Common Era (CE) and Before the Common Era (BCE) are year notations for the Gregorian calendar (and its predecessor, the Julian calendar), the world's most widely used calendar era. Common Era and Before the Common Era are alternatives to the original Anno Domini (AD) and Before Christ (BC) notations used for the same calendar era. The two notation systems are numerically equivalent: "2023 CE" and "AD 2023" each describe the current year; "400 BCE" and "400 BC" are the same year.
The expression can be traced back to 1615, when it first appears in a book by Johannes Kepler as the Latin: annus aerae nostrae vulgaris (year of our common era), and to 1635 in English as "Vulgar Era".[lower-alpha 1] 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. Since the later 20th century, BCE and CE have become popular in academic and scientific publications because BCE and CE are religiously neutral terms. They are used by others who wish to be sensitive to non-Christians by not referring to Jesus, the center figure of Christianity, especially via the religious terms "Christ" and Dominus ("Lord") utilized by the other abbreviations.[lower-alpha 2][lower-alpha 3]
The idea of numbering years beginning from the date then believed to be the date of birth of Jesus, was conceived around the year 525 by the Christian monk Dionysius Exiguus. He did this to replace the then dominant Era of Martyrs system, because he did not wish to continue the memory of a tyrant who persecuted Christians. He numbered years from an initial reference date ("epoch"), an event he referred to as the Incarnation of Jesus. Dionysius labeled the column of the table in which he introduced the new era as "Anni Domini Nostri Jesu Christi".
This way of numbering years became more widespread in Europe with its use 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, and the practice of not using a year zero.[lower-alpha 4] In 1422, Portugal became the last Western European country to switch to the system begun by Dionysius.
The term "Common Era" is traced back in English to its appearance as "Vulgar Era" to distinguish dates on the Ecclesiastic calendar in popular use from dates of the regnal year, the year of the reign of a sovereign, typically used in national law. (The word 'vulgar' originally meant 'of the ordinary people', with no derogatory associations.)
The first known use of the Latin term anno aerae nostrae vulgaris[lower-alpha 5] occurred in a 1615 book by Johannes Kepler. Kepler uses it again, as ab Anno vulgaris aerae, in a 1616 table of ephemerides, and again, as ab anno vulgaris aerae, in 1617. A 1635 English edition of that book has the title page in English – so far, the earliest-found use 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 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 known use of "Christian Era" appears as the Latin phrase annus aerae christianae on the title page of a 1584 theology book. In 1649, the Latin phrase annus æræ Christianæ appeared in the title of an English almanac. A 1652 ephemeris is the first instance found so far of the English use of "Christian Era".
The English phrase "Common Era" appears at least as early as 1708, and in a 1715 book on astronomy it 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 use found so far 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 uses the terms vulgar era and common era synonymously (meaning not the regnal year). 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", 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 (1909) in at least one article reports all three terms (Christian, Vulgar, Common Era) being commonly understood by the early 20th century.
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 (era – or, with a macron, ēra – being an alternative form of aera; aera is the usual form) 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.
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. As early as 1825, the abbreviation VE (for Vulgar Era) was in use among Jews to denote years in the Western calendar. As of 2005[update], Common Era notation has also been in use for Hebrew lessons for more than a century. In 1856, Rabbi and historian Morris Jacob Raphall used the abbreviations CE and BCE in his book Post-Biblical History of The Jews.[lower-alpha 6] Jews have also used the term Current Era.
Some academics in the fields of theology, education, archaeology and history have adopted CE and BCE notation despite some disagreement. Several style guides now prefer or mandate its use. A study conducted in 2014 found that the BCE/CE notation is not growing at the expense of BC and AD notation in the scholarly literature, and that both notations are used in a relatively stable fashion.
In 2002, an advisory panel for the religious education syllabus for England and Wales recommended introducing BCE/CE dates to schools, 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. 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." Some parts of the BBC use BCE/CE, but some presenters have said they will not. As of October 2019, the BBC News style guide has entries for AD and BC, but not for CE or BCE.
