Common Era

Common Era

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Common Era
abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era
Calendar era
A calendar era is the year numbering system used by a calendar. For example, the Gregorian calendar numbers its years in the Western Christian era . The instant, date, or year from which time is marked is called the epoch of the era...

 originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus
Dionysius Exiguus
Dionysius Exiguus was a 6th-century monk born in Scythia Minor, modern Dobruja shared by Romania and Bulgaria. He was a member of the Scythian monks community concentrated in Tomis, the major city of Scythia Minor...

 in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini
Anno Domini
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

(abbreviated AD).
Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era (likewise with CE, sometimes, Before the Current Era or Before the Christian Era).
Neither designation uses a year zero,
and the two designations are numerically equivalent; thus " CE" corresponds to "AD " and "399 BCE" corresponds to "399 BC".

The expression "Common Era" can be found as early as 1708 in English, and traced back to Latin usage among European Christians to 1615, as vulgaris aerae, and to 1635 in English as Vulgar Era. At those times, the expressions were all used interchangeably with "Christian Era", and "vulgar" meant "not regal" rather than "crudely indecent". Use of the CE abbreviation was introduced by Jewish academics in the mid-19th century. Since the later 20th century, usage of CE and BCE has been popularized in academic and scientific publications, and more generally by publishers emphasizing secularism
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 or sensitivity to non-Christians.

The Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

, and the year-numbering system associated with it, is the calendar system with most widespread usage in the world today. For decades, it has been the de facto global standard, recognized by international institutions such as the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and the Universal Postal Union
Universal Postal Union
The Universal Postal Union is an international organization that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system. The UPU contains four bodies consisting of the Congress, the Council of Administration , the Postal Operations Council and the...

.

The "Common Era" (CE/BCE) notation has been adopted by numerous authors and publishers wishing to be
"neutral" or "sensitive to non-Christians"
because it does not explicitly make use of religious titles for Jesus, such as "Christ" and Domin- ("Lord"), which are used in the BC/AD notation, nor does it give implicit expression to the Christian creed that Jesus was the Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

.
Among the reasons given by those who oppose the use of Common Era notation is that it is selective as the entire dating system has origins in various belief systems, and claims that its propagation is the result of secularization
Secularization
Secularization is the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward non-religious values and secular institutions...

, anti-supernaturalism
Anti-supernaturalism
Anti-Supernaturalism is a philosophical presupposition that claims one should, on principle, avoid any belief or explanation that involves supernatural causation.-For Anti-Supernaturalism:*-Against Anti-Supernaturalism:*...

, religious pluralism
Religious pluralism
Religious pluralism is a loosely defined expression concerning acceptance of various religions, and is used in a number of related ways:* As the name of the worldview according to which one's religion is not the sole and exclusive source of truth, and thus that at least some truths and true values...

, and political correctness
Political correctness
Political correctness is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts,...

.

Origins



The year numbering system used with Common Era notation was devised by the Christian monk Dionysius Exiguus
Dionysius Exiguus
Dionysius Exiguus was a 6th-century monk born in Scythia Minor, modern Dobruja shared by Romania and Bulgaria. He was a member of the Scythian monks community concentrated in Tomis, the major city of Scythia Minor...

 in the year 525 to replace the Diocletian
Diocletian
Diocletian |latinized]] upon his accession to Diocletian . c. 22 December 244  – 3 December 311), was a Roman Emperor from 284 to 305....

 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
Incarnation (Christianity)
The Incarnation in traditional Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ the second person of the Trinity, also known as God the Son or the Logos , "became flesh" by being conceived in the womb of a woman, the Virgin Mary, also known as the Theotokos .The Incarnation is a fundamental theological...

 of Jesus
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

,
although scholars today generally agree that he miscalculated by a small number of years.
Dionysius labeled the column of the Easter table in which he introduced the new era "Anni Domini Nostri Jesu Christi."
Numbering years in this manner became more widespread with its usage by Bede
Bede
Bede , also referred to as Saint Bede or the Venerable Bede , was a monk at the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter at Monkwearmouth, today part of Sunderland, England, and of its companion monastery, Saint Paul's, in modern Jarrow , both in the Kingdom of Northumbria...

 in England in 731. Bede also introduced the practice of dating years before the supposed year of birth
of Jesus, and the practice of not using a year zero.
In 1422, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 became the last Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

an country to switch to
Spanish era
The Spanish era, Hispanic era or Caesar era refers to the dating system used in Hispania until the 14th century, when the Anno Domini system was adopted. It began with year one in what is 38 BC, probably the date of a new tax imposed by the Roman Republic on the subdued population of Iberia....

 the system begun by Dionysius.

