The Curse of the Corporation
Part VIII 227 CE to 379 CE
230 - 235 CE - Italy - Pontian (or Pontianus), was pope from July 21, 230 to September 28, 235. A little more is known of Pontian than his predecessors, apparently from a lost papal chronicle that was available to the compiler of the Liberian Catalogue of bishops of Rome, made in the fourth century.
During his pontificate the schism of Hippolytus came to an end. Pontian and other church leaders, among them Hippolytus, were exiled by the emperor Maximinus Thrax to Sardinia, and in consequence of this sentence resigned on September 25 or September 28, 235 CE. It is unknown for how long he stayed in exile, but according to Liber Pontificalis he died due to the inhuman treatment he received in the Sardinian mines. His remains were brought to Rome by Pope Fabian and buried in the Catacomb of Callistus. His epitaph was rediscovered in 1909 CE in the crypt of St. Cecilia, Rome, near the papal crypt, reading PONTIANOS, EPISK. ("Pontianus, bishop"). The inscripton "MARTUR" ("martyr") had been added in another hand.
His feast day was November 19, but is now August 13, sharing it with the Anti-pope Hippolytus.
230 CE - Egypt - That Christmas was originally a Pagan festival is beyond all doubt. The time of the year and the ceremonies with which it is still celebrated prove its origin. In Egypt, the son of Isis, the Egyptian title for the queen of heaven, was born at this very time, "about the time of the winter solstice." The Egyptians celebrated this day as the birth day of their great saviour Horus, the Egyptian god of light and the son of the "virgin mother" and "queen of the heavens," Isis. Osiris, god of the dead and the underworld in Egypt, the son of "the holy virgin," again was believed to have been born on the 25th of December.
The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among ourselves - Yule-day - proves at once its Pagan and Babylonian origin. "Yule" is the Chaldee name for an "infant" or "little child"; and as the 25th of December was called by our Pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors, "Yule-day," or the "Child's day," and the night that preceded it, "Mother-night," long before they came in contact with Christianity, that sufficiently proves its real character. Tertullian (A)
Grolier's encyclopedia says: "Christmas is the feast of the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated on December 25 … Despite the beliefs about Christ that the birth stories expressed, the church did not observe a festival for the celebration of the event until the 4th century … since 274, under the emperor Aurelian, Rome had celebrated the feast of the "Invincible Sun" on December 25. In the Eastern Church, January 6, a day also associated with the winter solstice, was in itially preferred. In course of time, however, the West added the Eastern date as the Feast of the Epiphany, and the East added the Western date of Christmas."
The Greeks celebrated the 25th of December as the birthday of Hercules, the son of the supreme god of the Greeks, Zeus, through the mortal woman Alcmene. Bacchus, the god of wine and revelry among the Romans (known among the Greeks as Dionysus) was also born on this day.
Adonis, revered as a "dying-and-rising god" among the Greeks, miraculously was also born on the 25th of December. His worshipers held him a yearly festival representing his death and resurrection, in midsummer. The ceremonies of his birthday are recorded to have taken place in the same cave in Bethlehem which is claimed to have been the birth place of Jesus.
The Scandinavians celebrated the 25th of December as the birthday of their god Freyr, the son of their supreme god of the heavens, Odin.
The Romans observed this day as the birthday of the god of the sun, Natalis Solis Invicti ("Birthday of Sol the invincible"). There was great rejoicing and all shops were closed. There was illumination and public games. Presents were exchanged, and the slaves were indulged in great liberties. Remember, these are the same Romans who would later preside over the Council of Nicea (325 CE) which lead to the official Christian recognition of the "Trinity" as the "true" nature of God, and the "fact" that Jesus was born on the 25th of December also.
The first revelation of the Supreme Cause in its triple manifestation of spirit, force, and matter; the divine correlation, at its starting point of evolution, allegorized as the marriage of fire and water, products of electrifying spirit, union of the male active principle with the female passive element, which become the parents of their tellurian child, cosmic matter, the prima materia, whose spirit is ether, the ASTRAL LIGHT!
Isis Unveiled, Vol. 1, Chap. 5, Topic of "Supreme Cause," Helena Blavatsky, 1877.
"The Roman Christians, ignorant of his (Christ's) birth, fixed the solemn festival to the 25th of December, the Brumalia, or Winter Solstice, when the Pagans annually celebrated the birth of Sol."
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon, vol. ii, p. 383, 1788.
Christmas is not the only Christian festival which was borrowed from ancient paganism and foisted upon the religion of Jesus. There is also Easter, the Feast of St. John, the Holy communion, the Annunciation of the virgin, the assumption of the virgin, and many others which have their roots in ancient pagan worship.
230 - 237 CE - Turkey - Castinus becomes Bishop of Byzantium.
234 - 304 CE - Syria - Porphyry is born Malchus ("king") in either Tyre or Batanaea in Syria, but his teacher in Athens, Cassius gave him the name Porphyrius (clad in purple), a jesting allusion to the color of the imperial robes. Under Longinus he studied grammar and rhetoric. In 262 CE, he went to Rome, attracted by the reputation of Plotinus, and for six years devoted himself to the study of Neoplatonism. Having injured his health by overwork, he went to live in Sicily for five years. On his return to Rome, he lectured on philosophy and endeavoured to render the obscure doctrines of Plotinus (who had died in the meantime) intelligible to the ordinary understanding. His most distinguished pupil was lamblichus, who differed with Porphyry on the issue of theurgy. In his later years, he married Marcella, a widow with seven children and an enthusiastic student of philosophy. Little more is known of his life, and the date of his death is uncertain.
Porphyry is well known as a violent opponent of Christianity and defender of Paganism; of his Adversus Christianas (Against the Christians) in fifteen books, perhaps the most important of all his works, only fragments remain. Counter-treatises were written by Eusebius of Caesarea, Apollinarius (or Apollinaris) of Laodicea, Methodius of Olympus, and Macarius of Magnesia, but all these are lost. Porphyry's view of the Book of Daniel, that it was the work of a writer in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes is given by Jerome. There is no proof of the assertion of Socrates, the ecclesiastical historian, and Augustine, that Porphyry was once a Christian.
He also wrote widely on religion, philosophy, and musical theory; and produced a biography of his teacher, Plotinus. His most famous existant book is about Pythagoras, named Vita Pythagorae or Life of Pythagoras, not to be confused with the book of the same name by Iamblichus.
235 - 238 CE - Italy - Maximinus Thrax rules as Roman Emperor, with uprisings by Magnus and Quartinus. Maximinus Thrax became the Roman Emperor determined to strike at Roman Church leaders. He arrested both Hippolytus (217 - 235 CE) and Pontian, and deported them to Sardinia. Pontian abdicated on September 28, 235 CE, thus becoming the first Papa of Rome to do so. This however did not save his life. Both Papas's died shortly from harsh treatment at Sardinia, which was known as the Island of Death. Some Church historians have attempted to detach from Hippolytus some of his writings and assign them to another hand.
235 - 236 CE - Italy - Anterus, a Greek, became Papa of Rome and died a natural death the following year. Papa Donatus of Carthage excommunicated Papa Privatus of Lambaesis at the Africa synod. Papa Fabian of Rome later supported this action.
236 - 250 CE - Italy - Fabian, a Roman, becomes Papa of Rome. Emperor Thrax did not harass this Papa, while Emperor Gordian III and Emperor Philip the Arab also showed sympathy towards him. Fabian held a great deal of influence in the Roman Courts and used this position to restructure the Roman Church. Donatus, Papa of Carthage, condemned Privatus, Papa of Lambaesis, at an African council with the support of the Papa of Rome. The Roman Church speaks of a great church with a single rule of faith that shuns extremity and eccentricity. The Roman Orthodox Church outlawed the Gnostic, Marcionites and Montanist sects of Christianity.
237 - 242 CE - Turkey - Eugenius I becomes Bishop of Byzantium.
238 CE - Italy - Roman subjects in Africa revolt against the emperor Maximinus and elected as emperor their proconsul Marcus Antonius Gordianus Africanus, 80. A rich descendant of the Gracchi and the emperor Trajan, Gordianus yields to public demand that he succeed Maximinus. The Senate and most of the provinces support him, but a supporter of Maximinus besieges Gordianus for 36 days at Carthage. Gordianus commits suicide at news that his son and namesake, Gordian II, 46, is dead, having died trying to defend Rome from an army faithful to Maximinus.
Following the deaths of Gordian I and Gordian II and the collapse of their rebellion against Maximinus Thrax in April of 238 CE, the Senate found itself in an extremely difficult position. Having declared the Emperor Maximinus, a public enemy, it had to face the prospect of an imminent invasion as Maximinus, at the head of his army, had already crossed into Italy from his winter quarters at Sirmium. Acting with unusual alacrity, the Senate, meeting in an emergency session in the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, elected two emperors, Clodius Pupienus and D. Caelius Calvinus Balbinus.
The Praetorian Guard, frustrated over the election of Senatorial emperors, and fearful that they would be cashiered by Pupienus and replaced by his German bodyguard who had accompanied him back from Aquileia, marched on the palace in order to stage a coup d' état. Pupienus, having learned of the danger, pleaded with Balbinus to summon the German bodyguard. Balbinus, for his part, fearful that the whole affair was being staged by Pupienus to assassinate him, refused, and a fierce argument broke out between the two just as the guard, in a murderous rage, burst into the room, seized both emperors and dragged them back to their camp where, amid a hail of sword-blows and insults, they were hacked to death.
Meanwhile, the Roman populace proclaimed the grandson of Gordian I as the emperor Marcus Antonius Gordianus III, then 14 years of age. The praetorians conspired to murder the emperor Maximinus in mid-June, the Praetorian Guard named young Gordianus as sole emperor, and he began a six year reign.
238 - 244 CE - Italy - Gordian III rules Rome as Emperor, and subsequently dropped the policy of Christian persecution.
240 - 272 CE - Persia (Iran) - Shapur I rules as the great king of the Sassanid Empire.
240 CE - Italy - Sabinianus attempts to rule Rome as Emperor after a short-lived uprising in Africa.
242 - 272 CE - Turkey - Titus becomes Bishop of Byzantium.
244 CE - Iran - The Roman emperor Gordianus III drives a Persian army back across the Euphrates and defeats the Persians in the Battle of Resaena. Mutinous soldiers murder the emperor at the urging of the Arabian Marcus Julius Philippus. They proclaim Philippus emperor, and he makes a disgraceful peace with the Persians.
Philip the Arab
244 - 249 CE - Italy - Philip the Arab was born in the Roman province of Arabia, in what today is the village of Shahba, roughly 55 miles south-southeast of Damascus. The village was obscure at the time of Philip's birth, though once he became emperor, Philip renamed the community Philippopolis and embarked on a major building campaign.
244 CE - Italy - The Roman philosopher Plotinus carried the Neoplatonic doctrine to Rome, where he established a school. He is regarded as the founder of Neoplatonism. [Enc]
246 - 266 CE - Nubia (Sudan) - King Teqerideamani II rules Nubia.
247 - 249 CE - Italy - Philip Iunior son of Philip the Arab, was named as Emperor of Rome. Within six months of the beginning of his reign, Philip had appointed his son as Caesar and heir. Three years later, in the summer of 247 CE, the boy was named Augustus and co-ruler, even though he was probably not yet 10 years old. His mother, Otacilia Severa, is last named on coins in the year 248 CE, leading to speculation that she may have died in that year.
248 CE - Italy - Pacatianus, Iotapianus, Silbannacus, and Sponsianus were all rival claimants as Emperor of the Roman Empire against Philip the Arab.
249 CE - Italy - The Pannonian-born Roman commander Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus Decius, 48, puts down a revolt of troops in Moesia and Pannonia. Loyal troops proclaim Decius emperor, and he kills the emperor Philippus, who has advanced to oppose him at Verona. When news of Philip's defeat and death reached Rome, the praetorian guard murdered Philip's son and colleague.
249 - 251 CE - Italy - Decius was named Roman Emperor for the area in Europe covering the Danube River. Decius institutes the first wholesale persecution of Christians in an attempt to restore the religion and institutions of ancient Rome. The persecution produces martyrs who will be revered as saints.
A potentially serious revolt broke out while Decius was out of Rome in 250 CE fighting the Goths. Julius Valens Licinianus, also a member of the Senatorial aristocracy with some popular support, took the purple at the Empire's capital. It appears to have been relatively short-lived grab for power, ending in a few days with his execution.
T. Julius Priscus, the governor of Macedon, permitted himself to also be proclaimed Augustus at Philippopolis towards the end of 251 CE, probably with Gothic collusion. The Senate declared him a public enemy almost as soon as he chose usurpation. He probably survived Decius, but is likely to have perished when Gallus became emperor.
250 CE - Italy - The Black Plague struck the Roman Empire, and deaths in Rome numbered five hundred per day. Before it ended in 265 CE, much of the empire is depopulated. There is some evidence to support the contention that the Mongolian peoples brought the Black Plague with their western intrusion. The Romans under Emperor Decius however, blamed the Jews and Christians, beginning another session of persecutions. Fabian, Papa of Rome, is one of the first to be executed. Few people are executed, but many left the faith.
250 - 330 CE - Italy - Iamblichus, (neoplatonist), is born. [>]
3rd Cent. CE - France - Kybele (Cybele) was the highest godhead among the Gauls in the city of Lyon that later became site of a cult of the Black Madonna. [p37MA]
250 - 950 CE - Central America - The Classical Mayan Period begins. The architectural, mathematical, astronomical and calendrical sciences developed fast. [$13]
251 - 253 CE - Italy - A Roman priest, Cornelius was elected during the lull in the persecution under Emperor Decius and after the papacy had been vacant for more than a year following Pope St. Fabian's martyrdom. Cornelius' pontificate was complicated by a schism, one cause of which was the self-appointment of the Roman priest Novatian as anti-pope (the second in papal history); and the second, the dispute over the church's attitude toward Christian apostates. Cornelius was supported by St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, and many African and Eastern bishops.
When Christian persecution resumed in 253 CE, Cornelius was exiled to Centumcellae, where he died either from hardships or decapitation. Several of his letters, including some to Cyprian, survive. His feast day is kept with Cyprian's.
251 CE - Italy - Herennius Etruscus and Hostilian become Emperors of Rome. Decius and Herennius Etruscus, son of Trebonianus Gallus, became the first Roman emperors to be killed by foreign enemies in the field of battle.
The emperor Decius and his son die fighting the Goths on swampy ground in the Dobrudja.The survivng men proclaimed Trebonianus Gallus emperor, even though Decius' young son Hostilian already held nominal power in Rome. His treacherous general Gaius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus, 46, succeeds as emperor, makes peace with the Goths, permits them to keep their plunder, and offers them a bribe not to return. This potential conflict resolved itself later that year when a virulent outbreak of plague took the boy's life, and his mother (the Augusta Herennia Etruscilla) was deposed.
251 - 253 CE - Italy - Trebonianus Gallus and Volusianus rule Rome as co-emperors. In 252 CE, Trebonianus Gallus arrested and imprisoned Papa Cornelius, later banishing him to Centumcellae near Rome.
While the Persians were attacking the eastern frontier, trouble also occurred on the northern frontier. Gallus' replacement as governor of Upper Moesia, Aemilius Aemilianus, refused to pay the annual tribute to the Goths agreed to by Gallus in 251 CE. In retaliation for the Roman breach of the peace treaty, the Goths once again invaded the Lower Danube. Aemilianus gathered an army and was able to defeat the invading Goths and as a reward, his grateful troops proclaimed him as emperor. He immediately stripped the area of troops and marched his army towards Rome. In an effort to prevent Aemilianus from reaching Italy, Gallus and Volusianus gathered an army and marched north. Gallus also requested Publius Licinius Valerianus to bring reinforcements south from Germany to join up with his forces marching north, but they never arrived. Gallus' army moved slowly and had only reached Interamna by August of 253 CE when word reached them that Aemilianus had already crossed into Italy with a large force and was rapidly approaching. Learning of this and fearing defeat, Gallus' troops mutinied and murdered the two co-emperors.
Map by Gabriel Bodennehr of Civitavecchia
Civita Vecchia Centumcellae
Centumcellae is a city on the Via Aurelia 4 miles north of Cape Linaro, the first real promontory on the Tyrrhenian shore north of the Tiber River. It was founded to support a port Trajan had built there c. 106 CE and has owed its continuing prosperity to the excellence of its harbor.
252 - 712 CE - Spain - The Holy Grail of the Last Supper is kept in Aragón, Spain, according to Catholic tradition.
253 CE - Sweden - The Alemanni and Franks had penetrate as far as Spain and are believed to have originally come from Sweden. The Franks are a group of people who do not wish to be enslaved by Rome and therefore formed a confederation. The Franks are a group of various Scandivian warriors, distinguished by their long hair, blue eyes and largeness of limb. The Frank confederation is a group of slave traders, sellers of swords, mercenary raiders and farmers. They established their leaders by elections, through the assembly of free men.
253 CE - Italy - Uranius Antoninus becomes Roman Emperor. He rose to prominence in the unsettled conditions of the mid 3rd-Century only to vanish through circumstances unknown into historical obscurity.
