Worlds of Ancient Christianity

1st century - early 6th century


Birth of Jesus

4 B.C.E

John the Baptist begins ministry

26 C.E.

Apostolic Age

30 C.E. - 115 C.E.

Crucifixion of Jesus

30 C.E.

Death of John the Apostle

115 C.E.

Ante-Nicene Period

115 C.E. - 325 C.E.

Period of the Apologists

120 C.E. - 220 C.E.

The Imperial Church

305 C.E. - 476 C.E.

First Council of Nicaea

325 C.E.

First seven Ecumenical Councils

325 C.E. - 787 C.E.

Women and Gender

Mary of Nazareth

30 B.C.E. - 40 C.E.

Mary, mother of Jesus and wife of Joseph, conceived her child miraculously through the intervention of the Holy Spirit while she was still a virgin. After a period of exile to escape Herod's wrath, she made her home in Nazareth. Scripture mentions other children.

Luke 1:26-56; 2:1-52: 8:19-21; Matthew 1:18-25; 2:1-23; 12:46-50; 13:53-58; Mark 3:31-35; 6:1-6: John 2:1-12; 19:25-27; Acts 1:14


50 C.E. - 150 C.E.

Prisca (Priscilla) exercised a team ministry with her husband Aquila. They led a house-church wherever they settled, and were considered co-workers of Paul.

Acts 18: 13, 18-19, 24-28; 1 Corinthians 16-19; Romans 16: 3-5; 2 Timothy 4: 19


50 C.E. - 60 C.E.

Phoebe was a leader in the church at Cenchrae. An official teacher and missionary commended by Paul, she was a woman of authority, responsibility and influence and Paul's financial patron.

Romans 16: 1-2

Paul, 1 Corinthians 7

53 C.E. - 54 C.E.

On Marriage: A letter that addresses questions that Christians in Corinth had posed to Paul, the founder of their community. A group argued that spirituality entailed sexual abstinence, even between husband and wife. Paul acknowledges though that marriage had its place in Christian life.


80 C.E. - 130 C.E.

Anna was a widow and a prophet who spent her life in prayer and fasting at the Temple. She witnessed to all who came to the Temple that Jesus had come for Israel's liberation.

Luke 2: 36-38

Women who follow Jesus around

80 C.E. - 90 C.E.

Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna, accompanied Jesus during his ministry and supported him out of their private means.

Luke 8: 1-3

Marcosian prophets

100 C.E. - 400 C.E.

The Marcosians were a Gnostic sect founded by Marcus and active in Lyons and southern Europe from the 2nd to the 4th century. Women held special status in the Marcosian communities; they were regarded as prophetesses and participated in administering the Eucharistic rites.

The Gospel of Mary

120 C.E. - 180 C.E.

Thecla; Acts of Thecla (f.)

140 C.E.

check date...

Montanists: Maximilla, Priscilla and Quintilla

150 C.E. - 160 C.E.

New Prophecy

  • Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 5.16.17
  • Epiphanius, Panarion 48.2.4

Dialogue of the Savior

150 C.E.

check date?
Gnostic text.

Clement of Alexandria, The Pedagogue

160 C.E. - 215 C.E.

Clement of Alexandria opposed gnosticism and adopted stoic views of marriage (e,g. marriage as civic duty) but also by taking Scripture at its word (e.g. 'increase and multiply'). He also published a portrait of how a women should look in society.

Martyrdom of Agathonice

161 C.E. - 180 C.E.

Martyred during the reign of Marcus Aurelieus (161-180) or during the mid-third century during the Decian persecution.

Martyrdom of Blandina

177 C.E.

St. Blandina was a Christian martyr during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Irenaeus, Against Heresies I. 13, 4

180 C.E.

Irenaeus accuses Marcus of seducing his followers the Marcosian prophets, and scornfully writes that the whole sect was an affair of "silly women."

Origen of Alexandria

185 C.E. - 254 C.E.

Against Celsus; Commentary on I Corinthians; Commentary on John; Commentary on the Song of Songs; Homilies on Genesis

Martyrdom of Potamiaena

193 C.E. - 211 C.E.

Martyred sometime during the reign of emperor Septimius Severus.

Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas

203 C.E.

The Passion of St. Perpetua, St. Felicitas, and their Companions

Methodius, The Symposium

311 C.E.

Methodius died 311 C.E. during the persecution of Diocletian. He modeled this work after Plato's Symposium. Here, however, the speakers are not male but female, and the topic is not eros, but asceticism: then virgins at a banquet give discourses on the importance of chastity and virginity.


327 C.E. - 379 C.E.

The eldest child of the prominent Christian family in Cappadocia. She was the sister of St. Basil and St. Gregory of Nyssa. She established a monastery for women on the family estate and was noted for her ascetic discipline and teaching.

  • Gregory of Nyssa, On the Soul and the Resurrection
  • Gregory of Nyssa, Life of Macrina

Canons of the Council of Gangra

330 C.E. - 360 C.E.

The canons of this council attempted to control the definition and practice of asceticism by rejecting the rigorist bishop's position in which sexual intercourse was rejected, marriage was condemned, and monastic clothing was adopted by women as well as men. The conduct of women and transvestism are key concerns.

Melania the Elder

342 C.E. - 411 C.E.

A wealthy Roman aristocrat, Melania was widowed I her early twenties. After her husband’s death, she left Rome for Egypt in the early 370s to visit the famous ascetic monks living in the Nitrian desert; later in that decade, she went to Palestine where she founded monasteries for men and women on the Mount of Olives. While her friend oversaw the monastery for men, she oversaw the women’s community. Her exemplary ascetic lifestyle encouraged her granddaughter, Melania the Younger, to embrace asceticism.

  • Palladius, Lausiac History

Palladius, The Nun who Feigned Madess

365 C.E. - 425 C.E.


365 C.E. - 419 C.E.

Widowed at age 20, she refused to marry again, despite imperial pressure from the emperor Theodosius I, who eventually allowed her to dispose of her sizeable wealth and adopt ascetic life. She was ordained deaconess by Nectarius when she was not yet 30. She used her wealth to support ecclesiastical institution in Constantinople and founded a convent for women near the cathedral. She is noted for her charitable activities, especially those that benefited the clergy.

