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Timeline of Church History
Eras Timeline of Church History (Abridged article)
Eras New Testament Era | Apostolic Era (33-100) | Ante-Nicene Era (100-325) | Nicene Era (325-451) | Byzantine Era (451-843) | Late Byzantine Era (843-1054) | Post-Roman Schism (1054-1453) | Post-Imperial Era (1453-1821) | Modern Era (1821-1917) | Communist Era (1917-1991) | Post-Communist Era (1991-Present) |
(Main articles)

This article forms part of the series
Introduction to
Orthodox Christianity
Holy Tradition
Holy Scripture
The Symbol of Faith
Ecumenical Councils
Church Fathers
The Holy Trinity
God the Father
Jesus Christ
The Holy Spirit
The Church
Holy Mysteries
Church Life

The History of the Church is a vital part of the Orthodox Christian faith. Orthodox Christians are defined significantly by their continuity with all those who have gone before, those who first received and preached the truth of Jesus Christ to the world, those who helped to formulate the expression and worship of our faith, and those who continue to move forward in the unchanging yet ever-dynamic Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church.

New Testament era

Main article: Timeline of Church History (New Testament Era)

Apostolic era (33-100)

Main article: Timeline of Church History (Apostolic Era (33-100))

Ante-Nicene era (100-325)

Main article: Timeline of Church History (Ante-Nicene Era (100-325))

Nicene era (325-451)

Main article: Timeline of Church History (Nicene Era (325-451))
  • 325 First Ecumenical Council held in Nicea, condemning Arianism, setting the Paschalion, and issuing the first version of the Nicene Creed, also establishing the supremacy of honor of the Apostolic Sees as Rome, followed by Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.
  • 326 Discovery of the True Cross by the Empress Helena; King Miraeus of Georgia becomes Christian.
  • 328 Athanasius the Great becomes bishop of Alexandria.
  • 329 Athanasius ordains Frumentius (Abba Selama) to priesthood and commissions him to evangelize Ethiopia.
  • 330 Byzantium refounded as Constantinople / New Rome, Christian capital of the Roman Empire, and is dedicated to the Theotokos by Emperor Constantine; Amoun and Macarius the Great found monasteries in the Egyptian desert.
  • 336-338 Athanasius the Great goes into exile in Treves, telling Europeans about the monastic rule of Pachomius the Great, awakening interest in monasticism in Europe.
  • 337 Death of Constantine.
  • 340 Conversion of Wulfila to Arianism.
  • 341 Council of Antioch held; Emperor Constans bans pagan sacrifices and magic rituals under penalty of death.
  • 345 Death of Nicholas of Myra.
  • 348 Death of Pachomius the Great and Spyridon of Trimythous.
  • 350 Ninian establishes the church Candida Casa at Whithorn in Galloway, Scotland, beginning the missionary effort to the Picts.
  • 351 Apparition of the Cross over Jerusalem.
  • 355 Death of Nino of Cappadocia.
  • 356 Death of Anthony the Great.
  • 357 Council of Sirmium issues Blasphemy of Sirmium.
  • 358 Basil the Great founds monastery of Annesos in Pontus, the model for Eastern monasticism.
  • 359 Councils of Seleucia and Rimini.
  • 360 Martin of Tours founds first French monastery at Liguge; first church of Hagia Sophia inaugurated by Emperor Constantius II.
  • 362 Antiochian schism (362-414).
  • 361-63 Julian the Apostate becomes Roman emperor and attempts to restore paganism.
  • 363 Emperor Jovian reestablishes Christianity as the official religion of the Empire.
  • 364 Council of Laodicea held.
  • 367 Athanasius of Alexandria writes Paschal letter, listing for the first time the canon of the New Testament; death of Hilary of Poitiers.
  • 373 Death of Athanasius the Great and Ephrem the Syrian.
  • 374 Election of Ambrose as bishop of Milan.
  • 375 Basil the Great writes On the Holy Spirit.
  • 376 Visigoths convert to Arian Christianity.
  • 379 Death of Basil the Great; Emperor Gratian's rescript Ordinariorum Sententias extends power of Bishop of Rome by allowing him authority over bishops within his own jurisdiction.
  • 380 Christianity established as the official faith of the Roman Empire by Emperor Theodosius the Great; Council of Saragossa condemns Priscillianism.
  • 381 Second Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople, condemning Macedonianism/Pneumatomachianism and Appollinarianism, declaring the divinity of the Holy Spirit, confirming the previous Ecumenical Council, and completing the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed; Council of Aquileia led by Ambrose of Milan deposes Arian bishops.
  • 382 Pope Siricius of Rome first to bear title Pontifex Maximus.
  • 383 Death of Frumentius of Axum, bishop of Axum and Apostle to Ethiopia.
  • 384 Council of Bordeaux condemns Priscillian.
  • 385 Death of Gregory of Nyssa.
  • 386 Death of Cyril of Jerusalem.
  • 387 Augustine baptized by Ambrose of Milan.
  • 391 Death of Gregory the Theologian.
  • 391-92 Closing of all non-Christian temples in the Empire; Theodosius the Great ends pagan Eleusinian Mysteries by decree and causes surviving pagan sacrifices at Alexandria and Rome to cease.
  • 392 Death of Macarius the Great.
  • 393 Council of Hippo publishes Biblical canon; Emperor Theodosius bans Olympic Games as a pagan festival.
  • 394 Epiphanius of Salamis attacks teachings of Origen as heretical; Council of Constantinople held; Donatist Council of Bagai in Africa held.
  • 395 Augustine becomes bishop of Hippo in North Africa; placing of the cincture of the Theotokos in the Church of the Virgin in Halkoprateia-Constantinople.
  • 395 Re-division of Empire with death of Emperor Theodosius the Great.
  • 397 Council of Carthage publishes Biblical canon; death of Martin of Tours and Ambrose of Milan.
  • 398 John Chrysostom becomes Archbishop of Constantinople.
  • ca. 398 Martyrdom of 10,000 Fathers of the Scetis by Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria.
  • 399 Anastasius of Rome and other bishops condemn doctrine of Origen.
  • 401 Augustine of Hippo writes Confessions; Pope Innocent I of Rome supports John Chrysostom and condemns pelagianism.
  • 402 Porphyry of Gaza obtains imperial decree ordering closing of pagan temples in Gaza.
  • 403 Abduction of Patrick to Irelande; visit of Victricius of Rouen to Britain; Synod of the Oak held near Chalcedon, deposing and exiling John Chrysostom.
  • 404 Martyrdom of Telemachus, resulting in Emperor Honorius' edict banning gladiator fights.
  • 405 Translation of Holy Scriptures into Latin as the Vulgate by Jerome.
  • 407 Death of John Chrysostom in exile.
  • 410 Fall of Rome to the Visigoths under Alaric I; escape of Patrick back to Britain; Emperor Honorius tells Britain to attend to its own affairs, effectively removing the Roman presence.
  • 410 Council of Seleucia declares Mesopotamian Nestorian bishops independent of Orthodox bishops.
  • 411 Pelagius condemned at council in Carthage; Rabbula becomes bishop of Edessa.
  • 412 Cyril succeeds his uncle Theophilus as Pope of Alexandria; Honorius outlaws Donatism; Bishops Lazarus of Aix-en-Provence and Herod of Arles expelled from sees on a charge of Manichaeism; Alexandrian Creation Era date finalized at 25 March, 5493 BC.
  • 414 Resolution of Antiochian division.
  • 415 Pelagius cleared at synod in Jerusalem and a provincial synod in Diospolis (Lydda); John Cassian founds convent at Marseilles.
  • 416 Councils in Carthage and Milevis condemn Pelagius and convince Pope Innocent I of Rome to excommunicate him.
  • 418 Foundation of the Arian Visigothic Kingdom, as Emperor Honorius rewards Visigoth federates by giving them land in Gallia Aquitania on which to settle.
  • 418-24 Council in Carthage anathematizes Pelagianism by way of endorsing Augustinian anthropology.
  • 426 Augustine of Hippo writes The City of God.
  • 428 Nestorius becomes patriarch of Constantinople.
  • 429 Pope Celestine I dispatches prominent Gallo-Roman Bishops Germanus of Auxerre and Lupus of Troyes to Britain as missionary bishops and to combat the Pelagian heresy; death of Sisoes the Great.
  • 430 Peter the Iberian founds Georgian monastery near Bethlehem.
  • 431 Third Ecumenical Council held in Ephesus, condemning Nestorianism and Pelagianism, confirming the use of the term Theotokos to refer to the Virgin Mary, and confirming autocephaly of Church of Cyprus; Pope Celestine sends Palladius to Ireland.
  • 432 Return of Patrick to Ireland to begin missionary work; death of Ninian, Apostle to the Picts.
  • 433 Formulary of Peace completes work of Third Ecumenical Council by reconciling Cyril of Alexandria with John of Antioch.
  • 435 Death of John Cassian and Acacius of Melitene; Nestorius exiled by imperial edict to a monastery in a Sahara oasis.
  • 438 Codex Theodosianus published.
  • 439 Carthage falls to Vandals.
  • 444 Death of Cyril of Alexandria; Pope Leo the Great abolishes Gallican vicariate.
  • 445 Founding of monastery at Armagh in northern Ireland; Emperor Valentinian III issues decree recognizing primacy of the bishop of Rome.
  • 447 Earthquake in Constantinople, when a boy was lifted up to heaven and heard the Trisagion.
  • 449 Robber Synod of Ephesus, presided over by Dioscorus of Alexandria, with an order from the emperor to acquit Eutyches the Monophysite.
  • 450 First monasteries established in Wales; death of Peter Chrysologus.

