Nate Wilson's Early Church History Timeline 100-600 A.D.

Second Century

  1. End of Middle Platonism influence
    Justin Martyr born, Clement of Rome Dies
  2. Exchange of letters b/w Pliny the Younger and Emperor Trajan--punishing Christians
  3. Emperor Trajan Succeeded by Hadrian
    Ignatius Dies
  4. Irenaeus born, Papias Dies
  5. Emperor Hadrian succeeded by Antonius Pius
  6. Marcion Excommunicated
  7. Clement of Alexandria born, Shepherd of Hermas Written?, Old Roman Creed in use
  8. Justin Martyr writes major work: Apology
  9. Tertullian Born, Julius Africanus (historian) born, Marcion Dies
  10. Emperor Antonius Pius succeeded by Marcus Aurelius
  11. Justin Martyr Dies
  12. Polycarp Martyred. Recant? "80 & 6 years have I served Him, and He has done me no wrong"
  13. Tatian (Apologist) dies
  14. Iranaeus states case for apostolic succession
  15. Theophilus (Apologist) Dies
  16. Origen Born
  17. Victor, bishop of Rome, tried to force Eastern and Western church to worship Easter on the same day...unsuccessfully
  18. Tertullian writes To The Heathen and Apology

Third Century

  1. Irenaeus dies, Cyprian Born
  2. Emperor Septimius Severus issues edict forbidding conversions to Judaism and Christianity
  3. Tertullian writes Prescription against Heretics
  4. Tertullian writes Against Marcion
  5. Clement of Alexandria Dies
  6. Zephyrinus succeeded by Callistus as bishop of Rome, both supporting Monarchianism
  7. Tertullian dies
  8. Emperor Maximinus Thrax succeeds Alexander Severus and renews persecution
  9. Hippolytos dies
  10. Montanism considered heresy
    Gregory made bishop of Pontus, tremendous evangelism of Asia Minor
  11. Philip the Arabian considered first Christian Emperor
  12. Cyprian made bishop of Carthage
  13. Decian becomes Emperor, orders all Romans to sacrifice to the gods, begins major 3-year persecution of Christians
    Stephen, presbyter of Rome, restores lapsed ministers in persecution
  14. By this time, houses were being converted into church buildings
    Arius Born in Libya
    Anthony born in Egypt, would become famous monk
  15. Decius dies in battle and is succeeded by Gallus
  16. Synods in Rome and Carthage hold out restoration to lapsed Christians on condition of long penance.
  17. Emperor Valerian succeeds Gallus, initially friendly to Christians
  18. Origen Dies
  19. Valerian issues edict for clergy to sacrifice to gods on pain of exile
  20. Valerian issues edict ordering confiscation of property and death to Christians of high rank
    Cyprian dies
  21. Valerian's persecution ends with his death, some "breather" for Christians
  22. Eusebius born
  23. Gregory Thaumaturgos (wonder-worker) bishop of Neo-Caesarea dies
  24. Mani (Manicheanism's founder) dies
  25. Athanasius born in Egypt

