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B.C. is placed after the figure for the year. You must write, “in the fifth century B.C.” AP Style requires periods to be placed after each letter in both A.D. and B.C.
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They advise writing BC, AD, BCE, and CE in small caps with no periods/points. BC, BCE, and CE follow the date and AD precedes it, as advised above. As for italics, they say, “Small capitals are used for specifying eras.
To cater to religious diversity, the abbreviations BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) can be used to replace BC and AD. Of note, AD is written before the year, while BC, BCE, and CE are all written after the year. For example: 2020 CE or AD 2020; 487 BCE or 487 BC
Proper Use of BC and AD Abbreviations. You may see variations of the abbreviations BC and AD used in a variety of settings. In general, these abbreviations are written without periods, so not B.C. and A.D. When writing a BC date, you put the BC after the year. When writing an AD date, you put the AD before the year.
In the Common Era (CE or AD), the years are numbered in chronological order i.e. the year AD 401 followed the year AD 400. However, in the BC or BCE era, the years are numbered in the reverse order i.e. the year 300 BC followed the year 301 BC. Did you know? The Hebrew calendar considers the year 3760 BC as year 1.
B.C. or BC; A.D. or AD; Note: written in lower case, a.m. is used with periods, not to be confused with "am" 7. Do not use periods in metric measurements. 200 km; 180 cm; 48m2; 8. Do not usually use periods in abbreviations for company and organization names, unless convention requires it. NATO; IBM; CBS; 9. Pay attention to the use of the period in Latin abbreviations.
The year numbering system used with Common Era notation was devised by the Christian monk Dionysius Exiguus in the year 525 to replace the Era of Martyrs system, because he did not wish to continue the memory of a tyrant who persecuted Christians. He attempted to number years from an initial reference date ("epoch"), an event he referred to as the Incarnation of Jesus.
New Testament written. 48-62 Ministry of Paul. 54 Phillip is stoned in Heirapolis, Phrygia. 54-68: The Reign of Emperor Nero. This was the first of ten major persecutions periods for the early church. 63 James the lesser, stoned and clubbed to death in Jerusalem. 64 Barnabus is burned at Salamanca on Cypress.
Traditionally, English follows Latin usage by placing the "AD" abbreviation before the year number. However, BC is placed after the year number (for example: AD 2021, but 68 BC), which also preserves syntactic order.
It is simply a number line, (really a timeline) where AD are the positive numbers and BC are the negative numbers. There is no zero though. So BC 1 is followed by AD 1. Some info on the history is here along with astronomical calendars. Year zero - Wikipedia