Century: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A century (from the Latin centum, meaning one hundred) is one hundred consecutive years. It is also a Roman term. Centuries are numbered ordinally in English and many other languages (e.g. "the seventh century AD/CE").

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Start and end in the Gregorian Calendar

According to the Gregorian calendar, the 1st century A.D./C.E. started on January 1, 1 and ended on December 31, 100. The 2nd century started at year 101, the third at 201, etc. The n-th century started/will start on the year 100×n-99 and ends in 100×n . A century will only include one year, the centennial year, that starts with the century's number (e.g. 1900 is the final year in the 19th century).

1st century CE and BCE

There is no "zeroth century" in between the first century BCE and the first century AD. Also, there is no 0 AD[1]. The Julian calendar "jumps" from 1 BC to 1 AD. The first century BC includes the years 100 BCE to 1 BCE. Other centuries BC follow the same pattern.

Dating units in other calendar systems

Besides the Gregorian calendar, the Julian calendar and the Hindu calendar have cycles of years which are used to delineate whole time periods; the Hindu calendar, in particular, summarizes its years into groups of 60.

Centuries in Astronomical Year Numbering

Astronomical year numbering, used by astronomers, includes a year zero (0). Consequently, the first century in these calendars may designate the years 0 to 99 as the first century, years 100 to 199 as the second etc. However, in order to regard 2000 as the first year of the twenty-first century according to the astronomical year numbering, the astronomical year 0 has to correspond to the Gregorian year 1 BC.

Alternative naming systems

In Swedish, Danish and Finnish centuries are typically not named ordinally, but according to the hundreds part of the year, and consequently centuries start at even multiples of 100. For example, Swedish nittonhundratalet (or 1900-talet), Danish nittenhundredetallet (or 1900-tallet) and Finnish tuhatyhdeksänsataaluku (or 1900-luku) refer unambiguously to the years 1900–1999. The same system is used informally in English. For example, the years 1900–1999 are sometimes referred to as the nineteen hundreds(1900s). This is similar to the English decade names (1980s = the years 1980–1989).

Notes and References

  1. ^ Two separate systems that also do not use religious titles, the astronomical system and the ISO 8601 standard do use a year zero. The year 1 BC (identical to the year 1 BC) is represented as 0 in the astronomical system, and as 0000 in ISO 8601. Presently, ISO 8601 dating requires usage of the Gregorian calendar for all dates, however; whereas astronomical dating and Common Era dating allow usage of the Julian calendar for dates before 1582 AD.

The Battle of the Centuries, Ruth Freitag, U.S. Government Printing Office. Available from the Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250- 7954. Cite stock no. 030-001-00153-9.

See also

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Simple English

A century is a way to describe a length of time. One century is one hundred years. The ancient Romans used the word century to describe a group of about one hundred soldiers, organized into a single unit.

The Roman numeral for 100 is "C". The word for 100 in Latin is "centum".

Centuries in the Gregorian Calendar (the most-commonly used calendar with 365 days) begin at one instead of zero. That means that in the year 2004, we were in the 21st century, rather than 20th century.

A centenary is a celebration of something that happened 100 years ago. A bicentenary celebrates 200 years, a tercentenary 300 years.

A centenarian is someone who is 100 years old or more.

Centennial means something that happens every 100 years, or that lasts 100 years.

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