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- Created 2012-02-23
, is an alternative naming of the traditional
is the abbreviation for
Before the Common/Current/Christian Era
(an alternative to Before Christ, abbreviated BC).
The CE/BCE designation uses the year-numbering system introduced by the 6th-century
, who started the
designation, intending the beginning of the life of
to be the
Neither notation includes a
and the two notations (CE/BCE and AD/BC) are numerically equivalent; thus " CE" corresponds to "AD", and "399 BCE" corresponds to "399 BC".
The expression "Common Era" can be found as early as 1708 in English, and traced back to Latin usage among European Christians to 1615, as
, and to 1635 in English as
. At those times, the expressions were all used interchangeably with "Christian Era", and "vulgar" meant "not regal" rather than "crudely indecent". Use of the CE abbreviation was introduced by Jewish academics in the mid-19th century. Since the later 20th century, use of CE and BCE has been popularized in academic and scientific publications, and more generally by publishers emphasizing
or sensitivity to non-Christians.
and the year-numbering system associated with it is the calendar system with most widespread use in the world today. For decades, it has been the global standard, recognized by international institutions such as the
Universal Postal Union
The CE/BCE notation has been adopted by some authors and publishers wishing to be
neutral or sensitive to non-Christians
because it does not explicitly make use of religious titles for Jesus, such as "Christ" and
("Lord"), which are used in the BC/AD notation, nor does it give implicit expression to the Christian creed that Jesus was the
Among the reasons given by those who oppose the use of Common Era notation is that it is selective as other aspects of the Western calendar have origins in various belief systems (e.g.,
is named for
and claims that its propagation is the result of
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Whatever happened to B.C. and A.D., and why?
Ante Christum Natum
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