Timeline of Church History
Apostolic Era (33-100)
Ante-Nicene Era (100-325)
Nicene Era (325-451)
Byzantine Era (451-843)
Late Byzantine Era (843-1453)
Post-Imperial Era (1453-1821)
Modern Era (1821-present)
The History of the Church is a vital part of the Orthodox Christian faith. Orthodox Christians are defined significantly by their continuity with all those who have gone before, those who first received and preached the truth of Jesus Christ to the world, those who helped to formulate the expression and worship of our faith, and those who continue to move forward in the unchanging yet ever-dynamic Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church.
The first thousand years of her history the Church was essentially one. Five historic Patriarchal centers--Jerusalem; Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, and Constantinople-- formed a cohesive whole and were in full communion with each other. There were occasional heretical or schismatic groups going their own way, to be sure; but the Church was unified until the 11th century. Then, in events culminating in A.D.1054, the Roman Patriarch pulled away from the other four, pursuing his long-developing claim of universal headship of the Church.
Today, nearly a thousand years later, the other four Patriarchates remain intact, in full communion, maintaining that Orthodox apostolic faith of the inspired New Testament record. The Orthodox Church and her history is described herein, from Pentecost to the present day.
Scholars estimate there are over 2,600 groups today who lay claim to being the Church, or at least the direct descendants of the Church described in the New Testament. Most all of the 2,600 groups come from the Roman Patriarchal side of the timeline showing the church roots.
All historians agree today that the schism which eventually became a permanent form of separation between Eastern and Western Christians did not occur suddenly. It was the result of a progressive "estrangement". Whatever the issues and whoever was at fault, it is clear that, underneath the debate on a concrete theological or disciplinary problem, there was a developing difference on the repective authority of the "apostolic see" of Rome on the one side, and on the other, the idea of a conciliar consensus prevailing in the East.
1AD First year in Christian calendar (a.d. = anno Domini) (see 525), Augustus (Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus) is emperor of Rome
1AD-36? Life of Jesus Christ
27-29? John the Baptist begins ministry (Luke 3,1-2) (15th year of Tiberius)
27-34? Jesus baptized by John the Baptist (Mk1:4-11)
33-34? John the Baptist arrested and killed by Herod Antipas (Luke 3,19-20)
33 The Holy Spirit descends on the day of Pentecost, filling the followers of Jesus Christ with power from on high. And gives birth to the Church. (A.D. 29 is thought to be more accurate).
34 St. Peter founds the See of Antioch.
36?-37 Paul of Tarsus has Stephen martyred and the Jerusalem church destroyed.
37 Paul of Tarsus is converted (Acts 9)
37 St. Joseph of Arimathea travels to Britain and lands in Glastonbury.
39 St. Peter baptizes Cornelius. This event marks the beginning of the missionizing to the Gentiles.
40 Paul goes to Jerusalem to consult with Peter (Gal 1, 18-20)
42 The first persecution of Christians in Jerusalem under Herod Agrippa. Many Christians escape to Antioch, establishing its first community.
44 James, brother of John, executed by Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12, 1-3)
45-80 Apostles Paul, Peter, James, John and Judas write their epistles. About the same time the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are written.
47-48 Paul and Barnabas on Cyprus (Acts 13, 4-12)
48-57? Paul writes Galations
49 Apostolic Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) rules that Gentiles do not have to become Jews before becoming Christians. Council at Jerusalem establishes precedent for address ing Church disputes in Council. James presides as bishop. Apostolic Council at Jerusalem abolishes the Mosaic law. Gradually Sunday (called the Lord's Day) replaces the Sabbath as the day of worship.The doctrine regarding circumcision and dietary law is agreed to by apostles and presbyters, written in a letter addressed to "the brothers of Gentile origin in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia" (Acts 15)
49-50 Paul in Corinth (Acts 18)
50 The Apostle Matthew finishes the Gospel of Matthew in Aramaic.
51-52 Paul writes 1 Thes& 2 Thes
56 Paul writes 1 Corin
57 Paul writes Romans; Paul writes 2 Corin; Paul's last visit to Jerusalem [Acts21]
58 Paul arrested, imprisoned in Caesarea [Acts25:4]
60 Paul imprisoned in Rome (Acts 28,16)
60-180 Several Gnostic sects appear which attempt to infiltrate Christian communities.
61-63? Paul? writes 1,2 Timothy, Titus, known as "pastoral epistles; Paul writes Colossians; Ephesians; & Philemon
62 Martyrdom of Apostle James the Just, the Lord's brother and bishop of Jerusalem.
62 Paul martyred for treason in Rome
63 St. Aristobulus consecrated as first Bishop of Britain.
64-67 Persecution of Christians by Emperor Nero. Sts. Peter and Paul become martyrs.
64 Martyrdom of the Apostle Paul in Rome.
66 Jews revolt against Roman authority. The Christians, remembering the prophecies of Christ, leave Jerusalem, led by their bishop, St. Simeon. A civil war ensues. Nero sends Vespasian and Titus to put down the insurrection.
67 Martyrdom of the Apostle Peter in Rome. He was crucified upside down in Rome; Apostle Linus elected first bishop of Rome.
68 Suicide of Emperor Nero.
69 Fall of Jerusalem. The Temple is destroyed. Tacitus records that 600 000 Jews were slaughtered during the siege; Josephus said it was a million.
69 St. Ignatius of Antioch consecrated to the episcopacy in Antioch. Bishop Ignatius consecrated in Antioch in heart of New Testament era-St. Peter had been the first bishop there. Other early bishops include James, Polycarp, and Clement.
