Ad or a.d.


Abbreviation for "Anno Domine," which is Latin, and means "in the year of Our Lord." It is conventionally placed before a number to show that it refers to a year following the birth of Christ, although contemporary experts generally agree that Christ was probably born in 3 BCE. These are fundamentals of the Christian calendar. Other cultures designate years according to other schemes. An alternative term for AD is CE, standing for Common Era. Although CE is a less traditional term, it is globally preferred because it avoids the bias inherent in an insistance upon referring to Christ.Quotes: "Every scholar I know uses B.C.E. and shuns A.D." Harold Bloom, contemporary conservative scholar, Professor at Yale University, in correspondence quoted by William Safire in No Uncertain Terms, 2003, NY: Simon & Schuster, p 150. "[The D. in] A.D. [standing for] Dominus means 'lord,' and when the lord referred to is Jesus, ... a religious statement is made. Thus, 'the year of our Lord' invites the query 'Whose lord?' and we're in an argument we don't need." William Safire in No Uncertain Terms, 2003, NY: Simon & Schuster, p 152.Related links: The history and use of calendars of many cultures. Hebcal Interactive Jewish Calendar offers info on the timing of holidays, etc. along with lots of other info on the Jewish calendar. Also see A.H. and millennium.

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