The abbreviation v. Chr. Means 'before Christ'. In the calendar in which the presumed year of Jesus Christ's birth is used as the reference year, it is used to identify the year of those years prior to this reference year (example: “Octavian received the title Augustus from the Roman Senate in 27 BC . "). Similarly, AD serves to identify the year numbers of the reference year (1 AD) and all subsequent years. The count of the years BC Chr. And AD each start with one. The year zero does not exist in the calendar. The change from the year 1 B.C. Chr. To the year 1 AD is called the turning point . The designation with AD is optional and is only used if it is not clear from the context whether the year mentioned is before or after the turn of the ages (example: "Octavian was from 31 BC to 14 AD. Sole ruler of the Roman Empire ”, but:“ Today we are writing the year 2020 ”).
Synonymous with v. Chr. Is the abbreviation a. AD , which stands for the Latin ante Christum natum ('before the birth of Christ'). Synonymous with n. Chr. Is Latin anno Domini (in the year of the Lord ', abbreviated AD ), also anno Domini nostri Jesus Christ (in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ') or Anno Salutis (in the year of salvation 'or' in the year of redemption ', abbreviated AS ).
The abbreviations v. u. Z. ('before our era') and u. Z. ('our era'), also n. U. Z. (“according to our calendar”) are used for years of the same calendar when the reference to Jesus Christ is to be hidden. They were mainly used in the GDR . Further abbreviations that should put the Christian reference in the background are v. d. Z. or n. D. Z. (before / after the calendar or before / after the turning point).
Overview of abbreviations and names
|Years before the birth of Christ||Years after the birth of Christ|
|abbreviation||written out form||abbreviation||written out form|
|v. BC (rare: BC, BC)||before Christ (before Christ, before Christ's birth)||AD (rare: AD, AD)||after Christ (after Christ, after Christ's birth)|
|v. Chr. Born, BC Chr. G.||B.C.||AD Born, AD G.||A.D|
|v. u. Z.||before our era||n. u. Z.||according to our era|
|u. Z.||our era|
|before our time||our time|
|v. d. Z.||before the calendar||n. d. Z.||according to the era|
|before the turning point||after the turning point|
|v. d. G. Z.||before the ordinary calendar||(n.) d. G. Z.||(according to) the usual calendar|
|a. Chr., A. Ch., A. C., A. C., AC||ante Christum (before Christ)||p. Chr., P. Ch., P. C.||post christum (after christ)|
|a. Chr. N., A. Ch. N., A. C. n., ACn, aCn.||ante Christum natum||p. Chr. N., P. Ch. N., P. C. n., P. C. n., PCn.||post christum natum|
|on. Chr., A. Chr., A. C., A. C., AC||anno Christi (in the year of Christ)|
|on. Dni., At. Dom., AD, A.D., AD||anno Domini (in the year of the Lord *)|
|A. O. R., loc. o. r.||anno orbis redempti / redemti (in the year of the redemption of the world)|
|A. S.||Anno Salutis (in the year of salvation)|
|ante aer. vulg.||ante aeram vulgarem||aer. vulg.||aerae vulgaris|
|ante aer. comm.||ante aeram communem||aer. comm.||aerae communis|
|A. C., AC (AC)||anno Christi
(English: in the year of Christ)
|A. C., AC (AC)||ante Christum
|A. D., AD (AD)||anno Domini
(in the year of the / our Lord)
|B. C., BC, b. c.||before Christ
|A. D., AD, loc. d.|
|BCE, BCE||before [the] Christian Era
(before [the] Christian era)
|C. E., CE||Christian Era
([the] Christian era)
|before [the] Common Era
(before [the] ordinary / usual era)
([the] common era)
|before [the] Current Era
(before [the] enpresenting era)
(the) Current Era
|VE||Vulgar Era (= common era)|
|ev, EV||Era Vulgaris (= common era, pseudo-Latin for "according to the usual calendar")|
|av. J.-C., av. JC||avant Jésus-Christ
(before Jesus Christ)
|apr. J.-C., ap. J.-C., ap JC||après Jésus-Christ
(after Jesus Christ)
|AEC, av. É. c.||avant l'ère commune
(before the ordinary / usual era)
|EC, è.c.||ère commune
(common / common era)
|avant l'ère chrétienne
(before the Christian era)
|av. n.è.||avant notre ère
(before our era)
|de n.è.||de notre ère
|AEV, av. E. v.||avant l'ère vulgaire
(before the common era)
|EV, e. v.||ère vulgaire
(= common era)
|avant l'ère actuelle
(before the current era)
(= current era)
Abbreviations that can be misunderstood and which can mean both before and after the birth of Christ are in italics . Swell:
The Christian context: pros and cons
Arguments for terms with a Christian reference
- The designation v./n. Chr. Is common and customary for a long time. As a rule, those who use them only follow general practices. A certain attitude towards Christianity cannot be derived from this.
- The designation v./n. Chr. Refers to the historical origin of this year count and is the historically more appropriate formulation.
