The terms anno Domini[a] (AD) and before Christ[b] (BC) are used to label or number years in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The term anno Domini is Medieval Latin and means "in the year of the Lord", but is often presented using "our Lord" instead of "the Lord", taken from the full original phrase "anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi", which translates to "in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ".
This calendar era is based on the traditionally reckoned year of the conception or birth of Jesus of Nazareth, with AD counting years from the start of this epoch, and BC denoting years before the start of the era. There is no year zero in this scheme, so the year AD 1 immediately follows the year 1 BC. This dating system was devised in 525 by Dionysius Exiguus of Scythia Minor, but was not widely used until after 800.
The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world today. For decades, it has been the unofficial global standard, adopted in the pragmatic interests of international communication, transportation, and commercial integration, and recognized by international institutions such as the United Nations.
Traditionally, English followed Latin usage by placing the "AD" abbreviation before the year number.[c] However, BC is placed after the year number (for example: AD 2019, but 68 BC), which also preserves syntactic order. The abbreviation is also widely used after the number of a century or millennium, as in "fourth century AD" or "second millennium AD" (although conservative usage formerly rejected such expressions). Because BC is the English abbreviation for Before Christ, it is sometimes incorrectly concluded that AD means After Death, i.e., after the death of Jesus. However, this would mean that the approximate 33 years commonly associated with the life of Jesus would neither be included in the BC nor the AD time scales.
Terminology that is viewed by some as being more neutral and inclusive of non-Christian people is to call this the Current or Common Era (abbreviated as CE), with the preceding years referred to as Before the Common or Current Era (BCE). Astronomical year numbering and ISO 8601 avoid words or abbreviations related to Christianity, but use the same numbers for AD years.
The Anno Domini dating system was devised in 525 by Dionysius Exiguus to enumerate the years in his Easter table. His system was to replace the Diocletian era that had been used in an old Easter table because he did not wish to continue the memory of a tyrant who persecuted Christians. The last year of the old table, Diocletian 247, was immediately followed by the first year of his table, AD 532. When he devised his table, Julian calendar years were identified by naming the consuls who held office that year—he himself stated that the "present year" was "the consulship of Probus Junior", which was 525 years "since the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ". Thus Dionysius implied that Jesus' incarnation occurred 525 years earlier, without stating the specific year during which his birth or conception occurred. "However, nowhere in his exposition of his table does Dionysius relate his epoch to any other dating system, whether consulate, Olympiad, year of the world, or regnal year of Augustus; much less does he explain or justify the underlying date."
Bonnie J. Blackburn and Leofranc Holford-Strevens briefly present arguments for 2 BC, 1 BC, or AD 1 as the year Dionysius intended for the Nativity or incarnation. Among the sources of confusion are:
It is not known how Dionysius established the year of Jesus's birth. Two major theories are that Dionysius based his calculation on the Gospel of Luke, which states that Jesus was "about thirty years old" shortly after "the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar", and hence subtracted thirty years from that date, or that Dionysius counted back 532 years from the first year of his new table. It has also been speculated by Georges Declercq that Dionysius' desire to replace Diocletian years with a calendar based on the incarnation of Christ was intended to prevent people from believing the imminent end of the world. At the time, it was believed by some that the resurrection of the dead and end of the world would occur 500 years after the birth of Jesus. The old Anno Mundi calendar theoretically commenced with the creation of the world based on information in the Old Testament. It was believed that, based on the Anno Mundi calendar, Jesus was born in the year 5500 (or 5500 years after the world was created) with the year 6000 of the Anno Mundi calendar marking the end of the world. Anno Mundi 6000 (approximately AD 500) was thus equated with the resurrection and the end of the world but this date had already passed in the time of Dionysius.
The Anglo-Saxon historian the Venerable Bede, who was familiar with the work of Dionysius Exiguus, used Anno Domini dating in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed in 731. In this same history, he also used another Latin term, ante vero incarnationis dominicae tempus anno sexagesimo ("in fact in the 60th year before the time of the Lord's incarnation"), equivalent to the English "before Christ", to identify years before the first year of this era. Both Dionysius and Bede regarded Anno Domini as beginning at the incarnation of Jesus, but "the distinction between Incarnation and Nativity was not drawn until the late 9th century, when in some places the Incarnation epoch was identified with Christ's conception, i.e., the Annunciation on March 25" (Annunciation style).
