Talk:Anno Domini/Archive 3

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AD as abbreviation for Christian era

In the edit [1] User:JimWae asserts that AD is "certainly not" an abbreviation for Christian Era. I disagree. Isn't lb an abreviation for pound? The Oxford Pocket Dictionary and Thesaurus cited in the article has this entry (emphasis mine):

A.D. 'abbr.' (of a date) of the Christian era (Latin Anno Domini, 'in the year of the Lord').

Now, since the article does not claim Christian era is the only phrase for which AD is an abbreviation, and since one dictionary says AD is an abbreviation for Christian era, we would have to find a source better than Oxford University Press to justify JimWae's reversion. --Gerry Ashton 21:35, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

JimWae was right. "AD" is not an abbreviation of "Christian Era"—not in the true sense of the word "abbreviation". The particular dictionary you cited is careless in characterizing it as so. Oxford University Press publishes more dictionaries than I can count, some better than others. For resolving questions in which technical accuracy is at issue, a pocket dictionary is not a good choice. (For example, does your dictionary distinguish among abbreviations, contractions, initialisms, and acronyms in its word labeling?) -- 17:53, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
To answer the question from IP address, no the dictionary does not distinguish among abbreviations, initialisms, and acronyms; it does label contractions (like can't) as such. Also, you have not posted a reliable source that describes the Oxford Pocket Dictionary and Thesaurus as careless, so I'll pass over the issue. So what kind of shortened form is AD when it stands for Christian era. Surely not a contraction or initialism. To try to see how the American Heritage Dictionary (3rd ed.) deals with English words with a short form based on Latin, I looked up lb. and found that is labeled as an abbreviation.
If you disagree either that AD is an abbreviation, or that AD is the short form for Christian Era, please find a source; I'd be happy to see it. --Gerry Ashton 19:29, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
"AD" is not an abbreviation of "Christian Era" because it is not formed by shortening the latter. This follows directly from the definition of abbreviation. (The Encarta dictionary entry on abbreviation provides a clear explanation of what an abbreviation is. See [2].) "AD" is an abbreviation of "anno domini", and functions as an adverb. "Christian Era" is a noun phrase (and functions as a noun). "CE" is an abbreviation of "Common Era" (or "Christian Era" if you prefer) and functions as a noun phrase when used purely as a shorthand for its expansion. When used after a year number, "CE" really means "in the Common Era" (or "in the Christian Era"). -- 03:48, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, that Encarta dictionary entry says an abbreviation is a shortened form of a word or phrase, but it does not specify the process of shortening. Apparently, Encarta does not object to translating into Latin before shortening, because an entry for lb. says this is an abbreviation for pound.
I also note that Encarta says AD or A.D. is an adverb, so apparently they consider it a word in its own right. If we want to find a way to express this that covers all the dictionaries, this could get messy. --Gerry Ashton 04:13, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't want to flog a a dead horse here, but would "AD is also an alternative designation for..." not be better than "AD is also an abbreviation for..."? --ukexpat 15:17, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

If you don't like abbreviation I suggest short form or is shortened to rather than alternative designation because the latter implies that AD is a word in its own right, which not everyone would agree with. --Gerry Ashton 17:32, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
If you want to get nit-picky, try the term acronym. But it seems fine the way it is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:24, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

AD-Latin BC-English

BC obviously stands for Before Christ and AD, Anno Domini but why is the former in English and the latter in Latin? If someone knows, could they add to the article please? Tuck99 07:27, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't know why that is. You probably noticed that Anno Domini was invented in 525, while the concept of numbering years before Christ was invented by Bede several hundred years later. The fact that the two concepts were invented at different times may play into the difference in the abbreviations. --Gerry Ashton 17:44, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

BC should really be AC - ante Christum. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:52, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Annis Domini

A google for "annis Domini" reveals a low number of uses in English. The search, of course, revealed only the uses in the full (rather than abbreviated) form. In full form, it appears to be used with multiple years ("annis domini 1993, 1996, 2004"), rather than with periods longer than a year. For cases I saw, it appeared BEFORE the years rather than after. While "7th Century in the yearS of our lord" improves the reading where AD comes AFTER the year, there are still syntactic difficulties with "in the years of our lord, 7th Century". The "info" was addded by an IP with no other edits, and subsequently used to justify removal of a paragraph from Common Era article. Still, some discussion of use of "annis Domini" would be appropriate for this article. Anno Domini existed first, then was abbreviated as AD. Some citation might be found for the backronymic claim. --JimWae 06:14, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Latin word order is not the same as English. Anyone who would use "annis Domini" would therefore use it in constructions that would be unnatural for "in the years of our Lord". Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:16, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Should this be an FA?

