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What does AD, BC, BCE, and CE mean in Historical Dates?

Understanding the Origins of Identifying Historical Dates such as AD, BC, BCE, and CE?

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Dates played a great part in our history. It does more than telling the date and time. Historians before were troubled on how to put identification on when the course of history happened. Right now, we have two references on historical dates to identify and to trace history. Researchers often confuse themselves with AD/BC and BCE/CE. To make things clear, both of these sets of dates mean the same thing. The two sets of historical references have different origins of how they came to be.

The first method of identifying the historical dates was the BC/AD method. This was a very religious method of identifying dates since the history is centered on Christ, a prominent figure in Christianity. That is why, BC means “Before Christ” and AD mean “Anno Domini” which means “the year of our Lord.” Often times, AD is mistakenly understood as “After Death” which they often meant as after the death of Christ. The Middle Age historians started this method since during the ancient times, different historians use different methods of identifying dates that they based on their calendars. We have the Romans and the Greeks and they have different calendars that they follow. Having a common central point in history has created an easier identification of dates as well as it reduces confusion among historians and researchers.

The BC/AD method was very religious and solely it centralizes on the life Christ that is why other historians who are more acquainted with science, philosophy, culture, and many other fields other than religion, have created a new method of defining historical dates. This method is what we call the BCE/CE method. The dates are still similar to the BC/AD method but it originates in another era. BCE means “Before Common Era” which can be equated to “Before Christ” and CE mean “Common Era” which is also the same with “Anno Domini.”The BCE/CE method originated in the Western world and it does not focus on Christ as a central figure in history. This new system bridges the gap between the religious sectors and the non-religious. Many people may argue about eradicating the BC/AD method stating that it is the correct way of identifying dates. But nowadays, people do not focus anymore on the Christian aspect of BC/AD method yet they still see Christ as a reference of history since it has been already used for ages.

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