On the continent of Europe, Anno Domini was introduced as the era of choice of the Carolingian Renaissance by the English cleric and scholar Alcuin in the late eighth century. Its endorsement by Emperor Charlemagne and his successors popularizing the use of the epoch and spreading it throughout the Carolingian Empire ultimately lies at the core of the system's prevalence. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, popes continued to date documents according to regnal years for some time, but usage of AD gradually became more common in Roman Catholic countries from the 11th to the 14th centuries. In 1422, Portugal became the last Western European country to switch to the system begun by Dionysius. Eastern Orthodox countries only began to adopt AD instead of the Byzantine calendar in 1700 when Russia did so, with others adopting it in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Although Anno Domini was in widespread use by the 9th century, the term "Before Christ" (or its equivalent) did not become common until much later. Bede used the expression "anno igitur ante incarnationem Dominicam" (so in the year before the incarnation of the Lord) twice. "Anno an xpi nativitate" (in the year before the birth of Christ) is found in 1474 in a work by a German monk. In 1627, the French Jesuit theologian Denis Pétau (Dionysius Petavius in Latin), with his work De doctrina temporum, popularized the usage ante Christum (Latin for "Before Christ") to mark years prior to AD.
When the reckoning from Jesus' incarnation began replacing the previous dating systems in western Europe, various people chose different Christian feast days to begin the year: Christmas, Annunciation, or Easter. Thus, depending on the time and place, the year number changed on different days in the year, which created slightly different styles in chronology:
With these various styles, the same day could, in some cases, be dated in 1099, 1100 or 1101.
The date of birth of Jesus of Nazareth is not stated in the gospels or in any secular text, but most scholars assume a date of birth between 6 BC and 4 BC. The historical evidence is too fragmentary to allow a definitive dating, but the date is estimated through two different approaches – one by analyzing references to known historical events mentioned in the Nativity accounts in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, and the second by working backwards from the estimation of the start of the ministry of Jesus.
During the first six centuries of what would come to be known as the Christian era, European countries used various systems to count years. Systems in use included consular dating, imperial regnal year dating, and Creation dating.
Although the last non-imperial consul, Basilius, was appointed in 541 by Emperor Justinian I, later emperors through Constans II (641–668) were appointed consuls on the first of January after their accession. All of these emperors, except Justinian, used imperial post-consular years for the years of their reign, along with their regnal years. Long unused, this practice was not formally abolished until Novell XCIV of the law code of Leo VI did so in 888.
Another calculation had been developed by the Alexandrian monk Annianus around the year AD 400, placing the Annunciation on 25 March AD 9 (Julian)—eight to ten years after the date that Dionysius was to imply. Although this incarnation was popular during the early centuries of the Byzantine Empire, years numbered from it, an Era of Incarnation, were exclusively used and are yet used, in Ethiopia. This accounts for the seven- or eight-year discrepancy between the Gregorian and Ethiopian calendars. Byzantine chroniclers like Maximus the Confessor, George Syncellus, and Theophanes dated their years from Annianus' creation of the world. This era, called Anno Mundi, "year of the world" (abbreviated AM), by modern scholars, began its first year on 25 March 5492 BC. Later Byzantine chroniclers used Anno Mundi years from 1 September 5509 BC, the Byzantine Era. No single Anno Mundi epoch was dominant throughout the Christian world. Eusebius of Caesarea in his Chronicle used an era beginning with the birth of Abraham, dated in 2016 BC (AD 1 = 2017 Anno Abrahami).
Spain and Portugal continued to date by the Era of the Caesars or Spanish Era, which began counting from 38 BC, well into the Middle Ages. In 1422, Portugal became the last Catholic country to adopt the Anno Domini system.
The Era of Martyrs, which numbered years from the accession of Diocletian in 284, who launched the last yet most severe persecution of Christians, was used by the Church of Alexandria and is still used, officially, by the Coptic Orthodox and Coptic Catholic churches. It was also used by the Ethiopian church. Another system was to date from the crucifixion of Jesus, which as early as Hippolytus and Tertullian was believed to have occurred in the consulate of the Gemini (AD 29), which appears in some medieval manuscripts.