I mean, it doesn't have very many references, and there's an apparent dispute going on over the article, that content should be moved from it to another article. Comments? - A Link to the Past (talk) 09:50, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

As for the references, there may not be too many, but two of them are entire books that are closely related to the topic at hand, and several others are on-topic papers in respected scholarly journals. I see some spots in the article that are not controversial that could be given inline citations to one of the references, but this isn't really necessary, because they could easily be found in the index of one of the books cited.
Right now, the article seems to be almost entirely taken from a single book. Just because that book is the "result of extensive research" doesn't mean that this article is based on a broad base of research.RodPickett 23:30, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I tend to agree that some of the material about other eras probably belongs in a different article. --Gerry Ashton 18:13, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
I would suggest merging certain information into this article, for the sake of making it somewhat longer (but ensuring that they are of equal quality beforehand). - A Link to the Past (talk) 05:10, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

BC / AD and NPOV

I'm not sure if this is the proper forum do raise such a question; if not, perhaps somebody can forward the issue in a more-visible, more-correct place. It seems to conflict with the NPOV to use "B.C." and "A.D." in articles on Wikipedia (e.g., in the recently-featured Hatshepsut article). As stated in the Anno_Domini article itself, "B.C.E./C.E. ... do not presuppose faith in Christ and hence are more appropriate for interfaith dialog", Cunningham & Starr, 1998. In the same way that "mankind" (in reference to humankind) is exclusionary and no longer acceptable in writing that claims to have a NPOV, so are "B.C." and "A.D.".

The place to discuss how dates should be written in Wikipedia is the talk page for Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers). I suspect the reaction will be "oh, not again", but that's just my guess. --Gerry Ashton 15:26, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

To the anonymous and undated message poster above, the issue cannot be resolved by resort to POV and NPOV tags. It relates to the application of conventions and more particularly to the culture wars that are a feature of debate in the US but not nearly so significantly in other English-speaking countries. Most strikingly the BC/AD and BCE/CE standoff in three English-speaking countries I have lived in (Ireland, South Africa and the UK) is restricted mainly to academia while in the popular culture almost everyone uses BC/AD regardless of belief. With regard to 'mankind' you are quite wrong, it is quite acceptable in writing and I have seen it used and heard it spoken frequently. Usage of this word may be favoured for numerous reasons other than ignoring political correctness, which is the origin of the Latin-English hybrid term, 'humankind'. --AssegaiAli 20:28, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

The United States is not dissimilar: CE/BCE is an academic usage, and even there only in certain fields. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:40, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Featured article removal

Can anyone explain where to find the discussion leading to this no longer being a featured article? --Gerry Ashton (talk) 02:06, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Click on Show in heading to get to --JimWae (talk) 04:36, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

First usages in English or o/w


Even though Anno Domini was in widespread use by the 9th century, Before Christ (or its equivalent) did not become widespread until the late 15th century.

1708 is the first I can find in English in connection with a year (and this is neither capitalized nor abbreviated -- admittedly not every book is on google, but if it were widespread, we should expect to see it more than this

OK, 1665 seems to qualify

No, 1665 is not clear at all. Regarding the other hits that do not let us read the text, I have found many other books before 1708 that DO let us read the text--JimWae (talk) 08:14, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

1732 for use of BC abbreviation

I will also do a search on year AD -- remember AD is a Latin word. disregard Theosphist & notes on that play by Johnson - they are later --JimWae (talk) 08:44, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Other abbreviations for Anno Domini --JimWae (talk) 18:56, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Anno Dom
    • A° Dom

From CE

There was a well-documented Origins section on CE, which I have removed there to make that article focus mostly on the AD vs. CE-debate. As it overlaps but has interesting sources, I now paste it here for stepwise merger with the text already here. Large parts overlap.

