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The century (also: Centennium , Centennium , or hectode from Greek ἑκατόν hekatón "hundred") is the time span of one hundred years . Ten centuries make up a millennium . A century begins on January 1st of the year 1 - and ends on December 31st of the year 100. It is named after the hundreds digits of the previous year. Example: the 20th century includes the years from 1901 to 2000.


A century begins on January 1st of the year 1 - and ends on December 31st of the year 100. It is named after the hundreds digits of the previous year.

Period century
2001– 21 00 21st century
1901- 20 00 20th century
1801 19 00 19th century
1701- 18 00 18th century

According to the Christian calendar , which begins with the year "1" , a century always includes the hundred years that end with the corresponding full year . The last year of a century is also known as the secular year, the year of which is divisible by 100.

Example: the 20th century includes the years from 1901 to 2000.

Transition v. Chr . to AD

The year before the year 1 AD is the year 0 of the same post-Christian standard. It is also the year 1 BC. Chr. That means 1000 BC. BC can also be expressed as -999 AD . Or, of course, vice versa, 1000 AD corresponds to −999 BC. Chr.

To avoid confusion and confusion, there is a general convention to always use the standard (before or after Christ) that expresses the positive year number . By avoiding the negative year numbers , the year numbers 0 of any scale are avoided at the same time , which led to the incorrect view that there was no year zero or that there was not.

A year zero does not therefore exist for the calendar calculation.


There are always misunderstandings and differences of opinion about naming the centuries:

“It is true that people argue about whether the new century began on yesterday's New Year or will begin on the next New Year; Scholars, writers, poets and thinkers continue the struggle for the beginning of the century; But the state as well as the church authorities decreed that the beginning of the new century of our era should be celebrated on January 1st, 1900, and therefore the turn of the century was celebrated everywhere in the German Empire with speeches and congratulations under the ringing of bells and the thunder of the guns. "

Also at the meeting of the " Brandenburgia ", Society for Local Studies of the Province of Brandenburg in Berlin , attention was paid to correct counting:

“Before the lectures began, the chairman said, Go. Government Councilor Friedel presented various volumes of the Vossische and Spenersche Zeitung from 1800 and 1801 to show that the beginning of the 19th century was celebrated in 1801, that is, since the beginning of the century was officially set to 1900 this time is, from the 19th century only 99 years have passed. "

Year 2000

On the night of 31 December 1999 to 1 January 2000 the world with a huge Millennium celebrations , the new "Millennium" celebrated. The celebration should actually have taken place 1 year later, i.e. in the night from December 31, 2000 to January 1, 2001.

For the transition from December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000, a major catastrophe in electronic data processing with massive effects on public life and the economy was feared and predicted. The disaster scenario was given its own name with the “ Year 2000 problem ” or “Y2K bug”. Preventive measures were estimated to be "up to $ 600 billion". The feared damage has largely not occurred.


Century is the German term for the Latin Centennium (also: German Zentennium or hectode from Greek ἑκατόν hekatón "hundred").

Every centuries in Wikipedia

There is a series of articles on the centuries in Wikipedia from the 40th century BC. BC to the 22nd century.

Navigation table for centuries
A.D. Millennia → centuries →
3rd (2001-3000) 21st century 22nd century
2. (1001-2000) 11th century 12th century 13th century 14th century 15th century 16th century 17th century 18th century 19th century 20th century
1. ( 0001–1000) 01st century 02nd century 03rd century 04th century 05th century 06th century 07th century 08th century 09th century 10th century
v. Chr. Millennia ← Centuries ←
1. (1000– 0001) 10th century 09th century 08th century 07th century 06th century 05th century 04th century 03rd century 02nd century 01st century
2. (2000-1001) 20th century 19th century 18th century 17th century 16th century 15th century 14th century 13th century 12th century 11th century
3. (3000-2001) 30th century 29th century 28th century 27th century 26th century 25th century 24th century 23rd century 22nd century 21st century
4. (4000-3001) 40th century 39th century 38th century 37th century 36th century 35th century 34th century 33rd century 32nd century 31st century

Special feature in Italian

In Italian, when specifying the century of the second millennium from the 13th century, it should be noted that the century is not always given with the ordinal number (ordinal number), but with the relevant cardinal number (base number), omitting the millennium.


  • il Due cento (1 2 01-1300) "the 13th century",
  • il Tre cento (1 3 01–1400) "the 14th century",
  • il Quattro cento (1 4 01–1500) "the 15th century",
  • il Cinque cento (1 5 01–1600) "the 16th century",
  • il Sei cento (1 6 01–1700) "the 17th century",
  • il Sette cento (1 7 01–1800) "the 18th century",
  • l ' Otto cento (1 8 01–1900) "the 19th century",
  • il Nove cento (1 9 01–2000) “the 20th century”.

This count is used primarily in art history and literary history . In addition, there is the indication of the centuries with the ordinal numbers: l'undicesimo secolo "the 11th century", il quindicesimo secolo (abbreviation: il XV secolo), "the 15th century".

The word century is used as a determinant to denote a special event that significantly exceeds the normal or statistical mean, for example: a flood of the century , a summer of the century , an event of the century.

Related topics

Web links

Wiktionary: Century  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The 21st Century and the 3rd Millennium . “Years of the Gregorian calendar, which is currently in use today, are counted from AD 1. Thus, the 1st century comprised the years AD 1 through AD 100. The second century began with AD 101 and continued through AD 200. By extrapolation we find that the 20th century comprises the years AD 1901-2000. Therefore, the 21st century began with 1 January 2001 and will continue through 31 December 2100. "
  2. ^ Vossische Zeitung , January 2, 1900, p. 1
  3. The bear. Illustrated weekly for history and modern life , 26th year, No. 6, p. 108
  4. according to Gartner in grin.com/de/e-book/96606/das-jahr2000-problem