  • The Life of Olympias, Deaconess

Gregory of Nyssa, On Virginity

370 C.E.

Gregory explains the philosophical and theological foundations of virginity are the highest form of Christian life. Part of his argument rests upon his demonstration of the miseries of marriage.

Reign of Aelia Flaccilla

375 C.E. - 376 C.E.

First wife of the Roman Emperor Theodosius I. She was a fervent supporter of the Nicene Creed. Sozomen reports her preventing a conference between Theodosius and Eunomius of Cyzicus who served as figurehead of Anomoeanism, a distinct sect of Arians. Ambrose and Gregory of Nyssa praise her Christian virtue.

Melania the Younger

383 C.E. - 439 C.E.

Granddaughter of Melania the Elder, Melania was a noted ascetic in her own right and built women’s and men’s monasteries on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. She was also a renowned as a teacher.

  • Gerontius, The Life of Melania the Younger

John Chrysostom, On Virginity

390 C.E.

John of Chrysostom (347-407 C.E.) was a bishop of Constantinople from 389 until 404. The themes in this writing are burdens and anxieties produced by the married life and the contrasting joys of the virginal life.

Reign of Aelia Eudoxia Augusta

395 C.E. - 404 C.E.

Aelia Eudocia Augusta

401 C.E. - 460 C.E.

Reign of Aelia Pulcheria Augusta

413 C.E. - 453 C.E.

Pulcheria took a vow of virginity when she became Augusta. Theodosius II died on July 26, 450, and Pulcheria married Marcian on November 25, 450. Influential in the debate over title Theotokos.

Council of Ephesus

431 C.E.

The Council of Ephesus approves devotion to Mary as the ‘mother of God’ and refutes Nestorianism. Mary is declared Theotokos i.e. ‘God-bearer’ or more commonly, ‘Mother of God’.

Creeds, Councils, and Canons

Disputes over beliefs and practices prompted the meeting of church councils, which defined acceptable statements of belief (creeds) and drew up rules (canons) governing conduct, discipline, organization, and worship.

Confessions of faith in the New Testament

49 C.E. - 150 C.E.

Rom 1: 3-4, Cor 8: 6, Tim 2: 5-6, 1 Pet : 18-21

Council of Jerusalem, Acts 15

49 C.E.

The Council of Jerusalem, also known as the Apostolic Conference, is considered by Catholics and Orthodox to be a prototype of the later Ecumenical Councils. The council decided that Gentile converts to Christianity were not obligated to keep certain Mosaic law, including the rules concerning circumcision. However, the Council did retain the prohibitions on eating meat containing blood, and meat of animals not properly slain, and idolatry.

Rule of Faith, Romans 12:6

50 C.E. - 60 C.E.

The rule of faith (Latin: regula fidei) or analogy of faith (analogia fidei) is a phrase rooted in the Apostle Paul's admonition to the Christians in Rome in the Epistle to the Romans 12:6, which says, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith."


80 C.E. - 110 C.E.

The text, parts of which constitute the oldest surviving written catechism, has three main sections dealing with Christian ethics, rituals such as baptism and Eucharist, and Church organization. It is considered the first example of the genre of the Church Orders.

Ancient Church Orders is a genre of early Christian literature, ranging from 1st to 5th century, which has the aim to offer authoritative "apostolic" prescriptions on matters of moral conduct, liturgy and Church organization. These texts are extremely important in the study of early liturgy and served as the basis for much ancient ecclesiastical legislation.

Trinitarian baptismal formula

80 C.E. - 100 C.E.

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, " Matthew 28:19

First Apology of Justin Martyr

155 C.E.

In order to defend Christians against charges of nefarious activities during their secret rites, Justin describes what actually took place during baptisim, the eucharist, and the weekly services of worship.

Irenaeus, Against Heresies

180 C.E.

Although the term "rule of faith" is not used in them, passages in Irenaeus's Against Heresies such as Book 1.1.1, or Book 3.2.2 are examples of the concept, both describing the Christian fundamental beliefs and also emphasizing the importance of being united to apostolic teachings versus all others.

Tertullian, Apology

195 C.E.

A discussion of services and worship. Tertullian sought to explain the Christians' practices to his pagan critics in order to defend the church against charges leveled against it. He describes the 'agape meal' in order to demonstrate it is a simple meal.

Tertullian, On Prescription Against Heretics

207 C.E. - 208 C.E.

"Tertullian links it to the core set of Christian teachings: 'Let our seeking, therefore be in that which is our own, and from those who are our own, and concerning that which is our own, - that, and only that, which can become an object of inquiry without impairing the rule of faith.'" (Tertullian, On Prescription Against Heretics 12).

On First Principles, Origen

212 C.E. - 215 C.E.

A notable work because it was on of the first to endeavor to present Christianity as a complete theory of the universe.
In the first book the author considers God, the Logos, the Holy Ghost, reason, and the angels; in the second the world and man (including the incarnation of the Logos, the soul, free will, and eschatology); in the third, the doctrine of sin and redemption; and in the fourth, the Scriptures; the whole being concluded with a résumé of the entire system.

The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus

215 C.E.

The Apostolic Tradition is an early Christian treatise which belongs to genre of the Church Orders. It has been described as of "incomparable importance as a source of information about church life and liturgy in the third century".
If the Apostolic Tradition was work of Hippolytus, it could be dated about 215 CE and its origin would be Rome.

Council of Arles

314 C.E.

The Council of Arles called for bishops from the western provinces to join in dealing with the Donatist controversy. It set a precedent for councils beyond one province or region to represent the area controlled by one political authority.

First Council of Nicaea

325 C.E.

First ecumenical council assembled by the Roman Emperor Constantine I. The main accomplishment settle was the Christological issue of the nature of Jesus and His relationship to God the Father. Christianity condemned Arianism.

Use of the word homoousios: 'of the same substance'

Declaratory creeds were not introduced until the 4th century.

Canons of the Council of Gangra

330 C.E. - 360 C.E.

A major concern of this gathering was the extreme asceticism of a bishop Eustathius. The canons of this council attempted to control the definition and practice of asceticism by rejecting the rigorist Eustathian position in which sexual intercourse was rejected, marriage was condemned, and monastic clothing was adopted by women as well as men.

