006 The Pannonian tribes, joined by the Dalmatians, revolt, posing the gravest threat to Italy since Hannibal's invasion. After the revolt is put down, Pannonia is organized into a separate province and garrisoned with three Roman legions. Pannonia was an area corresponding to present western Hungary and parts of eastern Austria, Slovenia, and northern Yugoslavia (Vojvodina). It's capital was at Vindobona (Vienna), called Sirmium by the Romans. (Britannica)
006 Judaea (Judea, Palestine, Israel) becomes a Roman province.
009 The Cherusci under Arminius destroy a Roman army led by Varus in the Teutoburg Forest in Germany.
010 Saul is born in Tarsus, a town on the Mediterranean Sea, in what is now Turkey. His parents are prominent Jews of the tribe of Benjamin, and from them, he inherits Roman citizenship. He will be known by his Roman name, Paul, after converting to Christianity.
014 Emperor Augustus dies and is succeeded by Tiberius (to 37).
018 The Marcomanni kingdom breaks up after a war with the great German leader Arminius. The Marcomanni (Marcomani), were a Germanic tribe that settled in the Main River valley soon after 100 BC. They were members of a Suebi group that migrated east to Bohemia to escape Roman aggression in 9 BC. Under their king Maroboduus they had built a powerful confederation of tribes.
019 Maroboduus, king of the Marcomanni, becomes an exile in Roman territory. For many decades thereafter, the Marcomanni and their neighbours the Quadi were clients of Rome, receiving frequent subsidies. Many Roman traders settled in their country.
026 Emperor Tiberius retires to Capri leaving Sejanus, prefect of the Praetorian Guard, in charge of Rome.
027 Jesus (Christ) travels from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by his cousin John the Baptist. At first John resists. "This isn't proper," he said. "I am the one who needs to be baptized by you." (Matt. 3:13)
028 Saul (Paul), who has been brought up in the strict faith of the Pharisees, moves to Jerusalem where he studies as a disciple of Gamaliel and soon becomes a determined persecutor of the early Christians.
030 Jesus (Christ) is crucified outside Jerusalem. A Roman centurion, possibly Gaius Cassius, pierces Christ's side with a spear, and in doing so, fulfills an ancient Jewish prophesy describing the Messiah. Gaius Cassius is said to have converted to Christianity on the spot and becomes known to the early Christians as Longinus (the Spearman).
030 Saul (Paul) spends twelve years, from 30-42 AD, hunting down, torturing, and executing early Christians, the very people who had actually witnessed and personally heard the teachings of Jesus Christ.
037 Emperor Tiberius dies and is succeeded by Caligula to 42.
040 One of the world's earliest Christian churches is erected at Corinth, Greece.
042 Caligula is assassinated by the Praetorian Guard and is succeeded by Claudius to 54.
042 Saul (Paul) claims to have an encounter with the spirit of Jesus on his way to Damascus. After seeing a bright light and hearing a voice from above, he quickly converts to Christianity, using his Latin name, Paul. Paul claims his vision of Jesus is his investiture as an apostle of Jesus Christ, who had personally charged him with the mission of spreading his "holy" witness to the Gentiles. It is Paul, not Jesus, who somehow rationalizes that Christians need not be circumcized nor follow the ancient Jewish laws.
043 After being forced to flee Damascus, Paul spends 15 days with Peter and James in Jerusalem before returning home to Tarsus.
043 Emperor Claudius invades England with a force of 40,000 men. The British under Caractacus are defeated at Medway and Britain is soon added to the Roman Empire as the province of Britannia.
043 The city of London is founded by the Romans, who at about the same time learn the use of soap from the Gauls.
044 Barnabus comes to Paul in Tarsus and takes him to Antioch which in 45 AD becomes the center of his missions to the Gentiles. Paul soon begins a period of zealous missionary work traveling through Asia Minor and Greece, gaining converts, setting up churches and writing most of the chapters of the New Testament. Only two of the Gospels are believed to have been written by original deciples: the First Gospel, thought to have been written by Matthew (85), and the Fourth, believed to have been written by John (90-96).
045 Paul (Saul) sets out on the first of his missionary travels.
046 The Book of James is said to have been written by Jesus' brother James. Where it was written is uncertain as is its exact date, but its purpose was to provide Jewish Christians with practical instructions in Christian life. The problems addressed show the difficulties troubling the church: pride, discrimination, greed, lust, hypocrisy, worldliness, and backbiting. "Faith without works (good deeds) is dead," James writes. (James)
048 Paul writes to the Galatians. Paul had preached to the inhabitants of Galatia on his first missionary journey, but shortly after his departure, a group of Jewish believers arrived to insist that the Gentile (non-Jewish) Christians submit to the laws of Moses in order to be saved. In his letter Paul vigorously defends himself as an apostle and attempts to convince the people that adhering the laws of Moses is unnecessary (49 AD). (Galatians)
050 Paul establishes a Christian church in the Greek city of Corinth on his second missionary journey.
050 Paul writes a letter to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians). On Paul's second missionary journey he had been forced to flee from Thessalonia because of intense anti-Christian persecution. After making his way to Athens and finally to Corinth, Paul heard from Timothy, whom he had sent to inquire about the Thessalonians. The believers were standing fast Timothy told him, in spite of their suffering. Paul's letter was meant to comfort and encourage the young believers.
050 A Gothic kingdom is set up on the Lower Vistula River.
051 Paul writes a second letter to the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians). It seems that either Paul's first letter or a forged letter pretending to be from him had disturbed the Thessalonians concerning the second coming of Christ. Adding to the confusion was the continuing persecution they were forced to endure. Paul writes to assure the believers that Christ will certainly return to comfort the believers and to punish their persecutors.
054 Emperor Claudius is poisoned by his wife Agrippina and succeeded by her son Nero (to 68).
056 Paul writes a letter to the Corinthians from Ephesus in Ionia. Many things had gone badly since his departure, and he felt it necessary to write them concerning the many problems that had arisen. This letter will later becomes a book of the Holy Bible (1 Corinthians).
057 Paul writes a second letter to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians) while at Ephesus. Paul's earlier letter had not settled all of the problems. It had some good effect, but much more remained to be done. In particular, Paul had to settle the problem concerning his own authority. Deep suspicions had been aroused about him for reasons we still do not fully understand.
058 Paul writes the Book of Romans while at Corinth. Paul was on his third missionary journey and was planning to go to Rome, but had never been there. This book of the bible is actually a letter written to introduce Paul to the church and to summarize his theological teachings. It is said to be the most systematically put together of his writing. (Romans)
059 Nero has his mother Agrippina killed.
060 Paul returns to Jerusalem and is quickly seized and thrown into prison.
060 An important letter is written to Jewish Christians (Book of Hebrews) who were perhaps thinking of returning to their old ways in Judaism. The author and the place where the letter was written are uncertain (60 -70 AD), but its purpose was to show that now because Christ (the Messiah) had come there remained nothing in Judaism for the believer. The time of fulfillment has arrived its says, and it would be futile to return to the old life.
061 Boadicea, a widowed Celtic queen with legendary golden hair, leads an uprising against the Romans. Her warriors, though brave, prove no match for the well-armed and organized Romans.
062 After spending two years in prison, Paul claims his rights as a Roman citizen and appeals to King Herod Agrippa II. As a result, he is sent to Rome and is held there as a virtual prisoner for two more years.
062 Nero has his wife Octavia killed and then marries Poppaea Sabina.
062 Paul writes a letter from prison in Rome to friends in Philippi (Philippians) as a response to their sending money to him in order to meet his needs. He begins by expressing his confidence in them and then describes some of the problems he faces in Rome. Whether he will live or die he does not know; but if death does come, he says, he will rejoice in the presence of Christ.
063 Paul writes a letter to the Colossians while still a prisoner in Rome. He had never visited Colosse, but had heard of its Christian believers while living in Ephesus on his second journey. Paul is concerned because he has heard news of strange pagan theories that were said to be creeping into the church: a mixture of astrology, magic, and Judaism (Jewish/Egyptian mysticism) which downgraded Christ to being some sort of angel (messenger). Paul wrote in an attempt to correct this situation. (Colossians)
063 Paul in Rome writes a letter to a Christian in Colosse named Philemon whose slave Onesimus had run away to Rome and joined the church. Paul asks that Philemon take Onesimus back -- not as a slave but as a Christian brother. This letter becomes the book of Philemon in the Christian New Testament. (Philemon)
064 A widespread tradition holds that Peter also traveled to Rome, met with Paul, Mark and Luke, and was later crucified and buried on Vatican hill.
064 Peter the Apostle, possibly in Rome, is said to have written to Jewish Christians living in Asia Minor (1 Peter). It's purpose is to convince and encourage them not to return to Judaism to escape persecution. The Christian church, he writes, is now the "chosen nation" and the priesthood of God -- and God has an imperishable reward reserved for those who trust him.
064 Paul writes a letter to his associate Tomothy, whom he had left in Ephesus to correct problems in the church (1 Timothy). Paul is near the end of his life and it is uncertain where the letter was written. Paul instructs Timothy concerning doctrine, church practice, church government, and various aspects of Christian living. There are also certain regulations given for the ordination of church officers as well.
064 Nero intiates the first persecutions of Christians by Rome. Prior to this time, persecutions had come mostly from orthodox Jewish groups and organizations, spearheaded by the Pharisees.
065 The Gospel of Mark is written in Rome by Mark, a follower of Paul (Saul), who supposedly had written down the remembrances of the apostle Peter. Mark's purpose seems to be to put together an expanded Gospel message, centering on the acts of Jesus rather than his words. Mark adds a large amount of material to the last week of Jesus' life. (Mark)
065 The Gospel of Luke is written, proably in Caesarea, by Luke, another follower and companion of Paul. Luke is said to have written his gospel for a cultured Greek named Theophilus in order to show the true humanity of Jesus and his place in history. (Luke)
065 Paul writes a letter to Titus, an associate he had left on the island of Crete to help strengthen the churches. Paul goes into some detail regarding qualifications for the office of elder, as well as instruction on the basic doctrines of the faith. (Titus)
065 Seneca commits suicide at Nero's orders.
065 The Book of Acts is thought to have been written by Luke between 65 and 70 AD. It is said to be a continuation of the Gospel of Luke, showing that what Jesus began of earth, he continues to do in the life of the church. The place where it was written remains uncertain. (Acts)
065 The Book of Jude is said to be written by Jesus' brother Jude, who urges the believers to stand firm against some false teachers and the false doctrine they bring. He closes with an exhortation to the Christians to stand fast in the power of God "who will keep us from falling." Where it was written is uncertain (65-70 AD). (Jude)
066 Jews in Judaea (Judea, Palestine, Israel) rise up in revolt against the Romans.
066 Paul writes a second letter to Timothy (2 Timothy) at Ephesus. Historians say this is probably the last letter Paul ever wrote. It is a personal letter expressing Paul's deepest feelings and convictions about life and death, and in closing he exhorts Timothy to stand firm in the face of the coming persecution.
066 Peter the Apostle, possibly in Rome, is said to have written a letter (2 Peter) to "all" Christians shortly before his death. He warns them of false teachers who would destroy the truth by exalting their own ideas over those of the church, and points out that Christ will return some day to destroy the old order of the world and as a result Christians should not become too attached to it.
066 Members of the Christian Church in Jerusalem flee to Pella for safety. (Britannica)
067 Peter the Apostle is believed to have been executed. Christian tradition says he was executed in Rome where he served as the first pope.
067 St. Linus becomes the Christian church's second pope. (Timetables)
067 Little is known of Paul's last days. He is said to have been beheaded in Rome sometime during the persecutions instituted by Nero between 67 and 68 AD.
