Olympiad dating system
Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_input. Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_spinner. This calendar era is based on the traditionally reckoned year of the conception or birth of Jesus of Nazareth, with AD counting years from the start of this epoch, and BC denoting years before the start of the era.Chronological notation, on the other hand, is part of the technical vocabulary of the historical disciplines.If we want our history to be religiously neutral, if we are practising pluralistic or non-religious scholarship, then we should acknowledge that time belongs to everyone, not just to Christians.In a sixth-century treatise on the calculation of Easter, Dionysius 'the Little' first proposed to count from the birth of Christ to avoid honouring the hated persecutor Diocletian.His idea was popularised in England by the Venerable Bede, who added the notion of counting backwards for dates 'Before Christ'.
Henceforth we have lived in the age of Christ's working in history: the years of Our Lord' - Anno Domini.
The AD /BC notation presupposes, then, that the Christian interpretation of the Book of Daniel is the right one.
In contrast, dating by 'Common Era' and 'Before Common Era' takes no side in such a discussion: it simply fixes an event in time. Weekdays commemorate Norse and Roman gods (compare English Thursday -'Thor's Day'- with French jeudi or 'Jove's Day'). Even our sexagesimal minutes and seconds come, ultimately, from the base-60 calculations of Babylonian astrology.
Persians, Mayans, Jains, even Freemasons, all have their own eras.
But it is the Christian era, counting 'the years of the Lord' from the birth of Christ, that is now ubiquitous in business, politics and historical writing.