Council of Sardica

343 C.E.

The Council of Sardica was one of the series of councils called to adjust the doctrinal and other difficulties of the Arian controversy. The Roman Emperors Constantine and Constantius II called for the council.

Before separating, the bishops enacted 21 important canons, especially concerning the transfer and trial of bishops and appeals. These canons, with the other documents of the council, were sent to Pope Julius with a letter signed by the majority of the attending bishops.

At this great gathering of prelates the case of Athanasius was taken up and once more his innocence reaffirmed. Two conciliar letters were prepared, one to the clergy and faithful of Alexandria, the other to the bishops of Egypt and Libya, in which the will of the Council was made known. The persecution against the orthodox party broke out with renewed vigor, and Constantius II was induced to prepare drastic measures against Athanasius and the priests who were devoted to him. Orders were given that if the Saint attempted to re-enter his Episcopal see, he should be put to death.

Saint Athanasius, lists New Testament books

367 C.E.

Saint Athanasius is the first to list all 27 New Testament books in his festal letter. Begins to establish Biblical canon.

The Constitutions of the Holy Apostles

375 C.E. - 380 C.E.

The Apostolic Constitutions is a Christian collection of eight treatises which belongs to genre of the Church Orders. The provenience is usually regarded as Syria, probably Antioch. The author is unknown, even if since James Ussher it was considered to be the same author of the letters of Pseudo-Ignatius, perhaps the 4th century Eunomian bishop Julian of Cilicia.

Council of Constantinople

381 C.E.

Ecumenical Council at Constantinople revises the Nicene creed to its current form. The additions to the creed were said to counter heresies after 325 C.E. This creed is sometimes called the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed.

Synod at Carthage ratifies the 27 books of the New Testament

397 C.E.

Synod at Carthage ratifies the 27 books of the New Testament as sacred scripture.

Council of Ephesus

431 C.E.

The Council of Ephesus approves devotion to Mary as the ‘mother of God’. Ecumenical council held at Ephesus refutes Nestorianism. The doctrine that Christ was two persons one human, the other divine in one body. Mary is declared Theotokos i.e. 'God-bearer' or more commonly, 'Mother of God'.

Pope Leo I delivers his 'Tome'

449 C.E.

At Ephesus, Pope Leo I delivers his 'Tome', defending orthodox Christian belief. Leo also asserts Papal supremacy.

Council of Chalcedon

451 C.E.

Ecumenical council at Chalcedon affirms Christ as having two distinct natures united in one person (known as the 'Hypostatic Union').

Those that followed Cyril of Alexandria adhered to the slogan , 'One incarnate nature of the divine Word', and claimed that there is no nature without hypostasis and no hypostasis within person. Chalcedon instead adopted the wording of the two natures in one hypostasis to define the relation of the divine and human in the one person of Jesus Christ.

Ecumenical council at Constantinople II

553 C.E.

Ecumenical council at Constantinople affirms teaching of previous councils.

The condemnation of Origen preceded this council.

Martyrdom and Asceticism

Asceticism is ultimately always located in the transformation of the body into a new ‘self’ and in the creation of a new social order. Surveying ancient ascetic works, the themes of the body, authority, and power are always at the core of the discussion. For instance we can bring the Eastern and Western ascetic traditions into conversation through their discussion of bodily punishment vs. moderate bodily denial, individualist vs. communalist identification, and charismatic vs. institutional authority models.


4 C.E. - 30 C.E.

Martyrdom of Stephen, Acts 6-8

34 C.E. - 35 C.E.

Stephen, a protoype martyr for Christianity, was stoned to death after being denounced for blasphemy against God and Moses and speaking against the Temple and the Law.

Martyrdom of James, Acts 12

44 C.E.

One line take down while Peter books it.

Martyrdom of Paul the Apostle

68 C.E.

Paul confessed that when he was young, he had stood by while the proto-martyr Stephen was stoned. Ignatious tells us, around 110 C.E., that Paul was beheaded in Rome during the reign of Nero.

Apocalypse of John/ Revelation

90 C.E. - 95 C.E.

John sees the martyrs as true Christians.

"Those who reign are not martyrs because they were slain or beheaded. On the contrary, they were killed because they were already "martyrs" in the sense of bearing faithful testimony to the truth about Jesus. They are simply the "victorious" Christians of chapters 2-3 (see especially 3:21, "to him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne"). They are those who "follow the Lamb wherever he goes" (14:4), who are therefore "his called, chosen and faithful followers" (17:14)....Once dead, they came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years (v. 4)."

Timon and Parmenas

90 C.E.

Rough date. Timon and Parmenas were two of the seven deacons elected by the early Church to minister people in Jerusalem. Timon was martyred by the local government on account of his preaching. Parmenas died during the persecutions of Trajan.

Martyrdom of Ignatius of Antioch

108 C.E. - 115 C.E.

Condemned to death by Trajan. He was to be used as an exemplar to discourage bad behavior, but instead he encouraged others to walk the same path. It is important to note that he willfully desires to be martyrdom.

"From Syria even to Rome I fight with wild beasts, by land and sea, by night and by day, being bound amidst ten leopards, even a company of soldiers, who only grow worse when they are kindly treated." (Ignatius to the Romans: 5)

Martyrdom of Polycarp

155 C.E.

Polycarp was the bishop of Smyrna addressed in Ignatius' letter. The Martyrdom of Polycarp is based on an eyewitness report and the earliest Christian martyrology to exist outside of the New Testament (Acts 7:56-60). His death is modeled after Christ's and is described as "conformable to the gospel."

Martyrdom of Agathonice

161 C.E. - 180 C.E.

Martyred during the reign of Marcus Aurelius along with two men, Carpus and Papylus. Agathonice enthusiastically throws herself onto a stake and her remains are secretly gathered up and protected.

  • The Martyrdom of Saints Carpus, Papylus, and Agathonice

Martyrdom of Justin

165 C.E.

Justin Martyr was beheaded.

Martyrdom of Blandina

177 C.E.

Blandina was a slave who was killed in an anti-Christian uprising in Gaul.