068 June Nero commits suicide and is succeeded by Galba (to January 69).
068 Flavius Josephus writes "History of the Jewish War."
069 January Otho briefly succeeds Galba as Roman emperor (to April 69).
069 April Vitellius briefly succeeds Otho as emperor (to December 69).
069 July 01 Bataafs nobleman Gaius Julius Civilis is proclaimed Emperor of Syria.
069 December Vespasian succeeds Vitellius as emperor (to 79).
070 Romans under Titus, the Emperor's son, recapture Jerusalem using battering rams to assault the walls. The city is razed and the ancient Jewish Temple is destroyed. Titus is said to have later carried the contents of the Holy of Holies back to Rome. (Timetables)
072 An ancient European tradition holds that some time after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, Mary Magdalene and Joseph of Arimathaea fled the country for a Jewish community in southern France. (see Templars, Habsburgs)
079 Titus succeeds Vespasian as Roman emperor (to 81).
081 Domitian succeeds Titus as Roman emperor (to 96).
081 The Arch of Titus is erected in Rome.
085 The Gospel of Matthew is thought to have been written in Antioch by Matthew, a former tax collector, called by Jesus as one of his early disciples. Matthew is said to have been an eyewitness to many of the events he describes. (Matthew)
085 John the Apostle is said to have written a very personal letter in his old age to believers who were dear to him. He addresses them as little children and gives them instructions for Christian living. The letter was probably written from Ephesus, but this is uncertain (85-96 AD). (1 John)
085 John the Apostle is said to have written a short letter either to a Christian woman or a church personified as a woman. Its purpose was to encourage true Christian love and to warn against the decievers who were "coming into the world." This letter also was probably written from Ephesus (85-96 AD). (2 John)
085 John the Apostle is said to have written a short letter to his friend Gaius, encouraging him to support the traveling evangelists who are preaching the "truth." He warns Gaius about men such as Diotrephes who refuse to help in spreading the gospel. The letter, too, was probably written from Ephesus (85-96 AD). (3 John)
088 Both the Marcomanni and their neighbours the Quadi attack the Romans.
088 Clement I becomes the third pope (to 97). After Clement the history of the popes in unclear until 189.
090 The Stoic philosopher Epictetus is expelled from Rome with other philosophers by the emperor Domitian, who was irritated by the favorable reception given by Stoics to opponents of his tyranny. The rest of his life was spent at Nicopolis, Epirus (Greece).
Epictetus described philosophy as learning "how it is possible to employ desire and aversion without hindrance." True education, he believed, consists in recognizing that there is only one thing that belongs to an individual fully -- his will, or purpose. God, acting as a good king and father, has given each being a will that cannot be compelled or thwarted by anything external. Men are not responsible for the ideas that present themselves to their consciousness, though they are wholly responsible for the way in which they use them. "Two maxims," Epictetus said, "we must ever bear in mind -- that apart from the will there is nothing good or bad, and that we must not try to anticipate or to direct events, but merely to accept them with intelligence." Man must, that is, believe there is a God whose thought directs the universe.
As a political theorist, Epictetus saw man as a member of a great system that comprehends both God and men. Each human being is primarily a citizen of his own commonwealth, but he is also a member of the great city of gods and men, of which the political city is only a poor copy. All men are the sons of God by virtue of their rationality and are kindred in nature with the divinity. Thus, man is capable of learning to administer his city and his life according to the will of God, which is the will of nature. The natural instinct of animated life, to which man also is subject, is self-preservation and self-interest. Yet men are so constituted that the individual cannot secure his own interests unless he contributes to the common welfare. The aim of the philosopher, therefore, is to see the world as a whole, to grow into the mind of God, and to make the will of nature his own. (Britannica)
090 The Gospel of John is thought to have beeen written at Ephesus by John the Apostle. John begins with a prologue unique to this gospel where Jesus' pre-existent life with the Father is depicted to show that Jesus what not simply a great man, but of the essence of God. John also describes a number of miracles and many teachings of Jesus not found elsewhere in the bible (90-96 AD).Ephesus was an ancient seaport (now ruins) in an area on the west coast of Asia Minor (Ionia).
090 The Book of Revelation is said to have been written by John the Apostle while on the island of Patmos in the Aegean. There are two major sections in this complex book, the first being seven letters to seven churches in Asia Minor, and the second being a series of visions dealing with the life and persecution of Christians, the overthrow of evil, the return of Christ, the last judgment, the millennial state, and heaven on earth (90-96 AD). (Revelation)
096 Nerva succeeds Domitian as Roman emperor (to 98).
098 Trajan succeeds Nerva as Roman emperor (to 116). Under his leadership the Roman Empire reaches its greatest geographical extent, controlling more lands and peoples than at any other time in its history. (Timetables)
098 The Roman Colonia Nervia Glevensis, later to become Gloucester, England, is founded.
106 Emperor Trajan divides Pannonia. The western and northern districts constituted Pannonia Superior, which later will the focal point of the Roman wars with the Marcomanni. The southern and eastern districts are organized as Pannonia Inferior. Romanization proceed rapidly, especially in the west. Pannonia was the birthplace of several Roman emperors of the 3rd century, including Diocletian, and the province provided large numbers of troops for the Roman army.
117 Hadrian succeeds Trajan as Roman emperor (to 138).
117 Tacitus writes his famous "Historiae."
122 Hadrian visits Britain. A wall now called Hadrian's Wall is built from Tyne to Solway (304).
122 A Jewish uprising under the leadership of Bar Kokhba breaks out in Judaea (Judea, Palestine, Israel) and continues until about 135.
136 Emperor Hadrian inexplicably announces as his eventual successor a certain Lucius Ceionius Commodus. That same year, young Marcus Annius Verus (future emperor Marcus Aurelius) was engaged to Ceionia Fabia, the daughter of Commodus, but later, after the death of Hadrian, the engagement will be annulled.
138 Commodus dies and Hadrian adopts Titus Aurelius Antoninus (the husband of Marcus' aunt) to succeed him as the emperor Antoninus Pius, arranging that Antoninus should adopt as his sons two young men, one the son of Commodus and the other Marcus, whose name was then changed to Marcus Aelius Aurelius Verus. Marcus thus was marked out as a future joint emperor at just under 17 years old, though he was not to succeed until his 40th year. It is sometimes assumed that in Hadrian's mind both Commodus and Antoninus Pius were merely to be "place warmers" for one or both of these youths. (Britannica)
138 Antonius Pius becomes Roman emperor (to 161).
145 Marcus marries his cousin, Emperor Antoninus' daughter, Annia Galeria Faustina.
147 The imperium and tribunicia potestas, the main formal powers of emperorship, are conferred upon Marcus. Henceforth, he will serve as a kind of junior co-emperor, sharing the intimate counsels and crucial decisions of Antoninus. His adoptive brother, nearly 10 years his junior, will later be brought into official prominence.
150 Manichaeism (named for its founder Manes, or Mani, the so-called "ambassador of light") seeks to reconcile Zoroastrianism with Christianity into a new, world religion. Manichaeism, like Mithraism, spread from Persia to the Roman Empire and quickly came into conflict with Christianity.
150 Earliest known Sanskrit inscriptions in India.
161 March 7 Emperor Antoninus Pius dies and Marcus Aurelius along with his adopted brother Commodus become co-emperors. For the first time in history, the Roman Empire has two joint emperors with formally equal constitutional status and powers.
For many generations in the West, Marcus Aurelius has symbolized the Golden Age of the Roman Empire. Yet, in general, he is said to be a historically overrated figure, presiding in a bewildered way over an empire beneath the gilt of which there already lay many a decaying patch. His personal nobility and dedication, however, survive the most remorseless scrutiny. (Britannica)
161 The Parthians, a major power from the East, invades Syria.
162 Rome counterattacks the Parthians who have invaded Syria. The war that follows is nominally under the command of Verus, but subordinate generals, notably Gaius Avidius Cassius, take the campaign to its final conclusion.
163 The oldest known Maya monuments are built in what is now Mexico and Quatemala.
164 Gaius Avidius Cassius advances into Mesopotamia and sacks Ctesiphon, Parthia's capital, and Seleucia -- both located in presentday central Iraq.
165 Gaius Avidius Cassius is made commander of all Roman military forces in the Eastern provinces.
166 The returning armies of Rome bring back a plague which rages throughout the empire for many years (to 180) and -- together with the German invasion -- fosters a weakening of morale in minds accustomed to the stability and apparent immutability of Rome and its empire. (Britannica)
167 The Marcomanni with many allies invade Roman territory and penetrate into Italy. The emperor Marcus Aurelius expells them but is involved in war with them almost constantly until his death in 180, having apparently decided to annex their country. The wars of the Marcomanni and the Quadi will continue until 175.
167 Marcus and Verus together set out on a punitive expedition across the Danube. Behind their backs a horde of German tribes invade Italy in massive strength and besiege Aquileia, on the crossroads at the head of the Adriatic. The military precariousness of the empire and the inflexibility of its financial structure in the face of emergencies is now revealed. Desperate measures are adopted to fill the depleted legions, and imperial property is auctioned to provide funds. Eventually, Marcus and Verus fought the Germans off (168 AD).
169 Verus dies suddenly, probably from a naturally death by stroke or heart attack.
169 Marcus Aurelius spends three years, fighting were still needed, to restore the Danubian frontier.
170 Marcus Aurelius is accompanied by his wife Faustina during his wars against the Danubian tribes. She becomes known as mater castrorum ("mother of the camps").
172 Gaius Avidius Cassius suppresses an agrarian revolt in Egypt.
172 Marcus Aurelius spends three more years campaigning in Bohemia to bring the tribes beyond the Danube to peace, at least for a time.
175 Gaius Avidius Cassius, who earlier had served under Verus, and is now virtually a prefect of all of the eastern provinces, including control of the important province of Egypt, takes the occasion of a rumour of Marcus' death to proclaim himself emperor.
175 Marcus makes peace in the north with those tribes not already subjugated and prepares to march against Avidius, but the rebel general was assassinated by his own soldiers. Marcus uses the opportunity to make a tour of pacification and inspection in the East, visiting Antioch, Alexandria, and Athens -- where, like Hadrian, he was initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries, though that esoteric religious cult does not seem to have impinged at all upon his philosophical views. (Britannica)
176 Empress Faustina, who had once again accompanied Marcus Aurelius on his journey to the east, dies suddenly during the journey. Divine honors were bestowed upon her and a school for the education of the daughters of the poor was established in her memory.
177 Marcus proclaims his 16-year-old son, Commodus, joint emperor. Together they resume the Danubian wars. Marcus is determined to pass from defense to offense and to an expansionist redrawing of Rome's northern boundaries.
177 Christians are martyred at Lyon. Though it appears that Christian blood flowed more profusely in the reign of Marcus the philosopher than it had before, he was not an initiator of persecution. Marcus disliked the Christians, but there was no systematic persecution of them during his reign. Their legal status remained as it had been under Trajan and Hadrian: Christians were ipso facto punishable -- but not to be sought out. This incongruous position did little harm in times of general security and prosperity, but when either of these were threatened, the local population might denounce Christians, a governor might be forced to act, and the law, as the central authority saw it, must then run its course. (Britannica)
180 March 17 Marcus Aurelius dies at Vindobona (Vienna; also Sirmium, Pannonia) and is succeeded by Commodus (to 192), who abandons his fathers plans to annex the lands of the Marcomanni. After this time there is no further mention the Marcomanni in the surviving records. They probably formed part of the later Alemannic confederations.
180 The Romans Legions in Scotland are defeated and are forced to retreat behind Hadrian's Wall.
189 Victor I becomes pope (to 199) of the Christian church. He is the first pope identified since Clement I (88-97).
192 Emperor Commodus is murdered.
193 Septimus Severus becomes Roman emperor (to 211).
193 May 28 Marcus Didius Juliuanus a wealthy Roman senator becomes emperor (to June 1) by being the highest bidder in an auction for the support of the Praetorian Guard.
197 Albinus proclaims himself emperor in Britain, but is killed at the Battle of Lyons.
200 The worship of Mithras, Persian god of sun and truth, is the last great Asian cult imported into Rome before establishment of Christianity. It is said to have resembled early Christianity in some doctrines and rites.