Aemilius Aemilianus becomes Roman Emperor. The epigraphic and numismatic evidence for Aemilianus' reign is unremarkable. Numerous erasures from inscriptions testify to an official damnatio memoriæ, perhaps reflected in John of Antioch's comment that Aemilianus "disappeared from mankind." Aemilianus' historical importance may simply be that his rise and fall offers a signal example of some systemic problems involving the interrelationships between troops, commanders, senate, and emperors that define in part the so-called "Crisis of the Third Century." On a specific level, the sequence of events subsequent to his usurpation brought to power the ill-fated Valerian.
Roman soldiers who had campaigned against the barbarians on the Danube elected the governor of Pannonia and Moesia as emperor. The emperor Gallus marched out to meet his rival. The new emperor Aemilianus defeated Gallus and killed him but died himself soon after, and a supporter of Gallus who arrived too late to save him won the support of the legions, who elected him emperor. Publius Licinius Valerianus, 60, began a seven year reign as the emperor Valerian.
253 - 260 CE - Italy - Valerian, as Roman emperor, came from an old Roman senatorial family. The Senate presumably was pleased to ratify the position of Valerian, one of their own, as emperor and they also accepted his son and colleague, P. Licinius Egnatius Gallienus, as Augustus, rather than just as Caesar.
In the course of a digression on a Persian surprise attack on Antioch during the reign of Gallienus, Ammianus Marcellinus mentions that a certain "Mareades, who had inconsiderately brought the Persians there to the destructions of his own people, was burned alive"
253 - 268 CE - Italy - Gallienus becomes Roman Emperor. In 268 CE, Gallienus saw his third son, Marinianus, become consul, but in the spring another Gothic invasion brought the emperor back to Greece. He defeated the invaders at Naissus in Moesia , but was deterred from pursuing them further by a revolt of the commander of his elite cavalry, Aureolus. He besieged this last rebel emperor in Milan, but a plot involving his Praetorian Prefect and two future emperors, Claudius II and Aurelian, all three men Illyrians popular with many of the soldiers, lured Gallienus away from the city on a false pretext and assassinated him.The emperor's brother Valerian and young son Marinianus were also murdered. In spite of the bitter resentment which many of the senators must have felt toward the dead emperor and his reform policies, Claudius II, perhaps only to legitimize his own reign, persuaded the Senate to deify Gallienus.
253 - 254 CE - Italy - Lucius I was pope for eight months. Born in Rome at an unknown date, nothing is known about his family except his father's name, Porphyrian. He election might have been on June 25, 253 CE, and he died on March 5, 254 CE. His election took place during the persecution which caused the banishment of his predecessor Pope Cornelius, and he also was banished soon after his consecration, but succeeded in gaining permission to return. He is referred to in several letters of Cyprian (see Epist. Ixviii. 5) as having been in agreement with his Cornelius in preferring the milder view on allowing restoration of lapsed penitents.
Tradition claims that he was martyred in the persecution of Valerian, but as that is known to have started later than March 254 CE, this seems unlikely.
His tombstone is still extant in the cemetery of St. Calixtus. His relics were later brought to the church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, along with the relics of St. Cecilia and others. His head is preserved in a reliquary in St. Ansgar Catholic cathedral in Copenhagen, Denmark. The relic was brought to Roskilde around the year 1100 CE, after Lucius had been declared patron of the Danish region Zealand. It is among the few relics to have survived the Reformation in Denmark.
St. Stephen I
254 - 257 CE - Italy - Stephen I, an ardent Roman, is elected Papa of Rome and clashed with the influential Cyprain, Papa Cyprian (200 - 258 CE) of Carthage. Papa Cyprian and the Churches of Syria, Asia Minor and North Africa believed any baptism administered by heretic was invalid and, therefore, the individual needed to be re-baptized by a non-heretic. The Churches of Rome, Alexandria and Palestine are adamant that heretical baptism is valid. The Papa's held two synods, in 255 CE and 256 CE, that reaffirmed this position. Stephen, Papa of Rome, determined to impose Roman theology on the churches, held his own synod and excommunicated the Churches of Asia Minor. Many Papas's blame Stephen for splitting the church due to his uncompromising position. Cyprian (d. 258 CE) claimed that Papa's of Rome are not superior to any other Papa's. Stephen I attempted to establish his authority by adopting the phrase 'the Chair of Peter,' which means that the Papa of Rome has authority over all other churches. This move failed to impress anyone and the issue was laid to rest until Damasus I and Leo I again raised the issue.
256 CE - Germany - The Roman Rhine frontier is shattered and the Gauls are overrun by the Franks and Alemanni confederation. The Franks and Alemanni penetrate toward Spain and Italy. The Celts struck toward the Balkins into Anatolia. Licinius Valerianus (Valerian), who became Roman Emperor, is the general who fought unsuccessfully against the Franks.
St. Sixtus II
257 - 258 CE - Italy - St. Sixtus II, alias Xystus, a Greek, is elected Papa of Rome. Roman Emperor Valerian ordered Christians to take part in Roman ceremonies and forbade them to assemble. The Emperor issued a second edict ordering the execution of Christian Papa's, priests and deacons. The Papa of Rome and six deacons are executed August 6, 258 CE in the cemetery of Praetextatus. The Emperor effectively eliminated the whole Diaconal College of Rome, driving the Roman Church underground. It would be many months before the Roman Church is rebuilt.
258 CE - Italy - Roman Emperor Valerian orders anyone who would not renounce Christianity to be put to death.
259 - 268 CE - Italy - Dionysius was pope from July 22, 259 CE to December 26, 268 CE. He may have been born in Greece, but this has not been verified. Dionysius was elected at the end of the period of persecution by Emperor Valerian I, who was captured and killed by the King of Persia in 260 CE. To the new pope fell the task of reorganizing the Roman church, which had fallen into great disorder. On the protest of some of the faithful at Alexandria, he demanded from the bishop of Alexandria, also called Dionysius, explanations concerning his doctrine regarding the relation of God to the Logos, which was satisfied.
Pope Dionysius sent large sums of money to the churches of Cappadocia, which had been devastated by the marauding Goths, to rebuild and to ransom those held captive. He brought order to the Church and procured a peace after Emperor Gallienus issued an edict of toleration which was to last until 303 CE. Dionysius is the first pope who is not listed as a martyr. He died on December 26, 268 CE.
A rock relief at Naqsh-e Rostam, Iran, depicting the triumph of Shapur I over the Roman Emperor Valerian, and Philip the Arabian
260 CE - Persia (Iran) - The Sassanids, under Persian King Shapoor I, defeat and capture the Roman Emperor Valerian, one of only two Roman Emperors ever captured in battle by a foreign enemy the other being Romanus IV, captured at Manzikert in 1071 CE.
Rome's Emperor Valerian is defeated by Persia's Shapur I at Edessa, seized treacherously at a parley, and flayed alive. His son and co-emperor Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus, 42, reigns alone as the empire comes under attack on all sides by Berbers, Franks, Goths, Palmyrans, Vandals, and plague.
260 - 269 CE - France - Postumus becomes Gallic Roman Emperor through usurpation and rebellion. Gallienus, the Emperor in Rome, was unable to take swift and effective military actions, when - probably in the summer of 260 CE, another usurper, M. Cassianius Latinius Postumus, rebelled on the Rhine frontier. The exact position of Postumus on the moment of the revolt is not known, but the context makes it clear that he was commanding troops on the Rhine frontier. The direct reason for this rebellion seems to have been a quarrel about booty taken from a barbarian raiding-party destroyed on its way home by Postumus and his soldiers. While Postumus had distributed the booty to his men, the praetorian prefect Silvanus ordered him to surrender the booty to himself and the Caesar Saloninus, the son of Gallienus, whom his father had left behind as his representative in the town of Cologne, under the guardianship of Silvanus. Postumus' troops rebelled and proclaimed their commander imperator. They marched against and laid siege to Cologne. The garrison in the town was compelled to hand over Saloninus and Silvanus, both were put to death.
The area controlled by Postumus after his rebellion in 260 CE consisted of Germania inferior and Germania superior as well as of Raetia and the whole of Gaul (except for the southern parts of Lugdunensis and perhaps also Narbonensis). From 261 CE on, it also included Britain and the Spain. Neither he nor his successors made any attempt to extend the Gallic Empire further to the south or the east.
A rebellion lead by Ulpius Cornelius Laelianus at Moguntiacum (Mainz) occurred in 269 CE. There is no direct written or epigraphic evidence for the office Laelianus held at the time of his revolt against Postumus, but it seems most likely that he held an office in Germania Superior, either as legatus legionis XXII Primigenie or as governor of Germania Superior. His rebellion can be explained only on the grounds of a growing dissatisfaction of the troops of the Rhine-army with their commander in chief and emperor Postumus. How deep these tensions had become became apparent after the successful action against the usurper: no sooner had Postumus taken Moguntiacum and thus ended the ephemerous rebellion of Laelianus than he was murdered by his own troops for refusing them to sack the city. In his place, the troops raised to the purple a simple soldier, Marcus Arelius Marius, who was shortly afterwards killed and replaced by Marcus Piav(v)onius Victorinus.
260 CE - Italy - Ingenuus becomes Roman Emperor. Ingenuus was one of the many alternative claimants to the imperial purple with whom Gallienus had to deal in the course of his fifteen-year reign (253 - 268 CE). He was evidently appointed to a senior command in Pannonia by Gallienus himself. That command may have included the supervising of Gallienus' young son, Valerian II. If this was the case, then his tutelage of the boy ceased when Valerian II died in 258 CE. From that point on, his political position must have been more tenuous. If so, he certainly benefited from Gallienus being distracted by other matters.
One source, and that the least reliable, dates Ingenuus' revolt against Gallienus to 258 CE. This testimony runs counter to the information from the more mainstream literary sources, which note that Ingenuus' revolt was one of a number after Valerian was seized by the Persians in 260. The capture of the elder Valerian by the Persians provided him, as it did others, with encouragement to cement his position by the overthrow of the remnant of a failing dynasty.
As it turned out, it was Gallienus who proved victorious. A speedy march to Pannonia was followed by victory at Mursa in which the new cavalry arm distinguished itself and the valour of Aureolus commended itself to Gallienus. Ingenuus himself died, either in the rout, or as a suicide, to evade capture.
The survivors of Ingenuus' rebellion were gathered by Regalianus, who renewed the revolt in Pannonia. The Historia Augusta notes that Regalianus was not defeated by Gallienus, but by a combination of his own people and the Roxolani, after he had bravely contended with the Sarmatians.
St. Dionysius, a Greek, becomes Papa of Rome and reorganizes the church. Roman Emperor Gallienus restores the church property and positions.
"It is an act of virtue to deceive and lie, when by such means the interest of the church might be promoted."
Quote by Bishop Eusubius, 260 - 339 CE.
260 - 261 CE - Italy - The usurpers of the Roman Empire from the east known as the Macriani Macrianus Senior, Macrianus Iunior, and Quietus. When Valerian was captured by the Persians in 260 CE, his son Gallienus, coregent already since 253 CE, became sole emperor, but he was far away in the west. Therefore, in response to the military catastrophe, the eastern army chose their own emperor. The praetorian prefect Ballista proposed Macrianus Senior as the new ruler. But Macrianus Senior refused the honor because of his old age and his fragile state of health. His two sons Macrianus Iunior and Quietus were proclaimed instead, before 17 September 260 CE. Two factors were important for the usurpation of the Macriani. As procurator arcae et praepositus annonae, Macrianus Senior had control over the treasure of Valerian: therefore, the usurpers were able to mint coins. On the other hand, the praetorian prefect Ballista defeated the Persians after Valerian's capture. This helped to legitimate the claim for power of the Macriani.
Their rule won recognition in the east of the Empire and in Egypt. Sooner or later, the Macriani had to face Gallienus, who still controlled Italy and the Balkans. Therefore, Macrianus, father and son, marched westwards, while Quietus and Ballista stayed in the east to secure control over this region. In the autumn of A.D. 261, the Macriani were defeated by Aureolus or Domitianus in Illyricum (near the border of Thrace) and killed by their own soldiers. After this defeat, Quietus lost control of the east, while Odaenathus of Palmyra gained power. Together with Ballista, Quietus retreated to Emesa, where he was killed by the inhabitants of the city.
261 CE - Greece - Valens, with the cognomen "Thessalonicus," was governor of the province Achaea (and maybe also Macedonia) under Gallienus. When the Macriani marched westward, they had to deal with those governors like Valens who tried to stay loyal to Gallienus. Therefore, Macrianus Senior sent Piso to Greece to take care of Valens. Valens' troops reacted by proclaiming their governor emperor, probably in 261 CE. Since the problematic Historia Augusta is our only source for Piso, we cannot be sure about the reliability of all the reports. He is said to have stemmed from the gens Calpurnia, a noble consular family which had family ties to Cicero in the late republic. Being a man of severe Roman virtues, he is said to have received the cognomen "Frugi". When Piso reached Thessaly, he tried to become emperor himself (probably in 261 CE). According to the Historia Augusta, he assumed the name "Thessalicus," probably a confusion with Valens "Thessalonicus". He was killed by the soldiers of Valens. This senatus consultum obviously forged by the anonymous author of the Historia Augusta consecrated Piso and granted him a statue. Valens himself met death by the hands of his own soldiers.
Ballista appears in the sources also under the name of "Callistus." He was the prefect of the guard (praefectus praetorio) under the Macriani, perhaps also under Valerian. As praefectus equitum, he defeated the Persians after they had captured Valerian. Afterwards, he played a crucial role in the rebellion of the Macriani. In the autumn of 261 CE, he was in Emesa with Quietus. According to the Historia Augusta, he was proclaimed emperor after the death of Quietus, but this seems to be one of the many inventions of the anonymous author. He was put to death by Odaenathus of Palmyra.
261 CE - Egypt - The career of L. Mussius Aemilianus (signo Aegippius), perhaps of Italic origin, is known from an inscription. He was of equestrian rank, served as praefectus vehiculorum trium provinciarum Galliarum (probably under Philip the Arab, i.e. 244 - 249 CE), procurator Alexandreae Pelusi Paraetoni, procurator portus utriusque Ostiae (247 CE), vice-prefect of Egypt (at the end of the fifties), and finally prefect of Egypt (259 - 261 CE). He was responsible for the implementation of Valerian's laws against the Christians.
Mussius supported the usurpation of the Macriani. When their revolt broke down, Mussius himself seems to have been proclaimed emperor in Egypt. Having compromised himself by supporting the Macriani, he did not have any other choice than to rebel against Gallienus. Gallienus sent troops under the command of Aurelius Theodotus who defeated Mussius before the 30th March 262 CE. The usurper was executed.
262 CE - Egypt - Memor came from northern Africa. He was in charge of guaranteeing the food supply from Egypt for the Roman province, and is said to have prepared a rebellion. Theodotus' soldiers killed him (probably in 262 CE), before he was proclaimed emperor. It is not certain whether Aemilianus and Memor really tried to become emperors themselves, or whether they were killed because they supported the Macriani.
262 - 268 CE - Italy - In 265 CE, the central emperor Gallienus attempted to crush the usurper Postumus, but twice failed to do so. On the first occasion, the fugitive Postumus owed his life only to the carelessness of Gallienus' cavalry commander Aureolus. On the second occasion, the emperor, besieging the usurper in a Gallic town, was wounded by an arrow and had to break of the assault. It seems that thereafter Gallienus made no other serious attempt to overcome this usurpation, devoting his attention to the political and military problems in the eastern part of the Roman empire.
Mention of other usurpers of the purple - Trebellianus, Celsus and Saturninus during the reign of Gallienus have been found to merely be fictitious persons.
263 - 340 CE - Palestine - Eusebius, "the father of ecclesiastical history," is born. [$6] Eusebius studied under Pamphilius (c. 240 - 309 CE), a Christian scholar and presbyter in the church at Caesarea. Pamphilius was an ardent disciple of Origen and Eusebius became deeply influenced by the Origenist tradition. His major work was his History of the Church, a massive piece of research that preserves quotations from many older writers that would otherwise have been lost. Despite the breadth of his reading most scholars agree that "his erudition is not matched by clarity of thought or attractiveness of presentation." Perhaps surprisingly Eusebius did not follow the extremes of Origen's allegorical interpretation. Some writers note that just as Caesarea lay halfway between Antioch and Alexandria, so Eusebius' hermeneutic lay midway between the traditions of those two cities.
Although Eusebius leaves much to be desired as an exegete or an apologist for Christianity, he had one quality that was lacking in all his predecessors and contemporaries the instinct for historical research. His Ecclesiastical History gives us access to a host of sources and traditions otherwise long since lost. The 'Father of Church History' had at his disposal the library at Caesarea which Origen had built up after he had been forced to leave Alexandria and take up residence in Palestine. Pamphilus, an enthusiastic adherent of Origen, had sought out and added many volumes to the library, and Eusebius, the pupil, co-worker and friend of Pamphilus, became his successor when he died (c. 305 CE) as a martyr in the Diocletian persecution.
