Anno Domini

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{day, year, event}
{son, year, death}
{theory, work, human}
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{mi², represent, 1st}
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Anno Domini (abbreviated as AD or A.D., sometimes found in the form Anno Domine) and Before Christ (abbreviated as BC or B.C.) are designations used to label years in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The calendar era to which they refer is based on the traditionally reckoned year of the conception or birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the central figure in Christianity, with AD denoting years after the start of this epoch, and BC denoting years before the start of this epoch. 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 AD 525, but was not widely used until after AD 800.[1]

The Gregorian calendar, and the year numbering system associated with it, is the calendar system with the most widespread use in the world today. For decades, it has been the unofficial global standard, recognized by international institutions such as the United Nations and the Universal Postal Union. It was spread around the world by European powers and the United States during the "Age of Imperialism", and has also been freely adopted by countries in the interests of international communication and commerce.[2] It has also become a basis of scholarly dating. The term Anno Domini is Medieval Latin, translated as In the year of (the/Our) Lord.[3][4]:782 It is sometimes specified more fully as Anno Domini Nostri Iesu (Jesu) Christi ("In the Year of Our Lord Jesus Christ").

Traditionally, English has copied Latin usage by placing the abbreviation before the year number for AD;[5] since BC is not derived from Latin it is placed after the year number (for example: 68 BC, but AD 2011). However, placing the AD after the year number (as in "2011 AD") is now also common. 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).[6]

Because BC is the English abbreviation for Before Christ, it is sometimes incorrectly concluded that AD means After Death,[7] i.e., after the death of Jesus. If that were true, the thirty-three or so years of his life would not be in any era.[8][9]


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