Common Era or Current Era (CE) is a year-numbering system (calendar era) for the Julian and Gregorian calendars that refers to the years since the start of the present era, that is, the years beginning with AD 1. The preceding era is referred to as before the Common or Current Era (BCE). The Current Era notation system can be used as an alternative to the Dionysian era system, which distinguishes eras as AD (anno Domini, “[the] year of [the] Lord”) and BC (“before Christ”). The two notation systems are numerically equivalent; thus “2017 CE” corresponds to “AD 2017” and “400 BCE” corresponds to “400 BC”.[a] The year-numbering system as used for the Gregorian calendar is the most widespread civil calendar system used in the world today. For decades, it has been the global standard, recognized by international institutions such as the United Nations and the Universal Postal Union.
The expression has been traced back to 1615, when it first appeared in a book by Johannes Kepler as the Latin usage vulgaris aerae, and to 1635 in English as “Vulgar Era”.[b] The term “Common Era” can be found in English as early as 1708, and became more widely used in the mid-19th century by Jewish academics. In the later 20th century, the use of CE and BCE was popularized in academic and scientific publications, and more generally by authors and publishers wishing to emphasize secularism or sensitivity to non-Christians, by not explicitly referencing Jesus as “Christ” and Dominus (“Lord”) through use of the abbreviation[c] “AD”.
H/t reader squodgy:
“Just reading about Mexico’s Smoking Mountain, and noticed the designated dates suffixed CE (current era) instead of AD. Similarly pre AD dates are now BCE (before current era).
The new Politically Correct de-Christianisation of language, in preparation for 666.”
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