266 - 589 CE - The Northern and Southern Kingdoms of China - Imperial China looked like it would suffer the same fate as the Roman Empire. After the Fall of the Han, the brief interlude of the Three Kingdoms, and the even briefer reunification under the Western Tsin, the country split into North and South, with the North overrun by Barbarians. However, the major difference was that no geographical barriers would inhibit a reunited South from regaining the North, and no massive external invasion, like the advent of Islâm, would inhibit the process.
Chinese historians regarded the Southern Dynasties as the legitimate succession of the Chinese Throne, which is why the period is reckoned to extend down to 589 CE, and the Sui begun in 590 CE, even though Yang Chien came to a unified Northern Throne in 581.
The popularity of Buddhism ushered in the great era of missionaries and pilgrims. Buddhist missionaries arrived to spread the dharma. One of these was Kumârajíva (344 - 413 CE), the great translator of the Lotus Sutra, who arrived in China in 401. Another was the semi-mythical Bodhidharma (died c. 528 CE), who founded the Ch'an (Zen) School of Buddhism, which combined Buddhism with Chinese ideas from Taoism. This missionary effort was reciprocated by Chinese pilgrims who travelled to India, like Fa-Hsien, the route going overland (on the Silk Road) and returning by sea. The purpose of the pilgrams was usually not just to visit holy sites, but to learn Sanskrit and fetch back texts to translate into Chinese.
266 - 283 CE - Nubia (Sudan) - King Maleqorobar rules Nubia.
267 CE - Palmyra - Palmyra's Prince Odenaethus, a staunch ally of Rome since his rebuff by Persia's Shapur I, is assassinated along with his eldest son, evidently on orders from the emperor Gallienus. His second wife, who has borne some younger princes, takes power as Septimia Zenobia and prepares to expand her desert realm to reach from the Nile to the Black Sea.
268 - 270 CE - Italy - The emperor Gallienus is killed by his own soldiers at Mediolanum (Milan) while besieging the pretender Aureolus, who is slain in turn by the pretender Marcus Aurelius Claudius, who will reign until 270 CE.
269 CE - Yugoslavia - Claudius II defeats the Goths as Naissus (Nis, Yugoslavia). The emperor Claudius II repels a Gothic invasion of the Balkans and is given the title Gothicus for his victory. Cladius II's short reign may have been due to a revolt lead by Censorinus. Accounts state that he was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, but soon afterwards killed by them because of his enforcement of strict discipline.
269 CE - Palmyra - Palmyra's Zenobia conquers Egypt, giving her control of Rome's grain supply.
269 CE - France - Laelianus and Marius become Gallic Roman Emperors.
St. Felix I
269 - 274 CE - Italy - St. Felix I was a Roman, the son of Constantius. A letter to Bishop Maximus of Alexandria was once thought to be his, but later scholars have decided that it was a forgery.
During the pontificate of St. Felix I, the capable organizer and clever general Aurelian became emperor. Aurelian has a very interesting connection with the Pope. The pontificate of St. Dionysius had been troubled by the heresy of Paul of Samosata. A council held at Antioch had deposed Paul as bishop of Antioch, but the wily heretic hung on to the Church property and refused to give it up to his successor, Demetrianus. Emperor Aurelian, passing through Antioch, was called upon to settle the matter. The Emperor decided that he was truly the bishop who was in communion with the bishops of Rome and Italy, which allowed the orthodox Demetrianus to take over from the heretical Paul of Samosata.
Felix is credited with ordering the celebration of Masses over the sepulchers of the martyrs.
Pope St. Felix I is called a martyr by the Liber Pontificalis, which also says that he built a basilica on the Aurelian Way, in which he was buried. Modern scholars, however, do not consider this to be true. Duchesne thinks that it is a confusion of Pope Felix with another Felix who was a martyr and was buried on the Aurelian Way. At any rate, Pope St. Felix I died in 274 CE and was most probably buried in the Cemetery of Calixtus. His feast day is kept on May 30.
269 - 270 CE - France - Victorinus becomes Gallic Roman Emperor.
270 CE - Italy - The Illyrian Roman emperor Claudius Gothicus dies of plague and is succeeded by his brother Quintillus, who is proclaimed Marcus Aurelius Claudius Quintillus but is deserted by his troops. He commits suicide and is succeeded by an associate of his brother, who will reign until 275 CE as Lucius Domitius Aurelianus.
270 - 275 CE - Italy - Aurelian becomes Caesar of Rome. He would kill thousands of Christians during his reign, and would eventually be slain by his own officers.
270 - 272 CE - Palmyra - Vaballathus and Zenobia revolt against Roman authority.
271 CE - Italy - The Alamanni are expelled from Italy by the Roman emperor Aurelianus, who has abandoned trans-Danubian Dacia, settled its Roman inhabitants in a new Dacia carved out of Moesia, begun new walls to protect Rome, and is called restitutor orbis (restorer of the world).
271 CE - Italy - Felicissimus was chief (rationalis) of the fiscus under Aurelian. He instigated his employees to forge coins. When this was disclosed, he started a revolt on the mons Caelius. The imperial troops suppressed the revolt with great difficulty, with Felicissimus being killed in the struggle. Several senators and equites seem to have been involved in the uprising; in any case, Aurelian executed several senators. No source mentions that Felicissimus tried to become emperor, nor are there any extant coins minted in his name.
271 - 273 CE - France - Tetricus I becomes recognized as the British and Gallic Roman Emperor.
271 - 272 CE - Italy - Domitianus, Septimius, Urbanus proclaim themselves as emperors during the reign of Aurelian, however each of them is shortly killed.
The Roman Empire attempted to impose the Sun God as a single God concept in an attempt to unify the splintered Roman religions. December is chosen to celebrate the one true Sun God. The Roman Christians would later select December 25 to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ the Sun of God likely to align with this Roman initiative.
272 CE - Palmyra - The emperor Aurelianus lays siege to Palmyra and his horsemen capture Zenobia and her young son Vaballathus on the banks of the Euphrates. She is forced to march in gold chains before the emperor's chariot in his triumphal procession, but Aurelianus spares her life.
272 CE - France - Three Christians are beheaded on the road to the Temple of Mercury that stands atop a hill that will be named Montmartre (Mountain of Martyrs) in Lutetia, later to be called Paris.
272 - 284 CE - Turkey - Dometius becomes Bishop of Byzantium.
272 - 273 CE - Persia (Iran) - Hormizd I rules as king of the Sassanid Empire.
273 - 276 CE - Persia (Iran) - Varahran I rules as king of the Sassanid Empire.
273 - 274 CE - France - Tetricus II rules as Gallic Roman Emperor
273 CE - Italy - Firmus, a salesman from Seleukeia, was very rich because of his business connections, which expanded as far as India. He was a friend of Zenobia. After the second defection of Palmyra, he instigated a revolt in Alexandria in 273 CE to support the Palmyrenes, interrupting the corn supply for Rome. Aurelian suppressed the revolt and Firmus was killed. In fact, Firmus was never proclaimed emperor. His extant coins have been proved to be forgeries.
274 CE - France - Faustinus proclaims himself Gallic Roman Emperor.
274 CE - France - The emperor Aurelianus recovers Gaul from insurgent forces in a battle at Chalons and returns to Rome in triumph.
274 CE - Japan - A 100-foot oar-powered ship is built for Japan's Emperor Ojin. The Japanese will not use sails for another seven centuries.
275 CE - Italy - Rome's legions retreat from Transylvania and the Black Forest, falling back to the Rhine and Danube. The situation has become so perilous that the emperor Aurelianus pushes construction of fortifications for Rome begun four years earlier.
275 - 276 CE - Italy - Aurelianus is slain by some of his officers as he prepares to invade Persia and is succeeded by an elderly senator, who is appointed against his will and will rule briefly as Marcus Claudius Tacitus.
275 - 283 CE - Italy - St. Eutychian, a native of Tuscany, is elected Papa of Rome.
Except for the information given by the Liber Pontificalis, little is known about Pope St. Eutychian, and the accuracy of the Liber Pontificalis entry on Pope Eutychian is rather suspect. There is even confusion about the length of his reign between the Liber Pontificalis, which says that Pope Eutychian ruled the Church eight years and eleven months, and Eusebius, who gives him a reign of only ten months.
Pope Eutychian made a regulation allowing fruit but only grapes and beans to be blessed on the altar.
He is said to have buried 324 martyrs with his own hands. He made the regulation that martyrs should be buried in a dalmatic (a purple tunic) and he wished that all burials of martyrs should be reported to him.
Pope St. Eutychian is called a martyr, but that he died a violent death is considered unlikely. He was buried in the Cemetery of Calixtus, for his tombstone has been discovered there. His feast is kept on December 8.
276 - 293 CE - Persia (Iran) - Varahran II rules as king of the Sassanid Empire. Bahram II is reputed to have seized the throne by political intrigues, led by the chief priest Kerdir and the nobles. Court intrigues and a series of military defeats weakened the Sassanian position. It was Khosrow I (Anoushirvan) and also Khosrow II who revitalized the Empire. Khosrow II came close to achieving the Sassanian dream of restoring the Achaemenid boundaries when Jerusalem fell to him and Constantinople was under his siege. The two Khosrows are well celebrated as great heroes in Ferdowsi's Shahnameh. Khosrow I was renowned for his military and diplomatic skills and is reputed as the "Just" Anoushirvan Adel. During his time the game of chess had been brought to his court from India, his chief minister Buzarjomehr is reputed to have invented backgammon. The splendour of Khosrow's palace at Cetesiphon (Tag-i Kasra) is legendary.
276 CE - Italy - The emperor Tacitus is killed by his troops after having defeated the Goths and Alans who invade Asia Minor. He is succeeded by his brother Marcus Annius Floranius, who is soon killed and succeeded by the Illyrian Marcus Aurelius Probus, who will rule until 278 CE.
276 CE - Persia - The Persian sage Mani is executed at age 60, after thirty years of preaching his "heresy" at the court of the late Sassanian king Shapur I and on long journeys to Turkestan, India, and China. Mani has claimed that he received divine revelations and was the final prophet of God in the world; his system combines Zoroastrian dualism with Christian salvation. He has incurred the hostility of the Zoroastrian priests at Ctesiphon, but his disciples will gain wide support for Manichaeism despite opposition from Byzantine and Roman emperors.
280 CE - Italy - The writer of the Vita Probi in the Historia Augusta indicates that in 280 CE Proculus revolted in the vicinity of the city of Lugdunum, which had been severely dealt with by Aurelian and, for reasons not given, spurred on by this fear, had adopted a hostile attitude towards Probus. Proculus apparently had some connections to the Franks and he had hoped to rally them to his cause. They appear, however, to have handed him over to Probus when he arrived on the scene. Probably at the same time, Bonosus revolted. His rebellion seems to have been serious as it appears to have required considerable force to be suppressed. Bonosus, an officer in charge of the Rhine fleet, had somehow let the Germans slip over the border and burn the fleet. Fearful of retribution, he apparently took shelter in proclaiming himself emperor. He was, in spite of his lapse with the fleet, an excellent soldier. The fighting was only stopped when Bonosus, despairing of his position, hanged himself. Probus spared the lives of his sons as well as that of his wife.
281 CE - Italy - Julius Saturninus, one of Probus's commanders in Syria, probably seized power in the year 281 CE. A close friend and associate of Probus, he may have been compelled to adopt the purple by his unruly troops. Although he initially rejected a request of the people of Alexandria to put on the purple, he later changed his mind and proclaimed himself Augustus. In any case, Probus planned to put down the rebellion. However Saturninus was killed by his own troops before Probus had a chance to act.
282 CE - Italy - The emperor Probus tries to employ his troops in such peaceful projects as clearing the canals of Egypt after having driven the Franks and Alamanni out of Gaul, suppressed pretenders in Gaul, quieted Asia Minor, and strengthened defenses on the Danube. Probus is murdered by his troops in the autumn and is succeeded by an Illyrian who has served as praetorian prefect to the late Aurelianus and who conducts a successful campaign against the Persians to begin a brief reign until 283 CE as M. Aurelius Carus.
283 CE - Italy - The emperor Marcus Aurelius Carus dies and is succeeded by his son and co-emperor Marcus Aurelius Numerius Numerianus.
283 - 285 CE - Italy - Numerianus (283 - 284 CE) and Carinus (283 - 285 CE) were co-rulers of the Roman Empire.
Despite the dynastic continuity reflected in Carinus' succession, the death of Carus did present opportunities for the ambitious and discontented. The revolt of Sabinus Iulianus in Pannonia occurred soon after the news of the death of Numerianus, in November 284 CE, arrived in the west. It required a response from Carinus, busy in distant Britain. Early in 285 CE, he marched south against Iulianus and defeated his forces near Verona. From there he proceeded to Moesia where his army met that of Diocletian in battle at the Margus River in July. According to hostile tradition, his army was victorious, but at the moment of triumph he was slain by a trusted officer whose wife he had seduced. A variant tradition records that he was deserted by his army, an assertion made more plausible by the continuity in office of his Praetorian Prefect, the consul Aurelius Aristobulus, under Diocletian.
283 - 296 CE - Italy - St. Gaius, alias Caius, a Dalmatin and possible relative of Emperor Diocletian, was Papa of Rome, resulting in a peaceful reign. St. Gaius decreed that before a man could be bishop, he must first be porter, reader, exorcist, acolyte, subdeacon, deacon, and priest. He also divided the districts of Rome among the deacons.
If an account of the martyrdom of St. Susanna were correct, there would be a very interesting fact about Pope St. Gaius that he was a relative of the terrible persecutor, Diocletian. But scholars give small credit to the account of the martyrdom of St. Susanna. It is true that the Liber Pontificalis confirms this relationship of Gaius with Diocletian, but the Liber Pontificalis apparently gleaned the unhistorical account of St. Susanna for its information.
There is little information available on Pope St. Gaius except that given by the Liber Pontificalis. The accounts of popes and acts of the martyrs were quite probably destroyed when Diocletian made a determined effort to do away with all Christian writings.
When the persecution of Diocletian began to rage, St. Gaius supposedly took refuge in the catacombs and died there a confessor. But actually the persecution of Diocletian did not even begin until six or seven years after the death of Gaius. It is true that during the pontificate of Gaius, Diocletian ascended the imperial throne, but at first the great organizer was anything but hostile to the Christians.
At this period, however, work on the catacombs was pushed vigorously. New galleries were excavated and small churches built over them.
Gaius died in 296 CE and was buried in the Cemetery of Calixtus. His tombstone has been pieced together. The feast of St. Gaius together with that of Pope St. Soter is celebrated on April 22.
283 - 300 CE - Nubia (Sudan) - King Yesbokheamani rules Nubia.
284 CE - North Africa - August 29 is the first day of the calendar used by the Coptics in Egypt and Ethiopia.
284 CE - Germany - The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Numerius Numerianus is assassinated in late summer and succeeded by his Illyrian general Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Jovius, 39, who is proclaimed emperor at Chalcedon on August 29, and will reign with oriental despotism at Nicomedia in Bithynia until 305 CE while his colleague Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius controls the West from Mediolanum (Milan).
284 - 305 CE - Germany - Under the throne name of Diocletian, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Jovius became Caesar of the Roman Empire. He would kill thousands of Christians during his reign including Marcellinus, Papa of Rome.
284 - 293 CE - Turkey - Rufinus I becomes Bishop of Byzantium.
285 - 286 CE - Italy - Amandus and Aelianus proclaim themselves as Roman Emperors. Maximianus Herculius would put down their rebellion in 286 CE.
Constantius I Chlorus
286 - 293 CE - Italy - Iulianus rules shortly as a Roman Emperor. The Epitome de Caesaribus reports that about the time of the elevations of Maximian to the rank of Augustus on March 1, 286 CE, and of Constantius Chlorus and Galerius to that of Caesar on March 1, 293 CE: "Carausius in Gaul, Achilles in Egypt, and Julianus in Italy were made imperatores and, by a diverse death, perished. Of these Julianus, when an attack had breached his walls, threw himself into a fire."
286 - 293 CE - England - Carausius, whose full name is attested as Marcus Aurelius Maus, was of the Menapii who were from Belgica. Although he had initially earned his living at sea as a helmsman, he served with honor in the military against the Bagauda under the Emperor Maximianus Herculius. Because of his naval background, he was commissioned by the emperor to build a fleet and clear the seas of Saxon and Frankish pirates in the autumn of 286 CE; he operated from out of Boulogne (Bononia). Although he carried out his commission with speed, for one reason or another he did not turn over to imperial treasury all of the loot that he obtained. Due to these financial irregularities, Herculius ordered his arrest and execution. Rather than submitting to the emperor's will, Carausius fled to Britain with his fleet and declared himself emperor. His realm included Britain and perhaps the area around Bononia (Boulogne).
