Christian History Timeline: Augustine & the Battle for Orthodoxy

Augustine’s Life

354 Born at Thagaste, North Africa

361 Experiences serious illness while in grammar school

370 Studies rhetoric in Carthage, takes a mistress

c. 371 Father dies; son Adeodatus is born

c. 372 Becomes a Manichee

376 Teaches rhetoric in Carthage

383 Sails to Rome despite Monica’s objections, becomes disillusioned with Manicheism

384 Meets Symmachus, who appoints him official orator in Milan

386 Converts to Christianity

387 Baptized by Ambrose; Monica dies

388 Establishes monastic community in Thagaste

390 Adeodatus dies

391 Ordained a priest in Hippo

392 Requests biblical commentaries from Jerome, debates Fortunatus the Manichee

c. 395 Succeeds Valerius as bishop of Hippo

397 Participates in Councils of Carthage, which defined the structure of the African church

400 Writes Confessions

c. 411 Attends Collatio (debates ending in the condemnation of the Donatists)

412 Starts 13-year work on City of God

416 At a council in Milevis, joins in condemnation of Pelagius and Celestius

419 Begins writing against Julian of Eclanum

423 Considers resigning over scandal involving Antoninus, whom he had ordained

426 Begins Retractions

430 Dies, as Vandals besiege Hippo

The Church and Its Struggles

354 John Chrysostom born

355 Donatus, schismatic bishop of Casa Nigrae, dies

356 Antony of Egypt dies

361 Valentian, an orthodox believer, becomes Western emperor, ending 30 years of rule by Arians (who believe Jesus is not divine)

373 Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, dies

374 Ambrose becomes bishop of Milan

381 Council of Constantinople affirms Nicene orthodoxy; Emperor Theodosius forbids paganism

384 Symmachus petitions for the pagan Altar of Victory; Ambrose responds and ultimately prevails

385 Jerome goes to Palestine

386 Basilicas in Milan besieged; purge of Manichees in Carthage

390 Ambrose requires Emperor Theodosius to repent for massacre at Thessalonica

c. 390 Pelagius arrives in Rome and is disturbed by immorality

395 Augustine’s friend Alypius elected bishop of Thagaste

397 Ambrose dies

401 Donatist bishop of Calama held responsible for attack on Catholic bishop Possidius

405 Edict of Unity issued against Donatists

407 John Chrysostom, twice deposed bishop of Constantinople, dies

410 Alaric (an Arian) and the Goths sack Rome

415 Synod at Diospolis judges Pelagius favorably

418 Zosimus, bishop of Rome, condemns Pelagius and Celestius; first schism between Rome and Constantinople occurs

419 Julian of Eclanum begins writing in defense of Pelagianism

420 Jerome dies

429 Vandals enter Africa

431 Council of Ephesus condemns Pelagianism

By the Editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #67 in 2000]

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