CHURCH HISTORY by R. Grant Jones


Pre-Christian Background (all dates before christ)

The First Century

The Second Century

The Third Century

The Fourth Century

The Fifth Century

The Sixth Century

The Seventh Century

The Eighth Century

The Ninth Century

The Tenth Century

The Eleventh Century

The Twelfth Century

The Thirteenth Century

The Fourteenth Century

The Fifteenth Century

The Sixteenth Century

The Seventeenth Century

The Eighteenth Century

The Nineteenth Century

The Twentieth Century




First Century





Persecutions under Nero and Domitian,

Synod of Jamnia

Second Century

Persecution under Trajan, Hadrian,and Marcus Aurelius;

Ignatius of Antioch,






Justin Martyr,

Aristo of Pella,



Claudius Apollinaris,

Melito of Sardis,



Victor of Rome,


Clement of Alexandria

Third Century

Persecution under Septimius Severus, Decius, and Valerian;






Stephen of Rome,

Paul of Samosata,


the Apostolic Constitutions

Fourth Century (Part I)

The council of Elvira,

Persecution under Diocletian;


Lucian of Antioch,


the Edict of Milan,

Alexander of Alexandria,


Eusebius of Nicomedia,

First Ecumenical Council (Nicea),

Eusebius of Caesarea,


Marcellus of Ancyra,

Julius of Rome,

Council of Antioch,

Council of Sardica,

Cyril of Jerusalem

Fourth Century (Part II)