70 Apostle Mark writes his Gospel; the Temple in Jerusalem is destroyed by the Romans; expulsion of the Christians from the synagogues. Destruction of Jerusalem, as foretold by Jesus (Matt. ch. 24).
71 Apostle Mark introduces Christianity to Egypt.
75 Judea, Galilea and Samaria are renamed Palaestina by the Romans.
75-90 Gospel according to Luke written & Acts of the Apostles written, same author as Gospel according to Luke
80 Gospel of Luke written by the Apostle Luke; Jewish historian (and former general) Josephus writes the Antiquities.
85 Acts of the Apostles is composed by the Apostle Luke.
95 Persecution of Christians in Rome under Domitian.
95 Apostle John writes the Book of Revelation. The Book of Revelation probably the last of the New Testament books.
96-98 Persecution of Christians under Emperor Domitian. Apostle John is exiled to Patmos where he writes the Book of Revelation. Later, circa 100-105 A.D., he writes his Gospel.
96 Gospel of John written by that apostle as a supplement and further theological illumination of the Synoptic Gospels.
100 Death of the Apostle John the Theologia, the last apostle. The period of Public Revelation comes to an end.
107 Martyrdom of Ignatius of Antioch, apostolic Father and bishop. He was a disciple of St. John, along with St. Polycarp. Ignatius was martyred in Rome under Emperor Trajan's rule. It was during the journey to Rome that he wrote his famous letters that contain invaluble information about the early Church.
†110 St. Ignatius Bishop of Antioch, the author of several important epistles, is (†) martyred at Rome.
117 Persecution of Christians under Hadrian.
130 Conversion of Justin Martyr.
132 Jews, led by Bar Kochba, whom some identify as the Messiah, revolt against Rome.
135 Christmas instituted as a holy day in Rome.
136 Emperor Hadrian crushes the Jewish resistance, forbids Jews from ever entering Jerusalem, and changes the name of the city to Aelia Capitolina; first recorded use of the title Pope for the bishop of Rome by Pope Hyginus.
144 Excommunication of Marcion for his heretical rejection of the Old Testament and for his semi-Gnostic teachings, particularly Docetism.
150 St. Justin Martyr describes the Divine Lliturgical worship of the Church, centered in the Eucharist. St. Justin Martyr writes books in defense of the Christian faith, describes how Baptism and Liturgy were performed in his time. Liturgical worship is rooted in both the Old and New Testaments.
155 Martyrdom of Polycarp of Smyrna.
156 Beginning of Montanism.
165 Martyrdom of Justin.
180 St. Irenaeus of Lyons writes Against Heresies.
190 Pantaenus founds the Catechetical School at Alexandria.
197 Quartodeciman controversy.
200 Martyrdom of St. Irenaeus of Lyons.
†202 St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, author of several books against heresies is martyred.
203 Emperor Septimus Severus issues an edict against Christianity and Judaism.
206 King Abgar IX converts Edessa to Christianity.
215-290 The rise of Christian schools in Alexandria and Antioch.
215 Conversion of Tertullian to Montanism.
225 Death of Tertullian.
232 Heraclas becomes Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria on the death of Demetrius.
244-49 The Roman Emperor Decius persecutes Christians.
246 Paul of Thebes retreats to the Egyptian desert and becomes the first Christian hermit.
249-251 Persecution under the Emperor Decius.
251-253 Persecution under Emperor Gaius.
253-260 Persecution under Emperor Valerian.
†258 St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, author and theologian, is martyred.
260 Paul of Samosata begins his heretical preaching against the divinity of Christ.
264 Excommunication of Paul of Samosata.
270 Antony takes up life of solitude
284 Diocletian ascends the Roman imperial throne, and begins the most severe persecution against the Christians. During his reign, an estimated 1 million martyrs are slain for Christ.
285 St. Anthony the Great flees to the desert to pursue a life of prayer.
300-305 The Emperor Diocletian vows to vanquish Christianity. Thousands of Christians, including St. George, St. Barbara, and St. Catherine are martyred.
300 Christianization of Britain
301 Armenia officially embraces Christianity
301 St. Gregory the Illuminator converts King Tiridates I of Armenia to the Christian faith.
†303 St. Alban is martyred.
304 Alban, protomartyr of Britain, killed by Roman authorities.
310 Armenia becomes the first Christian nation.
311 Rebellion of the Donatists in Carthage.
312 Conversion of Constantine the Great, who defeats Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge and becomes Emperor of the West.
313 The Edict of Milan is issued by St. Constantine the Great and his co-emperor Licinius, officially declaring religious freedom in the Roman Empire and specifically naming toleration for Christianity. The Edict of Milan marks an end to the period of Roman persecution of Christianity.
314 Condemnation of Donatism as a heresy.
318 Publication of "De incarnatione" by St Athanasius. This influenced the condemnation of the teaching of Arius
318 St. Pachomius the Great, a disciple of Anthony the Great, organizes a community of ascetics at Tabennis in Egypt, founding cenobitic monasticism.
320 Expulsion of Arius by St. Alexander of Alexandria.
323 Constantine the Great builds a church on the site of the martyrdom of St. Peter in Rome
325 First Ecumenical Council held in Nicea, condemning Arianism, setting the Paschalion, and issuing the first version of the Nicene Creed. The Council of Nicea settles the major heretical challenge to the Christian Faith posed when the heretic Arius asserts Christ was created by the Father. St. Athanasius defends the eternality of the Son of God. Nicea is the first of Seven Ecumenical (Church-wide) Councils.
