what year came before 1 CE (aka AD 1)?

what year came before 1 CE (aka AD 1)?

Ask Question

11 years ago

10 years, 4 months ago

2k times



Was the year before that 0 CE or 1 BCE?

This is a meta-programming question, relating to the religious wars over the first number in a list. Should it be 0 or 1?

Some points to consider:

What would Richard Stallman say? I read an article by him recently where he got upset that the OLPC is offering Windows. He listed the reasons this is bad. The list was numbered, starting with 0.
How would they have handled the year 10 problem (Y1), when suddenly computers had to double the number of bits stored per year?
How would Joel have handled this, considering that when he proposed a new version of dates for the excel macro language, he took into account that the date IDs would be wrong for dates in January and Febrauary, 1900? (See here: My First BillG Review)

Edit: The Wikipedia entry quoted by @Svelil below says there was no year 0 CE, just for the record. We went straight from 1 BCE to 1 CE.


share|improve this question

edited Oct 4 ’09 at 13:44

community wiki

4 revs, 2 users 100%Nathan Fellman

IMHO, this is line noise. SO is not a discussion site.

– George Stocker
Jan 20 ’09 at 12:39

I agree with Gortok: Firstly, you can easily Google the answer. Secondly, whether there was a year 0 or not has absolutely nothing to do with whether arrays should start with index 0 or not.

– user49572
Jan 20 ’09 at 13:22

you missed the “tongue-in-cheek” part. However, I agree that it’s a bit too off topic, and I’m closing it.

– Nathan Fellman
Jan 20 ’09 at 20:47

…though it still requires two more votes to close

– Nathan Fellman
Jan 20 ’09 at 20:48

add a comment

3 Answers





Should it be 0 or 1?

Wikipedia has a nice article about this: Year Zero
As starting list-counts at zero is pretty common in programming, I would personally adhere to that standard.

How would they have handled the year 10 problem?

Use your feet 🙂 (Hey, it actually doubles your ability to count)

share|improve this answer

answered Jan 20 ’09 at 11:04

Sven LilienthalSven Lilienthal

5,80644 gold badges2626 silver badges2525 bronze badges

add a comment


Was the year before that 0 CE or 1 BCE?

1 BCE, though it wasn’t called so before that time.

How would they have handled the year 10 problem (Y1), when suddenly computers had to double the number of bits stored per year?

Right, they ran out of fingers.

In fact, Y2k was not the first date problem.

When Caesar died and left no records on how to use Julian calendar, Octavian applied leap year once in three years, not four. They noticed that in 9 BC and there were no leap years until 8 AD to correct the difference.

share|improve this answer

answered Jan 20 ’09 at 10:37

community wiki


add a comment


As the MAD Book About World History said:

1 BCE. The world’s greatest historians can’t agree what to call the next year.

share|improve this answer

answered Feb 2 ’09 at 13:13

community wiki

Aaron Digulla

add a comment

Your Answer

Thanks for contributing an answer to Stack Overflow!Please be sure to answer the question. Provide details and share your research!But avoid …Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers.Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience.To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers.

Draft saved
Draft discarded

Sign up or log in

Sign up using Google

Sign up using Facebook

Sign up using Email and Password


Post as a guest


Required, but never shown

Post Your Answer


By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you’re looking for? Browse other questions tagged metaprogramming or ask your own question.


Ben Popper is the worst coder in the world: Something awry with my array

This week, #StackOverflowKnows fast planes, math with dates, and code comments

Featured on Meta

TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 removal for Stack Exchange services

Did Stack Exchange cut the number of negative comments nearly in half between…

An account of my meeting with the Stack Overflow management team


23What is “for” in Ruby6What is Reflection?114What exactly is metaprogramming?4Just introducing myself to TMPing, and came across a quirk5Meta Programming, whats it good for?85What is the __dict__.__dict__ attribute of a Python class?2Ruby any way to catch messages before method_missing?2Changing and adding arguments of method before invocation2Modifying AST of Elixir module before compiling2why singleton methods (AKA: class methods) are inherited?

Hot Network Questions

Converting JPG images to PNG

Etymology of Free Modules

Why I get “tar: Cowardly refusing to create an empty archive”? when trying to backup the whole server

Why don’t organs have weighted keys?

Answer templating

How could a “communal country”, shared by three races with their own countries adjacent, exist and be stable?

Ways to append text to a file

Can Paladins ritual cast?

Is the electrical outlet by my kitchen sink supposed to be protected by a GFCI?

Is there any dangerous command in LaTeX?

Why is the asteroid belt shaped like a triangle?

Can you Disengage while you are in darkness?

Which companies should hire developers, and which should outsource their software needs?

I like my new job but I’m always late and I skip work often. How to avoid this?

On tenure track and department chair wants me to consider leaving

Providing the spymaster with cues for clues in Codenames

Why are there waves in seas towards shore – even in night?

Can I use any route to get to my destination on national rail?

Strong exothermic mixing of two ‘safe’ liquids

How to put a vbox in hbox?

Integer Logarithm

Corner modelling technique

What does “Manistan” mean?

How to play a note with different length with both hands?

more hot questions

Question feed

Subscribe to RSS

Question feed
To subscribe to this RSS feed, copy and paste this URL into your RSS reader.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *