Is this a rock or not? I Would like to know

Stephen C. Carlson scarlson at
Sun Feb 18 18:05:59 EST 2001

At 11:40 AM 2/19/01 +1300, Bill Rea wrote:
>Of course, one could always ask -- "Common" to whom? Dressing up a
>Christian dating system with "neutral" language doesn't change its
>Christian nature, so why do the CE/BCE thing at all? If someone is
>going to be offended by the date 2001 A.D., then they should be equally
>offended by 2001 anything. 

My favorite convention, merely because I really prefer compactness,
is that of Brooks & Brooks, THE ORIGINAL ANALECTS, in which dates
in our current era (CE, AD) are rendered as normal integers, and
dates before our current era (BCE, BC) are rendered with a leading
zero, much like the notation for uncial manuscripts.  Thus, Rome

was founded in 0753 and fell in 476.

Another possibility mentioned here is to use +/-, but my only
complaint that is there is no year 0, so the mathematics implied
by + and - does not work across the divide.  I.e. the number of
years between +476 and -753 is really 476 - (-753) - 1.

Stephen Carlson
Stephen C. Carlson                        mailto:scarlson at
Synoptic Problem Home Page
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words."  Shujing 2.35

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