326 Empress Helena finds the Cross of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. Later she builds the Church of the Resurrection on the place of Christ's Resurrection, where each year on the Orthodox Pascha (Easter) the Holy Fire descends.
326 King Miraeus of Georgia becomes Christian.
328 Athanasius the Great becomes bishop of Alexandria and fights Arianism.
329 St. Athanasius ordains St. Frumentius (Abba Selama) to the priesthood and commissions him to apostolic work in Ethiopia.
330-410 Period of the great Fathers of the Church: Sts. Athanasius, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, Ambrose of Milan, John Chrysostom and others.
330 Amoun and Macarius the Great found monasteries in the Egyptian desert.
336 St Athanasius the Great of Alexandria goes into exile in Treves until
338. He told the Europeans about the rule of St Pachomius the Great, thus awakening interest in monasticism in Europe
340 Conversion of Wulfila to Arianism, subsequently missionizing the Goths with his heretical doctrine.
†343 St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Lycia.
348 Death of St. Pachomius the Great.
350 St. Ninian establishes the church Candida Casa at Whithorn in Galloway, Scotland, beginning the missionary effort to the Picts.
451 Council of Chalcedon affirms apostolic doctrine of two natures in Christ.
356 Death of St. Anthony the Great.
358 Basil the Great founds the monastery of Annesos in Pontus, the model for Eastern monasticism.
360 St. Martin of Tours founds first French monastery at Liguge.
361 Julian the Apostate becomes Roman emperor.
367 St. Athanasius of Alexandria writes his Paschal letter, listing for the first time the canon of the New Testament of the Holy Scriptures.
373 Death of St Athanasius the Great, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria.
374 Election of Ambrose to the episcopacy of Milan.
375 St. Basil the Great writes On the Holy Spirit, confirming the divinity of the Holy Spirit.
376 Visigoths converted to Arian Christianity.
380 Christianity established as the official faith of the Roman Empire by Emperor St. Theodosius the Great.
381 Second Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople, condemning Macedonianism/Pneumatomachianism and Appollinarianism, declaring the divinity of the Holy Spirit, confirming the previous Ecumenical Council, and completing the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. The Second Ecumenical Council in Constantinople reaffirms the need to have five Patriarchates: Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.
395 St. Augustine becomes bishop of Hippo.
398 St. John Chrysostom becomes Archbishop of Constantinople.
400 Translation of the Holy Scriptures into Latin as the Vulgate by St. Jerome.
401 St. Augustine of Hippo writes the Confessions.
403 Abduction of Patrick to Ireland to serve as a slave; he escapes a while later and returns to Britain.
407 Death of John Chrysostom in exile.
410 Fall of Rome to the Visigoths. Alaric, leader of the Germanic Visigoths, takes Rome
411 Pelagius condemned at a council in Carthage.
412 St Cyril succeeds his uncle Theophilus as Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria.
415 Pelagius cleared at a synod in Jerusalem and a provincial synod in Diospolis (Lydda); St. John Cassian founds convent at Marseilles.
416 Councils in Carthage and Milevis condemn Pelagius and convince Pope Innocent I of Rome to excommunicate him.
418 A council in Carthage anathematizes Pelagianism by way of endorsing Augustinian anthropology.
426 St. Augustine of Hippo writes The City of God.
428 Nestorius becomes patriarch of Constantinople.
431 Third Ecumenical Council held in Ephesus, condemning Nestorianism and Pelagianism, confirming the use of the term Theotokos to refer to the Virgin Mary; the council also grants autocephaly to the Church of Cyprus; Palladius is sent by the Pope of Rome as a missionary bishop to Ireland.
432 Return of Patrick to Ireland to begin missionary work.
433 The Formulary of Peace completes the work of the Third Ecumenical Council by reconciling Cyril of Alexandria with John of Antioch.
444 Death of St Cyril, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and who believed Christ had one nature after his Incarnation (monophysitism).
445 Founding of the monastery at Armagh in northern Ireland.
449 The "robber synod" of Ephesus. Dioscurus was chairman, with an order from the Emperor to acquit Eutyches.
450 First monasteries established in Wales.
451 Fourth Ecumenical Council meets at Chalcedon, condemning Eutychianism and Monophysitism, affirming that Christ has two natures; this eventually led to a schism, with the Church of Alexandria being divided into Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian factions, with a similar schism occurring in the Church of Antioch along with it.
452 Proterios, who was appointed Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria to replace Dioscuros (who had been deposed at the Council of Chalcedon) convened a synod in Alexandria to try to reconcile the Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian groups.
466 Church of Antioch elevates the bishop of Mtskheta to the rank of Catholicos of Kartli, thus rendering the Church of Georgia autocephalous.
477 Bishop Timothy ("the Wild Cat") of Alexandria, who opposed the Council of Chalcedon, exiled the Orthodox bishops from Egypt.
483 Emperor Zeno's Henotikon tries to reconcile monophysites but fails
484 Founding of the Monastery of St. Sabbas in the Judean wilderness; (where later the Typicon for church services is developed) Synod of Beth Papat in Persia declares the Nestorian doctrine as the official theology of the Assyrian Church of the East, centered in Edessa.