Fourth Century

  1. Basil the Great born
  2. Diocletian and successors begin most violent persecution of Christians
  3. Synod in Spain demands celibacy of bishops
  4. Emperor Galerius relaxes persecution of Christians
  5. Constantine sees sign (Cr), victorious at the battle of Milvan Bridge, crowned emperor by Senate
  6. Edict of Milan: agreement between Constantine (Western Emperor) and Lucinius (Eastern Emperor) to tolerate Christianity
  7. Council of Arles (Donatism: "outside the church there is no salvation")
  8. Athanasius becomes bishop of Alexandria at age 30, Great theologian of the 4th Century. Jesus is both God AND Man.
  9. Lactontius (Divine Institutes) dies
  10. Emperor Constantine defeats Eastern Emperor to become sole Roman Emperor, moves the Roman capital to Byzantium/Constantinople/Istanbul
    Constantine passes laws favouring Christianity
  11. Constantine calls the first Ecumenical council: also recognized 3 leading bishops (Rome, Antioch, Alexandria)
  12. Nicene Council: Eusebius began the Nicene creed--Trinity, defines Christ as homoousios (same substance) with the Father, and addressed Christians lapsed during Persecution (re-accepted pending appropriate restoration), various laws regarding clergy and church members, and the date of Easter (14th of Nisan). Mostly Eastern Church. Arius exiled
  13. Arius submits acceptable creed to Constantine and released from exile along with Eusebius
  14. Gregory, bishop of Nyssa born
  15. Arius and his ilk regain power and anathematize Athanasius
    Gregory of Nazianzus born
  16. Council convenes at Tyre to try Athanasius and banish him to Gaul.
    Arius dies
  17. Emperor Constantine dies and empire divided among three sons, Constantius, Constantine II, and Constans
  18. Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History, advisor of Constantine) dies
  19. Roman Synod pronounces Marcellus of Ancyra and Athanasius Orthodox, Western Emperor Constantine II dies
  20. Council of Antioch, pronounces M. & A. Unorthodox, first Arian missionary sent--Ulfilas to the Goths, rewrote Nicene Creed with homoiusias (Christ is of "like" nature) 97 Eastern bishops attended.
    Ambrose born.
  21. Two of Constantine's sons order abolition of sacrifices to pagan gods.
    Council of Antioch orders precedence of metropolitan bishops over other bishops in a province
  22. Council of Serdica (Bulgaria): Eastern & Western bishops divided into separate assemblies. Greeks defined God as one God in three Hypostases (persons), which sounded to Western Latins like 3 substances (Gods). Western church made their first appeal to Rome.
  23. Jerome is born
  24. Pachomias dies, having founded first monasteries
  25. Athanasius returns to Alexandria.
  26. Constans (Emperor of Italy and N. Africa) dies, leaving whole empire to Arian Emperor Constantius. Extreme Arians (Aetius and Eunonymius) gained influence, Whole church was considered Arian
  27. Pelagius born in Britain
  28. Augustine born, Constantius calls Council regarding Arianism in Gaul
  29. Constantius calls Council regarding Arianism in Milan
  30. Athanasius sent back into exile.
    Anthony (monk) dies, having founded hermiticism and laura communities
  31. Council in Sirmium forbids the use of ousia, homoousia, or homoiusia
  32. Emperor Constantius dies, succeeded by Julian the Apostate, who restores Athanasius
  33. Synod held by Athanasius in Alexandria to win over the homoiusian Meletians in Egypt. Promotes 1 ousia, 3 hypostases
  34. Julian dies in war, succeeded by Christian Jovian
  35. Damasus, bishop of Rome, stressed apostolic succession from Peter and tried to influence other bishops
  36. Athanasius is first to write down NT canon
  37. Cappodocian fathers rise to influence in the East; moderate Arians get sick of the radical Arians and throw in with Athanasius.
  38. Hillary of Poitiers (Gaulic Anti-Arian) dies
  39. Augustine's profligate youth in Carthage
  40. Athanasius dies after 5 books against Eunomius and 5 exiles!
  41. Basil incites emperor Valentinum to outlaw abortion
  42. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, comments on church government: Bishop = Presbyter
  43. Theodisius becomes Emperor after Goths defeat Emperor Valens
    Basil, bishop of Caesarea dies
  44. 2nd Ecumenical council called by Theodosius at Constantinople:
  45. Nicene Creed reestablished and elabourated upon--Christ and H.S. single procession(Constantinopolitan creed), Arianism re-anathematized along with Appolonarians and pneumatomachians, 2 leading Bishops recognized: Rome & Constantinople, Christianity made the established religion of the Roman Empire (no Western bishops attended)
  46. Augustine teaches in Milan, meets bishop Ambrose
  47. Pope Damasus dies
  48. Pope Siricius enjoins chastity upon all priests
  49. Augustine becomes a Christian
  50. Augustine returns to N. Africa, founds community, writes extensively
  51. Gregory, bishop of Nyssa dies
  52. Patrick, missionary to Ireland is born
  53. Ambrose forces Emperor Theodosius to repent from massacre in Thesolonica
    Council at Carthage commands chastity for clergy.
  54. Theodore made bishop of Mopsuestia
  55. Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop of Sasima, dies
  56. New Testament canon finalized in Council of Carthage,
    Emperor Theodosius dies
  57. Augustine becomes bishop of Hippo
  58. Ambrose Dies, John Chrysostom becomes patriarch of Constantinople
  59. Martin of Tours, pioneer of monastic movement in Gaul, dies

