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African Provinces

300

Death of Theonas, patriarch of Alexandria, was succeeded.

c. 300

Acts of Mark draws together previous centuries of Marcan tradition in Egypt and Libya.

c. 300

Christians becoming numerous throughout the empire, and notably in Africa.

300's

Earliest known church locations in Alexandria: Pharos (restored under Theophilis), martyrium of St. -Mark, Boukolou (pasture near northeastern cliffs beside the sea, Eunostos Harbor), Bendidiou (Mendideion, Church of St. Athanasius), Angeloi (Serapeum), St. Theonas church near eastern gate; Caesareum on Great Harbor; Church of the Archangel Michael; Cosmos and Damian (founded 282 near the stadium west of the colonnade.)
 

300's

Writings: fourth-century Gnostic manuscripts in~ Nag Hammadi Library; Deir el Bala'iza fragments; Askew Codex; Bohairic Coptic Bible translations; Teachings of Silvanus compiles earlier second century Alexandrian Christian moral wisdom.
 

302-310

Peter, patriarch of Alexandria, fourteen penitential canons on discipline during time of persecution; Homily on Riches, Epiphany homily On the Baptism of Christ are attributed to Peter. 
 

303

Apa Hor, prepared for martyrdom, makes public confession of faith in Pelusium, tortured, beheaded; later the martyrium of Apa Hor south of Minya was cut into the rock, entered through tunnel to nave; seven monastic centers would form on east bank of Nile south of Minya; St. Apater tortured and beheaded near Asyut.
 

303

Beginning of the Great Persecution, February 23; imperial decrees under Diocletian (emperor 284-305) to destroy churches, burn books, confiscate property, dissolve congregations. In Egypt, Hesychius, Pachomius, Theodorus, and Philea are forcibly removed and jailed.
 

304

Grave illness of Diocletian

304

Porphyry, Neoplatonic philosopher, wrote Against the Christians (Adversus Christianos.)

304-306

Four Egyptian bishops under arrest rebuke Melitius for presuming to appoint successor to exiled Peter; Melitian Schism begins between Melitius of Lycopolis and Peter of Alexandria.
 

305

Diocletian and Maximian adbdicate, 1 May.

c. 305

Anthony emerges as a monk with disciples; first Christian monastic community formed around him in Eastern Egyptian desert; the colony of hermits evidence of the beginnings of semi-eremetic monasticism; Anthony authored seven letters.
 

310

Anthony goes to Alexandria to encourage the martyrs.

311

Galerius issues Edict of Toleration to Christians, though some persecution continues.

311

Peter, Bishop of Alexandria imprisoned and taken to Boukolous where he prayed at the tomb of St. Mark before being beheaded; Martyrdom of Peter (Passio S. Petri) an anonymous fourth century text is written.
 

c. 311-325

Ammonius (Ammoun), a notable Alexandrian, takes up monastic life in Nitria; he forms a loosely' connected semi-eremitic monastic retreats; numbers grew to 5000 monks by 400 A.D.
 

313

Emperor Constantine with Licinius declares "Edict of Milan" ending religious persecutions, providing freedom of worship and restitution of the goods confiscated from the Christian communities; first step towards the establishment of Christianity's dominance in the Roman Empire.
 

313

Licinius defeats Maximinus Daia and is sole emperor of the East.

c. 313

Birth of Didymus the Blind, the leading Alexandrian exegete after Origen (d. 398.)

318

Pachomius (c. 292-347), born in Sne, a converted Egyptian soldier (312), founds first communal monastery, initiating coenobitic monasticism; sets forth monastic rule for communities.
 

318

Athanasius, Treatise on the Incarnation of the Word [De Incarnatione.]

318-323

Arian controversy begins; Alexander deposes Arius from his presbyterium.

c. 320

See Ethiopian Timeline

320-329

Pachomius founds the monasteries of Tab en nisi, Phbow, Sheneset, Thmoushons.

321

Synod at Alexandria condemns Arius (born c. 260 in Cyrenaica.)

323-346

Letters of Pachomius, Instruction of Pachomius are written.

