Christian History Timeline: The Holy Land

Roman (63 B.C. – 324 A.D.)

c. 30–33 Death and resurrection of Jesus

66 Jewish rebellion ignites war with Rome; Christians flee city

70 Roman army led by Titus destroys Jerusalem and Jewish Temple

132–135 Bar Kokhba leads second Jewish revolt

135 Emperor Hadrian conquers Jerusalem and renames it “Aelia Capitolina”; Jews are expelled from city; pagan temple built over site of Jesus’ tomb

313 Edict of Milan ends persecution of Christians The Byzantine Period (324–638)

324 Constantine becomes sole ruler of Roman Empire and decides to shift capital from Rome to Byzantium (Constantinople)

325 Eusebius publishes Church History; Macanus, bishop of Jerusalem, attends Council of Nicaea

326 Constantine orders construction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; excavation uncovers tomb of Christ and supposedly pieces of the Cross

c. 326–328 Queen Helena visits Palestine and builds churches 333 “Bordeaux Pilgrim” visits Palestine and keeps a travel diary

335 Church of the Holy Sepulcher is dedicated for worship

337 Constantine dies; Eusebius publishes Life of Constantine

339 Dedication of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

c. 348–387 Cyril is bishop of Jerusalem

362–365 Emperor Julian “the Apostate” tries to reestablish pagan worship and promises to rebuild Jewish Temple

373 Melania the Elder and Rufinus found monastic communities on the Mount of Olives 384–386 Jerome and Paula establish monastery in Bethlehem

384–387 Egeria travels in the East and keeps a detailed account of her trip

391 Emperor Theodosius the Great outlaws paganism, making Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire

c. 400 Rabbis in Tiberias compile Jerusalem Talmud

405 Euthymius, a monk from Armenia, settles in the Judean desert

410 Visigoths sack Rome

443 Empress Eudocia is banished and settles in Jerusalem, improving the city and its walls

451 Council of Chalcedon defines two natures of Christ; Jerusalem becomes the fifth patriarchate (with Constantinople, Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch)

516 Sabas and monks of Palestine gather to support Chalcedon

527–565 Byzantine Palestine reaches its height during the reign of Emperor Justinian

555–558 Cyril of Scythopolis writes biographies of the monks of Palestine

614 Persians sack Jerusalem

630 Emperor Heraclius invades Persia & recovers the True Cross, returning it to Jerusalem

Early Arab (638–1099)

639 Jerusalem surrenders to Muslim Caliph Umar

691 Caliph Abd al-Malik builds Dome of the Rock

716 John of Damascus becomes a monk at the monastery of St. Sabas, where he writes defenses of icons and one of the first Christian critiques of Islam

1009 Muslim Caliph alHakim persecutes Christians and destroys churches, including Holy Sepulchre

1071 Seljuk Turks capture Jerusalem

1095 Pope Urban II calls for First Crusade

Crusader (1099–1291)

1099 Crusaders conquer Jerusalem

1187 Muslim Caliph Saladin conquers Jerusalem

1291 Crusaders are expelled from the Holy Land

Mamluk (1260-1517)

1260 Mamluks of Cairo conquer Palestine and capture Crusader strongholds

1335 Franciscans return to Jerusalem to serve needs of Christian pilgrims

Ottoman (1517–1917)

1517 Ottoman Turks conquer Jerusalem

1537–42 Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilds the walls of Jerusalem and undertakes many other architectural projects

1852 Muslim edict defines the “status quo” of property in the Holy Sepulchre

1880s Jewish refugees from Russia and other parts of Europe begin to settle in Palestine

1897 First Zionist conference is held in Basel

British (1917-1948)

1917 Balfour Declaration supports Jewish home in Palestine; British capture Jerusalem during World War I

1923 British Mandate for Palestine begins

Modern State of Israel (1948– )

1948 British withdraw; David Ben Gurion declares Jewish State of Israel; first Arab-Israeli war begins

1967 Six-Day War; Jerusalem is reunited

By the editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #97 in 2008]

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