Alternative names for the Anno Domini era include vulgaris aerae (found 1615 in Latin), "Vulgar Era" (in English, as early as 1635), "Christian Era" (in English, in 1652), "Common Era" (in English, 1708), and "Current Era". Since 1856, the alternative abbreviations CE and BCE, (sometimes written C.E. and B.C.E.) are sometimes used in place of AD and BC.
The "Common/Current Era" ("CE") terminology is often preferred by those who desire a term that does not explicitly make religious references. For example, Cunningham and Starr (1998) write that "B.C.E./C.E. …do not presuppose faith in Christ and hence are more appropriate for interfaith dialog than the conventional B.C./A.D." Upon its foundation, the Republic of China adopted the Minguo Era, but used the Western calendar for international purposes. The translated term was 西元 ("xī yuán", "Western Era"). Later, in 1949, the People's Republic of China adopted 公元 (gōngyuán, "Common Era") for all purposes domestic and foreign.
In the AD year numbering system, whether applied to the Julian or Gregorian calendars, AD 1 is preceded by 1 BC. There is no year "0" between them, so a new century begins in a year which has "01" as the final digits (e.g., 1801, 1901, 2001). New millennia likewise are considered to have begun in 1001 and 2001. This is at odds with the common conception that centuries and millennia begin when the trailing digits are zeroes (1800, 1900, 2000, etc.); for example, the worldwide celebration of the new millennium took place on New Year's Eve 1999, when the year number ticked over to 2000.
For computational reasons, astronomical year numbering and the ISO 8601 standard designate years so that AD 1 = year 1, 1 BC = year 0, 2 BC = year −1, etc.[d] In common usage, ancient dates are expressed in the Julian calendar, but ISO 8601 uses the Gregorian calendar and astronomers may use a variety of time scales depending on the application. Thus dates using the year 0 or negative years may require further investigation before being converted to BC or AD.
Etymology: Medieval Latin, in the year of the Lord
anno aerae nostrae vulgaris
Year 1: CE – What is nowadays called the 'Current Era' traditionally begins with the birth of a Jewish teacher called Jesus. His followers came to believe he was the promised Messiah and later split away from Judaism to found Christianity
Year 1 BC was a common year starting on Friday or Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar (the sources differ, see leap year error for further information) and a leap year starting on Thursday of the Proleptic Julian calendar. It is also a leap year starting on Saturday, in the Proleptic Gregorian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Lentulus and Piso (or, less frequently, year 753 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 1 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years. The following year is 1 AD in the widely used Julian calendar, which does not have a "year zero".2044
will be a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar, the 2044th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 44th year of the 3rd millennium, the 44th year of the 21st century, and the 5th year of the 2040s decade.312
Year 312 (CCCXII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Constantinus and Licinianus (or, less frequently, year 1065 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 312 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
was a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar, the 312th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 312th year of the 1st millennium, the 12th year of the 4th century, and the 3rd year of the 310s decade. As of the start of 312, the Gregorian calendar was
1 day ahead of the Julian calendar, which was the dominant calendar of the time.399 BC
Year 399 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Tribunate of Augurinus, Longus, Priscus, Cicurinus, Rufus and Philo (or, less frequently, year 355 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 399 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.48 BC
Year 48 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Caesar and Vatia (or, less frequently, year 706 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 48 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.48 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.700
was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar, the 700th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 700th year of the 1st millennium, the 100th and last year of the 7th century, and the 1st year of the 700s decade. As of the start of 700, the Gregorian calendar was
3 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which was the dominant calendar of the time. The denomination 700 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.AD 1
AD 1 (I), 1 AD or 1 CE is the epoch year for the Anno Domini calendar era. It was the first year of the Common Era (CE), of the 1st millennium and of the 1st century. It was a common year starting on Saturday or Sunday, a common year starting on Saturday by the proleptic Julian calendar, and a common year starting on Monday by the proleptic Gregorian calendar. In its time, year 1 was known as the Year of the Consulship of Caesar and Paullus, named after Roman consuls Gaius Caesar and Lucius Aemilius Paullus, and less frequently, as year 754 AUC (ab urbe condita) within the Roman Empire. The denomination "AD 1" for this year has been in consistent use since the mid-medieval period when the anno Domini (AD) calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years. It was the beginning of the Christian/Common era. The preceding year is 1 BC; there is no year 0 in this numbering scheme. The Anno Domini dating system was devised in AD 525 by Dionysius Exiguus.
