Istoria Bisericii Ortodoxe (cronologie)

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

Apostolic era (33-100)

Ante-Nicene era (100-325)

Nicene era (325-451)

Byzantine era (451-843)

Late Byzantine era (843-1453)

  • 846 Muslim raid of Rome.
  • 852 St. Ansgar founds the churches at Hedeby and Ribe in Denmark.
  • 858 St. Photius the Great becomes patriarch of Constantinople.
  • 861 Ss. Cyril and Methodius depart from Constantinople to missionize the Slavs; council presided over by papal legates held in Constantinople which confirms St. Photius the Great as patriarch.
  • 862 Ratislav of Moravia converts to Christianity.
  • 863 First translations of Biblical and liturgical texts into Church Slavonic by Ss. Cyril and Methodius.
  • 863 The Venetians steal relics of St Mark from Alexandria.
  • 864 Prince Boris of Bulgaria is baptized.
  • 867 Council in Constantinople held, presided over by Photius, which anathematizes Pope Nicholas I of Rome for his attacks on the work of Greek missionaries in Bulgaria and the use by papal missionaries of the heretical Filioque; Pope Nicholas dies before hearing the news of his excommunication; Basil the Macedonian has Emperor Michael III murdered and usurps the Imperial throne, reinstating Ignatius as patriarch of Constantinople.
  • 869-870 The Robber Council of 869-870 is held, deposing St. Photius the Great from the Constantinopolitan see and putting the rival claimant Ignatius on the throne, declaring itself to be the "Eighth Ecumenical Council."
  • 870 Conversion of Serbia.
  • 877 Death of St. Ignatius I of Constantinople, who appoints St. Photius to succeed him.
  • 877 Arab Muslims conquer all of Sicily from Byzantium and make Palermo their capital.
  • 879-880 Eighth Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople, confirming Photius as Patriarch of Constantinople, anathematizing additions to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, and declaring that the prerogatives and jurisdiction of the Roman pope and the Constantinopolitan patriarch are essentially equal; the council is reluctantly accepted by Pope John VIII of Rome.
  • 883 Muslims burn the monastery of Monte Cassino.
  • 885 Mount Athos gains political autonomy.
  • 885 Death of St. Methodius, apostle to the Slavs.
  • 899 Death of King and Saint Alfred the Great of Wessex & All England
  • 911 Vision of the Theotokos to St. Andrew the Fool-for-Christ protecting Constantinople from an invasion of Slavs.
  • 911 Russian envoys visit Constantinople to ratify a treaty, sent by Oleg, Grand Prince of Rus'.
  • 912 Normans become Christian.
  • 944 City of Edessa recovered by the Byzantine army, including Icon Not Made By Hands.
  • 945 St. Dunstan becomes Abbot of Glastonbury.
  • ca. 950 Monastery of Hosios Loukas founded near Stiris in Greece.
  • 957 St. Olga baptized in Constantinople.
  • 960 Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas re-captures Crete for the Byzantines, who held it until 1204 when it fell to Venetian crusaders.
  • 962 Denmark becomes a Christian nation with the baptism of King Harald Blaatand ("Bluetooth").
  • 963 St. Athanasius of Athos establishes the first major monastery on Mount Athos, the Great Lavra.
  • 965 Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas gained Cyprus completely for the Byzantines.
  • 968 Rila Monastery founded.
  • 972 Emperor John I Tzimiskes (969-976) granted Mount Athos its first charter (Typikon).
  • 973 Moravia assigned to the Diocese of Prague, putting the West Slavic tribes under jurisdiction of German church.
  • 978 Death of King Edward the Martyr.
  • 988 Baptism of Rus' begins with the conversion of St. Vladimir of Kiev.
  • 995 St. Olaf of Norway proclaims Norway to be a Christian kingdom.
  • 1000 Christianization of Greenland and Iceland.
  • 1008 Conversion of Sweden.
  • 1009 Patriarch Sergius II of Constantinople removes the name of Pope Sergius IV of Rome from the diptychs of the Church of Constantinople, because the pope had written a letter to the patriarch including the Filioque.
  • 1009 Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem destroyed by the "mad" Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, founder of the Druze.
  • 1014 Filioque used for the first time in Rome by Pope Benedict VIII at the coronation of Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor.
  • 1015 Death of St. Vladimir of Kiev.
  • 1017 Danish king Canute converts to Christianity.
  • 1022 Death of St. Simeon the New Theologian.
  • 1027 Frankish protectorate over Christian interests in Jerusalem is replaced by a Byzantine protectorate, which begin reconstruction of Holy Sepulchre.
  • 1036 Byzantine Emperor Michael IV makes a truce with the Caliph of Egypt to allow rebuilding of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre by Byzantine masons; Varangian Guard of the Byzantine Emperor (Eastern Vikings/Rus) sent to protect pilgrims.
  • 1045-50 The Cathedral of Saint Sophia in Novgorod is built, the oldest Orthodox church building in Russia, executed in an architectural style more austere than the Byzantine, reminicent of the Romanesque.
  • 1048 Re-consecration of Holy Sepulchre.
  • 1051 Monastery of the Kiev Caves founded.
  • 1052 Edward the Confessor founds Westminster Abbey, near London.
