historical timeline

of the African Provinces

300 - 399 C.E.
400 - 499 C.E.
500 - 599 C.E.
600 - 699 C.E.
700 - 799 C.E.
800 - 899 C.E.
900 - 999 C.E.
200
Tertullian, The Demurrer against the Heretics, (De Praescriptione haereticorum.)
c. 200
Birth of Cyprian in Carthage.
200's
Third century Alexandrian Gnostic writings: Apocalypse of Peter; Letter of Peter to Philip; Gospel of Mary; Bala'izah Gnostic fragments at monastic library at Bala'izah.
200's
Third century Sethian Gnostic writings: Hypostasis of the Archons, Gospel of the Egyptians, Three Steles of Seth, Zostrianos, Melchizedek, Thought of Norea, Allogenes (these either from Alexandria or Syria). Seth is a central figure (mythological) in the Nag Hammadi texts.
200's
Third century non-Gnostic literature of Egyptian provenance: Apocalypse of Elijah (Upper Egypt), Gospel of Bartholomew, Gospel of the Savior, Exhortation to the Greeks.
200-206
Tertullian, On Prayer, On Patience (De patientia), On Baptism (De baptismo), On the Apparel of Women (De cultu feminarum), To My Wife (Ad uxorem), Against the Jews (Adversus Iudaeos) Against Hermogenes (Adversus Hermogenem.)
202
Leonidas- Origen's father; he was martyred in Alexandria during the persecution of Septimius Severus; Origen escapes as a teenage orphan. Condemned to death by the Egyptian prefect Lactus, he was beheaded, and his property seized.
202
Clement leaves Alexandria for Palestine during Severan persecutions
202
Septimius Severus: First African Emperor. Professed by Eusebius that he was the responsible one for the persecution of Christians. However, the opposite is said by that of Tertullian, who explains that Septimius Severus actually is quite civil with Christians to the extent that one of his personal physicians is one. Regardless, it is at least agreed upon that Eusebius told such things due to a large amount of persecutions occurring during his reign of 191 AD-211 AD.
202-203
Account of Martyrdom of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas.
202-203
African-born Emperor Septimius Severus pays state visit to Carthage and initiates vast building program at Lepcis Magna in Libya as fortified city.
202-203
Persecution of burgeoning Christianity in Africa and Egypt under Septimius Severus--- Eusebius reports "countless numbers" wreathed with crowns of martyrdom, escorted to the arena "from Egypt and the whole Thebais" (from Nile delta as far south as Syene); Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas at Carthage and Victorius of Tabarka.
202-231
Ammonius Saccas - Mainly known for his summary of the Ammonian sections, that are more commonly known today as the Eusebian Canons. On the word of Eusebius, it has been found that Ammonius created The Harmony of Moses and Jesus.
202-231
Origen trained in Greek Literature and Philosophy under Ammonius Saccas
203-204
Tertullian, Repentance (De paenitentia.)
204
Tertullian, On Ecstasy (De ecstasi), On the Hope of the Faithful (De spe fidelium), On Paradise (De paradiso.)
205
Birth of Plotinus, Egyptian philosopher.
c. 206
Tertullian, The Veiling of Virgins (De virginibus velandis.)
206-212
The "semi-Montanist period" of Tertullian's writing.
207-208
Tertullian writes the second edition of Adversus Marcionem, containing books I - III.
208-212
Caracalla grants Roman citizenship to all free residents of the empire, legal recognition nominally granted to Jews and Christians for the first time.
208-212
Solar eclipse of 14th August; Tertullian writes Ad Scapulam.
208-212
Tertullian writes The Soul (De anima), The Flesh of Christ (De carne Christi), The Resurrection of the Dead (De resurrectione mortuorum), An Exhortation to Chastity, Against Marcion (Adversus Marcionem), books IV-V, 3rd edition, De pallio, Adversus Valentinianos, De censu animae adversus Hermogenem, De fato, Adversus Apelleiacos.
211
Death of Septimius Severus; accession of his son Caracalla, Emperor, 211-217, continuing the African-based Severian dynasty; first long peace.