324

Eusebius (c. 265-339; Bishop from 314) of Caesarea completes Ecclesiastical History.

325

First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, called by Constantine; Arianism condemned by the 318 bishops in the Nicene Creed; Arius is exiled to Illyricum.
 

325-350

Bruce Codex, probably Egyptian; the first Bishop of Phyle (1st cataract, Sudan) is appointed.

327

The kingdom of Ethiopia adopts Christianity; Ethiopian missionaries sent to convert the Himyarites; church historian Philostorgios (386-433) offers first evidence of a Jewish presence in the region.
 

c. 327

Death of Arnobius of Sicca.

328

Founding of Church of the Holy Virgin at Gabal al-Tayr (Convent of the Pulley, on the cliff Above the Nile) built (memorial tablet remains.)
 

328

Death of Alexander I; Athanasius succeeds as bishop of Alexandria in disputed election; early episcopacy spent among monastic circles and remote rural Christian communities along the Nile and in the desert as far south as the frontier of modern Sudan; Bebawi attempts to locate Athanasius' birthplace in Upper Egypt; Athanasius' sympathies strong toward Upper Egypt and the desert and Cyrenaica, rather than Alexandrian upper class identified with Arius.
 

328

Melitians oppose Athanasius.

329

Hilarion of Gaza (b. 291) founds Palestinian monasticism as disciple of Anthony, whom he sought out at Qalala mountain; then found-hermitage in Libya, later Gaza.
 

329

Amid beginnings of Pachomian monasticism, Athanasius forms close bonds with monastic communities of Upper Egypt; does not succeed in ordaining Pachomius as requested by bishop Serapion.
 

330

Constantine moves capital to the New Rome, Constantinople formerly Byzantium.

c. 330

Macarius of Egypt founds desert monastery at Wadi-el-Natrun.

330's

Evidences of Christianity at necropolis of Kharga at al-Bagawat, a place of banishment for both Arius and Athanasius at different times.
 

335

Ecclesiastical trial of Athanasius at Tyre, Council (Latrocinium) condemns Athanasius, exiled by Constantine to Trier in Gaul; Athanasius would spend twenty three of his next thirty two years in five periods of exile or banishment, each time using his exile as a new frontier of witness; in Gaul writes Against the Nations.
 

336

Death of Arius in exile in Upper Egypt. 

337

Constantine baptized by Eusebius of Nicomedia on his deathbed; Athanasius returns to Alexandria; Christians the majority in many parts of North Africa by death of Constantine. After Constantine, Africa ruled by Constantius II (337-340) along with Italy and Illyricum; Egypt ruled to Constantius II (337-361) along with Asia and Syria; Spain and Britain by Constantius II (337-350).
 

337-339

Athanasius writes Letter to Virgins.

338

Anthony visits Alexandria in support of Athanasius.

338

Kellia monasteries founded. 

339

Anti-Athanasian synod at Antioch names Gregory of Cappadocia bishop of Alexandria.

339-346

Second exile of Athanasius, who introduces monasticism to Italy and Gaul.

340

Founding of Dair al-Baramus, monastery of the Romans at Wadi al-Natrun (sacked and rebuilt in 407, 410, 444, 507, and 817.)
 

345

Synod of Latopolis tries Pachomius on charges of clairvoyance.

346

Death of Pachomius during plague; Pachomius succeeded by Theodore, then Petronius, then Horsisius (Horsiesi), then by Theodore again who held together Pachomian and Athanasian visions.
 

346

Return of Athanasius to Alexandria.

346

The Rule of Pachomius.

350

Athanasius writes letter to Ammoun; Paphnutius active in Upper Egypt, Horsisius resigns to Seneset; in Phbow, Theodore takes control of monasteries.
 

350

Fall of island of Meroe to the Aksumite King Ezana; ancient capital of Meroe abandoned to Noba, perhaps pastoralists from south.
 