Councils of Sirmium,

Hilary of Poitiers,

Council of Arles,

Council of Milan,

Liberius of Rome,

The “Blasphemy” of Hosius,




Basil of Ancyra,

Rival Councils at Rimini and Seleucia,


Julian the Apostate,

Meletius and Paulinus,


Basil the Great,

Gregory Nazianzus,

Gregory of Nyssa,


the Tall Brothers,

Second Ecumenical Council (Constantinople),


Symeon the Stylite,

Theodore of Mopsuestia,

Council of Carthage,

Augustine of Hippo,

John Chrysostom

Fifth Century

Augustine of Hippo,

John Chrysostom,

the Synod of the Oak,

Alaric Sacks Rome,

John Cassian,


Cyril of Alexandria,

Theodore of Mopsuestia,





The Twelve Anathemas,

Third Ecumenical Council (Ephesus),

Vincent of Lerins,

Leo the Great,



the Robber council,

Fourth Ecumenical Council (Chalcedon),

Attila the Hun,

the end of the Roman Empire in the West,

Peter the Fuller,


the Henoticon,


Sixth Century


Julian of Helicarnassus,

John the Grammarian,

Burgundians renounce Arianism,


schism over the Henoticon ends,


slaughter of Christians in Yemen,


Dionysios Exiguus,



Council of Orange,

St. Sabbas,

Hagia Sophia,


Leontius of Jerusalem,


Agapetus visits Constantinople,


Dionysius Exiguus,

the Condemnation of Origen,


John Scholasticus,


defeat of the Gothic kingdom in Italy,

Fifth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople),

the Suevis renounce Arianism,

Columba of Iona,

Lombards invade Italy,

Avar invasion,

Persian invasion,

Jacob Baradaeus,

Maximus Confessor (birth),


Visigoths renounce Arianism,

Council of Toledo (and the filioque),

John of Biclar,

Gregory the Great,

Augustine of Canterbury

Seventh Century

Augustine of Canterbury,

the Persians conquer Jerusalem and take the true cross,




death of Mohammed,

Isidore of Seville,


last Arian king of the Lombards,

Aidan of Lindisfarne,

the Ekthesis,

John Climacus,

destruction of the library in Alexandria,

council at Rome (649),

Maximus Confessor,

the Arab conquest,

the Synod of Whitby,


Athanasian Creed,

Benedict Biscop,

the Sixth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople),



Quinisext Council

Eighth Century

Arab conquest of Spain,



Leo III,


John of Damascus,

the Venerable Bede,

the battle of Tours,

the Donation of Constantine,

Empress Irene,

forced conversion of the Saxons,

Seventh Ecumenical Council (Nicea),

the synod of Frankfort

Ninth Century



Theodore Studites,

the council of Aachen,


the University of Constantinople,

the Synodicon of Orthodoxy,

Gottschalk of Orbais,

persecution in Spain,


Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals,

Nicholas I,

Cyril and Methodius,

John Scotus Erigena,

Conversion of Bulgaria,



Hincmar of Reims,

Mount Athos,

the Synod horrenda

Tenth Century


the Bulgarian patriarchate,

King Wencelaus of Bohemia,

the Magyars defeated,

several bad popes,

influence in Denmark,

in Norway,

in Poland,

in Hungary,

the Wendish Revolt,

Adalbert of Prague,

the conversion of Russia,

Olaf Tryggvason,

influence in Sweden

Eleventh Century

King Stephen of Hungary,

persecution under Caliph Hakim,

the filioque first inserted into the creed in Rome,

the investiture controversy,

the Great Schism,

Michael Cerularius,


Henry IV,

another Wendish uprising,

the Norman conquest,

Christianity imposed in Sweden,


John Italus,


the First Crusade,

the Cistercians

Twelfth Century

the Holy Fire in Jerusalem,

the Templars,

Concordat of Worms,

Otto of Bamburg,

Bernard of Clairvaux,

the Second Crusade,

the Wendish Crusade,

Synod of Blachernae,

Thomas Becket,

massacre in Constantinople,

St. John of Novgorod,


the Third Crusade,

Richard the Lionhearted,

Teutonic Knights,

the Livonian Crusade

Thirteenth Century

the Fourth Crusade sacks Constantinople,

Stephen Langton,

the Fourth Lateran Council,

Francis of Assisi,


St. Sava,

Synodicon of the Holy Spirit,

Papal Inquisition,

Alexander Nevsky,


Thomas Aquinas,


council of Lyons,

council of 1285,

Saint Timofey,


Duns Scotus

Fourteenth Century

Unum Sanctum,

the Babylonian Captivity of the papacy,

St. Sergius of Radonezh,

St. Gregory Palamas,

the Black Plague,

Serbian patriarchate,

Council of St. Sophia,

Council of Blachernae,

Schism of the papacy,

battle of Kulikova,

John Wyclif,

conversion of Lithuania

Fifteenth Century

the synod of Piza,

John Huss,

the council of Basel,

council of Constance,

Joan of Arc,

the council of Florence,

the printing press,

fall of Constantinople,

the Judaizer heresy,

Marsilio Ficino,

the first Tsars of Russia,