The Julian calendar, a 45 BC reform of the Roman calendar, was the calendar used by Rome in AD 1.AD 2
AD 2 (II), 2 AD or 2 CE was a common year starting on Sunday or Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar (the sources differ, see leap year error for further information) and a common year starting on Sunday of the proleptic Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Vinicius and Varus, named after Roman consuls Publius Vinicius and Alfenus Varus, and less frequently, as year 755 AUC (ab urbe condita) within the Roman Empire. The denomination "AD 2" for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.Anno Domini (band)
Anno Domini are an Australian symphonic black, death metal band. Formed in 2005, the band's line-up as from 2016 was Michael Aldeguer on guitars, Amir Bukan on drums and keyboards, Dan Kendall on bass guitar, Danny Straughen on guitars and Andy Suppradit on vocals.
The band's debut extended play, Original, came out in 2007 and there was another EP, The Downfall in 2012. They toured widely in 2011. In 2010 they released their debut album, Atrocities, and in 2016 followed with The Cold Expanse. The 2018, yet to be released album, is set to pay homage to the band's major musical influences such as Nicki Minaj, Robbie Williams and Yothu Yindi.Anno Domini (disambiguation)
Anno Domini designates years since the traditional date of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Anno Domini may also refer to:
Anno Domini (gallery), art gallery in San Jose, California, USA
Anno Domini High Definition, 2009 album by Polish band Riverside
Anno Domini (Mobile Suit Gundam 00), timeline used in Anime television series
Anno Domini (NSW band), an Australian Symphonic Black/Death Metal band
Anno Domini 2000, or, Woman's Destiny, an 1889 science fiction novel by Julius Vogel
Anno Domini MCMXXI — Poetry collection of Anna Akhmatova, published in 1921Anno Domini 1573
Anno Domini 1573 (Serbo-Croatian: Seljačka buna 1573, English: 1573 Peasants' Revolt) is a 1975 Yugoslav/Croatian feature film directed by Vatroslav Mimica. The film was selected for Directors' Fortnight section at Cannes Film Festival in 1976.It is a historical drama film depicting events surrounding the 1573 Croatian-Slovenian peasant revolt, with Fabijan Šovagović starring as Matija Gubec, the legendary peasant leader.Anno Domini 2000, or, Woman's Destiny
Anno Domini 2000, or, Woman's Destiny (1889) is usually regarded as New Zealand's first science fiction novel. It was written by former Prime Minister of New Zealand Sir Julius Vogel. It anticipated a utopian world where women held many positions of authority, and in fact New Zealand became the first country to give women the vote, and from 1998 to 2008 continuously had a female Prime Minister, while for a short period (2005–2006) all five highest government positions (Queen, Governor-General, Prime Minister, Speaker of the House and Chief Justice) were simultaneously held by women.Anno Domini High Definition
Anno Domini High Definition is the fourth full-length studio album by Polish progressive rock band Riverside and also the first full length Riverside album that is separate from the Reality Dream suite. The album was released in Poland on 15 June 2009 through Mystic Production and was released worldwide on 19 June 2009 through InsideOut. The album was a commercial success in the band's home country of Poland where it reached the top of the official album chart. The art design and direction was, once again, handled by Travis Smith.
A special edition of the album includes a bonus DVD, filmed during a December 2008 live performance at Amsterdam's Paradiso club.Holocene calendar
The Holocene calendar, also known as the Holocene Era or Human Era (HE), is a year numbering system that adds exactly 10,000 years to the currently dominant (AD/BC or CE/BCE) numbering scheme, placing its first year near the beginning of the Holocene geological epoch and the Neolithic Revolution, when humans transitioned from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to agriculture and fixed settlements. The year 2019 in the Holocene calendar is 12,019 HE. The HE scheme was first proposed by Cesare Emiliani in 1993.Iubilaeum Anno Dracula 2001
A tribute to the historical character that has contributed to the creation of the myth of the vampire which gave inspiration to Bram Stoker for his famous novel. With these compositions we wish to celebrate the 570 years of the birth of an immortal myth, that has become for many, the main reference in the compiling of literary works as well as musical, theatrical and all other forms of art. A myth that will never die.