211
Tertullian writes The Crown (De corona) and Idolatry (De idololatria.)
211-213
Tertullian, Antidote Against the Scorpion. (Scorpiace.)
212
Caracalla, otherwise known as the 22nd emperor of Rome, Antoninus Augustus. Widely recognized for the Edict of Caracalla of 212, which enabled for the first time all free people within Rome citizenship. Even some Christians and Jews alike were allotted these rights. Thought to be done for the benefit of the city's revenue to increase military might.
c. 212
Origen Visits Rome.
213
After the breakdown of relations with the 'Psychici', Tertullian writes On Flight (De fuga), Against Praxean (Adversus Praxean), Monogamy (De monogamia) and On Fasting (De ieiunio.)
215
Caracalla fearing revolt in Egypt, orders massacre of Alexandria
215
Birth of Mani (215-276), founder of Manichaeism.
216
Origen visits Palestine.
217
Murder of Caracalla; Macrinus, a Moor (Mauritania in North Africa), becomes emperor.
217
Tertullian and Hippolytus and Roman bishop, are involved in a controversy on Church discipline.
217-222
Callistus I, bishop of Rome.
217-222
Death of Clement of Alexandria
218
Tertullian embraces some aspects of Montanism.
220
Tertullian writes On Modesty (De pudicitia.)
c. 220
Tertullian coined terms Trinity and New Testament: cites African Latin Bible translation, earliest in Latin.
220-229
Flourishing of Alexandrian School under Origen, Heraclas, and Demetrius; Origen's first period of literacy activity in Alexandria: Commentary on John.
222-235
Reign of Alexander Severus, Roman Emperor, halted Christian persecutions, offering religious tolerance
222-300
Neo-Platonism develops in Alexandria
c. 230
Origen writes: Hexapla and First Principles
231
Bishop Demetrius of Alexandria deposes Origen from the priesthood; brings Catechetical school more under episcopal supervision.
231
Origen invited to Greece, teaches, writes and preaches in church as a simple presbyter.
231
Origen moves from Alexandria to Caesarea in Palestine where he completes his work Hexapla, as well as homilies and biblical commentaries, which make frequent use of Jewish Midrashim exegisis; Gregory Thamaturgus describes his method of teaching; many church leaders emerge from Origen's teaching; neither Origen nor Plotinus changed teaching when they left Alexandria.
231
Origen succeeded by Heraclas as head of the catechetical school at Alexandria.
c. 231
Plotinus (founder of Neo-Platonism) begins his studies for eleven years in Alexandria with Ammonius Saccas.
232
Bishop Demetrius dies; Heraclas is consecrated bishop of Alexandria and is succeeded in the catechetical school by Dionysius.
232
Origen visits Julia Avita Mamaea
232
Origen writes Commentaries on Genesis
235
Origen writes Exhortation to Martyrdom
c. 243
Plotinus moves his school of textual analysis of Platonists from Alexandria to Rome
247
Death of Heraclas
247
In Hermopolis Magna in Egypt, a Greek temple was converted into a church; bishop Conon received letter from bishop Dionysius allowing lapsed to be readmitted.
247-264
Dionysius, new bishop of Alexandria, brings theological teaching to village level in Arsinoite villages.
248
Cyprian becomes bishop of his native city, Carthage.
248
Cyprian becomes bishop of his native city, Carthage.
249
Beginning of Christian persecutions under Emperor Decius (249-51), who issued a general edict ordering Roman citizens to participate in a formal civic confession; tempting many Christians to lapse into idolatry.
249
Beginning of Christian persecutions under Emperor Decius, who issued a general edict ordering Roman citizens to participate in a formal civic confession, supplicatio, tempting many to lapse into idolatry.
249
Persecution makes the problem of penitence acute; Cyprian's practice: before receiving laying on of hands and being readmitted to the Eucharist, those who have lapsed must make public confession of their fault and submit to a suitable act of penitence.
249-251
3,600 Martyrs of Isna (otherwise known as Esna which runs closely to the nile), Upper Egypt.
250
Letters of Porphyry; Gnostic Gospel of Pistis Sophia.
