What does the 21st century mean
A century consists of exactly 100 years. Because that's such a long time and a “round” number, it's easy to divide up the story. Our era begins with the birth of Jesus Christ in year 1, even if Jesus was actually born earlier. The first century then lasted from year 1 to year 100. We ourselves now live in the 21st century.
When we started with our era, zero was not yet known as a number. That is why the first year is year 1. The 21st century therefore began on January 1, 2001, even if many people around the world celebrated it on the night of January 1, 2000.
When speaking of the “umpteenth” century, one has to be careful: 1950 is not in the 19th century, despite the 19 at the beginning, but in the 20th century. You can imagine it like this: A child who is only a few days old is already in its first year of life. This only ends with the 1st birthday, just as the 21st century ends with the year 2100.
Often one thinks of a century of certain inventions and discoveries from that time. For example, the 19th century is called the century of the railways and the 20th century is the century in which the car became established.
A millennium spans ten centuries. The millennium is also called a millennium. That comes from Latin. The first millennium lasted from the year 1 to the year 1000 AD. So we are already living in the 3rd millennium today. Millennia also exist in the time before Christ. This concept of time is often used when speaking of sections in history that go back a long way.
One also speaks of centuries before Christ. The first lasted from the year 100 BC to the year 1 BC.
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