Antoniniani of Carausius
Because he spent much of 287 CE waging war against the Germans, Maximianus Herculius did not begin preparations to repress Carausius apparently until the spring of the next year. He began to build a fleet which he would be able to use against the rebel. While he and his colleague Diocletian invaded Germany, Herculius' praefectus praetorio Constantius Chlorus campaigned against the Franks, who had allied themselves with Carausius, and succeeded in forcing them to submit to the emperor. The emperor's fleet was ready in 289 CE; it was destroyed by a storm, however, before it could be used against the usurper. Although Herculius attempted to push Carausius out of northern Gaul in 290 CE, his attempt came to naught. The tide turned in 293 when Constantius Chlorus was appointed Herculius' Caesar. His assigned task was to break the back of Carausius' rebellion. He did this by besieging the city of Bononia and by closing its harbor. Although the city surrendered, the victory must have left a bitter taste in the Caesar's mouth because Carausius was murdered by his rationalis Allectus, who claimed the throne for himself. The latter was able to escape to Britain and Constantius, lacking a fleet of ships, was unable to follow him.
286 CE - Italy - When the Emperor Diocletian determined that the empire was too large for one man to govern on his own, he made Maximianus Herculius his Caesar in 286 CE and elevated him to the rank of Augustus in perhaps the spring of 286 CE.
292 CE - Central America - Guatemala - The earliest known date on a royal monument at the Maya city of Tikal. (Stela 29). [p77LR]
293 CE - Persia (Iran) - Varahran III rules as king of the Sassanid Empire.
293 - 302 CE - Persia (Iran) - Nerseh rules as king of the Sassanid Empire.
293 - 306 CE - England - Soon after Constantius I Chlorus was appointed Caesar by his father-in-law Maximianus Herculius in 293 CE, he moved his army immediately into northern Gaul where he overcame the forces of his foe, the British usurper Carausius, at the Battle of Boulsogne. Probably soon after the fall of the city, the defeated usurper was murdered by his rationalis summae rei Allectus who then seized his throne which he held for three more years. In 296 CE, Constantius and his praefectus praetorio Asclepiodotus each took a fleet and headed for Britain; although some of the Caesar's fleet seems to have turned back because of inclement weather, Asclepiodotus' forces succeeded in landing on the English coast with the intention of taking London. In order to stop the praetorian prefect's advance on his capital, Allectus engaged his opponent and, during the ensuing battle, perished. Subsequently some of the Caesar's forces, which had become separated from his fleet, landed on the coast, marched on London, and slaughtered the remainder of the fleeing army of Allectus.
Constantius I Chlorus eventually crossed to Britain to face incursions by the Picts where he died at York on 25 July 306 CE with his son at his side.
293 - 306 CE - Turkey - Probus becomes Bishop of Byzantium.
L. Domitius Domitianus
296 - 298 CE - Egypt - Although papyrological and numismatic evidence indicates that L. Domitius Domitianus, in Egypt revolted against Diocletian in June or July of 297 (296?), literary evidence attributes the revolt to Aurelius Achilleus who seems to have been Domitianus' corrector. In any case, Diocletian went to Egypt and probably put the revolt down in March 298 CE. There may not be any contradiction between the literary and papyrological sources. Domitianus seems to have died in December 297 CE and Achilleus, who was in charge of the defense of Alexandria, may well have succeeded him. Although Diocletian seems to have regained control of Egypt by the end of December 297 CE, Alexandria did not fall until March 298 CE.
296 - 304 CE - Italy - Marcellinus is elected Papa of Rome. He was to see the end of the long period of peace and the start of a most violent persecution, the persecution of Diocletian.
Marcellinus was a Roman, the son of Projectus. When he first became pope, Diocletian was already on the throne, but he had not yet drawn the sword against the Christians. Indeed, at first under the influence of his wife, Prisca, and his daughter, Valeria, the despot left the Christians fairly free. The peace, however, had caused Christianity to grow and grow. This provoked a fierce reaction among the pagans, and they had a leader in no less a dignitary than the Caesar Galerius.
According to Lactantius, the historian of the persecution, Diocletian was first angered by the Christians when the augurs or soothsayers told him that they could not prophesy because Christians made the sign of the cross. The Emperor promptly ordered all Christians to apostatize or get out of the army in 302 CE. The next year at a conference in Nicomedia, Galerius urged the Emperor to extend himself against the Christians. Diocletian asked the opinion of the oracle of Apollo at Miletus. Naturally, the oracle saw eye to eye with Galerius. But Diocletian started easily. At first he ordered the confiscation of Church property and the destruction of Christian books. When a rash Christian actually tore down the imperial edict right under the imperial nose at Nicomedia and two very convenient fires broke out in the imperial palace, Diocletian, enraged, took off the gloves. It was apostatize or die, and soon blood was streaming.
The persecution hit Rome with disastrous results for the historians. The papal archives were seized and destroyed. The famous Cemetery of Calixtus was saved by the Christians, who blocked up the entrance.
Pope St. Marcellinus was accused by Donatist heretics of having handed over the sacred books. Some went so far as to accuse him of having sacrificed to idols. The Liber Pontificalis repeats this but adds that St. Marcellinus repented and died a martyr. Actually it is not certain either that St. Marcellinus weakened or that he was a martyr. St. Augustine denies openly that the Pope had weakened, and there is no conclusive evidence of his having been killed.
St. Marcellinus did die a confessor of Christ in 304 CE. According to the Liber Pontificalis, after his head was cut off, his body, along with those of other martyrs, was left lying on the street for twenty-six days to terrify the Christians. Then a priest buried the Pope in the Cemetery of Priscilla. His feast day is kept on April 26.
296 - 273 CE - Egypt - Athanasius is elected Papa of Alexandria, Egypt.
297 CE - England - The first mention of Picts by the Romans is made this year. These northern Peoples of Britain were called Picti (Pict). The Scots called them Cruithni, the mother of Gaelic, Irish and Manx.
300 CE - Italy - During the life time of Eusebius (Eusebiau) (260 - 339 CE), the Christian Churches are divided concerning which books are canonical, not canonical and out right fraud. The gospel according to John who died about 98 CE is considered the first of the Gospels and the greatest of the four. Disputed books include Revelations of John, James, Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, the Shephard by Paul, Revelations by Peter, Epistle by Barnabas, Teachings of the Apostles, Gospel of Hebrews, Gospels of Peter, Thomas, Matthias, Acts of Andrew, John and other Apostles. The second Epistle of Peter is still being used in many Churches. The Epistle to the Romans is also rejected. The Shephard by Hermas is also not canonical but some consider it indispensable. Eusebius believed all the tribes of Israel are hostile to the tribe of Judah and The Christ, Essenes, Galilaeans, Hemerobaptists, Masbotheans, Samaritans, Sadducces and Pharisees. This is according to Hegesippus (160 CE) and Irenaeus of Lyons (180 CE).
300 - 320 CE - Nubia (Sudan) - Nubia during this era was ruled by two queens whose names are unknown.
301 CE - Armenia - Armenia is the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion.
302 - 309 CE - Persia (Iran) - Hormizd II rules as king of the Sassanid Empire.
303 CE - Italy - A general prosecution of Christians in the Roman Empire began February 24 by an edict of the emperor Diocletian, who has been persuaded to revive the old religion in a move to strengthen the empire.
Diocletian ordered the destruction of churches, the surrender of sacred books and the offering of sacrifice by those attending courts of law. It is believed that Marcellinus, Papa of Rome, and future Papas Marcellus I, Miltiades and Silvester I complied with the order and offered incense to the Roman Gods. In retaliation, Marcellinus is removed from the official list of Papas of Rome. Surrender of the sacred books disqualified anyone from the priesthood, a form of self-excommunication. It is noteworthy that the Church of Rome is rich and would eventually become the wealthiest of all the Churches. The death of Marcellinus caused the papacy to be vacant until 308 CE due to internal bickering.
303 / 304 CE - Turkey - Eugenius was a tribune of 500 soldiers that were stationed in Seleucia. In 303 / 304 CE, the soldiers raised him to the purple and marched on Antioch. In the ensuing battle, Eugenius died.
305 CE - Italy - On 1 May 305 CE, Diocletian, at Nicomedeia, and Maximianus Herculius, at Mediolanum, divested themselves of the purple. Their resignations seem largely due to the almost fatal illness that Diocletian contracted toward the end of 304 CE. Diocletian seems to have forced his colleague to abdicate. In any case, Herculius had sworn an oath at the temple of Capitoline Jupiter to carry out the terms of the abdication. Constantius and Galerius were appointed as Augusti, with Maximinus Daia (305 - 313 CE) and Severus (306 - 307 CE) as the new Caesars. The retired emperors then returned to private life. Diocletian's retirement was at Salonae in Dalmatia, while Herculius' retreat was either in Lucania or Campania.
Daia was the son of Galerius' sister and had served in the army as a scutarius, protector, and tribunus. He had been adopted by Galerius ; his name had been Daia even before that time.
Rich landowners dominate the Roman Empire and enjoy the title of senator, which makes them exempt from the crushing taxes imposed on the rest of the population. The Senate has lost all its power and the landowners almost never attend Senate sessions. Labor and property is evaluated in terms of a unit of wheat-producing land (iugum), members of municipal senates (curiales or decuriones) are charged with the responsibility of collecting taxes and paying arrears; smaller landowners are held responsible for providing recruits for the legions and with keeping wastelands under cultivation.
Illyricum (Shaded in Orange)
305 - 311 CE - Illyricum - Caius Galerius Valerius Maximianus, more commonly known as Galerius, was from Illyricum; his father, whose name is unknown, was of peasant stock, while his mother, Romula, was from beyond the Danube. Galerius was born in Dacia Ripensis near Sardica.
306 - 314 CE - Turkey - Metrophanes becomes Bishop of Byzantium.
306 - 312 CE - Italy - Herculius' retirement, however, was of short duration because, a little more than a year later on 28 October 306 CE, his son Maxentius was proclaimed emperor at Rome. To give his regime an aura of legitimacy, Maximianus was forced to affirm his son's acclamation. When Galerius learned of Maxentius' rebellion, he sent Severus against him with an army that had formerly been under his father's command. Maxentius invested his father with the purple again to win over his enemy's troops, a ruse which succeeded.
Constantine the Great
306 - 337 CE - England - Flavius Valerius Constantinus is proclaimed Roman Emperor at York, England. Known as Constantine the Great, he rules only in Britain and Gaul.
308 - 309 CE - Italy - St. Marcellus is elected Papa of Rome even though he is excommunicated for surrendering sacred books. He likely survived by passing the blame to Marcellinus and having him removed from the official Papal list. His harsh hard-line judgments aroused majority church opinion against him. Emperor Maxentius banished Marcellus from Rome to prevent more public disorder and bloodshed.
308 - 309 CE - Italy - L. Domitius Alexander, either of Phrygian or Pannonian extraction, was vicarius of Africa. Probably in the spring or autumn of 308 CE, Maxentius, when he was uncertain whether or not he could depend on the loyalty of troops in Africa, demanded that the vicarius send his son as a hostage to him. Alexander disobeyed the order and was acclaimed Augustus by his troops, even though he was an old man. The revolt was of short duration; probably by late 309 CE, the praefectus praetorio Rufius Volusianus and Zenas, paucissimis cohortibus, succeeded in overthrowing the usurper and in executing him. Alexander has been identified with Valerius Alexander who was vicarius of Africa between 303 and 306 CE.
308 - 324 CE - Italy - The Roman co-emperor Severus dies on November 11. The emperor Galerius replaces him with the Illyrian Flavius Galerius Valerius Licinianus, who will rule until 324 CE as the emperor Licinius.
309 CE - Italy - Anthrax or a similar plague begins to spread across the Roman Empire. The disease will sharply reduce the empire's population in the next five years.
309 - 379 CE - Persia (Iran) - Shapur II rules as king of the Sassanid Empire.
309 - 309 CE - Italy - Eusebius, is elected Papa of Rome. He was probably born in Magna Grecia, and his pontificate lasted for only four months. By the order of emperor Maxentius, he was exiled to Sicily, where he died. Maxentius, meanwhile, confiscated part of the church property and didn't permit the election of a new pope.
311 - 314 CE - Italy - St. Miltiades, alias Melchiades, an African or Roman, is elected Papa of Rome even though he is also excommunicated for surrendering sacred books under the reign of Marcellinus.
311 CE - France - The Celtic Seminary for Druids at Bordeaux, France is still functioning in the fourth century and is believed started by the Celts from Armdrica.
311 CE - China - Hun (Hsiung-nu) invaders from the north pillaged the Chinese city of Luoyang, slaughtering 30,000 people. The northern and southern dynasties will divide China from 317 to 589 CE.
311 CE - Italy - The Roman emperor Galerius died in May after the despot Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius had driven him out of Italy. The despot's father Maximian committed suicide in Gaul in 310 CE when authorities discovered his conspiracy against the emperor Constantine, who began to march on Rome.
312 CE - Italy - The world experiences red letter days that no historian dare ignore. One of them occurred on this day, October 28, 312 CE when a 32-year-old claimant to the Roman Empire defeated his chief rival to the throne.
Constantine's father had been one of the rulers of the sprawling empire. After his death, his troops named Constantine as Augustus. However, others wanted a piece of the action. One of them, Maxentius, was determined to hold Italy and Africa for himself. Constantine would have to defeat him in order to make good his claim to the throne. Constantine's trusted friend and church historian Eusebius tells what happened as the "Augustus" prepared for one of the most decisive battles of history:
"Constantine was praying to his father's god, beseeching him to tell him who he was and imploring him to stretch out his right hand to help him in his present difficulties. While he was fervently praying, an incredible sign appeared to him from heaven. (It would be hard to believe his account if it had been told by anyone else. But the victorious emperor long afterwards declared it to the writer of this history when I was honored to meet and talk with him and he even confirmed his statement by an oath. Thus, who could doubt him, especially since time has established its truth?) He said that about noon, when the day was already beginning to decline, he saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the sun, and an inscription that said 'Conquer by This' attached to it. Seeing this, he and his army, which followed him on an expedition and witnessed the miracle, were struck with amazement.
"He said that he doubted within himself what importance the vision might hold. He continued to ponder its meaning through until he fell asleep. While sleeping, the Christ of God appeared to him with the same sign he had seen earlier in the heavens. God commanded him to make a likeness of that sign which he had seen in the heavens and to use it as a safeguard in all encounters with his enemies."
Constantine claimed to have seen a vision in the sky of a luminous cross bearing the words In hoc signo vinces (By this sign thou shalt conquer). He will adopt the words as a motto.
The Battle of Milvian Bridge (or Saxa Rubra), four miles north of Rome, on October 28, gives the emperor Constantine a victory over the despot Maxentius. He kills Maxentius and becomes absolute master of the western Roman Empire. Constantine's victory over Maxentius at Pons Milvius came to supposedly represent a triumph of Christianity over Paganism. [p385+] [p267$11]
Fresco of the Battle of Milvian Bridge, Vatican Rooms, by Raphael
A new wave of power began with the reign of Constantine, who had converted to the Christian faith in 312. Christianity became legalized by the Roman Emperor Constantine the following year. [p12H]
Some believed Rome would change their position on slavery after becoming Christian but it was not to be. Under Emperor Constantine, slave masters were absolved from responsibility for any death that may result from use of chains, whippings and beatings. Masters were discouraged from using torture because that was reserved for judicial uses.
The rapidly growing cult following of the teacher Jeshua of Nazareth provided the basis for this new "Universal" religion. The Greek churches taught that this teacher was the embodiment of the ancient teacher, Chiron, whose Wisdom inspired the early Mystery Schools of Hermes Trismegestus, Socrates and Plato. The name of Chiron took the Roman form of Christus, and Jeshua became "Jesus." The events of Jeshua's life were arranged to be synchronistic with the seasonal festivals celebrated by all the native cultures of the Empire so that the new religion could be acceptable to everyone.
The Winter Solstice (the birth of the Sun God) became the birth time of the Son of God, or Christ-mass. The Spring Equinox (the festival of the Renewal of Life) was the assigned time for the Resurrection of Chiro after his death. The names of tribal traditional gods were given new titles of Sainthood to give them a place in the new pantheon of Christian tradition. In 330 CE this enlightened ruler had moved the seat of power from Rome to the Greek city of Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey).
On October 27, 312 CE, Constantine (born a bastard in 274 CE), entered Rome in triumph as the new Emperor. Sylvester I, the Papa of Rome had no conflict in a warrior coming to faith by slaughtering his enemies. So began the fatal alliance between Caesar and Papa of Rome. Throne and Altar became part of orthodoxy and the Roman Church. Emperor Constantine retained his title Pontifex Maximus, head of the pagan state cult. Constantine established religious freedom for everyone without distinction, thereby allowing the Christian Church and the Jewish Church to come out of the catacombs in Rome. The tragedy is that this fundamental Christian principle is never accepted by the Roman Catholic Church until the late 20th century. It is noteworthy that Constantine is a pagan throughout his life and is allegedly baptized by an heretical Arian Papas named Eusebius just before his death. Emperor Constantine the pagan, established the idea of a council of all Christian communities as the only way to formulate the faith incontestably and forever. He saw the church as an instrument of political and cultural cohesion, a pillar of the Imperial structure he was building. He would call the first Ecumenical Council, the Council of Nicaea, in 325 CE in which a decree of religious freedom was imposed and creed was established to unite all the Roman Empire into a universal brotherhood with a common religious philosophy. This became the basis of the Catholic, or "Universal" Church of Rome. Constantine ordered that the Roman Paul's letters and other manuscripts be placed into one book. The Emperor's actions represent the Roman obsession with order rather than any religious conviction. It is noteworthy that future Kings of Europe would also view the Church as one of their tools of Empire building. Others have considered Constantine as the thirtieth Apostle.