Byzantine era (451-843)

Main article: Timeline of Church History (Byzantine Era (451-843))
  • 451 Fourth Ecumenical Council meets at Chalcedon, condemning Eutychianism and Monophysitism, affirming doctrine of two perfect and indivisible but distinct natures in Christ, and recognizing Church of Jerusalem as patriarchate.
  • 452 Proterios of Alexandria convenes synod in Alexandria to reconcile Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians; second finding of the Head of John the Forerunner.
  • 457 Victorius of Aquitania computes new Paschalion; first coronation of Byzantine Emperor by patriarch of Constantinople.
  • 459 Death of Symeon the Stylite.
  • 461 Death of Leo the Great and Patrick of Ireland.
  • 462 Indiction moved to September 1; Studion Monastery founded.
  • 466 Church of Antioch elevates bishop of Mtskheta to rank of Catholicos of Kartli, rendering the Church of Georgia autocephalous; death of Shenouda the Great, abbott of White Monastery in Egypt, considered the founder of Coptic Christianity.
  • ca. 471 Patr. Acacius of Constantinople first called Oikoumenikos ("Ecumenical").
  • 473 Death of Euthymius the Great.
  • 475 Emperor Basiliscus issues letter to bishops of empire, supporting Monophysitism.
  • 477 Timothy Aelurus of Alexandria exiles Chalcedonian bishops from Egypt.
  • 482 Byzantine emperor Zeno I issues Henotikon.
  • 484 Acacian Schism.
  • 484 Founding of Mar Sabbas Monastery by Sabbas the Sanctified; Synod of Beth Lapat in Persia declares Nestorianism as official theology of Assyrian Church of the East, effectively separating the Assyrian church from the Byzantine church.
  • 489 Emperor Zeno I closes Nestorian academy in Edessa, which was then transferred under Sassanian Persian auspices to Nisibis, becoming the spiritual center of the Assyrian Church of the East.
  • 490 Brigid of Kildaire founds monastery of Kildare in Ireland.
  • 494 Pope Gelasius I of Rome delineates relationship between Church and state in his letter Duo sunt, written to Emperor Anastasius I.
  • 496 Remigius of Rheims baptizes Franks into Orthodox Christianity.
  • ca. 500 Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite writes The Mystical Theology.
  • 506 Church of Armenia separates from Chalcedonian Orthodoxy.
  • 507 Clovis I defeats the Arian Visigoths at Battle of Vouillé near Poitiers, ending their power in Gaul.
  • 518 Severus of Antioch deposed by Emperor Justin I for Monophysitism; Patr. John II of Constantinople is addressed as Oikoumenikos Patriarches ("Ecumenical Patriarch").
  • 519 Eastern and Western churches reconciled with end of Acacian Schism.
  • 521 Birth of Columba of Iona.
  • 527 Dionysius Exiguus calculates the date of birth of Jesus incorrectly; foundation of St. Catherine's Monastery on the Sinai peninsula by Justinian the Great.
  • 529 Pagan University of Athens closed and replaced by Christian university in Constantinople; Benedict of Nursia founds monastery of Monte Cassino and codifies Western monasticism; Council of Orange condemns Pelagianism; death of Theodosius the Great.
  • 529-534 Justinian's Corpus Juris Civilis issued.
  • 530 Brendan the Navigator lands in Newfoundland, Canada, establishing a short-lived community of Irish monks.
  • 532 Justinian the Great orders building of Hagia Sophia; death of Sabbas the Sanctified.
  • 533 Mercurius elected Pope of Rome and takes the name of John II, first pope to change name upon election.
  • 534 Roman Empire destroys the Arian kingdom of Vandals.
  • 536 Mennas of Constantinople summons a synod anathematizing Severus of Antioch.
  • 537 Construction of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople completed.
  • 538 Emperor Justinian the Great, via deportations and force, manages to get all five patriarchates officially into communion.
  • 539 Ravenna becomes exarchate of Byzantine Empire.
  • 541 Jacob Baradeus organizes the Non-Chalcedonian Church in western Syria (the "Jacobites"), which spreads to Armenia and Egypt.
  • 543 Doctrine of apokatastasis condemned by Synod of Constantinople.
  • 544 Jacob Baradeus consecrates Sergius of Tella as bishop of Antioch, opening the lasting schism between the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Chalcedonian Church of Antioch; founding of the monastery at Clonmacnoise in Ireland by Ciaran.
  • 545 David of Wales moves primatial see of Britain from Caerleon to Menevia (St. Davids's).
  • 546 Columba founds monastery of Derry in Ireland.
  • 547 David of Wales does obeisance to the Patriarch of Jerusalem.
  • 553 Fifth Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople in an attempt to reconcile Chalcedonians with non-Chalcedonians— Three Chapters of Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyrrhus, and Ibas of Edessa are condemned for their Nestorianism, and Origen and his writings are also condemned.
  • 553 Bishops of Aquileia, Milan, Venetia and the Istrian peninsula in Italy all refuse to condemn the Three Chapters, causing Schism of the Three Chapters in those areas, leading to independence of Patriarch of Venice from Patriarch of Aquileia; Ostrogoth kingdom conquered by the Byzantines after the Battle of Mons Lactarius.
  • 554 Church of Armenia officially breaks with West in 554, during the second Council of Dvin where the dyophysite formula of Chalcedon was rejected.
  • 556 Columba founds monastery of Durrow in Ireland; death of Roman the Melodist.
  • 557 Brendan the Navigator founds monastery at Clonfert, Ireland.
  • 563 Columba arrives on Iona and establishes monastery there, founding mission to the Picts.
  • 569 Final schism between Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians in Egypt; David of Wales holds Synod of Victoria to re-assert anti-Pelagian decrees of Brefi.
  • 576 Dual hierarchy henceforth in Alexandria, Chalcedonian (Greek) and Monophysite (Coptic).
  • 577 Patr. John III Scholasticus is responible for the first collection of Canon Law, the Nomocanon, of the Orthodox Church.
  • 579 400 Martyrs slain by Lombards in Sicily.
  • 580 Monte Cassino sacked by Lombards, sending its monks fleeing to Rome; Slavs begin to migrate into the Balkans and Greece.
  • 587 Visigoth King Reccared renounces Arianism in favor of Orthodoxy.
  • 589 Council of Toledo adds Filioque to Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in an attempt to combat Arianism.
  • 590 Columbanus founds monasteries in France.
  • 593 Anastasius the Sinaite restored as Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch.
  • 596 Gregory the Dialogist sends Augustine along with forty other monks to southern Britain to convert pagans.
  • 597 Death of Columba of Iona.
  • 598 Glastonbury Abbey founded.
  • ca. 600 The Ladder of Divine Ascent written by John Climacus; Gregory the Dialogist inspires development of Gregorian Chant through his liturgical reforms.
  • 601 Augustine of Canterbury converts King Ethelbert of Kent and establishes see of Canterbury.
  • 602 Augustine of Canterbury meets with Welsh bishops to bring them under Canterbury.
  • 604 Mellitus becomes first bishop of London and founds first St. Paul's Cathedral; death of Gregory the Dialogist.
  • 605 Death of Augustine of Canterbury.
  • 610 Heraclius changes official language of the Empire from Latin to Greek, already the lingua franca of the vast majority of the population.
  • 612 Holy Sponge and Holy Lance brought to Constantinople from Palestine.
  • 614 Persians sack Jerusalem under Chosroes II of Persia; Church of the Holy Sepulchre damaged by fire, True Cross captured, and over 65,000 Christians in Jerusalem massacred.
  • 615 Death of Columbanus in Italy.
  • 617 Persian Army conquers Chalcedon after a long siege.
  • 626 Akathist Hymn to the Virgin Mary written.
  • 627 Emperor Heraclius defeats Sassanid Persians at Battle of Nineveh, recovering True Cross and breaking Sassanid power.
  • 630 Second Elevation of the Holy Cross.
  • 633 Death of Modestus of Jerusalem.
  • 635 Founding of Lindisfarne Monastery by Aidan; Cynegils, king of Wessex, converts to Christianity.
  • 636 Capture of Jerusalem by Muslim Arabs after Battle of Yarmuk.
  • 640 Muslim conquest of Syria; Battle of Heliopolis between Arab Muslim armies and Byzantium opens door for Muslim conquest of Byzantine Exarchate of Africa.
  • 641 Capture of Alexandria by Muslim Arabs.
  • 642 Muslim conquest of Egypt.