The style guide for The Guardian says, under the entry for CE/BCE: "some people prefer CE (common era, current era, or Christian era) and BCE (before common era, etc) to AD and BC, which, however, remain our style".
In the United States, the use of the BCE/CE notation in textbooks was reported in 2005 to be growing. Some publications have transitioned to using it exclusively. For example, the 2007 World Almanac was the first edition to switch to BCE/CE, ending a period of 138 years in which the traditional BC/AD dating notation was used. BCE/CE is used by the College Board in its history tests, 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. The 2006 style guide for the Episcopal Diocese Maryland Church News says that BCE and CE should be used.
In 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 local discretion.
In 2011, media reports suggested that the BC/AD notation in Australian school textbooks would be replaced by BCE/CE notation. The change 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.
In 2013, the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now the Canadian Museum of History) in Gatineau (opposite 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.
The use of CE in Jewish scholarship was historically 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, AD is a 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 themselves Christian.
[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.
Adena K. Berkowitz, in her application to argue before the United States 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".
Christian, non-Christian, and non-religious individuals who oppose the usage of Common Era often note the fact that there is no difference in the origin of the two systems. BCE and CE are still based on BC and AD and denote the periods before and after Jesus was born.
Roman Catholic priest and writer on interfaith issues Raimon Panikkar argued that the BCE/CE usage is the less inclusive option, since they are still using the Christian calendar numbers, forcing it on other nations. In 1993, the English-language expert Kenneth G. Wilson speculated a slippery slope scenario 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."
Conventions in style guides
The abbreviation BCE, just as with BC, always follows the year number. Unlike AD, which still often 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 2023 in both notations (or, if further clarity is needed, as 2023 CE, or as AD 2023), 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."). The US-based Society of Biblical Literature style guide for academic texts on religion prefers BCE/CE to BC/AD.
Similar conventions in other languages
- In Germany, Jews in Berlin seem to have already been using words translating to "(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). In 1938 Nazi Germany the use of this convention was also prescribed by the National Socialist Teachers League. 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".
- In Spanish, common forms used for "BC" are a. C. 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. The Real Academia Española also acknowledges the use of a. n. e. (Template:Lang-es) and d. n. e. (Template:Lang-es). In scholarly writing, a. e. c. is the equivalent of the English "BCE", "antes de la era común" or "Before the Common Era".
- 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. [better source needed]
- In Russian since the October Revolution (1917) до н.э. (до нашей эры, lit. before our era) and н.э. (нашей эры, lit. of our era) are used almost universally. Within Christian churches до Р.Х./от Р.Х. (до/от Рождества Христова, i.e. before/after the birth of Christ, equivalent to Latin: Ante Christum natum) remains in use.
- In Polish, "p.n.e." (przed naszą erą, lit. before our era) and "n.e." (naszej ery, lit. of our era) are commonly used in historical and scientific literature. Przed Chrystusem (before Christ) and po Chrystusie (after Christ) see sporadic usage, mostly in religious publications.
- In China, upon the foundation of the Republic of China, the Government in Nanking adopted the Republic of China calendar with 1912 designated as year 1, but used the Western calendar for international purposes. The translated term was Chinese: 西元 (xī yuán, "Western Era"), which is still used in Taiwan in formal documents. In 1949, the People's Republic of China adopted 公元 (gōngyuán, "Common Era") for both internal and external affairs in mainland China. This notation was extended to Hong Kong in 1997 and Macau in 1999 (de facto extended in 1966) through Annex III of Hong Kong Basic Law and Macau Basic Law, thus eliminating the ROC calendar in these areas. BC is translated into Chinese as 公元前 (gōngyuánqián, "Before the Common Era").
- In Czech, the "n. l." (našeho letopočtu which translates as of our year count) and "př. n. l." or "před n. l." (před naším letopočtem meaning before our year count) is used, always after the year number. The direct translation of AD (léta páně, abbreviated as L. P.) or BC (před Kristem, abbreviated as př. Kr.) is seen as archaic.
