOK, The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews and Neighbouring Nations, Humphrey Prideaux, D.D., Humphrey Prideaux, Edinburgh, This happened in the seventh year after the building of Rome, and in the second year of the eighth Olympiad, which was the seven hundred forty-seventh year before Christ, i. e. before the beginning of the vulgar æra, by which we now compute the years from his incarnation., 1, 1, 1716, from Oxford University Press 1799 (1716 edition not online, 1749 online is Vol 2), Merriam Webster accepts the date of 1716, but does not give the source. WEB,weblink Merriam Webster Online entry for Vulgar Era, 2011-05-18, A 1796 book uses the term "vulgar era of the nativity".BOOK,weblink "vulgar era of the nativity" (1796), T. Cadell jun. and W. Davies, Robert Walker (Rector of Shingham), Newton, Sir Isaac, Falconer, Thomas, 1796, 2011-05-18, BOOK, Analysis of Researches Into the Origin and Progress of Historical Time, from the Creation to ..., Rev. Robert Walker, Isaac Newton, Thomas Falconer, 1796, T. Cadell Jr. and W. Davies, 10, London, Dionysius the Little brought the vulgar era of the nativity too low by four years., The first so-far-discovered usage of "Christian Era" is as the Latin phrase annus aerae christianae on the title page of a 1584 theology book.BOOK, 1584 Latin use of aerae christianae, 123471534, BOOK, De Eucharistica controuersia, capita doctrinae theologicae de quibus mandatu, illustrissimi principis ac domini, D. Iohannis Casimiri, Comites Palatini ad Rhenum, Ducis Bauariae, tutoris & administratoris Electoralis Palatinatus, octonis publicis disputationibus (quarum prima est habita 4 Apr. anno aerae christianae 1584, Marco Beumlero respondente) praeses Iohannes Iacobus Grynaeus, orthodoxae fidei rationem interrogantibus placidè reddidit; accessit eiusdem Iohannis Iacobi Grynaeus synopsis orationis, quam de disputationis euentu, congressione nona, quae indicit in 15 Aprilis, publicè habuit., Johann Jacob, Grynaeus, Johann Jakob Grynaeus, Beumler, Marcus, Latin, Heidelbergae, Typis Iacobi Mylij, 1584, Editio tertia, 123471534, 4 Apr. anno aerae christianae 1584, In 1649, the Latin phrase annus æræ Christianæ appeared in the title of an English almanac.BOOK, 1649 use of æræ Christianæ in English book – 1st usage found in English, 18533017, BOOK, Speculum uranicum, anni æræ Christianæ, 1649, or, An almanack and prognosication for the year of our Lord, 1649 being the first from bissextile or leap-year, and from the creation of the world 5598, wherein is contained many useful, pleasant and necessary observations, and predictions ... : calculated (according to art) for the meridian and latitude of the ancient borough town of Stamford in Lincolnshire ... and without sensible errour may serve the 3. kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland., WING, Vincent, 1649, London, J.L. for the Company of Stationers, anni æræ Christianæ, 1649, A 1652 ephemeris is the first instance so-far-found for English usage of "Christian Era".BOOK,weblink first appearance of "Christian Era" in English (1652), 2016-11-02, BOOK, A celestiall glasse, or, Ephemeris for the year of the Christian era 1652 being the bissextile or leap-year: contayning the lunations, planetary motions, configurations & ecclipses for this present year ... : with many other things very delightfull and necessary for most sorts of men: calculated exactly and composed for ... Rochester, Sliter, Robert, 1652, Printed for the Company of Stationers, London, The English phrase "common Era" appears at least as early as 1708,BOOK, first so-far-found use of common era in English (1708),weblink Printed for H. Rhodes, 1708, 2011-05-18, BOOK, The History of the Works of the Learned, 10, 513, London, January 1708, and in a 1715 book on astronomy is used interchangeably with "Christian Era" and "Vulgar Era".BOOK,weblink David, Gregory, The Elements of Astronomy, Physical and Geometrical, John Nicholson, John Morphew, John Morphew, 1715, Some say the World was created 3950 Years before the common Æra of Christ, 252, printed for J. Nicholson, and sold by J. Morphew, London, 1, 2011-05-18, Before Christ and Christian Era appear on the same page 252, while Vulgar Era appears on page 250 A 1759 history book uses common æra in a generic sense, to refer to the common era of the Jews.BOOK,weblink 1759 use of common æra, Printed for C. Bathurst, Sale, George, Psalmanazar, George, Bower, Archibald, Shelvocke, George, Campbell, John, Swinton, John, 1759, 2011-05-18, BOOK, An Universal History: From the Earliest Accounts to the Present Time, George, Sale, George Sale, Psalmanazar, George, Bower, Archibald, Shelvocke, George, Campbell, John, Swinton, John, 1759, at which time they fixed that for their common era, C. Bathurst [etc.], London, 13, 130, An Universal History: From the Earliest Accounts to the Present Time, In this case, their refers to the Jews. The first-so-far found usage of the phrase "before the common era" is in a 1770 work that also uses common era and vulgar era as synonyms, in a translation of a book originally written in German.BOOK,weblink First-so-far found English usage of "before the common era", with "vulgar era" synonymous with "common era" (1770), Printed by G. Scott, for J. Robson and B. Law, Von), Jakob Friedrich Bielfeld (Freiherr, Hooper, William, 1770, 2011-05-18, BOOK, Hooper, William, Bielfeld, Jacob Friedrich, The Elements of Universal Erudition: Containing an Analytical Abridgment of the Sciences, Polite Arts, and Belles Lettres, 2, 105, 63, 1770, G. Scott, printer, for J Robson, bookseller in New-Bond Street, and B. Law in Ave-Mary Lane, London, in the year of the world 3692, and 312 years before the vulgar