  • Letter of the Churches of Lyons and Vienne
  • Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 5.1.3-54


193 C.E. - 211 C.E.

Potamiaena, from Alexandria Egypt, was probably martyred sometime during the reign of the emperor Septimius Severus. According to Eusebius, she was one of a group of followers of the Alexandrian theologian and exegete Origen of Alexandria.

  • Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.5.1-7

Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas

202 C.E. - 203 C.E.

The "Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas" takes place in Carthage, during the reign of the Emperor Septimius Severus. The account reproduces the diary of Perpetua, a young Roman matron, and her slave Felicitas who has recently given birth. A few notable points about this text are Perpetua's interaction with her family members, she must give up her child, face her grieving non-Christian father, and meet her dead brother twice while dreaming. Perpetua also experiences vivid night visions where she receives divine predictions of her fate.

Antony the Great

251 C.E. - 356 C.E.

An exemplar Christian monk from Egypt and a leader amongst the Desert Fathers. He was known for his going out into the wilderness. He understood the body as an arena for the struggle against demons.

-The Life of St. Anthony by St. Athanasius of Alexandria
-The Letters

Pachomius, The Rule

292 C.E. - 348 C.E.

An Egyptian monk who created a cenobitic organization, where men and women lived together respectively under their abbot or abbess. He established his first monastery between 318 and 323 C.E.


330 C.E. - 379 C.E.

Macrina was the sister of the Cappadocian fathers. He fiance died before their wedding so she became nun.

She became well known as a holy woman and instructed many young women religiously. She had a profound influence upon her brothers with her adherence to an ascetic ideal. Her brother Gregory of Nyssa wrote a work entitled Life of Macrina in which he describes her sanctity throughout her life.

Melania the Elder

342 C.E. - 411 C.E.

A wealthy Roman aristocrat, Melania was widowed in her early twenties. After her husband’s death she went to Palestine where she founded monasteries for men and women on the Mount of Olives. While her friend oversaw the monastery for men, she oversaw the women’s community. Her exemplary ascetic lifestyle encouraged her granddaughter, Melania the Younger, to embrace asceticism.

  • Palladius, Lausiac History

Shenoute of Atripe, I Am Amazed

348 C.E. - 465 C.E.

Shenoute was an abbot for the White Monastery in Egypt, which he operated under very strict rules. For Shenoute, bodily suffering was discipline.

Augustine of Hippo

354 C.E. - 430 C.E.

Augustine was the was bishop of Hippo. In his early years he was heavily influenced by Manichaeism and afterward by the Neo-Platonism of Plotinus. After his conversion to Christianity and baptism in 387 C.E., Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology. He believed that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, and he framed the concepts of original sin and just war. His confessions is his personal conversion narrative.

Confessions 379 C.E.-389 C.E.


365 C.E. - 419 C.E.

Widowed at age 20, she refused to marry again, despite imperial pressure from the emperor Theodosius I, who eventually allowed her to dispose of her sizeable wealth and adopt ascetic life. She was ordained deaconess by Nectarius when she was not yet 30. She used her wealth to support ecclesiastical institution in Constantinople and founded a convent for women near the cathedral. She is noted for her charitable activities, especially those that benefited the clergy.

  • The Life of Olympias, Deaconess

Melania the Younger

380 C.E. - 434 C.E.

Granddaughter of Melania the Elder, Melania was a noted ascetic in her own right and built women’s and men’s monasteries on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. She was also a renowned as a teacher.

  • Gerontius, The Life of Melania the Younger

Simeon Stylites

390 C.E. - 459 C.E.

Simeon Stylites achieved fame for living 37 years on a small platform on top of a pillar near Aleppo in Syria. Several other stylites later followed his model but his hard ascetic practices were not meant to be imitated by weak individuals.

  • Theodoret, The Life of Simeon Stylites

Saint Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of St. Benedict

480 C.E. - 547 C.E.

A book of precepts written by St. Benedict of Nursia for monks living communally under the authority of an abbot. Compared to other precepts, the Rule provides a moderate path between individual zeal and formulaic institutionalism. The body is necessary but not the object of focus.

Church and Empire

Early persecution resulted in heroic opposition to the Empire becoming a part of Christian identity, as well as solidified early communities around their bishop. These local leaders organized and governed a body distinct from the state. The relationship that between these bishops and Constantine is particularly complex. Two beliefs that are produced form this relationship are clear: first, the belief that the deity actively intervenes in human affairs; and second, that the primary duty of the state’s leadership is to ensure that this intervention happen in ways beneficial to the state. Because the hierarchy of the bishops had already developed it could not seamlessly blend with that of the empire. The problems that arise when these two power structures clash is not between Church and state, but the difficulty that those in position of authority have in seeing a difference between the two. Controversy arises not over the need for independence, but over the problem of priority.


14 C.E. - 37 C.E.

Gaius Caligula

37 C.E. - 54 C.E.

Caligula's religious policy was a departure from that of his predecessors. According to Cassius Dio, living Emperors could be worshipped as divine in the east and dead Emperors could be worshipped as divine in Rome. Augustus had the public worship his spirit on occasion, but Dio describes this as an extreme act that emperors generally shied away from. Caligula took things a step further and had those in Rome, including Senators, worship him as a physical living god.


41 C.E. - 54 C.E.

Romans 13:1

50 C.E. - 60 C.E.

"Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God."


54 C.E. - 68 C.E.

The first documented case of imperially-supervised persecution of the Christians in the Roman Empire begins with Nero (37–68). In 64 AD, a great fire broke out in Rome, destroying portions of the city and economically devastating the Roman population. Nero was rumoured at the time of having intentionally started the fire himself. In his Annals, Tacitus states that "to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace" The Annals is a history book by Tacitus covering the reign of the four Roman Emperors succeeding to Caesar Augustus. The parts of the work that survived from antiquity cover (most of) the reigns of Tiberius and Nero.

