From: Timothy Bratton (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Mar 06 1996 - 05:41:58 EST
On Mon, 19 Feb 1996, Jim Beale wrote:
> At 4:24 PM 2/19/96, Alan Repurk wrote:
> > [...] 70 CE [...]
> This is just a trivial question, and completely unrelated to B-GREEK,
> and so I beg your indulgence in this. What is the driving force
> behind the transition from A.D. to C.E.? Is it because we have become
> so ignorant of Latin that we don't even remember that A.D. means Anno
> Domini, year of our Lord? Or is it part of the secularization process
> that is continuing to remove all reference to Christ from the public
> arena? Or is there some other reason? And why Common Era (I think
> that's what it means)? What's so common about it?
> Again, I apologize for this completely impertinent intrusion. (At least
> it's better than those pesky magazine ads. ;-)
Dear Jim and Alan:
Bill Wagers and I discussed this very issue some months ago. I
hope that Bill will not mind if I enclose his reply, which I believe was
sent to all members of B-Greek at that time.
> Astronomers prefer BCE because the system has a year 0. This makes
> calculations simpler. This system is preferred by some historians and
> mathematicians for its orthogonality.
> The historical convention omits the year 0, so the transition from BC
> to AD skips from December 31, -1 to January 1, 1.
> So, there is a difference of 1 year between BC and BCE dates.
> CE and AD dates are the same.
Dr. Timothy L. Bratton firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of History/Pol. Science work: 1-701-252-3467, ext. 2022
6006 Jamestown College home: 1-701-252-8895
Jamestown, ND 58405 home phone/fax: 1-701-252-7507
"All ignorance is dangerous, and most errors must be dearly
paid. And good luck must he have that carries unchastised an error in
his head unto his death." -- Arthur Schopenhauer.
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