Common Era ( CE) is one of the year notations used for the Gregorian calendar (and its predecessor, the Julian calendar ), the world's most widely used calendar era. Before the Common Era ( BCE) is the era before CE. BCE and CE are alternatives to the Dionysian BC and AD notations, respectively.
- Instead of Ad and BC
- Both in Use For Centuries
- More and More Use CE/BCE
- Avoid Confusion
CE and BCE are used in exactly the same way as the traditional abbreviations AD and BC. 1. AD is short for Anno Domini, Latin for year of the Lord. 2. BC is an abbreviation of Before Christ. Because AD and BC hold religious (Christian) connotations, many prefer to use the more modern and neutral CE and BCE to indicate if a year is before or after year 1. According to the international standard for calendar dates, ISO 8601, both systems are acceptable.
The Anno Domini year–numbering system was introduced by a Christian monk named Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century. The year count starts with year 1 in the Gregorian calendar. This is supposed to be the birth year of Jesus, although modern historians often conclude that he was born around 4 years earlier. The expression Common Era is also no new invention, it has been in use for several hundred years. In English, it is found in writings as early as 1708. In Latin, the term "vulgaris aerae" (English, Vulgar Era) was used interchangeably with "Christian Era" as far back as in the 1600s.
What isrelatively new is that more and more countries and their educational institutions have officially replaced the traditional abbreviations AD/BC with CE/BCE. England and Wales introduced the CE/BCE system into the official school curriculum in 2002, and Australia followed in 2011. More and more textbooks in the United States also use CE/BCE, as well as history tests issued by the US College Board.
A year listed without any letters is always Common Era, starting from year 1. Adding CE or BCE after a year is only necessary if there is room for misunderstanding, e.g. in texts where years both before and after year 1 are mentioned. For instance, Pompeii, Italy (see image) was founded around 600–700 BCE and was destroyed when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE. Topics: Calendar, Dates
Nov 06, 2020 · CE (Common Era) is the secular equivalent of AD (anno Domini), which means “in the year of the Lord” in Latin. According to TimeandDate, either designation is acceptable by the international...
Before Common Era (BCE) is the system for the years "Before the Common Era". BCE uses the same numbering as BC (Before Christ). "CE" and "BCE" are placed after the year number. Thus we write "Right now our year is 2021 CE" or "Artaxerxes III of Persia was born in 425 BCE."
- Conventions in Style Guides
- Similar Conventions in Other Languages
- See Also
- External Links
See also Anno DominiThe year numbering system used with Common Era notation was devised by the Christian monk Dionysius Exiguus in the year 525 to replace the Diocletian years, because he did not wish to continue the memory of a tyrant who persecuted Christians. He attempted to number years from an event he referred to as the Incarnation of Jesus,although scholars today generally agree that he miscalculated by a small number of years.Dionysius labeled the column of the Easter table in which h...
Use of the term "vulgar era"
The term "Common Era" is traced back in English to its appearance as "Vulgar Era"to distinguish it from the regnal dating systems typically used in national law.The first use of the Latin equivalent (vulgaris aerae)discovered so far was in a 1615 book by Johannes Kepler.Kepler uses it again in a 1616 table of ephemerides,and again in 1617.A 1635 English edition of that book has the title page in English – so far, the earliest-found usage of Vulgar Era in English.A 1701 book edited by John LeC...
History of the CE/BCE abbreviation
Although Jews have their own Hebrew calendar, they often find it necessary to use the Gregorian Calendar as well.Common Era notation has also been in use for Hebrew lessons for "more than a century".As early as 1825, the abbreviation VE (for Vulgar Era) was in use among Jews to denote years on the Western calendar. 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...
Historically, the use of CE in Jewish scholarship was motivated by the desire to avoid the implicit "Our Lord" in the abbreviation AD. Although other aspects of dating systems are based in Christian origins too, AD stands out as a particularly direct reference to Jesus as Lord. 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...
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 of Nazareth, removing reference to him in era notation is offensive to some Christians.The Southern Baptist Convention supports retaining the BC/AD abbreviations as "a reminder of the preeminence of Christ and His gospel in world history".The Southern Baptist Convention has criticized the use of BCE and CE as being the result of...
According to a Los Angeles Times report, it was a student's use of BCE/CE notation, inspired by its use within Wikipedia, which prompted the history teacher Andrew Schlafly to found Conservapedia, a cultural conservative wiki.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.
