Events 1-25

Fire ravages Rome. Emperor Nero blames Christians and unleashes persecution.

Titus destroys Jerusalem and its temple. Separation deepens between Christianity and Judaism.

about 150
Justin Martyr writes his First Apology, advancing Christian efforts to address competing philosophies.

about 156
Polycarp, an eighty-six-year-old bishop, inspires Christians to stand firm under opposition.

Irenaeus becomes bishop of Lyons and combats developing heresies within the Church.

about 196
Colorful and cantankerous Tertullian begins writings that earn him the reputation of being the "Father of Latin Theology."

about 205
The gifted North African Origen begins writing. He headed a noted catechetical school in Alexandria.

Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, publishes his influential work Unity of the Church. He was martyred in 258.

Antony gives away his possessions and begins life as a hermit, a key event in the development of Christian monasticism.

Constantine is converted after seeing a vision of the cross. He becomes a defender and advocate of the oppressed Christians.

The Council of Nicea addresses debates perplexing the Church and defines the doctrine of who Jesus really was.

Athanasius' Easter Letter recognizes the New Testament Canon, listing the same books we have now.

In Milan, Bishop Ambrose defies the Empress, helping establish the precedent of Church confrontation of the state when necessary to protect Christian teaching and oppose the state.

Augustine of Hippo is converted. His writings became bedrock for the Middle Ages. The Confessions and City of God are still read by many.

John Chrysostom, the "golden tongued" preacher is made bishop of Constantinople and leads from there amidst continuing controversies.

Jerome completes the Latin "Vulgate" version of the bible that becomes the standard for the next one thousand years.

Patrick goes as a missionary to Ireland--taken there as a teenager as a slave. He returns and leads multitudes of Irish people to the Christian faith.

The Council of Chalcedon confirms orthodox teaching that Jesus was truly God and truly man and existed in one person.

Benedict of Nursia establishes his monastic order. His "rule" becomes the most influential for centuries of monasticism in the West.

Columba goes as a missionary to Scotland. He establishes the legendary monastic mission center at Iona.

Gregory becomes Pope Gregory I, known as "the Great." His leadership significantly advances the development of the papacy and has enormous influence on Europe.

Synod of Whitby determines that the English church will come under the authority of Rome.

Boniface, the "Apostle of Germany," sets out as a missionary to bring the gospel to pagan lands.

The "Venerable" Bede completes his careful and influential Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation.

At the Battle of Tours, Charles Martel turns back the Muslim invasion of Europe.

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