B.C. is an abbreviation for “Before Christ.” A.D. is an abbreviation for “anno Domini,” which is Latin for “in the year of our Lord.”
B.C. and A.D. are commonly used to count years in time. Jesus Christ’s birth is used as a starting point to count years that existed before (B.C.) and after (A.D.) He was born. For example, the year 532 B.C. refers to the time 532 years before A.D. 1, when Christ was assumed to have been born.
Dionysius Exiguus, a monk, invented the B.C./A.D. method during the Middle Ages, early in the sixth century. Commissioned by the pope, he did this to determine the correct date for Easter. His counting method determined Christ’s birth to be the year A.D. 1. However, Jesus was actually born a few years earlier, in the year 4 B.C.
Thought to have been born in 1…
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