Correct interpretation of ''AD''

bearded

Senior Member
Hello everyone

I refer to a thread in the Latin forum:
Dal 1982 a guardia della Capitale.

There is a controversial interpretation of the abbreviation 'AD' (Latin ''Anno Domini'' = in the year of the Lord). My point is that it is equivalent to ''After Christ'', a time that must be measured/counted starting from Christ's (presumed) birth date. An authoritative English native speaker claims, on the contrary, that ''after Christ'' means ''from Christ's (presumed) death date'', since in English ''after someone'' should mean after the person has disappeared/died.

I would like to know which is the correct and common interpretation of 'AD' (an abbreviation English adopted from Latin), and whether it is the same as ''after Christ''.
Thank you in advance for all replies.
 
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Indeed. Scholarly opinion puts Jesus's birth between 6 BC and 1 BC and his crucifixion between AD 30 and AD 36.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Agreed. And we don’t say “after Christ” — at least I’ve never heard or read that.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    AE (US English)
    There is no 30-year gap between BC dates and AD dates. They both count from the same year.

    the abbreviation 'AD' (Latin ''Anno Domini'' = in the year of the Lord)
    This does not say "after Christ". That would be "in the year after the Lord" in Latin, with some other abbreviation.

    Of makes sense. When Jesus was 10, that was the 10th year of Jesus' life, or 10 AD. According to some Christian traditions, Jesus did not die. If that's the case, then the year 2000 was the 2000th year of his life.
     
    Last edited:

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Sorry, where do you see evidence for the use of “after Christ”? I just read through the thread and I don’t see any.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    There is no 30-year gap between BC dates and AD dates. They both count from the same year.
    It is clear that both calendars are meant to count from Christ's birth, which, if the correct year was chosen (unlikely), would be in 1 AD. The year that Christ was born has to be a "year of our Lord", and the year before that has to be "before Christ".

    They both count from the same year (1 AD), but in the BC calendar, this forms a theoretical "year 0", which the AD calendar has no need of.
    Other members seem to know ''after Christ'':
    AD or BC
    I agree with elroy. I see no suggestion that anyone equates "AD" with "after Christ". The usual English translation is "the year of our Lord".
     
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