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Dionysius Exiguus invented BC and AD

BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini) was invented in the 6th century AD. This method was invented by Dionysius Exiguus, born sometime after 500 AD in Italy.

This came about while he was trying to establish the exact day of Easter. He began his calculation at 753 AUC (ab urbe condita) the years passed since the foundation of the city of Rome, which he believed to be the year of the birth of Jesus Christ from the accounts in the New Testament.

He also used the Victorian period and the Metonic 19 year cycle, and the solar cycle of 28 years which amounted to 28 x 19 equals 532 years. Dionysius took the year now called AD 532 as the first year of the new Great Paschal (Passover) and designated 1 BC. In the 6th century it was the general belief that this was the year of Jesus Christ's birth. Chronologers note that no year Zero was used between 1 BC and 1 AD. That results in a century running from 1 through 100 and the next from 101 through 200, a millennium from 1 through 1000 and the next from 1001 through 2000, and so forth.

Thus, 2000 is the last year of the 20th century and 2001 will be the first year of the 21st century. When the Gregorian calendar firmly established January 1 as the beginning of the year, it was widely referred to as the New Style calendar, with the Julian called the Old Style calendar. In Britain which was using the Julian calendar, the year had first begun on December 25 and then from the 14th century on, the year began on March 25.

  • The Gregorian & Julian Calendar

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    Calendar a History

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