Nero blames Christians for a fire in the center of Rome

64 C.E.

Tacitus, Annals 15:44 - "Therefore, to scotch the rumor, Nero substituted as culprits, and punished with the utmost refinements of cruelty, a class of men loathed for their vices, whom the crowd styled Christians. Christus, the founder of the name, had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilatus, and the pernicious superstition was checked for a moment, only to break out once more, not merely in Judaea, the home of the disease, but in the capital itself, where all things horrible or shameful in the world collect and find a vogue. First, then, the confessed members of the sect were arrested; next, on their disclosures, vast numbers were convicted, not so much on the count of arson as for hatred of the human race. And derision accompanied their end: they were covered with wild beasts' skins and torn to death by dogs; or they were fastened on crosses, and when daylight failed were burned to serve as lamps by night. Nero had offered his Gardens for the spectacle, and gave an exhibition in his Circus, mixing with the crowd in the habit of a charioteer, or mounted on his car. Hence, in spite of a guilt which had earned the most exemplary punishment, there arose a sentiment of pity, due to the impression that they were being sacrificed not for the welfare of the state but to the ferocity of a single man."


69 C.E. - 79 C.E.

Jerusalem Sacked

70 C.E.

The future Emperor Titus snuffed out a four-year Jewish rebellion against Roman rule. Centre of Christianity moves to Antioch, Alexandria and Rome.


79 C.E. - 81 C.E.


79 C.E. - 81 C.E.

In 70 C.E., he successfully laid siege to and destroyed the city and Temple of Jerusalem.


80 C.E. - 110 C.E.

The third section speaks about the ministry and how to deal with traveling prophets (chapters 11-15). We know this text must date to the first century because it is still dealing with wandering prophets, and their authority has not been replaced by that of the bishop's yet.

Weber/ Charisma/ routinization where the bishops gain power and authority.

Matt. 22:17—21

80 C.E. - 100 C.E.

Jesus emphasized the duty to comply with the edicts both of the emperor and of God.

1 Peter 2: 13-17

80 C.E. - 110 C.E.

"13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor."


81 C.E. - 96 C.E.

According to many historians, Jews and Christians were heavily persecuted toward the end of Domitian's reign (89-96). The Book of Revelation is thought by many scholars to have been written during Domitian's reign.

Apocalypse of John/ Revelation

90 C.E. - 95 C.E.

This book was composed near the end of Domitian's reign, around the year 95 AD. Domitian, according to Eusebius of Caesarea, started the persecution referred to in the book.

John exiled on island of Patmos

90 C.E. - 95 C.E.

"John is considered to be exiled to Patmos, undergoing a time of persecution under Roman rule. Revelation 1:9 states: “I, John, both your brother and companion in tribulation... was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Adela Collins, a theologian at the University of Notre Dame, writes:

"Early tradition says that John was banished to Patmos by the Roman authorities. This tradition is credible because banishment was a common punishment used during the Imperial period for a number of offenses. Among such offenses were the practices of magic and astrology. Prophecy was viewed by the Romans as belonging to the same category, whether Pagan, Jewish, or Christian. Prophecy with political implications, like that expressed by John in the book of Revelation, would have been perceived as a threat to Roman political power and order. Three of the islands in the Sporades were places where political offenders were banished." (Pliny Natural History 4.69-70; Tacitus Annals 4.30) "


96 C.E. - 98 C.E.


98 C.E. - 117 C.E.

Pliny the Younger under Tajan

98 C.E. - 112 C.E.

Between 109 and 111 AD, Pliny the Younger was sent by the emperor Trajan to the province of Bithynia as governor. During his tenure of office, Pliny encountered Christians, and he wrote to the emperor about them. The governor indicated that he had ordered the execution of several Christians, "for I held no question that whatever it was they admitted, in any case obstinacy and unbending perversity deserve to be punished." However, he was unsure what to do about those who said they were no longer Christians, and asked Trajan his advice. The emperor responded that Christians should not be sought out, anonymous tips should be rejected as "unworthy of our times," and if they recanted and "worshipped our gods," they were to be freed. Those who persisted, however, should be punished.

1 Timothy 4:14

100 C.E. - 150 C.E.

"Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you." (1 Timothy 4:14) Charisma.

The Epistle of St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Magnesians

105 C.E. - 115 C.E.

Focuses on the rising importance of the bishops in the community. He calls for the community to place themselves under the authority of the bishop.


117 C.E. - 138 C.E.

Antoninus Pius

138 C.E. - 161 C.E.

Marcus Aurelius

161 C.E. - 180 C.E.

Marcus Aurelius considered the Christian doctrine of the immortality of the soul, with its moral consequences, as vicious and dangerous to the welfare of the state. A law was passed under his reign, punishing every one with exile who should endeavor to influence people's mind by fear of the Divinity, and this law was aimed at the Christians. At all events his reign was a stormy time for the church, although the persecutions cannot be directly traced to him. The law of Trajan was sufficient to justify the severest measures against the followers of the "forbidden" religion.

Alexander Severus

193 C.E. - 212 C.E.

Septimius Severus

193 C.E - 211 C.E.

Another emperor under whom Christians suffered terribly was Septimius Severus who ruled from 193-211. Writing during his reign, Clement of Alexandria said, "Many martyrs are daily burned, confined, or beheaded, before our eyes."

The emperor Severus may not have been personally ill-disposed towards Christians, but the church was gaining power and making many converts and this led to popular anti-Christian feeling and persecution in Carthage, Alexandria, Rome and Corinth between about 202 and 210.

In 202 Septimius enacted a law prohibiting the spread of Christianity and Judaism. This was the first universal decree forbidding conversion to Christianity. Violent persecutions broke out in Egypt and North Africa. Leonides, the father of Origen, a Christian apologist, was beheaded. Origen himself was spared because his mother hid his clothes. A young girl was cruelly tortured, then burned in a kettle of burning pitch with her mother. The famed Perpetua and Felicity were martyred during this time, as were many students of Origen of Alexandria."

Maximinus the Thracian

235 C.E. - 238 C.E.

"Maximinus the Thracian initiated a persecution in 235 in the reign of that was directed chiefly against the heads of the Church. One of its first victims was Pope Pontian, who with Hippolytus was banished to the island of Sardinia."

Lactantius, Of the Manner in which the Persecutors Died

240 C.E. - 320 C.E.


249 C.E. - 251 C.E.

Persecutions continues. He also blamed the plague on the Christians.

St. Cyprian of Carthage

249 C.E. - 258 C.E.

After converting to Christianity, he became a bishop in 249 and eventually died a martyr at Carthage.


