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The abbreviation is also widely used after the number of a century or millennium, as in "fourth century AD" or "second millennium AD" (although conservative usage formerly rejected such expressions).
In a sixth-century treatise on the calculation of Easter, Dionysius 'the Little' first proposed to count from the birth of Christ to avoid honouring the hated persecutor Diocletian.
His idea was popularised in England by the Venerable Bede, who added the notion of counting backwards for dates 'Before Christ'.
Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries.
From the standpoint of anthropology and sociology, dating is linked with other institutions such as marriage and the family which have also been changing rapidly and which have been subject to many forces, including advances in technology and medicine.
Persians, Mayans, Jains, even Freemasons, all have their own eras.
But it is the Christian era, counting 'the years of the Lord' from the birth of Christ, that is now ubiquitous in business, politics and historical writing.For decades, it has been the unofficial global standard, adopted in the pragmatic interests of international communication, transportation, and commercial integration, and recognized by international institutions such as the United Nations.However, BC is placed after the year number (for example: AD 2017, but 68 BC), which also preserves syntactic order.With the use of modern technology, people can date via telephone or computer or meet in person.This term may also refer to two or more people who have already decided they share romantic or sexual feelings toward each other.In that system, it is 2009 - but should one say ad 2009 or, as is increasingly common among scholars, 2009 CE - 2009 of the 'Common Era'?