- In the year 1 AD there was no historically traceable event that would justify the beginning of a universal calendar. The term before / after the turn of the ages or before / after the calendar only suggests a universal character that is independent of Christian origin;
- The formulation "before / (after) our time (calculation)" presupposes, internationally and ethnically, that the other person uses the same calculation of time, which, however , can be taken for granted in western cultures .
- The expression “according to our time calculation” can also be understood as “according to our time calculation”, which would cause additional confusion, since the years before Christ are also counted “according to our time calculation”. The same problem would exist with "before / after the calculation of time".
Arguments against designations with a Christian reference
- The reference point of the Christian calendar is incorrect:
- If one regards the biblical accounts of Jesus of Nazareth as reliable sources, he could be in the years 7 to 4 BC. B.C., because according to the Gospels his birth fell during the term of office of Herod the Great .
- The Gospel of Luke, on the other hand, ties the time of his birth to the census at the time of the Syrian governor Quirinius in the year 7 AD. ( Luke 2: 1–2 EU ).
- The designation v. d. Z., however, has a more neutral reference to religions than n./u. BC and is therefore appropriate to the plural relationships in a secular , free-democratic constitutional state .
Use of terms without Christian reference
- In the German literature of the various religions, especially Judaism , v. d. Z. the common designation of times before the turning point . In the German Democratic Republic were v. u. Z. and (n.) U. Z. the standard formulation.
- The Jewish era counts the years Anno Mundi , i.e. from the creation of the world . As early as the 19th century, however, German Jews used the phrase “before the usual calendar” because it prevented the recognition of Jesus as the Messiah. Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786), who wanted to promote the integration of Jews into German society, advised against it; the Jews of Berlin retained the use of "before / after the calendar" anyway.
- In the Eastern Churches , too, the world era Annus Mundi instead of Anno Domini was common for many centuries . It was not until 1700 that Russia became the last state to replace the Byzantine era with the year counting from the birth of Christ.
- The old church did not yet have its own calendar, but used the year counts customary at the time, such as B. the Seleucid era , ab urbe condita or the Olympics . One of them, the era of Diocletian , is still used by the Coptic Church as the era of the martyrs ( Anno Martyrum ) .
- On the Iberian Peninsula and at times also in southern France , the era was the usual year counting in the Middle Ages . It begins in 38 BC. And was used in some regions until the 15th century. It is not known which event it relates to.
- In the course of the French Revolution , the Christian era was replaced by the French Revolutionary Calendar in what was then France . The Gregorian calendar and the associated Christian calendar were disparagingly referred to as ère vulgaire (e. V.), Which means “common era”.
- In today's French- speaking countries, the problem of the designation is partly circumvented by adding a negative sign to the years before the beginning of the Christian era . Since the Christian calendar does not know a year zero - to 1 BC. BC follows 1 AD - there is a risk of calculation errors when converting to signed calendars.
- The term era vulgaris is also used in the Thelema religion to separate its own calendar from the Christian one.
- In contrast to the Christian calendar , the Buddhist calendar takes the year of death of its founder (544 BC) as its starting point. However, this is also not correct. According to current knowledge, Siddhartha Gautama actually died around 483 BC. Chr.
- In 1993 Cesare Emiliani proposed the Human or Holocene Era (English Human Era or Holocene Era , HE ) as the new era. The epoch is set to the beginning of the Holocene . The year 1 HE corresponds to the year 10000 BC. And the year zero HE the year 10001 BC The counting makes it easier to record historical events because the year counting is always in ascending order. Since it begins before all other times, it can also be used as a comparison and conversion scale.
Normalization of dates
In the Federal Republic of Germany , Austria and Switzerland , the DIN 1355 standard used to apply . BC and AD mandatory. The date format is now defined in the European standard EN 28601 from 1992. The standard derived from ISO 8601 from 1988 is valid without restriction for Germany and Austria. It does not deal with a dating before or after Christ.
- fact, Jesus Christ was probably born between 7 and 4 BC. Born in BC, see: Eduard Lohse, Anton Vögtle: Geschichte des Urchristentums. In: Thomas Kaufmann, Raymund Kottje, Bernd Moeller, Hubert Wolf (eds.): Ecumenical Church History 01: From the Beginnings to the Middle Ages. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2006, ISBN 3-534-15804-0 , p. 7.
- German and Latin abbreviations at duden.de , Wissen.de and in Pierer's Universal-Lexikon ( at zeno.org ), as well as in the articles on Latin letters in Meyer's Large Konversations-Lexikon 6th edition ( at zeno.org ), for “Aerae vulgaris” etc. Examples here , for “aerae communis” etc. here , here and here . English abbreviations at Dictionary.com .
- Ludwig Philippson (ed.): Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums: An impartial organ for all Jewish interests in terms of politics, religion, literature, history, linguistics and fiction. II. Year, No. 60. Leipzig, May 19, 1838, p. 241. ( at books.google )
- accesstoinsight.org: Theravada Buddhism A Chronology (also given in 480 BC)
- See DIN-Taschenbuch 102 from 1989.