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]].
==Ante-Nicene era (100-325)==
*107 Martyrdom of [[Ignatius of Antioch]];
death of [[Apostle Symeon]].
*108-124 [[w:Persecution_of_early_Christians_in_the_Roman_Empire#Persecution_under_Trajan|Persecution under Emperor Trajan]], continuing under Emepror Hadrian.
*ca.110 ''[[w:Apocalypse of Peter|Apocalypse of Peter]]'', apocryphal work, considered Scripture by [[Clement of Alexandria]] and the list in the [[w:Muratorian fragment|Muratorian Canon]].
*120 Beginning of time of the Apologists: [[Justin Martyr]], [[Apostle Aristides|Aristides]], [[Tatian]], [[Athenagoras of Athens]], [[Theophilus]], [[Minucius Felix]], [[Tertullian]] and [[Apostle Quadratus|Quadratus]], writing to defend the Church against internal heresies, and to defend the faith before the Jews, and before the larger pagan world, using Greek philosophic concepts and terms.
*124 Apostles [[Apostle Quadratus|Quadratus]] and [[Apostle Aristides|Aristides]] present Christian apologies to Emperor Hadrian at Athens.
*128 [[w:Aquila of Sinope|Aquila's]] Greek translation of the [[Old Testament]].
*156 Beginning of [[Montanism]].
*165 Martyrdom of [[Justin Martyr|Justin]].
*166 Pope [[Soter]] inaugurates in Rome a separate annual feast for [[Pascha]], in addition to the weekly [[Lord's Day|Sunday]] celebrations of the [[Resurrection]], which is also held on a Sunday, in contrast to the [[Quartodeciman|Quartodecimans]].
*ca. 170 Emergence of [[w:Muratorian fragment|Muratorian Canon]].
*ca. 175 Tatian’s [[w:Diatessaron|Diatessaron]] harmonizes the four canonical gospels into single narrative.
*177-180 [[w:Persecution_of_early_Christians_in_the_Roman_Empire#Persecution_under_Marcus_Aurelius|Persection under Emperor Marcus Aurelius]] (161-180).
*180 [[Irenaeus of Lyons]] writes ''Against Heresies'' ; Saint Dyfan first martyr in British Isles (at Merthyr Dyfan, Wales); death of [[w:Scillitan Martyrs|Scillitan Martyrs]] in North Africa.
*180-192 [[w:Theodotion|Theodotion's]] Greek translation of the [[Old Testament]].
*190 [[Pantaenus]] founds the [[
Alexandrian school|Catechetical School at Alexandria]].
*193-211 [[w:Symmachus the Ebionite|Symmachus']] Greek translation of the [[Old Testament]].
*195 Bishop Saint Elvan dies at Glastonbury.
*197 [[Quartodeciman]] controversy.
*200 Martyrdom of [[Irenaeus of Lyons]].
*202 Emperor Septimus Severus issues edict against Christianity and [[Judaism]]; Martyrdom of [[Haralampus of Magnesia]].
*202-210 [[w:Persecution_of_early_Christians_in_the_Roman_Empire#Persecution_under_Septimus_Severus|Persecution under Emperor Septimius Severus]] (193-211).
*206 King Abgar IX converts Edessa to Christianity.
*208 [[Tertullian]] writes that Christ has followers on the far side of the Roman wall in Britain where Roman legions have not yet penetrated.
*215 Conversion of [[Tertullian]] to [[Montanism]].
*220 [[w:Sextus Julius Africanus|Sextus Julius Africanus]] writes the ''Chronographiai'', a history of the world up to year 217.
*225 Death of [[Tertullian]].
*ca.225-250 ''[[w:Didascalia Apostolorum|Didascalia Apostolorum]]'', ''"Teaching of the Apostles"'', oldest extant manual of church order describes church life at that time; circulated widely in Persia, being translated early on from Greek into Syriac.
*227 [[Origen]] begins ''Commentary on Genesis'', completes work on ''First Principles''.
*232 Heraclas becomes Pope of Alexandria.
*235-238 [[w:Persecution_of_early_Christians_in_the_Roman_Empire#Persecution_under_Maximinus_the_Thracian|Persecution under Emperor Maximinus Thrax]]; martyrdom of St. [[Hippolytus of Rome]].
*238 During reigns of Gordian and [[w:Philip the Arab|Philip the Arab]] the church proclaims the faith openly and increasingly attracts well-educated converts.
*240 Church at [[Dura-Europos]] built (earliest identified Christian church).
*248 [[Origen]] writes in ''Against Celsus'' that the [[Pax Romana|Roman empire is a Divine Will]].
*249-251 [[w:Persecution_of_early_Christians_in_the_Roman_Empire#Persecution_under_Decius_Trajan|Persecution under Emperor Decius]].
*257-260 [[w:Persecution_of_early_Christians_in_the_Roman_Empire#Persecution_under_Valerian|Persecution under Emperor Valerian]] (253-260).
*255-256 Three Councils of Carthage.
*258 Bp. [[w:Cyprian|Cyprian of Carthage]] martyred.
*264 Excommunication of [[Paul of Samosata]].
