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4th Century

301 - The Rise of the Franks

Franks: Member of a group of Germanic tribes dwelling along the middle and lower Rhine.

During the reign of Clovis, 481-511, the Franks conquered and unified Gaul.

The Merovingians ruled the Frankish kingdom from 448 to 751.

Charlemagne, 742 to 814, Emperor of the west and King of the Franks.

The Carolingians ruled the Frankish kingdom from 751 to 987.


301 - Armenia

The kingdom of Armenia becomes the first officially Christian state and the first Christian Church of Christ.


303 to 305 - Emperor Diocletian

During his rule Emperor Diocletian forbids Christian worship and orders the torture of priests.


303 April 23 - St George

Death of George, a Roman soldier in the Guard of Diocletian is promoted to the rank of Tribunus and stationed at the imperial city of Nicomedia. In 302, influenced by Galerius, Diocletian issued an edict that every Christian soldier be arrested and all others offer a sacrifice to the Pagan gods. George refused to renounce his Christian faith and publicly denounced the edict. The sympathetic Diocletian tempted George to worship the graven images with offers of wealth and land, but to no avail. Diocletian was left with no options but to denounce George as a Christian and ordered his execution.

In the hands of his captors he was shown no mercy. First a huge heavy stone was placed on his chest. When he still would not recant, he was dragged through the street tied behind a horse and then tortured on a wheel of swords, where he had to be resuscitated three times. At last George was decapitated before Nicomedia’s city wall on April 23.

Legend states his martyrdom convinced Empress Alexandra and a Pagan priest, Athanasius, to convert to Christianity for which they were similarly punished.

Ten years hence Emperor Constantine would proclaim amnesty and tolerance for the Empire’s Christian communities becoming himself Christian.

George’s remains were returned to Lydda, Iudaea (Judaea) in the Roman Empire where a shrine was erected over his bones consecrated as a cathedral by Constantine the Great.


312 - Roman Emperor Constantine

After a vision of Christ, Constantine converts to Christianity. This is known as the beginning of the Roman Catholic Church and is the impetus for the Christian domination of the Western world.

Constantine captures Rome and builds the first church on the site of what will become the centre of the Catholic Church - the Vatican.


312 October 28 - Battle of the Milvian Bridge

‘And then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in the heavens’ - Matthew

‘At the third hour, a gigantic luminous cross was seen in the sky above holy Golgotha, extending as far as the holy Mount of Olives; not seen by one or two only, but clearly visible to the whole population of the city; nor, as might be expected, quickly vanishing like an illusion, but suspended for several hours above the earth before the general gaze and by its dazzling splendors conquering the sun’s rays.’

Under the Sign of the Cross Constantine defeats Emperor Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge.


313 - Milan Edict of Toleration

Roman Emperor Constantine the Great recognizes the Christians’ right to freedom of worship by the Milan Edict of Toleration.


324 - Constantine the Great

Roman Emperor Constantine the Great 274 to 337 conquers the East becoming the emperor of a reunited Roman Empire. He moves the capital from Rome to Byzantium (Istanbul, Turkey). Byzantium is rebuilt and renamed Constantinople, becomes the imperial capital; then the empire is split between West, ruled from Milan, and East, ruled from Constantinople.

Rome is left in the hands of the Bishop of Rome (the Pope).


325 - The Roman Church of Christ

Emperor Constantine convenes the first ecumenical council of the Christian Church, held at Nicaea compiles the first version of the Nicaean Creed and launches the persecution of heretics by condemning Arianism, the view that Jesus was not of the same substance as God. Christianity becomes the official religion of the Roman Empire.

The Council of Nicaea lays the foundation of Christian doctrine; The Apostles Creed which led to the Nicaean Creed.

Nicaean Creed

"I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried,
He descended into hell:

The third day he rose again from the dead,
He ascended into heaven,
And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;
The holy Catholick Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting."
Amen.

Jesus’ descent into Sheol (Hell), ‘the place of the dead’ was to suffer three days more, being separated from His Father and enduring God’s wrath for the sins of humanity, and in locked battle with the Devil over possession of the souls of all mankind. Triumphant over death, the Anointed One (Christos) led the procession of righteous souls out of Sheol into Paradise. Some of the more notable were Adam and Eve, Methuselah, Job, David, Solomon and the Queen of Sheba who were dead and awaiting their deliverance at the hand of the Messiah, fulfilling the prophesy and filling Heaven with People of the Book, patriarchs, saints and martyrs for the faith.

The early Christians were deeply offended by the worship of images. They were descended from the people of Moses and carried within them many of the old Jewish precepts. Three hundred years later when the pagans had been decisively defeated, the luminaries of the Church thought that images of Jesus and the saints and relics such as the Cross could act as a bridge between them and a skeptical multitude which recalled the past with affection and whose memory was still infused with the more delightful aspects of pagans rituals.

