Measuring Time - Laurens County Schools

World History
East Laurens High School
Terri Kerr, Instructor
Why do we measure
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
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
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??
 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.
The Chinese measure time from 2637
B.C.E. during the reign of Emperor
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)
 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.
 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.

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