  • 1054 Cardinal Humbert excommunicates Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, a major centerpoint in the formation of the Great Schism between East and West.
  • 1059 Errors of Berengar of Tours condemned in Rome; the term transubstantiation begins to come in to use, ascribed to Peter Damian.
  • 1066 Normans invade England flying the banner of the Pope of Rome, defeating King Harold of England at the Battle of Hastings, beginning the reformation of the church and society there to align with Latin continental ecclesiology and politics.
  • 1071 Seljuk Turks capture Jerusalem and defeat Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert, beginning Islamification of Asia Minor.
  • 1071 Norman princes led by Robert Guiscard capture Bari, the last Byzantine stronghold in Italy, bringing to an end over five centuries of Byzantine rule in the south.
  • 1073 Hildebrand becomes Pope Gregory VII and launches the Gregorian reforms (celibacy of the clergy, primacy of the papacy over the empire, right of the Pope to depose emperors).
  • 1075 Dictatus Papae document advances Papal supremacy.
  • ca.1075-1125 Byzantine epic poem Digenes Akrites is written, inspired by the almost continuous state of warfare with the Arabs in eastern Asia Minor, presenting a comprehensive picture of the intense frontier life of the Akrites, the border guards of the Byzantine Empire.
  • 1088 Founding of monastery of St. John the Theologian on Patmos.
  • 1095 Launching of the First Crusade.
  • 1096 Persecution of Jews by Crusaders.
  • 1098 Anselm of Canterbury completes his Cur Deus homo, marking a radical divergence of Western theology of the atonement from that of the East.
  • 1098 Crusaders capture Antioch.
  • 1099 Crusaders capture Jerusalem founding the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and other crusader states known collectively as Outremer.
  • 1119 Order of Knights Templar founded.
  • ca.1131-45 Coptic Pope of Alexandria Gabriel II (1131-1145) initiates the acceptance of Arabic as a liturgical language (in addition to the Coptic), with his Arabic translation of the Liturgy.
  • 1144 Bernard of Clairvaux calls for a Second Crusade to rescue the besieged Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, and Louis VII of France and Konrad III of Germany join the Crusaders, but are defeated by Muslims; Muslims take Christian stronghold of Edessa.
  • 1147 Moscow was founded by Prince Yuri Dolgoruki, a ruler of the northeastern Rus, who built the first fortress, or Kremlin, along the Moscow River.
  • 1149 Building on the work of Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX in 1048, the crusaders began to renovate the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in a Romanesque style, adding a bell tower.
  • 1177 King Baldwin of Jerusalem and his knights, with the Templars, defeated the Muslim army of Saladin at the Battle of Montgisard.
  • 1179 Death of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), Benedictine Abbess, and medieval mystic.
  • 1180 Last formal, canonical acceptance of Latins to communion at an Orthodox altar in Antioch.
  • 1187 Saladin retakes Jerusalem and destroys crusader army at the Battle of Hattin; Saladin returns Christian holy places to the Orthodox Church.
  • 1189 Third Crusade led by King Richard the Lion-Hearted of England, King Philip Augustus II of France, and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.
  • ca.1189 In response to the capture of old Jerusalem by Muslims in 1187, Ethiopian Emperor Gebre Mesqel Lalibela (1189-1229) ordered the construction of a holy city hewn from rock as a New Jerusalem, thus building the twelve monolithic rock-cut churches in Lalibela, one of Ethiopia's holiest cities, second only to Axum, and a center of pilgrimage.
  • 1191 Cyprus taken from the Byzantines by English King Richard I "Lion Heart."
  • 1198 Cyprus sold by England to Frankish crusaders.
  • 1204 Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade sack Constantinople, laying waste to the city and stealing many holy relics and other items; Great Schism generally regarded as having been completed by this act.
  • 1211 Venetian crusaders conquer Byzantine Crete, retaining it until ousted by the Ottoman Turks in 1669.
  • 1235 Death of St. Sava of Serbia.
  • 1237 Golden Horde (Mongols) begin subjugation of Russia.
  • 1240 Mongols sack Kiev; Prince Alexander Nevsky defeats Swedish army at Battle of the Neva.
  • 1242 Alexander Nevsky's Novgorodian force defeats Teutonic Knights in the Battle of Lake Peipus, a major defeat for the Catholic crusaders.
  • 1244 Jerusalem is conquered and completely razed by Khwarezmian mercenaries (Oghuz Turks) serving under the Ayyubid ruler of Egypt Salih Ayyub, triggering the Seventh Crusade (1248-54).
  • 1247 Ayyubids conquer Jerusalem, driving out the Khwarezmian Turks.
  • 1258 Michael VIII Palaiologos seizes the throne of the Nicaean Empire, founding the last Roman (Byzantine) dynasty, beginning reconquest of the Greek peninsula from Latins.
  • 1259 Byzantines defeat Latin Principality of Achaea at the Battle of Pelagonia, marking the beginning of the Byzantine recovery of Greece.
  • 1261 End of Latin occupation of Constantinople and restoration of Orthodox patriarchs.