era.... The Spanish era began with the year of the world 3966, and 38 years before the common era (p63), The 1797 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica uses the terms vulgar era and common era synonymously.BOOK,weblink "vulgar era" in 1797 EB, St Peter died in the 66th year of the vulgar era, p. 228 v. 14 pt. 1 P (Peter), 1797, A. Bell and C. Macfarquhar, MacFarquhar, Colin, Gleig, George, 2011-05-18, BOOK,weblink "common era" in 1797 EB, p. 50 v. 14 pt. 1 P (Paul), This happened in the 33rd year of the common era, fome time after our Saviour's death., 1797, A. Bell and C. Macfarquhar, MacFarquhar, Colin, Gleig, George, 2011-05-18, ENCYCLOPEDIA, Encyclopædia Britannica: Or, A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature (Third Edition in 18 volumes), 1797, v. 14 pt. 1 P, George Gleig, Edinburgh, In 1835, in his book Living Oracles, Alexander Campbell, wrote: "The vulgar Era, or Anno Domini; the fourth year of Jesus Christ, the first of which was but eight days",BOOK,weblink The Living Oracles, Fourth Edition, 1835, Alexander Campbell, 16–20, 2011-05-18, Alexander Campbell (Restoration movement), and also refers to the common era as a synonym for vulgar era with "the fact that our Lord was born on the 4th year before the vulgar era, called Anno Domini, thus making (for example) the 42d year from his birth to correspond with the 38th of the common era..."BOOK,weblink The Living Oracles, Fourth Edition, 1835, Alexander Campbell, 15–16, 2011-05-18, Alexander Campbell (Restoration movement), The Catholic Encyclopedia (1909) in at least one article reports all three terms (Christian, Vulgar, Common Era) being commonly understood by the early 20th centuryweblink "Foremost among these [various eras] is that which is now adopted by all civilized peoples and known as the Christian, Vulgar or Common Era, in the twentieth century of which we are now living".The phrase "common era", in lower case, also appeared in the 19th century in a generic sense, not necessarily to refer to the Christian Era, but to any system of dates in common use throughout a civilization. Thus, "the common era of the Jews",BOOK,weblink "common era of the Jews" (1874), the common era of the Jews places the creation in BC 3760, Encyclopedia, Popular, 1874, 2011-05-18, BOOK, Conversations Lexicon, The Popular Encyclopedia, Oxford University Press, Alexander Whitelaw, A. Whitelaw, 1874, 207, V, BOOK,weblink "common era of the Jews" (1858), Hence the present year, 1858, in the common era of the Jews, is AM 5618-5619, a difference of more than 200 years from our commonly-received chronology., Wertheim, MacIntosh & Hunt, 1858, 2011-05-18, BOOK, The first and second Advent: or, The past and the future with reference to the Jew, the Gentile, and the Church of God, Rev. Bourchier Wrey Savile, MA, 1858, 176, Wertheim, Macintosh and Hunt, London, "the common era of the Mahometans",BOOK,weblink "common era of the Mahometans" (1856), Its epoch is the first of March old style. The common era of the Mahometans, as has already been stated, is that of the flight of Mahomet., Gumpach, Johannes von, 1856, 2011-05-18, BOOK, 1856, Practical tables for the reduction of Mahometan dates to the Christian calendar, 4, Johannes von Gumpach, Oxford University, "common era of the world",BOOK,weblink "common era of the world" (1801), F. and C. Rivington, Jones, William, 1801, 2011-05-18, BOOK, The Theological, Philosophical and Miscellaneous Works of the Rev. William Jones, William, Jones, 1801, London, Rivington, "the common era of the foundation of Rome".BOOK,weblink "common era of the foundation of Rome" (1854), Alexander Fraser Tytler, HON, 1854, 2011-05-18, BOOK, Universal History: From the Creation of the World to the Beginning of the Eighteenth Century, Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee, Fetridge and Company, Boston, 1854, 284, When it did refer to the Christian Era, it was sometimes qualified, e.g., "common era of the Incarnation",BOOK,weblink "common era of the Incarnation" (1833), A. & C. Black, Baynes, Thomas Spencer, 1833, 2011-05-18, BOOK, The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and General Literature, New York, Henry G. Allen and Company, 1833, 9, V, 711, "common era of the Nativity",BOOK,weblink "common era" "of the Nativity" (1864), It should be observed, however, that these years correspond to 492 and 493, a portion of the annals of Ulster being counted from the Incarnation, and being, therefore, one year before the common era of the Nativity of our Lord., Hodges, Smith & co., Todd, James Henthorn, 1864, 2011-05-18, BOOK, St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland, A Memoir of his Life and Mission, James Henthorn Todd, 1864, 495, 496, 497, Hodges, Smith & Co, Publishers to the University, Dublin, James Henthorn Todd, or "common era of the birth of Christ".BOOK,weblink "common era of the birth of Christ" (1812), printed by A.J. Valpy for T. Payne, 1812, 2011-05-18, BOOK, Annotations on the Four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles (2nd edition), Heneage Elsley, 1812, 2nd, A. J. Valpy for T. Payne, London, xvi, true, An adapted translation of Common Era into pseudo-Latin{{efn|Unfortunately the Latin word era means 'mistress' (the English word 'era' translates to Latin as aera), so Era Vulgaris translates to English as "Common Mistress".C.f. every good Latin dictionary, e.g.,,, pons (English/German) {{webarchive|url= |date=2013-12-27 }}, pons (German) or (German)}} as Era Vulgaris was adopted in the 20th century by some followers of Aleister Crowley, and thus the abbreviation "e.v." or "EV" may sometimes be seen as a replacement for AD.WEB,weblink What is Thelema?, 2011-05-18,

