History Pages - Part 9

The Early Church, Constantine, Eastern and Western Empires - AD 200-450


AD 170-236
AD 185-254
Origen - Christian scholar and Biblical interpreter. Produced his "Hexapla" - the Old Testament in six parallel versions of Hebrew and Greek texts : Hebrew, Hebrew transliterated in Greek, Aquila's Greek translation, Symmachus' Greek translation, Origen's revised Greek translation, Theodotion's revised Septuagint
AD 193-211
Septimius Severus emperor of Rome
ca. AD 200
The Mishnah codified under Judah ha Nasi
AD 207
Tertullian became a Montanist
AD 212-217
Geta, then Caraclla - emperors of Rome
AD 215-276
Mani, founder of Manichaean sect
AD 217-222
Callistus, bishop of Rome
AD 218-222
Heliogabalus emperor of Rome
ca. AD 220
Clement of Alexandria, bishop
Goths invaded Asia Minor and the Balkans
AD 220-470
Formation of the Talmud (commentary on the Mishna)
AD 222-235
Alexandar Severus emperor of Rome
ca. AD 223
Tertullian used the phrase "New Testament"
AD 230-250
Christian Council of Rome, Demetrius bishop of Alexandria condemned Origen
AD 236-238
Maximus emperor of Rome, ended the Christian schism in Rome by deporting Pope Pontian and anti-Pope Hippolytus to Sardinia where they both died
AD 238-244
Gordian I, Gordian II, Balbinus, Pupienus, Gordian III emperors of Rome
AD 240-250
Christian Council of Carthage
AD 240-276
Manichaeism flourishes
AD 244-249
Philip the Arabian, emperor of Rome
AD 248-258
Cyprian, bishop of Carthage
AD 249-251
Decius, emperor of Rome, persecuted Christians because they refused to sacrifice to his gods. The Church commemorated the martyrs as saints
ca. AD 250
Mandeans (followers of John the Baptist) began compilation of the "Ginza"
AD 250-330
First Christian monks and nuns (in the deserts of Egypt)
AD 250-336
Arius, originator of the Arian heresy, which claimed that Jesus was jsut a created being
AD 250-355
Antony of Egypt, monk
AD 251-253
Gallus emperor of Rome
AD 253-260
Valerian emperor of Rome, executed Bishops, Priests, and Deacons
AD 254
Letters of Origen, who wrote that Jesus and God were of one "Substance" (adopted at Council of Nicaea in 325), compiled his "Hexapla": 6 versions of the Septuagint side by side: Hebrew, Hebrew transliterated in Greek, Aquila's Greek translation, Symmachus' Greek translation, Origen's revised LXX Greek translation, Theodotion's revised LXX; also Quinta/Sexta/Septima translations, retaining the Tetragrammaton in square Hebrew script
AD 254-257
Pope Steven I, major schism over rebaptizing heretics and apostates
AD 257
Visigoths and Ostrogoths invaded the Black Sea area
Franks invaded Spain
AD 257-258
Pope Sixtus II, martyred
AD 258
Martyrdom of Cyprian of Carthage
AD 260-268
Gallienus, emperor of Rome, reversed Valerian's decrees and restored the Roman Church
Pope Dionysius, rebuilt Roman Church after Valerian's massacre
AD 263-339
Eusebius, bishop of Caesaria, Christian writer and historian, wrote "Ecclesiastical History"
AD 264-268
Christian council to deal with the Adoptionist heresy started by Paul of Samosata, Bishop of Antioch (He taught that Jesus was only human until the Holy Spirit descended at his baptism)
AD 268
The Goths invaded and sacked Athens, Corinth, and Sparta
AD 268-270
Claudius II, emperor of Rome
AD 270-275
Aurelian, emperor of Rome
AD 276
Mani, founder of the Manichaean heretical Christian sect, executed by crucifixion in Persia
AD 276-282
Marcus Aurelius Probus emperor of Rome
AD 280
Gregory the Illuminator brought Christianity to Armenia
AD 284-305
Emperor Diocletian of Rome, persecuted the Christians
AD 285
Diocletian divided the Empire into two - the Eastern and the Western Empires
AD 292-346
Pachomius, establisher of the first monastery, in Egypt
AD 296-373
AD 300-500
The Assyrians translated the Greek scientific, religious, and philosophical writings into Assyrian. Later - the Assyrian versions were translated into Arabic, and were brought by the Moors to Spain, where they were translated into Latin and helped to ignite the Renaissance of Europe
AD 303
Emperor Diocletian persecuted Christians and attempted to wipe them out
AD 305
Emperor Diocletian abdicated