  • 646 Alexandria recaptured by Muslim Arabs after Byzantine attempt to retake Egypt fails, ending nearly ten centuries of Greco-Roman civilization in Egypt.
  • 648 Pope Theodore I of Rome excommunicates patriarch Paul II of Constantinople.
  • 649 Arabs invade and conquer Cyprus.
  • 650 Final defeat of Arianism as Lombards convert to Orthodoxy.
  • 653 Pope Martin the Confessor arrested on orders of Byzantine Emperor Constans II.
  • 654 Invasion of Rhodes by Arabs.
  • 655 Martyrdom of Martin the Confessor.
  • 657 Founding of Whitby Abbey in Yorkshire, England.
  • 662 Death of Maximus the Confessor.
  • 663 Emperor Constans II is last Eastern emperor to set foot in Rome; Constans II declares Pope of Rome to have no jurisdiction over Archbishop of Ravenna, since that city was the seat of the exarch, his immediate representative.
  • 664 Synod of Whitby held in northern England, adopting Roman calendar and tonsures in Northumbria; Ionian monk Wilfrid appointed as Archbishop of York.
  • 669-78 First Arab siege of Constantinople; at Battle of Syllaeum Arab fleet destroyed by Byzantines through use of Greek Fire, ending immediate Arab threat to eastern Europe.
  • 670 Composition of Caedmon's Hymn by Caedmon of Whitby.
  • 672 First Synod of Hertford called by Theodore of Tarsus, adopting of ten decrees paralleling the canons of the Council of Chalcedon.
  • 673 Second Council of Hatfield upholds Orthodoxy against Monothelitism.
  • 680-681 Sixth Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople, condemning Monothelitism and affirming Christology of Maximus the Confessor, affirming that Christ has both a human will and a divine will; Patr. Sergius of Constantinople and Pope Honorius of Rome are both explicitly anathematized for their support of Monothelitism.
  • 682 Foundation of Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Abbey in England.
  • 685 First monastics come to Mount Athos; death of Anastasius of Sinai.
  • 685 John Maron elected first Maronite patriarch, founding the Maronite Catholic Church, which embraced Monothelitism, rejected the teaching of the Fifth Ecumenical Council, and separated from the Orthodox Church.
  • 687 Destruction of Whitby Abbey by Danish Vikings; death of Cuthbert of Lindisfarne.
  • 688 Emperor Justinian II and Caliph al-Malik sign treaty neutralizing Cyprus.
  • ca. 690 Witenagamot of England forbids church appeals to Rome.
  • 691 Dome of the Rock completed in Jerusalem.
  • 692 Quinisext Council (also called the Penthekte Council or Council in Trullo) held in Constantinople, issuing canons completing the work of the Fifth and Sixth Ecumenical Councils, and declaring the Church of Jerusalem to be a patriarchate.
  • 694 Byzantine army of Justinian II defeated by Maronites, who became fully independent.
  • 697 Council of Birr accepts Roman Paschalion for northern Ireland; at this synod, Adomnán of Iona promulgates his Cáin Adomnáin.
  • 698 Muslim conquest of Carthage; at Synod of Aquileia, bishops of the diocese of Aquileia end the Schism of the Three Chapters and return to communion with Rome.
  • ca. 700 Death of Isaac of Syria.
  • 707 Death of John Maron.
  • 710 Pope Constantine makes last papal visit to Constantinople before 1967.
  • 712 Death of Andrew of Crete.
  • ca. 715 Lindisfarne Gospels produced in Northumbria (Northern England).
  • 715 Grand Mosque of Damascus built over the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist; Al-Aqsa Mosque constructed over site of Church of St. Mary of Justinian; Pictish King Nechtan invites Northumbrian clergy to establish Christianity amongst the Picts.
  • 716 Monastery at Iona conforms to Roman liturgical usage; Boniface's first missionary journey to Frisia.
  • 717 Pictish king Nechtan expels monks from Iona.
  • 717-18 Second Arab siege of Constantinople.
  • 719 Nubian Christians transfer allegiance from Chalcedonian church to Coptic church.
  • 723 Boniface fells Thor's Oak near Fritzlar.
  • 726 Iconoclast Emperor Leo the Isaurian starts campaign against icons.
  • 730 Leo the Isaurian orders destruction of all icons, beginning the First Iconoclastic Period.
  • 731 Bede completes Ecclesiastical History of the English People.
  • 732 Muslim invasion of Europe stopped by Franks at Battle of Tours, establishing a balance of power between Western Europe, Islam and the Byzantine Empire.
  • 733 Byzantine Emperor Leo the Isaurian withdraws the Balkans, Sicily and Calabria from the jurisdiction of the Pope in response to Pope Gregory III of Rome's support of a revolt in Italy against iconoclasm.
  • 734 Egbert becomes bishop of York, founding a library and making the city a renowned centre of learning.
  • 735 Death of Bede; See of York achieves archepiscopal status.
  • 739 Emperor Leo III (717-41) publishes his Ecloga , designed to introduce Christian principle into law; death of Willibrord.
  • 742 After a forty-year vacancy, Stephen IV becomes Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, at the suggestion of Umayyad caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik.
  • 747 Witenagamot of England again forbids appeals to the Roman Pope; Council of Clovesho I adopts Roman calendar, observance of the feasts of Gregory the Great and Augustine of Canterbury, and adopts the Rogation Days.
  • 749 Death of John of Damascus.
  • 750 Donation of Constantine accepted as a legitimate document, used by Pope Stephen II to prove territorial and jurisdictional claims.
  • 751 Lombard king Aistulf captures Ravenna and the Romagna, ending Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna.
  • 752 Death of Pope Zacharias of Rome.
  • 754 Iconoclastic Council held in Constantinople under the authority of Emperor Constantine V Copronymus, condemning icons and declaring itself to be the Seventh Ecumenical Council; Constantine begins dissolution of monasteries.
  • 754 Death of Boniface.
  • 756 Donation of Pepin cedes lands including Ravenna that became basis of Papal States.
  • 768 Wales adopts Orthodox Paschalion and other decrees of the Synod of Whitby at teaching of Elfoddw of Gwynedd.
  • 769 Pope Stephen III of Rome holds a council changing papal election procedure and confirming veneration of icons.
  • 772 Charlemagne starts fighting Saxons and Frisians; Saxony is subdued and converted to Christianity.
  • 781 King Charlemagne of the Franks summons Alcuin of York to head palace school at Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) to inspire revival of education in Europe.
  • 785 Synod of Cealchythe erects the Archbishopric of Lichfield.
  • 787 Seventh Ecumenical Council held in Nicea, condemning iconoclasm and affirming veneration of icons; two councils held in England, one in the north at Pincanhale, and the other in the south at Chelsea, reaffirming the faith of the first Six Ecumenical Councils (the decrees of the Seventh having not yet been received), and establishing a third archbishopric at Lichfield.
  • 792 Synod of Regensburg condemned Adoptionism.
  • 793 Sack of Lindisfarne Priory, beginning Viking attacks on England.
  • 794 Charlemagne convenes council in Frankfurt-in-Main, rejecting decrees of Seventh Ecumenical Council and inserting Filioque into Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.
  • 800 Charlemagne crowned as Holy Roman Emperor by Leo III of Rome on Christmas day, marking the break of Frankish civilization away from the Orthodox Christian Roman Empire; Book of Kells produced in Ireland.
  • 800 Ambassadors of Caliph Harunu al-Rashid give keys to the Holy Sepulchre to Charlemagne, acknowledging some Frankish control over the interests of Christians in Jerusalem ; establishment of the Western Rite Monastery of Saint Mary in Jerusalem.
  • 801 Controversy in Jerusalem over Frankish pilgrims using Filioque.
  • 803 Council of Clovesho II abolishes archbishopric of Lichfield, restoring the pattern of the two metropolitan archbishoprics (Canterbury and York) which had prevailed before 787, and requires the use of the Western Rite amongst the English speaking peoples.
  • 810 Pope Leo III bans use of Filioque.
  • 814 Conflict between Emperor Leo V and Patr. Nicephorus over iconoclasm; Leo deposes Nicephorus, Nicephorus excommunicates Leo.
  • 826 Ansgar arrives in Denmark and begins preaching; King Harald Klak of Denmark converts to Christianity.
  • 828 Death of Patr. Nicephorus I of Constantinople.
  • ca. 829-842 Icon of the Panagia Portaitissa appears on Mount Athos near Iviron Monastery.
  • 836 Death of Theodore the Studite.

