The New Student's Reference Work/Christian Era
Christian Era, the great era, now almost universally accepted, especially in Christian countries, for the computation of time. It is commonly held to correspond to the date of the birth of Christ; but this is scarcely accurate, since that epochal event took place four years before the era now accepted as the commencement of the new epoch in reckoning time. The centuries before the advent of Christ are marked B. C. (before Christ); those that follow are marked A. D. (anno Domini). The era is computed from Jan. 1 in the 4th year of the 194th Olympiad; the 753d from the foundation of Rome; and the 4,714th of the Julian period. The new epoch was introduced in Italy in the 16th century, and came into use in England some centuries later.