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Anno Domini

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Anno Domini (Latin meaning "In the year of (our) Lord"),[1] shortened as AD or A.D., is used to refer to the years after the birth of Jesus. AD is also a shortening for Christian Era.[2] Similarly, Before Christ, shortened as BC or B.C., is used in the English language to refer to all years before the start of the time period Anno Domini. Usually, AD comes before the year but comes after a century or millennium. For example, a person would write AD 2014 but 21st century AD or 3rd millennium AD. There is no 0 (zero) year in this system. This means that the year AD 1 follows the year 1 BC (the abbreviation BC follows the year).

This dating system was meant to signal the year of Christ's birth, but modern scholarship has decided Jesus was actually born a few years earlier. The non-religious term Common Era (CE) is used in academic and scientific publications. It is considered more sensitive to other religions.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Blackburn & Holford-Strevens p. 782
  2. Abate, Oxford Pocket Dictionary and Thesaurus, s.v. "A.D."