488 Death of Peter the Fuller, the non-Chalcedonian Patriarch of Antioch.
490 St. Brigid founds the monastery of Kildare in Ireland.
521 St. Columba is born.
529 The pagan University of Athens is closed, and replaced by a Christian university in Constantinople.
529 St. Benedict of Nursia founds the monastery of Monte Cassino and codifies Western monasticism; Council of Orange condemns Pelagianism.
533 Mercurius is elected Pope of Rome and takes the name of John II, the first pope to change his name upon election.
533 Foundation of the Diocese of Selefkia in Central Africa by the Emperor Justinian.
534 Roman Empire destroys the Arian kingdom of the Vandals.
537 Construction of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople begun by Emperor St. Justinian the Great.
541 Jacob Baradeus, bishop of Edessa, organizes the Non-Chalcedonian Church in western Syria (the "Jacobites"), which spreads to Armenia and Egypt (the "Copts").
544 Founding of the monastery at Clonmacnoise in Ireland by St. Ciaran.
546 St. Columba founds the monastery of Derry in Ireland.
553 Fifth Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople in an attempt to reconcile the Chalcedonians with the non-Chalcedonians the Three Chapters of Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyrrhus, and Ibas of Edessa are condemned for their pro-Nestorian nature, and Origen and his writings are also condemned.
556 St. Columba founds the monastery of Durrow in Ireland.
563 Consecration of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople; St. Columba arrives on Iona and establishes his monastery there.
569 Final schism between the Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians in Egypt. Henceforth there were two Popes and Patriarchs of Alexandria: the Greek Orthodox Patriarch and the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch. The Coptic Patriarch later moved to Cairo. The Chalcedonians (Greek Orthodox) were also called "Melkites".
570 Birth of Mohammed, founder of Islam.
580 Monte Cassino is sacked by the Lombards and the monks flee to Rome.
589 A local synod of the Roman Catholic Church in Toledo, Spain, adds filioque to the Nicene Creed(asserting that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son). This error is later adopted by Rome. This error causes division between the Eastern and the Western Churches.
590 Irish missionary St. Columbanus founds monasteries in France (Luxeuil in Burgundy).
596 St. Gregory the Dialogist sends St. Augustine along with forty other monks to southern Britain to convert the pagans.
601 Augustine of Canterbury converts King St. Ethelbert of Kent and establishes the see of Canterbury.
615 Death of Columbanus in Italy.
627 Pope St. Gregory the Dialogist sends Paulinus to found the see of York and convert King St. Edwin of Northumbria.
630 First the Persians, then the Arabs threaten the Byzantine Empire, persecute Christians and destroy churches.
635 Lindisfarne sees the establishment of the monastery that would convert northern England by the missionary saint Aidan, a monk from Iona; Cynegils, king of Wessex, converts to Christianity.
636 Capture of Jerusalem by the Muslim Arabs.
638 Arabs allow Jews to return to Jerusalem.
639 Muslim conquest of Syria.
641 The capture of the great city of Alexandria by Muslim Arabs.
642 Muslim conquest of Egypt.
650 Final defeat of Arianism as Lombards convert to Orthodox Christianity.
657 Founding of Whitby Abbey in Yorkshire, England.
662 Death of St Maximus the Confessor. He was Exiled
663 Emperor Constans II is the last Eastern emperor to set foot in Rome.
664 Synod of Whitby held in northern England, harmonizing Celtic and Roman liturgical practices in England; Ionian monk Wilfrid appointed as Archbishop of York.
668 St. Theodore of Tarsus is appointed as archbishop of Canterbury.
670 Composition of Caedmon's Hymn by St. Caedmon of Whitby.
680-681 Sixth Ecumenical Council is held in Constantinople, condemning Monothelitism and affirming the Christology of St. Maximus the Confessor, affirming that Christ has both a natural (human) will and a divine will. Patriarch Sergius of Constantinople and Pope Honorius of Rome are both explicitly anathematized for their support of the Monothelite heresy.
685 First monastics come to Mount Athos. The spread of monasticism on Mt. Athos.
692 Quinisext Council (also called the Penthekte Council or the Council in Trullo) is held in Constantinople, issuing canons which are seen as completing the work of the Fifth and Sixth Ecumenical Councils, and declaring the Church of Jerusalem to be a patriarchate.
698 Muslim conquest of Carthage.
716 Monastery at Iona conforms to Roman liturgical usage.
716 St Boniface's first missionary journey to Frisia.
726 Emperor Leo the Isaurian starts his campaign against the icons. He persecutes those who defend icons
731 The Venerable Bede completes the Ecclesiastical History of the English People.
732 Muslim invasion of Europe is stopped by the Franks at the Battle of Tours.
749 John of Damascus, first systematic theologian of the East and defender of icons, dies
754 Iconoclastic Council is held in Constantinople under the authority of Emperor Constantine V Copronymus, condemning icons and declaring itself to be the Seventh Ecumenical Council.
754 Death of St Boniface, the Apostle of Germany.
771 Arabs invade Spain.
†780 St. John Damascene the author of the Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith and of many canticles for Sundays and feast days.
787 The era of Ecumenical Councils ends at Nicea; the Seventh Council restores the centuries-old use of icons to the Church. It condemning Iconoclasm and affirming the veneration of the holy icons, declaring that worship is due to God alone, and that the honor paid to icons passes to its prototype.