250
Growing controversy between Carthage and Rome over the treatment of returning lapsed Christians; Novatian dissident deacon Felicisimus of Carthage opposes Cyprian.
250
Origen arrested and tortured.
c. 250
Origen writes Contra Celsum, Didascalia.
250s
Rome steps up persecution of Christians, martyrs revered as saints who share Christ's suffering.
251
Birth of Anthony the Great
251
Council of Carthage called by Cyprian on question of the lapsed; he writes On the Lapsed (de lapsis.)
251
Persecution of Valerian.
251-252
Cyprian writes The Unity of the Catholic Church: Against the Novationists (De Unitate Ecclesiae Catholicae), The Lord's Prayer, and To Demetrian.
251-253
Cornelius I writes his Letters.
253
Cyprian writes Works and Almsgiving.
254-257
Baptismal controversy, Carthage (Cyprian) and Rome (Stephen I.)
255-256
Councils of Carthage on the rebaptism of heretics.
255-256
Fermilian of Caesarea writes Letter to Cyprian of Carthage.
256
Acts of the Seventh Council of Carthage, Cyprian presiding.
256-258
Anonymous Treatise on Re-Baptism is written.
256-258
Cyprian writes The Advantage of Patience; To Donatus; The Dress of Virgins; That Idols Are Not Gods; Jealousy and Envy; Exhortation to Martyrdom, to Fortunatus, Letters.
257-260
Persecutions under Valerian; under a most strict persecution many notable Christians were executed including the Bishop of Carthage, Cyprian, and Pope Sixtus II. Persecutions under Valerian
258
Acts of Cyprian describes his martyrdom, written by his deacon Pontius.
258
Martyrdom of Cyprian at Carthage.
260
Upon Valerian's death, Gallienus becomes sole emperor; he decrees the Edict of Toleration, bringing a second long peace; Sabellianism condemned.
260
Valerian passes away and power is given to Gallineus who brought the second period of peace
c. 260
Birth of Lactantius in Proconsular Africa; he becomes a disciple of Arnobius of Sicca and author of a major work on philosophy of history.
260's
Paul the Theban born; later would settle in eastern Egyptian desert; Jerome claimed Paul proceeded Anthony in the desert.
262
Earthquake in Cyrenaica.
264
Death of Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria.
264-282
Maximus, patriarch of Alexandria
265-282
Theognostus heads school of Alexandria after Dionysius, followed by Prierus, Achillas, and Peter of Alexandria before Theognostus elected patriarch (c. 300); the curriculum of Theognostus described later by Photius as moving from Father to Son to Spirit.
270
Death of Plotinus.
270's
Anthony begins his ascetic life.
270-300
Steady increase of Christianity in central Egypt and North Africa; intellectual attacks against Christian teaching are made by Porphyry, disciple of Plotinus.
276
Death of Mani, whose disciples came to Africa before his death, requiring Christian response
c. 280
Birth of Marius Victorinus.
282
Death of Maximus, patriarch of Alexandria.
282-300
Theonas is patriarch of Alexandria
284
Year one of Coptic calendar, dating from beginning of Diocletian's reign, the era of the Martyrs.
285
Hieracas of Leontopolis guides an ascetic community, writing expositions on Scripture.
285
Anthony retreats into the Egyptian desert, beginnings of eremitic monasticism.
285
Roman Empire partitioned by Diocletian into Western and Eastern empires.
285
Roman empire is partitioned by Diocletian into Western and Eastern empires.
290's
Conversion of Arnobius of Sicca
c. 295-298
Birth of Athanasius either in Alexandria or according to Dair Anba Maqar document, his parents came from al-Balyyana in Upper Egypt (see Bebawi); brought up in area of Oratory Theometor, built near the shore of Alexandria's Eunostos harbor by Bishop Theonas (282-300), which served as episcopal residence (now Franciscan fathers at Rue Karam). Athanasius became bishop of Alexandria (328-373).
297-299
Revolt in Alexandria against Diocletian's taxation policies; repressive measures against the Christians; reinforcement of fort at Babylon in Old Cairo.
c. 298
Marcellus, martyr centurion of Tingis in Mauretenia.