See also: Anno Domini

The Anno Domini system was devised by the monk Dionysius Exiguus, while in Rome, working on a table to establish future dates for Easter. When he devised his table, Julian calendar years were identified by regnal years and by naming the consuls who held office that year. He wished to replace the Diocletian years that had been used, because he did not wish to continue the memory of a persecutor of Christians. In the process, he determined a year for the beginning of the life of Jesus.[1][2] He gave a method to calculate "annos ab incarnatione Domini nostri Jesu Christi" (Latin for years since the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ).[3] He himself stated that the then current year was 525 years since the incarnation of Jesus.[3]

Some two centuries later in northern England, the Venerable Bede began the process of bringing the AD system Dionysius had invented into general use in Western Europe, when he (Bede) used it to date the events in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed in 731. Bede also used another Latin term "ante uero incarnationis dominicae tempus" ("the time before the Lord's true incarnation"), equivalent to the English "before Christ", to identify years before the first year of this era.[4] According to the 1908 Catholic Encyclopedia, usage of AD gradually became more common in Europe in the latter part of the 9th century, and, while it occurred occasionally in papal documents of the time of John XIII (965-972), it was not the rule before the 12th century.[5][6] In 1422, Portugal became the last Western European country to switch to the Anno Domini system.[7]

Classical geographer (talk) 10:32, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

When the coverage of the origin of the A.D. era was substantially increased a few months ago by JimWae, I questioned whether it was wise to have such extensive coverage in two different articles, but at the time, I was the only one who questioned the expansion. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 16:54, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
  • That edit was too bold a move - CE is not defined as an ALTERNATIVE system, it is NOT equivalent in meaning (it is chronologically equivalent). The focus of the CE article should NOT be the arguments. While some condensing might work, Dionysius himself was engaging in some "political correctness" & that needs to stay with the CE article - more later--JimWae (talk) 19:08, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
  • the fact that it was not until the 15th century that AD was entrenched & that "common era" was used so soon afterwards (perhaps even concurrently) are relevant to the issue of CE being a "late-comer". I agree that the AD article could benefit from thise 2 paragraphs, but further discussion about CE should be at Talk:Common Era --JimWae (talk) 19:22, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Merge from Common Era

A template has been added by an editor using an IP address, suggesting that Common Era be merged into this article. This has been discussed and rejected in the past. Unless the editor supports his/her proposal here, I intend to delete the merge template in 24 hours. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 01:10, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Against the merge They are two differenet concepts. One could argue for the opposite as well. (talk) 16:26, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Against the merge I'm the same guy above; I just forgot to log in. Sorry! Udonknome (talk) 16:30, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Against the merge.  If currently CE and AD denote indeed the identical christian era, seperated topics are justified for its different approaches.
By the way, CE and AD don't necessarily designate the same era, cf. this  – astronomically only correct –  proposal.   -- Halloo 007 (talk) 17:52, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. Independent ideas. AD is a religious designation but CE is a neutral designation for the de facto standard. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Red King (talkcontribs) 20:03, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Whoops, there is no current proposal on the table. The proposal was lost in the past (see intro to this section) and, judging by the votes this time, it woulf fail again. --Red King (talk) 20:07, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Hmmmm... no way is CE a neutral term. It has generated far too much controversy for that and in any case AD's usage is largely for situations that have nothing to do with religion so neither is that a religious term! Merging the articles is nevertheless unnecessary IMHO--AssegaiAli (talk) 14:47, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia Policy

What is Wikipedia's policy regarding dates in articles? The B.C./A.D. or B.C.E/C.E.? I personally prefer the traditional B.C./A.D. Emperor001 (talk) 19:29, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm not aware of any policy and I suspect there would be no consensus for one. I strongly favour the neutral CE/BCE in all articles except astronomy, which uses the +/- designation. And articles about other faiths should use the relevant calendar in addition to CE. That's if a designation is needed at all. 2008 is self explanatory, it doesn't need a CE after it. --Red King (talk) 20:14, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Here it is: Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Longer periods:
  • Years are normally expressed in digits; a comma is not used in four-digit years (1988, not 1,988).
  • Avoid inserting the words the year before the digits (1995, not the year 1995), unless the meaning would otherwise be unclear.
  • Either CE and BCE or AD and BC can be used—spaced, undotted (without periods) and upper-case. Choose either the BC/AD or the BCE/CE system, but not both in the same article. AD appears before a year (AD 1066) but after a century (2nd century AD); the other abbreviations appear after (1066 CE, 3700 BCE, 3700 BC). The absence of such an abbreviation indicates the default, CE/AD. It is inappropriate for a Wikipedia editor to change from one style to another unless there is a substantive reason; the Manual of Style favors neither system over the other