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 2021 in both notations (or, if further clarity is needed, as 2021 CE, or as AD 2021), 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 full stops (e.g., "BCE" or "C.E.").Style guides for academic texts on religion generally prefer BCE/CE to BC/AD. The terms "Common Era", "Anno Domini", "Before the Common Era" and "Before Christ" in contemporary English can be applied to dates that rely on either the Julian calendar or the Gregorian calendar.Modern dates are understood in the Western world to be in the Gregorian calendar, but for older dates writers should specify the calendar used. Dates i...
Several languages other than English also have both religious and non-religious ways of identifying the era used in dates. In some communist states during the Cold Warperiod, usage of non-religious notation was mandated. 1. In the Chinese language, common era (公元， Gong yuan) has been predominantly used to refer to the western calendar without any religious connotation. 2. The German Democratic Republic introduced the convention of v. u. Z. (vor unserer Zeitrechnung, before our chronology) and u. Z. (unserer Zeitrechnung, of our chronology) instead of v. Chr. (vor Christus, before Christ) and n. Chr. (nach Christus/Christi Geburt, after Christ/the Nativity of Christ); the use of this convention was already prescribed in Nazi Germany. 1. The use of these terms persists in contemporary German to some extent, differing regionally and ideologically. In Jewish contexts mostly "v. d. Z" ("vor der Zeitenwende") and "n. d. Z." ("nach der Zeitenwende") is used. 1. In Hungary, similarly to the...See also wiktionary:Common_Era#Translations in Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- Ad and Ce: The Birth of Jesus
- William Safire at The Dawn of The Controversy
- Style Guides on Religious Neutrality
AD, the abbreviation for the Latin Anno Domini and first used in the 16th century, means "in the year of Our Lord," referring to the founder of Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth. CE stands for "Common Era" or, rarely "Christian Era." The word "common" simply means that it is based on the most frequently used calendar system, the Gregorian Calendar. Both take as their starting point the year when 4th-century Christian scholars believed Jesus Christ was born, designated as AD1 or 1 CE. By the same token, BCE stands for "Before the Common Era," (or Christian Era) and BC means "Before Christ." Both measure the number of years before the approximate birthday of Jesus. The designation of a particular year in either set has identical values. In other words, today Jesus is believed to have been born somewhere between 4 and 7 BCE, which is equivalent to 4 and 7 BC. In usage, AD precedes the date, while CE follows the date, whereas both BC and BCE follow the date—so, AD 1492 but 1492 CE, and 15...
At the height of the controversy in the late 1990s, American journalist William Safire (1929–2009), a longtime writer for the "On Language" column inThe New York Times Magazine,polled his readers about their preference: Should it be B.C./A.D. or B.C.E/C.E., in deference to Muslims, Jews and other non-Christians? "Disagreement was sharp," he said. American Yale professor and literary critic Harold Bloom (born 1930) said: ''Every scholar I know uses B.C.E. and shuns A.D.'' American lawyer and founder ofKol HaNeshamah: The Center for Jewish Life and EnrichmentAdena K. Berkowitz, who, in her application to practice before the Supreme Court was asked if she preferred "in the year of Our Lord" on the certificate's date, chose to omit it. ''Given the multicultural society that we live in, the traditional Jewish designations—B.C.E. and C.E.—cast a wider net of inclusion, if I may be so politically correct,'' she told Safire. By nearly 2 to 1, other scholars and some members of the clergy wh...
The choice may be up to you and your style guide. The 17th edition of the "Chicago Manual of Style(published in 2017) suggests that the choice is up to the writer and should be flagged only if the customs of a specific field or community are being violated: In terms of secular journalism, the 2019 version of the Associated Press Stylebook uses B.C. and A.D. (using the periods); as does the fourth edition of the UPI Style Guide, published in 2004. The use of BC and BCE is commonly found in articles concerning academic and lay historical research—including ThoughtCo.com—but not exclusively. Despite rumors to the contrary, the entire BBC has not dropped the use of AD/BC, but its Religion & Ethics department, which prides itself on providing religion-neutral stories, has: -Edited by Carly SilverCurtis, Polly. "Reality check: has the BBC dropped the terms BC/AD?" The Guardian, September 26, 2011.Hastings, Chris. "BBC turns its back on year of Our Lord: 2,000 years of Christianity jettisoned for politically correct 'Common Era.'" Daily Mail, September 24, 2011."9.34: Eras." Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition. University of Chicago Press, 2017."UPI Stylebook & Guide To Newswriting," 4th edition. UPI, 2004.