793 Sack of Lindisfarne. Viking attacks on England begin.
800 Charlemagne is crowned as Holy Roman Emperor by Leo III of Rome on Christmas day.
811-843 Iconoclastic campaign revived by imperial court but fails
826 St. Ansgar arrives in Denmark and begins preaching; King Harald Klak of Denmark converts to Christianity.
836 Death of St Theodore the Studite.
843 The Triumph of Orthodoxy occurs on the first Sunday of Great Lent, restoring the icons to the churches.
846 Muslim raid of Rome.
852 St. Ansgar founds the churches at Hedeby and Ribe in Denmark.
858 St. Photius the Great becomes patriarch of Constantinople.
861 Ss. Cyril and Methodius depart from Constantinople to missionize the Slavs; council presided over by papal legates held in Constantinople which confirms St. Photius the Great as patriarch.
862 Mission of Cyril and Methodius to the Slavs
862 Ratislav of Moravia converts to Christianity.
863 First translations of Biblical and liturgical texts into Church Slavonic by Ss. Cyril and Methodius.
863 The Venetians steal relics of St Mark from Alexandria.
864 Prince Boris of Bulgaria is baptized. About this time Sts. Cyril and Methodius spread the Orthodox faith among Slavic
867 Council in Constantinople held, presided over by Photius, which anathematizes Pope Nicholas I of Rome for his attacks on the work of Greek missionaries in Bulgaria and the use by papal missionaries of the heretical Filioque; Pope Nicholas dies before hearing the news of his excommunication; Basil the Macedonian has Emperor Michael III murdered and usurps the Imperial throne, reinstating Ignatius as patriarch of Constantinople.
869-870 The Robber Council of 869-870 is held, deposing St. Photius the Great from the Constantinopolitan see and putting the rival claimant Ignatius on the throne, declaring itself to be the "Eighth Ecumenical Council."
870 Conversion of Serbia.
877 Death of St. Ignatius I of Constantinople, who appoints St. Photius to succeed him.
879-880 The Eighth Ecumenical Council is held in Constantinople, confirming Photius as Patriarch of Constantintople, anathematizing additions to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, and declaring that the prerogatives and jurisdiction of the Roman pope and the Constantinopolitan patriarch are essentially equal; this council is reluctantly accepted by Pope John VIII of Rome.
883 Muslims burn the monastery of Monte Cassino.
885 Mount Athos gains political autonomy.
885 Death of St Methodius, apostle to the Slavs.
911 Russian envoys visit Constantinople to ratify a treaty, sent by Oleg, Grand Prince of Rus'.
912 Normans become Christian.
957 St Olga is baptised in Constantinople.
962 Denmark becomes a Christian nation with the baptism of King Harald Blaatand ("Bluetooth").
963 St. Athanasius of Athos establishes the first major monastery on Mount Athos, the Great Lavra.
973. Moravia assigned to the Diocese of Prague, putting the West Slavic tribes under the jurisdiction of the German Church.
988 Vladimir, prince of Kiev, embraces Christianity; conversion all of Russia begins.
995 St. Olaf of Norway proclaims Norway to be a Christian kingdom.
1000 Christianization of Greenland and Iceland.
1008 Conversion of Sweden.
1009 Patriarch Sergius II of Constantinople removes the name of Pope Sergius IV of Rome from the diptychs of the Church of Constantinople, because the pope had written a letter to the patriarch including the Filioque; Muslims destroy the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
1014 Filioque used for the first time in Rome by Pope Benedict VIII at the coronation of Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor. The pope no longer commemorated at Constantinople.
1015 Death of St Vladimir of Kiev, Prince of Rus', apostle of the Russians and Ruthenians.
1017 Danish king Canute converts to Christianity.
1022 Death of St Simeon the New Theologian.
1051 Monastery of the Kiev Caves founded. Sts. Anthony and Theodosius found their monastery near Kiev.
1054 The Great Schism occurs. Two major issues include Rome's claim to a universal papal supremacy and her addition of the filioque clause to the Nicene Creed. The Photian Schism (880) further complicates the debate. Cardinal Humbert excommunicates Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Consantinople, a major centerpoint in the formation of the Great Schism between East and West.
1059 Errors of Berengar of Tours conemned in Rome. The term "transsubstantiation" begins to come in to use, ascribed to Peter Damian (1007-1072).
1066 Norman Conquest of Britain. Orthodox hierarchs are replaced with those loyal to Rome. Normans invade England flying the banner of the Pope of Rome, defeating King Harold of England at the Battle of Hastings, beginning the reformation of the church and society there to align with Latin continental ecclesiology and politics.
1071 Turkish capture of Jerusalem.
1073 Hildebrand becomes Pope Gregory VII and launches the "Gregorian" reforms (celibacy of the clergy, primacy of the papacy over the empire, right of the Pope to depose emperors).
1075 Seljuk Turks capture Jerusalem.
1088 Founding of monastery of St. John the Theologian on Patmos.
1095 The Crusades, begun by the Roman Church, weaken the Eastern Orthodox churches in Palestine and Syria. Launching of the 1st Roman Crusade. (Constantinople is sacked by the Crusaders in 1204, further estranging the East and the West.)
1096 Persecution of Jews by Crusaders.
1098 Anselm of Canterbury completes his "Cur Deus homo", marking a radical divergence of Western theology of the atonement from that of the East.
1098 Crusaders capture Antioch.
1099 Crusaders capture Jerusalem.
1119 Order of Knights Templar founded.
1144 Bernard of Clairvaux calls for a Second Crusade to rescue the besieged Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, and Louis VII of France and Konrad III of Germany join the Crusaders, but they are defeated by the Muslims. Muslims take Christian stronghold of Edessa.