253 C.E. - 260 C.E.

Under Valerian, who took the throne in 253, all Christian clergy were required to sacrifice to the gods. In a 257 edict, the punishment was exile; in 258, the punishment was death. Christian senators, knights and ladies were also required to sacrifice under pain of heavy fines, reduction of rank and, later, death. Finally, all Christians were forbidden to visit their cemeteries. Among those executed under Valerian were St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, and Sixtus II, Bishop of Rome, and possibly also Antipope Novatian.

Diocletian reign

284 C.E. - 305 C.E.

Widespread persecution of Christians (East).

Diocletianic Persecution (or Great Persecution)

302 C.E. - 303 C.E.

Diocletian's accession in 284 did not mark an immediate reversal of disregard to Christianity, but it did herald a gradual shift in official attitudes toward religious minorities. In the first fifteen years of his rule, Diocletian purged the army of Christians, condemned Manicheans to death, and surrounded himself with public opponents of Christianity.

Persecutory policies varied in intensity across the empire. Where Galerius and Diocletian were avid persecutors, Constantius was unenthusiastic. Later persecutory edicts, including the calls for universal sacrifice, were not applied in his domain. His son, Constantine, on taking the imperial office in 306, restored Christians to full legal equality and returned property that had been confiscated during the persecution.

Constantine the Great

306 C.E. - 337 C.E.

Constantine converts to Christianity

312 C.E.

Roman emperor Constantine receives a vision of a flaming cross with the words
'In hoc signo vinces' : 'By this sign conquer'.
Defeats rival Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge.

Edict of Milan

313 C.E.

Edict of Milan issued by Constantine - Christianity becomes a legal religion within the Roman empire.

Council at Arles

314 C.E.

The first council of Arles formally condemned the heresy of Donatism.

Constantine seized Eastern empire from Licinius

324 C.E.

Constantine seized Eastern empire from Licinius and became embroiled in the Arian controversy

First Council of Nicaea

325 C.E.

Constantinople becomes captial of Roman Empire

330 C.E.


333 C.E. - 334 C.E.

Constans I

337 C.E. - 350 C.E.

Constantine II

337 C.E. - 361 C.E.

Julian the Apostate

361 C.E. - 363 C.E.

Julian the Apostate

361 C.E. - 363 C.E.

Julian the Apostate, the last pagan emperor of the Roman Empire, was brought up during a time that paganism was in decline in Rome. Upon being proclaimed Augustus in 361 AD, Julian immediately declared his faith to the old Roman Gods and began to bring about a pagan revival. However, he was killed in Persia in 363 AD and his attempt to restore paganism ultimately failed.

St. Cyril of Alexandria

376 C.E. - 444 C.E.

Christianity made the official religion by Theodosius

391 C.E.

Theodosian decrees of 389-392 removed non-Nicene Christians from ecclesiastical office and enforced a practical ban on paganism. The decrees did not do away with rival Christian sects as Arianism continued to spread. However, the Theodosian decrees did establish the supremacy of Nicene Christianity for a long time to come in the Western and Eastern Roman Empires.

Old and New Testament translated into Latin by Jerome

404 C.E.

Theodosius II

408 C.E. - 450 C.E.

Leo the Great reigns as Pope

440 C.E. - 461 C.E.

Pope Leo I delievers his 'Tome'

449 C.E.

At Ephesus, Pope Leo I delivers his 'Tome', defending orthodox Christian belief. Leo also asserts Papal supremacy.


450 C.E. - 457 C.E.

m. Pulcheria

Aelia Pulcheria dies

453 C.E.

Pulcheria is known to have held a significant amount of power in her brother's reign as emperor. Pulcheria was also of great influence over the church and theological practices of this time. She had influence over anti-pagan policies, church building projects, and the debate over the Marian title Theotokos.

Gregory of Nyssa, A Homily of Consolation

Leo I

457 C.E. - 474 C.E.

Leo II


Fall of the Western Roman Empire, Beginning of the Dark Ages

476 C.E.

Gelasius I Epistle 6

494 C.E.

The bishops and the emperors are meant to personify two separate institutions-- 'Church' and 'Empire', respectively.
"two forces rule this world -- the sacred authority of the bishops and the royal power"

Justinian I

527 C.E. - 565 C.E.

Christ and Christologies

Second and Third Centuries, Arius and Athanasius, Apollinarius and his Critics, The Nestorian Constroversy, The Controversy around Chalcedon, Late Patristic Developments

Ignatius of Antioch

35 C.E. - 115 C.E.

Ignatius may have been bishop of the community that Odes were published in. He speaks of Jesus in his letters as 'my God' (Eph. 18.2; Rom. 3.3; Smry. 1.1), but emphasizes more clearly than the Odes do that his flesh and his human experiences were all real (Trall. 9; Eph. 18. 2; Smyr. 2-3. 5). The reality of Jesus' human body is the link between his divine origin and his historical role as healer and savior for fleshly creatures.


49 C.E. - 150 C.E.

The Gospel of John seldom uses kyrios to refer to Jesus during his ministry, but does so after the Resurrection, although the vocative kyrie (meaning sir) appears frequently. The Gospel of Mark never applies the term kyrios as a direct reference to Jesus, unlike Paul who uses it 163 times. When Mark uses kyrios (e.g. in 1:3 , 11:9 , 12:11, etc.) it is in reference to God. Mark does, however, use kyrios in passages where it is unclear whether it applies to God or Jesus, e.g. in Mark 5:19 or Mark 11: 3.

Kyrios is a key element of the Christology of Apostle Paul. Most scholars agree that the use of kyrios, and hence the Lordship of Jesus, predated the Pauline Epistles, but that Saint Paul expanded and elaborated on that topic. More than any other title, kyrios defined the relationship between Jesus and those who believed in him as Christ: Jesus was their Lord and Master who was to be served with all their hearts and who would one day judge their actions throughout their lives.

Gospel of Thomas

50 C.E. - 140 C.E.

While the Gospel of Thomas does not directly point to Jesus' divinity, it also does not directly contradict it, and therefore neither supports nor contradicts gnostic beliefs. When asked his identity in the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus usually deflects, ambiguously asking the disciples why they do not see what is right in front of them. The text itself, however, continuously reflects Gnostic teachings by continuously referring to Jesus' sayings as "secret" and "mysterious", which were common gnostic catchphrases.
The Gospel of Thomas also lacks any mention of Jesus' birth, baptism, miracles, travels, death, and resurrection. However, over half of the sayings in Thomas are similar to sayings and parables found in the canonical gospels.

