Keeping time: The origin of B.C. and A.D.


The terms “A.D.” and “B.C.” have their roots in Christianity. “A.D.” stands for anno domini (Latin for “in the year of the lord”), and it refers specifically to the birth of Jesus Christ. “B.C.” stands for “before Christ.” 

The system labels years based on a traditional notion of when Jesus was born — with the “A.D.” denoting years after his birth and “B.C.” designating the years that predate his birth. 



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By GIL