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African Provinces

c. 1-7

Birth of Jesus of Nazareth; the Matthew tradition immediately reports the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt

c. 30-33

Simon of Cyrene in Libya, carries Jesus’ cross in Jerusalem; Pentecost “God-fearing Jews” from “Egypt and parts of Libya near Cyrene” observe Pentecost in Jerusalem, receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

c. 33-65

Period of earliest oral tradition of transmission of Christian teaching to Africa, before the earliest gospel (Mark) is written; eyewitnesses dispersing throughout Judea, Samaria, and Africa; conversion of Ethiopian eunuch, treasurer to Candace (legendary queen of Ethiopia) as he returns to Africa, as reported by Luke.

37–38

Pogrom (an organized massacre) of Greeks against Jews of Alexandria under Flaccus reverberates among Jews of Africa.

43

Eusebius places Mark early in Alexandria in the “third year of Claudius.”

45–55

Apollos of Alexandria (perhaps a pupil of Philo’s) converts to a truncated form of Christianity, later accepting apostolic teaching, being “instructed in the word in his home country,” presupposes an early Jewish Christian community in Alexandria, before he comes to Ephesus (see Acts 18:24–28.)

c. 46–74

Egyptian tradition of mission of Mark in Alexandria and martyrdom; though unproven should not be ruled out; Severus (Sawirus Ibn al-Muqaffa) places Mark in Alexandria fifteenth year after ascension

55-95

Gospels written; Mark first, written in Rome as a recollection of Peter’s eyewitness, viewed in Africa as setting forth the apostolic mission in Africa (Cyrenaica and Alexandria); Mark, a cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10) accompanies Barnabas to Antioch (Acts 12:25), and back to Cyprus (15:39), all cities accessible to seafaring Alexandrian Jewish merchants.

66

Massacre of Jews under Tiberius Julius Alexander in the Iudaea Province.

68

Martyrdom of Mark in Alexandria (May 8) dragged by a rope; martyrdom may be connected with Roman pogrom in Alexandria where 50,000 Jews killed; Eusebius places Annianus as successor to Mark in Alexandria.

70

The siege and destruction of Jerusalem by Titus; collapse of Jewish self-government in Judea and destruction of the second Temple, suppression of traditional national institutions of High Priesthood and Sanhedrin, many Jews sold into slavery; scattering of Diaspora to Egypt and Africa.

c. 70

Libyan tradition teaches of Mark founding Christian community in Cyrenaica.

70–135

Increasing numbers of Jews arrive in Africa, especially in Alexandria, Cyrene, Berenice, Carthage, and Caesarea Mauretania.

70–72

Imperial cult introduced.

75–100

Second Enoch and Testament of Abraham composed in Greek in the Jewish community of Alexandria.

83

Death of Annianus, bishop of Alexandria, succeeded by Milius (Abilius.)

92

Domitian executes Christians for refusing to sacrifice before his image.

98–117

Emperor Trajan refortifies Old Cairo fort named Babylon, a site that is reported as existing as early as 24 B.C. by Strabo.