Talk:Anno Domini

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Former featured articleAnno Domini is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
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January 19, 2004Refreshing brilliant proseKept
December 4, 2007Featured article reviewDemoted
Current status: Former featured article

Anno Domini[edit]

It may be a good idea to let people know what 'Anno Domini' really means, which is 'Continual Dominion'; I assume it is referring to the dominion of the papacy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:14, 2 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed Domini is the genitive case of dominium, which is still in modern usage. Anno, Annum, Annual. Anno Domini. Year of Domination. This is not supposition, it is direct translation of the words. It is impossible to understand how 'year of our Lord' came from these two easily translatable words. From the actual Latin words we have, and the historical activity at that time, it is obvious this refers to Roman Rule. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:26, 12 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Assume as you wish. It doesn't. It means 'the year of our Lord'. (talk) 15:20, 7 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If that was the case, then you'd be right. Unfortunately it is not, and you, therefore, aren't. Anno, from annus, year, and Domini (from dominius, lord) mean, in nearest translation, in the year of our Lord. It has nothing to do with continual (jugis being the closest Latin equivalent)and only tangentially related to dominance, in that the root of dominion in English is related to the same root. However, the closer Latin word would be principatus.Jbower47 (talk) 18:38, 11 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why does everyone put "our" into the translation? Surely a better translation is "Year of the Lord", or even "Lord's year". 07:09, 10 April 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

An abbreviation like this from Latin, being based on initial letters and thus on the stem rather than the inflectional ending, should admit of varying inflections. Specifically, I question whether the "A." in "A.D." need always be decoded or construed as "Anno" (ablative singular, "in the year") and never as "Annorum" (genitive plural, "of the years"). "Annorum Domini" would fit better with the usage of "A.D." as a modifier for "century" (which in this context would then mean "set of one hundred [of Lord's years]"). The article currently suggests that such usages as "second century A.D." were only formerly frowned upon, but it includes no remark on whether or how such disdain might be justified, or why it is passé. SirDespard (talk) 16:30, 12 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This, like the article, is misleading. Latin has no definite article, so the translation "in the year of the Lord" is no more precise than "in the year of our Lord". The reason for employing "our" is straightforward; it relates to chronology as understood from a Christian context. I shouldn't have to say this, but the division between A.D. and B.C. is not universal. (e.g. in ancient Greece dating was done by Olympiads; at Ancient Rome by the foundation year of the city, or the year of relevant consuls; in Islam from the time of Muhammed etc. etc.). Thus the use of "our" is perfectly acceptable, because if we are using this dating system it relates to our own culture! Shouldn't need to add this as it is "bloody obvious"; but evidently not to some. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:32, 8 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've updated the translation to emphasize that the latin phrase contains no explicit articles, definite or indefinite (as Latin does not use them, except occasionally in medieval Latin, but not here). Hence "The" and "A" are interpretations (although accurate ones). This comes up in Greek as well. Think about the phrase "In the beginning was the word and the word was G-d" replacing all of the "the"s with "a"s. Also worth noting, the Latin nominative ending '-us' often turned into '-o" in medieval Latin, hence anno can still be seen as nominative instead of ablative or accusative. Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 17:35, 18 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And a reference to back up the nominative interpretation of anno: latin grammarIṣṭa Devatā (talk) 17:37, 18 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

B.C. = "before Christ"[edit]

Does this mean that this term was not used before the development of English? Editor2020 (talk) 02:23, 17 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Perhaps something in Latin? Editor2020 (talk) 02:46, 17 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the "Popularization" section of the article it's explained that Bede, in 731, used the phrase "ante vero incarnationis dominicae tempus anno sexagesimo" (in fact in the 60th year before the time of the Lord's incarnation). Jc3s5h (talk) 03:07, 17 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks! Editor2020 (talk) 02:06, 18 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good question. The quote from Bede suggests that back then the term "B.C." may not have been used. Is there any example of how early "B.C." was used? I am not formally trained in Latin, but it seems to me that "before Christ" would be, in Latin, "ante [however "Christ" is spelled in Latin]. I can't find a Latin word which means "before", so I have no idea what the answer would be.Terry Thorgaard (talk) 13:24, 11 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

JimWae and I discussed the first use of "before Christ" in 2008 in the talk archives, see First use of "before Christ" in English?. There I uploaded the first pages of James Ussher's 1650 Latin version Annales Veteris Testamenti (wherein he famously stated that the world was created in 4004 BC) and the postmortem 1658 English translation Annals of the World (not translated by Ussher). Ussher used the Latin phrase "Anno ante æram Christianam" (in the year before the Christian Era) which was translated into English somewhat freely as "The year before Christ". However, this translation did not use the abbreviation "BC". I opined that "before Christ" must have been used earlier because of this free translation. The modern translation The Annals of the World (2003) does use "BC". The article already states "In 1627, the French Jesuit theologian Denis Pétau (Dionysius Petavius in Latin), with his work De doctrina temporum, popularized the usage ante Christum (Latin for "Before Christ") to mark years prior to AD." — Joe Kress (talk) 04:49, 12 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removed citations[edit]

I didn’t have time to post when I did it (from a different location), but I’ve removed these refs for AD[1][2] and BC[3][4][5] because it seemed completely unnecessary to cite an entirely uncontentious abbreviation in the opening sentence. — (talk) 01:12, 24 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ "anno Domini". Collins English Dictionary.
  2. ^ "anno Domini". American Heritage Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  3. ^ "BC". Collins English Dictionary.
  4. ^ "before Christ". American Heritage Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  5. ^ "BC". Merriam Webster Online Dictionary.

Material copied to another article[edit]

To resolve an obvious omission at Date of birth of Jesus, I have copied the text of Anno Domini#History to that article. So formally,
--𝕁𝕄𝔽 (talk) 11:29, 8 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Anno reparatae salutis humanae" listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]

Information.svg An editor has identified a potential problem with the redirect Anno reparatae salutis humanae and has thus listed it for discussion. This discussion will occur at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2022 November 27#Anno reparatae salutis humanae until a consensus is reached, and readers of this page are welcome to contribute to the discussion. MB 05:45, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]