1180 Last formal, canonical acceptance of Latins to communion at an Eastern altar in Antioch.
1184 Waldensians are declared heretical
1187 Saladdin (The Muslims) retakes Jerusalem.
1189 The Third Crusade is an ineffective attempt to recover Jerusalem. The Third Crusade is led by King Richard the Lion-Hearted of England, King Philip Augustus II of France, and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.
1200-1204 The Fourth Crusade. The Crusaders finished this crusade by looting Constantinople, the seat of the Eastern Orthodox church. Laying waste to the Constantinople and stealing many holy relics and other items; The Great Schism generally regarded as having been completed by this act. So much for the lofty ideals of the First Crusade
1204 Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade sack Constantinople,
1216 Papal approval for the Dominicans, the Order of Preachers. Their purpose was to oppose heresy with piety, learning and zeal
1219-1221 The Fifth Crusade. The crusaders temporarily held Damietta in Egypt. Francis of Assisi went with the crusaders. But where they stopped, Francis kept going. He went unarmed into the presence of the sultan and preached to him
1229 The Sixth Crusade. Frederick II temporarily gained
1235 Death of St Sava of Serbia.
1237 Golden Horde (Mongols) begin subjugation of Russia.
1240 Mongols sack Kiev. Prince Alexander Nevsky defeats the Swedes.
1248 The Seventh Crusade. St. Louis IX of France is defeated in Egypt. This was the last crusade. The final result of the crusades is that the western Christians drove a wedge between the Church and the Jews, between the Church and the Muslims, and between the Western and Eastern Church.
1258 Michael Paleologus seizes the throne of the Nicaean Empire, founding the last Roman (Byzantine) dynasty. He begins the reconquest of the Greek peninusla from the Latins.
1261 End of Latin occupation of Constantinople.
†1263 Russian Prince St. Alexander Nevsky, the great defender of the Orthodox faith.
1268 Egyptian Mamelukes capture Antioch.
1291 Fall of Acre. End of crusading in the Holy Land.
1333 St. Gregory Palamas defends the Orthodox practice of hesychast spirituality and the use of the Jesus prayer.
1336 Meteora in Greece is established as a center of Orthodox monasticism.
1341-1351 Three sessions of the Ninth Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople, affirming the hesychastic theology of St. Gregory Palamas and condemning the rationalistic philosophy of Barlaam of Calabria.
1344 Death of Amda Syon, Emperor of Ethiopia.
1349 Prince Stephen Dushan of Serbia assumes the title of Tsar (Caesar).
1354 Ottoman Turks make first settlement in Europe, at Gallipoli.
1359 Death of St Gregory Palamas, Athonite monk and Archbishop of Thessalonica.
1379 Western "Great Schism" ensues, seeing the simultaneous reign of three Popes of Rome.
1383 St Stephen of Perm, missionary to the Zyrians, consecrated bishop.
1389 Serbs are defeated by Ottoman Turks of Sultan Murad I at the battle of Kosovo Polje.
†1392 St. Sergius of Radonezh, famous founder of the Holy Trinity's monastery near Moscow.
1396 First English Bible translated by John Wyclif.
1417 End of Western "Great Schism" at the Council of Constance.
1438 St. Mark of Ephesus defends the Orthodox faith at the Council of Florence.
1439 Ecclesiastical reunion with the West is attempted at the Council of Florence, where only St. Mark of Ephesus refuses to capitulate to the demands of the delegates from Rome.
1448 Church of Russia declares its independence from the Church of Constantinople.
1453 Constantinople falls to the invasion of the Ottoman Turks. End of the Roman Empire in the East. Byzantine Empire ends.
1455 Gutenberg makes the first printed Bible.
1480 Spanish Inquisition.
1492 Millennian speculation in Moscow. The Church calendar ended in
1492, and many were convinced that it marked the end of the seventh and last millennium in the world's history.
1503 Council at which controversy arose between St Nil Sorsky and St Joseph of Volokalamsk about monastic landholding. Joseph's party were known as the Possessors and the Trans-Volga hermits as the Nonpossessors.
1517 St Maximus the Greek invited to Russia to translate the Greek service books and correct the Russian ones.
1517 Martin Luther nails his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Roman Church at Wittenburg, starting the Protestant Reformation; Ottomans conquer Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria, when Joakim the Athenian was Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria.
1526 Nonpossessors attack Tsar Vassily (Basil) III for divorcing his wife, and are driven underground.
1529 Church of England begins pulling away from Rome.
1534 King Henry VIII declares himself supreme head of the Church of England.
1536 Publication of John Calvin's "Institutes of the Christian religion".
1540 Death of Emperor Lebna Dengel of Ethiopia.
1541 Portuguese expeditionary force arrives in Ethiopia.
1542 Ethiopians and Portuguese defeat Ahmad ibn Ibrahim Gran of Adal, thus neutralising Adal threat to Ethiopia.
1547 Council of Trent held to answer the Protestant Reformation.
1551 Council of the Hundred Chapters in Russia.
1552 Death of St Basil the blessed, Fool for Christ, critic of Ivan IV Grozny, for whom St Basil's Cathedral in Red Square is named.
1555 Archbishop Gurian missionary in Kazan (until 1564).
1564 Jesuits arrive in Poland.
1569 Martyrdom of St Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow, at the hands of Ivan IV Grozny.
1575 Church of Constantinople grants autonomy to Church of Sinai.
1581 Ostrozhsky Bible printed by Prince Kurbsky and Ivan Fedorov.
1582 Institution of the Gregorian Calendar by Pope Gregory XIII.
1589 Autocephaly of the Church of Russia recognized; the primate of the Church of Russia is styled as "patriarch."
1596 At the Union of Brest-Litovsk, several million Ukrainian and Byelorussian Orthodox Christians, living under Polish rule, leave the Church of Russia and recognize the Pope of Rome, without giving up their Byzantine liturgy and customs, creating the Uniate church.
