B.C. or A.D.? That is the Question
Reading Time Lines
• Why the skill matters?
– Easy way to keep track of when events happen.
– A timeline is a diagram that shows when things
took place in a given period of time.
– Single-tier timelines contain a single line with
dates and events in chronological order.
Understanding B.C. and A.D.
• B.C.
• A.D.
• B.C.E.
• C.E.
Before Christ
Anno Domini, “In the year of the
Before the Common Era
In the Common Era
Understanding B.C. and A.D.
• Dates are based on when it is believed Jesus
Christ was born.
• These dates are divided into 2 groups
B.C./B.C.E. and A.D/C.E.
Dates on a Timeline
• B.C. and B.C.E. dates go from higher numbers
(500 B.C. or B.C.E.) to lower numbers (200 B.C. or
• A.D. and C.E. dates go from lower numbers (100
A.D. or C.E.) to higher numbers (2001 A.D. or C.E.)
500 BC
375 BC
250 BC
125 BC
508 AD
B.C. or B.C.E
(#’s decrease as time passes)
A.D. or C.E.
(#’s increase as time passes)
Birth of Jesus
Interpreting a Timeline
• Which year is closer to the present or today?
– 25 B.C., 2000 B.C., 500 B.C.E., 125 B.C.E.
– 2012 B.C.E., 2000 C.E., 1500 B.C.E., 2010 C.E.
• How many years are between the dates
– 375 B.C. and 125 B.C.
– 125 B.C. and 500 A.D.
– 250 B.C.E. and 1500 C.E.
Multiple-Tier Timelines
• A multiple-tier timeline compares or looking at
events that occur in 2 places or based on 2
themes at once.
• Shows more than one line of events occurring
within the same time period.
Interpreting Multiple-Tier Timelines
• What is the title of the timeline?
• How many years are covered in B.C.? A.D.?
• How many years TOTAL does the timeline cover?

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