Fifth Century

  1. Pope Innocent I instated
  2. John Chrysostom dies
  3. Rome is sacked by the Goths, increases Roman bishop's power
  4. Council of Carthage condemns Donatism
  5. Council of churches in the Sassanid realms
  6. Cyril becomes patriarch of Alexandria (Against Nestorius)
  7. John Cassian founds monasteries near Marseilles
  8. Council of Carthage: Pelagianism condemned
  9. Jerome dies, having translated N.T. into Latin and founded monasteries
  10. Pelagius dies
  11. Nestorius becomes bishop of Constantinople
  12. 3rd Ecumenical Council called: Council of Ephesus-- Cyril wins and Nestorius deposed; Pelagianism again condemned, and it's teachers, Julian and Celestius anathematized.
    Cyril deposed 4 days later by angry John.
    Nestorius condemned also in synod in Rome and council in Alexandria
    Augustine Dies.
  13. Pope Leo I, publishes his Christological views to be accepted in the Eastern Council of Chalcedon.
  14. Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, dies, succeeded by Dioscurus
  15. Flavius made bishop of Constantinople
  16. Eutyches, head of Constantinople monastery and proponent of Monophysitism, charged with heresy in a council
  17. Second Council of Ephesus ("Robber Synod") clears Eutyches of heresy
    Flavian condemns Eutyches at a synod in Constantinople
  18. 4th Ecumenical Council: Chalcedon called by Emperor Marcion and Leo, Bishop of Rome. (Reaffirmed Nicene Christology, opposed Robber Synod, Affirmed Leo's Tome on Christology. Finalized doctrine on Christ as Man and God "unconfusedly, immutably, indivisibly, and inseparably"
  19. Eutyches, head of Constantinople monastery and proponent of Monophysitism dies
  20. Simon the Stylite (pillar saint) dies
  21. Emperor Basilicus condemns Tome of Leo and Chalcedon
    Romulus Augustulus, Last Western Emperor, deposed by Herulian Odovacar
  22. Emperor Zeno writes Henoticon to reconcile Monophysites and Chalcedonians
  23. Jacob Baradaeus, Monophysite missionary born
  24. Pope Gelasius claims right of preeminence over all priests due to succession from Peter
  25. Clovis, King of Gaul is baptized

Sixth Century

  1. Emperor Justinian I begins his reign and brings revival to Rome and Church
    Benedictine Rules composed
  2. Second council of Orange: Formal end of Pelagian controversy (Semi-Pelagianism condemned)
  3. Emperor Justinian I closes the pagan philosophy schools of Athens
  4. Gregory the Great born (first monk to become bishop of Rome)
  5. Justinian issues edict condemning writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, Nestorius, and of the Anti-Cyril Theodoret.
  6. Pope Vigilus withdraws Justinians edict
  7. Fifth Ecumenical Council at Constantinople (Reaffirms Justinian's edict, banishes Vigilius, and condemns Chrysostom and Origen for universalism)
  8. Isidore born
  9. Muhammad born
  10. Monophysites of Egypt choose a Syrian patriarch, not accepted
  11. Double procession of H.S. from Father and Son inserted into Nicene Creed by Synod of Toledo
  12. "Benedictine Centuries" Monasticism
    Pope: Gregory

Seventh Century

600. Isidore appointed archbishop of Seville


SOURCES: Kenneth Scott Latourette A History Of Christianity, Robert Walton Chronological And Background Charts Of Church History, and Lectures From Dr. Joseph Hall

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