- In Croatian the common form used for BC and AD are pr. Kr. (prije Krista, "before Christ") and p. Kr. (poslije Krista, after Christ). The abbreviations pr. n. e. (prije nove ere, before new era) and n. e. (nove ere, (of the) new era) have also recently been introduced.
- In Danish, "f.v.t." (før vor tidsregning, before our time reckoning) and "e.v.t." (efter vor tidsregning, after our time reckoning) are used as BCE/CE are in English. Also commonly used are "f.Kr." (før Kristus, before Christ) and "e.Kr." (efter Kristus, after Christ), which are both placed after the year number in contrast with BC/AD in English.
- In Macedonian, the terms "п.н.е." (пред нашата ера "before our era") and "н.е." (наша ера "our era") are used in every aspect, likely as a remnant of socialist era ban on religions.
- In Estonian, "e.m.a." (enne meie ajaarvamist, before our time reckoning) and "m.a.j." (meie ajaarvamise järgi, according to our time reckoning) are used as BCE and CE, respectively. Also in use are terms "eKr" (enne Kristust, before Christ) and "pKr" (pärast Kristust, after Christ). In all cases, the abbreviation is written after the year number.
- In Finnish, "eaa." (ennen ajanlaskun alkua, before time reckoning) and "jaa." (jälkeen ajanlaskun alun, after the start of time reckoning) are used as BCE and CE, respectively. Also (decreasingly) in use are terms "eKr," (ennen Kristusta, before Christ) and "jKr." (jälkeen Kristuksen, after Christ). In all cases, the abbreviation is written after the year number.
- From the Latin word vulgus, the common people – to contrast it with the regnal year system of dating used by the Government.
- AD is shortened from anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi ("in the year of Our Lord Jesus Christ").
- Two other 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.
- As noted in History of the zero, the use of zero in Western civilization was uncommon before the twelfth century.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Anno Domini". Merriam Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. 2003. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
Etymology: Medieval Latin, in the year of the Lord
- "Controversy over the use of the "CE/BCE" and "AD/BC" dating notation/". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- Coolman, Robert. "Keeping Time: The Origin of B.C. & A.D." Live Science. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
- Earliest-found use of "vulgaris aerae" (Latin for Common Era) (1615). OCLC 62188677.Johannes Kepler (1615). Joannis Keppleri Eclogae chronicae: ex epistolis doctissimorum aliquot virorum & suis mutuis, quibus examinantur tempora nobilissima: 1. Herodis Herodiadumque, 2. baptismi & ministerii Christi annorum non plus 2 1/4, 3. passionis, mortis et resurrectionis Dn. N. Iesu Christi, anno aerae nostrae vulgaris 31. non, ut vulgo 33., 4. belli Iudaici, quo funerata fuit cum Ierosolymis & Templo Synagoga Iudaica, sublatumque Vetus Testamentum. Inter alia & commentarius in locum Epiphanii obscurissimum de cyclo veteri Iudaeorum (in Latina). Francofurti:Tampach.
anno aerae nostrae vulgaris
- first so-far-found use of common era in English (1708). Printed for H. Rhodes. 1708. Retrieved 18 May 2011. The History of the Works of the Learned. 10. London. January 1708. p. 513.
- Espenak, Fred (25 February 2008). "Year dating conventions". NASA. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
- "BC and AD vs. BCE and CE: How to Use Correctly". The Editor's Manual. 31 May 2021. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
- Herrmann, Andrew (27 May 2006). "BCE date designation called more sensitive". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 10 August 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
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. ... The use of BCE and CE have rankled some Christians
- McKim, Donald K (1996). Common Era entry. Westminster dictionary of theological terms. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0-664-25511-4. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Irvin, Dale T.; Sunquist, Scott (2001). History of the World Christian Movement. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. xi. ISBN 0-567-08866-9. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
The influence of western culture and scholarship upon the rest of the world in turn led to this system of dating becoming the most widely used one across the globe today. Many scholars in historical and religious studies in the West in recent years have sought to lessen the explicitly Christian meaning of this system without abandoning the usefulness of a single, common, global form of dating. For this reason the terms common era and before the common era, abbreviated as CE and BCE, have grown in popularity as designations. The terms are meant, in deference to non-Christians, to soften the explicit theological claims made by the older Latin terminology, while at the same time providing continuity with earlier generations of mostly western Christian historical research.