Basilica of Maxentius
The Basilica of Maxentius (Basilica Maxentii) or the Basilica of Constantine (Basilica Constantini) was the last of the great civilian basilicas on the Roman Forum.
The ruins of the basilica are located between the Temple of Amor and Roma and the Temple of Romulus, on the Via Sacra.The construction of the basilica was initiated by Maxentius in 308 CE, and finished by Constantine after he had defeated Maxentius at the battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 CE.
313 CE - Italy - The Edict of Milan by Lucinus in 313 CE finally granted official sanction to Christianity within the Roman Empire, putting an end to the persecution. This milestone marks the beginning of the Roman Church that would be built upon many of the historic Roman Empire beliefs and values including many that are in direct conflict with the teachings of Jesus. The violent killing games of the Roman Christian Colosseum continued with a vengeance. More capital crimes are added to ensure a continuous supply of human victims. These early Roman Christians would support this barbaric practice for the next three hundred years. No fewer than twenty-eight Papas of Rome would condone this practice with some maintaining their own gladiators. Traditional Roman human executions included crucifixion, burning and exposure to wild beasts. The Roman Christians dropped crucifixion as unbecoming only of slaves and criminals. This is considered the final conversion of Christianity to the Roman tradition. Emperor Constantine would solidify this conversion by informing the Papa of Rome, Miltiades, alias Melchiades, that the Church is entrusted to the Emperor by divine providence and he intended not to leave schism or division in any place. It is made very clear that the Papa's of the church will be forced into one doctrine.
314 - 335 CE - Italy - St. Silvester, a Roman, is elected Papa of Rome, even though he was also excommunicated for surrendering sacred books under the reign of Marcellinus. Most evidence suggests he is a puppet under complete domination of the heathen Roman Emperor.
314 CE - Gaul (France) - Constantine called the first Ecumenical Council of Arles in August to resolve Church problems, primarily to deal with the problem of the Donatists, a schismatic Christian group in North Africa. Constantine named Chrestus, Papa of Syracuse, as chairman and excluded Silvester, Papa of Rome. Silvester is later ordered to endorse and circulate the results of the First Council. The Papa of Rome is also excluded from the second Ecumenical Council of Nicaea (Turkey) in the summer of 325 CE.
The Council of Arles passed an edict condemning the veneration of trees, fountains and stones under threat of excommunication. The edict would be repeated until 658 CE. This appears to be directed against the Celtic Church. In the end, the Roman Church aligned with the Celtic belief by proclaiming the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of the Pines, Our Lady of the Water and Our Lady of the Mounds, most Druidic of all.
314 CE - Croatia - The Battle of Cibalae on October 8, gives the Roman emperor Constantine a victory over his co-emperor Licinius, who loses all of the Balkans except for Thrace.
314 - 337 CE - Turkey - Alexander becomes Bishop of Byzantium.
315 - 403 CE - Palestine - One of the first and most vociferous opponents of Origen, St. Epiphanius [#] was born c. 315 CE in Palestine. His parents were Christians, and he studied languages in Egypt before returning to his native land, where he established a monastery near Eletheropolis. An ardent proponent of monasticism and Nicene Christianity, Epiphanius was elected metropolitan of Constantia in 367 CE and continued as abbot of his monastery until his death. He also attacked the theology of Apollinaris of Laodocia and of Melitus of Antioch, but he regarded Origen as the source of all error and urged Patriarch John of Jerusalem to condemn Origen and his thought. When John refused, Epiphanius excommunicated him, an action which Jerome supported. Epiphanius later ordained Jerome's brother Paulinus to the priesthood, although Paulinus was under John's jurisdiction.
When Patriarch John Chrysostom of Constantinople granted refuge to the Tall Brothers, whom Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria had condemned as Origenist, Epiphanius began to attack Chrysostom, his friend. Epiphanius left Constantinople before the Council of the Oak, which deposed Chrysostom, and died at sea in 403 CE.
Epiphanius' most famous work is the Panarion, also known as a Refutation of All Heresies. Ancoratus is an exposition of tritarian theology that contains a draft of the Nicene Creed. He also wrote On Weights and Measures, a manual for studying the Bible, and On Gems, an explanation of the priest's breastplate. His criticisms of the use of art in worship prefigure iconoclasm.
Arch of Constantine, Rome, Italy
315 CE - Italy - The Arch of Constantine, completed by the Roman emperor, commemorates his victory at the Milvian Bridge in 312 CE.
316 CE - Italy - As soon as the Emperor Licinius realized that the cease-fire of 314 CE between himself and the Emperor Constantine would soon be abrogated, he appointed Aurelius Valerius Valens as his fellow Augustus probably during the opening days of December 316 CE. He may have taken this action to make it clear to his brother-in-law that he was severing relations with him. The new Augustus had formerly been dux limitis in Dacia. When Licinius surrendered to Constantine on 1 March 317 CE, after being defeated at Campus Ardiensis, the defeated emperor was forced to depose and to execute his newly appointed colleague.
317 CE - Central America - A sequence of fourteen rulers reigned at the Maya city Tikal from 317 to 869 CE according to Mayan stelas. [p75LR]
320 - 355 CE - Nubia (Sudan) - Nubia during this era was ruled by two kings whose names are unknown. The Kushite / Nubian kingdom at this time was overthrown by the Ethiopian kingdom of Axum.
320 CE - Egypt - The first Qumran-style desert community was established by Pachomius around 320 CE at precisely the time that the Pauline orthodoxy of Rome was gaining official sanction for itself from Constantine. Pachomius's monastery quickly generated a number of offshoots. By the time of his death in 346 CE, there were several thousand monks scattered about the Egyptian desert, and the principles underlying the monastic system were being transmitted elsewhere. Perhaps the most famous exemplar of Egyptian monasticism is Saint Antony. It is significant that both Antony and Pachomius avoided ordination. The point is that the monastic system was not just a spontaneous occurrence. It represented a form of opposition to the rigidly hierarchical structures of Rome.
320 - 550 CE - India - The Classical Age refers to the period when most of North India was reunited under the Gupta Empire. Because of the relative peace, law and order, and extensive cultural achievements during this period, it has been described as a "golden age" that crystallized the elements of what is generally known as Hindu culture with all its variety, contradiction, and synthesis. The golden age was confined to the north, and the classical patterns began to spread south only after the Gupta Empire had vanished from the historical scene. The military exploits of the first three rulers Chandragupta I (c. 319 - 335 CE), Samudragupta (c. 335 - 376 CE), and Chandragupta II (c. 376 - 415 CE) brought all of North India under their leadership. From Pataliputra, their capital, they sought to retain political pre-eminence as much by pragmatism and judicious marriage alliances as by military strength. Despite their self-conferred titles, their overlordship was threatened and by 500 CE ultimately ruined by the Hunas (a branch of the White Huns emanating from Central Asia), who were yet another group in the long succession of ethnically and culturally different outsiders drawn into India and then woven into the hybrid Indian fabric.
321 CE - Italy - The Roman Catholic Church has been allowed to hold and transfer property since 321 CE. The donations of private property grew greatly from of the pious and the wealthy; the Lateran Palace was the first significant donation, a gift of Emperor Constantine I. Other donations soon followed, mainly in Italy around Syracuse, Palermo, Ravenna, and Genoa and also around Rome, but also on Sicily, in France, Africa, and in the East among other areas. Large gifts became less common after the 600s because economic and political conditions had changed. The Pope had become the largest landowner in Italy, a privilege that brought with it certain political issues and pressures.
The nucleus of the states consisted of endowments given to the popes from the 4th century in and around Rome, in other areas of the Italian mainland, and in Sicily, Sardinia, and other lands; these came to be called the Patrimony of St. Peter. The popes gradually lost their more distant lands, but in the duchy of Rome, papal power became stronger and increasingly independent of the Eastern emperors and of the other states in Italy.
The Roman emperor Constantine forbids work on the Sabbath and endorses Sunday as the day of rest. Constantine assigns convicts to grind Rome's flour in a move to hold back the rising price of food in an empire whose population has shrunk as a result of plague. Barbarian peoples have used waterpower for years and pressure mounts to use such power in Rome, where rulers have opposed it in the past lest it cause unemployment.
324 CE - Turkey - Martinianus was the Emperor Licinius' magister officiorum. After his defeat at the Battle of Adrianople on 3 July 324 CE, the eastern emperor made Martinianus an Augustus; he was sent to Lampsacus to impede Constantine's army as it crossed from Thrace to the Hellespont. After Constantine defeated Licinius' forces at the Battle of Chrysopolis on 18 September 324 CE, both Licinius and his colleague were exiled. He was sent to Thessalonica, where he was confined under house arrest; Martinianus, his associate, was imprisoned in Cappadocia. Constantine had both his rivals put to death no later than 325 CE. The Byzantine Empire and Constantinople is subsequently founded by Constantine the Great. [p482$3]
325 CE - Turkey - The Council of Nicaea was convened in 325 CE by the Roman emperor Constantine - the first Christian emperor (baptized only on his deathbed in 337 CE, at that time still a pagan emperor), established by a vote the divinity of Jesus and the precise nature thereof.
The Council of Nicaea supports the doctrine that God and Christ are of the same substance. The priest Arius has maintained the opposite view; he will be tortured to death in 336 CE, but Constantine and his successors will move the Church increasingly toward Arianism. Athanasianism will not become the dominant view until after 379 CE.
Constantine had his wife, his son, a nephew and his wife put to death, and had Licinius (his co-emperor) and his son strangled after promising them their lives. These chores out of the way, he convened the bishops and patriarchs of the realm to define the nature of the Trinity and decide which of the squabbling factions of believers should be given the royal patent for orthodoxy.
Constantine the pagan is horrified that after being freed from persecution there is bloody fighting between various Christian factions. Arianism as an example claimed that Jesus is subordinated to God the Father. The burning question of the council was the argument between Arius and Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria. Arius claimed Jesus was essentially distinct from the Father, having been created ex nihilo by the latter. Athanasius, however, claimed "as God is eternal, so is his Son - when the Father, then the Son - the Son is present in God without birth, ever-begotten, an unbegotten-begotten." The majority of Papa's favored the Arian position, but Constantine the pagan for no apparent reason other than to show his authority, proposed the doctrine that the Son of God is of one substance with the Father. The vote by the slimmest of margins supported the position of bishop Athanasius. By a packed vote, Arius was condemned as a heretic, excommunicated, and exiled. Arius is commanded by the bishop of Alexandria to quit his beliefs or be declared a heretic, and his writings are ordered destroyed. It is important to remember that throughout the writings and compiling of the Gospels and Epistles, those not consistent with the ruling authority are rejected and destroyed.
All dissident Papa's gave in, except two who are promptly deposed and sent away. Constantine later wrote to Alexandria, the Arian foothold, saying "what has pleased three hundred Papa's is nothing other than the will of God." The Arian heresy, as it is later called, continued for generations (more than 60 years) as did the immersion of the state in church affairs. The result, wrote Burckhardt, is a "Church rapidly disintegrating in victory." This position would not become official dogma until the Council of Chalcedon in 451 CE.
Three years later, however, Constantine went soft on heresy (or changed his mind as to who were the heretics) and recalled Arius to Constantinople. On the very day Arius was to re-enter the Cathedral in triumph, his bowels suddenly burst out in a privy, obviating any need to redefine orthodoxy. The orthodox considered it a miracle; the Arians knew it was murder. As a result of council, Rome became the official centre of Christian orthodoxy, issuing the Nicene Creed
We believe (I believe) in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. (God of God) light of light, true God of true God.
Begotten, not made, con-substantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven.
And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures.
And ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end.
And (I believe) in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son), who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets.
And one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We confess (I confess) one baptism for the remission of sins.
And we look for (I look for) the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."
This was the turning point between Christianity and Mithraism. Constantine, a great supporter of the Christian religion, although not converting to it until the time of his decease, gathered together 2,000 leading figures in the world of theology, the idea being to bring about the advent of Christianity as the official state religion of Rome. It was out of this assembly that Jesus was formally declared to be the Son of God, and Saviour of Mankind, another slain saviour god, bringing up the tally of slain god-men to seventeen, of which Mithra, together with such men as Bel and Osiris, was included.
Following his victory over the heresiarch Arius and the Arians, Athanasius traveled throughout Europe promoting monasticism and asceticism. He is credited with monasticism specifically to the Romans and Germans.
In the Gnostic theology of Athanasius, only ascetics were considered the Bride of Christ, a pernicious teaching which influenced many devout Christians to seek Christ in monasteries and convents. Although the religious orders had the outward appearance of spiritual piety, they were often, however, fronts for occult as well as homosexual/lesbian activity. That asceticism, enforced celibacy and monastic life have borne evil fruit throughout the centuries is evident in the rampant sexual perversion of the Roman Catholic priesthood and hierarchy.
It was through the establishment of monasteries that the Merovingian Jews, whose forefathers were the Alexandrian Gnostics, began to infiltrate and mold the theology and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Many of the popes were Merovingian monks who forced masses of European Jews to convert to Roman Catholicism, with the result that the Church incorporated traditions from both Judaism, the Talmud and the Kabbalah. [MB]
Just as Nicaea can be regarded as the birthplace of Christianity, so too it can be regarded as the graveyard of what we imagine Jesus taught. From that time onwards, Christianity was to absorb the superstitions of Mithraism, and many other older religions, and what was believed to have happened to earlier saviour gods, was made to centre around the Nazarene. The coming of Christianity under state control was to preserve it as a religion, and was the death knell of all other sects and cults within the Roman Empire.
Had Constantine decided to retain Mithraism as the official state religion, instead of putting Christianity in its place, it would have been the latter that would have been obliterated. To Constantine however, Christianity had one great advantage, it preached that repentant sinners would be forgiven their sins, provided that they were converted Christians at the time of their passing, and Constantine had much to be forgiven for. He personally did not convert to the new religion until he was on his death bed, the reason being that only sins committed following conversion were accountable, so all sins committed by a convert, prior to conversion, didn't matter, and he could hardly have sinned too much whilst he was lying on his death bed. Mithraism could not offer the same comfort to a man like Constantine, who was regarded as being one of the worst mass-murderers of his time.
"The Historical Apollonius Versus the Mythical Jesus"
By Dr. R. W. Bernard, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
"In the year 325 A.D. was perpetrated one of the most colossal frauds and deceptions in the annals of history. This was the date of the Council of Nicea, whose task it was to create a new religion that would be acceptable to Emperor Constantine, who, at the time, was engaged in the bloody persecution of those communists and pacifists of ancient times who were known as early Christians. What made Constantine, in the midst of his inhuman massacre of these defenseless and despised people, suddenly take over their religion and become its staunchest protagonist, is one of the enigmas of history which has never before been elucidated … "
That the original Gospels were rewritten and altered at the Council of Nicea is indicated by the following statement by Archdeacon Wilberforce, who wrote
"Some are not aware that, after the Council of Nicea, A.D. 325, the manuscripts of the New Testament were considerably tampered with. Prof. Nestle, in his Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the Greek Testament, tells us that certain scholars, called correctores, were appointed by the ecclesiastical authorities, and actually commissioned to correct the text of the Scripture in the interest of what was considered orthodoxy."
There is evidence to indicate that not only were the original doctrines of early Essene Christianity radically changed at the Council of Nicea and replaced by others entirely different, but that the MAN whose life was an embodiment of the original doctrines was likewise replaced by another man who exemplified the new doctrines. The name of the second man, who was not a vegetarian and who did not prohibit the killing of animals, was Jesus Christ, who was put in the place of Apollonius of Tyana, the historical world teacher of the first century.
The first act of the Church Fathers, after they created their new religion and its messiah, neither of which existed previously, was to burn all books they could lay their hands on, especially those written during the first few centuries, which made no mention of Jesus and which referred to Apollonius as the spiritual leader of the first century, realizing as they did that such books, if they were not destroyed, constituted a dangerous menace to the survival of their deception. It was for this reason that the churchmen took such great pains to burn the ancient libraries, including the famous Alexandrian Library with its 400,000 volumes, which was burnt to the ground by edict of Theodosius, when a Christian mob destroyed the Serapeum where the scrolls and manuscripts were kept.
However, the churchmen failed to their purpose, for prior to its burning which they foresaw, the librarians of the Alexandrian Library had secretly removed from it some of the most precious volumes, which they carried eastward for safety.