Reminded by newly converted pagans that their faith lacked an Athena, a Diana, a Venus, they elevated Jesus’ mother, Mary, into one of the most popular images of the religion. The figure of a mother was necessary as they ruled over countries where goddesses had been worshiped for centuries. Mary Magdalene who wept at Jesus’ feet the day he was crucified would be a lesser goddess ... a saint.

Jerusalem receives special recognition in Canon Seven of the First Council of Nicaea.


326 - Saint Helena

The True Cross is discovered by Helena the mother of Constantine the Great. On her pilgrimages to the Holy Land she established the locations of Holy sites.


330 - Constantinople

Emperor Constantine moves the empire’s capital from Rome to Byzantium renaming the city Constantinopolis on the Bosporus and makes it the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.


335 - Mongolia

Buddhism spreads through Asia and is now practiced in China and Mongolia.


335 - Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Byzantine Emperor Constantine rebuilds in Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem) which denotes the dedication of the colony to Jupiter Capitolinus, the king of the Roman pagan gods, as a Christian centre of worship, building the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Jews were still banned from the city.


337 - Death of Constantine

Death of Constantine, ‘the Thirteenth Apostle’ In Constantinople where his coffin lies surrounded by twelve repositories, sacred monuments in honour and memory of the apostles.


350 - Donatus

Donatus writes his grammar.

Christianity reaches Ethiopia.


354 - St Augustine

Birth of St Augustine.


356 - St Anthony

"Who met him grieving and did not go away rejoicing? Who came full of anger and was not turned to kindness? Who came troubled by doubt, and failed to gain peace of mind?"
                                                                                                                   Ananasius

St Anthony dies at the age of one hundred and five.


361 to 363 - Emperor Julian the Apostate

Tolerant to other faiths, pagan Emperor Julian the Apostate, announces to the Jews that they are allowed to return to ‘holy Jerusalem which you have for many years longed to see rebuilt’. The plan to rebuild the Temple, Julian knew would hurt most his erstwhile coreligionists, the Christians.


363 - The Death of the Dream

Death of Julian, the last pagan emperor. If Julian’s attempt had come to fruition, The Temple of the Jews would have been rebuilt and the marginalization of Jews in the Roman world, which began nearly three hundred years prior, would have come to an end. No more would Jews have had to pray at the Western Wall. Never again would they have to recite ‘Next year in Jerusalem’ at the close of the Seder. And never again would they have to add a petition at the end of every recitation of the Amidah spoken, standing before God, three times a day, ‘May it be your will that the Temple be rebuilt soon in our days.’


366 - Pope Damasus

When Pope Liberius died the cardinals of Rome could not agree on a successor. Followers who wanted Ursinus to be the next pope were meeting in the church of St Maria Trastevere when Damasus hired a gang of gladiators to attack them. The gladiators broke into the church and killed 137 people. Damasus then became pope.


375 - The Huns

Attila versus tribes of Gaul and Italy. The Huns, nomadic people from central Asia, invade Europe from the East and push the Goths Westward.


378 - Wrath of the Goths

"Gog iste Gothus est." - "Gog is the Goth,"
                                                                                                                   Ambrose "De Fide" - 378 AD

Gog and Magog: the future enemies of the Kingdom of God

Ostrogoths - Eastern Goths

Visigoths - Western Goths


378 - Battle of Adrianople

At the Battle of Adrianople the Romans are defeated by the Visigoths, a Germanic people originating from the Baltic.


379 - St Basil

Death of St Basil of Pontus.


386 - St Jerome

St Jerome (342 to 420) in a small sparse antechamber of the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem begins work on the Vulgate, the first Latin translation of the Bible from the original texts in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.


390 - Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre is built.


391 - Roman Emperor Theodosius

Christianity becomes the state religion of the Roman Empire under Emperor Theodosius Christianity granted a monopoly throughout the Roman Empire.


393 - Roman Catholic Church Canon

The Synod of Hippo Rerius in Northern Africa, listed the canon of Sacred Scripture that corresponds to the modern Roman Catholic canon.


393 - End of the Olympic Games

A massive earthquake destroys the area around Mount Olympus. As a sign from God, the Olympic Games are abolished by Christian Roman Emperor Theodosius because of the pagan practices associated with the tournament.


395 - East / West Roman Empires

Following the death of Emperor Theodosius the Roman Empire is formally divided between his two sons: the eastern Byzantine Empire and the western Roman Empire.


396 - Orthodox versus Catholic

The Byzantine Orthodox Church believed it was of the right opinion and therefore the one and only church while The Catholic Church belief encompassed thoroughly the whole Christian congregation. They would excommunicate each other.


397 - St Augustine of Hippo

"Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet."
                                                                                                                   Bishop Augustine 397.

Augustine Bishop of Hippo on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa, writes his "Confessions".


400 - The Talmud

Jewish scholars in Palestine complete the compilation of the Talmud, the body of civil and religious law not included in the Pentateuch. The Pentateuch being the first five books of the Old Testament collectively, consisting of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.