Late Byzantine era (843-1054)

Main article: Timeline of Church History (Late Byzantine Era (843-1054))
  • 843 Triumph of Orthodoxy occurs on first Sunday of Great Lent, restoring icons to churches.
  • 850 Third Finding of the head of John the Forerunner.
  • 852 Ansgar founds churches at Hedeby and Ribe in Denmark.
  • 858 Photius the Great becomes patriarch of Constantinople.
  • ca. 860 Christianization of the Rus' Khaganate.
  • 861 Cyril and Methodius depart from Constantinople to missionize the Slavs; Council of Constantinople attended by 318 fathers and presided over by papal legates confirms Photius the Great as patriarch and passes 17 canons.
  • 862 Rastislav of Moravia converts to Christianity.
  • 863 First translations of Biblical and liturgical texts into Church Slavonic by Cyril and Methodius.
  • 863 Venetians steal relics of Apostle Mark from Alexandria.
  • 864 Baptism of Prince Boris of Bulgaria; Synaxis of the Theotokos in Miasena in memory of the return of her icon.
  • 865 Bulgaria under Khan Boris I converts to Orthodox Christianity.
  • 866 Vikings raid and capture York in England.
  • 867 Council in Constantinople held, presided over by Photius, which anathematizes Pope Nicholas I of Rome for his attacks on work of Greek missionaries in Bulgaria and use by papal missionaries of Filioque; Pope Nicholas dies before hearing news of excommunication; Basil the Macedonian has Emperor Michael III murdered and usurps Imperial throne, reinstating Ignatius as patriarch of Constantinople.
  • 867 Death of Kassiani, Greek-Byzantine poet and hymnographer, who composed the Hymn of Kassiani, chanted during Holy Week on Holy Wednesday.
  • 869-870 Robber Council of 869-870 held, deposing Photius the Great from the Constantinopolitan see and putting the rival claimant Ignatius on the throne, declaring itself to be the "Eighth Ecumenical Council."
  • 870 Conversion of Serbia; death of Rastislav of Moravia; martyrdom of Edmund, King of East Anglia.
  • 877 Death of Ignatius I of Constantinople, who appoints Photius to succeed him.
  • 878 King Alfred the Great of Wessex defeats Vikings; the Treaty of Wedmore divides England between the Anglo-Saxons and the Danes (the Danelaw).
  • 879-880 Eighth Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople attended by 383 fathers passing 3 canons, confirms Photius as Patriarch of Constantinople, anathematizes additions to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, and declares that the prerogatives and jurisdiction of the Roman pope and the Constantinopolitan patriarch are essentially equal; the council is reluctantly accepted by Pope John VIII of Rome.
  • 885 Mount Athos gains political autonomy.
  • 885 Death of Methodius.
  • 886 Glagolitic alphabet, (now called Old Church Slavonic) adopted in Bulgarian Empire; St Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, captures London from the Danes.
  • 910 Benedictine Abbey of Cluny founded in France.
  • 899 Death of Alfred the Great.
  • 911 Holy Protection of the Virgin Mary.
  • 912 Normans become Christian; Nicholas I Mysticus becomes Patriarch of Constantinople.
  • 927 Church of Bulgaria recognized as autocephalous by Constantinople.
  • 931 Abbott Odo of Cluny reforms monasteries in Aquitaine, northern France, and Italy, starting the Cluniac Reform movement within the Benedictine order, focused on restoring the traditional monastic life, encouraging art and caring for the poor.
  • 935 Martyrdom of Wenceslaus, prince of the Czechs.
  • 944 City of Edessa recovered by Byzantine army, including Icon Not Made By Hands.
  • 945 Dunstan becomes Abbot of Glastonbury.
  • 957 Olga of Kiev baptized in Constantinople.
  • 960 Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas re-captures Crete for Byzantines; Dunstan becomes Archbishop of Canterbury, reforming monasteries and enforcing rule of Benedict.
  • 962 Denmark becomes Christian nation with baptism of King Harald Blaatand ("Bluetooth"); Holy Roman Empire formed, with Pope John XII crowning Otto I the Great Holy Roman Emperor.
  • 963 Athanasius of Athos establishes first major monastery on Mount Athos, the Great Lavra.
  • 965 Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas gains Cyprus completely for the Byzantines.
  • 969 Death of Olga of Kiev; Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas captures Antioch and Aleppo from Arabs.
  • 972 Emperor John I Tzimiskes grants Mount Athos its first charter (Typikon).
  • 973 Moravia assigned to the Diocese of Prague, putting the West Slavic tribes under jurisdiction of German church.
  • 975 Emperor John I Tzimiskes in a Syrian campaign takes Emesa, Baalbek, Damascus, Tiberias, Nazareth, Caesarea, Sidon, Beirut, Byblos and Tripoli, but fails to take Jerusalem.
  • 978 Death of King Edward the Martyr.
  • 980 Revelation of the Axion Estin (the hymn "It Is Truly Meet"), with the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel to a monk on Mount Athos.
  • 980-5 The Western Rite Monastery of Amalfion is founded on Mount Athos.
  • 987 Sixth Rus-Byzantine War, where Vladimir of Kiev dispatches troops to the Byzantine Empire to assist Emperor Basil II with an internal revolt, agreeing to accept Orthodox Christianity as his religion and bring his people to the new faith.
  • 988 'Baptism of Rus' begins with the conversion of Vladimir of Kiev who is baptized at Chersonesos, the birthplace of the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox churches; Vladimir marries Anna, sister of Byzantine emperor Basil II.
  • 992 Death of Michael, first Metropolitan of Kiev.
  • 995 Olaf of Norway proclaims Norway to be a Christian kingdom.
  • 1000 Conversion of Greenland and Iceland.
  • 1008 Conversion of Sweden.
  • 1009 Patr. Sergius II of Constantinople removes name of Pope Sergius IV of Rome from diptychs of Constantinople, because the pope had written a letter to the patriarch including the Filioque.
  • 1009 Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem destroyed by the "mad" Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, founder of the Druze.
  • 1012 Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah issues oppressive decrees against Jews and Christians including the destruction of all Christian and Jewish houses of worship.
  • 1014 Filioque used for first time in Rome by Pope Benedict VIII at coronation of Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor.
  • 1015 Death of Vladimir of Kiev.
  • 1017 Danish king Canute converts to Christianity.
  • 1022 Death of Simeon the New Theologian.
  • 1027 Frankish protectorate over Christian interests in Jerusalem is replaced by a Byzantine protectorate, which begin reconstruction of Holy Sepulchre.
  • 1034 Patriarch Alexius I Studites writes the first complete Studite Typikon, for a monastery he established near Constantinople; this was the Typikon introduced into the Rus' lands by Theodosius of the Kiev Caves.
  • 1036 Byzantine Emperor Michael IV makes a truce with the Caliph of Egypt to allow rebuilding of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre by Byzantine masons; Varangian Guard of the Byzantine Emperor sent to protect pilgrims.
  • 1043 Edward the Confessor crowned King of England at Winchester Cathedral.
  • 1045-50 Cathedral of Saint Sophia in Novgorod built, the oldest Orthodox church building in Russia, executed in an architectural style more austere than the Byzantine, reminiscent of the Romanesque.
  • 1048 Re-consecration of Holy Sepulchre.
  • 1051 Monastery of the Kiev Caves founded.

Post-Roman Schism (1054-1453)