1627 Pope and Patriarch Cyril Lukaris of Alexandria presented the famous "Codex Alexandrinus" to King Charles I of England for "safe keeping".
1642 The Council of Jassy revises Peter Moghila's confession to remove overtly Roman Catholic theology. Also confirms the canonicity of certain of the deuterocanonical books.
1652-1658 Patriarch Nikon of Moscow revises liturgical books to bring them into conformity with the Greek liturgical customes, leading to the excommunication of dissenters, who become known as the Old Believers.
1647 An Orthodox Church is erected in Tunisia.
1652 A school and hospital were established in Old Cairo by Patriarch Joannikios.
1685 Orthodoxy introduced in Beijing, China by the Church of Russia.
1715 Metropolitan Arsenios of Thebaid sent to England by Pope and Patriarch Samuel of Alexandria to negotiate with non-juror Anglican bishops (those who had refused to take the oath to William and Mary).
1724 Melkite schism, many faithful from the Church of Antioch become Uniates.
1767 A community of Orthodox Greeks establishes itself in New Smyrna, Florida.
1768 Jews are massacred during riots in Russia-occupied Poland.
1782 First publication of the Philokalia; autonomy of Church of Sinai confirmed by Church of Constantinople.
1794 Missionaries, including St. Herman of Alaska, arrive at Kodiak Island, bringing Orthodoxy to Russian Alaska. First Orthodoxy introduced to North America
1794 Russian missionaries, St. Herman and others, arrive on Kodiak Island in Alaska; introduce Orthodoxy to North America.
1811 Autocephaly of the Church of Georgia revoked by the Russian imperial state after Georgia's annexation, making it subject to the Church of Russia.
1821 Greek independence declared on the Day of Annunciation (March 25).
1829 The Treaty of Adrianople ends the Greek War of Independence, culminating in the creation of the modern Greek state.
1832 Church of Serbia becomes de facto autocephalous.
1833 Church of Greece declares its autocephaly, making it independent of the Church of Constantinople.
†1833 St. Seraphim of Sarov.
1848 Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs sent by the primates and synods of the four ancient patriarchates of the Orthodox Church, condemning the Filioque as heresy, declaring the Roman Catholic Church to be heretical, schismatic, and in apostasy, repudiating Ultramontanism and referring to the Photian Council of 879-880 as the "Eighth Ecumenical Council."
1850 Church of Constantinople recognizes the autocephaly of the Church of Greece.
1854 Immaculate Conception declared dogma by Roman Catholic Church.
1870 Papal Infallibility declared Roman Catholic dogma necessary for salvation by the First Vatican Council.
1864 First Orthodox parish established on American soil in New Orleans, Louisiana, by Greeks.
1865 Church of Romania declares its independence from the Church of Constantinople.
1871 Nikolai Kasatkin establishes Orthodox mission in Japan.
1870 Papal Infallibility becomes Roman dogma.
1872 Council in Jerusalem declares phyletism to be a heresy; Church of Bulgaria gains de facto autocephaly by a decree of the Sultan.
1879 Church of Constantinople recognizes the autocephaly of the Church of Serbia.
†1879 St. Bishop Innocenty, Apostle of Alaska.
1881 Wave of anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia causes mass migrations of Jews (2.5 million Jews settle in the United States, thousands settle in Palestine).
1885 Church of Constantinople recognizes the autocephaly of the Church of Romania.
1898 Last Greek patriarch of Antioch deposed.
†1891 St. Ambrosy, elder of Optina.
1899 Restoration of Arabs to the Patriarchal throne of Antioch.
1905 Seat of Orthodox bishop in America moved from San Francisco to New York, as immigration from Eastern Europe and the reception of ex-Uniates shifts the balance of Orthodox population to eastern North America.
†1908 St. John of Kronstadt, great Saint and miracleworker.
1908 Fr Nikodemos Sarikas sent to Johannesburg, Transvaal, by the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the first Orthodox priest there. After a short time he left for German East Africa (later Tanzania) because of the opposition of Johannesburg Greeks to mission among Africans.
†1911 St. Bishop Nicholas, Apostle of Japan.
1917 The revolution in Russia begins. Christians are persecuted and martyred. Emigres from Russia and Eastern European
1917 Church of Georgia's autocephaly restored de facto by the political chaos in Russia.
1918 The Bolshevik Revolution throws the Church of Russia into chaos, effectively stranding the fledgling Orthodox mission in America; St. Nicholas Romanov, Tsar of Russia is martyred together with his wife St. Alexandra and children.
1918 Bishop Tikhon of San Francisco becomes Patriarch of Russia.
c1921 The Church of Constantinople renounces all claims to jurisdiction in any part of Africa, and the Patriarch of Alexandria is henceforth known as the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa.
1922 Church of Albania declares its independence from the Church of Constantinople.
1923 Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia granted autonomy by the Church of Constantinople.
1924 Church of Constantinople recognizes the autocephaly of the Church of Poland.
1924 Bishop Daniel William Alexander convenes a meeting in Kimberley, South Africa, which decides to secede from the African Church (a Protestant denomination) and affiliate with the African Orthodox Church in New York under George McGuire.
