Early Church to Reformation - Timeline


Nero - Roman Persecution of Christians

64 AD

Notable martyrs of this persecution are Paul and Peter. These persecutions took place after the burning of Rome.

Domitian - Roman Persecution of Christians

90 AD

Christians were persecuted for not burning incense to the genius. These persecutions continued for six years. This is the persecution in which Clement of Rome was persecuted.

Trajan - Roman Persecution of Christians

98 AD

This persecution was enforced sporadically. Christians were not sought out but if they were found and didn't recant then they were executed. These persecutions went until 117AD. Notable martyrs include Ignatius, Symeon, Zozimus and Rufus.


Approx. 100 - Approx. 150

Quadratus was the bishop of Rome in the early second century. His ministry was based in Athens and he wrote an apology addressed to Emperor Hadrian contrasting the differences with Christianity to Jewish and pagan worship.

Justin Martyr - Martyr

100 - 165

Justin Martyr was a second century apologist. He was trained in philosophy and was an itinerant lay teacher. He was beheaded in Rome in 165AD

Gnosticism - Ante-Nicene Heresy

Approx. 110 - 172

The spread of the Gnostic heresy began in around 110AD and progressed for about 70 years

Hadrian - Roman Persecution of Christians


These persecutions were also sporadic in their enforcement. They were the continuation of the policies of Trajan. Telesphorus was the most notable of the martyrs. they continued until 138AD

Antoninus Pius - Roman Persecution of Christians


These persecutions were a continuation of the policies of Trajan and Hadrian. Polycarp was a notable martyr during the persecutions of Antoninus Pius.

Clement - Martyr

150 - 215

Clement was a third century church father. We was trained in philosophy and was converted as an adult. He emphasised Logos and approached scripture allegorically. He also wrote the older extant Christant Hymn, Shepard of Tender Youth

Montanism - Ante-Nicene Heresy

Approx. 160 - 220

The Montanism heresy spread from around 160 to 220AD and originated in Phrygia and later spread to Rome and North Africa.

Julius Africanus - Martyr

160 - 240

From Palestine Julius Africanus studied under Origen and wrote historical research that covered from Creation to 221AD

Tertullian - Martyr

160 - 220

He was the son of a Roman army officer and was trained in the law. He was converted at middle age and joined the Montanists c.200AD. He also laid important ground work for the doctrine of the Trinity. He was based in Carthage.

Marcus Aurelius - Roman Persecution of Christians


This Emperor opposed Christianity on philosophical grounds. Christians were blamed for natural disasters during this time. This is the persecution in which Justin Martye was beheaded.

Origen - Martyr

185 - 254

Places of ministry included Alexandria and Caesarea. He was the son of Leonidas who was martyred in 202AD. He studied under Clement and thus succeeded Clement as catechist in 203AD. He taught subordination of the Son to the Father and was extremely ascetic. He was exiled by his enemies in the church and died after torture at the hands of the Romans.

Cyprian - Martyr

200 - 258

With his places of ministry mainly in Carthage, Cyprian was trained in rhetoric and was converted in 245AD. He was the bishop of Carthage from 248AD until his death.

Septimus Severus - Roman Persecution of Christians


Until 211AD during this persecution conversion to Christianity was forbidden. Leonidas, Irenaeus and Perpetua were notable martyrs of this persecution.

Manichaeism - Ante-Nicene Heresy

215 - 277

This heresy originated in Persia and contained elements of Zoroastrianism. It held a dualistic view of creation believing that Christ was representative of light and Satan of darkness.

Maximinus the Thracian


Christian Clergy were ordered to be executed and the Christian people were executed because they supported the emperors predecessor, whom he had assassinated. During this persecution Ursula and Hippolytus were martyred. these persecutions went on until 236AD.

Decius - Roman Persecution of Christians


This was the first empire wide persecution where offerings of incense to the genius of the emperor was demanded. There was an enthusiastic return to paganism after Christianity was under extreme persecution. This persecution also led to the rise of Novatianism. Fabianus and Alexander of Jerusalem were martyred during this persecution.

Valerian - Roman Persecution of Christians


Christians had their property confiscated and the right for Christians to assemble was removed. This persecution when until 260AD and Origen, Cyprian and Sixtus II were all persecuted during the reign of Valerian.

Novatianism - Heresy


This heresy originated after the Decian persecution in North Africa.

Aurelian - Roman Persecution of Christians


Sun worship was required as the official state religion but he died before it was implemented.

Dioletian Galerius - Roman Persecution of Christians


This was the worst persecution of all. Churches were destroyed and bibles were burnt. Christians had their civil rights removed and sacrifice to the roman gods was required. This persecution led to the rise of Donatism. Mairitius and Alban were martyred during this time.

First Council of Nicaea


Its main accomplishments were settlement of the Christological issue of the nature of the Son of God and his relationship to God the Father, the construction of the first part of the Creed of Nicaea, establishing uniform observance of the date of Easter, and promulgation of early canon law.

First Council of Constantinople


First Council of Ephesus


Synod of Ancyra


Council of Chalcedon


Justinian - Church and State in the Byzantine Empire

527 - 565

Condemnation of some teachings of Origen as heroical.

Gregory the Great - Early Medieval Church Leaders

540 - 604

From Rome, Gregory the Great was born into an aristocratic family and entered Benedictine monastery. He was first a monk and then became the bishop of Rome. He asserted authority over the entire Western church as bishop of Rome. He stimulated the missionary effort in England and protected Rome against the Lombards.

Second Council of Constantinople


Heraclius - Church and State in the Byzantine Empire

610 - 641

Affirmation of Monothelitism is 638

Constans II - Church and State in the Byzantine Empire

641 - 668

Issued an edict forbidding discussion of a number of natures or wills of Christ. Pope Martin I and Maximus the Confessor were tortured for ignoring the edict.