Matthew 16:15-16

80 C.E. - 100 C.E.

'And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."'

Acts 17:16-34

80 C.E. - 130 C.E.

When the Christians had to explain their concepts to a new audience which had at times been influenced by Greek philosophy, they had to expose their beliefs against those of the audience. A key example is the Apostle Paul's Areopagus sermon that appears in Acts 17:16-34. Here, the apostle attempted to convey the underlying concepts about Christ to a Greek audience, and the sermon illustrates some key elements of future Christological discourses that were first brought forward by Paul.

John 1:1-14

90 C.E. - 120 C.E.

The term “Christology from above” refers to approaches that begin with the divinity and pre-existence of Christ as the Logos (the Word), as expressed in the prologue to the Gospel of John (John 1:1-14). These approaches interpret the works of Christ in terms of his divinity. Christology from above was emphasized in the ancient Church, beginning with Ignatius of Antioch in the second century. The term “Christology from below”, on the other hand, refers to approaches that begin with the human aspects and the ministry of Jesus (including the miracles, parables, etc.) and move towards his divinity and the mystery of incarnation. Christologies that can be gleaned from the three Synoptic Gospels generally emphasize the humanity of Jesus while the Gospel of John provides a different perspective that focuses on his divinity.

Odes to Solomon

95 C.E. - 105 C.E.

The earliest post-New Testament Christian documents that remain often present Jesus as a divine revealer, who had taken on human form. In the Syriac hymns, Odes to Solomon, invite the reader to rejoice in salvation that God's 'Beloved' has brought to humanity through becoming like man:
"For there is a Helper for me, the Lord.../ He became like me, that I might receive Him./ In form he was considered like me, that I might put him on.../ Like my nature he became, that I might understand Him./ And like my form, that I might not turn away from him" (Ode 7.3-6)

Epistle to the Ephesians, Ignatius

105 C.E. - 115 C.E.

Ignatius bishop of Antioch- "There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first passible and then impassible, even Jesus Christ our Lord." (Chapter 7)

Irenaeus of Lyon

130 C.E. - 202 C.E.

The most articulate critic of Gnostic forms of Christianity in the second century. He traveled to the west and became bishop of a Roman frontier town around 185 C.E.

Marcion of Sinope

140 C.E. - 180 C.E.


160 C.E. - 225 C.E.

The Western theologian Tertullian had already formulated a basic doctrine of Christ's person -- Christ was two natures in one person. His divine nature and his human nature were both resident in a single person.

Against Heresies

180 C.E.

Irenaeus' best-known book, Against Heresies (c. 180) is an anti-Gnostic elaboration of apostolic tradition.

Origen of Alexandria

184 C.E. - 254 C.E.

Devoted his life to scriptural interpretation. His theology centered on the Church's understanding of the person and work of Jesus (Princ. 4. 1. 6). He perceived Christ to be divine Wisdom, the word of creation and revelation, begotten of the Father 'beyond the limits of any beginning that we can speak of or understand' (Princ. 1. 2. 2); Christ grants to created intellects the share in the life and wisdom of God that is their salvation (Princ. 2. 6. 3). The incarnation of the word in Jesus implies irreducibly twofold reality in his person (Princ. 1. 2. 1), even though the agent of salvation is the Word itself. Origen acknowledges this paradox with contemplation and awe (Princ. 2. 6. 2).

Paul of Samosata/ Adoptionism and Monarchianism

200 C.E. - 275 C.E.

Bishop of Antioch from 260 to 268. He was a believer in monarchianism, a doctrine about the Trinity; his teachings anticipate adoptionism. Paul's teaching is a form of Monarchianism, which emphasized the oneness of God. Paul taught that Jesus was born a mere man, but that at his baptism he was infused with the divine Logos or word of God. Hence, Jesus was seen not as God-become-man but as man-become-God.

Controversy: pre-Nicene/ Heresy: Adoptionism and Monarchianism
Doctrine: Jesus the man became Christ at his baptism, when God indwelt him
Resolved: Apostles' Creed: "And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary..." and Creed of Nicaea (325): "true God ... who for us men and for our salvation came down and was made flesh, and became man ..."

On First Principles, Origen

212 C.E. - 215 C.E.

A notable work because it was on of the first to endeavor to present Christianity as a complete theory of the universe.
In the first book the author considers God, the Logos, the Holy Ghost, reason, and the angels; in the second the world and man (including the incarnation of the Logos, the soul, free will, and eschatology); in the third, the doctrine of sin and redemption; and in the fourth, the Scriptures; the whole being concluded with a résumé of the entire system.

Novation: On the Trinity

251 C.E. - 258 C.E.

Arius/ Arianism

256 C.E. - 336 C.E.

He was a presbyter in Alexandria, Egypt. His teachings about the nature of the Godhead, which emphasized the Father's divinity over the Son, and his opposition to the Athanasian or Trinitarian Christology, made him a controversial figure in the First Council of Nicaea.

Arius endorsed the following doctrines about The Son or The Word (Logos, referring to Jesus; see the John 1:1):
that the Word (Logos) and the Father were not of the same essence (ousia); that the Son was a created being (ktisma or poiema); and that the worlds were created through him, so he must have existed before them and before all time.
However, there was a "once" [Arius did not use words meaning "time", such as chronos or aion] when He did not exist, before he was begotten of the Father.

Controversy: Trinitarian/ Heresy: Arianism
Doctrine: Christ is a created being
Response: Creed of Nicaea (325): "true God of true God, begotten not made, of one substance (homoousios) with the Father, through whom all things were made ..."

Dionysius of Rome: Letter to Dionysius of Alexandria

260 C.E.

Athanasius of Alexandria

296 C.E. - 373 C.E.

He was the was the 20th bishop of Alexandria. He is considered to be a renowned Christian theologian, a Church Father, the chief defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism, and a noted Egyptian leader of the fourth century.