*265 The word "[[Homoousios]]", "of the same substance", to define relationship between [[God the Father|Father]] and Son, used for first time by Modalist Monarchians of Cyrene, playing an important part in defining Orthodoxy at [[First Ecumenical Council|Nicene Council]] in 325.
*274-275 [[w:Persecution_of_early_Christians_in_the_Roman_Empire#Persecution_under_Aurelian|Persecution under Emperor Aurelian]].
*270 Death of [[Gregory the Wonderworker|Gregory Thaumaturgus]]; [[w:Porphyry of Tyre|Porphyry of Tyre]] writes ''Against the Christians'', a powerful anti-Christian book, causing several Christian contemporaries to try and refute him, and which was later banned and burned in 448; first priest ordained in [[w:Al-Mada'in|Seleucia-Ctesiphon]].
*272 Martyrdom of Sabbas Stratelates ("the General") of Rome and 70 soldiers.
*284 [[Diocletian]] becomes Roman emperor, persecutes Church and martyrs an estimated one million Christians; martyrdom of [[Cosmas and Damian (Rome)|Cosmas and Damian]], Andrew Stratelates ("the General") and 2,593 soldiers with him in Cilicia; the ''Era of the Martyrs'' dating system, currently used by the Coptic Church, had its beginning on this date, its year one.
*285 [[Anthony the Great]] flees to the desert to pursue a life of prayer.
*286 Martrydom of [[Maurice]] and the [[w:Theban Legion|Theban Legion]].
*300 By this date, the Chrisitan population is about 6,200,000, or 10.5% of the population of the Roman Empire (based on population of 60 million).
*301 [[Gregory the Illuminator]] converts King Tiridates I of Armenia to the Christian faith.
*302 20,000 Martyrs burned at Nicomedia.
*303 Outbreak of the [[w:Diocletianic Persecution|Great Persecution]] (303-311), as Diocletian and Galerius launch the last and most severe persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire; martyrdom of [[George the Trophy-bearer]].
*305 Martyrdom of [[Panteleimon]] and [[Catherine of Alexandria]]. Martyrdom of Bishop Ianouarios of Beneventio of Campania and his Companions.
*ca.305-311 [[Lactantius]] writes ''Divinae Institutiones'', the first systematic Latin account of the Christian view of life.
*312 Vision and conversion of [[Constantine the Great]]; defeat of Maxentius at the [[Battle of Milvian Bridge]], making Constantine Emperor of the West; martyrdom of [[Lucian of Antioch]], who had completed a recension of the [[Septuagint]] and the Four [[Gospels]] in Greek, and inspired the development of the [[w:School of Antioch|School of Antioch]] and Biblical textual study.
*313 [[Edict of Milan]] issued by [[Constantine the Great]] and co-emperor Licinius, officially declaring religious freedom in the Roman Empire, specifically naming religious toleration for Christianity, restoration of property to Christian churches, and legal recognition.
*314 [[Council of Ancyra]] held; [[Council of Arles]] condemns [[Donatism]].
*315 [[Council of Neo-Caesaria]] held; [[Constantine the Great]] abolished crucifixion in the Roman Empire.
*316 Lactantius writes ''"De Mortibus Persecutorum"'', a graphic account of the lives and horrible deaths of those who persecuted the church.
*318 Publication of ''[[On the Incarnation]]'' by [[Athanasius the Great]], influencing the condemnation of [[Arianism]]; beginnings of [[Arianism|Arian Controversy]].
*318 [[Pachomius the Great]], disciple of [[Anthony the Great]], organizes a community of ascetics at Tabennis in Egypt, founding [[cenobitic]] [[monasticism]].
*319 Translation of relics of [[Theodore the
General|Theodore Stratelates]] ("the General").
*320 Expulsion of [[Arius]] by [[Alexander of Alexandria]]; martyrdom of [[Forty Martyrs of Sebaste]].
*320-21 Licinius' measures against Christians in the east enforced.
*321 [[Constantine the Great|Constantine]] declares [[Lord's Day|Sunday]] a holiday in honor of the [[Resurrection]].
*323 [[Constantine the Great]] builds church on the site of the martyrdom of [[Apostle Peter|Peter]] in Rome.
*324 [[Constantine the Great|Constantine]] defeats Licinius and becomes sole emperor.
*[[Timeline of Orthodoxy in America]]
*[[Timeline of Orthodoxy in Australia]]
*[[Timeline of Orthodoxy in Greece]]
*[[Timeline of Orthodoxy in New Zealand]]
The following are published writings that provide an overview of Church history:
'''From an Orthodox perspective'''
* [[Alexander Schmemann|Schmemann, Alexander]]. ''The Historical Road of Eastern Orthodoxy''.
* [[Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia|Ware, Timothy]]. ''The Orthodox Church: New Edition''. (ISBN 0140146563)
. Kathryn Tsai. ''A Timeline of Eastern Church History.'' [[St. John of San Francisco Monastery (Manton, California)|Divine Ascent Press]], CA, 2004. ISBN 0971413924 '''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)
* 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)
* Noll, Mark A. ''Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity''. (ISBN 080106211X)
* [[Jaroslav Pelikan|Pelikan, Jaroslav]]. ''The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Volume 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600)''. (ISBN 0226653714)
* 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)