Constantine IV - Church and State in the Byzantine Empire

668 - 685

Called the Sixth Ecumenical Council at Constantinople in 680AD. Condemned Monothelites, declared Pope Honorius heretical.

John of Damascus - Early Medieval Church Leaders

Approx. 675 - 749

John was born to Christian parents in Damascus and served in the court of Islamic caliph. He supported the veneration of icons and later left caliph's service to enter the monastery. He produced a theology that was normative for the Eastern Church.

Third Council of Constantinople


Justinian II - Church and State in the Byzantine Empire

685 - 695

Called a council at Constantinople that widened the gap between the eastern and western churches by allowing deacons and presbyters to marry and rejecting other church practices.

Leo III (the Isaurian) - Church and State in the Byzantine Empire

717 - 741

Promulgated edict against the veneration of icons in 726, initiating Iconoclastic Controversy. Decreed removal or destruction of all icons in 730. During his reign, Pope Gregory III excommunicated the iconoclasts.

Constantine V - People that Influenced Christianity

718 - 775

Constantine was born in Constantinople, the son and successor of Emperor Leo III and Maria. In August 720 he was associated on the throne by his father, who had him marry Tzitzak, daughter of the Khazar khagan Bihar. His new bride was baptized as Irene (Eirēnē, "peace") in 732. Constantine V succeeded his father as sole emperor on 18 June 741.

Alucin - Early Medieval Church Leaders

735 - 804

Alcuin was born into an aristocratic family and was educated at Cathedral School of York. Later he became the master of the school was a proponent of the doctrine of transubstantiation. He also opposed Gottschalk.

Constantine V - Church and State in the Byzantine Empire

741 - 780

Permitted Icons outside of Constantinople.

Council of Hieria


The iconoclast Council of Hieria was a Christian council of 754 which viewed itself as ecumenical, but was later rejected by the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. It was summoned by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine V in 754 in the palace of Hieria opposite Constantinople. The council supported the emperor's iconoclast position in the Byzantine iconoclasm controversy.

Leo IV - Church and State in the Byzantine Empire

780 - 797

Mother Irene served as regent, favoured icons, and convened Seventh Ecumenical Council at Nicea in 787. Affirmed veneration of icons but regulated their use.

Paschasius Radbertus - Early Medieval Church Leaders

785 - 865

He was orphaned as a young child and entered a Benedictine monastery. He was a proponent of transubstantiation and was a friend of Louis the Pious. He too opposed Gottschalk.

Second Council of Nicaea


It met in AD 787 in Nicaea (site of the First Council of Nicaea; present-day İznik in Turkey) to restore the use and veneration of icons (or, holy images), which had been suppressed by imperial edict inside the Byzantine Empire during the reign of Leo III (717–741). His son, Constantine V (741–775), had held the Council of Hieria to make the suppression official.

Gottschalk - Early Medieval Church Leaders

805 - 868

As a child he was sent to a monastery by his parents and as an adult he tried to leave the monatery but was not allowed to. He defended Augustinian doctrine of predestination, for which he was condemned and imprisoned. He was treated brutally and died after 20 years in prison. He was denied a Christian burial.

Leo V - Church and State in the Byzantine Empire

813 - 820

Again banned icons but without the persecution characteristic of earlier iconoclasts.

Theophilus II - Church and State in the Byzantine Empire

829 - 842

Persecuted, imprisoned and mutilated monks who supported icons.

Michael III - Church and State in the Byzantine Empire

842 - 867

Deposed Ignatius as Patriarch of Constantinople, replacing him with Photius; action was overruled by Pope Nicholas I, further alienating East and West Church.

Ratramnus - Early Medieval Church Leaders


He was a pupil of Radbertus and opposed transubstantiation. He support Gottschalk's view of double predestination. Writings cited by some Protestant Reformers to support their views.

Constantine IX - Church and State in the Byzantine Empire

1042 - 1055

During his reign the Great Schism occurred when the Patriarch of Constantinople Michael Cerularius excommunicated Pope Leo IX.

Alexius I Comnenus - Church and State in the Byzantine Empire

1081 - 1118

Issued Summons asking for help that led to the first Crusade.

First Crusade - Crusades

1095 - 1099

People's Crusade - Crusades


Wendish - Crusades

1147 - 1162

Second Crusade - Crusades

1147 - 1149

Third Crusade - Crusades

1187 - 1192

Northern Crusades - Crusades

1193 - 1290

German Crusade - Crusades

1195 - 1198

Fourth Crusade - Crusades

1202 - 1204

Albigensian Crusade - Crusades

1208 - 1241

Fifth Crusade - Crusades

1217 - 1221

Sixth Crusade - Crusades

1228 - 1229

Seventh Crusade - Crusades

1248 - 1254

Eighth and Ninth Crusade - Crusades

1270 - 1272

Aragonese Crusade - Crusades

1284 - 1285

John Wycliff - Reformation Personalities

1320 - 1384

Wycliffe was an early advocate for translation of the Bible into the common language. He completed his translation directly from the Vulgate into vernacular English in the year 1382, now known as Wycliffe's Bible.

Desiderius Erasmus - Reformation Personalities

1466 - 1536

Martin Luther - Reformation Personalities

1483 - 1546

Martin Luther was a German monk, Catholic priest, professor of theology and seminal figure of the 16th-century movement in Christianity known later as the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with monetary values.

St. Ignatius of Loyola - Reformation Personalities

1491 - 1556

King Henry VIII - Reformation Personalities

1491 - 1597

John Calvin - Reformation Personalities

1509 - 1564