History of the use of the CE/BCE abbreviation

Although Jews have their own Hebrew calendar, they often use the Gregorian calendar, without the AD prefix.WEB, Jews do not generally use the words "A.D." and "B.C." to refer to the years on the Gregorian calendar. "A.D." means "the year of our L-rd," and we do not believe Jesus is the L-rd. Instead, we use the abbreviations C.E. (Common or Christian Era) and B.C.E. (Before the Common Era)., Tracey R Rich,weblink Judaism 101, 2011-05-18, As early as 1825, the abbreviation VE (for Vulgar Era) was in use among Jews to denote years in the Western calendar.WEB,weblink Plymouth, England Tombstone inscriptions, Jewish Communities & Records, Here is buried his honour Judah ben his honour Joseph, a prince and honoured amongst philanthropists, who executed good deeds, died in his house in the City of Bath, Tuesday, and was buried here on Sunday, 19 Sivan in the year 5585. In memory of Lyon Joseph Esq (merchant of Falmouth, Cornwall). who died at Bath June AM 5585/VE 1825. Beloved and respected., 2011-05-18, [19 Sivan 5585 AM is June 5, 1825. VE is likely an abbreviation for Vulgar Era.] As of 2005, Common Era notation has also been in use for Hebrew lessons for more than a century. Some Jewish academics were already using the CE and BCE abbreviations by the mid-19th century, such as in 1856, when Rabbi and historian Morris Jacob Raphall used the abbreviation in his book Post-Biblical History of The Jews.Raphall, Morris Jacob (1856). Post-Biblical History of The Jews. Retrieved fromweblink{{efn|The term common era does not appear in this book; the term Christian era [lowercase] does appear a number of times. Nowhere in the book is the abbreviation explained or expanded directly.BOOK,weblink Search for era in this book., Moss & Brother, Raphall, Morris Jacob, 1856, 2011-05-18, }} Jews have also used the term Current Era.WEB,weblink History of Judaism 63 BCE – 1086 CE, 8 February 2005, BBC Team, BBC Religion & Ethics, British Broadcasting Corporation, 2016-04-20, In general publications, in the 200 years between 1808 and 2008 the ratio of usage of BCE to BC has increased by about 20% and CE to AD by about 50%, primarily since 1980.WEB,weblink Google Ngram Viewer,,