So if you start the article, you get to choose the form. But using either designation for dates since at least the 15th C is affectatious. --Red King (talk) 20:21, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Indeed starting the article (or being the first to use the AD or CE term) gets to choose; and subsequent editors should respect this. It is much like the choice for British or US spelling. Arnoutf (talk) 17:19, 22 January 2008 (UTC)


It's pronounced what now? I don't know about the states, but in Australia I've only ever heard anoh doh-mih-nih, as in the sounds in Bath [BrE, AuE] Note Nod; Dinosaur Nod Mayday Billy Nope India. Forgive me for the transcription, I lack a familiarity with the IPA. That's the pronunciation I learnt in school and that's what I've used and heard people use when discussing the concept. +Hexagon1 (t) 13:03, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

There are probably several pronunciations. But I'm removing the pronunciation in the article because that is not how I pronounce it, nor is it the pronunciation given in the OED. — Joe Kress (talk) 08:26, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

First use of "before Christ" in English?

An earlier use is in the 1658 English translation of James Ussher, Annals of the World page 1: "In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth, Gen. 1, v. 1. Which beginning of time, according to our Chronologie, fell upon the entrance of the night preceding the twenty third day of Octob[er] in the year of the Julian [Period] 710. The year before Christ 4004. The Julian Period 710." The words in the last two phrases, including "before Christ", are the headings of two columns on the right side of this page and many subsequent pages (the numbers appear below, opposite the text to which they apply). Obviously, this is the famous Creation date of 4004 BC. — Joe Kress (talk) 11:15, 20 February 2008 (UTC) uses BC - must have been editor's change. I suspect column headings could be editor's doing also --JimWae (talk) 19:36, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

If you click on more editions for the result from you get the originals (no preview). However, with search Ussher does not appear at all. Something seems to be "up" --JimWae (talk) 19:44, 21 February 2008 (UTC) has excerpts that use neither "christ" nor "BC" --JimWae (talk) 19:49, 21 February 2008 (UTC) says 4004 was a marginal notation (no mention of christ)--JimWae (talk) 20:06, 21 February 2008 (UTC) also relevant (esp to BC abbrev) --JimWae (talk) 20:29, 21 February 2008 (UTC) would seem to support that Ussher used "something" consistently that aligns with BC, but it is not entirely clear what, nor how it was translated --JimWae (talk) 20:32, 21 February 2008 (UTC) has Ussher (translated) as using "before the Christian account" twice in his preface --JimWae (talk) 20:57, 21 February 2008 (UTC) denies Ussher used BC, and indicates he wrote as if there were a year zero. Seems he used negative years --JimWae (talk) 21:02, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Compare the last to and to to see the effect of the editor --JimWae (talk) 21:16, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

I have been presuming his work was translated because Joe said that - but he wrote in English, no? --JimWae (talk) 21:25, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

It appears that The Annals of the World of 1658 was USSHER's posthumous ENGLISH edition of the 1650 LATIN original entitled Annales veteris testamenti a prima mundi origine deducti (The Annals of the Old Testament, Deduced from the First Origin of the World). If he used neither Before Christ nor BC, we can infer they were (at least) less commonplace in 1658--JimWae (talk) 21:44, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