- 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. 50. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Doggett, L.E., (1992), "Calendars" in Seidelmann, P.K., The Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac, Sausalito CA: University Science Books, 2.1
- Bromiley, Geoffrey W. (1995). The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8028-3781-3. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- 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.
- 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.
- "General Chronology". New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia. III. Robert Appleton Company, New York. 1908. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Kepler, Johann (1616). Second use of "vulgaris aerae" (Latin for Common Era) (1616). Plancus. Retrieved 18 May 2011. Kepler, Johann (1616). Ephemerides novae motuum caelestium, ab Ānno vulgaris aerae MDCXVII en observationibus potissimum Tychonis Brahei hypothesibus physicis, et tabulis Rudolphinis... Plancus.
- Kepler, Johannes; Fabricus, David (1617). Third use of "vulgaris aerae" (Latin for Common Era) (1617). sumptibus authoris, excudebat Iohannes Plancus. Retrieved 18 May 2011. Johannes Kepler, Jakob Bartsch (1617). Ephemerides novae motuum coelestium, ab anno vulgaris aerae MDCXVII[-XXXVI]... Johannes Plancus.
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.* Translation of title (per 1635 English edition): New Ephemerids for the Celestiall Motions, for the Yeeres of the Vulgar Era 1617–1636
- Kepler, Johann; Vlacq, Adriaan (1635). Earliest so-far-found use of vulgar era in English (1635). Retrieved 18 May 2011. Johann Kepler; Adriaan Vlacq (1635). Ephemerides of the Celestiall Motions, for the Yeers of the Vulgar Era 1633 ...
- Clerc, Jean Le (1701). vulgar era in English (1701). Retrieved 18 May 2011. John LeClerc, ed. (1701). The Harmony of the Evangelists. London: Sam Buckley. p. 5.
Before Christ according to the Vulgar AEra, 6
- Prideaux, Humphrey (1799). Prideaux use of "Vulgar Era" (1716) (reprint ed.). Retrieved 18 May 2011.
reckoning it backward from the vulgar era of Christ's incarnationHumphrey Prideaux, D.D. (1716) [from Oxford University Press 1799 (1716 edition not online, 1749 online is Vol 2)]. The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews and Neighbouring Nations. 1. Edinburgh. p. 1.
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.
- Merriam Webster accepts the date of 1716, but does not give the source. "Merriam Webster Online entry for Vulgar Era". Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Robert Walker (Rector of Shingham); Newton, Sir Isaac; Falconer, Thomas (1796). "vulgar era of the nativity" (1796). T. Cadell jun. and W. Davies. Retrieved 18 May 2011. Rev. Robert Walker; Isaac Newton; Thomas Falconer (1796). Analysis of Researches Into the Origin and Progress of Historical Time, from the Creation to ... London: T. Cadell Jr. and W. Davies. p. 10.
Dionysius the Little brought the vulgar era of the nativity too low by four years.
- 1584 Latin use of aerae christianae. OCLC 123471534. Grynaeus, Johann Jacob; Beumler, Marcus (1584). 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 (in Latina) (Editio tertia ed.). Heidelbergae: Typis Iacobi Mylij. OCLC 123471534.
4 Apr. anno aerae christianae 1584
- 1649 use of æræ Christianæ in English book – 1st use found in English. OCLC 18533017. WING, Vincent (1649). 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. London: J.L. for the Company of Stationers.
anni æræ Christianæ, 1649
- first appearance of "Christian Era" in English (1652). Retrieved 2 November 2016. Sliter, Robert (1652). 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. London: Printed for the Company of Stationers.