Antony organized a colony of hermits in Egypt
AD 306
Constantine the Great succeeded his father as Emperor of the West
AD 306-312
Maxentius, emperor of Western Roman Empire
AD 311
Emperor Galerius issued edict shortly before his death, tolerating Christian religion throughout the empire and allowing reconstruction of the churches; Galerius believed his fatal illness to be the vengeance of God
AD 311
Civil war between four emperors: Licinius, Maximin, Maxentius, and Constantine
Start of the Donatist controversy in N. Africa
AD 312
Lucian, founder of the Exegetical School of Antioch, martyred
Constantine's vision of the Sign of the Cross over the sun with the message "In This Sign Conquer"
Constantine's victory at Milvian Bridge (outside Rome) over Maxentius, reunited the Roman Empire
"Edict of Constantine", or "Edict of Milan" : Christianity was to be tolerated in the Roman Empire
AD 313
Donatus excommunicated by Miltiades for requiring the "rebaptism" of apostates
AD 314
Council of Arles, called by Constantine to deal with the Donatist schism. Bishops from Britain attended (this is evidence for the presence of Christianity in Britain)
AD 321
Constantine made Sunday the official Roman-Christian day of rest
AD 324
Constantine defeated Licinius and unified the Empire
Emperor Constantine became a Christian. His mother St. Helena toured the Holy Land identifying sites of Biblical importance and building churches
AD 325
The First Ecumenical Council of the Christian Church, at Nicea in Asia Minor, to deal with the Arian heresy (that Christ was created by God, and so was not fully divine). The Nicean Creed traditionally dates from this Council
AD 325-420
Jerome translated the Scriptures into Latin - his translation is known as the Vulgate
AD 330
Saint Peter's Basilica dedicated by Constantine, located over the traditional burial site of Saint Peter the Apostle on the Vatican Hill in Rome
Constantine founded Constantinople on the site of Byzantium, made it the capital of the Eastern Empire
AD 330-379
Basil the Great, one of the three "Cappadocian Fathers"
AD 330-390
Gregory of Nazianzus, one of the three "Cappadocian Fathers"
AD 331
Headquarters of the Roman Empire moved from Rome to Constantinople
AD 335-394
Gregory of Nyssa, brother of Basil the Great, one of the three "Cappadocian Fathers"
AD 337
Death of Constantine the Great. He was baptized as a Christian on his death-bed. The Empire was divided between his three sons, Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans I, who started fighting between themselves
AD 338
Jewish calendar modified to bring it into alignment with the Solar year
AD 340
Roman Empire split between West and East again. Constans emperor of West until 350. Constantius emperor of East until 361
AD 340-420
Jerome (Hieronymus), Latin scholar, translator of the Hebrew and Greek scriptures into Latin
AD 341
Eusebius consecrated Ulfilas as "Bishop in the land of the Goths"
AD 347-407
John Chrysostom (his nickname means "Golden-mouth" because of his great preaching ability)
ca. AD 350
Codex Sinaiticus (S or "ALEPH"), and Codex Vaticanus (B), oldest Bibles still in existence;
Ulfilas, apostle to the Goths, translated the Greek New Testament into Gothic;
Founding of the "School of Nisibis" - claimed to be the first University, in Assyria;
Founding of the Schola Cantorum for Church singing, in Rome
AD 351-410
Alaric, King of the Visigoths
AD 353
Synod of Arles - attended by Bishops from Britain, indicating that there were Christian Churches in Britain
AD 354-435
Augustine of Hippo, (N. Africa), Church father and philosopher. Used the term "Original Sin", wrote "The City of God" and his "Confessions" (autobiography)
AD 360
The "book" form for texts began to supplant the scroll form;
The Huns invaded Europe
AD 361-363
Julian the Apostate, cousin of Emperor Constantius, defeated an invasion of Germanic tribes, and was declared Emperor. Julius renounced Christianity and reverted to paganism
AD 363
Death of Julian the Apostate while attempting to invade Persia. His army acclaimed the general Valentinian as Emperor. Valentinian chose to rule from Rome, and made his brother Valens co-Emperor in the East. Valens was an Arian;