200 The bishop of Rome gains his predominant position as pope.
200 Formation of the Neo-Hebrew language. (Timetables)
200 Afghanistan is invaded by the Huns (to 540).
200 The period of Neo-Platonism, last of the Greek Philosophies.
200 Jutes from Jutland (present-day Denmark) invade Britain during the 3rd century A.D.
211 Emperor Septimus Severus visits Britain and dies at York. He is succeeded by his sons Caracalla (to 217) and Geta, the latter being murdered by Caracalla.
212 Roman citizenship is given to every freeborn subject in the Roman Empire. It is called "Civis Romanus sum!".
217 Emperor Caracalla is assassinated.
218 Heliogabalus become emperor of the Roman Empire (to 222).
220 The Goths invade Asia Minor and the Balkan Peninsula.
220 The Han dynasty in China comes to an end and is followed by four centuries of division.
222 Alexander Severus becomes Roman Emperor (to 235).
222 Urban I becomes pope (to 230).
235 Emperor Alexander Severus is murdered during an army meeting and Maximinus becomes Roman emperor (to 238).
238 Emperor Maximinus is assassinated by his troops and is succeeded by Gordian I and II, Balbinus, Pupienus and Gordian III (to 244).
240 Origen translates the "Hexepla," the Old Testament in six Hebrew and Greek tests (249-250 AD).
244 Philip the Arabian becomes Roman emperor until 249 AD.
245 Diocletian is born at Salonae, Dalmatia (now Solin, Croatia).
248 Rome celebrates its 1,000th anniversary - from 753 BC.
249 Decius becomes Roman emperor (to 251).
250 The persecution of Christians increases. A number of martyrs become revered as saints.
250 Birth of Arius (250-336), a Christian priest of Alexandria, Egypt. His later teachings give rise to a theological doctrine known as Arianism, which was strongly repudiated by the early Roman church as heresy.
Arianism was a Christian heresy first proposed by the Alexandrian presbyter Arius. It affirmed that Christ is not truly divine but a created being. Arius' basic premise was the uniqueness of God, who is alone self-existent and immutable. The Son, who is not self-existent, cannot be God. Because the Godhead is unique, it cannot be shared or communicated, so the Son cannot be God. Because the Godhead is immutable, the Son, who is mutable, being represented in the Gospels as subject to growth and change, cannot be God. The Son must, therefore, be deemed a creature who has been called into existence out of nothing and has had a beginning. Moreover, the Son can have no direct knowledge of the Father since the Son is finite and of a different order of existence. (Britannica)
280 Flavius Valerius Constantinus (Constantine the Great) is born in the Roman province of Moesia (later Serbia). His father, Constantius, is a member of an important Roman family. His mother, Helena, is the daughter of an innkeeper.
281 The Holy Lance (Helige Lanz) is said to have passed to Mauritius, a Roman tribune and commander of the Theban Legion. He is said to have been a direct descendant of Longinus (Gaius Cassius). If this is true, the ancient spear would had been in the same family for more than 250 years. (Passio Martyrum Acaunensium - Passion of the Martyrs of Agaunum, Bishop St. Eucherius of Lyon, France)
284 Diocletian an army chief is ordered by emperor Carinus to join Numerian, Carinus' brother and coemperor, together with the Illyrians, to fight a campaign against the Persians. During this campaign, Numerian is found dead in his litter. When Diocletian appears for the first time in public dressed in the imperial purple, he is acclaimed as emperor by his soldiers. Diocletian declared himself innocent of Numerian's murder, and instead accused Numerian's adoptive father, the praetorian prefect, Aper, of having killed him in order to seize power. Diocletian then personally killed Aper in front of his men.
Aper's guilt was accepted by contemporaries, but a prediction had been made to Diocletian previously, telling him that he would become emperor on the day that he killed "a boar" (Latin: aper). Numerian probably died either of natural causes or from a stroke of lightning, but by eliminating Aper, Diocletian rid himself of an eventual competitor and retroactively provided his act with sacred meaning. (Britannica)
284 November 17 Diocletian is proclaimed emperor (to 305). Diocletian possessed real power only in those countries that were dominated by his army (i.e., in Asia Minor and possibly Syria). The rest of the empire was obedient to Numerian's brother Carinus.
Little is known of Diocletian's origins. His father was a scribe or the emancipated slave of a senator called Anullinus. Diocletian's complete name, found in official inscriptions, is given as Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus. He received the name Diocles first, then the name Valerius, after the name of his daughter, Valeria, who married Galerius in 293. Diocletianus, is said to have entered history like so many of those emperors who emerged from the shadows through force of arms, brought to power by the army.
285 July Carinus, after having put down a revolt by Julianus, a troop commander in Pannonia, whom he attacked and killed near Verona, attacks Diocletian. An indecisive battle near the confluence of the Margus (modern Morava) and Danube rivers, not far from present-day Belgrade, would have been a defeat for Diocletian had Carinus not been assassinated by a group of soldiers. Thus, Diocletian became master of the entire empire.
285 July Diocletian had scarcely come to power when he made an unexpected decision -- to share the throne with a colleague of his choice. The empire was too great, he said, for one man to administer. Nearly every week, either in Africa, or somewhere on the frontier that extended from Britain to the Persian Gulf, along the Rhine, the Danube, the Pontus Euxinus (Black Sea), and the Euphrates, he was forced to suppress a revolt or stop an invasion. Diocletian, who was more attracted to administration, required a man who was both a soldier and a faithful companion to take responsibility for military defense.
Diocletian soon began restoring efficient government to the empire after the near anarchy of the 3rd century. His reorganization of the fiscal, administrative, and military machinery of the empire lays the foundation for the Byzantine Empire in the East and temporarily shored up the decaying empire in the West. His reign is also noted for the last great persecution of the Christians. (Britannica)
285 The Theban Legion, composed mostly of Christians from Egypt, is sent to Gaul to crush a revolt by peasants near Octodurum (now Martigny, Switzerland). After their Tribune, Mauritius, learns that the leaders of the uprising are Christians, the legion refuses to fight and soon withdraws to Agaunum (now St. Maurice-en-Valais, Switzerland).
285 Diocletian appoints Maximian, an Illyrian, the son of a peasant from the area around Sirmium (Vienna, Vindobona) as his Caesar (assistant emperor).
286 January Diocletian, who now resides in Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey), the eastern capital of the Roman Empire, begins dedicating himself to restoring civil order to the Roman empire by removing the army from politics.
286 The tribune Mauritius (St. Maurice), a Manichaean Christian and possessor of the Holy Lance, along with 6,666 members of the Theban Legion, all Christians, are martyred at Agaunum (St. Maurice-en-Valais) after refusing Maximian's order to worship the pagan gods of Rome and destroy the Holy Lance (Helige Lanz). Mauritius was decapitated and his "holy" lance was seized by the Roman governor of Gaul, Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus (Maximian), who will soon be appointed western emperor. (Passio Martyrum Acaunensium (Passion of the Martyrs of Agaunum), Bishop St. Eucherius of Lyon, France)
Although Maximian was a bitter enemy of Christianity and had ordered the burning of scriptures and churches, he could not carry out his own order to destroy the Holy Lance (Helige Lanz). He took it from the lifeless hand of Mauritius and carried it away, believing that it indeed was a spear of the gods which had brought about the willing death of more than 6,000 brave legionnaires. (Britannica)
286 March 1 Diocletian adopts the gens name Aurelius. He did not begin using this name until after his accession.
286 Diocletian chooses Maximian as his augustus (co-emperor). Maximians' strength and determination in dealing with the Theban Legion may have been one of the reasons he was chosen for the job that required "a man who was both a soldier and a faithful imperial companion to take responsibility for military defense." Maximian was now also the possessor of the Holy Lance (Helige Lanz).
Maximian became in theory the colleague of Diocletian, but his role was always subordinate. Assigned the government of the West, Maximian failed to suppress revolts in both Gaul and Britain.
286 Diocletian divides Pannonia Superior into Pannonia Prima and Pannonia Ripariensis (or Savia). Pannonia Inferior is divided into Valeria and Pannonia Secunda (to 305).
287 Diocletian begins calling himself Jovius (Jove) and Maximian is named Herculius (Hercules) to signify that they have been chosen by the gods and predestined as participants in the divine nature. Thus, they are charged with distributing the benefits of Providence, Diocletian through divine wisdom, and Maximian through heroic energy. Later designated as dominus et deus on coins and inscriptions, Diocletian surrounded himself with pomp and ceremony and regularly manifested his autocratic will. Under Diocletian, the empire took on the aspects of a theocracy. (Britannica)
287 Marcus Aurelius Carausius, who had fought for the Romans in Britain against the Frankish and Saxon pirates, revolts and names himself emperor in Britain. Carausius will reign in Britain for nearly 10 years.
289 Constantius I Chlorus separates from his wife Helena, mother of his son Constantine, in order to marry Theodora, Maximian's stepdaughter. Constantine is brought up in the Eastern Empire at the court of the senior emperor Diocletian at Nicomedia (modern Izmit, Turkey) and later at the court of Galerius at Sirmium (Vienna, Vindobona).
293 Diocletian takes the title of "Augustus" and gives it to Maximian as well. He also adds two more colleagues: Galerius, a former herdsman, and Constantius I Chlorus (Constantine the Great's father), a Dardanian nobleman according to the legend of his house. These additional collaborators were each given the title "Caesar" and attached to an Augustus, Constantius to Maximian (with a residence at Trier), and Galerius to Diocletian himself (with a residence at Sirmium, i.e. Vienna, Vindobona).
293 Constantius I Chlorus captures Marcus Aurelius Carausius' mainland base at Gesoriacum (modern Boulogne, France).
293 Galerius marries Diocletian's daughter, Valeria, further cementing their relationship.
293 The Roman empire now has four masters, celebrated by the authors of the Historia Augusta (a collection of biographies of Roman emperors and caesars, published in the 17th century) as the quattuor principes mundi ("four princes of the world"), and Diocletian consecrated this human unity by forming a religious bond. Because he believed that he had come to power through divine will, as revealed by a "fateful" boar, he regarded himself and Maximian as "sons of gods and creators of gods." (Britannica)
While the empire remained a patrimonium indivisum (undivided inheritance), it was nevertheless divided administratively: Diocletian, residing in Nicomedia, watched over Thrace, Asia, and Egypt; Galerius, residing in Sirmium, watched over Illyria, the Danubian provinces, and Achaea; Maximian, residing in Mediolanum (Milan), over Italy, Sicily, and Africa; and Constantius I Chlorus, residing in Trier, over Gaul, Spain, and Britain. In order to strengthen the union of the colleagues, each Augustus adopted his Caesar.
295 Diocletian begins construction of a magnificent palace at Split (Spalato) Croatia. It will not be completed until 305. The palace now constitutes the main part of a UNESCO World Heritage site that was designated in 1979.
296 Constantius I Chlorus invades Britain and defeats and kills Allectus, who had murdered Carausius and succeeded him in power. Constantius returns Britain to the Roman Empire and sets about restoring its frontier defenses. Strong measures are taken to eliminate Frankish and Saxon piracy.
296 Diocletian reconquers Egypt which had declared itself independent under the usurper Achilleus.
297 Diocletian is forced to fight Narses, king of Persia, who has invaded Syria. Since he was still occupied in Egypt, he assigned this operation to Galerius, who, after a protracted campaign, finally wins victory for the Romans. Tiridates, the king of Armenia and a protégé of the Romans, is able to return to his throne. The Tigris becomes the eastern border of the empire; and peace reigns in that part of the world until the reign of Constantine I (306-337).
298 Constantius I Chlorus triumphs over the Alemanni in Gaul.
301 The Edictum de Maximis Pretiis is issued. Its purpose is to fix wages and establish maximum prices, so as to prevent inflation, abusive profits, and the exploitation of buyers. About 1,000 articles were enumerated, and violations were punishable by death. Severe penalties were exacted from black marketeers, but even so, regulation of prices and wages was not enforceable, and the edict was later revoked.
302 November 9 According to Masonic tradition, four mysterious men, now known as the Quatuor Coronati, are said to have been executed in Pannonia. (Ars Quatuor Coronati, Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, London) Note: Masonic legend says they were sculptors or master stonemasons.