- Gregory, David; John Nicholson; John Morphew (1715). The Elements of Astronomy, Physical and Geometrical. 1. London: printed for J. Nicholson, and sold by J. Morphew. p. 252. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
Some say the World was created 3950 Years before the common Æra of ChristBefore Christ and Christian Era appear on the same page 252, while Vulgar Era appears on page 250
- Sale, George; Psalmanazar, George; Bower, Archibald; Shelvocke, George; Campbell, John; Swinton, John (1759). 1759 use of common æra. Printed for C. Bathurst. p. 130. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
Common aEra chrift.Sale, George; Psalmanazar, George; Bower, Archibald; Shelvocke, George; Campbell, John; Swinton, John (1759). An Universal History: From the Earliest Accounts to the Present Time. 13. London: C. Bathurst [etc.] p. 130.
at which time they fixed that for their common eraIn this case, their refers to the Jews.
- Von), Jakob Friedrich Bielfeld (Freiherr; Hooper, William (1770). First-so-far found English use of "before the common era", with "vulgar era" synonymous with "common era" (1770). Printed by G. Scott, for J. Robson and B. Law. Retrieved 18 May 2011. Hooper, William; Bielfeld, Jacob Friedrich (1770). The Elements of Universal Erudition: Containing an Analytical Abridgment of the Sciences, Polite Arts, and Belles Lettres. 2. London: G. Scott, printer, for J Robson, bookseller in New-Bond Street, and B. Law in Ave-Mary Lane. pp. 105, 63.
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)
- MacFarquhar, Colin; Gleig, George (1797). "vulgar era" in 1797 EB. A. Bell and C. Macfarquhar. p. 228 v. 14 pt. 1 P (Peter). Retrieved 18 May 2011.
St Peter died in the 66th year of the vulgar era
MacFarquhar, Colin; Gleig, George (1797). "common era" in 1797 EB. A. Bell and C. Macfarquhar. p. 50 v. 14 pt. 1 P (Paul). Retrieved 18 May 2011.
This happened in the 33rd year of the common era, fome time after our Saviour's death.
George Gleig, ed. (1797). Encyclopædia Britannica: Or, A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature (Third Edition in 18 volumes). Edinburgh. v. 14 pt. 1 P.
- Alexander Campbell (1835). The Living Oracles, Fourth Edition. pp. 16–20. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Alexander Campbell (1835). The Living Oracles, Fourth Edition. pp. 15–16. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- General Chronology "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".
- Encyclopedia, Popular (1874). "common era of the Jews" (1874). Retrieved 18 May 2011.
the common era of the Jews places the creation in BC 3760A. Whitelaw, ed. (1874). Conversations Lexicon. The Popular Encyclopedia. V. Oxford University Press. p. 207.
- "common era of the Jews" (1858). Wertheim, MacIntosh & Hunt. 1858. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
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.Rev. Bourchier Wrey Savile, MA (1858). The first and second Advent: or, The past and the future with reference to the Jew, the Gentile, and the Church of God. London: Wertheim, Macintosh and Hunt. p. 176.
- Gumpach, Johannes von (1856). "common era of the Mahometans" (1856). Retrieved 18 May 2011.
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.Johannes von Gumpach (1856). Practical tables for the reduction of Mahometan dates to the Christian calendar. Oxford University. p. 4.
- Jones, William (1801). "common era of the world" (1801). F. and C. Rivington. Retrieved 18 May 2011. Jones, William (1801). The Theological, Philosophical and Miscellaneous Works of the Rev. William Jones. London: Rivington.
- Alexander Fraser Tytler, HON (1854). "common era of the foundation of Rome" (1854). Retrieved 18 May 2011. Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee (1854). Universal History: From the Creation of the World to the Beginning of the Eighteenth Century. Boston: Fetridge and Company. p. 284.
- Baynes, Thomas Spencer (1833). "common era of the Incarnation" (1833). A. & C. Black. Retrieved 18 May 2011. The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and General Literature. V (9 ed.). New York: Henry G. Allen and Company. 1833. p. 711.