Among the works which were thus saved from the flames of the Alexandrian Library, the one which has created the most widespread and long-continued discussion was the "Life of Apollonius of Tyana," written by Flavius Philostratus at the beginning of the third century CE. As if by an ironic fate, this book - which of all books burnt in the Alexandrian Library, was one of the most dangerous - was preserved down through the centuries, resisting all attempts to destroy it. The reason why this book was so much dreaded by the churchmen was because, while it made no mention whatsoever of the existence of Jesus or of Christianity, it presented Apollonius of Tyana as the universally acclaimed world teacher of the first century, reverenced from one end of the Roman Empire to the other, by everyone, from the lowest slave to the Emperor himself."
Apollonius of Tyana
W. B. Wallace, writing on "The Apollonius of Philostratus," calls Philostratus' biography a "pagan counter blast to the gospel of Galilee, representing a Greek saviour as an alternative to the Semitic one." (A). Furthermore, the main events of the lives of both men were so closely parallel that the reader cannot help but conclude that if Jesus is not a fictitious imitation of Apollonius, then Apollonius must be an imitation of him, since it would be highly improbable for two such similar men to have been born the same year and to have such similar biographies
From Phliostratus' biography, we gather the following facts about the life and character of Apollonius of Tyana. He was born in the year 4 BCE. At the age of twelve he was sent to Tarsus in Cilcia, the alleged birthplace and home of "St. Paul." There he studied every system of philosophy, and perfected himself in rhetoric and general literature. He took up residence in the temple of Aescalupius, famed for its marvellous cures, and was initiated by its priests into their mysteries, after which he performed cures that astonished not only the people but those masters of the art of healing. He then finally decided to adopt the philosophy of Pythagoras [who believed number is the essence of all things, the soul is immortal and goes to another body after death], and rigorously observed the trying discipline instituted by the Samian sage. He abstained from animal food, wine and women and lived upon fruits and herbs, dressed only in white linen garments of the plainest construction, went barefooted and with uncovered head, and wore his hair and beard uncut. He was especially distinguished for his beauty, his genial bearing, his uniform love and kindness, and his imperturbable equanimity of temper.
In these respects he was the personal embodiment of the imaginary traits of the Christian Jesus, and was no doubt the original of the pictures of the so-called Nazarene, now so venerated by the uninformed professors of the Christian religion. (Almost every picture that in modern times is recognized as a likeness of Jesus really have their origins in a portrait of Apollonius of Tyana painted in the reign of Vespasian.)
It appears that Apollonius was himself an object of worship because of his sanctity, wisdom, beauty, etc. wherever he went. "His magic powers, which seem to have been considerable, procured for local piety his recognition as an object of cultus in his Cappadocian birth-place," writes Phillimore. There is evidence that Apollonius's "church," whose adherents were known as "Apolloniei" survived for some centuries after his death, and constituted the origin of what, after the Council of Nicea, was later transformed into the Christian Church.
The question has to be asked why did they not base the new religion solely on Apollonius? Why did the gentiles need to base their new religion, which owed so much to Paul and the gentile mystery religions, on a devout Jew? There has to be some foundation for that.
325 CE - Ethiopia - The Book of Enoch, having been supressed by the Church, was declared apocryphal by St. Jerome. [p228)]
The Book of Enoch is translated by Richard Laurence in 1821 CE from scrolls found hidden in caves in Ethiopia in 1773 CE. These scrolls were evidently hidden during the same historical period as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Richard Laurence translation should not be confused with The Secrets of Enoch written in 1925 CE by another author, or a more recent fanatical tome fabricated by Elizabeth Clare Prophet.
Enoch means "learned one." There were many "Enochs" over the eons. The Book of Enoch talks of 200 "fallen angels," who "fell to earth" and were then stuck here while they tried to "repair" their conveyance. Orders from their "leader" were to not fraternise with the "women" of earth. Of course the first thing all these "angels" did was to mate with every earth woman they could find. In Genesis: 6:6 of the Bible and the "sons of God took the daughters of men for wives."
The Book of Enoch was declared apocryphal, and like the Book of Seth, and other ancient manuscripts, was denied entrance into the "approved" version of the original Bible by the Nicene Council of 325 CE.
But what is an Apocrypha? The etymology of the term shows that it is simply a SECRET BOOK, i.e. one that belonged to the catalogue of temple libraries under the guardianship of the Hierophants and initiated priests, and was NEVER meant for the common folk. Apocrypha comes from the verb "crypto," "to hide". For ages the "Enoichion" (the Book of the SEER) was preserved in the "city of letters" and secret works, the ancient Kirjath-Sepher, later on called the Debir. Some writers have tried to identify Enoch with Thoth of Memphis, the Greek Hermes, and even with the Latin Mercury. As individuals, all these are distinct from one another. Professionally, if one can use the word, now so limited in its sense, they belong ONE AND ALL to the same category of sacred writers, of Initiators and Recorders of Occult and ancient Wisdom.
Those in the "Kuran" (see Surat XIX), generically termed the Edris, or the "Learned" (the Initiated), bore in Egypt the name of "Thoth," the inventor of arts, sciences, writing or letters, of music and astronomy.
Among the Jews, the "Edris" became "Enoch," who, according to Bar-Hebraeus, "was the first inventor of writing," books, arts, and sciences, the FIRST to reduce to a system the progress of the planets.
In Greece he was called Orpheus, and thus changed his name with every nation! The number Seven was attached to, and connected with, each of those primitive Initiators, as well as the number 365, of the days in the year, astronomically, it identifies the mission, character, and the sacred office of ALL those men, but certainly NOT their personalities!
Enoch is the SEVENTH patriarch; Orpheus is the possessor of the "phorminx," the seven-stringed lyre, which is the seven-fold mystery of initiation.
Thoth, with the seven-rayed Solar Discus on his head, travels in the Solar boat, the 365 degrees, jumping out every fourth (leap) year for one day.
Finally, Thoth-Lunus is the septenary god of the seven days, or the week.
Esoterically and spiritually, "Enoichion" means "The Seer of the Open Eye".
The story about Enoch, told by Josephus, namely, that he had concealed under the pillars of Mercury or Seth his precious rolls or books, is the same as that told of Hermes, the "Father of Wisdom," who concealed his books of Wisdom under a pillar, and then, finding the two pillars of stone, found the science written thereon.
Yet Josephus, notwithstanding his constant efforts to give Israel unmerited glorification, by attributing the science (Wisdom) to the Jewish "Enoch," shows the pillars as still existing during his time. He tells us that they were built by Seth; and so they may have been, only neither by the Patriarch of that name, the fabled son of Adam, nor by the Egyptian god of Wisdom - Teth, Set, Thoth, Tat, Sat (the later Sat-an), or Hermes, who are ALL ONE, - but by the "sons of the Serpent-god," or "Sons of the Dragon," the name under which the Hierophants of Egypt and Babylon were known BEFORE THE DELUGE, as were their forefathers, the Atlanteans.
Quetzalcoatl, "the Great White Reformer" (Aryan), thought there were "two totems" in conflict when he took his "aerial tour" of North America. These conflicting totems were called the"Wind God" and the "Great Dragon". The Great Dragon easily turns into the "Sons of the Dragon" and the Wind God easily transforms into the "Eagle clutching the arrows" that flys on the wind. Two tribes warring from eons ago.
326 CE - Italy - In a public mark of his acceptance of Christianity as the official state religion, Constantine refused to carry out the traditional pagan sacrifices. The infamous forgery of the Roman Catholic Church dated to 326 CE called the 'Donation of Constantine' among many other dogmas including the confirmation of the bishop of Rome over all the Christians. It is composed over the period of 754 to 796 CE but many suggest it is finalized in 774 CE. The Roman Catholic Church would cling tenaciously to this deception until the twentieth century.
Campaigns of Samudragupta
330 - 375 CE - India - After the decline of the Mauryan Empire in the 2nd century BCE, India went through a long period of political fragmentation. But the memory of the Mauryan was not lost. In the 4th century CE a ruler came to power in Magadha - the state from which the Mauryan Empire had originated - who consciously took the Mauryans as a model to imitate. Chandragupta I claimed descent from his namesake, the founder of the Mauryan Empire, and set about extending his rule over as wide an area as possible. In about 330 his son Gamudragupta succeeded to what had become the Gupta Empire. As so often occurs in Ancient Indian history, the evidence for the military activities of Samadragupta is very limited - all of it being based on a single inscription found on a partly destroyed pillar in Allahabad, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Yet Samudragupta does appear to have been a formidable war leader who achieved substantial conquests: it is recorded that he performed a horse sacrifice in celebration of his victories over 21 kings. The list of his triumphs includes the defeat of the kingdoms of Kota and Andhra in southeastern India. Samudragupta forced the kings of Kota and Andhra to pay him tribute, while other kingdoms he took over entirely, with the result that he built an empire stretching from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea and north as far as the Himalayas. Gupta rule over some of this wide area was, however, probably little more than nominal. [Grant]
330 CE - Turkey - The city of Constantinople, formerly the Greek town of Byzantium, was inaugurated. Roman emperor Constantine renamed it after himself and made the capital of the empire. For more than 1,000 years, Constantinople would remain the most culturally advanced and politically important city in the east.
As Constantine the Great had made Byzantium "New Rome", it was thought appropriate that its bishop, once a suffragan of Heraclea, should become second only to the Bishop of Old Rome. Soon after the transfer of the Roman capital, the bishopric was elevated to an archbishopric. For many decades Roman popes opposed this ambition, not because anyone thought of disputing their first place, but because they were unwilling to change the old order of the hierarchy. In 381 CE, however, the First Council of Constantinople declared that "The Bishop of Constantinople shall have the primacy of honour after the Bishop of Rome, because it is New Rome" (can. iii).
Popes Damasus and Gregory the Great refused to confirm this canon, a very unusual and controversial step, as Ecumenical Councils were considered binding on all Christian churches. Nonetheless, the prestige of the office continued to grow under the patronage of the Byzantine emperor.
The Patriarch of Constantinople is the Ecumenical Patriarch, ranking as the "first among equals" in the Eastern Orthodox communion. In this capacity he is first in honor among all the Orthodox bishops, presides over any council of bishops in which he takes part and serves as primary spokesman for the communion, but has no jurisdiction over the other patriarchs or the other autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches.
In addition to being spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, he is the direct administrative superior of the (arch)dioceses serving some four million Ukrainian, Greek, Carpatho-Russian and Albanian Orthodox in the U.S., Canada, Central and South America, and Western Europe (where his flock consists mainly of the Greek, Slavic and other Balkan diaspora).
His titular position is Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, one of the sixteen autocephalous churches and one of the five patriarchal Christian centers comprising the ancient Pentarchy. In his role as head of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, he additionally holds the title Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome. He should not be confused with the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, an office that is now extinct. His official title is "His Most Divine All-Holiness the Archbishop of Constantinople New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch".
330 CE - Ethiopia - Aksum became one of the first kingdoms to accept Christianity as its national religion. It is noteworthy that Ethiopia, the Land of Punt, also has a long-standing Jewish tradition.
332 CE - Italy - Constantine I, decreed every man would henceforth be compelled to follow the profession of his parents and marry into the same family profession. Some zealots believe he saw himself as Christ's representative on earth and the head of the Church. For some five centuries after Constantine's reign, the Emperor called and presided over all Ecumenical Councils, promulgated their decisions by Imperial decree and ratified elections to all the Patriarchies. All religious doctrines, documents and claims developed during this period should be rationalized. It is said that Emperor Constantine had a cold and terrible lust for power.
Four early heresy issues arose within the Roman Catholic Church
1. Good and Evil - Gnosticism from Persian sources, Marcion doctrine (100 - 165 CE).
2. The Trinity - Arianism that is being spread by the Goth (Visigoth and Ostrogoth from Scandia), and Vandal, the Germanic-Mongolian peoples.
3. Nature of Christ - Christological Heresy that was settled in 451 CE.
4. Church and State - Spiritual vs. Secular (Authority vs. Responsibility) that has never been resolved.
333 CE - Italy - Emperor Constantine condemned astrology as a "demonic" practice. [p35EE]
333 CE - England - The Romans begin pulling troops out of Britain and abandon work on the 72-mile Hadrian's Wall begun in 122 CE. The wall includes at least 16 forts.
333 - 334 CE - Cyprus - On the island of Cyprus, the Magister pecoris camelorum Calocaerus revolted and took up the purple. He was defeated by Dalmatius the Censor. The usurper and his accomplices were tried and executed at Tarsus in Cilicia.
335 CE - Palestine - Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre is consecrated September 17 on the site of Christ's tomb on Golgotha.
336 - 336 CE - Italy - St. Mark, a Roman, is elected Papa of Rome, but was pope for only nine months. He was given even less importance from the side of Constantine than Silvester. The Liber Pontificalis attributed to him emission of a decree which reserved to the bishop of Ostia the right of consecration of the bishop of Rome. He also built the basilica, Juxta Pallacinis, identified later as the actual Church of St. Mark.
337 - 352 CE - Italy - St. Julius, a Roman, is elected Papa of Rome. Constantine I had murdered his second wife, and some say he built a church to ease his conscience. On his deathbed, it is alleged he converted to Christianity and promised to visit all the holy places if God would spare his life. Upon the death of Constantine as the effective head of the Roman Catholic Church, squabbling again broke out among the various Christian Churches.
337 - 339 CE - Turkey - Paul I becomes Bishop / Archbishop of Constantinople.
337 - 340 CE - Italy - The emperor Constantine dies May 22 at the age of 49. His wife Fausta persuaded him eleven years earlier to execute Flavius Julius Crispus, his son by his first wife, and he is succeeded by three sons born to Fausta. Constantine II, whose full name was Flavius Claudius Constantinus, was the son of Constantine I and Fausta. Following the death of their father and the subsequent murder of other relatives and heirs, Constantine II and his two brothers met in September of 337 CE in Pannonia, where they were acclaimed Augusti by the army, and began to apportion the empire among themselves.
337 - 361 CE - Italy - Constantius II, or Flavius Julius Constantius, second son of Constantine I and Fausta, was born on 7 August 317 CE in Illyricum. He was proclaimed co-emperor with his two brothers.
337 - 350 CE - Italy - Constans I, or Flavius Julius Constans, third and youngest son of Constantine I and Fausta, was born between 320 and 323 CE. He was proclaimed co-emperor with his two brothers.
339 - 341 CE - Turkey - Eusebius of Nicomedia becomes Archbishop of Constantinople.
340 CE - England - Romans cease building new roads in Britain.
340 CE - Italy - Julius, Papa of Rome, held a Roman Church synod at Rome but the Eastern Churches refused to attend. The Eastern synod extended no special status to the Papa of Rome. The Council of Antioch in 341 CE had reaffirmed the condemnation of Athanasius of Alexandria (d - 373 CE) and attacked the theology of Marcellus, one in being with the Father. Cyril, the bishop of Jerusalem, did not accept the Book of Revelation as part of the New Testament.
The Council of Gangra stated "if anyone, on the pretext of religion, teaches another man's slave to despise his master, and to withdraw from his service, and not to service his master with good will and all respect, let him be anathema (damned)." This was encoded in canon law and clearly condones slavery as an institution.
The Roman co-emperor Constantius II defeats and kills his brother Constantine II in March at Aquileia in northern Italy and unites all of the West under his rule.
341 CE - Italy - Despite the constant squabbling between the various Christian Churches, the Papa's of the Catholic Church began acquiring monarchical qualities like a Bishop of later times without reducing the superiority of the patriarchs. The five patriarchies are of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexander, Constantinople and a poorly represented Rome. The Orthodox Christian Church power base resided in the Eastern Church and not in the Western Roman Church. It is noteworthy that the Eastern Churches also trace their Papal authority back to Peter. Peter is to the Eastern Church as Paul is to the Western Church.
341 CE - Ethiopia - Coptic Christianity is introduced into Ethiopia. A variant of this communion will be the state religion.
341 - 342 CE - Turkey - Paul I, restored, becomes Archbishop of Constantinople.
342 CE - Italy - The two Roman Emperors, Constans and Constantius II called a General Council at Serdica (Sofia). The Roman Church held its opinion against the Federation of Eastern Churches. The Federation of Eastern Churches issued an encyclical excommunicating the leading Roman Papa's, including Julius, whom it branded as the cause of all the trouble. The Roman Papa's continued to hold council but Julius did not attend. Likely the Emperors saw him as a divisive factor.
342 - 346 CE - Turkey - Macedonius I becomes Archbishop of Constantinople.
346 CE - Egypt - Several thousand monks are scattered in the Heterodox Egyptian Desert Monasteries. [pp144+-]
346 - 351 CE - Turkey - Paul I, restored for the second time, becomes Archbishop of Constantinople.
4th cent. CE - Egypt - In the Egyptian calendar, these three days (11/1 - 11/3) are the Isia, the Feast of Isis, which commemorates the dismemberment of Osiris by his brother and murderer, Set, and the healing and love skills of Isis in collecting and reintegrating the King's body, bringing Osiris back to life a second time after having already revived him once after Set first killed Osiris by apparently suffocating him inside a wooden box. The love union of Isis and Osiris after this second resurrection produces the solar hero Horus, who will seek to kill his father's murderer the Hamlet plot first appears on Earth and to restore balance in the Realm between order and chaos, life and death.
