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<< The Third through the Fourth CenturySpacer>>

The Early Church Fathers, the very first Christians, that lived from A.D. 100 to A.D. 787.


Important Events within Christendom from the Third up to the end of the Fourth Century.
Important events highlighted in blue.


  • c. 200: Tertullian, first great Christian Latin writer, coined for Christian concepts Latin terms such as "Trinitas", "Tres Personae", "Una Substantia", "Sacramentum"
  • c. 250: Pope Fabian is said to have sent out seven bishops from Rome to Gaul to preach the Gospel: Gatien to Tours, Trophimus to Arles, Paul to Narbonne, Saturnin to Toulouse, Denis to Paris, Austromoine to Clermont, and Martial to Limoges.
  • January 20, 250: Emperor Decius begins a widespread persecution of Christians in Rome. Pope Fabian is martyred. Afterwards the Donatist controversy over readmitting lapsed Christians disaffects many in North Africa.
  • October 28, 312: Emperor Constantine leads the forces of the Roman Empire to victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge. Tradition has it that, the night before the battle, Constantine had a vision that he would achieve victory if he fought under the Symbol of Christ; accordingly, his soldiers bore on their shields the Chi-Rho sign composed of the first two letters of the Greek word for "Christ".
  • 313: The Edict of Milan declares the Roman Empire neutral towards religious views, in effect ending the persecution of Christians.
  • 318: Arius condemned and excommunicated by a council convened by Alexander, bishop of Alexandria.
  • 321: Granting the Church the right to hold property, Constantine donates the palace of the Laterani to Pope Miltiades. The Lateran Basilica or (Basilica of Our Savior) becomes the episcopal seat of the Bishop of Rome.
  • November 3, 324: Constantine lays the foundations of the new capital of the Roman Empire in Byzantium, later to be known as Constantinople.
  • 325: The Arian controversy erupts in Alexandria, causing widespread violence and disruptions among Christians.
  • 325: The First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, convened as a response to the Arian controversy, establishes the Nicene Creed, declaring the belief of orthodox Trinitarian Christians in the Holy Trinity.
  • November 18, 326: Pope Sylvester I consecrates the Basilica of St. Peter built by Constantine the Great over the tomb of the Apostle.
  • 360: Julian the Apostate becomes the last non-Christian Roman Emperor.
  • February 380: Emperor Theodosius I issues an edict, De Fide Catolica, in Thessalonica, published in Constantinople, declaring Catholic Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire.
  • 381: First Ecumenical Council of Constantinople.
  • 382: The Council of Rome under Pope Damasus I sets the Canon of the Bible, listing the accepted books of the Old Testament and the New Testament. No others are to be considered Scripture.
  • 391: The Theodosian decrees outlaw most pagan rituals still practiced in Rome, thereby encouraging much of the population to convert to Christianity.


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