I'm in the midst of designing a graphic for my parents' 50th anniversary celebration, and for obscure reasons I want to include the proper Latin equivalent of "since 1967", in the same way that a business might include a founding date on a sign or logo, such as "est. 1950" or "ever since 1995". My research on the web has thus far been inconclusive, indicating that either "ex MCMLXVII" or "ab MCMLXVII" would be most appropriate, but I am unable to determine which is more appropriate (or if there is some other way of putting it entirely that would be preferred).

What's the best way to write a founding date for an ongoing entity (or the date of the beginning of a marriage, if that differs from the general case)?

1 Answer 1


First off, please congratulate your parents on such a marked achievement! Now, I'm not sure if there is something specific to marriage, but I know such a general construction exists. The Romans used a dating system based off of the years since the founding of Rome, so for instance, the year 1 AD would be written:

DCCLIV ab urbe condita

754 from the city having been founded

So, one could adapt this to a marriage like so:

L a nuptiis conditis OR L a coniugio condito

Here, "L" represents 50, but this does not really incorporate the year in which your parents were married. You could thus manipulate the above to get what you need:

Nuptiis conditis MCMLXVII anno domini

With the marriage having been founded in the 1967th year of the Lord

This is a little lengthy, so you could abbreviate anno domini in the normal fashion to AD.

A/ab* can also mean "since", so your guess of a MCMLXVII could still be technically correct.

*It is important to use the correct form of a/ab. A is generally used in front of a consonant, while ab is used in front of vowels. This is comparable to the use of "a/an" in English. How this works in front of Roman numerals I am not quite sure, so if someone could either confirm or negate my current guess that would be great.

  • I think this answer is good. Continuing on the final suggestion, what do you mean exactly by "technically correct"? Acceptable but ugly? And how about ab anno MCMLXVII?
    – Cerberus
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 2:13
  • I personally dislike it because it's not the way dates, as far as I know, were written. I, however, don't know of any examples where that construction was used. And your suggestion could also work, translating as "since the 1967th year," but again, usually this is accompanied by some form of AD or AUC to show the perspective. With just ab anno MCMLXVII, we don't know whether this is the 1967th year of the Lord or since the founding of the city. I mean, it can probably be assumed from context, but that's my nitpicky opinion.
    – Sam K
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 2:32
  • OK I see your point. How about ab anno Domini MCMLXVII, then?
    – Cerberus
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 3:07
  • 1
    I think the analogy with ab urbe condita is a great angle, but I think it's one step too far to propose nuptias condere, unless you're going for a comical effect.
    – brianpck
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 3:27
  • 2
    @Mike So if you want something short, I would go with ab MCMLXVII AD. As for the use of ex, if you prefer that instead of ab, then I do not see why you can't use it instead. To me, it seems as though ab was used more frequently with the meaning of "since," but ex also has considerable proof of it being used in the same context. I focused on ab primarily because there was proof of its usage in AUC.
    – Sam K
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 19:21

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