303 Diocletian publishes four edicts against Christianity and begins the last major persecution of Christians by the Romans. Diocletian had promised that Christian blood would not be spilled -- but his vow went unheeded. Persecutions spread through the empire with an extreme violence that did not succeed in annihilating Christianity but instead caused the "faith of the martyrs" to blaze forth (304). (Britannica)
The reasons for this persecution are uncertain, but various explanations have been advanced: the possible influence of Galerius, a fanatic follower of the traditional Roman religion; the desire to restore complete unity, without tolerance of a foreign cult that was seen as separatist and of men who were forming a kind of state within the state; the influence of anti-Christian philosophers such as Porphyry, and governors such as Hierocles on the scholarly class and on the imperial court; the fear of an alienation of rebellious armies from emperor worship; or perhaps the disturbances provoked by the Christians themselves, who were agitated by doctrinal controversies.
Christianity was a major issue of public policy. During the persecution of the Christians that began at the court of Diocletian at Nicomedia and which was enforced with particular intensity in the eastern parts of the empire, Constantine undoubtedly came into contact with Christians. It is even possible that members of his own family were Christians. (Britannica)
303 Constantius I Chlorus' enforcement of Diocletian's anti-Christian edicts (303) is deliberately lax. He is said to have demolished some churches, but not to have executed any believers.
305 May 1 Diocletian renounces (abdicates) the imperial crown, retires to his magnicicent palace at Split (Spalato),Croatia, on the Adriatic coast and lives there until his death in 316, which goes almost unnoticed. (Britannica)
Diocletian is said to have aged prematurely through illness. Perhaps he decided that, after 20 years of reign, his abdication was also "fateful." Of his own volition he decided to entrust the affairs of the empire to younger men and returned first to Nicomedia, then to his palace at Split.
305 May 1 Flavius Valerius Severus is appointed Caesar (junior emperor) to Constantius I Chlorus (ruled 305-306) and is given control of Pannonia, Italy, and Africa. (Britannica)
305 May 1 On the same day that Diocletian abdicates at Nicomedia, Maximian reluctantly abdicates at Mediolanum (Milan). Later, as the new tetrarchy (two augusti with a caesar under each) begins to break down, Maximian reclaims the throne to support his son Maxentius' claim to be Caesar.
305 Constantine, the son of Constantius I Chlorus, emperor of Gaul and Britain, escapes and makes his way through the territories of the hostile Severus to join his father at Gesoriacum (modern Boulogne, France). Together they soon cross to Britain and fight a campaign in the north before Constantius' death at Eboracum (modern York) in 306. Constantine had been a virtual prisoner at the court of Galerius, the Eastern emperor, at Sirmium (Vienna, Vindobona) since his father's appointment by Diocletian in 293.
305 November 9 According to the Roman Catholic Church, four unknown men, now known as the Quatuor Coronati, are executed in the Roman province of Pannonia. The identities of these men, the reasons for their executions, and even the place of their deaths remain a mystery. The Church later claimed that they were four (possibly five) talented sculptors in the quarries of Pannonia who in 305 had refused to carve a stone image of the Roman god Aesculapius for a pagan temple. For this they were condemned to death as Christians, put into leaden caskets and drowned in the River Save. Pannonia is an area of present day Austria southwest of the Danube River. Later another legend sprang up in Rome, according to which four Christian soldiers (cornicularii) suffered martydom at Rome in 307, two years after the deaths of the sculptors in Pannonia. Their offense was refusing to offer sacrifice to Aesculapius. Both stories lack historical foundation and are believed to be merely tentative explanations of the name Quatuor Coronati, a name given to a group of authenticated martyrs who were buried in the catatomb of Saints Peter and Marcellinus, but whose origins were unknown. (The Catholic Encyclopedia)
The Pagan Daybook lists November 9th as the Feast Day of Quatuor Coronati, the Four Crowned Martyrs, an ancient and mysterious celebration said to be recognised both by Freemasons and the Roman Catholic Church (see also Quattro Coronati). It's origins date back to at least the Fourth Century and quite possibly even earlier. Masonic tradition says the martyrdom occurred in AD 302.
306 July 25 Constantius (Constantine's father) dies at York in England and Severus is made augustus of the West by the remaining emperor, Galerius, who controlled the East. Severus soon becomes unpopular after he imposes higher taxes on the people of Rome and of Italy. Meanwhile, Constantius' army hails Constantine as its new Caesar.
306 October 28 A revolt breaks out in Rome, led by Maxentius, son of the former emperor Maximian, who had abdicated in 305. Severus had become unpopular after imposing higher taxes on the people of Rome and of Italy.
306 Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius with the support of his father Maximian is elected Roman emperor in the West.
307 April Severus marches on Rome from Mediolanum (Milan), but his troops desert him and he is forced to take refuge in Ravenna. He later surrenders to Maximian on condition that his life be spared, but was executed shortly afterward at Tres Tabernae, Germanica Superior (now Saverne, France). (Britannica)
308 Constantine marries Fausta, daughter of emperor Maximian, and legend says he was presented with the Holy Lance (Helige Lanz), the spear that tradition said had pierced the side of Christ, as a wedding gift.
308 Maximian is again persuaded to abdicate by Diocletian and spends the rest of his life in Trier at the court of Constantine, who had recently married his daughter Fausta.
310 Maximian, Maxentius' father and former emperor, dies in Trier. He was either murdered or committed suicide, shortly after the suppression of a revolt raised by him against Constantine. Constantine's adherence to Christianity was closely associated with his rise to power. According to the account given by the Christian apologist Lactantius, Constantine fought the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312) in the name of the Christian God, having received instructions in a dream to paint the Christian Cross on the shields of his troops. A somewhat different version, written by Eusebius, tells of a vision seen by Constantine during the campaign against Maxentius, in which the Christian sign appeared in the sky with the legend "In this sign, conquer." Despite the Emperor's own authority for the account, given late in life to Eusebius, it is in general more problematic than the other; but a religious experience on the march from Gaul is suggested also by a pagan orator, who in a speech of 310 referred to a vision of Apollo received by Constantine at a shrine in Gaul. (Britannica)
311 Constantine, after ruling Gaul for five years, invades Italy and marches on Rome.
312 Constantine is said to have a vision of a burning cross before a crucial battle and afterwards converts to Christianity.
312 As Constantine approaches Rome, Maxentius comes out of the city with his army and meets Constantine at the Milvian Bridge. Constantine's men sweep the Roman defenders into the Tiber River, and Maxentius is drowned. A triumphal arch erected in Constantine's honor at Rome after the defeat of Maxentius ascribed his victory to the "inspiration of the Divinity" as well as his own genius. A statue set up at the same time showed Constantine himself holding aloft a cross and the legend "By this saving sign I have delivered your city from the tyrant and restored liberty to the Senate and people of Rome." (Britannica)
312 Shortly after the defeat of Maxentius, Constantine met Licinius at Mediolanum (modern Milan) to confirm a number of political and dynastic arrangements. A product of this meeting has become known as the Edict of Milan which extended toleration to the Christians and restored any personal and corporate property that had been confiscated during the persecution.
313 Constantine confirms the alliance he had already entered into with Licinius (Galerius having died in 311). Constantine becomes Western emperor and Licinius shares the East with his rival Maximinus. Licinius later defeats Maximinus and becomes the sole Eastern emperor. (Britannica)
313 Constantine issues the Edict of Milan which establishes the toleration of Christianity throughout the Roman empire. The extant copies of this decree are actually those posted by Licinius in the eastern parts of the empire. But Constantine went far beyond the joint policy agreed upon at Mediolanum. By 313 he had already donated to the Bishop of Rome the imperial property of the Lateran, where a new cathedral, the Basilica Constantiniana (now S. Giovanni in Laterano), soon rose.
313 Constantine writes a remarkable series of letters from 313 to the early 320's. In them his personal "theology" and opinions concerning the Donatist schism in North Africa emerge with particular clarity. The Donatists maintained that priests and bishops who had lapsed from the Christian faith could not be readmitted to the church. Constantine's chief concern was that a divided church would offend the Christian God and so bring divine vengeance upon the Roman Empire and Constantine himself.(Britannica)
313 Constantine writes a letter to the proconsul of Africa, saying: "The Christian clergy should not be distracted by secular offices from their religious duties... for when they are free to render supreme service to the Divinity, it is evident that they confer great benefit upon the affairs of state."
316 Licinius, the Eastern emperor, loses territory in the Balkans to Constantine and a period of tension with Constantine and the West begins.
323 Constanine removes the last of the pagan gods (the relatively inoffensive "Unconquered Sun") and their legends from all Roman coinage just over a decade after the defeat of Maxentius. It is significant, not that the pagan gods and their legends survived for so few years, but that they disappeared so quickly. In just ten years Constantine had managed to fundamentally change Roman opinion, which up to now had expected of its emperors not innovation but the preservation of traditional ways. (Britannica)
324 Constantine attacks Licinius, the Eastern emperor, routing him at Adrianople and Chrysopolis (respectively, modern Edirne and Üsküdar, Turkey) and becomes sole emperor of East and West. After his victory over Licinius, Constantine wrote that he had come from the farthest shores of Britain as God's chosen instrument for the suppression of impiety, and in a letter to the Persian king Shapur II he proclaimed that, aided by the divine power of God, he had come to bring peace and prosperity to all lands. (Britannica)
325 July The Council of Nicaea is called by Constantine to deal with the Donatist schism and the Arian heresy. The Council opened with an address by the Emperor, who had already written a letter to the chief protagonist, Arius of Alexandria, in which he stated his opinion that the dispute was fostered only by excessive leisure and academic contention, that the point at issue was trivial and could be resolved without difficulty. His optimism was not justified: neither this letter nor the Council of Nicaea itself nor a second letter, in which Constantine urged acceptance of its conclusions, was adequate to resolve the dispute and this was only the beginning of a long-protracted dispute. For more than 40 years after the death of Constantine, Arianism remained the official orthodoxy of the Eastern Empire. (Britannica)
The Nicene Creed states that the Son (Christ) is homoousion to Patri ("of one substance with the Father"), thus declaring him to be all that the Father is: he is completely divine. Today, the Nicene Creed is accepted as the basic doctrine of most Christian churches.
326 Constantine visits the West to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his reign at Rome. Constantine's refusal to take part in a pagan procession offends the Romans, and he leaves after only a short visit. He will never return. While away Constantine orders the deaths both his eldest son, Crispus, and his second wife, Fausta under mysterious circumstances.
328 At Rome, the great church of St. Peter is begun and lavishly endowed by Constantine with plate and property. Other churches at Trier, Aquileia, Cirta in Numidia, Nicomedia, Antioch, Gaza, Alexandria, and elsewhere owe their development, directly or indirectly, to Constantine's interest.
A lavish spender, Constantine was notoriously openhanded to his supporters and was accused of promoting beyond their deserts men of inferior social status. More to the point is the accusation that his generosity was only made possible by his looting of the treasures of the pagan temples as well as by his confiscations and new taxes; and there is no doubt that some of his more prominent supporters owed their success, at least partly, to their timely adoption of the Emperor's religion. (Britannica)
330 May Constantine moves his throne to Byzantium (Istanbul) to face the Goths who are threatening his empire. The ancient Greek city of Byzantium on the Bosporus is enlarged and enriched at enormous expense. It is then dedicated as "New Rome," but it is generally called Constantinople: "the city of Constantine."
The dedication of Constantinople confirmed the divorce, between the emperors and Rome, which had been in the making for more than a century. Rome had long been unsuited to the strategic needs of the empire: it was now to be left in splendid isolation, as an enormously wealthy and prestigious city -- still the emotional focus of the empire -- but of limited political importance. (Britannica)
331-36 Constantine rules as a despot, surrounded by Oriental pomp and ceremony. After admitting bishops to his council, his laws concerning the treatment of slaves and prisoners show the influence of Christian teachings. Before his death Constantine divides the empire among his three remaining sons.