the Spanish Inquisition,

Archbishop Gennadi,

Abbot Joseph,

Rodrigo Borgia,

the new world

Sixteenth Century


Nils Sorsky,

John Reuchlin,


Martin Luther,

Complutensian Polyglot,

the Aldine Septuagint,

the Diet of Worms,

Henry VIII,

Suleiman's Seige of Vienna,

the first complete English Bible printed,


the Jesuits,

the Roman Inquisition,

the council of Trent, Mary Tudor,

the Peace of Augsburg,

the Geneva Bible,

the Bishop's Bible,

Ivan the Terrible,

the battle of Lepanto,

the massacre of St. Bartholomew,

Ostrozhsky or Ostrong Bible,

Gregorian Calendar,

Sixtine Septuagint,

Russian Patriarchate,


the Edict of Nantes,

Basil of Mangazeya

Seventeenth Century

Douay-Rheims Bible,

the King James Bible,

the Thirty Years War,

Philaret of Moscow,

Josaphat Kuntsevich,

Textus Receptus,

Codex Alexandrinus,


Cyril Lukaris,

the English Civil War,

Council of Jerusalem,

Council of Jassy,

Peter of Moghila,


Peter the Great,

final Turkish seige of Vienna,

revocation of the Edict of Nantes,

liberation of Hungary,

Glorious Revolution

Eighteenth Century


Moscow patriarchate abolished,


Gregorian calendar,

Paissy Velichkovshy,

Jesuits suppressed,

Kosmas the Aetolian,

the Philokalia

Nineteenth Century

Alexis Khomiakov,

Nikita the Albanian,

Seraphim of Sarov,


John of Kronstadt,

liberation of Greece from Turkish rule,

Marquis de Custine,

the encyclicals of the Eastern Patriarchs,

the Crimean War,

Immaculate Conception,

First Vatican Council,

Westcott and Hort,

The Way of a Pilgrim,

Theophan the Recluse,


Twentieth Century

Gregorian calendar,

persecution of the Russian Church,

World War II,

Vatican II,

the embrace of peace


Pre-Christian Background (all dates before christ)

5509 This year was the starting point for the apo ktiseos kosmou (AKK) or anno mundi (AM) chronological system commonly employed by East Roman (Byzantine) scholars from about the fifth century. In this system, then, 1 A.D. corresponds to the year of the world 5509/5510. 2001 A.D. is thus 7509/7510, 7509 through 31 August and 7510 thereafter, since the East Roman year began with 1 September. (A variant system, known as the Alexandrian era and attributed to the fifth century monk Panodorus, began on August 29, 5493 B.C.)

5199 In the Anno Mundi chronological system attributed to Eusebius and common in the West before the adoption of the Anno Domini system, this year was the starting point.

4004 The year of the creation according to Bishop Ussher (1581-1656), an Anglo-Irish (Protestant) priest.

776 First Olympic games held. (Important for dating purposes only.)

753 The year of the founding of Rome. Used in the A.U.C. (Anno Urbis Conditae) system. 754 A.U.C. = 1 A.D. The Roman year began with the Kalends of March (1 March).

~537 Return of Jewish exiles under Sheshbazzar, with Zerubabbel (grandson of Jehoiachin, the last of David's ancestors to enjoy political power) and Jeshua (Ezra 2.2).

536 Rebuilding of the temple begun (Ezra 3.8).

520 Rebuilding of the temple reinitiated under during Darius' second year (Ezra 4.24).

516 Temple completed in Darius' sixth year (Ezra 6.15).

458 Ezra traveled from Babylon to Jerusalem. He called an assembly - the people separated themselves from their foreign wives (Ezra 10).

445 Nehemiah travels to Jerusalem as governor and oversees the reconstruction of the city's wall (Nehemiah 6.15). Ezra read the Law aloud to the people near the Water Gate (Neh. 8.3).

250 The Septuagint translation of the Torah accomplished in Alexandria, Egypt, about this time under Ptolemy Philadelphus.

166-142 The Maccabean revolt, led by Mattathias. Judea became independent of the Seleucids. The Hasmonean dynasty (Mattathias' descendants).

722 The fall of Israel to Shalmanesser V and Sargon II of Assyria.

586 Jerusalem destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar's forces after a two year siege.

539 Cyrus (559-530) captured Babylon in October. Soon thereafter, he proclaimed that the temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt. About 50,000 Jews returned.

522 Darius I (522-486) king of Persia.

520 Haggai and Zechariah began preaching around this year.

486 Reign of Xerxes (486-465), king of Persia.

465 Reign of Artaxerxes (465-424), king of Persia.

445 Artaxerxes' command to rebuild Jerusalem's walls (Neh. 2.4-8). Many begin Daniel's prophecy of the seventy weeks from this date (Dan. 9.25).

433 Malachi likely written when Nehemiah briefly returned to Persia during this year and the people again disregarded the Law.