350 CE - Belgium - The Roman empire allows the Franks to settle in Belgium.
350 - 353 CE - England - The Roman co-emperor Constans is murdered in a coup d'état by his military commander Magnentius, who usurps the Western Empire. Magnentius and Decentius are the Emperors of Rome. Romans cease building new roads in Gaul (France). Emperor Constantius invites Germanic tribes to cross the Rhine River to attack Gaul and the Roman Rhineland.
350 CE - Italy - Julius Nepotian, the son of Eutropia, the half-sister of Constantine the Great, declared himself emperor at Rome on 3 June 350 CE. With a band of gladiators he attacked Rome but was killed by Magnentius' generals on 30 June 350 CE, twenty-eight days after the beginning of the revolt. His head was put on a spear and carried around Rome.
Vetranio was born of humble origin in Moesia and had served well under Constantine I; under Constans he became a magister militum. Fearing the revolt of Magnentius, Constantia, the sister of Constantius, persuaded Vetranio to assume the title of Caesar. He was in Illyricum when he received the news about the revolt of Magnentius and the death of Constans. Constantia sent her brother a letter briefly informing him about the turn of events; he received the letter at Edessa, where he was facing the Persian menace. He sent Vetranio a diadem and recognized him as a fellow ruler.
Later, Constantius met with Vetranio at Serdica, and both moved on to Naissus in Serbia. On 25 December 350 CE, both men mounted a platform before the assembled troops; Constantius managed, by means of a strong speech, to have the soldiers acclaim him emperor. He then took the purple away from Vetranio. The emperor led the old man down the stairs of the platform, called him father, and led him to the dinner table. Vetranio was allowed by Constantius to live as a private citizen at Prusa on the equivalent of a state pension for six years until his death.
351 - 360 CE - Turkey - Macedonius I, restored, becomes the Archbishop of Constantinople.
351 CE - France - Magnentius is defeated at Mursa by Constantius II, who pursues him into Gaul.
352 - 366 CE - Italy - Liberius, a Roman, is elected Papa of Rome. Liberius is the first official listed Papa of Rome not recorded as a saint. The anti-Papa of Rome, Saint Felix II, is elected by the same Papa's who elected Liberius. These Papa's had solemnly sworn an oath they would not elect another Papa of Rome until Liberius died. The election of Saint Felix provoked a violent popular reaction, but many considered Liberius, the Papa of Rome to be a traitor to orthodoxy and a persecutor of the faithful.
There is little doubt that Emperor Constantius II is the official head of the Roman Church and is trying to force the Eastern and Western Churches to resolve their differences. Liberius decreed that the birth of Jesus should be celebrated on the same day as the birth of the sun gods - December 25th. Before this, the Christian church had no official observance of the birth of Jesus.
This was the first year that Christmas was definitely celebrated on December 25th. The festival of Christmas got its name from the term Christ's Mass, or a mass performed in honor of Christ. It was at this time that Christians celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ.
The exact dating of Christmas has been a subject of great debate and disagreement, although tradition and custom has it affixed now to December 25th. This date has little to do with actual Christian history and much to do with attempts by Christians to appeal to potential pagan converts by appropriating their own festivals of Saturnalia and Brumalia. Indeed, the earliest calendars to even list December 25 as Christmas did not appear until 336 CE.
There is no hint in the Gospels about the time of the year when Jesus is supposed to have been born - except that it couldn't have been midwinter, because in that part of the world it is the rainy season and shepherds would not be out at night. This meant that early Christianity found itself in the odd position of trying to tell everyone about what they claimed was the most tremendous birth ever without being able to say when it happened.
It is entirely coincidental that in 274 CE, when the winter solstice fell on December 25th, pagan emperor Aurelian proclaimed this day as Natalis Solis Invicti, the festival of the birth of the invincible sun. Throughout pagan Europe, Christianity was known for supplanting pagan celebrations and holy places in an effort to speed conversion, and it is easy to see this as another example of the same.
It is important to note the fact that celebrating the memory of a person on the day of their birth isn't normal to Christianity. Typically, a saint's "day" is placed on the date of their supposed death - and in the early days, their martyrdom. It was in the pagan, and especially in the Roman world, where celebrations on the anniversary of a person's birth was more likely to be found.
353 CE - France - England - Emperor Constantius defeats Magnentius, but the result of inviting Germanic intervention was that armed bands of Germanic tribesmen maraud through the Western Empire. Since Britain supported Magnentius, Constantius decimated the British ruling class.
The oldest surviving portrait of Augustine, from the Lateran in Rome, 6th century.
354 - 430 CE - Algeria - Considered to be one of the most outstanding theologians in the history of the Catholic Church, Augustine of Hippo was born at Tagaste on 13 November, 354 CE, in Tagaste, now Souk-Ahras, Algeria, about sixty miles from Bona (ancient Hippo-Regius), and died almost seventy-six years later in Hippo Regius. Tagaste was at that time a small free city of proconsular Numidia which had recently been converted from Donatism. Although eminently respectable, his family was not rich, and his father, Patricius, one of the curiales of the city, was still a pagan.
355 CE - France - Finding himself in an untenable position, Silvanus revolted and declared himself emperor at Colonia Agrippina on 11 August. He was driven to this action because he heard that his own men would put him to death or sell him to the emperor.
When Constantius, at Mediolanum (Milan), received the news about the revolt of Silvanus, he called a meeting of his consistory and dispatched Ursicinus to Gaul with a letter naming him as Silvanus' successor. When the general arrived at Colonia Agrippina, he was well received; the letter he carried simply ordered Silvanus to return to Mediolanum and contained no evidence that the emperor knew of the revolt. Although Silvanus hoped that his replacement would support him, Ursicinus, by means of bribes, was able to win over the auxilia; some of them put Silvanus to death while he was on his way to a Christian service at dawn on 7 September 355 CE; he had been in power for twenty-eight days.
Liberius requested a synod to resolve East-West differences, but when the Papa's own legates sided with the Eastern Church he demanded a new general council at Milan. Emperor Constantius II used bullying tactics to extract a condemnation of Athanasius from all the delegates except three Nicenes, who were promptly exiled. Liberius, Papa of Rome, however resisted bribery and threats to compromise, and was brought by force to Milan. Proving unyielding, he was banished to Beroea in Thrace.
Alamanni tribesmen cross the Rhine and wreak havoc in eastern Gaul (France).
357 CE - Greece - Liberius, the Papa of Rome exiled at Beroea, under pressure from the local Papa, capitulated to the Papa's and submitted to the Emperor of Rome. His own letters suggest he was ready to pay almost any price to return to Rome.
357 CE - Italy - Constantius II issues a decree February 19 closing all pagan temples in the Roman Empire.
357 CE - France - In 356 CE the emperor Constantius II sent the 24-year-old Caesar Julian to fight the Alemanni, a confederation of Germany tribes led by King Chnodomar that was raiding across the Rhine. After a year of indecisive fighting, Julian met Chnodomar's army as it crossed the Rhine near Argentorate (present-day Strasbourg). Julian's forces were heavily outnumbered, since reinforcement from Rome had failed to arrive, and at first the battle went badly for them. Their cavalry almost bolted when Alemanni light infantry got among them, creeping low and stabbing at the horses, but the Roman infantry stood firm, subjecting the Alemanni to a sustained missile barrage from field artillery, bows, and slingshots. When it came to hand-to-hand combat, the Romans and their auxiliaries - many of whom were also German tribesmen - put the Alemanni to flight, pursuing them to the Rhine, where many drowned. [Grant]
358 CE - Yugoslavia - Emperor Constantius II allowed Liberius, Papa of Rome, to be brought to Sirmium (Mitrovica in Yugoslavia) where he signed a proclamation rejecting the Nicene, one in being with the Father, declared the Son to be like the Father in being and in deed in everything. The Roman Church was told that Liberius could return to Rome only if he reigned jointly with Saint Felix II. The Roman Empire had been jointly ruled several times, and subsequently the Roman Church was jointly ruled for the next seven years. The supporters of Liberius acclaimed one God, one Christ and one Papa. The Roman government supported Felix as Papa of Rome and, Liberius as Papa of Rome, was not invited to the Synod of Rimini in 359 CE.
359 CE - Italy - The Eastern Papa's synod of Rimini adopted the Arianizing creed. Liberius in retaliation for not being invited to the synod, issued a decree after the death of Emperor Constantius II in 361 CE which set aside the Arianizing decision.
360 - 363 CE - Italy - Julian the Apostate becomes Roman Emperor upon appointment by Constantius II. In the preceding decades, the Church had grown in political power, and basic philosophical differences caused a widening schism between the leaders of the Church of Greece and the Church of Rome. The Roman bishops used their influence to gain political power, and the Emperor allowed them to mobilize troops to enforce their expansion of the New Roman Empire into the lands of the Celts. In 361 CE, Emperor Julian sought to check this growing power and abolished Christianity as the official religion of the Empire, reinstating pagan worship.
Julian went back to Mithraism, but his short reign of only two years could not change what Constantine had decreed regarding Christianity as the state religion of Rome. His defeat, and death, at the hands of the Persians, was used by the Christians as an argument in favour of the new, against the old, being looked upon as an omen that Christianity had divine approval. If Julian had been spared to reign some years longer, the entire history of international religion would almost certainly have been different.
The Christian Church was considered a radical sect by the Romans and was meeting in private homes. This Roman Cult used a symbol of a fish as their icon.
360 - 370 CE - Turkey - Eudoxius of Antioch becomes the Archbishop of Constantinople.
360 CE - England - Picts and Scots cross Hadrian's Wall and attack Roman forces in Britain.
Flavius Claudius Julianus
361 CE - Italy - The emperor Constantius II dies November 3 near Tarsus in Cilicia at age 44 as he marches to join his cousin Flavius Claudius Julianus, 30. Constantinople acknowledges Julianus as sole head of the empire, and he enters the city December 11, beginning an 18-month reign as the emperor Julian.
The new Roman emperor Julian tries to organize a pagan church under Mithraism and substitute it for Christianity.
362 CE - Egypt - Liberius, Papa of Rome, adopted a conciliatory posture at the Synod of Alexandria and subsequently allowed communion to those who objected to his positions provided they adhered to the Nicene faith. This posture would continue until his death. His attempt at atonement suggested to the Roman Catholic Church that he was a weak Roman and this only tended to continue to divided their support. The Roman belief of absolutism did not sit well with any conciliatory posture. The Romans provided the Modern Bible into which the Roman principle of absolutism is incorporated. Any reference in the bible with regard to re-incarnation was removed.
363 CE - Persia - The emperor Julian sustains a mortal wound June 26 in a battle with the Persians. The last champion of polytheism, he is succeeded by the captain of his imperial bodyguard, Flavius Iovianus, 32, who will reign for seven months as the emperor Jovian.
363 - 364 CE - Italy - Under Emperor Jovian, who followed Julian, the substitution of Christianity for Mithraism made further progress, and old Pagan beliefs, like the Virgin Birth, Baptism and Holy Trinity, became generally accepted as the basis of the state religion. The early Christian idea of Unitarianism was quickly squashed in favour of Trinitarianism, and those who refused to accept the Holy Trinity were put to the sword, the beginning of mass slaughter in the name of religion, which was to go on for centuries.
364 CE - Turkey - The emperor Jovian signs a humiliating treaty with the Persian shah Shapur II, yielding the kingdom of Armenia and most Roman holdings in Persia. He is found dead in February at Dadastana en route back to Constantinople and is succeeded by the Pannonian general Valentinian, 42, who later appoints his brother Valens, 36, co-emperor. Valentinian I rules from Caledonia to northwestern Africa; Valens from the Danube east to the Persian border.
364 - 375 CE - Italy - Valentian I was one of Rome's last great warrior emperors. There was a power vacuum after the death of Julian, last ruler of the Neo-Flavian line. His immediate successor Jovian did not really survive long enough to leave his stamp on late Roman society. In general terms, Valentinian's challenge was to hold together an empire that had experienced sixty years of internal unrest, something which was of major import.
364 - 378 CE - Italy - On March 28, 364 CE, precisely one month after his accession by Roman reckoning, Valentinian appointed his brother Flavius Valens co-emperor at the Hebdomon, the first in a long line of emperors proclaimed there.
365 CE - Italy - Saint Felix II, Papa of Rome, died in November and was included in the list of Papas of Rome and martyrs, whereas Liberius, Papa of Rome, was not sainted.
365 - 366 CE - Turkey - Procopius was born about 326 CE and spent his early years in Cilicia. After holding positions in the Roman military, he eventually left his military position and went into hiding. Stories regarding his motives are conflicting.
When Valens left Constantinople for Antioch at the end of the winter of 365 / 366 CE, Procopius considered conditions in the city ripe for rebellion. With the help of a wealthy former palace eunuch, he bribed two legions based in Constantinople, then armed slaves and volunteers. By night he entered Constantinople, rousing the populace, which looked on in confusion.
It happened that the legions Divitenses and the Thungricani Iuniores, which were enroute to Thrace, were billeted in the Anastasian Baths of Constantinople during a two-day break in march. Procopius, in exchange for promised advancement, won over friends in their ranks. After an all-night meeting, they acted. The cadre presented Procopius to the legionaries and they, in anticipation of rewards, acclaimed him emperor. Under their escort, Procopius marched to the to the vicinity of the palace and senate house the buildings themselves, together with the monuments associated with them, testimony to the grandeur of Procopius' lineage where he first addressed a crowd seeded with his supporters. Hailed as imperator, he next entered the Senate chambers, there to find but a few low-ranking members.
Valens learned what had transpired from the notarius Sophronius, who, hastening from Constantinople, reached the disheartened emperor in Caesarea and convinced him to march posthaste to secure Galatia. Others, too, among them some former soldiers, fled toward Valens. In the west Valentinian learned of these events about 1 November while enroute to Paris. Distracted by war against the Alammani and uncertain whether news of Procopius' revolt meant that Valens was dead, he initially decided to move east to check Procopius, but was soon convinced that the German problem should take precedence.
Meanwhile, Procopius acted quickly, spurred by reports that Valentinian was dead. Procopius' initial encounter with units of Valens' forces at Mygdus was a bloodless victory, as the Jovii and Victores deserted to Procopius' standards. Valens' attempt to regain control of Nicaea (captured for Procopius by Rumitalca) and Chalcedon, which, together with Helenopolis, were in enemy hands nearly resulted in disaster.
In the spring of 366 CE, Valens, after linking up with his magister equitum Flavius Lupicinus, launched an offensive. Their initial objective was Pessinus, which would be used as a base of operations for a thrust into Lydia against enemy units under the command of Gomoarius. To counter the effect on the soldiers of Procopius' dynastic claim, Valens, heartened by Arbitio, now played on the authority of the old commander, whose pleas undermined the loyalty of Gomoarius' troops and precipitated their voluntary surrender a mass defection which Eunapius alleges that heroic action by Hormisdas nearly overcame. As the main forces advanced, the armies apparently missed one another, with the result that Procopius' contingent ended up in Phrygia, that of Valens in Lydia at Sardis. But Valens quickly turned about towards Phrygia, where, in battle near Nacolia, the desertion during combat of Procopius' general Aglio sealed the usurper's fate. Procopius went into hiding, accompanied by Florentius, commander of the garrison of Nicaea, and Barchalba. However, these two quickly gave Procopius over to Valens. According to Ammianus, the usurper was beheaded on the spot and his betrayers then executed.
366 CE - Turkey - After the revolt of Procopius, the elevation of Marcellus' as Emperor began in its immediate aftermath. Procopius had sent Marcellus from Constantinople to Bithynia to attack cavalry units detailed there under the command of Serenianus. Serenianus occupied Cyzicus, but Marcellus took the city and had Serenianus, who had escaped and fled to Lydia, was hunted down and killed. After Procopius' defeat at Nacolia and subsequent execution on 27 May 366 CE, the victorious Valens captured Marcellus and, enraged at the discovery of imperial regalia passed to Marcellus by Procopius, liquidated him along with his followers, friends, relatives, and any suspected of withholding information.
366 - 384 CE - Italy - Liberius, Papa of Rome, died and a papal war erupted between Ursinus and Damasus I, a Roman, keeping in mind St. Felix II, Papa of Rome, was still considered as an anti-papa to Liberius. Damasus I, Papa of Rome, who had followed Liberius into exile in 355 CE, took service with Felix in Rome and in 358 CE returned to Liberius. Damasus I also had requested and received the support of the Roman Government. The followers of Liberius elected Ursinus, a deacon of Liberius, as the Papa of Rome. Ursinus lost the papal battle and became the anti-papa of Rome.
Damasus I immediately hired assassins to storm the Julian basilica to massacre the Ursinians. Fighting ensued for three days and 137 bodies were finally removed from St. Mary Major when the fighting ended all were followers of Ursinus. The Emperor sent Ursinus into exile and Damasus I, as Papa of Rome, claimed his authority as successor to St. Peter. To obtain the position, he had to renounce his wife and family. This claim was not made by the Fathers of the Church, but began a precedent hitherto unsupported by theology. Mob violence continued for another three weeks. The Papa of Rome required constant police protection against the followers of Ursinus. The Papa's of Italy were shocked by the events that weakened the moral authority of the Roman Catholic Church. Damasus I became known as 'the matrons' ear-tickler due to his attention to the wealthy ladies. He led a magnificent life style and was considered to be impossibly arrogant.
