World History East Laurens High School Terri Kerr, Instructor Why do we measure time? To place events in the order in which they occurred and then try to establish patterns and themes over periods of time. How Do We Measure Time? Depends on where you live and what your religion is!! The Measurement of Time The dating system used in the Western hemisphere is based on Jesus’ birth occurring in the year 1. B.C. stands for ‘before Christ’ and A.D. stands for anno Domini (in the year of the Lord). This division was created by men who were Christian historians as evidenced by the B.C. and A.D. names. The first century of measured time is from 1 to 100 A.D.; therefore, the century number is always one ahead of the year number. EX: We are in the 21st century, but the year is 2011. The Measurement of Time Because the Western method of measuring time is Christianoriented, historians have devised new designations for time – B.C.E. and C.E. B.C.E. stands for ‘before common era” and C.E. stands for “common era.” This is a measurement of time that you will often see in your textbook and other readings. Western Timeline of History B.C. or B.C.E. A.D. or C.E. Note: There is no ‘zero’ on the timeline! It goes from 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. But what if I am not Western or Christian? What year would I be celebrating?? Jewish The Jews measure time from the ascribed beginning of creation. The creation described in Genesis was the year 1. Therefore, if you were Jewish, this would be the year 5774. However, the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) will be celebrated in September and then the Jewish calendar year will be 5775. Chinese The Chinese measure time from 2637 B.C.E. during the reign of Emperor Huangdi. This is the year 4712 in China. It is the year of the horse. Famous People born in the Year of the Horse Louisa May Alcott, Frederic Chopin, Davy Crockett, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Sandra Day O'Connor, Rembrandt, Teddy Roosevelt, Sir Isaac Newton, Barbara Streisand, Cindy Crawford, Cynthia Nixon, Denzel Washington, Harrison Ford, Jason Biggs, Jackie Chan, Jerry Seinfeld, John Travolta, Leonard Bernstein, Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, Rembrandt, Ashton Kutcher, Emma Watson, Josh Hartnett, Katie Holmes, Kristen Stewart, Kobe Bryant, Genghis Khan, Emperor Kangxi and Yongzheng of China’s Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) Muslim Muslims measure time from the journey of Muhammad and his followers to Madinah, known as the Hijrah , in 622 A.D. This became year 1on the Muslim calendar. Therefore, this is year 1435 on the Muslim calendar. Since their calendar is based on the lunar year of 354 days, they gain years more quickly than we do. Note: Most countries in the world now use the Western calendar for business and political purposes and their own religious or ethnic calendars for other purposes such as holiday celebrations.