350's

Pachomian' writings under Theodore and Horsisius: Vitae Paraliponema; Letter of Ammon; Pachomian, Rule; Letter of Theodore; Instructions of Theodore; Letters of Horsisius; Instructions. of Horsisius; Regulations of Horsisius; Liber Horsisiusi, and later anonymous Pachomian Apocalpyse of Kjarur. 

353

Serapion of Thumis leads Athanasian delegation to appeal to Emperor Constantius; Councils of Aries (353) and of Milan (355) condemn Athanasius.
 

356

Death of Anthony; the Church of Theonas is stormed in attempt to capture Athanasius, who escapes, assisted by monks; church buildings taken over by anti-Athanasians.
 

356-359

During exile, George of Cappadocia installed as bishop, then forced to flee Alexandria, returns, lynched by pro-Athanasian mob.
 

356-362

Third exile of Athanasius (356-362), in hiding among monks; writes Defense of his Flight, Discourses Against the Arian, anti-Arian letters to monks, Life of Anthony, Four Letters to Serapion.

360

Martin of Tours founds Liguge monastery after the Egyptian model.

c. 360

Birth of John Cassian (d. 435.)

361

Monastery of St. Anthony at Mount Clysma founded below mountain cave of St. Anthony.

361-363

Death of Constantius; reign of Julian, nephew of Constantine, apostate emperor of East, attempts to revive Paganism; Donatist triumph in Africa; Arian hegemony in East.
 

362

October, Emperor Julian forces Athanasius from Alexandria.

362

Upon openly returning to Alexandria, Athanasius calls Council to decree triune faith; fourth exile of Athanasius.
 

363

Julian dies; Athanasius returns, then leaves to meet new emperor Jovian in Syria.

365-366

Fifth exile of Athanasius under duress from Emperor Valens; Athanasius again visits Pachomian monasteries seeking reconciliation between Theodore and Horsisius.
 

365-403

Egyptian-born and educated Epiphanius would later become bishop of Salamis; visits Egyptian desert fathers, returns to Eleutheroopolis in Judea to found monastery following Egyptian rule; writes Panarion Against Heretics.
 

367

Athanasius writes Festal Letter 39, first reference to complete ecumenically received canon of scripture, citing twenty seven New Testament apostolic books that by tradition have been received for reading in churches.
 

367

Athanasius writes Festal Letter 39, first reference to complete ecumenically received canon of scripture, citing twenty seven New Testament apostolic books that by tradition have been received for reading in churches.
 

368

Athanasius writes Synodal Letter to the Bishops of Africa, Festal Letter 40; Isidore replaces bishop Dracontius of Hermopolis Parva; Theodore dies; Horsisius leads Pachomian monasteries.
 

368

The Great Church (Megale Ecciesia, Kyriakon) of Alexandria reconstructed under Athanasius; a basilica is built at St. Menas near Maryut for international pilgrims.
 

370

Athanasius's life of Anthony begins circulating in Gaul.
 

373

Death of Athanasius, succeeded by Peter II, who is immediately forced into exile; many monks sent away to hard labor in mines or exile.
 

373-380

Rufinus of Aquileia (c. 345-410) resides in Egypt under Didymus; translates Origen into Latin (397ff.)
 

378-384

Timothy I, brother of Peter I, becomes bishop of Alexandria.

379

Theodosius I, emperor of the united empire begins Age of Theodosius the Great and his sons (379-395.)
 

380

Pilgrimage of Egeria of Gallaecia to Egypt and Palestine.

380

Theodosian Code makes Catholic Christianity the official religion of the empire; those in communion with Peter of Alexandria and Damasus of Rome are considered orthodox.
 

381

Didymus the Blind writes On The Holy Spirit.

381

First Council of Constantinople (second ecumenical council) defines the deity of the Holy Spirit; Constantinople is declared to have second place after Rome against Alexandrian wishes.
 

381

Proscriptions against pagan cults; assemblies of heretics interdicted; prohibition of sacrifices.
 

384-412

Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria, vests all teaching functions formerly held in
catechetical school in the episcopal office; Anba Hadra consecrated Bishop of Aswan on Upper Nile.
 

385

Jerome visits Scetis (Wadi al-Natrun) monastery and returns to Bethlehem to found four monasteries with Paula and Eustochium.
 

