The Center for Early African Christianity LogoThe Center for Early African Christianity Logo

Center for Early African Christianity Logo

African Provinces

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.

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.

270-300

Steady increase of Christianity in central Egypt and North Africa; intellectual attacks against Christian teaching by Porphyry, disciple of Plotinus

276

Death of Mani, whose disciples came to Africa before his death, requiring Christian response

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

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.