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
Regnal year
A regnal year is a year of the reign of a sovereign, from the Latin regnum meaning kingdom, rule.The oldest dating systems were in regnal years, and considered the date as an ordinal, not a cardinal number. For example, a monarch could have a first year of rule, a second year of rule, a third, and...

 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
Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican...

.
Kepler uses it again in a 1616 table of ephemerides
Ephemeris
An ephemeris is a table of values that gives the positions of astronomical objects in the sky at a given time or times. Different kinds of ephemerides are used for astronomy and astrology...

,
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 LeClerc includes "Before Christ according to the Vulgar Æra, 6".
A 1716 book in English by Dean Humphrey Prideaux
Humphrey Prideaux
Humphrey Prideaux , Doctor of Divinity and scholar, belonged to an ancient Cornish family, was born at Padstow, and educated at Westminster School and at Oxford....

 says, "before the beginning of the vulgar æra, by which we now compute the years from his incarnation."
A 1796 book uses the term "vulgar era of the nativity".

The first so-far-discovered usage of "Christian Era" is as the Latin phrase aerae christianae on the title page of a 1584 theology book.
In 1649, the Latin phrase æræ Christianæ appeared in the title of an English almanac.
A 1652 ephemeris is the first instance so-far-found for English usage of "Christian Era".

The English phrase "common Era" appears at least as early as 1708,
and in a 1715 book on astronomy is used interchangeably with "Christian Era" and "Vulgar Era".
A 1759 history book uses common æra in a generic sense, to refer to the common era of 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.
The 1797 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
The Encyclopædia Britannica , published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia that is available in print, as a DVD, and on the Internet. It is written and continuously updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 expert...

 uses the terms vulgar era and common era synonymously.
In 1835, in his book Living Oracles, Alexander Campbell
Alexander Campbell (Restoration movement)
Alexander Campbell was an early leader in the Second Great Awakening of the religious movement that has been referred to as the Restoration Movement, or Stone-Campbell Movement...

, wrote: "The vulgar Era, or Anno Domini; the fourth year of Jesus Christ, the first of which was but eight days",
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..."
The Catholic Encyclopedia
Catholic Encyclopedia
The Catholic Encyclopedia, also referred to as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia and the Original Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language encyclopedia published in the United States. The first volume appeared in March 1907 and the last three volumes appeared in 1912, followed by a master index...

(1909) used the terms "Christian, Vulgar or Common Era" interchangeably.

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",
"the common era of the Mahometans",
"common era of the world",
"the common era of the foundation of Rome".
When it did refer to the Christian Era, it was sometimes qualified, e.g., "common era of the Incarnation",
"common era of the Nativity",
or "common era of the birth of Christ".

An adapted translation of Common Era into Latin as Era Vulgaris was adopted in the 20th century by some followers of Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley , born Edward Alexander Crowley, and also known as both Frater Perdurabo and The Great Beast, was an influential English occultist, astrologer, mystic and ceremonial magician, responsible for founding the religious philosophy of Thelema. He was also successful in various other...

, and thus the abbreviation "e.v." or "EV" may sometimes be seen as a replacement for AD.

History of the CE/BCE notation


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
Morris Jacob Raphall
Morris Jacob Raphall was a rabbi and author born at Stockholm, Sweden. At the age of nine he was taken by his father, who was banker to the King of Sweden, to Copenhagen, where he was educated at the Hebrew grammar-school...

 used the abbreviation in his book, Post-Biblical History of The Jews.
As early as 1825, a different abbreviation, VE, had already been in use among Jews to denote years on the Western calendar.

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
Julian calendar
The Julian calendar began in 45 BC as a reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar. It was chosen after consultation with the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria and was probably designed to approximate the tropical year .The Julian calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months...

 or the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

.
Modern dates are understood in the Western world
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 to be in the Gregorian calendar, but for older dates writers should specify the calendar used. Dates in the Gregorian calendar in the Western world have always used the era designated in English as Anno Domini or Common Era.

Although Jews have their own Hebrew calendar
Hebrew calendar
The Hebrew calendar , or Jewish calendar, is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions, yahrzeits , and daily Psalm reading, among many ceremonial uses...

, 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".

The ratio of usage of BCE to BC
and CE to AD
in books has changed dramatically between the years 1800 and 2008, particularly since 1980.

Contemporary North America


Some American academics in the fields of theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 and history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 have adopted CE and BCE notation, although there is some disagreement.
The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, which is the leading publishing body of the Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

, has been using CE and BCE exclusively in its publications (except in quotations) since The Watchtower
The Watchtower
The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom is an illustrated religious magazine, published semi-monthly in 194 languages by Jehovah's Witnesses via the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania and printed in various branch offices around the world...

of 15 April 1964.
However, in The Watchtower—Simplified English
Simplified English
Simplified English is the original name of a controlled language historically developed for aerospace industry maintenance manuals. It offers a carefully limited and standardized subset of English. It is now officially known under its trademarked name as Simplified Technical English...