- Todd, James Henthorn (1864). "common era" "of the Nativity" (1864). Hodges, Smith & co. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
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.James Henthorn Todd (1864). St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland, A Memoir of his Life and Mission. Dublin: Hodges, Smith & Co, Publishers to the University. pp. 495, 496, 497.
- "common era of the birth of Christ" (1812). printed by A.J. Valpy for T. Payne. 1812. Retrieved 18 May 2011. Heneage Elsley (1812). Annotations on the Four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles (2nd edition) (2nd ed.). London: A. J. Valpy for T. Payne. xvi.
- Félix Gaffiot (1934). Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français. Hachette.
- "What is Thelema?". Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Tracey R Rich. "Judaism 101". Retrieved 18 May 2011.
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).
- "Plymouth, England Tombstone inscriptions". Jewish Communities & Records. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
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.[19 Sivan 5585 AM is 5 June 1825. VE is likely an abbreviation for Vulgar Era.]
- Gormley, Michael (24 April 2005). "Use of B.C. and A.D. faces changing times". Houston Chronicle. p. A–13. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Raphall, Morris Jacob (1856). Post-Biblical History of The Jews. Retrieved from Post-Biblical History of the Jews.
- Raphall, Morris Jacob (1856). Search for era in this book. Moss & Brother. p. 75. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- BBC Team (8 February 2005). "History of Judaism 63 BCE – 1086 CE". BBC Religion & Ethics. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- See, for example, the Society for Historical Archaeology states in its more recent style guide "Do not use CE (common era), BP (before present), or BCE; convert these expressions to AD and BC." (In section I 5 the Society explains how to use "years BP" in connection with radiocarbon ages.) Society for Historical Archaeology (December 2006). "Style Guide" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 April 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2017. whereas the American Anthropological Association style guide takes a different approach, supporting the use of "CE" and "BCE." American Anthropological Society (2009). "AAA Style Guide" (PDF). p. 3. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
- "Submission Guidelines for The Ostracon". The Ostracon – Journal of the Egyptian Studies Society. Archived from the original on 12 June 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
For dates, please use the now-standard 'BCE–CE' notation, rather than 'BC–AD.' Authors with strong religious preferences may use 'BC–AD,' however.
- Cavacini, A. (2015). "Is the CE/BCE notation becoming a standard in scholarly literature?". Scientometrics. 102 (2): 1661–1668. doi:10.1007/s11192-014-1352-1. S2CID 255011561 Check
- "AD and BC become CE/BCE". 9 February 2002. Archived from the original on 20 December 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
- "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
- Stonehenge glossary, "BC and AD" English Heritage
- "BBC News style guide". BBC. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
- "Guardian style guide". Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
- "AP: World History". Archived from the original on 5 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "Jerusalem Timeline". History Channel. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.;"Jerusalem: Biographies". History Channel. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "Maryland Church News Submission Guide & Style Manual" (PDF). Maryland Church News. 1 April 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 June 2006. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "State School Board reverses itself on B.C./A.D. controversy". Family Foundation of Kentucky. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Joe Biesk (15 June 2006). "School board keeps traditional historic designations". Louisville Courier-Journal. Archived from the original on 10 July 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "Kentucky Board of Education Report" (PDF). Kentucky Board of Education Report. 10 June 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2006. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Malkin, Bonnie (2 September 2011). "Anger in Australia as school books 'write Christ out of history'". The Telegraph. London. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
- "AD/BC rock solid in curriculum". The Age. Melbourne. 21 October 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- "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 American and English Encyclopedia of Law and Practice. 1910. p. 1116.
It has been said of the Latin words anno Domini, meaning in the year of our Lord ...
- Michael McDowell; Nathan Robert Brown (2009). World Religions At Your Fingertips. Penguin. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-101-01469-1.
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.'
- Ostling, Michael (10 October 2009). "BC/AD Dating: In the year of whose Lord?". History Today. Retrieved 10 March 2023.