Main article: Timeline of Church History (Post-Roman Schism (1054-1453))
  • 1054 Cardinal Humbert excommunicates Michael Cerularius, patriarch of Constantinople, a major centerpoint in the formation of the Great Schism between East and West; First Letter of Michael Cerularius to Peter of Antioch.
  • 1059 Errors of Berengar of Tours condemned in Rome; term transubstantiation begins to come in to use, ascribed to Peter Damian.
  • 1064 Seljuk Turks storm Anatolia taking Caesarea and Ani, conquering Armenia.
  • 1066 Normans invade England flying banner of Pope of Rome, defeating King Harold of England at Battle of Hastings.
  • 1066-1171 Beginning reformation of English church and society to align with Latin continental ecclesiology and politics.
  • 1071 Seljuk Turks defeat Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert, beginning Islamification of Asia Minor; Norman princes led by Robert Guiscard capture Bari, the last Byzantine stronghold in Italy, bringing to an end over five centuries of Byzantine rule in the south.
  • 1073 Hildebrand becomes Pope Gregory VII and launches the Gregorian reforms (celibacy of the clergy, primacy of papacy over empire, right of Pope to depose emperors); Seljuk Turks conquer Ankara.
  • 1074 Death of Theodosius of the Kiev Caves.
  • 1075 Dictatus Papae document advances Papal supremacy.
  • 1077 The Seljuk Turks capture Jerusalem and kill 3,000 citizens; Seljuks capture Nicea.
  • 1084 Antioch is captured by the Seljuk Turks.
  • 1088 Founding of monastery of John the Theologian on Patmos; election of Pope Urban II, a prominent member of the Cluniac Reform movement .
  • 1095 Launching of the First Crusade.
  • 1098 Anselm of Canterbury completes Cur Deus homo, marking a radical divergence of Western theology of the atonement from that of the East.
  • 1098 Crusaders capture Antioch.
  • 1099 Crusaders capture Jerusalem founding the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and other crusader states known collectively as "Outremer."
  • 1108 Death of Nicetas of Kiev Caves, Bishop of Novgorod.
  • ca. 1131-45 Coptic Pope of Alexandria Gabriel II initiates addition of Arabic as a liturgical language with his Arabic translation of the Liturgy.
  • 1144 Second Crusade; Muslims take Christian stronghold of Edessa.
  • 1149 Crusaders begin to renovate Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Romanesque style, adding a bell tower.
  • 1159 John of Salisbury authors Policraticus, a treatise on government drawing from the Bible, the Codex Justinianus, and arguing for Divine Right of Kings.
  • 1170 Miracle of the weeping icon of the Theotokos "of the Sign" at Novgorod; Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland; city of Dublin captured by the Roman Catholic Normans.
  • 1176 Sultanate of Rum defeats Byzantine Empire in the Battle of Myriokephalon, marking end of Byzantine attempts to recover Anatolian plateau; Al-Adil I, Muslim ruler of Egypt, suppresses a revolt by Christian Copts in city of Qift, hanging nearly 3,000 of them.
  • 1180 Last formal acceptance of Latins to communion at an Orthodox altar in Antioch.
  • 1182 Maronites, who assisted the Crusaders during the Crusades, reaffirm their affiliation with Rome in 1182; dedication of Monreale Cathedral in Sicily, containing the largest cycle of Byzantine mosaics extant in Italy.
  • 1186 Byzantine Empire recognizes independence of Bulgaria and Serbia.
  • 1187 Saladin retakes Jerusalem after destroying crusader army at Battle of Hattin, and returns Christian holy places to Orthodox Church.
  • 1189 Third Crusade led by King Richard the Lion-Hearted of England, King Philip Augustus II of France, and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.
  • ca. 1189 Ethiopian Emperor Gebre Mesqel Lalibela orders construction of Lalibela.
  • 1204 Fourth Crusade sacks Constantinople, laying waste to the city and stealing many relics and other items; Great Schism generally regarded as having been completed by this act; Theodore I Lascaris establishes the Empire of Nicaea.
  • ca.1207 Stephen Langton divides the Bible into the defined modern chapters in use today.
  • ca.1220 English Bp. Richard Le Poore is said to have been responsible for the final form of the "Use of Sarum", which had the sterling reputation of being the best liturgy anywhere in the West.
  • 1228 Sixth Crusade results in 10-year treaty starting in 1229 between Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and Egyptian sultan; Jerusalem ceded to Franks, along with a narrow corridor to the coast, as well as Nazareth, Sidon, Jaffa and Bethlehem.
  • 1231 Papal Inquisition initiated by Pope Gregory IX, charged with suppressing heresy.
  • 1235 Death of Sava of Serbia.
  • 1237 Golden Horde begin subjugation of Russia.
  • 1240 Mongols sack Kiev; Prince Alexander Nevsky defeats Swedish army at Battle of the Neva.
  • 1242 Alexander Nevsky's Novgorodian force defeats Teutonic Knights in Battle of Lake Peipus, a major defeat for the Catholic crusaders.
  • 1244 Jerusalem conquered and razed by Khwarezmian mercenaries (Oghuz Turks) serving under the Ayyubid ruler of Egypt Salih Ayyub, triggering Seventh Crusade.
  • 1247 Ayyubids conquer Jerusalem, driving out the Khwarezmian Turks.
  • 1258 Michael VIII Palaiologos seizes the throne of the Nicaean Empire, founding the last Roman (Byzantine) dynasty, beginning reconquest of Greek peninsula from Latins.
  • 1259 Byzantines defeat Latin Principality of Achaea at the Battle of Pelagonia, marking the beginning of the Byzantine recovery of Greece.