1925 Church of Romania becomes a patriarchate.
1925 First Africans in sub-Saharan Africa baptised in Tanganyika by Fr Nikodemos Sarikas.
1927 Daniel William Alexander travels from South Africa to America to be consecrated a bishop of the African Orthodox Church. Orthodox Archbishopric of Johannesburg established.
1932 Daniel William Alexander travels to Uganda to meet Reuben Spartas, and establish African Orthodox Church there.
1934 Daniel William Alexander travels to Kenya, and establishes African Orthodox Church led by Arthur Gathuna.
1937 Church of Constantinople recognizes the autocephaly of the Church of Albania.
1938 St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (Crestwood, New York) and St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary (South Canaan, Pennsylvania) founded.
1943 Church of Russia recognizes the autocephaly of the Church of Georgia.
1943 First constitution of the African Orthodox Church in East Africa signed by Reuben Spartas and Arthur Gathuna.
1945 Church of Bulgaria's autocephaly generally recognized; library of early Christian texts is discovered at Nag Hammadi in Egypt; Soviet Union annexes Czechoslovakia; Church of Russia claims jurisdiction over the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.
1946 Reuben Spartas of the African Orthodox Church visits Alexandria. The Holy Synod of the Church of Alexandria officially recognises and accepts the African Greek Orthodox Church in Kenya and Uganda.
1947 Dead Sea Scrolls are discovered near Qumran in Egypt.
1948 Church of Russia re-grants autocephaly to the Church of Poland (after having revoked it in the aftermath of World War II).
1951 Church of Russia grants autocephaly to the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.
1957 Church of Russia grants autonomy to the Church of China.
1958 Creation of Western Rite Vicariate in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America with the reception of multiple Western Rite parishes into Orthodoxy.
1962-1965 Second Vatican Council held in Rome, initiating major liturgical and theological reforms for the Roman Catholic Church, including the abolition of the ancient Tridentine Mass and the introduction of the Novus Ordo.
1965 Pope Paul VI of Rome and Patriarch Athenagoras I (Spyrou) of Constantinople mutually nullify the excommunications of 1054.
†1966 St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco.
1967 Church of Macedonia declares its autocephaly, making it independent of the Church of Serbia. To date, this declaration has not been recognised by any other Orthodox Church.
1970 Orthodox Church in America reconciles with the Church of Russia and is granted autocephaly. The Church of Russia grants autonomy to the Church of Japan.
1975 Division in the Antiochian church in North America overcome by the uniting of the two Antiochian archdioceses into one by Metropolitan Philip (Saliba) of New York and Archbishop Michael (Shaheen) of Toledo.
1988 One thousand years of Orthodoxy in Russia, as Orthodox Church world-wide maintains fullness of the Apostolic Faith.
1989 Church of Constantinople recognizes the autocephaly of the Church of Georgia.
1990 Beginning of renewal of Orthodox Christianity in Russia.
1994 Ligonier Meeting in Western Pennsylvania at the Antiochian Village held by the majority of Orthodox hierarchs in North America votes to do away with the notion of Orthodox Christians in America being a "diaspora."
1998 Church of Constantinople, not recognizing Russia's right to issue a tomos of autocephaly in 1951, issues its own tomos for the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.
2003 The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America is granted "self-rule" (similar but not identical to autonomy) by the Church of Antioch.
2004 Pope John Paul II returns the relics of Ss. John Chrysostom and Gregory the Theologian to the Church of Constantinople.
2007 ROC and ROCOR Churches Re-unite After Seventy Years of Schism on May 17th 2007 in Moscow Russia
Notes: Some of these dates are necessarily a bit vague, as records for some periods are particularly difficult to piece together accurately. The division of Church History into separate eras as we do here will always be to some extent arbitrary, though we have tried to group periods according to major watershed events. This timeline is necessarily biased toward the history of the Orthodox Church, though a number of non-Orthodox events are mentioned for their importance in history related to Orthodoxy.
History of Orthodox Christianity - A 3-part series by GOTelecom - QuickTime format
Part 1: Beginnings - Journey begins with the founding of the Church, the spread of Christianity to "nations" by the Apostles, the Gospel and the institution of Sacraments
Part 2: Byzantium - After the stabilization of the Church, the journey continues through the period of the Nicene Creed, Patristic Scriptures, Divine Liturgy and Icons. During this same period, however, the official division of East and West is witnessed and concludes with a gradual rift in matters of faith, dogma, church customs, politics and culture
Part 3: A Hidden Treasure - The Church becomes the only institution perceived by Greeks as the preserver of their national identity during 400 years of Turkish rule. By the end of the 19th century, a worldwide Orthodox community is born and the Church expands its influence to major social and philanthropic concerns.
This Time Line of Church History: The following timeline and associated text provided further below is intended to provide the reader with a general and simplified overview of the development of the Christian Church.
A Timeline of Church History provided by St. Ignatius of Antioch Orthodox Christian Church
Addendum: Timeline of Church history: iIformation on the 2000 year-old Eastern Christian Orthodox Church - orthodoxphotos.com
The History of Orthodoxy in America: is complex and resists any easy categorizations or explanations - OrthodoxWiki.org
A timeline of Church history: http://www.antiochian.org
Orthodox Church: The Orthodox Church, also officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church[note 1] and commonly referred to in English-speaking countries as the Eastern Orthodox Church,[note 2] is the world's second largest Christian communion, estimated to number 300 million members.