While reading history text online, I find that some dates have a prefix e.g.

  • c. 5000 BP
  • c. 3300 BCE
  • ca. 3300 BC

What does the prefix mean?

closed as off-topic by litlnemo, Mark C. Wallace, jwenting, American Luke, choster May 13 '14 at 20:02

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Requests for trivia or basic historical facts are off-topic if they can be easily answered by looking up the relevant topic on Wikipedia. We're trying to complement common historical references, not duplicate them." – litlnemo, Mark C. Wallace, American Luke, choster
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  • might be a better fit on english.se – jwenting May 13 '14 at 11:03
  • @jwenting I disagree. It is relevant to this site, however simple. – called2voyage May 13 '14 at 16:51
  • @called2voyage the term is relevant, the explanation of it off topic. – jwenting May 13 '14 at 17:10
  • On second thought, it is general reference even though I would consider it on topic otherwise. – called2voyage May 13 '14 at 17:22
  • As the person asking this question, both the prefix (c. ca.) and postfix (BP, BC, BCE) did not look like words to me. It is similar to the "$" in $2500. Furthermore, some (Wikipedia) say "Circa is widely used in genealogy and historical writing". So I feel this should be more on-topic than not. – Jake May 16 '14 at 1:41

c or ca means circa, which means approximately.

  • It means ‘around’. – MJD May 29 '14 at 16:31

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