Contemporary usage

Some academics in the fields of theology, education and history have adopted CE and BCE notation, although there is some disagreement.See, for example, the Society for Historical Archaeology states in its more recent style guide "Do not use C.E. (common era), B.P. (before present), or B.C.E.; convert these expressions to A.D. and B.C." (In section I 5 the Society explains how to use "years B.P." in connection with radiocarbon ages.) WEB,weblink Style Guide, Society for Historical Archaeology, December 2006,weblink" title="">weblink 2016-04-19, 2017-01-16, live, whereas the American Anthropological Association style guide takes a different approach calling for "C.E." and "B.C.E." WEB,weblink AAA Style Guide, PDF, American Anthropological Society
accessdate=2015-05-26 TITLE=SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR THE OSTRACON ACCESSDATE=2011-05-18 ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20070612143226/HTTP://WWW.EGYPTSTUDY.ORG/OSTRACON/GUIDELINES.HTML, June 12, 2007, Even some style guides for Christian churches prefer its use: for example, the Episcopal Diocese Maryland Church News.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 20 June 2006, Maryland Church News Submission Guide & Style Manual, Maryland Church News, 1 April 2005, 2011-05-18, In the United States, the usage of the BCE/CE notation in textbooks was reported in 2005 to be growing. Some publications have moved over to using it exclusively. For example, the 2007 World Almanac was the first edition to switch over to the BCE/CE usage, ending a 138-year usage of the traditional BC/AD dating notation. It is used by the College Board in its history tests,WEB,weblink AP: World History, 2011-05-18,weblink" title="">weblink 2011-05-05, dead, and by the Norton Anthology of English Literature. Others have taken a different approach. The US-based History Channel uses BCE/CE notation in articles on non-Christian religious topics such as Jerusalem and Judaism.WEB,weblink Jerusalem Timeline, History Channel, 2011-05-18, dead,weblink" title="">weblink May 20, 2011, ;WEB,weblink Jerusalem: Biographies, History Channel, 2011-05-18, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2011-05-20, In 2002, an advisory panel for the religious education syllabus for England and Wales recommended introducing BCE/CE dates to schools,NEWS,weblink AD and BC become CE/BCE, 9 February 2002, 2012-02-05, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 20, 2011, and by 2018 some local education authorities were using them. In 2018, the National Trust said it would continue to use BC/AD as its house style."National Trust tells properties to stop dropping BC and AD out of fear it might offend non-Christians", The Daily Telegraph, by Henry Bodkin, 12 November, 2018 English Heritage explains its era policy thus: "It might seem strange to use a Christian calendar system when referring to British prehistory, but the BC/AD labels are widely used and understood."Stonehenge glossary, "BC and AD" English Heritage Some parts of the BBC use BCE/CE, but others have refused to do soIn June 2006, in the United States, the Kentucky State School Board reversed its decision to use BCE and CE in the state's new Program of Studies, leaving education of students about these concepts a matter of discretion at the local level.WEB,weblink State School Board reverses itself on B.C./A.D. controversy, Family Foundation of Kentucky, 2011-05-18, dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 27, 2011, NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 10 July 2009, School board keeps traditional historic designations, Joe Biesk, Louisville Courier-Journal, 15 June 2006, 2011-05-18, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 26 September 2006, Kentucky Board of Education Report, Kentucky Board of Education Report, 10 June 2006, 2011-05-18, Also in 2011, media reports suggested that the BC/AD notation in Australian school textbooks would be replaced by BCE/CE notation.NEWS,weblink Australia goes all PC with a ban on BC: Birth of Jesus to be removed as reference point for dates in school history books, 2 September 2011, 2012-02-05, London, Daily Mail, The story became national news and drew opposition from some politicians and church leaders. Weeks after the story broke, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority denied the rumour and stated that the BC/AD notation would remain, with CE and BCE as an optional suggested learning activity.NEWS,weblink AD/BC rock solid in curriculum, 21 October 2011, 2012-03-04, Melbourne, The Age, In 2013 the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now the Canadian Museum of History) in Ottawa, which had previously switched to BCE/CE, decided to change back to BC/AD in material intended for the public, while retaining BCE/CE in academic content."Museum of Civilization putting the ‘Christ’ back in history as BC and AD return", by Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press, National Post, 27 February, 2013