  • 1261 Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos makes Mystras seat of the new Despotate of Morea, where a Byzantine renaissance occurred.
  • 1268 Egyptian Mamelukes capture Antioch.
  • 1274 Council of Lyons held, proclaiming union between the Orthodox East and the Roman Catholic West, but generally unaccepted in the East.
  • 1275 Unionist Patriarch of Constantinople John XI Beccus elected to replace Patriarch Joseph I Galesiotes, who opposed the Council of Lyons.
  • ca. 1280 Kebra Nagast ("Book of the Glory of Kings") compiled, a repository of Ethiopian national and religious feelings.
  • 1281 Pope Martin IV authorizes a Crusade against the newly re-established Byzantine Empire in Constantinople, excommunicating Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos and the Greeks and renouncing the union of 1274; French and Venetian expeditions set out toward Constantinople but are forced to turn back in the following year.
  • 1291 Fall of Acre; end of crusading in Holy Land.
  • 1302 Papal Bull Unam Sanctum issued by Pope Boniface VIII proclaims Papal supremacy.
  • 1326 Moscow became the seat of the Russian Orthodox Metropolitanate, as Metropolitan Peter moved his see from Kiev to Vladimir and then to Moscow.
  • 1309 The island of Rhodes falls to the Knights of St. John, who establish their headquarters there, renaming themselves the Knights of Rhodes (1309-1522).
  • 1336 Meteora in Greece is established as a center of Orthodox monasticism.
  • 1338 Gregory Palamas (1296-1359) writes Triads in Defense of the Holy Hesychasts, defending the Orthodox practice of hesychast spirituality and the use of the Jesus Prayer.
  • 1341-47 Byzantine civil war between John VI Cantacuzenus (1347–54) and John V Palaeologus (1341–91).
  • 1341-51 Three sessions of the Ninth Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople, affirming hesychastic theology of St. Gregory Palamas and condemning rationalistic philosophy of Barlaam of Calabria.
  • 1344 Death of Amda Syon, Emperor of Ethiopia.
  • 1349 Prince Stephen Dushan of Serbia assumes the title of Tsar (Caesar).
  • 1354 Ottoman Turks make first settlement in Europe, at Gallipoli.
  • 1359 Death of St. Gregory Palamas.
  • 1360 Death of St John Koukouzelis, the Hymnographer of the Great Lavra on Mount Athos, maistor (master of music), theorist and composer, who codified the second major form of Byzantine Chant known as kalophonic, being highly melismatic, protracted, embellished and grandiose.
  • 1365 Crusaders under Latin King Peter I of Cyprus sacked Alexandria, Egypt.
  • 1379 Western Great Schism ensues, including simultaneous reign of three Popes of Rome.
  • 1383 St. Stephen of Perm, missionary to the Zyrians, consecrated bishop.
  • 1389 Serbs defeated by Ottoman Turks of Sultan Murad I at the battle of Kosovo Polje.
  • 1391-98 Ottoman Turks unsuccessfully besiege Constantinople for the first time.
  • 1396 First English Bible translated by John Wyclif.
  • 1410 Iconographer Andrei Rublev paints his most famous icon depicting the three angels who appeared to Abraham and Sarah, the angels being considered a type of the Holy Trinity.
  • 1417 End of Western Great Schism at the Council of Constance.
  • 1422 Second unsuccessful Ottoman siege of Constantinople.
  • 1439 Ecclesiastical reunion with the West attempted at the Council of Florence, where only St. Mark of Ephesus refuses to capitulate to the demands of the delegates from Rome.
  • 1444 Donation of Constantine proved forgery.
  • 1448 Church of Russia unilaterally declares its independence from the Church of Constantinople.
  • 1452 Unification of Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches in Hagia Sophia on West's terms, when Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos, under pressure from Rome, allowed the union to be proclaimed.
  • 1453 Constantinople falls to invasion of the Ottoman Turks, ending the Roman Empire; Hagia Sophia turned into a mosque.

Post-Imperial era (1453-1821)

Modern era (1821-1917)

Communist era (1917-1991)

Post-Communist era (1991-Present)


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

See also

Published works

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

From an Orthodox perspective

From a Heterodox perspective

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

External links

  • History of Orthodox Christianity (QuickTime movies)
    • Part 1: Beginnings - Journey begins with the founding of the Church, the spread of Christianity to "nations" by the Apostles, the Gospel and the institution of Sacraments
    • Part 2: Byzantium - After the stabilization of the Church, the journey continues through the period of the Nicene Creed, Patristic Scriptures, Divine Liturgy and Icons. During this same period, however, the official division of East and West is witnessed and concludes with a gradual rift in matters of faith, dogma, church customs, politics and culture
    • Part 3: A Hidden Treasure - The Church becomes the only institution perceived by Greeks as the preserver of their national identity during 400 years of Turkish rule. By the end of the 19th century, a worldwide Orthodox community is born and the Church expands its influence to major social and philanthropic concerns