  • ca. 1259-80 Martyrdom by Latins of monks of Iveron Monastery.
  • 1260 Subjugation of Church of Cyprus to the Roman Catholic Church.
  • 1261 End of Latin occupation of Constantinople and restoration of Orthodox patriarchs; Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos makes Mystras seat of the new Despotate of Morea, where a Byzantine renaissance occurred.
  • 1268 Egyptian Mamelukes capture Antioch.
  • 1269 Orthodox patriarch returns to Antioch after a 171-year exile and usurpation by Latin patriarch.
  • 1274 Second Council of Lyons held, proclaiming union between the Orthodox East and the Roman Catholic West, but generally unaccepted in the East.
  • 1275 Unionist Patriarch of Constantinople John XI Beccus elected to replace Patriarch Joseph I Galesiotes, who opposed Council of Lyons; 26 martyrs of Zographou monastery on Mt. Athos, martyred by the Latins.
  • ca. 1280 Kebra Nagast ("Book of the Glory of Kings") compiled, a repository of Ethiopian national and religious feelings.
  • 1281 Pope Martin IV authorizes a Crusade against the newly re-established Byzantine Empire in Constantinople, excommunicating Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos and the Greeks and renouncing the union of 1274; French and Venetian expeditions set out toward Constantinople but are forced to turn back in the following year due to the Sicilian Vespers.
  • 1291 Fall of Acre; end of crusading in Holy Land.
  • 1298 Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, and Pope Gregory I are named collectively as the first Great Doctors of the Western Church.
  • 1302 Papal Bull Unam Sanctum issued by Pope Boniface VIII proclaims Papal supremacy.
  • 1326 Metr. Peter moves his see from Kiev to Vladimir and then to Moscow.
  • 1332 Amda Syon, Emperor of Ethiopia begins his campaigns in the southern Muslim provinces, allowing for the spread of Christianity to frontier areas.
  • 1336 Meteora in Greece established as a center of Orthodox monasticism.
  • 1338 Gregory Palamas writes Triads in Defense of the Holy Hesychasts, defending the Orthodox practice of hesychast spirituality and the use of the Jesus Prayer.
  • 1340 Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra founded by Sergius of Radonezh.
  • 1341-51 Three sessions of the Ninth Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople, affirming hesychastic theology of Gregory Palamas and condemning rationalistic philosophy of Barlaam of Calabria.
  • 1342 Patriarchate of Antioch transferred to Damascus under Ignatius II.
  • 1349 Prince Stephen Dushan of Serbia assumes the title of Tsar (Caesar); principality of Galicia (Halitsh) comes under Polish control.
  • 1354 Ottoman Turks make first settlement in Europe at Gallipoli.
  • 1359 Death of Gregory Palamas.
  • 1360 Death of John Koukouzelis the Hymnographer.
  • 1379 Western Great Schism ensues, including simultaneous reign of three Popes of Rome.
  • ca. 1380 English Church reformer John Wyclif writes that the true faith is preserved only in the East, "among the Greeks."
  • 1382-95 First English Bible translated by John Wyclif.
  • 1383 Stephen of Perm, missionary to Zyrians, consecrated bishop; appearance of Theotokos of Tikhvin icon.
  • 1385 Kreva Agreement provides for conversion of Lithuanian nobles and all pagan Lithuanians to Roman Catholicism, joining Grand Duchy of Lithuania with the Kingdom of Poland through a dynastic union.
  • 1387 Lithuania converts to Roman Catholicism, while most Ruthenian lands (Belarus and Ukraine) remain Orthodox.
  • 1389 Serbs defeated by Ottoman Turks of Sultan Murad I at the battle of Kosovo Polje; death of Lazar, prince of Serbia.
  • 1390 Ottomans take Philadelphia, last significant Byzantine enclave in Anatolia.
  • 1391-98 Ottoman Turks unsuccessfully besiege Constantinople for the first time.
  • 1410 Iconographer Andrei Rublev paints his most famous icon depicting the three angels who appeared to Abraham and Sarah, the angels being considered a type of the Holy Trinity.
  • 1414-18 Council of Constance in Roman Catholic Church represents high point for Conciliar Movement over authority of pope.
  • 1417 End of Western Great Schism at the Council of Constance.
  • 1418 Latin monk Thomas à Kempis authors The Imitation of Christ.
  • 1422 Second unsuccessful Ottoman siege of Constantinople.
  • 1423-24 Council of Siena in the Roman Catholic Church was the high point of conciliarism, emphasizing the leadership of the bishops gathered in council, but the conciliarism expressed there was later branded as a heresy.
  • 1439 Ecclesiastical reunion with West attempted at Council of Florence, where only Mark of Ephesus refuses to capitulate to demands of delegates from Rome.
  • 1440-41 Encyclical Letter of Mark of Ephesus.
  • 1444 Donation of Constantine proved forgery.
  • 1448 Church of Russia unilaterally declares its independence from the Church of Constantinople.
  • 1452 Unification of Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches in Hagia Sophia on West's terms, when Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos, under pressure from Rome, allows the union to be proclaimed.
  • 1453 Constantinople falls to invasion of the Ottoman Turks, ending Roman Empire; Hagia Sophia turned into a mosque; martyrdom of Constantine XI Palaiologos, last of the Byzantine Emperors; many Greek scholars escape to the West with books that become translated into Latin, triggering the Renaissance.


