Abbreviations dating ad
In any event, Easter was/is the most important holy day of the Christian tradition, and it was decided at the First Council of Nicaea (AD 325) that it should occur each year on the Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox.
In order to forecast when exactly the holiday fell each year, Easter tables were created.
Shortly after the , Anno Domini was used officially under the reign of the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne (AD 742-814) and in the 11th century, it was adopted for official use by the Roman Catholic Church. This started in the 17th century, with the advent of the term Vulgar Era; this wasn’t because people considered it to be an age when everyone was coarse or rude, but because “vulgar” more or less meant “ordinary” or “common”, thus reflecting that the era was “of or belonging to the common people” (from the Latin vulgaris).
The first documented instance of the (Vulgar Era, meaning “Common Era”) being used interchangeably with Anno Domini was featured in Latin works by Johannes Kepler in 1615, 1616, and 1617.
The English version of phrase later appeared in 1635 in an English translation of Kepler’s 1615 work.
However, they both did at various times reference the Latin nihil, “nothing”, in certain places in calculating their tables where the number zero should have gone had they had such a numeral.) It should also be noted that Bede didn’t actually use any such “BC” abbreviation, but rather in just one instance mentioned a year based on ante incarnationis dominicae tempus (“before the time of the lord’s incarnation”).
While there would be rare sporadic mentions of years “before the time of the lord’s incarnation” from here on out, it wouldn’t be until Werner Rolevinck’s 1474 work that it would be used repeatedly in a work.