The use of CE in Jewish scholarship was historically motivated by the desire to avoid the implicit "Our Lord" in the abbreviation AD.{{citation needed|date=October 2015}} Although other aspects of dating systems are based in Christian origins, AD is a direct reference to Jesus as Lord.BOOK, The American and English Encyclopedia of Law and Practice, 1910, 1116, It has been said of the Latin words anno Domini, meaning in the year of our Lord [...], BOOK, World Religions At Your Fingertips, Michael McDowell, Nathan Robert Brown, Penguin, 2009, 978-1-101-01469-1, 38, Marked by the turn of the Common Era, C.E., originally referred to as A.D., an abbreviation of the Latin Anno Domini, meaning "Year of our God/Lord." This was a shortening of Anno Domini Nostri Jesu Christi, meaning "Year of our God/Lord Jesus Christ.", Proponents of the Common Era notation assert that the use of BCE/CE shows sensitivity to those who use the same year numbering system as the one that originated with and is currently used by Christians, but who are not themselves Christian.Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi AnnanNEWS, Lefevere, Patricia, Annan: 'Peace is never a perfect achievement' â€“ United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, National Catholic Reporter, 11 December 1998,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 2012-07-13, 2008-02-26, has argued:[T]he Christian calendar no longer belongs exclusively to Christians. People of all faiths have taken to using it simply as a matter of convenience. There is so much interaction between people of different faiths and cultures – different civilizations, if you like – that some shared way of reckoning time is a necessity. And so the Christian Era has become the Common Era.WEB,weblink Common values for a common era: Even as we cherish our diversity, we need to discover our shared values, Annan, Kofi A., (then Secretary-General of the United Nations), 28 June 1999, Civilization: The Magazine of the Library of Congress, 2011-05-18, dead,weblink" title="">weblink May 1, 2011, Adena K. Berkowitz, when arguing at the Supreme Court, opted to use BCE and CE because "Given the multicultural society that we live in, the traditional Jewish designations – B.C.E. and C.E. – cast a wider net of inclusion"weblink" title="">weblink |author=Safire, William |date=17 August 1997


Some oppose the Common Era notation for explicitly religious reasons. Because the BC/AD notation is based on the traditional year of the conception or birth of Jesus, some Christians are offended by the removal of the reference to him in era notation.NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 12 October 2007, Whitney, Susan, Altering history? Changes have some asking 'Before what?', The Deseret News, 2 December 2006, I find this attempt to restructure history offensive," Lori Weintz wrote, in a letter to National Geographic publishers.... The forward to your book says B.C. and A.D. were removed so as to 'not impose the standards of one culture on others.'... It's 2006 this year for anyone on Earth that is participating in day-to-day world commerce and communication. Two thousand six years since what? Most people know, regardless of their belief system, and aren't offended by a historical fact., 2011-05-18, The Southern Baptist Convention supports retaining the BC/AD abbreviations. Roman Catholic priest and writer on interfaith issues Raimon Panikkar argued that the BCE/CE usage is the less inclusive option as, in his view, using the designation BCE/CE is a "return... to the most bigoted Christian colonialism" towards non-Christians, who do not necessarily consider the time period following the beginning of the calendar to be a "common era".BOOK,weblink Panikkar, Raimon, Raimon Panikkar, Christophany: The Fullness of Man, Maryville, NY, Orbis Books, 2004, 173, To call our age "the Common Era," even though for the Jews, the Chinese, the Tamil, the Muslims, and many others it is not a common era, constitutes the acme of colonialism., 2011-05-18, 978-1-57075-564-4, There are also secular concerns. In 1993 the English language expert Kenneth G. Wilson speculated in his style guide that "if we do end by casting aside the AD/BC convention, almost certainly some will argue that we ought to cast aside as well the conventional numbering system [that is, the method of numbering years] itself, given its Christian basis." The short lived French Republican Calendar, for example, began with the first year of the French First Republic and rejected the seven-day week (with its connections to the Book of Genesis) for a ten-day week.According to a Los Angeles Times report, it was a student's use of BCE/CE notation, inspired by its use within Pseudopedia, which prompted the teacher and politician Andrew Schlafly to found Conservapedia, a cultural conservative wiki.NEWS, Simon, Stephanie, A conservative's answer to Wikipedia,weblink 22 June 2007, Los Angeles Times, 2011-05-18, One of its "Conservapedia Commandments" is that users must always apply BC/AD notation, since its sponsors perceive BCE/CE notation to "deny the historical basis" of the dating system.Conservapedia Commandments at Conservapedia