332 Alexander the Great conquered Palestine.

198 Rule of Palestine transferred from the Ptolemies (Egypt) to the Seleucids (Syria).

175 Antioches Epiphanes (175-164) came to power as Seleucid ruler of Palestine. He attempted to Hellenize the Jews.

63 Pompey conquered Jerusalem for Rome.

44 Caesar assassinated, 15 March.

43 Octavian (Caesar’s nephew, later known as Augustus), Mark Antony, and Leupidus rule Rome as a triumvirate.

42 The Senate recognized Julius Caesar as a god.

37 Herod the Great (ruled 37-4? BC) became king of Judea, appointed by the senate of Rome.

30 In August, Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide in Alexandria after their defeat by Octavian’s forces. In spite of the fact that Herod had backed Antony, Octavian confirmed him as king of Judea.

20 Construction began on the Herod’s temple in Jerusalem.

9 The Julian calendar adopted in Asia Minor. There, the civil year began on 23 September, IX Kalendarum Octobris, Augustus’ birthday.

The First Century

14 Augustus died on August 19. On September 17, the Senate in Rome decreed that Augustus Caesar was one of the gods, and it named Tiberius emperor. (If Luke 3.1 dates “the reign of Tiberius Caesar” from this year, his fifteenth year was 28/29 A.D.)

30, 33? Jesus was crucified and resurrected.

39/40 Philo of Alexandria (15/10 BC - 45/50) led an embassy of Jews from Alexandria to the emperor Caligula (37-41) in Rome. The Jews of Alexandria were then the subject of a Roman pogrom, which Philo and his companions hoped to end. Caligula, however, cut Philo off as he spoke. Philo later told his fellow ambassadors that God would punish Caligula, who was soon assasinated.

Philo was a theologian who sought to harmonize Jewish theology with Greek (largely Platonic) philosophy. Many ideas found in later Christian theology are present in Philo, though sometimes in a form unacceptable to the Church. Philo taught that Greek philosophy had been plagiarized from Moses. He believed that the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint, dating from the third century BC) was divinely inspired. Philo referred to the Logos (the residence of the Platonic Ideas) as the first-begotten Son of God - though, in his view, the Logos was definitely below God, distinct from the Godhead. He interpreted the theophanies of the Old Testament as appearances of the Logos (as for the Fathers they were Christophanies). He stressed the allegorical interpretation of scripture, though this must be balanced. With the later Eastern mystical theologians, Philo discussed the incomprehensibility of God in essence, and how knowledge of God can be attained in an ecstatic state.

In some ways, Philo was more akin to the Gnostics and Manichaeans. For instance, like Plato, Philo viewed the body as the prison for the soul. This reveals a distinctly non-Christian view of matter.

41 Jerusalem expanded. New city walls were built, bringing the site of Jesus’ crucifixion within the city.

42James, the brother of John, was beheaded (Acts 12.2).

43 The emperor Claudius (41-54) conquered Britain.

Barnabas brought Saul to Antioch (Acts 11.25-26).

44 Death of Herod Agrippa I, King of Judea and Samaria (Acts 12.23).

45 The church in Antioch sent famine relief to the Christians of Judea by the hands of Saul and Barnabas (Acts 11.29).

47-49 First missionary journey of Saul and Barnabas (Acts 13-14).

49 According to the Roman historian Suetonius (70-122), Claudius “expelled the Jews from Rome since they rioted constantly at the instigation of Chrestus.”

49/50 The council of Jerusalem was held (Acts 15). As a result, Gentiles were not required to be circumcised.

Death of Helena, queen mother of the kingdom of Adiabene, a Jewish state in northern Mesopotamia. Adiabene was frequently allied with Persia in wars against Rome.

The emperor Claudius promoted the cult of the Great Mother (Magna Mater) of the Gods and her consort Attis. The two had been introduced into the Roman pantheon around 200 B.C.

