Today I have a post up at English Historical Fiction Authors entitled "Anno Domini and the Venerable Bede."
Over twenty centuries of history have this phrase appended to them, but it has only been fifteen centuries since the system of dating was first devised, and only twelve centuries since the work of the Venerable Bede made it common usage in the Western world.
The Romans used the founding of Rome by the legendary figure Romulus, the year we now know as 753 B.C., as year one of their dating system. As the Roman Empire spread, this system of ordering time spread with it. If Rome still ruled the world, the date on this blog post would be the year 2765 ab urbe condita (and these paragraphs would probably be written in Latin). But Rome went the way of the tyrannosaurus rex, and somewhere in that muddle we know as the Middle Ages, someone decided that time needed to be re-ordered. Someone decided that the founding of a little city on the banks of the Tiber would no longer be the focal point of history.... (read more)