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Is it fine to write

during the second half of 4th century B.C.

or is it preferable to write

during the second half of the 4th century B.C.

  • I much prefer the second one. However Americans have a tendency to drop the definite article with dates, and they may find it acceptable. – WS2 Oct 29 '18 at 8:49
  • @WS2 I don't think it's a matter of opinion or personal style but an omission on part of certain authors for whatever reason. The definite article is grammatically required. – Kris Oct 29 '18 at 9:10
  • @Kris But Americans do say things like "It's happening on July fourteen". In Britain it is "...on the fourteenth of July", or if we are already in July "...on the fourteenth". – WS2 Oct 29 '18 at 14:18
  • @WS2 The first is not acceptable to me as an American (but not a historian). – Azor Ahai Nov 4 '18 at 19:39
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This question was already answered here.

the case being: ordinal numbers as adjectives, as with your inquiry.

Using "the" before ordinal numbers

you may also find your answer in this exercise, the answers are pretty well detailed.

https://www.adelaide.edu.au/english-for-uni/articles/articles_exercises_english_for_uni.pdf

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