Post-Imperial era (1453-1821)

Main article: Timeline of Church History (Post-Imperial Era (1453-1821))
  • 1455 Gutenberg makes first printed Bible.
  • 1455-56 Confession of Faith by Patr. Gennadius of Constantinople.
  • 1456-1587 Byzantine Church of Theotokos Pammakaristos became the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
  • 1492 Millennialist movements in Moscow, due to end of church calendar (year 7,000, according to the Byzantine Date of Creation).
  • 1503 Possessor and Non-Possessor controversy.
  • 1516 Desiderius Erasmus publishes "Textus Receptus" of New Testament on the basis of six late manuscripts of the Byzantine text-type.
  • 1517 Maximus the Greek invited to Russia to translate Greek service books and correct Russian ones; Ottomans conquer Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria.
  • 1526 Non-Possessors attack Tsar Vassily III for divorcing his wife and are driven underground.
  • 1529 First Ottoman Siege of Vienna, marking Ottoman Empire's apex and end of Ottoman expansion in central Europe.
  • 1551 Council of the Hundred Chapters in Russia.
  • 1555 Abp. Gurian begins mission to Kazan.
  • 1557 Death of Basil the Blessed.
  • 1568 Pope Pius V recognizes four Great Doctors of the Eastern Church, John Chrysostom, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Athanasius.
  • 1569 Union of Lublin unites Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania into a single state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, placing the Ruthenian Orthodox lands of Belarus, and modern Ukraine under direct Roman Catholic rule.
  • 1571 Restoration of Church of Cyprus to Orthodox rule.
  • 1573-81 Correspondence of Patr. Jeremias II of Constantinople with Lutherans.
  • 1575 Church of Constantinople grants autonomy to Church of Sinai.
  • 1582 Institution of the Gregorian Calendar by Pope Gregory XIII.
  • 1583 Sigillion of 1583 issued against Gregorian Calendar by council convened in Constantinople.
  • 1587–Present. The relatively modest Church of St George in the Phanar district of Istanbul becomes the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
  • 1589 Autocephaly and canonical territory of Church of Russia recognized, as Patr. Jeremias II of Constantinople raises Metr. Job of Moscow to the rank of Patriarch of Moscow and of All Russia.
  • 1596 Union of Brest-Litovsk, several million Ukrainian and Byelorussian Orthodox Christians, living under Polish rule, leave the Church of Constantinople and recognize the Pope of Rome, without giving up their Byzantine liturgy and customs, creating the Uniate church.
  • ca. 1600-1700 Conversion of Albania to Islam mainly through discriminatory tax system, the Djize.
  • 1625 Confession of Faith by Metrophanes Kritopoulos written.
  • 1627 Pope Cyril Lukaris of Alexandria presents Codex Alexandrinus to King Charles I of England for safe keeping.
  • 1633 Ethiopian emperor Fasilides expels Jesuits and other Roman Catholic missionaries from Ethiopia.
  • 1642 Council of Jassy (Iaşi) revises Peter Mogila's confession to remove overtly Roman Catholic theology and confirms canonicity of certain deuterocanonical books.
  • 1646 Union of Uzhhorod joins 63 Ruthenian Orthodox priests from the Carpathian Mountains to Roman Catholic Church on terms similar to Union of Brest.
  • 1652-1658 Patriarch Nikon of Moscow revises liturgical books to bring them into conformity with the Greek liturgical customs, leading to mass excommunication and schism of dissenters, who become known as Old Believers.
  • 1672 Synod of Jerusalem convened by Patr. Dositheos Notaras, refuting article by article the Calvinistic confession of Cyril Lucaris, defining Orthodoxy relative to Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, and defining the Orthodox Biblical canon; acts of this council are later signed by all five patriarchates (including Russia).
  • 1682 The Sabaite Typikon was published in its final form in Russia; from 1682 to 1888 the Greek and Russian Churches shared a common Typikon.
  • 1685 Orthodoxy introduced in Beijing by Church of Russia.
  • 1698 Consecration of the first Orthodox Church in China, in the name of Sophia (Divine Wisdom), when Emperor Kangxi ordered a Buddhist temple to be cleared for Russian inhabitants in Beijing.
  • 1700 The Creation Era calendar in Russia, in use since AD 988 was changed to the Julian Calendar by Peter the Great; Peter the Great published an Ukase on June 18th that made a resounding appeal for the propagation of the faith in Siberia and China.
  • 1700-02 Submission of the dioceses of Lemberg (Lviv) and Luzk (Lutsk) in the Galician area of Ukraine to Roman Catholic Church completes Union of Brest-Litovsk, so that two-thirds of the Orthodox in western Ukraine had become Greek Catholic.
  • 1715 Metr. Arsenios of Thebaid sent to England by Pope Samuel of Alexandria to negotiate with Non-Juror Anglican bishops.
  • 1715-1956 Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in China.
  • 1716-25 Correspondence of Ecumenical Patriarch and Russian Czar with English Non-Jurors.
  • 1721 Czar Peter I of Russia replaces Russian patriarchate with a ruling holy synod.
  • 1724 Melkite schism, in which many faithful from the Church of Antioch become Uniates.
  • 1728 The Ecumenical Patriarchate formally replaced the Creation Era (AM) calendar with the Christian Era (AD).
  • 1731 Death of Innocent of Irkutsk.
  • 1754 Hesychast Renaissance begins with the Kollyvades Movement.
  • 1755 Synod of Constantinople declares Roman Catholic baptism invalid and ordered baptism of converts from Roman Catholicism.
  • 1756 Sigillion of 1756 issued against the Gregorian Calendar by Patr. Cyril V of Constantinople.
  • 1767 Ottoman Empire legally divides Church of the Holy Sepulchre among claimants.
  • 1767-1815 Suppression of the Jesuits in Roman Catholic countries, subsequently finding refuge in Orthodox nations, particularly in Russia.
  • 1768 Jews are massacred during riots in Russia-occupied Poland.
  • ca. 1770 About 1,200 Kiev region Uniate churches return to Orthodoxy under political pressure from Russia.
  • 1774 Russia and Ottoman Empire sign treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji, bringing Russia for the first time into the Mediterranean as the acknowledged protector of Orthodox Christians.
  • 1779 Death of Kosmas Aitolos.
  • 1782 First publication of Philokalia; autonomy of Church of Sinai confirmed by Church of Constantinople.
  • 1793-95 Over 2,300 Uniate churches became Orthodox under Tsarina Catherine the Great.
  • 1794 Missionaries, including Herman of Alaska, arrive at Kodiak Island, bringing Orthodoxy to Russian Alaska; death of Paisius Velichkovsky of Moldova and Mt. Athos.
  • 1796 Nicodemus the Hagiorite publishes Unseen Warfare in Venice.
  • 1798 Patriarch Anthimios of Jerusalem contended that the Ottoman Empire was part of the Divine Dispensation granted by God to protect Orthodoxy from the taint of Roman Catholicism and of Western secularism and irreligion.
  • 1800 The Rudder published and printed in Athens.
  • 1805 Death of Makarios of Corinth, a central figure in the Kollyvades movement.
  • 1811 Autocephaly of the Church of Georgia revoked by the Russian imperial state after Georgia's annexation, making it subject to the Church of Russia.
  • 1819 Council at Constantinople endorses views of Kollyvades fathers.