He is remembered for his role in the conflict with Arius and Arianism. In 325, Athanasius had a leading role against the Arians in the First Council of Nicaea. At the time, he was a deacon and personal secretary of the 19th Bishop of Alexandria, Alexander. Nicaea was convoked by Constantine I in May–August 325 to address the Arian position that Jesus of Nazareth is of a distinct substance from the Father.

In 328, three years after Nicæa and upon the repose of Bishop Alexander, he became archbishop of Alexandria. He continued to lead the conflict against the Arians for the rest of his life and was engaged in theological and political struggles against the Emperors Constantine the Great and Constantius II and powerful and influential Arian churchmen, led by Eusebius of Nicomedia and others. His writings show a rich devotion to the Word-become-man, great pastoral concern, and profound interest in monasticism.

Valentinian Epistle to Rhefinus

300 C.E. - 350 C.E.

The dating of this letter is rough. The point of interest in the letter is that Valentinian claims that for Jesus and those who believe in him, 'resurrection' does not involve the material human body, but instead is a way of describing spiritual enlightenment in which the soul lays aside its fleshly concerns like an old garment.

Council of Nicaea

325 C.E.

Trinity: One God, three Persons

Sabellius/ Modalism

330 C.E.

Sabellius taught that God was indivisible, with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being three modes or manifestations of one divine Person. A Sabellian modalist would say that the One God successively revealed Himself to man throughout time as the Father in Creation; the Son in Redemption; and the Spirit in Sanctification and Regeneration.

Controversy: pre-Nicene/ Doctrine: Modalism/

Doctrine: Father, Son, and Spirit are merely three names or manifestations of one person
Response: Creed of Nicaea (325): "We believe in one God the Father ... and in one Lord Jesus Christ ... and in the Holy Spirit ..."

Apollinaris of Laodicea/ Apollinarianism

360 C.E. - 390 C.E.

Best known as a noted opponent of Arianism, Apollinarius' eagerness to emphasize the deity of Jesus and the unity of his person led him so far as to deny the existence of a rational human sou in Christ's human nature, this being replaced in him by the logos, so that his body was a glorified and spiritualized form of humanity. Over against this the orthodox or Catholic position maintained that Christ assumed human nature in its entirety including the νους, for only so could He be example and redeemer.

Christological/ Apollinarianism
Doctrine: Christ had no human spirit. The Word (Logos) replaced it/ Alexandria (362): rejected this doctrine and Chalcedon (451): "... at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body ..."

Cyril of Alexandria

376 C.E. - 444 C.E.

"Nestorius's main antagonist was Bishop Cyril of Alexandria.
Cyril wrote to Nestorius several times. His Second Letter to Nestorius is important because it states the Alexandrian doctrine in a moderate way. This document became a powerful influence on later orthodoxy. Cyril called his doctrine the "hypostatic union," because he used the Greek word hypostasis to mean what we call "person" in English.
[This caused problems for the acceptance of his doctrines, because in many Greek-speakers' minds the word hypostasis was a synonym for "nature" rather than "person," which caused them to believe that Cyril was teaching that Christ has one nature rather than one person.]

Eutyches/ Eutycheanism

380 C.E. - 456 C.E.

Eutyches was a presbyter and archimandrite at Constantinople. He first came to notice in 431 at the First Council of Ephesus, for his vehement opposition to the teachings of Nestorius.

Christological/ Eutycheanism
Doctrine: The human nature of Christ was absorbed by the Logos. Christ had one nature
Chalcedon (451): "... recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union ..."

I Epistle to Cledonius, Nazianzus

380 C.E. - 381 C.E.

By the mid-380s Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory of Nazianzus had written strong polemics against Apollinarius' understanding of Christ, because it deprived Christ of a human intellectual soul and because it seemed to suggest that even Jesus' flesh was of a different substance from our own.

"To which [Christ] has not assumed he has not healed; but that which is united to his Godhead is also saved. If only half Adam fell, then that which Christ assumes and saves may be half also; but if the whole of his nature fell, it must be united to the whole nature of Him that was begotten, and so be saved as a whole." (Ep. 101)

Council of Constantinople

381 C.E.

Confirmed the Nicene Creed and dealt with other matters such as the Arian controversy.

To Theophilus against the Apollinarists, Nyssa

385 C.E.

Nyssa joined Gregory of Nazianzus in writing strong polemics against Apollinarius.

"He who is always in the Father, and who always has the Father in himself and is united with him, is and will be as he was for all ages.... But the first-fruits of human nature which he has taken up, absorbed - one might say figuratively- by the omnipotent divinity like a drop of vinegar mingled in the boundless sea, exists in the Godhead, but not in its own proper characteristics." (126. 14-21)

Nestorius/ Nestorianism

386 C.E. - 451 C.E.

Nestorius was Archbishop of Constantinople from 428 to 431 when the emperor Theodosius II confirmed his condemnation.
He asserted that Mary ought not to be referred to as the “Mother of God” (Theotokos in Greek, literally “God-bearer”).

Christological/ Nestorianism/ Doctrine: The Logos indwelt the person of Jesus, making Christ a God-bearing man rather than the God-man. Accused of teaching two persons within Jesus Christ/ Chalcedon (451): "... the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons ..."

Council for Ephesus

431 C.E.

When Theodosius II, who supported Nestorius, called a general council for Ephesus in 431, Cyril used the delayed arrival of the Syrians to accomplish the triumph of his doctrines. When the Easterners arrived, they were outraged and set up a rival council and condemned Cyril. After the Roman legates arrived, Cyril re-convened the Council and re-condemned Nestorius with the support of Rome. Nestorius was finally sent into exile.

Second Council of Ephesus

449 C.E.

A Christological church synod in 449 AD, convoked by Emperor Theodosius II under the presidency of the monophysite Dioscorus.

Third Council of Ephesus

475 C.E.

It ratified a recent encyclical of Emperor Basiliscus which condemned the Council of Chalcedon and particularly the Tome of Leo. This council thus constitutes one the most significant synodical condemnations of Chalcedon for the Oriental Orthodox. In response to the accusations of certain Chalcedonians that they, the Non-Chalcedonians, had adopted the erroneous teachings of Eutyches, the attendees of Ephesus III summarily anathematized Eutyches and those of his teachings which compromised the humanity of Christ.