Above all, Constantine's achievement was perhaps greatest in social and cultural history. It was the development, after his example, of a Christianized imperial governing class that, together with his dynastic success, most firmly entrenched the privileged position of Christianity; and it was this movement of fashion, rather than the enforcement of any program of legislation, that was the basis of the Christianization of the Roman Empire. (Britannica)
336 The Church of the Holy Sepulchre built at great expense by Constantine is dedicated in the northwest quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Since that time the church has been damaged and destroyed many times and the present church dates mainly from 1810.
337 Constantine dies in Constantinople and is buried in the Church of the Apostles, whose memorials, six on each side, flank his tomb. This is said to have been less an expression of religious megalomania than of his conviction that he was the successor of the evangelists, having devoted his life and office to the spreading of Christianity.
In leaving the empire to his three sons, Constantine (who considered himself the 13th Apostle) reestablished a dynastic succession, but it was secured only by a series of bloody political murders after his death. (Britannica)
337 Constantine's son, Constans, sympathetic to the orthodox Christians, becomes emperor in the West (to 361). Another son, Constantius II, becomes emperor in the East (to 364) and is sympathetic to the Arians.
341 A Church council held at Antioch issues an affirmation of faith that omits the homoousion clause. The Nicean Creed stated that the Son (Christ) is homoousion to Patri ("of one substance with the Father"), thus declaring him to be all that the Father is: he is completely divine. (Britannica)
342 Another Church council is held at Sardica (modern Sofia), but again little is achieved.
350 Constantius II becomes sole ruler of the empire, and under his leadership the Nicene party (orthodox Christians) is largely crushed. The extreme Arians then declare that the Son was "unlike" (anomoios) the Father.
357 These anomoeans (extreme Arians) succeed in having their views endorsed at Sirmium (Vienna), but their extremism stimulates the moderates, who assert that the Son is "of similar substance" (homoiousios) with the Father. Constantius at first supported the moderates (homoiousians) but soon transferred his support to the homomeans, led by Acacius, who affirmed that the Son was "like" (homoios) the Father. (Britannica)
360 The views of the homomeans, are approved at Constantinople, where all previous creeds are rejected, the term ousia ("substance," or "stuff") was repudiated, and a statement of faith was issued stating that the Son was "like the Father who begot him."
361 Constantius II dies and the orthodox Christian majority in the Western Roman Empire struggles to consolidate its position.
364 Valens, a supporter of Arian Christianity, becomes emperor in the East (to 378) and begins a persecution of orthodox Christians. The success of the teachings of Basil the Great of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus leads the homoiousian majority in the East to realize its fundamental agreement with the Nicene party.
367 Gratian becomes emperor in the West (to 383) and takes up the defense of orthodox Christianity.
379 Theodosius I becomes emperor in the East (to 395) and strongly supports orthodox Christianity and the Nicene Creed. Arianism soon collapses.
381 The Second Ecumenical Council meets at Constantinople. Arianism is proscribed (outlawed), and the Nicene Creed is approved. Although this officially ended the heresy in the empire, Arianism continued among some of the Germanic tribes to the end of the 7th century. In modern times some Unitarians are virtually Arians in that they are unwilling either to reduce Christ to a mere human being or to attribute to him a divine nature identical with that of the Father. The Christology of Jehovah's Witnesses is also said to be a form of Arianism since they regard Arius as a forerunner of Charles Taze Russell, the founder of their movement. (Britannica)
392 Christianity is made the state religion of the Roman empire, and rival cults are suppressed. Christianity, which had begun as the faith of simple people, now became an organized Church that would militantly attempt to dominate the Near East for centuries.
In the course of the 4th century there were two developments that contributed fundamentally to the nature of Byzantine and Western medieval culture: the growth of a specifically Christian, biblical culture that took its place beside the traditional Classical culture of the upper classes; and the extension of new forms of religious patronage, between the secular governing classes and bishops, Christian intellectuals and holy men. (Britannica)
395 The Romans are forced to withdraw from Pannonia by the barbarians. From that time, Pannonia ceased to exist as a separate unit.
400 November 9 The Craft of operative masonry (craftsmen who atually worked in stone and built large structures throughout Europe) adopts the Quatuor Coronati as the patron saints of all Masons (see November 9, Constitutions of the Masons of Strasburg, 1459). According to Masonic tradition, the Quatuor Coronati were four builders or stonemasons whom were martyred in 302. (Ars Quatuor Coronati, Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, London)
400 Saxons from Friesland, the Frisian Islands, and north-west Germany invade Britain during the 5th century A.D.
410 Alaric, king of the Visigoths, sacks Rome. The historian Procopius wrote that Alaric made off with the treasures of Solomon which in the olden time had been taken from Jerusalem by the Romans.
438 The Theodosian Code bans all beliefs and cults in the Roman Empire except Christianity. All other religions, esoteric beliefs and schools of mysticism are forced underground. (Creative Mythology, Joseph Campbell)
443 Attila the Hun lays seige to Constantinople, but spares the city in return for a tribute of 6,000 pounds of gold and the Holy Lance from emperor Theodosius II.
447 Mergovee becomes king of the Franks, and becomes the first of a series of kings known as the Mergovingians. Mergovee worshipped the Goddess Diana and belonged to the cult of Diana.
449 The Angles, from present-day Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, settle in Britain north of the Thames River. More foreign invaders will soon follow. The words "England" and "English" both come from the word, "Angles."
451 Attila invades Gaul, but is forced to withdraw by the Visigoths.
452 Attila invades Italy and devastates the city of Mediolanum (Milan).
452 Attila reaches the gates of Rome before being forced to withdraw because of famine and pestilence. Legend says Attila rode to the gates of Rome and hurled the Holy Lance (Helige Lanz, see AD443) at the feet of the officers sent out to surrender the city. "Take back your lance" Attila cried, "It is of no use to me, since I do not know Him that made it holy."
458 Childeric I, son of Mergovee, becomes king of the Franks. He is said to have practiced witchcraft and consulted a crystal ball.
470 Priscian (Priscianus Caesariensis), best known of all the Latin grammarians, is born at Caesarea in Mauretania now, Cherchell, Algeria. Priscian later taught grammar at Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey). His Commentarii grammatici, in 18 volumes, was long a standard text, and was the basis of works by Rabanus Maurus during the Middle Ages.
476 The barbarian, Odoacer, overthrows the emperor Romulus Augustulus, ending the Western Roman Empire.
481 Clovis I, grandson of Mergovee, becomes king of the Franks, the only barbarian group to create a lasting state. Clovis, their first great leader, establishes a kingdom in Gaul that will later become known as France.
496 Clovis I converts to Christianity. Many barbarians had become Christians earlier, but most held the Arian doctrine, condemned as heresy.
496 The Bishop of Rome grants Clovis I authority to preside over a "Christianized" Roman Empire.
500 The Middle Ages begin. They are said to cover a period of about one thousand years from AD500 to 1500.
524 The Abbey of St. Maurice is founded. Maurice relics can still be found at the Abbey of St. Maurice in Brzeg, Poland, and at Turin, Italy. To this day, devotion to St. Maurice and the Theban Legion is found in Switzerland, along the Rhine, and in Northern Italy. The feast of St. Maurice is celebrated each September 22. (Buechner)
525 A Catholic monk, Dionysius Exiguus, proposes that calendars be instituted whereby the years would be counted from the birth of Christ. This practice was adopted throughout the Christian world over the following 500 years. Modern chronologists, however, position the actual birth of Christ closer to 4 BC.
525 The Goths destroy Mediolanum (Milan).
527 August 1 Justinianus I succeeds Justinus I as Emperor of Byzantium.
570 Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam and the founder of the Islamic religion, is born at Mecca in southwestern Arabia. His parents died while he was still a child and he went to live with his grandfather. After his grandfather's death he lived with his uncle, Abu Talib, a chief of the Quraysh tribe. (see Muhammad, Mahomet)
595 Mohammed, at age 25, enters the service of Khadija, a wealthy 40-year-old widow. They will later marry (though she was 15 years his senior) and concieve six children, two sons and four daughters. The two sons died when very young. Mohammed's daughter, Fatima, married Ali, the son of Abu Talib, and they had two sons, from whom many Moslems trace their descent from Mohammed. (see Muhammad, Mahomet)
595 Pope Leo IV orders the relics of the Quatuor coronati (some 850) from Pannonia and others from Via Albano brought to the basillica of Quatuor Coronati on the Calien Hill in Rome.
597 Augustine, an Italian monk sent by Pope Gregory I to win the Angles over to Christianity, lands with 40 followers on the coast of Kent, England.
614 The Avar incursion in Croatia comes to an end. Inhabitants of the ruined city of Solin (Salona; Diocletian's birthplace) take refuge within what remains of the nearby palace of Diocletian at Split (Spalato). Though the huge palace is badly damaged, they build their homes, incorporating the old walls, columns, and ornamentation into their new structures. This area now comprises the nucleus of the "old town" of Split. (Britannica)
649 July 1 Pope Martinus I is elected to succeed Theodore I.
651 Dagobert II, a descendant of Mergovee, is born in Austrasia, now a region of eastern France.
656 Dagobert II's father dies and he is forced to flee to Ireland.
664 England forcibly dissolves the unique and beautiful Celtic Communion in Ireland and imposes a more Roman Rite as practiced in England.
666 Dagobert II moves to England. He lives in the Kingdom of Northumbria. A Bishop named Wilfrid soon helps him regain the throne of Austrasia.
671 Dagobert II marries Gizelle de Razes of the Spanish Visigoths and they settle in southern France at the Mergovingian castle of Rennes-le-Chateau; marriage celebrated at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene.
675 St. Boniface is born in Devonshire, England. His original name is Wynfrid. It was later changed to Boniface when he became a bishop.
679 December 23 Dagobert II is murdered by Pepin the Fat, who soon places his son, Charles Martel (Karl the Hammer), on the throne.
694 November 9 Spanish King Egica accuses Jews of aiding the Moslems and sentences them to slavery.
700 Britain is invaded and occupied over a period of years by the Vikings, also called the "Danes," during the 8th century.
705 St. Boniface is ordained a priest at Nursling after joining the Benedictine Order.
718 Boniface sets out on a missionary journey to Frisia (now the province of Friesland in The Netherlands).
722 Authorized by Pope Gregory II, Boniface also works in the German states of Thuringia and Hesse. He is so successful in winning converts that he is consecrated a regional bishop and given the name Boniface. His first action on returning to Germany is to destroy the sacred oak of Thor, the chief god of the heathens. The courage of this act wins him great respect and many new converts. He then goes on to expand and organize the church and its membership on a firm foundation.
732 Charles Martel defeats the Saracens at Poitiers, saving Christian France from domination by the forces of Islam. He is said to have carried the Holy Lance into battle.
748 Boniface becomes archbishop of Mainz. He resigns a few years later to continue his missionary work in Frisia.
755 Boniface is killed by a band of pagans. St. Boniface is now known as the "patron (or apostle) of Germany." St. Boniface Day is June 5th.
774 Charlemagne incorporates the region around Milan (Mediolanum) into the dominions of the Carolingians. Life in Milan quickly began showing increased vitality.
776 Rabanus Maurus Magnentius, archbishop, Benedictine abbot, theologian and scholar , also known as Hrabanus Magnentius, is born in Mainz, Franconia. His work so contributed to the development of German language and literature that he received the title Praeceptor Germaniae ("Teacher of Germany").
800 Charlemagne, grandson of Charles Martel, becomes emperor of the "Christianized" Roman Empire. Charlemagne uses the Holy Lance as a force to unify and consolidate nearly all the Christian lands of Europe Charlemagne carried the Holy Lance in 47 successful campaigns, always slept with it close at hand and supposedly believed it was the source of his legendary clairvoyance. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
801 Rabanus Maurus is ordained deacon at the Benedictine monastery of Fulda in Saxony.
802 Rabanus Maurus is sent to France, to study under the noted scholar-monk Alcuin at the abbey of St. Martin of Tours, one of his most famous schools.