The Epistle to the Reader at is dated 1650 (year of Latin version) and it is unlikely BC would have been used in Latin --JimWae (talk) 21:51, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Annales Veteris Testamenti page 1.jpg
Annals of the World page 1.jpg
I have uploaded these pages from James Ussher's 1650 Latin version Annales Veteris Testamenti and the 1658 English translation Annals of the World. The modern publication [3] has been changed so much as to be almost unrecognizable. I suspect that the 1658 English translation was not by Ussher himself. First, it was not published until two years after his death, and second because of the errors on page 1 alone. At the end of the first paragraph of the text, the translator replaced "Periodi" with "Calendar", an error that Ussher himself would not have made. The Julian Period is a sequence of years having almost nothing in common with the Julian calendar. The numbers in the columns at the right, 710 and 4004, were erroneouly swapped in the translation, possibly by the printer. Later years were sometimes omitted from any of the three columns of the English translation even though they appear in the Latin version. Although the lefthand column of the Latin version, "Anno Mundi", correctly appears in the English version as "The year of the World", year 1a in the Latin version is missing from the English version. Ussher often subdivided the AM year into four seasons a, b, c, d for autumn, winter, spring and summer. The section in the modern preface stating "I used the following abbreviations: AD, AM, BC, JP, NK, SK" does not appear in either the 1650 or 1658 versions.
The applicable text in the upper right in Latin, "Anno ante æram Christianam", was translated somewhat freely into English as "The year before Christ". This non-literal translation indicates that "before Christ" was well known by the mid 17th century, notwithstanding the almost literal translation of "annus vulgaris æræ Christianæ primus" and "anno vulgaris æræ Christianæ MDCL" in the Latin "Lectori" as "the first of our Chistian vulgar account" and "in the 1650 year of the Vulgar Chistian æra", respectively, in the English "Epistle to the Reader". "The year before Christ" continued to appear at the upper right of every page until the end of the English translation at year 73, shortly after the beginning of Vespasian's reign, even though "Anno æræ Christianæ" (without "ante") began to appear in the Latin version at year 1, four years after the birth of Jesus. The editor apologized to the "Reader, In the third Columne of the Numbers, being the Title over the pages, [The year before Christ] hath escaped in stead of [The year after Christ] from page 792. to the end: Which over-sight be pleased courteously to mend with your pen." The square brackets were used by the 1658 editor. This indicates that that editor did not intend to use either Anno Domini or AD.
[4]'s statement "remembering that there is no year zero" does not imply that Ussher used a year zero. 4003 whole years and a few extra months and days before the Christian era means that Creation was within the Julian year 4004 BC counting from 1 BC immediately before the Christian era. Although the English translation does not use "before Christ" in its preface, it is used once on every page throughout the rest of the Annals (907 times). The abbreviation BC does not appear anywhere in the 1658 English translation nor does any comparable abbreviation appear in the Latin version. — Joe Kress (talk) 00:59, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Early English Books Online has over 125,000 titles published between 1475 and 1700. Unfortunately, it only contains page images (of two facing pages), so cannot be searched for a particular phrase. You must already know the author and title of a book that may contain a certain phrase. A digital text version is being developed, but I do not know how many books have been digitized to date. That project may have been affected by the digitizing efforts of Google and others. It is available at subscribing libraries. By chance, I found a small 1651 book entitled "Christmas" by Mocket that used "A.C." where we would use AD. I do not know whether that was a abbreviation of Anno Christi or After Christ. It did not stand for Ante Christum because it dated modern events. — Joe Kress (talk) 09:30, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Failed verification

What is currently Ref#4 and reads

The approximation of the year in the old Persian calendar attributed to Omar Khayyám is 365.2424 days, which is very close to the vernal equinox year, but requires a 33-year cycle. The definition by Milutin Milanković, used in the "revised Julian calendar", is 365.2422 days, which is very close to the mean tropical year, but uses unequal long-period cycles

has been flagged as Failed verification|date=February 2008. It looks to me like the footnote wandered off from where it belongs. To support the clause, used to number years in the Christian Era, conventionally used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars, how about using Time Measurement and Calendars, page 1278, from Whitaker's Almanack? And restore the above footnote to where it belongs? Pawyilee (talk) 10:16, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

I generally agree, but the reference you suggest does not use the exact phrase "Christian Era". I suggest insted using Doggett, who is already in the reference list. I suggest a citation of "Doggett 1992, Ch. 12, § 1.4." which says

This epoch was established by the sixth-century scholar Dionysius Exiguus, who was compiling a table of dates of Easter. An existing table covered the nineteen-year period denoted 228-247, where years were counted from the beginning of the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian. Dionysius continued the table for a nineteen-year period, which he designated Anni Domini Nostri Jesu Christi 532-550. Thus, Dionysius' Anno Domini 532 is equivalent to Anno Diocletian 248. In this way a correspondence was established between the new Christian Era and an existing system associated with historical records. [Emphasis added.]