Modern era (1821-1917)

Main article: Timeline of Church History (Modern Era (1821-1917))

Communist era (1917-1991)

Main article: Timeline of Church History (Communist Era (1917-1991))

Post-Communist era (1991-Present)

Main article: Timeline of Church History (Post-Communist Era (1991-Present))
  • 1991 Representatives of Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches meet in Chambesy, Switzerland, discussing relations with World Council of Churches.
  • 1992 Synaxis of primates of Orthodox churches in Constantinople.
  • 1993 Orthodox-Roman Catholic Joint Theological Commission meets in Balamand, Lebanon, issuing common document "Uniatism: Method of Union of the Past, and Present. Search for Full Communion" (the "Balamand document"); Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission issues statement "The Ecumenical Councils."
  • 1993 Church of Cyprus condemns Freemasonry; Orthodox Study Bible: New Testament and Psalms published; Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church becomes autocephalous.
  • 1994 Ligonier Meeting in Western Pennsylvania at Antiochian Village held by the majority of Orthodox hierarchs in North America votes to do away with the notion of Orthodox Christians in America being a "diaspora".
  • 1995 Patr. Bartholomew I visits Vatican; Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission issues statement "Understanding of Salvation in the Light of the Ecumenical Councils"; Pope John Paul II issues encyclical Orientale Lumen, encouraging reunion between East and West.
  • 1996 Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America reorganized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, dividing the administration of the two continents into four parts.
  • 1998 Church of Constantinople, not recognizing Russia's right to issue a tomos of autocephaly in 1951, issues its own tomos for the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia; Thessaloniki Summit held to discuss Orthodox participation in WCC; Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission issues statement "Salvation: Grace, Justification and Synergy."
  • 1999 Numerous Serbian Orthodox sites in Kosovo and Metohia destroyed and desecrated during NATO peacekeeping presence.
  • 2000 Orthodox-Roman Catholic Joint Theological Commission meets in Baltimore, discusses text on "The Ecclesiological and Canonical Implications of Uniatism," but is suspended; Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission issues statement "Word and Sacraments (Mysteria) in the Life of the Church".
  • 2001 Pope John Paul II of Rome apologizes to Orthodox Church for Fourth Crusade; Chalcedonian and Non-Chalcedonian Patriarchates of Alexandria agree to mutually recognize baptisms and marriages performed in each other's churches.
  • 2002 Patr. Bartholomew I (Archontonis) of Constantinople and Pope John Paul II co-sign Venice Declaration of Environmental Ethics; Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission issues statement "Mysteria/Sacraments as Means of Salvation."
  • 2003 Orthodox Churches in Europe commemorated the 550th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople in May; Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America granted "self-rule" (similar but not identical to autonomy) by Church of Antioch; Coptic priest Fr. Zakaria Botros begins his television and internet mission to Muslims in North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and western countries, resulting in thousands of conversions.
  • 2004 Pope John Paul II returns relics of John Chrysostom and Gregory the Theologian to Church of Constantinople; Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission statement "Baptism and Chrismation as Sacraments of Initiation into the Church."
  • 2006 Pope Benedict XVI visits Ecumenical Patriarchate, drawing criticism from Mount Athos; Abp. Christodoulos (Paraskevaides) of Athens visits Vatican; Lutheran-Orthodox Joint Commission issues statement "The Holy Eucharist in the Life of the Church."
  • 2007 Restoration of full communion between Moscow Patriarchate and ROCOR; synod of over 50 bishops of the Church of Ukraine announce that the UOC-MP is "an autonomous, historical part of the Russian Orthodox Church"; Orthodox-Roman Catholic Joint Commission meets in Ravenna, Italy, 10th plenary, led by co-presidents Cardinal Walter Kasper and Metr. John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon, agreeing upon a joint document consisting of 46 articles providing an ecclesiastical road map in discussing union; Russian delegation walks out of Ravenna talks in protest of presence of Estonian delegation (EP).
  • 2008 Orthodox Study Bible (with Septuagint) published; Pan-Orthodox meeting in Constantinople in October of the Primates of the fourteen Orthodox Churches, signing a document calling for inter-orthodox unity and collaboration and "the continuation of preparations for the Holy and Great Council".
  • 2009 The 4th Pan-Orthodox pre-conciliar consultation was held in Chambésy on June 6-13; Death of popular Elder Joseph of Vatopedi, July 1.
Timeline of Church History
Eras Timeline of Church History (Abridged article)
Eras New Testament Era | Apostolic Era (33-100) | Ante-Nicene Era (100-325) | Nicene Era (325-451) | Byzantine Era (451-843) | Late Byzantine Era (843-1054) | Post-Roman Schism (1054-1453) | Post-Imperial Era (1453-1821) | Modern Era (1821-1917) | Communist Era (1917-1991) | Post-Communist Era (1991-Present) |
(Main articles)


  • Some of these dates are necessarily a bit vague, as records for some periods are particularly difficult to piece together accurately.
  • The division of Church History into separate eras as done here will always be to some extent arbitrary, though it was attempted to group periods according to major watershed events.
  • This timeline is necessarily biased toward the history of the Orthodox Church, though a number of non-Orthodox or purely political events are mentioned for their importance in history related to Orthodoxy or for reference.

See also

Published works

The following are published writings that provide an overview of Church history:

From an Orthodox perspective

From a Heterodox perspective

  • Boer, Harry R. A Short History of the Early Church. (ISBN 0802813399)
  • Cairns, Earle E. Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church. (ISBN 0310208122)
  • Chadwick, Henry. The Early Church. (ISBN 0140231994)
  • Collins, Michael, ed.; Price, Matthew Arlen. Story of Christianity: A Celebration of 2000 Years of Faith. (ISBN 0789446057)
  • Eusebius Pamphilus; Cruse, C.F. (translator). Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History. (ISBN 1565633717)
  • Gonzalez, Justo L. A History of Christian Thought, Volume 1: From the Beginnings to the Council of Chalcedon. (ISBN 0687171822)
  • Gonzalez, Justo L. A History of Christian Thought, Volume 2: From Augustine to the Eve of the Reformation. (ISBN 0687171830)
  • Gonzalez, Justo L. A History of Christian Thought, Volume 3: From the Protestant Reformation to the Twentieth Century. (ISBN 0687171849)
  • Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity, Volume 1: The Early Church to the Reformation. (ISBN 0060633158)
  • Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity, Volume 2: Reformation to the Present Day. (ISBN 0060633166)
  • Hall, Stuart G. Doctrine and Practice in the Early Church. (ISBN 0802806295)
  • Hastings, Adrian, ed. A World History of Christianity. (ISBN 0802848753)
  • Hurtado, Larry W. (Dr). Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005. (ISBN 9780802831675)
  • Hussey, J. M. The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire: Oxford History of the Christian Church. (ISBN 0198264569)
  • Jones, Timothy P. Christian History Made Easy. (ISBN 1890947105)
  • Noll, Mark A. Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity. (ISBN 080106211X)
  • Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Volume 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600). (ISBN 0226653714)
  • Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Volume 2: The Spirit of Eastern Christendom (600-1700). (ISBN 0226653730)
  • Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Volume 3: The Growth of Medieval Theology (600-1300). (ISBN 0226653749)
  • Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Volume 4: Reformation of Church and Dogma (1300-1700). (ISBN 0226653773)
  • Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Volume 5: Christian Doctrine and Modern Culture (since 1700). (ISBN 0226653803)
  • Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church. (ISBN 156563196X)
  • Wace, Henry; Piercy, William C., ed. A Dictionary of Christian Biography: Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A.D. With an Account of the Principal Sects and Heresies. (ISBN 1565630572)
  • Walton, Robert C. Chronological and Background Charts of Church History. (ISBN 0310362814)

External links