803 After a year of study, Rabanus Maurus is recalled by his abbot and becomes a teacher and, later, head-master of the monastic school of Fulda. His fame as a teacher spread throughout Europe and Fulda became the most celebrated seat of learning in the Frankish Empire.
814 Rabanus Maurus is ordained as priest. Unfortunately, Abbot Ratgar's mania for building temporarily impeded the intellectual development of Rabanus and the school at Fulda.
818 Abbot Eigil takes office in Fulda and allows Rabanus once more able to devote himself entirely to his vocation of teaching and writing. Rabanus through hard work and dedication becomes one of the most learned men of his age.
822 Rabanus Maurus becomes abbot of Fulda (to 842). His zeal for learning and his excellent administration made the school and library at Fulda an outstanding source of intellectual light.
822 Gottschalk (Gottschalck), German theologian and son of the count of Saxony is placed as a boy in the monastery of Fulda. He did not wish to be a monk, but is forced to remain by Rabanus Maurus Magnentius, his superior.
826 Muslims ate expelled from Omayyid Spain and establish a base in Crete.
829 A Catholic synod frees Gottschalk (Gottschalck) of his vows, but instead he travels to the monastery of Orbais, where he is ordained a priest. He soon begins to teach an extreme doctrine of predestination, holding that God had selected in advance whom God would save and whom God would condemn. His views, which he apparently derived from St. Augustine, created great interest at the time.
830 Jewish families begin settling in what is now the Rhineland of Germany.
840 Rabanus Maurus flees from Fulda, probably to evade taking the oath of allegiance to Louis the German. In the political disturbances of the times Rabanus had sided with Louis the Pious against his rebellious sons, and after the emperor's death he supported Lothair, the eldest son, who was conquered by Louis the German.
841 Rabanus Maurus returns to Fulda but resigns his abbacy early in 842, compelled, it is believed, by Louis the German. He retires to nearby Petersberg, where he devotes himself entirely to prayer and literary work.
842 Rabanus Maurus begins assembling De rerum naturis, also known as De universo, an encyclopedic compilation of current knowledge, between 842 and 846. The earliest edition was edited and printed more than 600 years later by Adolf Rusch (the so-called "R-Printer") about 1466.
845 Rabanus Maurus is reconciled with the king and returns to Fulda until his retirement in 1847.
847 June 26 Rabanus Maurus, who had retired from Fulda, succeeds Otgar as Archbishop of Mainz. His immense stock of knowledge was encyclopedic rather than original. Among his works are De rerum naturis, also known as De universo, an encyclopedic dictionary, and De institutione clericorum, a course of study for clerics. Rabanus had an eminent role in spreading the Carolingian revival, and both Gottschalk and the poet Walafrid Strabo were his students.
848 Rabanus and Hincmar, who have worked to suppress Gottschalk (Gottschalck) for years, finally succeed in deposing him from the priesthood, and the Church soon imprisons him in the monastery of Hautvilliers.
856 February 4 Rabanus Maurus, also known as Hrabanus Magnentius dies in Winkel (Vinicellum), Rheingau, Germany, and is buried at the monastery of St. Alban in Mainz. Later his relics are transferred to Halle by Archbishop Albrecht of Brandenburg.
860 August 1 The Peace of Koblenz is signed by Charles the Bare, Louis the German and Lotharius II.
868 Gottschalk (Gottschalck), German theologian and son of the count of Saxony, who was censored by the Catholic Church dies.
878 The Danes would probably have wiped out Christianity in England if it had not been for Alfred the Great, king of Wessex. Alfred defeats the Danes' great army at Chippenham and forces the Danish leader to sign a treaty agreeing to leave Wessex free. The Danes also promise to be baptized, and many become Christians.
902 August 1 Aghlabidisch emir Ibrahim II destroys Taormina, Sicily.
933 Heinrich I, duke of Saxony and king of Germany (also known as Henry the Fowler), drives the Hungarian Magyars from Germany. Legends say he used the powers of the Holy Lance.
933 Legend says Henry I later presented the Holy Lance to Athelstan, king of England. Athelstan later returned it to Germany as part of a dowry when his daughter married Otto I. (Britannica)
955 Otto I carries the Holy Lance during consolidation of the First Reich, using it to defeat the Magyars at the Battle of Lechfeld near Augsburg.
959 November 9 Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (913-959), dies.
962 The term Holy Roman Empire comes into existence. Otto I, first of the Saxon kings powerful enough to assert control over both Germany and Italy, is crowned emperor by Pope John XII.
963 Otto I forcibly replaces Pope John XII with Leo VIII.
975 Modern mathematical notation brought into Europe by the Arabs.
976 Building of St. Marks in Venice begins.
1000 A nail, supposedly from the cross of Jesus, is inserted into the blade of the Holy Lance during the reign of Otto III. A fracture occurs and the two parts were fitted together with an iron clamp.
1016 The Danes once again invade England, and Canute, king of Norway and Denmark, makes himself king of England.
1021 August 1 At the Synod of Pavia, Emperor Henry II convicts a married priest.
1042 After the death of Canute, his empire falls apart, and the Danish dynasty in England ends.
1045 Milan as a result of tensions engendered by the authority of the archbishops and because of the increasing growth and stability of the city as a whole, constituted itself as a commune (comune), with permanent and autonomous governmental structures. In the resultant struggle for primacy among the cities of Lombardy, Milan became involved in a series of long battles against its less prosperous neighbours -- Pavia, Cremona, Como, and Lodi.
1054 Schism between Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity begins.
1059 The village church of Renne-le-Chateau, France, is consecrated to Mary Magdalene.
1066 September 28 William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy) invades England and lays claaim to the English throne.
1066 October 14 THE NORMAN CONQUEST - King Harold is killed during the Battle of Hastings and William, duke of Normandy, emerges victorious. The Normans were North Men, meaning Vikings from Scandinavia, who had settled in the Normandy region of France beginning in the 9th century and over the years assimilated themselves to the French language and culture. During this period, the English language was much influenced by French.
1066 December 25 William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy) is crowned king of England in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066.
1068 November 9 Agnes of Poitou, Duchess of Aquitania and mother of German Empress, dies.
1070 The Order of Knights Hospitallers of St. John is founded in Jerusalem by Amalfi merchants.
1076 Emperor Henry IV is excommunicated by Pope Gregory VII. Popular uprisings soon force Henry to beg for absolution.
1086 August 1 English barons become submissive to King Willem the Occupier.
1094 El Cid, Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, captures Valencia from the Moors.
1094 St. Mark's cathedral is completed in Venice.
1096 August The First Crusade leaves Europe for the Holy Land.
1097 King Henry IV returns to Germany from Italy.
1097 July 1 Crusader forces that have already defeated the Turks at Dorylaeum conquer Sultan Kilidj Arslan at Nicea.
1098 The Crusaders capture Antioch, but are then besieged by a Turkish counterattack.
1098 June 15 Peter Barthelemy, a Provencal pilgrim, tells the leaders of the crusade that he has dreamed three times of the head of the holy lance that had pierced the side of Jesus Christ. Digging started on this date. Peter said the head of the lance was hidden under the high altar of the church. If found, it would bring victory to the crusaders. Many, including Bishop Adhemar, were skeptical, but Peter was said to have found the spear. His discovery, real or feigned, fired the crusaders with valor. They rushed from the fortified city gate of Antioch and routed the Turks. (Compton's)
1099 April On Good Friday, to prove the lance found in Antioch was indeed a miracle working relic, Peter Bartholomew (also spelled Bartholemy) walked between two roaring fires while holding the lance high above his head. Twelve days later he died of his burns.
1099 July 15 The Crusaders capture "the holy city" of Jerusalem.
1099 Godfroi de Bouillon is said to have founded the mysterious Order of Sion.
1099 Godfroi de Bouillon is offered the title "King of Jerusalem" but chooses to decline.
1100 King Henry IV (1050-1106) has the Holy Lance (Helige Lanz) fitted with a silver sleeve which bears the inscription "Clavus Dominicus" (the nail of our Lord) in reference to an ancient nail already inserted into its blade.
1111 The Milanese capture Lodi, and the city is razed to the ground. Milan then initates a bitter struggle against Como lasting from 1118 to 1127.
1118 The Knights Templars are organized by Hugues de Payen (Hugh of Payens) of Burgundy. Payen and Godfrey of Saint Adhemar, a Fleming, along with seven other knights are credited with founding the Order whose headquarters are on or near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
1127 The German Hospital of St. Mary in Jerusalem is believed to have been founded.
1127 After nine years in Jerusalem, the Templars return to Europe wealthy beyond belief and soon institute an international banking system across Europe. Rumors said the Templars had discovered the ancient treasure of the Jewish Temple.
1127 Como is destroyed by the Milanese. This becomes the pretext for an intervention by Frederick I Barbarossa, who had decided to bring Milan under the direct authority of the central imperial power of his Holy Roman Empire.
1129 January The Council of Troyes recognizes the Templars as a holy order.
1131 King Alfonso I of Aragon and Navarre attempts to turn over his kingdom to the Templars, Hospitallers, and Knights of the Holy Sepulcher in his will.
1143 Two sources of Pope Celestine II mention a German hospital in Jerusalem in some kind of dispute with the Hospital of St. John. The German hospital was put under the supervision of the Hospital of St. John.
1145 St. Bernard visits the Cathars in the Languedoc region of France and declares "no sermons are more Christian... and their morals are pure."
1147 The Second Crusade fails to destroy the growing Muslim power. It will continue to 1149.
1152 March 4 Frederick I Barbarossa is elected King of Germany in succession to his uncle Conrad III. He will later become a crusader and opponent of the Pope.
1154 Nicholas Breakspear becomes Pope Adrian IV and almost immediately gives Ireland as a gift to Henry II of England.
1162 Milam yields to Barbarossa's armies after a nine-month siege. The city's fortifications were razed, and the destruction of the city was such that the Milanese were forced to seek refuge in the surrounding countryside.
1165 The Cathars are condemned by an ecclesiastical council in the French village of Albi, from which the name Albigensian Crusade is derived.
1167 Milan is rebuilt under the auspices of the newly founded Lombard League.
1172 A German monk named Theodorich writes Guide to the Holy Land.
1176 Milan plays a major role in the defeat of the German forces under Barbarossa at the Battle of Legnano.
1177 August 1 The Peace Treaty of Venice is signed between Emperor Frederik I and Pope Alexander III.
1183 The Peace of Constance brings an end to the conflict between Milan and the Holy Roman Empire.
1187 May 1 The Hospitallers and Templars are defeated by the Muslims at Nazareth.
1187 July 4 The Battle of Hattin is lost by cthe Crusaders; Hospitallers, Templars. The "flower of the nobility" is devastated.
1187 October 4 Jerusalem surrenders to Muslim ruler Saladin, and soon afterward the Grand Master of the Knights Templar is accused of treason.
1188 The Cutting of the Elm: supposed split between the Templars and Sion. Order of Sion allegedly changes its name to the Prieure of Sion and uses as a subtitle Ormus, the name of a first century Gnostic "adept" who founded a mystical Christian sect in Alexandria about 46 AD.
1189 The aged emperor of Germany, Frederick Barbarossa, so-called because of his red beard, calls for a Third Crusade to free Jerusalem from the Muslims. Barbarossa carries the Holy Lance as his emblem of faith and Christian dedication.
1189 September 3 England's King Richard I (the Lion-Hearted) is crowned at Westminster Abbey in London.
1190 June 10 Barbarossa accidentally drowns in the Saleph River in Asia Minor and the German expedition soon collapses. The Holy Lance (Helige Lanz) is hidden.
1190 The Order of Teutonic Knights is founded, their Latin name is Ordo Domus Sanctae Mariae Teutonicorum (German Order of the Hospital of St. Mary).
1190 The Livonian Brothers of the Sword is founded.
1190 September King Guy of Jerusalem is awards the Teutonic Order (Teutonic Knights) a portion of a tower in Acre and the bequest was re-enforced on February 10, 1192. The order may have shared the tower with the English Order of the Hospital of St. Thomas.
