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AD and BC

You sometimes see years written with AD or BC, like this:

What does it mean?

  • AD stands for the Latin Anno Domini meaning "In the year of Our Lord".
  • BC stands for Before Christ.

BC is always written after the year. AD may be written before the year or (modern style) after the year. If a year is shown without AD or BC, it is usually AD. Here are some examples going back in time:

AD and BC
You sometimes see CE and BCE instead of AD and BC. They are relatively new terms that mean the same as AD and BC.

CE stands for "Common Era" and is the same as AD.
BCE stands for "Before Common Era" and is the same as BC.

Look at these examples:

  • Genghis Khan died in 1227 CE. [same as 1227 AD]
  • Rome was founded in 753 BCE. [same as 753 BC]