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(Before Christ) have long been used by archaeologists in Europe and the Americas; their reference point is the birth of Christ. (Before Current Era) are sometimes used instead of A. So, instead of 50 BC, a Roman would have said January, and there was a new pair every year, so the names of the consuls gave a year its own individual identity.Everyone would have known who the two consuls were in that year, so in the short-term, it was easy to use.The system was devised when Rome was a Republic, and the consuls were elected in pairs and changed annually to avoid either becoming too powerful.

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What interested me was the comments people had posted about it.

These were all pretty favourable; except that a couple of them criticised us for using the labels “BC” and “AD” instead of “BCE” and “CE” (BCE stands for “Before the Common Era”, while CE stands for “Common Era”).

Well, the reason we use BC and AD is that our Time Map of World History was originally aimed at the British schools market, and our National Curriculum hasn’t heard of BCE and CE.

I doubt whether most British history teachers have either.

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