1190 Saladin, a noble (Kurdish) Islamic leader issues a manifesto inviting Jewish resettlement of Jerusalem, from which Jews had been expelled during the rule of the Crusaders. Jews everywhere have held Saladin in high esteem for his respect of their holy places and his encouragement of a resurgence of Jewish life in the area. (Rabbi David H. Lincoln)
1191 February 6 A questionable bull by Pope Clement III approves the German hospitaller order at Acre.
1191 July 12 The siege of Acre ends in crusader victory. Richard the Lion-Hearted and Philip of France capture Acre, putting 3,500 innocent men, women and children to death.
1192 Richard fails to capture Jerusalem, but signs a three-year truce with Saladin that permits pilgrims to visit the Holy Sepulcher.
1192 Richard leaves the Holy Land. On his way to England, he is captured in Austria and imprisoned in Vienna by his old enemy, Duke Leopold, and held for ransom. Richard will spend only six months of his entire reign in England.
1195 April Count Palatinate Henry of Champagne provideds Teutonic Knights with the house of Theodore of Sarepta in Tyre.
1196 Hermann von Salza may have accompanied Landgraf Hermann von Thüringen to the Holy Land.
1196 March Count Palatinate Henry conferred possessions in Jaffa (Joppa) on Teutonic Knights.
1196 December 21 Pope Celestine III took the "Hospital of St. Mary of the Germans in Jerusalem" under his protection.
1197 May 20 German emperor Henry VI gave the Teutonic Knights a hospital in Barletta, Italy.
1197 July 18 Henry VI gave Teutonic Knights a church and cloister (of the Holy Trinity) in Palermo, Sicily.
1198 The Teutonic Knights assume a military character under the leadership of Hermann von Salza. They are said to have carried the Holy Lance (Helige Lanz) to Prussia after transfering their center of activity from the Middle-East to eastern Europe.
1198 The first military action of the Teutonic Knights with King Amalric II of Jerusalem; Amalric gave them (in August) a tower in Acre that formerly belonged to the Order of St. Nicholas.
1198 March 5 The Teutonic Knights are established as a military order in a ceremony in Acre's Temple which is attended by the secular and clerical leaders of the Latin Kingdom.
1199 February 19 A Bull by Pope Innocent III confirms the Teutonic Knights' wearing of the Templars' white mantle and following of the Hospitallers' rule.
1200 July 1 Sunglasses are invented n China.
1202 The Fourth Crusade is launched not for the Holy Land, but for Egypt, and is inspired not by religious zeal, but political and commercial greed.
1202 Gerold of Bozen gave the Teutonic Knights a hospital in Bozen.
1202 November Bankers in Venice force the Crusaders to seize Zara, a commercial city on the Adriatic, and a rival of Venice. Ironically, Zara was already a Christian city.
1203 July Crusaders take Constantinople even though Pope Innocent III has forbidden the expedition.
1203 August 1 Alexius IV Angelus is appointed co-regent of Byzantium.
1204 April Constantinople falls to the Latin crusaders.
1205 William of Champlitte and Geoffrey of Villehardouin conquere Patras, Andravida, Pundico Castro, Modon, and Coron in the Morea; The Battle of Koundoura is won by William of Champlitte and Geoffrey of Villehardouin with about 600 men over 5,000 Byzantine Greeks.
1208 January 14 Pierre de Castelnau, a papal legate, is murdered in Languedoc and the Pope blames the Cathars "heretics." The so-called Albigensian Crusade is soon launchedagaonst the Cathars in France.
1209 30,000 knights and foot soldiers invade the Languedoc region of France and begin a 40 year war with the so-called Cathar heretics.
1209 The Teutonic Knights side with Hospitallers and barons in Acre against the Templars and prelates. This dispute is said to be the origin of the long-standing opposition between the Templars and Teutonic Knights.
1210 October 3 Probable date of election of Hermann von Salza as grand master of the Teutonic Knights; the date coincided with the date of the marriage in Tyre of John of Brienne to Mary; it was also the date of John's coronation as King of Jerusalem.
1211 September Frederick II is chosen as king in Germany.
1211 Burzenland settled by the Teutonic Knights with the authority of Hungary's King Andrew II.
1212 The First "Children's Crusade" is launched. The German phase in Spring and the French phase in June.
1212 July Peter II of Aragon defeats the Moors at Las Navas de Tolosa.
1212 Adomadana is given to the Teutonic Knights by King Leo of Armenia.
1213 September 12 Simon of Montfort wins the battle of Muret; Peter II killed.
1214 February 24 King Leo of Armenia granted Teutonic Knights Amudain, the castle of Sespin, and more.
1215 The Dominican Order of the Roman Catholic Church is founded. A Spanish monk named Dominic Guzman spurred by hatred of heresy creates the monastic order that bears his name - the Dominicans.
1215 June 15 King John of England is forced to set his seal to the Great Charter (in Latin: Magna Carta) of English civil liberties.
1215 November Innocent III called the Fourth Lateran Council; new crusade proclaimed; Hermann von Salza probably at the Fourth Lateran Council representing his order.
1216 February 18 Innocent III issued a bull of protection for the Teutonic Knights.
1216 December Hermann von Salza attended Frederick II's court in Nuremberg; first meeting between the Teutonic Knights' grand master and the emperor.
1217 June 24 Frederick II grants the Teutonic Knights the same status as the Templars and Hospitallers in the Kingdom of Sicily.
1218 May The Fifth Crusade invades Egypt and continues until 1221. Hermann von Salza lands at Damietta. Saphadin dies and al-Kamil, his son, becomes caliph (1218- 1238). The crusaders capture Damietta.
1220 Leopold VI of Austria presents the Teutonic Knights with the site of the castle of Montfort near Acre.
1220 April Hermann von Salza travels to Acre with King John of Jerusalem.
1220 November Frederick II is crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Honorius III in Rome. Hermann von Salza travels with Frederick II to Italy. He is first identified by name as Hermann von Salza in documents of this period.
1228 The Sixth Crusade begins.
1228 March 18 Frederick II is crowned King of Jerusalem at the church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. He then held high court in the house of the Hospital of St. John.
1229 Frederick II of Sicily, emperor of Germany, frees Jerusalem by peaceful negotiation.
1233 The Dominicans begin conducting what is called - the Holy Inquisition.
1233 July 1 Earl Otto II van Gelre grants Arnhem (Netherlands) state justice.
1237 The city of Berlin is founded. The Teutonic Knights absorb the Livonian Brothers of the Sword.
1240 The Mongols capture Kiev and resistence in Russia ceases. A number of Mongol hordes will rule Russia for more than 200 years until 1480.
1240 The Teutonic Knights return the Holy Lance to Germany to protect it, according to legend, from any future Mongol invasions.
1241 Mongol armies reach central Germany before turning southward into Hungary. After the death of the Great Khan, they stop their advance and give up their Eastern European territory to return home for the election of a new khan. Because the succession was disputed forseveral years, Europe was saved from further incursions.
1241 April 9 At the Battle of Liegnitz, Mongols defeat an army of Poles and Germans including Hospitallers, Templars and Teutonic Knights.
1242 April 5 A Russian army lead by Alexander Nevsky defeat the Teutonic Knights on Lake Peipus.
1243 All major Cathar towns and fortresses except Mt. Segur (Montsegur) have fallen to the Catholic invaders.
1244 January Two Cathar parfaits (perfect ones) escape from Mt. Segur (Montsegur), reportedly carrying away the gold and silver treasure of the Cathars.
1244 March 1 The remaining Cathars at Mt. Segur (Montsegur) capitulate, but ask for a 15 day truce. Mysteriously it is granted.
1244 March 14 A mysterious Cathar ceremony, which can only be celebrated on this day of the year, is held inside Mt. Segur (Montsegur), one of the Cathar's holiest places.
1244 March 15 The Truce made with the Cathars on March 1 expires at midnight.
1244 March 16 At dawn, the Catholics lock more than 200 Cathar parfaits in a stockade at the foot of Mt. Segur and burn them alive. Four parfaits who are still hiding in the fortress escape during the night with a "secret treasure" believed to be used in their religious ceremonies. Several prominant historians claim this was a critical turning point in the history of the Catholic Church and European civilization. (Montsegur)
1244 The Turks seize Jerusalem and the Knights Templars are forcibly ousted.
1246 October 31 Pope Innocent IV transfers the Hospital of St. James to the Templars.
1249 The Seventh Crusade, headed by Louis IX of France, tries to take Egypt as the western key to Palestine; Louis is captured and forced to pay a "King's ransom."
1253 July 1 The Guardian beats Gwijde van Dampierre at the Battle of Westkapelle-Floris.
1258 October 16 A Peace treaty is signed between the Templars, Hospitallers and Teutonic Knights at Acre.
1263 May All Teutonic Knight possessions near Sidon ate lost to the Muslims after the Baybars win a battle at Sidon.
1270 Louis IX and Prince Edward of England lead the Eighth and final Crusade. Louis dies of plague and the crusade fails. This ends the Age of the Crusades.
1290 The Teutonic Knights complete a 30-year effort to control Prussians.
1291 May 18 CITY OF ACRE FALLS: Both the Hospitallers and Templars move their headquarters from Acre to Cyprus. The Teutonic Knights headquarters is moved from Acre to Venice
1291 August 1 The Everlasting League is formed, becoming the basis for Swiss Confederation and independence.
1300 By the fourteenth century, the great, ancient city of Rome has dwindled to a miserable village. As few as 20,000 people cling to the ruins despite the ravages of disease and robber barons. Popes and cardinals had fled to Avignon in southern France. Rome was dwarfed in wealth and power by the great commercial cities and territorial states farther north, from Florence to Venice. (Britannica)
1309 The Teutonic Knights move thee headquarters of their order from Venice to Prussia. The Hospitallers move their headquarters from Cyprus to Rhodes.
1309 November 28 The heresy trial of Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Templars begins in Paris.
1312 May 16 The Hospitallers are awarded Templar estates throughout western Europe, Cyprus, and Greece.
1314 March 15 Jacques de Molay, Templar Grand Master and Preceptor of Normandy, is burned at the stake on an island in the Seine River at Paris for heresy. Other sources say March 18, 1314.
1320 September 9 The commander of the Teutonic Knight in the Morea dies in battle against the Greeks near the fortress of St. George.
1338 The Berlin Bear becomes the symbol of Berlin's strength.
1347 April Cola Di Rienzi, tribune of the people, rules briefly in Rome before being overthrown in December. It is said that he was attempting to overthrow the aristocracy and to reestablish the Roman republic and world rule. (Timetables)
1347 July 1 Engagement of Count Louis of Male to Margaretha, the daughter of Jan III.
1349 Jews are persecuted in Germany. (Timetables)
1354 Cola Rienzi is murdered in Rome. The legend begins. (see Edward Bulwer Lytton)
1354 The term freemason appears in the records of the city of London. It referred to working masons who were permitted to travel the country at a time when the feudal system shackled most peasants closely to the land. Unlike the members of other crafts of the time - smiths or tanners for example - the masons gathered in large groups to work on majestic, glorious projects, moving from one finished castle or cathedral to the planning and building of the next. For mutual protection, education, and training, the masons bound themselves together into a local lodge - the building, put up at a construction site, where workmen could eat and rest. Eventually, a lodge came to signify a group of masons based in a particular locality." ("Freemasons; Mortar and Mysticism," Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects)
1360 Charles IV of Bohemia (1316-1378) replaces the silver sleeve on the Holy Lance (Helige Lanz)with one of gold bearing the inscription: "the nail of our Lord."