 Edition
, "Before Christ" is used for dates before the common era; no notation is used for other dates.

More visible uses of Common Era notation have recently surfaced at major museums in the English-speaking world: The Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

 prefers Common Era usage, though individual museums are not required to use it.
Furthermore, several style guides now prefer or mandate its usage.
Even some style guides for Christian churches prefer its use: for example, the Episcopal Diocese Maryland Church News.

In the United States, the usage of the BCE/CE notation in textbook
Textbook
A textbook or coursebook is a manual of instruction in any branch of study. Textbooks are produced according to the demands of educational institutions...

s is 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
College Board
The College Board is a membership association in the United States that was formed in 1900 as the College Entrance Examination Board . It is composed of more than 5,900 schools, colleges, universities and other educational organizations. It sells standardized tests used by academically oriented...

 in its history tests,
and by the Norton Anthology of English Literature
Norton Anthology of English Literature
The Norton Anthology of English Literature is an anthology of English literature published by the W. W. Norton & Company. It has gone through eight editions since its inception in 1962; it is the publisher's best-selling anthology, with some eight million copies in print. The influential critic...

.
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.
In June 2006, the Kentucky State School Board reversed its decision that would have included the designations BCE and CE as part of state law, leaving education of students about these concepts a matter of discretion at the local level.

Support


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 Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

s, but who are not themselves Christian.
Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

 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."

It has been noted that the label Anno Domini is arguably inaccurate; "scholars
generally believe that Christ was born some years before A.D. 1, the historical evidence is too sketchy to allow a definitive dating."

Opposition


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
Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

 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 "secularization, anti-supernaturalism, religious pluralism, and political correctness" and encourages its members to "retain the traditional method of dating and avoid this revisionism".

There are also secular concerns. English language expert Kenneth G. Wilson
Kenneth G. Wilson (author)
Kenneth George Wilson was an author, professor of English and vice president at the University of Connecticut. His best-known work is The Columbia Guide to Standard American English, published in 1993....

 speculated in his style guide that "if we do end by casting aside the A.D./B.C. 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 Revolutionary Calendar, for example, began with the first year of the First French Republic and rejected the seven day week (with its connections to Genesis) for a ten day week.

Astrobiologist Duncan Steel
Duncan Steel
Dr Duncan I. Steel, BSc, MSc, DIC, PhD, FRAS , is a British/Australian scientist born in Midsomer Norton, Somerset. He is a world-renowned space science authority who has worked with NASA to assess the threat of comet and asteroid collisions and investigate technologies to avert such impacts...

 argues further that if one is going to replace BC/AD with BCE/CE then one should reject all aspects of the dating system (including time of day, days of the week and months of the year), as they all have origins related to pagan, astrological, Jewish, or Christian beliefs. He rejects secular arguments against Christian-based BC/AD as selective. Steel makes note of the consistency of the Quaker system (now rarely used), which removed all such references.

Anthropologist Carol Delaney argues that the substitution of BC/AD to BCE/CE is merely a euphemism
Euphemism
A euphemism is the substitution of a mild, inoffensive, relatively uncontroversial phrase for another more frank expression that might offend or otherwise suggest something unpleasant to the audience...

 that conceals the political implications without modifying the actual source of contention.

Raimon Panikkar
Raimon Panikkar
Raimon Panikkar-Alemany was a Spanish Roman Catholic priest and a proponent of inter-religious dialogue. As a scholar, he specialized in comparative religion.-Early life and education:...

 contends that 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".

Some critics assert that the use of identifiers which have common spellings is more ambiguous than the use of identifiers with divergent spellings. Both CE and BCE have in common the letters "CE", which is more likely to cause confusion, they claim, than identifiers with clearly different spelling.

Internet reaction


According to a Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

report, it was a student's use of BCE/CE notation, inspired by its use within Wikipedia
Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 20 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site,...

, which prompted the history teacher Andrew Schlafly
Andrew Schlafly
Andrew Layton "Andy" Schlafly is an American lawyer, conservative political activist, teacher of homeschooling classes, and the founder and owner of wiki Conservapedia...

 to found Conservapedia
Conservapedia
Conservapedia is an English-language wiki project written from a self-described American conservative Christian point of view. The website considers itself to be a supporter of "conservative, family-friendly" content...

, a cultural conservative wiki
Wiki
A wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include...

.
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.

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 in both notations (or, if further clarity is needed, as CE, or as AD ), and the year that Socrates
Socrates
Socrates was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of his contemporary ...