Damasus I asked the prefect of Rome, a pagan with many priestly titles, to convert to Christianity. He replied, "Willingly, if you make me Papa of Rome." The Papacy had acquired much property, power and luxury that even surpassed that of the Emperor's table. St. Jerome, devoted to pagan learning and the secretary to Damasus, compiled the first Latin bible called the Vulgate. Jerome loathed women and said St. Peter only washed away the dirt of marriage by the blood of martyrdom. Understandably the Vulgate bible that is still authoritative in the Roman Catholic Church contained many errors. Jerome (340 - 420 CE) realized that the Semitic-Hebrew name Joshua had been incorrectly translated as Jesus. The correct translation of Jesus Christ (the anointed one) is correctly Joshua, the Messiah. Saint Jerome acknowledged the ancient copies of the Gospel of the Birth of Mary attributed to Saint Matthew and that it is considered genuine and authentic by several of the ancient Christian sects. Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis, and Austin, also mentioned a Gospel under this title. It was acknowledged that the Jerome version of the Mary Gospel according to Matthew differed in some specifics from other more ancient copies.
367 CE - England - The Celt of Caledonia continued to cross the Hadrian wall and attack the Roman army.
367 CE - France - The Scandinavian Germanic Saxon, Frank and Anglo tribes began to raid the coast of Celtic Gaul.
367 CE - Italy - Ursinus returned to Rome in triumph being allowed to do so by Emperor Valentinian. His jubilation is short lived as Damasus I, Papa of Rome, bribed the court to again exile the anti-Papa of Rome, his clergy and many of his followers to Gaul. Many followers continued to meet in the cemeteries but are soon brutally dislodged by the Papa's henchmen.
Gratian became emperor of the Western Roman Empire. It was not until the Empire split in two, with the Western Empire going to the pious, youthful Emperor Gratian (c. 370 CE) that the Pope was given the title Pontifex Maximus. Indeed, feeling that it was not right for he himself to carry that title (since he was, after all, not a Christian priest) the pious young Emperor bestowed it upon Pope Damasus I, who became the first Pope in history to hold the title "Pontifex Maximus."
368 CE - Italy - A Roman synod called by Damasus I to excommunicate Ursinus resulted in his request being turned down by the Italian Papa's.
370 CE - Germany - Germanic Christianity embraced the Arian Doctrine that Jesus was the Son and creature of God the Father, neither eternal nor equal in substance with his creator. This Doctrine raised by the Libyan theologian Arius (256 - 336 CE) raged until being condemned and put down. The importance of this incident was not the doctrine but a shift in policy from freedom of debate and reason to one of monopolistic belief. The credo became 'I believe that I may understand.' This simple credo would lead the church into the dark ages. Arianism also stressed local law, personal loyalty and war as the most highly prized occupation leading Europe into cultural decay. This 'contractual society' as compared to an 'agreement society' would dominate Europe into the 21st century.
370 - 379 CE - Turkey - Demophilus becomes the Archbishop of Constantinople.
371 CE - Persia (Iran) - The neo-Persian Empire reaches the height of its power under Shapur II as the Romans and Persians renew their wars. Hostilities will continue for the next five years.
372 - 375 CE - Africa - Firmus was one of the many children of the Moorish prince Nubel, who was also a Roman military officer and a Christian. When Nubel died sometime in the early 370s, his children began fighting over his estate. Firmus killed his brother Zammac, an illegitimate heir but a favorite of the comes Africae Romanus. Romanus was infuriated by this act, and, using his acquaintance with the magister officiorum Remigius, he began a campaign to discredit Firmus at the imperial court of Valentinian I. Fearing for his safety, Firmus decided to revolt against Romanus.
This revolt occurred against the backdrop of Romanus' general mismanagement of the African provinces. Firmus' revolt caused Valentinian to send his magister militum Theodosius (father of the later emperor) to Africa.
Theodosius arrived at Sitifis and arrested Romanus before heading into Mauretania Caesariensis to deal with Firmus. Firmus tried to reconcile with Theodosius, explaining that Romanus had left him no choice but to revolt. Theodosius, however, was intent on punishing Firmus. In fact Firmus made three appeals for peace, even going so far as to send Christian priests as envoys, but each time Theodosius chose to continue hostilities. At some point, perhaps even before Theodosius' arrival, Firmus was proclaimed emperor. According to Ammianus, a tribunus Constantianorum peditum put his neck chain on Firmus' head, and Firmus rode around in a purple cloak. The neck chain on Firmus' head symbolized the royal diadem, while the purple cloak was a traditional symbol of imperial power.
During his conflicts with Theodosius, which ranged throughout the southern regions of Mauretania Caesariensis and Mauretania Sitifensis, Firmus was aided by some of his siblings. His brothers Mascizel and Dius led the Tyndenses and Masinissenses peoples, while his sister Cyria led a confederation of African peoples on Firmus' behalf. Theodosius' campaign almost turned into a fiasco as his army was vastly outnumbered and Firmus was able to stir up support among the various native peoples of the two provinces. Theodosius was almost defeated and forced to withdraw several times, but in the end Firmus was betrayed and captured by Igmazen, a chieftain of the Isaflenses, who apparently wanted to win the support of Theodosius. Not wanting to fall into the hands of Theodosius, Firmus committed suicide.
372 CE - Asia - Russia - The Huns swept across Asia, invaded the lower Volga valley, and moved westward, pushing the Ostrogoths (Eastern Goths) and Visigoths (Western Goths) into the Roman Empire. The Scandia Ostrogoth (Eastern Goth) were living relatively peacefully north of the Black Sea for the past two hundred years, having migrated from Scandia (Sweden) and having subjected the Mongol-Sarmatians. The Scandia Visigoth (Western Goth) were also settled in this area for the past one hundred seventy five years.
375 CE - Germany - The emperor Valentinian I dies November 17 at age 53 in a fit of apoplexy while attending a meeting on the Danube. Extreme cruelty has marked his 11-year reign, but he has founded schools and provided physicians to serve the poor of Constantinople. Valentinian I is succeeded nominally by his son of 4, who is hailed as Valentinian II, but the boy's half brother Flavius Gratianus, 17, assumes the real power. He will rule from Milan until 383 CE as the emperor Gratian.
375 - 392 CE - Italy - Valentian II, or Flavius Valentinianus, was born in 371 CE. He was the son of the emperor Valentinian I. When Valentinian I died at Bregetio on November 17, 375, the younger Valentinian was proclaimed Augustus by the army on November 22. This was problematic because his half-brother, Gratian, was already the legitimate Augustus in the west, having been so designated in 367 CE by Valentinian I himself. But the army and its leaders were apparently unwilling to accept Gratian, who was not as effective military leader as his father Valentinian had been. Thus, to prevent a possible split of the army, which might have proven disastrous since Valentinian had died in the middle of a campaign against the Quadi and the Sarmatians, the general Merobaudes summoned the four-year-old Valentian II, who was only 100 miles away with his mother, and proclaimed him Augustus.
Valentian II died on 15 May 392 CE, killed by Arbogastes, who was Valentinian's magister militum.
375 - 395 CE - Spain - Theodosius I, aka Flavius Theodosius, was born at Cauca in Spain in about 346 CE to Thermantia and Theodosius the Elder (so-called to distinguish him from his son). Theodosius the Elder was a senior military officer serving in the Western empire and rose to become the magister equitum praesentalis under the emperor Valentinian I from late 368 CE until his execution in early 375 CE. As the son of a soldier, Theodosius was legally obliged to enter upon a military career.
Due to military defeats, Valentinian dismissed Theodosius and sent him home to Cauca in Spain in the same manner, and for the same reason, that the emperor Constantius II had dismissed Valentinian himself in 357 CE. He had found him guilty of cowardice.
The best explanation for the death of Theodosius the Elder is that he had tried to intervene on behalf of his son, and Valentinian had had him executed as a result, most probably during the early new year of 375 CE. His son regained his commission within the army only following the death of Valentinian himself on 17 November 375 CE. He seems to have obtained a position similar to that which he had originally held at his dismissal, that of dux Valeriae perhaps. He campaigned against the Sarmatians again in 376 CE, during which he was promoted as the magister militum per Illyricum. He remained as magister militum per Illyricum from 376 CE until 19 January 379 CE when the western emperor Gratian appointed him to succeed his eastern colleague Valens who had been killed at the Battle of Adrianople on 9 August 378 CE. The fact that Gratian chose him as his new colleague does not necessarily mean that he enjoyed a particularly good reputation as the best general of his day. Gratian had effectively been forced to choose him since he seems to have been the most senior officer of Roman birth available to him at the time.
Theodosius was Catholic and received baptism at the hands of bishop Acholius of Thessalonica during the autumn of 380 CE when serious illness threatened his life. Two days after his first arrival in Constantinople on 24 November 380 CE, Theodosius expelled the "Arian" bishop Demophilus of Constantinople from the churches of that city and surrendered them to Gregory of Naziaznus who happened to be the leader of the small Catholic or "Nicene" community there at the time. This was greatly resented and may even have resulted in an attempt to assassinate the emperor. He also called a synod of 150 Catholic bishops who assembled at Constantinople in May 381 CE. An early meeting of this synod, when all the bishops had not yet arrived, elected Gregory of Nazianzus as the new Bishop of Constantinople, but he was quickly forced to resign. The synod then elected the senator Nectarius, who obviously enjoyed the strong backing of the emperor himself, in his stead. Theodosius' early reign witnessed the gradual expulsion of all heretical bishops from the towns and cities of the East and the transfer of all church buildings and property to their Catholic rivals. The depth of resentment which such policies caused can best be judged by the fact that in 388 CE "Arian" mobs at Constantinople rioted and caused widespread damage in reponse to the false rumour that Magnus Maximus had inflicted a severe defeat upon Theodosius.
Theodosius I and his two co-emperors declared Christianity the state religion in that form that the Roman Empire had received from St. Paul (and/or St. Peter) and Saint Damasus of Rome and Peter of Alexandria. They declared the Papa of Rome as the guardian of the true faith and those who espoused this doctrine are given the title Christians. This primacy is not based on decisions of synod, as are the claims of Constantinople but exclusively on his claim to being the direct successor of St. Peter and so the rightful heir of the promise made to him by Christ. It is noteworthy that only the intervention of the Roman Emperor in 371 CE saved the Papa of Rome from claims of adultery, and that he secured his position through murder not a valid election. He advanced the cult of the martyrs to ensure a direct successor from St. Peter to the present reigning Papa of Rome is maintained at all costs. Forgery and falsification of records is consider acceptable. Papal reigns are expanded or contracted to conveniently record an unbroken Papal rule.
The Roman Catholic Christian Church became the Roman Empire Church in action and words. In the beginning the state trespassed on the Church's domain trying to mould the principles of faith to meet the law. Eventually the Roman Church would trespass on the State demanding the right to appoint or remove Kings and Emperors. The Gospel message became a means to power and glory. The later Puritan Church revolution movement would consider that about this time the Roman Catholic Church began to formally deviate from Christian ideals. The Puritans especially resented the heathenish Roman traditions that began to dominated this Roman Church. Some historians believe this was the beginning of the Roman Catholic doctrine of absolutism.
Theodosius' importance rests on the fact that he founded a dynasty which continued in power until the death of his grandson Theodosius II in 450 CE. This ensured a continuity of policy which saw the emergence of Nicene Christianity as the orthodox belief of the vast majority of Christians throughout the middle ages. It also ensured the essential destruction of paganism and the emergence of Christianity as the religion of the state, even if the individual steps in this process can be difficult to identify. On the negative side, however, he allowed his dynastic interests and ambitions to lead him into two unnecessary and bloody civil wars which severely weakened the empire's ability to defend itself in the face of continued barbarian pressure upon its frontiers. In this manner, he put the interests of his family before those of the wider Roman population and was responsible, in many ways, for the phenomenon to which we now refer as the fall of the western Roman empire.
375 CE - Ukraine - The Scandia Visigoth (Western Goth) crossed into Roman territory in flight from the Huns, a Mongol-Turkish tribe. The Ostrogoth (Eastern Goth) followed their kinsmen shortly thereafter. The successors to the Turkish Huns were the Mongol Avars and the Magyars. The Romans permitted the fleeing Visigoths to enter the Empire at Foederati, but so mistreated them that the Visigoths eventually revolted.
377 CE - Italy - It was at this time that Christianity became sufficiently strong to suppress its rival, Mithraism. The former mainstay of the Roman empire, Mithraism, was to remain a formidable opponent for some time after that, only slowly being forsaken by the people. It was only the absorption of many Mithraist ideas into Christianity which finally saw its downfall.
378 CE - Turkey - The pressure on the Roman Empire from barbarian migration or invasion inceased as the 4th century progesssed. In the 370s the Huns - central-Asian nomadic horsemen - began to move westward, attacking the Germanic Goths living northwest of the Black Sea. Although they were fierce warriors, the Ostrogoths (the Greuthungi) and Visigoths (the Tervingi) fled the Huns, their whole tribes migrating in search of refuge. In 376 the Visigoths sought and received permissions from Valens, the Roman emperor in the east, to cross the Danube into Thrace, in northern Greece. Valens refused a similar request from the Ostrogoths, but they crossed into the empire regardless. Inevitably, this influx of barbarians - possibly number two million in total - led to friction with Roman officials. Soon the Visigoths, led by Fritigern, and the Ostrogoths, led by Alatheus and Saphrax, were at war with Rome and rampaging through Thrace, joined by bands of Sarmatians, Alans, and even Huns. By August 378 the Goths had established a camp outside Adrianople from which their horsemen went raiding and foraging in the surrounding area. Without waiting for reinforcement from the western emperior, Gratian, Valens marched an army out from Constantinople to attack the Goths. When his marching column aproved their camp - a circle of wagons protected by a ditch - the Goths' horsemen, including Alatheus and Saphrax, were away on a raid. Fritigern called for a parley, which Valens, his men tired from marching in the heat and not yet in battle formation, accepted. As negotiations were starting, however, fighting broke out between the two sides. Valens ordered a general attack, even though his infantry were still not fully prepared. At this point, the cavalry of Alatheus and Saphrax returned, in the words of Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus, "descending from the mountains like a thunderbolt." Charging down upon the Roman right flank they routed the cavalry and wheel to attack the infantry from the rear. Fritigern's footsoldiers then emerged from behind their wagons to strike the legionaries from the front. As his soldiers were slaughtered in their tens of thousands, Valens was first wounded, then killed. In typical fashion, the Romans recovered from this disaster and, under Valens' successor Theodosius, fought back vigorously against the Goths. Fritigern died resisting the Romans five years later. Many Goths ended up as "federate" allies of the Romans, providing armies to fight for the empire instead of against it. [Grant]
The emperor Gratian summons his general Flavius Theodosius, 32, to replace Valens as emperor in the East. A veteran of many campaigns with his late father, who was executed at Carthage two years earlier on charges of conspiring against Valens, the new co-emperor has fought the Picts in Britain and defeated the Sarmatians in Moesia.
The Christians in Antioch first introduced Christ's Mass (Christmas) as a liturgical celebration on December 25. This date is used to align with Jewish and pagan festivals. The Jewish people celebrated Hanukkah and the Romans celebrated Saturnalia from December 17 to 24 when a slave and his master are regarded as equal. Sigillaria followed where parents gave dolls to children, beginning a tradition of gift giving. The Christians in Edessa accused the Roman Catholic Christians of idolatry and sun worship having aligned with the pagan sun worship festivals and rejected this tradition.
378 CE - Italy - Damasus I persuaded the Roman Government to recognize the Holy See as a court of first instance and also of appeal for the Western episcopate. The Roman Emperor Gratian supported this request as it supported the centralized Roman authority.
Relief from Taq-i Bustan showing Ardashir II (379-383) at the center receiving his crown from Ahura Mazda. The two stand on a prostrate enemy. At the left is Mithra as a priest, wearing a crown of sun-rays, holding a priest's barsam, and standing on a sacred lotus.
379 CE - Persia (Iran) - The Persian shah Shapur II dies at age 70 after a lifetime reign in which he has humbled the Romans, conquered Armenia, transferred multitudes of people from western lands to Susiana (Khuzistan), rebuilt Susa, and founded Nishapur.
379 - 383 CE - Persia (Iran) - Ardashir II ruled as king of the Sassanid Empire.
379 CE - Turkey - Evagrius becomes the Archbishop of Constantinople.
379 - 380 CE - Turkey - Gregory I Nazianzus the Theologian becomes the Archbishop of Constantinople.
379 CE - Italy - The co-emperor Theodosius assumes office at Sirmius January 19 with power over all the eastern provinces, he comes to terms with the Visigoths, and he settles them in the Balkans as military allies (foederati).
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