Iubilaeum Anno Dracula 2001 is the first EP by the Italian band Theatres des Vampires. The name of the album, as well as the logo in the cover art is a parody on the Great Jubilee of 2000 ("Iubilaeum Anno Domini 2000").List of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 chapters
The Japanese anime television series Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has been adapted into a number of manga and light novel series.Proleptic Julian calendar
The proleptic Julian calendar is produced by extending the Julian calendar backwards to dates preceding AD 8 when the quadrennial leap year stabilized. The leap years that were actually observed between the implementation of the Julian calendar in 45 BC and AD 8 were erratic: see the Julian calendar article for details.
A calendar obtained by extension earlier in time than its invention or implementation is called the "proleptic" version of the calendar. Likewise, the proleptic Gregorian calendar is occasionally used to specify dates before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582. Because the Julian calendar was used before that time, one must explicitly state that a given quoted date is based on the proleptic Gregorian calendar if that is the case.
Note that the Julian calendar itself was introduced by Julius Caesar, and as such is older than the introduction of the Anno Domini era (or the "Common Era", counting years since the birth of Christ as calculated by Dionysus Exiguus in the 6th century, and widely used in medieval European annals since about the 8th century, notably by Bede). The proleptic Julian calendar uses Anno Domini throughout, including for dates of Late Antiquity when the Julian calendar was in use but Anno Domini wasn't, and for times predating the introduction of the Julian calendar.
Years are given cardinal numbers, using inclusive counting (AD 1 is the first year of the Anno Domini era, immediately preceded by 1 BC, the first year preceding the Anno Domini era, there is no "zeroth" year).
Thus, the year 1 BC of the proleptic Julian calendar is a leap year.
This is to be distinguished from the "astronomical year numbering", introduced in 1740 by French astronomer Jacques Cassini, which considers each New Year an integer on a time axis, with year 0 corresponding to 1 BC, and "year −1" corresponding to 2 BC, so that in this system, Julian leap years have a number divisible by four.
The determination of leap years in the proleptic Julian calendar (in either numbering) is distinct from the question of which years were historically considered leap years during the Roman era, due to the leap year error: Between 45 BC and AD 8, the leap day was somewhat unsystematic. Thus there is no simple way to find an equivalent in the proleptic Julian calendar of a date quoted using either the Roman pre-Julian calendar or the Julian calendar before AD 8. The year 46 BC itself is a special case, because of the historical introduction of the Julian calendar in that year, it was allotted 445 days. Before then, the Roman Republican calendar used a system of intercalary months rather than leap days.Spanish era
The Spanish era or era of Caesar (Latin: Æra Hispanica) was a dating system commonly used in the states of the Iberian Peninsula from the 3rd century until the 14th–15th centuries, when it was phased out in favour the Anno Domini system. Year one of this calendar era coincides with what is now as 38 BC, possibly the date of a new tax imposed by the Roman Republic on the subdued population of Iberia. Whatever the case, the date signifies the beginning of the Pax Romana in Iberia.
To convert an Anno Domini (AD) date to the corresponding year in the Spanish era, add 38 to the Anno Domini year, such that Era 941 would be equivalent to AD 903.
Official usage ceased in different parts of the peninsula at different times: Aragon in AD 1349, Valencia 1358, Castile 1383, and Portugal 1422. While the year officially began on 1 January under the Spanish era, that was changed to 25 December when the Anno Domini system was adopted (while the Church used 11 January).Year zero
Year zero does not exist in the anno Domini system usually used to number years in the Gregorian calendar and in its predecessor, the Julian calendar. In this system, the year 1 BC is followed by AD 1. However, there is a year zero in astronomical year numbering (where it coincides with the Julian year 1 BC) and in ISO 8601:2004 (where it coincides with the Gregorian year 1 BC) as well as in all Buddhist and Hindu calendars.