Movies & Television

What Does BCE Stand For? Black Adam's Time Period Explored

Black Adam’s Teth-Adam sports a similar heritage to that of Ancient Egypt, hailing from the fictional country of Kahndaq and we explain what ‘BCE’ stands for, shown during the movie’s prologue.

The anti-hero’s debut feature primarily takes place in the aforementioned country, set during the present day with frequent flashbacks to the past.

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, Black Adam is based on the DC Comics character of the same name about the anti-hero who reigns havoc on modern times after being imprisoned for five thousand years and only the Justice Society of America can stop him. The feature stars Dwayne Johnson, Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Sarah Shahi, Marwan Kenzari, Quintessa Swindell, Bodhi Sabongui, and Pierce Brosnan.

Black Adam | Official Trailer

Black Adam | Official Trailer

Black Adam’s ‘BCE’ Impresses Scholar

Professor and author @WilGafney shared their appreciation for Black Adam’s use of an ancient date during the prologue.

To set the scene, the main flashback states the year is “2600 BCE”, during the protagonist’s rise in power within the slavery of Kahndaq.

The user stated on Twitter that it “makes a scholar’s heart happy” to see the use of ‘BCE’ in movies.

What Does ‘BCE’ Stand For?

BCE stands for ‘Before the Common Era’, similar to the Christian version ‘BC’, meaning ‘Before Christ.’

BCE is a year notation from the Gregorian Calendar and is simply an alternative to ‘BC’, while ‘CE’, ‘Common Era’, is an alternative to ‘AD’ – ‘Anno Domini.’

Since the Gregorian Calendar has now supplanted other calendars as the international standard, it is becoming more common to see BCE.

Black Adam – Cr. Warner Bros. Pictures, YouTube

DC’s Kahndaq Explored

Within DC lore, Kahndaq is located in the Middle Eastern region of Africa, situated between Egypt and Jordan.

The Black Adam prologue explained how self-governance was overthrown when a number of Kahndaqi people were forced into slavery under the rule of Ahk-Ton.

During an uprising for freedom, Hurut was rewarded for his courageous actions in helping the country and was chosen to be the first champion of Shazam and the Council of Wizards.

In order to save his father, Teth-Adam, Hurut passed his powers to him and the new champion soon rained genocide over the people of Kahndaq after his family was murdered, by unleashing the Seven Deadly Sins. 

Discovery also pointed out recently that the Sinai Peninsula, a sacred expanse in Egypt, was used to inspire Kahndaq’s setting in Black Adam.

By Jo Craig – [email protected]

Black Adam is now in theaters worldwide.

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Jo Craig

Being a pop culture writer and a proud geek of all trades, Jo loves to dissect fandoms and marvel at their insides. The entirety of The Lord of the Rings, superhero origins, the Ghost of Tsushima score, the Wings of Freedom, and the endless search for a sleepy Tyranitar are but a few of Jo's passions, with a penchant for contributing to the geek culture community.

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