Mental Floss

From the Archives: Oh, Jesus


Today's archival tidbit comes from Condensed Knowledge:

On the one hand you've got the BC and AD camp, on the other you've got BCE and CE. What's the difference? As a young John Lennon once said about his flowing hair, "It's just fashion." If you grew up with BC and AD and now find yourself dealing with BCE and CE, remember that academic styles change. Late in the 20th century, some historians decided that BC and AD wouldn't do anymore. Those initials go back to Dionysus Exiguus (Denny the Little), who invented the modern calendar in 525 (AD or CE). As a Christian abbot, he keyed everything to Jesus's birth"¦ but he miscalculated. Most scholars now think that Jesus was born between 4 and 6 BCE.