CE is the abbreviation for "Common Era," which is a widely accepted alternative term for the Christian dating system of Anno Domini (AD). It denotes the period of time beginning with the birth of Jesus Christ, as traditionally believed, and is widely used in reference to historical events and dates. CE is used to indicate years after the supposed birth of Jesus, just like AD, but is preferred by those who seek a more inclusive and secular terminology.
The term "CE" is often used as a contemporary dating method in academia, publications, and official documents. It aims to offer a neutral and religiously unbiased alternative to the traditional AD, which primarily refers to the time period based on the Christian faith. CE can be seen as a way to promote cultural diversity, respect different religious beliefs, and encourage a more comprehensive understanding of history.
The adoption of CE as a widely recognized system for reckoning years embraces a more global perspective, acknowledging the presence and contributions of numerous cultures and religions throughout history. It allows for a greater level of inclusivity and avoids favoring any particular religious or cultural group. CE is commonly used in conjunction with BCE (Before Common Era) when referring to dates prior to the supposed birth of Jesus, providing a comprehensive and standardized timeline for historical events.
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The word "ce" is a French pronoun which means "this" or "that" in English. Its etymology can be traced back to the Latin adverb "eccum", which means "look" or "there". Over time, "eccum" evolved into "ecce" in Vulgar Latin and eventually into "ce" in Old French. It has been used in French since the 12th century and has remained in usage throughout the centuries.