- "Comments on the use of CE and BCE to identify dates in history". ReligiousTolerance.com. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Lefevere, Patricia (11 December 1998). "Annan: 'Peace is never a perfect achievement' – United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan". National Catholic Reporter. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2008.
- Annan, Kofi A. (28 June 1999). "Common values for a common era: Even as we cherish our diversity, we need to discover our shared values". Civilization: The Magazine of the Library of Congress. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Safire, William (17 August 1997). "B.C./A.D. or B.C.E./C.E.?". Archived from the original on 14 August 2018.
- "The Origin & History of the BCE/CE Dating System. World History Encyclopedia". 27 March 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
- "BC/AD Dating: In the year of whose Lord?". 10 October 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
- "What is the Difference Between AD, BC, BCE, and CE in Identifying Historical Dates?". Historical Index. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
- Whitney, Susan (2 December 2006). "Altering history? Changes have some asking 'Before what?'". The Deseret News. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
'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.'
- "On Retaining The Traditional Method Of Calendar Dating (B.C./A.D.)". Southern Baptist Convention. June 2000. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
This practice [of BCE/CE] is the result of the secularization, anti-supernaturalism, religious pluralism, and political correctness pervasive in our society ... retention [of BC/AD] is a reminder to those in this secular age of the importance of Christ's life and mission and emphasizes to all that history is ultimately His Story.
- Panikkar, Raimon (2004). Christophany: The Fullness of Man. Maryville, NY: Orbis Books. p. 173. ISBN 978-1-57075-564-4.
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.
- Wilson, Kenneth G. (1993). The Columbia Guide to Standard American English – A.D., B.C., (A.)C.E., B.C.E. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-06989-2. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
A.D. appears either before or after the number of the year ... although conservative use has long preferred before only; B.C. always follows the number of the year. ... Common era (C.E.) itself needs a good deal of further justification, in view of its clearly Christian numbering. Most conservatives still prefer A.D. and B.C. Best advice: don't use B.C.E., C.E., or A.C.E. to replace B.C. and A.D. without translating the new terms for the very large number of readers who will not understand them. Note too 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 itself, given its Christian basis.
- Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.). University of Chicago Press. 2017. ¶ 9.34. ISBN 978-0-226-28705-8.
- "Major Rule Changes in The Chicago Manual of Style, Fifteenth Edition". University of Chicago Press. 2003. Archived from the original on 9 September 2007. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
Certain abbreviations traditionally set in small caps are now in full caps (AD, BCE, and the like), with small caps an option.
- 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 § 18.104.22.168.)"
- "GERMANY: Jewish Joke". Time. 7 March 1938. Archived from the original on 17 July 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
- 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).
- Julius Fürst, Geschichte des Karäerthums von 900 bis 1575 der gewöhnlichen Zeitrechnung (Leipzig 1862–1869).
- von und zu Guttenberg, Karl Ludwig Freiherr (May 1938). "Weiße Blätter: Monatschrift für Geschichte, Tradition u. Staat" (PDF). p. 149. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- Ortografía de la lengua española (in español) (online ed.). Real Academia Española y Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española. 2010. p. 695.
- "Welsh-Termau-Cymraeg Archives" (in Cymraeg). JISCMail. 19 October 2006. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- "Jazyková příručka Ústavu pro jazyk český". Retrieved 15 May 2020.
- "Hrvatski jezični portal". hjp.znanje.hr. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
- "Hrvatski jezični portal". hjp.znanje.hr. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
- "Hrvatski jezični portal". hjp.znanje.hr. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
- "Hrvatski jezični portal". hjp.znanje.hr. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
- "From Our Readers: Ancient Manuscripts—How Are They Dated?". Awake!. Jehovah's Witnesses. 2009.
Although A.D. (Anno Domini, meaning "in the year of our Lord") and B.C. (before Christ) are used in lands where professed Christianity predominates, we have chosen to use the terms C.E. (Common Era) and B.C.E. (Before the Common Era).