I don't think the existing footnote is pertinent to this article and it should be deleted. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 17:33, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
On a somewhat different topic, I don't think "failed verification" is the correct tag to use. Notes don't always have to provide references; they can also provide additional information. That is what this note does. In this case, I think it is irrelevant and should be deleteded, but since it was never intended as a reference, it can't fail verification. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 17:36, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Accuracy update??

I saw on the discovery channel (I think) on a show called Jesus: The complete story on march 17 2008 that he was born on 6 BC. I am wondering if this is a more accurate and new calculation. Maybe it's just the theory they chose, but I don't see it on the article. I leave this in you peoples capable hands.

Maybe there should be a list sorting of dates with outside source content markers? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:18, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Before Christ

Lanitrix: I've searched 5 times through the article - I cannot see anywhere that it states BCE stands for "Before Christ". Please read the text again & let me know where you think it is -- --JimWae (talk) 05:48, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Does anyone else find Lanitrix's edits simply bizarre? I think he is claiming that BC does not mean Before Christ. His only communications have been repetitive with some threat of reporting to administrator User:Edison, where there is nothing from him --JimWae (talk) 02:51, 10 April 2008 (UTC)


I noticed this edit and subsequent revert [5]. I thought AD has been used for centuries. It even says so in the third paragraph. Is this not the case then? Do we have any sources for this or anything? (Note I am not the IP who made the edit, I am just curious as I want to dispel/reaffirm knowledge I have). Deamon138 (talk) 03:43, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Looks like someone was having fun, yes. The terms "AD" and "BC" have been in use for centuries. — `CRAZY`(lN)`SANE` 08:36, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Although the year counting system introduced Dionysius Exiguus has been used for about a millenium, the passage in quesiton is about how long it has been a world standard. Considering the large number of people in places like sub-Saharan Africa, China, and India who have cultural tradiditions substantially different from Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, where the system first took hold, can we really say it has been a world standard for centuries? --Gerry Ashton (talk) 20:18, 11 October 2008 (UTC)


Thank you to the anonymous editor for your good faith edit. Hoever it has to be deleted in accordance with the trivia rule. --Red King (talk) 20:48, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

I wouldn't say that "trivia" was the problem with that Parody section, more that it wasn't notable. Some sort of "In popular culture" section is fine for articles, so long as the references to the subject aren't just passing ones, as I think that Parody section contained. Deamon138 (talk) 20:58, 15 July 2008 (UTC)


anno domini is cool and sik to learn about. I wish I could learn more. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:21, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Year Zero ??

Can somebody authoritative give the correct/definitive answers to the following:

  • Was there a year zero? i.e. do we count 2BC, 1BC, 0, 1AD, 2AD ?

(my reading of the astronomy section suggests that there was not a year 0).

  • When was Jesus born? As I understand it, there are several possibilities, including the canonical 25 Dec, AD 1; a revisionist

number of {AD,BC}{4,6}, (and of course the perspective that there was no such historical person as Christ; though that debate isn't relevant here).

  • When is the turn of the Millennium? 999->000, or 000->001  ?

(If we take Jesus' birthday as 25 Dec, AD 1, then He was aged 1 in AD 2. The common analogy of "your first year of life ends when you celebrate your first birthday and become 1 year old" would then be misleading.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:37, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

If you want something authoritative, see Doggett's "Calendars" chapter in "Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac" which was written by many of the world's leading experts on time and astronomy. Dogget writes "given an initial epoch, one must consider how to record preceding dates. Bede, the eighth-century English historian, began the practice of counting years backward from A.D. 1 (see Colgrave and Mynors, 1969). In this system, the year A.D. 1 is preceded by the year 1 B.C., without an intervening year 0" which settles your first question.
As is explained in this "Anno Domini" article, Dionysius Exiguus did not leave any information about how he estimated the Incarnation of Jesus. It isn't clear if he meant to place it in what we would call 2 BC, 1 BC, or 1 AD. It is generally agreed his calculation was a bit off, because some of the events described in the Gospels have been dated and don't agree with any of those years. It isn't clear if Dionysius meant to count from the conception (Annunciation) of Jesus or the birth of Jesus. It is generally known that December 25 is only a ceremonial date, and was never intended to be the historicaly correct date for the birth of Jesus; see Nativity of Jesus.
Since we don't really know which event Dionysius intended as the starting point (Nativity or Annunciation), and we are not sure which year Dionysius intended to place it, we don't know when the third millenium started. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 17:07, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Jesus was most likely born in 6 AD, not year 1. Ptolemaios I (talk) 19:02, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