385

Shenute of Atripe becomes hegumen of White Monastery near Suhag; he writes Letters, Sermons Against the Origenists (Contra Origenistas et gnosticos); Contra Melitianos; De Vetere Testamento contra Manichaeos; De praeexistentia Christi; Shenute (d. 466) would be succeeded by Besa, then by Zenobius.
 

c. 385

Evagrius of Pontus (345-399) settled in Egypt first in Nitria, then in Kellia.

390

Death of Macarius (300-390), closely linked with Dair Abu Maqar monastery in Wadi al-Natrun; Macarius succeded by Paphnutius.
 

391

Death of Parmenian, Donatist Bishop of Carthage, and his Catholic rival Genethlius; Augustine ordained priest; Aurelius becomes bishop of Carthage; Augustine arrives in Hippo to found monastery.

391

Palladius visits monks of Nitria; over a thousand monks reside at the Monastery of the Cross (Abu Fanah) on the edge of the western Egyptian desert near Qasr Hor, remains of three naves, pillars, apses, wall painting still visible.
 

391

Riots in Alexandria destroy the Serapeum.

391-430

Augustine's Sermons.

391-92

Augustine writes On the Advantage of Believing (De utilitate credendi) and Against the Manicheans (De duabus animabus contra Manichaeos.)

391-95

Augustine, On Free Will (De libero arbitrio), Bks. 2-3.

392

Augustine writes Debate with Fortunatus, a Manichee (Acta contra Fortunatum Manichaeum.)

392-416

Augustine writes Explanations of the Psalms, (Ennarrationes in Psalmo); Augustine has already commented on the first 32 psalms by 392.

393

Augustine preaches opening address at plenary council of the African provinces at Hippo––– On Faith and the Creed (De fide et symbolo.)

393

Donatist council at Cebarsussa.

c. 393–394

Augustine writes Unfinished Book on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis (De Genesi ad litteram imperfectus liber.)

394

Arsenius leaves Rome for Desert of Scetis to become disciple of John the Short; fled desert  raid in 408 for Gabal Tura (Dair al-Qusayr) for twelve years; ten thousand monks in fourth century Oxyrhynchus; thirty thousand monks and nuns at Basilica at Kom al-Namrud.
 

394

Ordination of Paulinus; Donatist Council at Bagai. Augustine attends I Council of Carthage.

c. 394

Augustine writes Psalm against the Donatists (Psalmus contra partem Donatip), On the Lord"s Sermon on the Mount (De sermone Domini in monte), Epistle to the Romans (Epistolae ad Romanos inchoata exposition) , Commentary on the Letter to the Galatians, (Expositio epistolae ad Galatas), On Lying (De Mendacio), Against Adimantus, a Disciple of Mani, (Contra Adimantum Manichei discipulum.)

395

Augustine becomes bishop of Hippo succeeding Valerius.

396

Augustine writes to Simplician (Ad Simplicianum de diversis quaestionibus), On the Christian Struggle (De agone Christiano), On Christian Teaching (De doctrina Christiana) (finished 426.)

397

At Council of Carthage the Brevarium Hipponense is approved with 39 disciplinary canons composed by the bishops of Byzacena in 397. 27 canonical New Testament books cited.

397-398

Augustine writes Against Faustus, a Manichee. (Contra Faustum Manichaeum) and Gospel Questions (Quaestiones evangeliorum) .

397-401

Augustine writes his Confessions (Confessiones.)

398

Augustine writes Against Felix the Manichee (Contra Felicen Manichaeum) and On Christian Discipline (De disciplina Christiana.)

399

Augustine writes De natura boni contra Manichaeo and Against Secundinus the Manichee (Contra Secundinum Manichaeum.)

399-400

Augustine writes On the Instruction of Beginners (De catechizandis rudibus) and On Agreement among the Evangelists, (De consensus Evangelistarum.)

399-400

Augustine writes On the Instruction of Beginners (De catechizandis rudibus) and On Agreement among the Evangelists, (De consensus Evangelistarum.)