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AD (Anno Domini), BC (Before Christ), BCE and CE

The Quick Answer
To cater to religious diversity, the abbreviations BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) can be used to replace BC and AD.

Of note, AD is written before the year, while BC, BCE, and CE are written after the year. For example:
  • 2017 CE or AD 2017
  • 487 BCE or 487 BC

Writing Years with AD, BC, BCE, and CE

The abbreviation AD (Anno Domini) denotes of the Christian Era and should be written before the year. The abbreviation BC (Before Christ) should be written after the year.

Examples:
  • AD 2001
  • 487 BC
  • Caesar reigned from 63 BC to AD 14.

should be AD 2000
(comic title)



correct
(brick building)



should be AD 71 and AD 109
(magazine article)

Using BCE and CE

To cater to religious diversity, the abbreviations BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) can be used to replace BC and AD. BCE and CE are written after the year. For example:
  • Caesar reigned from 63 BCE to 14 CE.
Note

The "Christian" Calendar Is Widely Used

While other calendars are in use today, the "Christian" calendar now dominates. (The Christian calendar starts from the birth of Christ in the year zero (AD 0).)

  • 2017 CE is the same as AD 2017
  • 487 BCE is the same as 487 BC
  • Other Calendars

    • The Chinese calendar dates back to 2700 BC.
    • The Hindu calendar dates back to 3100 BC.
    • The Muslim calendar starts from the Hijra (Muhammad's flight from Mecca to Medina) in AD 622.
    • The Jewish calendar starts around 5,800 years ago rom the date of the creation as described in scripture.
    • The Roman calendar (not used) counted from 753 BC or 0 AUC (AUC stands for Ab Urbe Condita, which means the "foundation of the city [Rome]"). (The Roman calendar was used until AD 525. Of interest, the founder of the AUC calendar forgot that Emperor Augustus ruled for four years as Octavian before changing his name, and as he used Roman numerals not Arabic numbers he overlooked the years 0 BC or AD 0). These errors were never corrected.)