 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 common era year of copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

 for films and other media is often expressed in Roman numerals
Roman numerals
The numeral system of ancient Rome, or Roman numerals, uses combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet to signify values. The numbers 1 to 10 can be expressed in Roman numerals as:...

; thus a film made in might be marked as "©".

Similar conventions in other languages


Similar attempts to secularize reference to the Dionysian epoch in European and Asian languages have been developed in the context of communist state
Communist state
A communist state is a state with a form of government characterized by single-party rule or dominant-party rule of a communist party and a professed allegiance to a Leninist or Marxist-Leninist communist ideology as the guiding principle of the state...

s of the Eastern Bloc
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

 during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 period.

In the Chinese language, common era (公元, Gong yuan) has been predominately used to refer a western calendar without any religious connotation.

The German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
The German Democratic Republic , informally called East Germany by West Germany and other countries, was a socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including East Berlin of the Allied-occupied capital city...

 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 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.

In Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, similarly to the Bulgarian case, i. e. (időszámításunk előtt, before our era) and i. sz. (időszámításunk szerint, according to our era) are still widely used instead of traditional Kr. e. (Krisztus előtt, Before Christ) and Kr. u. (Krisztus után, After Christ), which were unofficially reinstituted after the Communist period.

In Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 generally the only used term is naszej ery/przed naszą erą (of our era/before our era). The terms przed Chrystusem/po Chrystusie (before Christ/after Christ) are possible but nearly never used in contemporary Poland.

In Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and other Latin countries, the use of "a.e.v." and "e.v.", meaning "Ante Era Vulgaris" and "Era Vulgaris" or "Era Volgare" (common era), is increasing.

In Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 and Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

, the abbreviations "E.C." ("Era Comum", Common Era) and "A.E.C." ("Antes da Era Comum", Before Common Era) are generally used.

In Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, throughout most of the communist
Communist Romania
Communist Romania was the period in Romanian history when that country was a Soviet-aligned communist state in the Eastern Bloc, with the dominant role of Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its successive constitutions...

 period, the preferred standard was to use the secularised î. e. n. (înaintea erei noastre, before our era) and e. n. (era noastră, our era). After the downfall of Communism and the 1989 revolution, the original convention using î. Hr. (înainte de Hristos, before Christ) and d. Hr. (după Hristos, after Christ) has become more widespread. Alternatively, î. Cr. and d. Cr. are used, mainly due to an alternative spelling of Hristos (Christ) as Cristos, the latter being preferred by the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 and Protestant Churches
Christian denomination
A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity. In the Orthodox tradition, Churches are divided often along ethnic and linguistic lines, into separate churches and traditions. Technically, divisions between one group and...

.

In Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, the terms eKr. (ennen Kristusta, before Christ) and jKr. (jälkeen Kristuksen, after Christ) were largely used until the 1980s but have been mostly replaced during the last couple of decades with terms eaa. (ennen ajanlaskun alkua, before start of chronology) and jaa. (jälkeen ajanlaskun alun, after start of chronology).

In Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

 the terms f.kr. (före kristus, before Christ) and e.kr (efter kristus, after Christ) have traditionally been used. They have gradually been replaced by f.v.t and e.v.t (före/efter vår tidräkning, before/after our chronology) especially in scientific texts.

In Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 the calendar is referred to as (西暦, seireki), literally meaning as it is written, "west calendar," and sounding like, "Western calendar," which carries no religious connotation, aside from the fact that Christianity is a Western religion. "A.D.," and less commonly, "C.E.," are also occasionally seen, but the typical Japanese person would not know about the religious connotations or lack of in these terms.

See also

  • Ante Christum Natum
    Ante Christum Natum
    Ante Christum Natum , usually abbreviated to A.C.N., a.C.n., a.Ch.n. or ACN, denotes the years before the birth of Jesus Christ. It is the modern Latin equivalent to the English term "BC" and "BCE"...

  • Calendar
    Calendar
    A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial, or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months, and years. The name given to each day is known as a date. Periods in a calendar are usually, though not...

  • Before present
    Before Present
    Before Present years is a time scale used in archaeology, geology, and other scientific disciplines to specify when events in the past occurred. Because the "present" time changes, standard practice is to use AD 1950 as the origin of the age scale, reflecting the fact that radiocarbon...

  • Calendar reform
    Calendar reform
    A calendar reform is any significant revision of a calendar system. The term sometimes is used instead for a proposal to switch to a different calendar.Most calendars have several rules which could be altered by reform:...

  • Human Era
  • List of calendars
  • Calendar era
    Calendar era
    A calendar era is the year numbering system used by a calendar. For example, the Gregorian calendar numbers its years in the Western Christian era . The instant, date, or year from which time is marked is called the epoch of the era...


External links