Late Antique Near East

Events

(ca.) Shapur I incursions

260

Defeats Emperor Valerian; deports many Syrians to Persia

Edict of Milan

313

Armenia becomes nominally Christian

314

Council of Nicaea

325

anti-Arius; Father and Son are one being; meaning of 'begotten'

Capital moved to Constantinople

330

First Council of Constantinople

381

Armenia split between Rome and Persia

387

Alaric sacks Rome

410

Yazdgird I recognizes Church of East institutions

410

Council of Ephesus

431

against Nestorius; Mary is Theotokos; Church of the East breaks off; Cyril big influence

Theodosian Code

438

Battle of Avarayr

451

Armenians resist forced Zoroastrianism

Council of Chalcedon

451

Christ has 2 natures (physes), 1 person; Miaphysites break off

End of the Western Roman Empire

476

Najran massacre

Approx. 524

Fall of Himyarite kingdom

525

Nika revolt

532

Dedication of Hagia Sophia

537

Running Persian-Roman wars

539 - 629

Bubonic "Plague of Justinian"

542

Lombards arrive in N. Italy

568

Heraclitus returns True Cross to Jerusalem

630

Battle of Yarmūk

636

Arabs on both sides, probably; defeat Byzantines and Byzantines put no more armies into the field after this defeat

Battle of Qādisiyya

637

Persians defeated, Muslims led by Saʿd b. Abī Waqqāṣ

Dome of the Rock completed

691

Reigns

Reign of Ardashir I

224 - 242

Defeated Parthians; a.k.a. Artaxerxes

Reign of Shapur I

240 - 270

co-ruled with father first couple of years

Reign of Constantine

305 - 336

Reign of Shapur II

309 - 379

crowned as fetus

Reign of Theodosius I

378 - 394

Nicene Christianity becomes state religion; last emperor to rule both Eastern and Western empires

Yazdgard I

399 - 420

considered 'second Constantine' by some; made Christianity legal and allowed its institutions to be built, convened Synod of Mar Isḥāq that approved Council of Nicea in 410; later in 420 undertook persecutions, some sources say because some Christians burnt down a Zoroastrian fire temple; see McDonough article; Procopius writes about his barbarian nobility

Reign of Theodosius II

408 - 450

Theodosian Code in 438; walls of Constantinople; appointed Nestorius bishop of Constantinople in 428

Bishophood of Rabbula in Edessa

411 - 435

renown ascetic; opponent of Nestorius; friend of Cyril; banned Syriac Diatessaron and replaced with 4 canonical Gospels; tried to reign in more extreme ascetic practices and banned ascetics from living among secular people

Patriarchate of Nestorius in Constantinople

427 - 430

Logos is Jesus' soul; Union of divine & human impossible

Reign of Attila the Hun

433 - 452

Reign of Anastasius I

491 - 518

miaphysite

Reign of Justin I

518 - 527

Chalcedonian

Reign of Justinian I

526 - 564

Chalcedonian; Wife Theodora was Miaphysite and d. 548

Reign of Khusro I

531 - 579

Massacred Mazdak in 528 as crown prince; broke truce with Byzantium and plundered Antioch; known as just king and for 'Circle of Justice', but was harsh; begins Middle Ages in NE, architect of the Sassanian state as it existed in 2nd half of 6th c.; organized poll-tax, which remained but altered after Muslim conquests; Zoroastrianism becomes conservative sentiment; shifted focus from highlands to Mesopotamia and developed Ctesiphon

Bishophood & Institutionalization of Jacob Baradaeus

541 - 577

Reign of Maurice

582 - 602

Reign of Khusro II Aparwez

591 - 628

Aparwez = "the victorious"; put back on throne with help of Byzantine mercenaries; surrounded by Xns, including wife Shirēn; fought against Phocas in Byzantine NE 613-620, launching major campaign against Byzantines, taking over a lot of ME territory; murdered by his ministers in 628; abolished Lakhmid kingdom at al-Ḥīra and executed Nuʿmān

Reign of Heraclius

609 - 640

alliance with Khazars, counters Khusro II in 627

Reign of Yazdgird III

632 - 651

Muslim conquest begins

Reign of Abū Bakr

632 - 634

Reign of ʿUmar

634 - 644

Murdered by Persian slave in Medina; appointed shūra of 6 Muhājirūn to choose his successor

Reign of ʿUthmān

644 - 656

Reign of ʿAlī

656 - 661

Reign of Muʿāwiyah

660 - 679

Reign of ʿAbd al-Malik

684 - 704

Lives

Mani

216 - 277

founder of Manichaeism

Anthony of Egypt

251 - 356

Father of All Monks; bio by Athanasius helped spread monasticism; first known to go into wilderness; known for subjection to supernatural temptations

Arius

256 - 335

Alexandria; Father over Son, non-homoousian

Eusebius of Caesarea

263 - 339

church historian; biographer of Constantine

Aphrahat

280 - 345

Adiabene (Sasanian Iran); wrote against Jews; Wrote the Demonstrations. sermon-like, kind of poetic. Theology, exegesis, and some contemporary events thrown in. Like Ephraem, metaphorical and difficult to interpret.

Pachomius

292 - 347

founder of cenobitic monasticism in Egypt; Rule of Pachomius was used by monks as far away as Gulf much later; included that monks should labor

Athanasius of Alexandria

296 - 372

Ephrem the Syrian

305 - 372

anti-Arian; anti-dialectical theology and anti-'Greek' thought; founder of the school of Nisibus; known for madras ("teaching-hymns"); public celibate; anti-Marcionite

d. Mar Jacob of Nisibis

338

John Chrysostom

346 - 406

Augustine

353 - 429

Cyril of Alexandria

375 - 443

Mary Theotokos; arch-anti-Nestorian; big at Council of Ephesus; one being (ousia), three hypostases

E. Emperor killed at Adrianople

378

Shenoute of Atripe

384 - 465

abbott of White Monastery in Egypt; master of parrhesia; lots of extant material from his monastery--sermons, canons, letters;

Simeon Stylites

389 - 458

Theodoret of Cyrrhus

393 - 457

pro-reconcilation & wouldn't anathematize Nestorius; opponent of Rabbula; banned Diatessaron; wrote hagiographic collection 'Historia Religious'; wished to tame asceticism

d. last Cappadocia Father, Gregory of Nyssa

395

Jacob of Serugh

450 - 520

copius memra; educated at Edessa;

Severus of Antioch

464 - 537

Big non-Chalcedonian; Patriarch of Antioch 512-518; deposed by Justin I

Procopius

499 - 564

Last great historian of antiquity; worked with Justinian I & Belisarius

John of Ephesus

506 - 587

Wrote the Ecclesiastical History

d. Philoxenus of Mabbug

523

strong pro-miaphysite; educated at Edessa; produced version of Peshitta in 508

d. Simeon of Beth Arsham

540

Muhammad

570 - 632

he was a dude

Jacob of Edessa

639 - 707

Texts

ca. Diatessaron

175

Tatian; became adopted as the standard lectionary text of the gospels in some Syriac-speaking churches from the late 2nd to the 5th century; encouraged dualism b/w inferior body and spiritual realm

Athanasius writes 'Orations agains the Arians'

340

Augustine's Confessions

396 - 397

Augustine's City of God

412 - 425

Justinian's Codex, Digest and Institutes appear

528 - 532

Cosmas' Christian Topography

Approx. 550