Anno Domini

Anno Domini means “year of the Lord”. It is abbreviated as “AD” and is equivalent to “CE”.

One variation of AD is APV, which can be found on the tomb of Machiavelli and represents “ab partu Virginis” (from the birthing of the Virgin).[3, p.156]

The dating of Christ’s birth has ranged from 12 BC to 6 AD.[4, p.337]


C6th CE: Dionysius Exiguus calculated the birth of Jesus Christ.[1, p.10]

“In fact, it was afterwards discovered that Dionysius had miscalculated the first date in his era, and chronologers are agreed that the Advent should have been fixed as falling on or about October the fifth year B.C.”
James Cecil Macdonald (1897)[2, p.18]

C7th: Dionysius’ dating had spread to Italy and France.[2, p.19]

C8th: Venerable Bede established Anno Domini dating.[1,p.10] Bede also established “anno ante incarnationem dominicam” (in the year before the Lord’s Incarnation).[3, p.156]

879: “It is highly probable that Charles III. of Germany was the first to use the phrase (Year Of Our Lord) in Western Europe, which he did in an edict…”[2, p.46]

C9th: Dionysius’ dating had spread to Germany and possibly Italy.[2, p.19]



[1] – Mondschein, Ken, and Neal Stephenson. On Time: a History of Western Timekeeping. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020. Accessed Jan. 2021.

[2] – James Cecil Macdonald. “Chronologies and Calendars” (London, 1897). Accessed Jan. 2021.

[3] – Hannah, Robert. Greek and Roman Calendars: Constructions of Time in the Classical World. Illustrated, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2005. Accessed 10 Feb. 2021.

[4] – Jenkins, R. M. The Star of Bethlehem and the comet of AD 66. Accessed 7 Jun. 2021.

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