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AD and BC
You sometimes see years written with AD or BC, like this:
- 2000 AD
- 450 BC
What does it mean?
- AD is AFTER Jesus Christ was born.
- BC is BEFORE Jesus Christ was born.
- AD stands for the Latin Anno Domini meaning “In the year of Our Lord”.
- BC stands for Before Christ.
BC is always written after the year. AD may be written before the year or (modern style) after the year. If a year is shown without AD or BC, it is usually AD.
This practice was first suggested in the sixth century A.D., and was adopted by the pope of that time. It took quite a while for it to become a worldwide standard, however. Russia and Turkey, for example, did not convert to the modern calendar and year scheme until the 20th century.
Here are some examples going back in time:
- The Second World War ended in 1945.
- The Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582 AD.
- Vesuvius erupted in AD 79 and Pompeii was buried under ash.
- Jesus Christ was thought to have been born in AD 1.
- But he was probably born a few years earlier, around 5 BC.
- Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.
- In 71 BC Spartacus was defeated by the Romans.
- Rome was founded in 753 BC.
- The Great Pyramid was completed in Egypt more than 4,500 years ago, around 2566 BC.
- Evidence of the creation and use of pottery earlier than 17,000 BC has been found in China.
CE and BCE
You sometimes see CE and BCE instead of AD and BC. They are relatively new terms that mean the same as AD and BC.
CE stands for “Common Era” and is the same as AD.
BCE stands for “Before Common Era” and is the same as BC.
Look at these examples:
- Genghis Khan died in 1227 CE. [same as 1227 AD]
- Rome was founded in 753 BCE. [same as 753 BC]
Việc đưa ra ý tưởng dùng CE và BCE thay thế cho AD và BC là xuất phát từ những người không theo Cơ đốc giáo (non-Christians). Đây là chủ để được tranh cãi rất gay gắt giữa các nhóm tôn giáo với nhau và cả với nhóm phi tôn giáo. Cũng không có gì là lạ. Các vấn đề liên quan tới tôn giáo (và đi kèm theo đó là ảnh hưởng của nó trên toàn cầu) luôn diễn ra rất “khốc liệt”, không chỉ trước đây mà ngay bây giờ cũng vẫn thế, không khá hơn tý nào. Xem thêm ở đây.
Vì vậy, tốt nhất là cứ giả vờ không biết mà dùng AD và BC cho lành.
“BP – Before Present” means before 1950. The most commonly used convention in radiocarbon dating. “Present” referring to the year 1950 AD. 1950 is the date that the calibration curves were established. It also predates atmospheric testing of the atom bomb, which significantly upset C12/C14 ratios in the following years.
Example: If a radiocarbon lab reports an age of 13000 years BP, they are implying that the fossil would have died 13000 years before 1950 AD.