Council of Laodicea named 26 books of the New Testament (did not mention Revelation)
AD 364-378
Valens as Eastern Emperor
AD 370-425
Rabbi Hillel, formulated the interpretation of the Torah
AD 374
Ambrose became bishop of Milan
AD 376
Barbarian invasions - Emperor Valens gave permission to the Visigoths to cross the Danube and settle within the Empire
AD 378
Death of Valens in battle against invading Goths
AD 380-392
Emperor Theodosius I of the East, reunited the Roman Empire, made Christianity the official state religion and prohibited the practice of pagan rituals including the Olympic Games; but allowed Judaism and the religion of the Samaritans. Theodosius began inviting barbarian cavalry to fight for the Empire against other barbarians
AD 381
Council of Theodosius at Constantinople, The Second Ecumenical Council, affirmed that Jesus had a truly human soul
AD 382
Pope Damasus I called a council, listed the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments
AD 382-384
Pope Damasus I asked Jerome to revise and unify Latin Bibles
AD 383
Roman Legions started to evacuate Britain as they were needed to defend Rome from invaders
Britain was cut off from the Roman Empire
AD 384
Jerome presented Pope Damasus I with the new Latin translation of the Gospels
AD 386
Ambrose of Milan introduced the singing of hymns as part of the Church liturgy
Conversion of Augustine
Jerome moved to Bethlehem, lived as a monk in a cave at Bethlehem, learnt Hebrew, translated the whole Bible into Latin
approx. date for the completion of the Jerusalem Talmud (commentary on the Mishnah)
AD 390
Apollinaris of Laodicea, taught the heresy that Jesus had a human body but a divine spirit
ca AD 391
Ammianus Marcellinus, Christian historian, wrote "Res gestae"
AD 392
Death of Theodosius the Great
AD 395
Roman Empire divided again into the Western Empire, centered on Rome, and the Eastern Empire, centered on Byzantium (modern Istanbul in Turkey)
AD 395-641
Byzantine period in Egypt. Egyptian hieroglyphics dropped out of use and their meaning was forgotten
AD 396-398
Alaric the Goth invaded and plundered Greece and the Balkans
AD 397
Ambrose, bishop and governor of Milan, wrote "de Fide"
AD 398
John Chrysostom became bishop of Constantinople
ca. AD 400
The Vulgate, Latin translation of the Bible, by Jerome. The Vulgate Latin text became the standard Western Christian Bible
The Peshitta, Syriac (Aramaic) Bible, produced. The Peshitta became the standard Syrian Christian Bible
AD 400-461
Leo I (the Great) of Rome
AD 400-600
Egyptian, Syrian and Armenian Christians translated the Bible and the Liturgy into their own languages and rejected traditional Eastern Orthodoxy (They became the Melchite Churches)
AD 401
Visigoths invaded Italy
AD 403
Letters of the Church Fathers Epiphanius of Constantia and John Chrysostom
AD 410
Alaric and the Goths sacked Rome
AD 412-444
Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, expelled the Jews and encouraged a mob to kill the female philosopher Hypatia
AD 416
The Council of Carthage condemned Pelagianism;
Visigoths took Spain
AD 418
Franks took Gaul
AD 422-432
Pope Celestine I, sent Palladius to Ireland as its first bishop
AD 428
Nestorius became Patriarch of Constantinople
ca. AD 430-460
St. Patrick in Ireland
AD 431
The Council of Ephesus - condemned Nestorius, and used the title "Mother of God" for the Virgin Mary
Syrian Church split into Eastern (Nestorian, those who disagreed with the Council of Ephesus) and Western (Jacobite) parts
AD 433-453
Attila the Hun, the "Scourge of God"
AD 440-461
Pope Leo I (45th Pope)
AD 442-450
Attila and the Huns of central Asia attacked Greek and Roman cities
AD 451
The Council of Chalcedon - affirmed that Christ is "One Person in two Natures". The Churches in Egypt and Syria broke off from the Greek and Roman Churches

Main Sources : Smithsonian Timelines of Ancient History, The Timetables of History (Bernard Grun)

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Last Updated: June 30, 2017

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