Saturday, November 3, 2012

How to Count Centuries

JMW Turner's "Stonehenge" was painted in the 19th c. (1828)

An important note on how to refer to the century you are talking about correctly:

Today's date is November 3, 2012. Which means we are in the 21st century.

If someone says "14th century" they are talking about the 1300's.

This is an easy concept once you understand how it works:
- The 1st century began in the year 1 AD (Anno Domini) /CE (common era). It ended in

the year 100 AD/CE.
- The 2nd century began in the year 101 AD/CE and ended in the year 200 AD/CE.
- The 3rd century began in the year 201 AD/CE and ended in the year 300 AD/CE

See how that works? You take the numerical date + 1 to get the century. 
Ex: "1776"  17 + 1 = 18... therefore "the year 1776 was in the 18th c."
Quick Reference for everyone:
1st century = 1-100 AD/CE
2nd c. = 101-200 AD/CE
3rd c. = 201-300 AD/CE
4th c. = 301-400 AD/CE
5th c. = 401-500 AD/CE
6th c. = 501-600 AD/CE
7th c. = 601-700 AD
8th c. = 701-800 AD
9th c. = 801-900 AD
10th c. = 901-1000 AD
11th c. = 1001-1100 AD
12th c. =  1101-1200 AD
13th c. = 1201-1300 AD
14th c. = 1301-1400 AD
15th c. = 1401-1500 AD
16th c. = 1501-1600 AD
17th c. = 1601-1700 AD
18th c. = 1701-1800 AD/CE
19th c. = 1801-1900 CE
20th c. = 1901-2000 CE
21st c. = 2001 - present... CE

Please, please, please... label your pictures correctly and when writing about and talking about a specific time frame, either "state the exact date" or "add one to the number." 
(If only to make my life easier when using Google Image Search.)


glorm said...

So many think that there are only 99 years to a century. Remember the big celebration when 1999 turned to 2000? A new century they said. Um, no, not until 2001.

Gail Kellogg Hope said...


Counting the --00 as the beginning doesn't bother me so much... it's referring to the 1800's as "the 18th c." that bothers me... um, no, the 18th c. is the 1700's; the 1800's are the 19th c.

So many people make the mistake that it becomes very confusing when trying to sort out proper time frames.