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Although Anno Domini was in widespread use by the 9th century, the term "Before Christ" (or its equivalent) did not become common until much later.Bede the Venerable used the expression "anno igitur ante incarnationem Dominicam" (so in the year before the Incarnation of the Lord) twice.but this date had already passed in the time of Dionysius.The Anglo-Saxon historian the Venerable Bede, who was familiar with the work of Dionysius Exiguus, used Anno Domini dating in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed in 731.This calendar era is based on the traditionally reckoned year of the conception or birth of Jesus of Nazareth, with AD counting years from the start of this epoch, and BC denoting years before the start of the era.There is no year zero in this scheme, so the year AD 1 immediately follows the year 1 BC.When the reckoning from Jesus' incarnation began replacing the previous dating systems in western Europe, various people chose different Christian feast days to begin the year: Christmas, Annunciation, or Easter.
The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world today.His system was to replace the Diocletian era that had been used in an old Easter table because he did not wish to continue the memory of a tyrant who persecuted Christians.The last year of the old table, Diocletian 247, was immediately followed by the first year of his table, AD 532.The old Anno Mundi calendar theoretically commenced with the creation of the world based on information in the Old Testament.It was believed that, based on the Anno Mundi calendar, Jesus was born in the year 5500 (or 5500 years after the world was created) with the year 6000 of the Anno Mundi calendar marking the end of the world.
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According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, popes continued to date documents according to regnal years for some time, but usage of AD gradually became more common in Roman Catholic countries from the 11th to the 14th centuries.