Eastern Orthodoxy to 1453: Christian History Timeline

Eastern Orthodoxy

270 Antony takes up life of solitude

301 Armenia officially embraces Christianity

313 Emperor Constantine legalizes Christian church (right)

325 First Council of Nicea; Arius condemned but not defeated

328 Athanasius becomes bishop of Alexandria and fights Arianism

358 Basil the Great founds first monastery (right)

380 Christianity becomes the sole legal religion of the Roman Empire

381 First Council of Constantinople adopts Nicene Creed

398 John Chrysostom becomes bishop of Constantinople

431 First Council of Ephesus condemns Nestorius

444 Death of Cyril of Alexandria, who believed Christ had one nature after his Incarnation (monophysitism)

451 The Council of Chalcedon condemns monophysitism; monophysite Egypt, Syria, and Ethiopia break with Constantinople (right)

483 Emperor Zeno’s Henotikon tries to reconcile monophysites but fails

553 The Second Constantinople Council fails to reconcile monophysites

662 Exiled Maximus the Confessor dies

680 After Third Council of Constantinople, all attempts to reconcile the monophysites cease (right)

692 “Quinisext” Council codifies canon law of Eastern church

726 Byzantine Emperor Leo III starts campaign against icons (iconoclasm); persecutes those who defend icons (right)

749 John of Damascus, first systematic theologian of the East and defender of icons, dies

787 Second Council of Nicea condemns iconoclasm

811–843 Iconoclastic campaign revived by imperial court but fails

862 Mission of Cyril and Methodius to the Slavs

867 Photius, patriarch of Constantinople, accuses Rome of heresy because of the filioque

988 Vladimir, prince of Kiev, embraces Christianity; conversion of Russia follows (right)

1014 Rome introduces filioque into its liturgy; pope no longer commemorated at Constantinople

1022 Death of Simeon the New Theologian, Byzantium’s greatest mystic

1054 Papal legates excommunicate patriarch of Constantinople, who in turn excommunicates the legates

1204 Crusaders sack Constantinople (right)

1274 Union of Lyons rejected by the Orthodox

1338 Gregory Palamas defends Hesychasm in his Triads

1438 Council of Florence attempts to reunite East and West

1453 Turks conquer Byzantium (right)

Events in the West

257–60 Cyprian, Pope Sixtus II martyred in Valerian persecution

285 Roman Empire divided east and west

312 Donatist Schism begins

350 Goths converted to Arian Christianity

386 Augustine’s conversion

395 Alaric the Visigoth begins military compaigns; eventually sacks Rome (410) (right)

432 Patrick’s mission to Ireland (right)

440 Leo I becomes pope

c. 503 Baptism of Clovis, king of the Franks

540 Benedict writes his monastic Rule

590 Gregory the Great becomes pope

732 Battle of Tours stops Muslim incursions in Europe (right)

754 Boniface, missionary to the Germans, martyred

800 Charlemagne becomes Holy Roman Emperor (right)

1093 Anselm becomes bishop of Canterbury

1095–1099 First Crusade

1115 Bernard founds monastery at Clairvaux

1141 Hildegard of Bingen begins writing

1208 Francis renounces wealth

1274 Thomas Aquinas dies

1303–1378 “Babylonian Captivity": Roman popes at Avignon

1415 Jan Hus burned

By Gerald Bray

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #54 in 1997]

Gerald Bray is a professor at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama.
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