1367 Hans Fugger, a weaver born in the village of Graben in Swabia, establishes his family in Augsburg (G). By twice marrying the daughters of masters of the weavers' guild, the industrious Fugger later acquires civic rights and the freedom of the company. He also became a member of the guild's committee of 12 and of the city's great council and conducted a successful textile trade. (Brittannica)
1382 John Wycliffe, a British philosopher, sponsors the first English translation of the Christian Bible. Wycliffe asserted that if there were "a hundred popes" and if "all the friars turned to cardinals," they would still have no more authority than Scripture itself. (Bobrick)
1382 November 9 The Cambridge Yiddish Codex, the earliest extensive manuscript written in Yiddish, is explicitly dated November 9, 1382. It excites the interest of Germanicists for its version of "Dukus Horant" ( a poem from the Hildesage of the Kudrun [Gundrun] epic known from the Ambras manuscript copied by Hans Ried, 1502/04-16), which antedates the earliest extant manuscript of the Hildesage by at least 130 years. The documentary history of Yiddish is unbroken thereafter to the present day. (Brittannica)
Yiddish had its beginnings in the 10th century when Jews from northern France and northern Italy settled in the Rhineland. These early Jewish settlements were dislocated by the Crusades and later by the persecutions that followed the "Black Death." The subsequent move to Slavic territory had enormous influence on the development of the language.
1390 July 1 A combined French and Genoese armada sails out against barbarian pirates.
1394 The first translation of the English Christian Bible (Wycliffe) is banned and burned by the Catholic Church. English translations of the Bible were considered to be so villainous and blasphemous that over the course of nearly three centuries, they inspired excommunications, tortures, beheadings and burnings. (Bobrick)
1408 The Catholic Church in England rules that anyone who dared possess a copy of Wycliffe's translation of the Bible (1382) could be tried for heresy.
1408 Hans Fugger dies in Augsburg and his sons Andreas and Jakob I, both of whom had learned the goldsmith's trade, jointly carry on the family business until they dissolve their partnership in 1454.
1404 August 1 Earl Engelbert I of Nassau marries Johanna of Poland.
1411 The Teutonic Knights are defeated at Tannenberg and are bankrupted.
1411 The region around Berlin comes under the rule of the powerful Hohenzollern family, who soon make Berlin their capital.
1414 November 9 Albrecht III Achilles, elector of Brandenburg, is born.
1425 In England, a ban is placed on the holding of annual assemblies of masons on the grounds that they contravene the Statutes of Labourers. The masons protested that they were as loyal and law-abiding as other trades and objected to being singled out for attack. (The Old Charges, Bro. J. R. Clarke)
1433 Sigismund is crowned Holy Roman Emperor and the double-eagle becomes the emblem of the Holy Roman emperors. (Timetables)
1433 May 21 the Teutonic Knight procurator John Nichlausdorf in Rome reports that he had protested to the Byzantine representative the loss of the Orders properties in the Morea.
1434 "The company of Masons, being otherwise termed Free-Masons, of auntient staunding and good reckonings, by means of affable and kind meetyngs dyverse tymes, and as a lovinge brotherhode use to doe, did frequent this mutual assembly in the tyme of Henry VI in the twelfth yeare of his most gracious reign, A.D. 1434." (Illustrations of Masonry, William Preston, 1804)
1441 Portugese navigators find the first Negroes near Cape Blanc, western Africa, and restart the slave trade.
1441 Jakob Fugger marries the daughter of a mint master who goes bankrupt three years later. Warned by this event, Jakob proceeds carefully in his own business, and soon succeeds in substantially increasing his profits and wealth.
1453 The Turks capture Constantinople and kill Emperor Constantine XI. The East Roman (Byzantine) Empire comes to an end.
1453 End of the Hundred Years War between England and France. England gives up all continental possessions except Calais.
1453 -1455 Gutenberg and his financier, Johannes Fust, print the 42-line (Mazarin) bible at Mainz, Germany.
1454 Peace of Lodi is signed between Venice and Milan.
1454 Andreas and Jakob Fugger dissolve their business partnership. Andreas, the more enterprising of the two, and his descendants quickly attained great wealth, and these Fugger vom Reh (Fuggers of the Doe, from their coat of arms) spread over southern, central, and eastern Germany; as late as 1944, there were Fukier (descendants of the Fuggers) still residing in Warsaw. (Britannica)
1455 Beginning of the War of the Roses.
1459 The Constitution of the Masons of Strasburg is signed. These Statutes, which undoubtedly were based on the ancient customs and laws of the craft, were discussed and agreed on at two assemblies of Masters and Fellows, held in the manner of a chapter, ("in Kappitelsweise,") the first at Regensburg on Easter-day 1459, and the second shortly afterwards at Strasburg, when they were definitively adopted and promulgated. The Quatuor Coronati, (the holy four crowned martyrs) are mentioned in both the opening and closing of the document. In conclusion the brothers vow that they and their successors will observe the holy day of Quatuor Coronati each year henceforth. See November 9th. (Constitutions of the Masons of Strasburg)
The spirit of the German Imperial Constitution can be plainly seen in all its features. The expression "in Kappitelsweise," which is used by no other guild, is derived from the convent meeting of the Benedictine monks, which were termed "Capitula" or Chapters. Thus also, in the Old English Constitutions, and in the Act of Parliament of Henry VI., we find the meeting of the Masons termed "Chapters, Congregations, Assemblies, and Chambers." All the precepts of these statutes, which were kept secret from the profane, were read at least once a year in the Lodges.
1463 Jakob Fugger is made a member of the more highly respected merchants' guild in Augsburg.
1464 April 9 "It was determined upon the day at Spires, on the ninth day of April, in the year, counting from God's birth, 1464 that the workmaster, JOST DOTZINGER, of Worms, workmaster of the high chapter at Strasburg, shall have an assembly of craftsmen in his district, when three or four masters shall be taken and chosen, to come together on a certain day, as they may agree, and what is there determined on by a majority of those who are so congregated in chapters, and who are then present, and how they may decrease or increase some articles, that shall be kept throughout the whole fraternity." See November 9th. (Constitutions of the Masons of Strasburg)
1466 Adolf Rusch (the so-called "R-Printer") edits and prints the earliest edition of De rerum naturis by Rabanus Maurus. Johann Mentel prints the first German bible at Strasbourg (Strasburg) the same year. (Timetables)
1469 Jakob Fugger dies, and two of his seven sons, Ulrich and Georg, profitably expand the firm's international trade. Brother Markus relocates to Rome and the youngest son Jakob II seems destined for an ecclesiastical career.
1473 Cyprus comes under Venetian rule.
1473 The Fugger family of Augsburg begins business dealings with the Habsburgs (Hapsburgs). (Timetables)
1473 The Fugger family is granted a coat of arms with a lily, causing this branch of the family to be called Fugger von der Lilie. With the help of their brother Markus in Rome, they handled remittances to the papal court of monies for the sale of indulgences and the procuring of church benefices. (Britannica)
Ulrich and Georg established an agency of their own in the German merchants' building in Venice. The Fuggers were among the great merchant dynasties that first urged the Pope to rescind or amend the medieval prohibition on the levying of interest and the sale of indulgences and benefices, as well as his loan policies.
1478 Jakob Fugger II , who had originally been destined for an ecclesiastical career, begins studying modern bookkeeping in Venice.
1479 Union of Aragon and Castile under Ferdinand the Catholic and Isabell marks the beginning of the Spainish state.
1480 April18 Lucrezia Borgia, the illegitimate daughter of Pope Alexander VI, is born in Italy. She will marry three times by the age of 18 to further her father's political ambitions.
1481 The Spanish Inquisition begins under the joint direction of the Spanish state and the Catholic Church.
1483 November 10 Martin Luther is born in Eisleben in the province of Saxony to Hans and Margaret Ziegler Luther. The family soon moves to Mansfeld. Some original sources place his actual birth as November 9.
1483 Russians begin the exploration of vast areas of Siberia.
1484 A Papal Bull "Summis desiderantes" is issued by the Vatican against witchcraft and sorcery.
1485 Jakob Fugger II (later called "the Rich"), takes charge of the Fugger agency in Innsbruck, Austria. He quickly shows sound business acumen in making the firm a partner in the Tirolean mines by granting permanent loans, secured by deliveries of copper and silver, to Archduke Sigismund and King (later Emperor) Maximilian. The large profits realized from this venture encouraged the Fuggers to also participate in mining operations in Silesia.
1485 August 1 Henry (VII) Tudor's army sails to England.
1485 August 22 England's King Richard III is killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field, ending the War of the Roses.
1490 William Tyndale is born near Gloucestershire, England. Tyndale was later educated at the University of Oxford and became an instructor at the University of Cambridge, where, in 1521, he fell in with a group of humanist scholars meeting at the White Horse Inn.
1492 By order of Torquemada, the inquisititor-general, Spanish Jews are given three months to accept Christianity or leave the country.
1492 Blacks are among the first explorers to the New World. Pedro Alonzo Nino arrives with Columbus. Others accompany Balboa, Ponce de Leon, Cortes, Pizarro and Menendez.
1492 October 12 Christopher Columbus discovers Watling Island in the Bahamas. He had left Palos, Spain, on August 3 with three ships. On October 18, Columbus discovered Cuba, and Haiti on December 6. His flagship, Santa Maria, was wrecked off Haiti on December 25, 1492.
1492 November 9 The Peace of Etaples is signed by King Henry VII and Charles VIII.
1493 Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514) publishes the Nuremberg (Nurnberg) Chronicle, an illustrated world history from the Creation to the present. It was published in both Latin and German.
1493 Columbus returns to Palos, Spain.
1493 May 4 Pope Alexander VI publishes bull "Inter cetera divina" dividing the "New World" between Spain and Portugal. It was later revised on June 28.
1493 September 25 Columbus leaves on his second voyage to the New World. He will not return to Spain until June 11, 1496, after discovering Puerto Rico. Dominica, and Jamaica.
1493 Turks invade Dalmatia and Croatia. (Timetables)
1493 The first Bundschuh (peasants revolt) breaks out in Alsace and southwest Germany.
1494 The Fuggers establish their first public company with capital of 54,385 guilders, a sum that was to be doubled two years later when Jakob II persuaded the Prince Bishop of Brixen to join the company as a silent partner. Jakob's aim was to establish a copper monopoly by opening foundries in Hohenkirchen and Fuggerau (named for the family, in Carinthia, now Austria) and by expanding the sales organization in Europe, especially the Antwerp agency. (Britannica)
1494 June 7 The treaty of Tordesillas divides the New World between Spain and Portugal.
1494 November 9 The de' Medici Famuly become the rulers of Florence.
1495 Jakob Fugger meets a mining expert in Silesia with whom he leases the copper mines in Neusohl (modern Banská Bystrica, Slovakia), eventually building them up into the greatest mining center of the time.
1496 Marino Sanudo begins his diary of Venetian life and politics (to 1535). It was published at the end of the 19th century and was later read by many of those educated in Great Britain.
1498 The first German pawnshop is opened at Nuremberg (Nurnberg). (Timetables)
1498 Columbus leaves Spain for his third voyage to the New World.
1498 August 1 Christopher Columbus lands on "Isla Santa" (Venezuela).
1499 The descendants of Andreas Fugger, who had also attained great wealth, become bankrupt as a result of an overextension of business activity and the loss of a large lawsuit. (Britannica)
1499 War between the Swabian League and the Swiss Cantons is ended by the Peace of Basel. The Swiss establish their independence.
1499 War between Venice and the Turks. The Venetian fleet is defeated at Sapienza. Lepanto surrenders to the Turks.
1499 Amerigo Vespucci and Alonzo de Ojeda leave Spain for a voyage of discovery to the New World. Vespucci, an Italian by birth, will later lend his name to America. (see 1507, 1538)
1500 Columbus is arrested, put in irons, and brought back to Spain for "rehabilitation."
1500 The death of Jakob Fugger's chief creditor, the Prince Bishop of Brixen, whose inheritance is claimed by the Pope, brings about a serious crisis that Jakob manages to solve through shrewd negotiations. Prudently, he divided the company's assets equally into cash holdings, production plants and merchandise, landed properties, and precious stones. (Britannica)
1500 Pope Alexander VI proclaims a Year of Jubilee and imposes a tithe on all Roman Catholics to fund a crusade against the Turks. The Turks take Durazzo from Venice.
1500 The Turks conquer Modon from the Venetians and expell the Teutonic Knights from the Peloponnesus.
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