"There is no year zero in this scheme, so the year AD 1 immediately follows the year 1 BC." Would it be more correct to say that there cannot be a year zero as Roman Numerals were used and the Romans had no zero? 20:15, 31 December 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

No, because Bede, who decided not to use a year zero for historical years, did use the Latin word nulla for the first entry in his table of epacts. Nulla was translated by Faith Wallis as "zero" in her translation of Bede: The reckoning of time. He or one of his colleagues even used the symbol N, the initial of nulla, in this table. Although in general the Romans had no zero, it was used by all medieval computists, from Dionysius Exiguus in 525, through Bede in 725, and all later medieval computists. — Joe Kress (talk) 20:43, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Something wrong with that part of this Article

There actually was a Year 0 based on present-day retracing of time before AD 1, unlike the Julian systems of the computists to whom you refer. [6] The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 00:55, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

First, the &ltref> elements don't work very well on talk pages.
Second, the web site mentioned is by an anonymous individual and so it carries no weight. It isn't worth discussing. Jc3s5h (talk) 01:38, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
I replaced the ref tags with square brackets. — Joe Kress (talk) 02:30, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Change to alow consistency

is stated in the talke below is is felt that A.D dose not me Christian era. Many articles state that x date to x date Christian/common era i feel and it is evident that this is incorrect. i feel that it should be changed to Anno Domini/Common era. allowing for no argument and correct terminology over whats used.Alec88 (talk) 23:27, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Latin spelling "uero" or "vero"

In the quote from Bede, ante uero incarnationis dominicae tempus, it seems likely that "uero" should be "vero", which is Latin for "true". I have not changed the article because web searches for both ante uero incarnationis dominicae tempus and ante vero incarnationis dominicae tempus give non-Wikipedia hits. I suspect that the confusion is traceable to the fact that classical Latin writing used the letter "V" for both the vowel that we now know as the letter "U" and the consonant that we now know as the letter "V". —AlanBarrett (talk) 10:40, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

This edit in the Latin Wikisource copy of Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum convinced me that I was correct about the "v", so I am now changing "uero" to "vero" the English Wikipedia Anno Domini article. —AlanBarrett (talk) 17:25, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

in latin there was no real difference between u (a vowel) and v (a semivowel), like between i and j. Take as example the word bel(l)ua and its adjective bel(l)uinus, in italian they became respectively belva and belluino (talk) 01:48, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Contested statements removed to talk

  • Most Syriac manuscripts written at the end of the 19th century still gave the date in the end-note using the "year of the Greeks" (Anno Graecorum = Seleucid era).{{Fact|date=January 2007}}

Please do not restore this information to the article without a citation.--BirgitteSB 02:15, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Why does BC redirect here?

I fail to see why BC directs here. OK, if you are looking at BC you may also want to see the information on AD, but for goodness sake, BC is now commonly used simply to mean dates in the BC calendar. BC is a specfic acronym and is often used as a pair with unsuffixed/prefixed dates as a pair. 1970, 1970BC

Moreover I've seen people use BC and CE as a pair.

This article really needs to decide whether it refers to an era (the christian era) and encompasses all dating acronyms referring to that era., OR whether it is an acronym so that BC and BCE etc. can have separate articles which go into these very different acronyms. (talk) 17:18, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

The article was originally about all aspects of the era centered around the Dionysius estimate of the incarnation of Jesus. However, BCE/CE attracted so much controversy it had to be put in a separate article so that this article wouldn't be so much of a battlefield. --Jc3s5h (talk) 17:57, 21 May 2009 (UTC)


Dionysius assumed that the annunciation & nativity were 9 months apart - so it is not clear to me why we have to repeatedly say "the year of the annunciation OR nativity" - either would be right since he assumed they were Mar 25 & Dec 25. Whether he was using Jan 1 or Mar 25 as the start of the year, they were still in the same year. Even if he only said ambiguously "incarnation", the nativity and the annunciation were, for him, in that one year. It just seems cumbersome to state both at every occurrence--JimWae (talk) 23:05, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

