Friday, December 28, 2007

What Do You Use: B.C./B.C.E.; A.D./C.E.?

Denis Feeney in Caesar's Calendar writes that:

It is a practically impossible mental exercise for readers of this book to
imagine maneuvering themselves around historical time without the
universalizing, supranational, and cross-cultural numerical axis of the dates B.C. and A.D., or B.C.E. and C.E. These numerical dates seem to be written in nature, but they are based in a Christian era of year counting whose contingency and ideological significance are almost invisible to virtually every European or American, except when we hesitate over whether to say B.C. or B.C.E.

This quote got me thinking. In your scholarship/reckoning which dating reference do you prefer and why?


Allan R. Bevere said...


Email me your mailing address so I can send you a copy of my monograph (

James F. McGrath said...

I use BCE, since otherwise I end up saying that Jesus was probably born 6 years before Christ! :)