Common era dating system
It was not actually developed until 525 AD, when the entrance of the Christ into the world was recognized as being the turning point of history, and our calendars were made to reflect that.3 In regard to the use of BCE and CE, these are more recent developments.In most usages, BCE stands for “Before the Common Era,” and CE stands for “Common Era.” BCE is used in place of BC, and CE is used in place of AD.Historians should take care to note the numerical difference of one year between "BCE" dates and astronomical dates.Astronomical date numbering was developed for astronomical calculations and is used extensively throughout this web site.For instance, in the date AD 2001, the prefix "AD" stands for "Anno Domini" which is Latin for "the year of our Lord." Similarly, in the date 500 BC, the suffix "BC" stands for "Before Christ." In sixth century Europe, the concept of "zero" was still unknown. Furthermore, modern scholars believe Christ's birth was actually four years earlier than Exiguus thought.In spite of these deficiencies, the dating system devised by Exiguus is now too deeply ensconced in the Western world to easily change.In recent years, some historical scholars have advocated the use of the religiously neutral abbreviations BCE (for "Before Common Era") to substitute for "BC," and "CE" (for "Common Era") to replace "AD." These secular terms are both used as suffixes making them better suited to computer generated tables.Consequently, the NASA Eclipse Home Page adopts the "BCE/CE" dating convention whenever the terminology is required.
In general, any given year "x BCE" becomes "-(x-1)" in the astronomical year numbering system.It includes the year "0" and eliminates the need for any prefixes or suffixes by attributing the arithmetic sign to the date.