Conventions in style guides

The abbreviation BCE, just as with BC, always follows the year number. Unlike AD, which traditionally precedes the year number, CE always follows the year number (if context requires that it be written at all). Thus, the current year is written as {{currentyear}} in both notations (or, if further clarity is needed, as {{currentyear}} CE, or as AD {{currentyear}}), and the year that Socrates died is represented as 399 BCE (the same year that is represented by 399 BC in the BC/AD notation). The abbreviations are sometimes written with small capital letters, or with periods (e.g., "B.C.E." or "C.E.").WEB,weblink Major Rule Changes in The Chicago Manual of Style, Fifteenth Edition, 2003, University of Chicago Press, Certain abbreviations traditionally set in small caps are now in full caps (AD, BCE, and the like), with small caps an option.,weblink" title="">weblink 9 September 2007, 26 May 2015, Style guides for academic texts on religion generally prefer BCE/CE to BC/AD.SBL Handbook of Style Society of Biblical Literature 1999 "8.1.2 ERAS – The preferred style is B.C.E. and C.E. (with periods). If you use A.D. and B.C., remember that A.D. precedes the date and B.C. follows it. (For the use of these abbreviations in titles, see §"

Similar conventions in other languages

  • In Germany, Jews in Berlin seem to have already been using "(Before the) Common Era" in the 18th century, while others like Moses Mendelssohn opposed this usage as it would hinder the integration of Jews into German society. The formulation seems to have persisted among German Jews in the 19th century in forms like vor der gewöhnlichen Zeitrechnung (before the common chronology).Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums. Ein unpartheiisches Organ für alles jüdische Interesse, II. Jahrgang, No. 60, Leipzig, 19. Mai 1838 (19 May 1838). See page 175 in Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums: Ein unpartheiisches Organ für alles jüdische Interesse in Betreff von Politik, Religion, Literatur, Geschichte, Sprachkunde und Belletristik, Volume 2 (Leipzig 1838).{{aut|Julius Fürst}}, Geschichte des Karäerthums von 900 bis 1575 der gewöhnlichen Zeitrechnung (Leipzig 1862–1869). In 1938 Nazi Germany the use of this convention was also prescribed by the National Socialist Teachers League.WEB, 149, Karl Ludwig Freiherr, von und zu Guttenberg, Karl Ludwig Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg,weblink May 1938,weblink" title="">weblink January 19, 2012, Weiße Blätter: Monatschrift für Geschichte, Tradition u. Staat, 15 April 2018, However, it was soon discovered that many German Jews had been using the convention ever since the 18th century, and Time magazine found it ironic to see "Aryans following Jewish example nearly 200 years later".NEWS,weblink GERMANY: Jewish Joke, 7 March 1938, 2012-02-05, Time,
  • In Spanish, common forms used for "BC" are aC and a. de C. (for "antes de Cristo", "before Christ"), with variations in punctuation and sometimes the use of J.C. (Jesucristo) instead of C. In scholarly writing, AEC is the equivalent of the English "BCE", "antes de la Era Común" or "Before the Common Era".WEB,weblink Writing Dates in Spanish, 2012-02-05,
  • In Welsh, OC can be expanded to equivalents of both AD (Oed Crist) and CE (Oes Cyffredin); for dates before the Common Era, CC (traditionally, Cyn Crist) is used exclusively, as Cyn yr Oes Cyffredin would abbreviate to a mild obscenity.WEB,weblink Welsh-Termau-Cymraeg Archives, cy, JISCMail, 19 October 2006, 2012-02-29,
  • In Russian since the Soviet time the notation до н.э. (до нашей эры, lit. before our era) and н.э. (нашей эры, lit. of our era) is used almost universally. The notation до Р.Ð¥./от Р.Ð¥. (до/от Рождества Христова, i.e. before/after the birth of Christ, equivalent to Latin Ante Christum natum) used almost only within the Christian religious tradition.

See also




External links

{{Time Topics}}{{Chronology}}

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