His choices for the start of the year were not limited to March 25 or January 1. For example, in Alexandria, where the Easter rules that Dionysius based his table on originated, the year started on 29 August, the date, more or less, when the emperor Diocletian took power. This continued to be used as the first day of the year by astronomers and astrologers even after Diocletian ruled that Egypt should follow the Roman method of designating years by the names of the consuls rather than the regnal year of the emperor. The astronomers and astrologers (including those who computed Easter tables) continued in this fashion even after Diocletian died.
Blackburn and Holford-Strevens mention this possibility on page 778: :...if Dionysius, whose calendrical rules or argumenta make September [in the Gregorian calendar], not January, the beginning of the year...."
Also, the only place I see where Dionysius supposedly said that March 25 was the annunciation and December 25 the nativity was in argumentum 15. I can't find it at the moment, but I have read that many scholars believe only the first few argumenta were actually written by Dionysius. On page 774–5 Blackburn and Holford-Strevens criticize one of the argumenta, I believe number 15, when they write "The feriae [day of the week] for the Annunciation and Tuesday for the Nativity are also propounded in a calendar rule appended to those of Dionysius Exiguus but making nonsense of his era, for they imply 4 BC, AD 3, or AD 8". Notice the wording suggests someone other than Dionysius added the rule.
Finally, it would be nice to know whether Dionysius thought the conception or birth was more important, and more worthy of being commemorated by his year-count. One is right, one is wrong, and we just don't know which is which. --Jc3s5h (talk) 00:16, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
The arguments by Dionysius versus those added later are discussed in Dionysius Exiguus#Easter tables. This is from Charles W. Jones, "Development of the Latin ecclesiastical calendar", in Bedae opera de temporibus (Cambridge, Mass., 1943), 1–122. — Joe Kress (talk) 04:42, 18 November 2009 (UTC)


This edit claims that aD is an abbreviation for Anno Domini. Is there any source to support this claim? Please bear in mind that this is the English Wikipedia and it does not attempt to give synonyms in other languages unless it is some how related to the derivation of the term in English. --Jc3s5h (talk) 01:25, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

You're right of course there are not many references to this particular abbreviation beyond this album cover of these tasteless musicians. However, I thought it would be logical because there are many more references to "anno Domini" itself with small a but capital D.Eugene-elgato (talk) 11:56, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

True, but many words become capitalized when shortened to initials. For example, "as soon as possible" is often written "ASAP". I believe a serious reference is required to justify "a.D." no matter how logical it might be. --Jc3s5h (talk) 16:19, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
    • ^ Whether he intended the year of Jesus' birth or his conception is an issue still debated.
    • ^ Many historians and Biblical scholars place the birth of Jesus from one to about six years earlier than Dionysius calculated. These scholars include D. A. Carson, Douglas J. Moo and Leon Morris. An Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992, 54, 56; Michael Grant, Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels, Scribner's, 1977, p. 71; John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew, Doubleday, 1991–, vol. 1:214; E. P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus, Penguin Books, 1993, pp. 10–11, and Ben Witherington III, "Primary Sources," Christian History 17 (1998) No. 3:12–20.
    • ^ a b "Nineteen Year Cycle of Dionysius" (HTML). Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
      "Nineteen Year Cycle of Dionysius" (plain text). Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
      In this document, Dionysius used both "annis Christi" and "anni Domini nostri Jesu Christi" for titles and headings. He also used "annos Domini", "annos ab incarnatione Domini nostri Jesu Christi", "annos incarnationis Domini nostri Jesu Christi", "annus ab incarnatione Domini nostri Jesu Christi", and "anni ab incarnatione Domini". He made no reference in this document to years before Jesus.
    • ^ Bede (731). "Historiam ecclesiasticam gentis Anglorum". pp. Book 1, Chapter 2, first sentence. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
    • ^ New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia (1908). "Dates and Dating". Robert Appleton Company, New York. pp. Vol IV. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
    • ^ B. M. Lersch, Einleitung in die Chronologie, 2 vols., Freiburg, 1899 (vol. ii. on Christian Calendar) p. 233
    • ^ New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia (1908). "General Chronology". Robert Appleton Company, New York. pp. Vol III. Retrieved 2007-12-12.