The "Common Era" (i.e. nowadays) If you clicked on a link to this page it's probably because you're wondering what "CE" or "BCE" means. "CE" means "Common Era" (or alternatively, "Christian Era") and refers to the same dates as "AD" or "Anno Domini" does. (Except that "AD" goes before the year number
Jun 04, 2018 · Unfortunately, "CE" has two unrelated meanings. One is "CE Marking" which is a compulsory marking found on many products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). "CE" found in this web site refers to the other meaning, the "Common Era." This meaning for "CE" is a synonym for " AD."
- BC and Ad
- BCE and CE
- Why Have Some People Adopted BCE/CE?
- Current Status and Recommendations
The idea to count years from the birth of Jesus Christ was first proposed in the year 525 by Dionysius Exiguus, a Christian monk. Standardized under the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the system spread throughout Europe and the Christian world during the centuries that followed. AD stands for Anno Domini, Latin for “in the year of the Lord”, while BC stands for “before Christ”.
CE stands for “common (or current) era”, while BCE stands for “before the common (or current) era”. These abbreviations have a shorter history than BC and AD, although they still date from at least the early 1700s. They have been in frequent use by Jewish academics for more than 100 years, but became more widespread in the later part of the 20th century, replacing BC/AD in a number of fields, notably science and academia.
An important reason for adopting BCE/CE is religious neutrality. Since the Gregorian calendar has superseded other calendars to become the international standard, members of non-Christian groups may object to the explicitly Christian origins of BC and AD. Particularly problematic is AD (“in the year of the Lord”), and its unavoidable implication that the Lord in question is Jesus Christ. Religious neutrality was the main rationale behind Jewish academics’ adoption of BCE/CE over a century ago, and continues to be its most widely cited justification. However, others object to the BC/AD system on the basis that it is objectively inaccurate. It is widely accepted that the actual birth of Jesus occurred at least two years before AD 1, and so some argue that explicitly linking years to an erroneous birthdate for Jesus is arbitrary or even misleading. BCE/CE avoids this inaccuracy since it does not explicitly refer to the birth of Jesus, removing some of the baggage associated with our da...
The movement towards BCE/CE has not been universally accepted, and BC/AD is still more widely used, even though BCE/CE has been in the mainstream since the 1980s. There have been backlashes to the adoption of the new system in defence of BC/AD, notably in 2002 when the UK National Curriculum made the transition. In 2011, education authorities in Australia were forced to deny that such a change had been planned for national school textbooks amid a similar controversy triggered by media reports. Passions are usually highest among those who see the adoption of a new system as an attempt to write Jesus Christ out of history. They argue that the entire Gregorian Calendar is Christian in nature anyway, so why should we attempt to obscure that fact? Others ask why such a well-established and functional system should be replaced, arguing that the existence of two competing abbreviations is likely to cause confusion. It has also been argued that BCE/CE is, in fact, less religiously inclusive...
Most style guides do not express a preference for one system, although BC/AD still prevails in most journalistic contexts. Conversely, academic and scientific texts tend to use BCE/CE. Since there are compelling arguments for each system and both are in regular use, we do not recommend one over the other. Given the choice, writers are free to apply their own preference or that of their audience, although they should use their chosen system consistently, meaning BC and CE should not be used together, or vice versa. There are also some typographical conventions to consider: 1. BC should appear after the numerical year, while AD should appear before it.1100 BC, AD 1066 2. BCE and CE should both appear after the numerical year.1100 BCE, 1066 CE 3. As is the case with most initialisms, periods may be used after each letter.1100 B.C., A.D. 1066, 1100 B.C.E., 1066 C.E. 4. Some style guides recommend writing BC, AD, BCE and CE in small caps.AD2017 Of course, writers often don’t need to make...
The earliest collections of Aesopian fables which have come down to us, though, date from the first centuries of the Common Era. It was then rediscovered by Chinese arithmeticians at around the start of the Common Era. The birthday did not occur in the years 1991, 1993, and 1996 of Common Era.