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Dating systems: BC and AD, or BCE and CE?
#31
I voted BC/AD as I'm used to it. One can always interpret BCE and CE and 'before the Christian Era" and "Christian Era". Eventually someone might ask just what the 'common' point of reference was and why it was significant, anyway, so the cultural is just sort of airbrushed with BCE/CE.
Richard Campbell
Legio XX - Alexandria, Virginia
RAT member #6?
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#32
Thanks for your answer, Jona! I understand your point, but I must say I do not understand theirs. After all, it is just about a naming for dating system and I for one am open-minded enough not to disregard anyone just for using another dating system than me... Of course if they are offended for a good reason there is every reason one should try to avoid such offense.

However, that this common ground is no less than the favourite for nazis and commies alike does not exactly make me enthusiatic about it.
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#33
Obviously, the BC/AD system was applied long after the birth of Jesus of Nazareth (and we're not even sure exactly when that was) but I'm curious about calendars in a general way. The Jewish calendar (still in use) and the Roman calendar (not really in use)--what was used in Europe until the BC/AD system was adopted?
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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#34
Quote:what was used in Europe until the BC/AD system was adopted?

Officially, within the Empire, consular dating for the most part, altough I seem to recall reading that some provinces used the date of their conquest as a 'base year' for their calendars?
"Medicus" Matt Bunker

[size=150:1m4mc8o1]WURSTWASSER![/size]
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#35
Yes, I think consular dating was most popular. AUC was used in some contexts, normally for big events, I think.

Some formerly-independent municipalities, such as in Anatolia, had their own yearly dating systems, often based upon the cities founding or refounding. Refounding could simply be an official act, like how Sinope was 'founded' as a Roman colony, even though it had existed for centuries. Sometimes the Greek Olympiad was used, like in the writings of Dionysius of Halicarnassus. I believe (if I remember correctly) there are even some cases of dating by governors. Most of this depends upon the context where the date was used: a petition to the Emperor might use the Roman consular method, a monument for a local deity might use the local dating system, and a book for all of the Greek-speaking world, like Dionysius', would use the Olympiad.
David J. Cord
http://www.davidcord.com
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#36
Didn't the Eastern (Byzantine) Empire date by Annus Mundi, from the creation of the World on September 1st, 5509 BC?
M. Caecilius M.f. Maxentius - Max C.

Qui vincit non est victor nisi victus fatetur
- Q. Ennius, Annales, Frag. XXXI, 493

Secretary of the Ricciacus Frënn (http://www.ricciacus.lu/)
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#37
I believe that dating was not all that important in the ancient world. The date on a specific year was important - for the scheduling of festivals and sacrifices, or officially for government purposes, as in "Have you paid your taxes and tribute for this year?" but not the recording of sequential years. It just didn't impinge on most peoples' lives. Even historians don't seem to have cared much about what particular year an incident ocurred, much to the chagrin of modern historians. Meticulous dating of events is a modern concern, not an ancient one.
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#38
I'm not so sure about that. The fact that a major genre of Roman historical writing were the "Annales" suggests that the years were very important, even if dated by the consuls rather than by what we would, in the modern world, consider a sensible, sequential system. The sequential system was just more complicated.

The Libri Pontificales and the Annales Maximi may have dealt to a large extent with political and religious matters, but the fact that they were kept in the year-by-year fashion, the Roman legal concept of precedent, and some of their antiquarian research (whence the concept of A.U.C., I believe) also make it appear to me at least that dates were important.

I have no idea how any reader of, say, Livy was expected to remember quite when some obscure personality in the early days of the Republic was supposed to have been consul, but the lists were likely available (and sequential) and the upper class at least may have learned large swathes by heart; although tombstones of the ancient world hardly ever give a proper date, they tend to record to the day how old the deceased was, indicating that some kind of records and ideas of sequence existed.

As regards the Greeks, the Olympiads were not quite as exact as Years, but they were sequential, and used whenever it was thought important that someone from Thebes and someone from Syracuse were on the same page when reading a work composed in Athens...

Lack of accuracy is a problem, of course, but not necessarily because it was not a concern.
M. Caecilius M.f. Maxentius - Max C.