50 Paul’s second missionary journey began, with Silas (Acts 15.40). Paul and Silas visited Philippi (Acts 16.11-40), meeting Lydia, the seller of purple, and being rescued from prison, with the consequent conversion of the Philippian jailor (Acts 16.33); Thessalonica, where there was a riot on their behalf (Acts 17.5); Boroea, where the Jews willingly examined the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah (Acts 17.11); Athens, where Paul preached in the Areopagus (Acts 17.22-31); Corinth, where he met Aquila and Priscilla, refugees because of Claudius’ expulsion of the Jews from Rome (Acts 18.2); and Ephesus, Caesarea, and Jerusalem before returning to Antioch (Acts 18.22).

51 Paul wrote the epistles to the Thessalonians, from Corinth.

53 Paul’s epistle to the Galatians written from Antioch (?). Beginning of the third missionary journey. Paul in Ephesus, 53-55/56. (Acts 19)

55 Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, from Ephesus.

55/56 Paul departed Ephesus (Acts 20.1), visiting Macedonia and Corinth. 2 Corinthians written from Macedonia.

57 Paul wrote Romans from Corinth. Departed Greece (Acts 20.3), and after passing through Troas (Acts 20.7-12), and preaching to the presbyters of the church in Ephesus (Acts 20.18-35), came to Jerusalem (Acts 21.17), ending the third missionary journey.

57-59 Paul imprisoned in Caesarea (Acts 23.33-26.32), under Felix and Festus.

60 Paul arrived at Rome (Acts 28.16).

61/62 Paul wrote the epistles entitled Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians and Philippians.

62 According to tradition, James the Just, bishop of Jerusalem, was killed in the temple by an angry mob, apparently struck in the head with a sledgehammer.

Tradition has it Bartholomew was martyred in Kalyana, a city state on the west coast of India, near modern-day Bombay. Bartholomew was skinned alive and crucified.

Paul tried and acquitted in Rome.

63-66 Paul traveled to Macedonia, Asia Minor, Crete, and possibly Spain. 1 Timothy and Titus written.

641st Persecution of Christians, under Nero. When Rome burned for six days, Nero (54-68) blamed the Christians. In 62, Nero had married Poppea Sabina, a proselyte to Judaism. Of Nero’s persecution, Tacitus wrote, “First Nero had self-acknowledged Christians arrested. Then, on their information, large numbers of others were condemned. ...Their deaths were made farcical. Dressed in wild animal’s skins, they were torn to pieces by dogs, or crucified, or made into torches to be ignited after dark as substitutes for daylight.”

A third century legend has it that Simon Magus (Acts 8.9-24) and St. Peter had confrontations in Rome. Simon, wishing to gain an advantage over Peter and to impress Claudius with his ability to fly, fell to his death from the top of the Roman Forum.

64 The church in Alexandria founded by St. Mark, the disciple of Peter.

64 Herod’s temple in Jerusalem completed. See 20 BC and 66.

66Jewish rebellion began and war between the Romans and Jews ensued. Jerusalem was taken in 70 and destroyed, as was Herod’s temple. Later, in the second century, Justin Martyr would teach that this destruction was the judgment of God upon a nation that had rejected its Messiah and failed to discern that, under the new dispensation, the temple sacrifices were abrogated.

67 Some date the book of Revelation to this year. Most place it toward the end of Diocletian’s reign (81-96).

Paul’s second trial in Rome. 2 Timothy written.

66 First known public reference to Mithraism in Rome. King Tiridates of Armenia visited Nero in Rome. To Nero he said, “I have come to thee, my god, to worship thee as I do Mithras.”

67/68 St. Paul martyred on the road from Rome to Ostia. Beheaded by the sword. About this same time St. Peter also martyred, crucified upside down.

69 According to tradition, St. Andrew was crucified in Patrae, on the Peloponnesus peninsula.

69Ignatius became bishop of Antioch in Syria.

69Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, born. Died 155. Irenaeus stated that Polycarp had known St. John at Ephesus. Polycarp was martyred and was noted for doing nothing to provoke the authorities, but waiting quietly for them to come arrest him. Irenaeus wrote, “Polycarp also was not only instructed by the Apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also by Apostles in Asia, ordained Bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, having always taught the things which he had learned from the Apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true.”