Qui vincit non est victor nisi victus fatetur
- Q. Ennius, Annales, Frag. XXXI, 493

Secretary of the Ricciacus Frënn (http://www.ricciacus.lu/)
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#39
Quote:
Epictetus post=297888 Wrote:Which dating system do you prefer? Before Christ and Anno Domini, or Before Common Era and Common Era?
BC and AD, obviously.
The other system is a recent invention of ideologically charged leftist or atheist deconstructivists. Probably because they disagree with the church, religion or whatever, they feel the need to make a label change.
I totally agree. If they had wanted to move away from the BC/AD system for political or religious reasons, they should have created their own system, not hijack the BC/Ad system.
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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#40
Quote:I often work with Muslims and Jews, some of them religious. They appreciate it that I use BCE and CE.
Why? As essentially it's the same system, based completely on a Christian dating system?
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#41
Quote:AUC is the only legitimate dating system!
Ah, but do you really believe that the dating is correct? :wink:
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#42
Quote:Well... growing up in eastern Germany I got to know v.u.z./u.z. (BCE/CE) as the officially enforced terminology of the regime, because it naturally was anti-religious. I do not have a confession myself but I do not want to use that terminology, especially as hard-core Nazis were also fond of avoiding Christian dating...
I must confess that I had to smile when I first read that in East German publications: VUZ (Vor Unserer Zeit) meaning 'Before Our Time', still using the Christian era system, and thereby suggestion that 'our time' began with Christ.. A big no-no to a Communist state of course! :lol:
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#43
Quote:
Gaius Julius Caesar post=297952 Wrote:I seriously doubt the ban of AD/BC will improve our standing in the eyess of different cultures.
Well, it does. If you show sensitivity, you will gain credit. People with whom you might seriously disagree, will give you a lot of additional credit if you avoid BC/AD.
Actually Jona, that sounds to me a bit like pressure. You could show sensitivity by using the Jewish dating system for Jewish history perhap? As I wrote before, what's the big difference in using different letters but a system entirely based on a Christian dating system? And should 'the other party' not have to show sensitivity in allowing you to use your own system, whether BC/AD, BCE/CE, or AUC or whatever?
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#44
Quote:On the other hand, it's self-criticism and the awareness that our own prejudices are not shared by others, that gives western civilization one of its competetive advantages. We're open to other ideas. That's practical if you want to debate them.
Although I agree with the essence of that statement, I think it's wrong to change something like your dating system 'superficially'. I totally disagree with some opinions voiced here that the BC/AD system is either 'impolite', 'offensive' or similarly negative. It's part of our culture. No more, no less.

To those who do not want to use it, don't. Create a another system, based on some non-religious, non-political yet changing event in history. Do NOT use the Christian system but pretend it's not a Christian system.

To all those who are somehow ofended by the BC/AD system but not the BCE/CE system I say: "please use your mind and think beyond a few letters".
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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#45
Quote:Although I agree with the essence of that statement, I think it's wrong to change something like your dating system 'superficially'. I totally disagree with some opinions voiced here that the BC/AD system is either 'impolite', 'offensive' or similarly negative. It's part of our culture. No more, no less.

To those who do not want to use it, don't. Create a another system, based on some non-religious, non-political yet changing event in history. Do NOT use the Christian system but pretend it's not a Christian system.

To all those who are somehow ofended by the BC/AD system but not the BCE/CE system I say: "please use your mind and think beyond a few letters".

Rant on.

I agree. Calling a cow a pig doesn't make it a pig. BC/AD and BCE/CE are the same thing, both with the same religious reference point. I always thought that the BCE/CE thing was a bunch of crapload designed to please a political-correctness crowd that seems to be offended by anything and everything. Same thing as calling someone who's deaf "hearing-impaired" or a dwarf "vertically-challenged"... Bullshit, if you ask me. It's like every word we use nowadays is offending, so we need to create another language.

I wouldn't care if the calendar system would be based on the birth of Mohammed or the death of Bob the super-alien, as long as a system allows everybody to put events on the same timescale. That people like it or not, religion is part of human history and of the fabric of human experience, so trying to get it out of history is revisionism in its worst form. Using BC/AD doesn't force-convert people, it just aknowledges the historical fact that a certain culture, of Christian tradition, used that system for a long time and this relic has become a standard. If this relic has to be rejected because of modern sensibilities, then what's the point of studying archaeology and history in the first place, since most of what we'll discover will be foreign to modern sensibilities?

The atheist defence/connotation of BCE/CE is also biased as by its definition, atheism is also a belief. So we would just replace one belief by another, which seems in vogue and more acceptable in the current era, but which might very well fall out of disfavour sometime in the future (when it would be replaced with a religion based on aliens, or whatever suits our fancy at that point).

And for those who want to label a statement with a belief, I'm agnostic.

Rant off.

Cheers!
Danny Deschenes
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