|Roman Empire||Diocletian (236-316)||284||305|
300 The North African Christian Donatist sect predicts the End of the World for this year - cancel my donations? The Rebellion of the Eight Kings in China begins (ends 306). About this time Cormac Mac Art (Airt) (Ua Cuinn) Ulfada (Gael. "long beard"), son of King Art, and grandson of Conn of the Hundred Battles rules Ireland as high king at Tara for 40 years, becoming the most famous Tara king. About this time the Roman city of Nisibis in SE Asia Minor on the Persian frontier receives its first Christian bishop, Babu (-309). Roman villa construction on the plain of Britain reaches its height in the first half-cent., with the chief towns being Verulamium (St. Albans), Colchester, Lincoln, Gloucester, and York, and Romanization becomes widespread, with artisans and clothworkers becoming famous on the Continent, and Christianity making inroads. About this year Hastivarman I founds the Brahmin Salankayana Dynasty in Vengi, E India (ends 440). In this cent. Mayan civilization begins. In this cent. sericulture (silk production) spreads to India. In this cent. the Yamato Culture (begun 250?) in Japan flourishes. In this cent. caravan routes begin passing through Mali in W Africa. In this cent. the four admin. regions of Gaul set up by Augustus are reorganized into Dioecesis Galliarum (8 provinces) and Dioecesis Viennensis (7 provinces). About this time the Saxons occupy E Netherlands, and the Franks (from WC Germany) occupy W and S Netherlands, while the Frisians maintain themselves in the N; the Franks go on to push S and E across the Rhine River into N France, settling and engaging in agriculture, then turning Roman Catholic and spending over four cents. subjugating and Christianizing the Frisians and Saxons (by 800). The earliest runic inscriptions in Denmark date to this cent. About this time the use of the term "canons" to denote Christian Church precepts comes into use - I shot the sheriff but I swear it was in self-defense? About this time fanatical Christians in Egypt adopt a new 32-letter (Greek alphabet plus seven extra from the Demotic) script called Coptic to break with ancient Egyptian ways - it's a perfect combination of crunchy flakes, crispy clusters of oats, and honey in every spoonful? In this cent. the poorly-documented Buddhist/Hindu Shahi Rulers of Kabul set up a kingdom that rules until 870 C.E. About this time after the introduction camel to Western Sahara in the 3rd cent. C.E., the Ghana Empire in modern-day SW Mauritania and W Mali is founded (ends 1200), with its economy based on the trans-Saharan trade in gold and salt; it ends up becoming a vassal of the Mali Empire in the 13th cent. In this cent. Bantu-speaking tribes begin moving into S and E Africa, displacing the ancient Khoisan click-language-speaking San (Basarwa) (Bushmen); after the Euros begin arriving in the 17th cent., they end up squeezed into the Kalahari Desert. There is no evidence for the existence of Christianity until this cent.; before this it was called Chrestianity, worshiping Jesus Chrest (the Good) not Jesus Christ (the anointed of God)? In this cent. the ancient Greek maritime city of Miletus in W Asia Minor silts up, closing its harbors. In this cent. the Rhine River port city of Strasbourg (Strassburg), the Argentoratum of the Romans becomes the seat of a Christian bishopric, and becomes the scene of a big German defeat by the Romans. In this cent. the Shroud of Christ allegedly ends up in Edessa (until 914), where King Abgar cures himself of leprosy by touching it; from now on the first likenesses of Christ with that Shroud look (narrow nose, beard, etc.) proliferate? In this cent. Roman writer Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus flourishes, leaving De Re Militari (Epitoma Rei Militaris) (Concerning Military Matters) (which becomes a std. work until the 18th-19th cents., known for the soundbyte: "Si vis pacem, para bellum" (If you want peace, prepare for war), and Digesta Artis Mulomedicinae (on veterinary medicine). In this cent. (3rd?) (5th?) Chinese mathematician Sun Tzu (Sun Zi) flourishes, leaving Sun Tzu Suan Ching (Sun Tzu's Calculation Classic), containing the how-many-eggs-in-my-basket Chinese Remainder Theorem. In this cent. Indian Sanskrit poet-dramatist ("the Shakespeare of India") Kalidasa flourishes, writing the plays The Recognition of Shakuntala (Sakuntala), or the Lost Ring, Malavika and Agnimitra, and Pertaining to Vikrama and Urvashi, the epic poems Dynasty of Raghu and Birth of Kumara, and the lyric poems Cloud Messenger and The Exposition of the Seasons. The Heroic Age of the Germanic Peoples sees them spread over Europe (ends 6th cent.), resulting in hero stories (lays) preserved by skalds incl. Sigvat Thordarsson, court poet of St. Olaf; the most admired fighters are the Berserkers (Norse "bear-shirters"), who fight sans shirts of mail, howling like animals, biting their shields, and falling into a coma after winning. About this time the kingdom (empire) of Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) in the S highlands of the Andes near Lake Titicaca is founded (ends 1150). In this cent. the Roman Empire has 175 holidays a year, incl. 10 with gladiatorial contests, 64 with circuses, and the rest with shows in theaters; barbarians take advantage to attack Antioch, Carthage, and Trier while the pop. is being amused. How do you pronounce your first name? In this cent. fictional Am. prophet Mormon (311-85) (who met Jesus Christ at age 15) and his son Moroni abridge a record of the history of America from its settlement by a colony of Jews from the Tower of Babel to create the gold plates later known as the Book of Mormon, which are allegedly found in 1823 by lucky plucker Joseph Smith in Ontario County, N.Y. near New York City, and put in his hands by resurrected angel Moroni in 1827 after he graduates from Moron School? - Our Continent, now playing at the White Man's Fox? In this cent. the pop. of the Jesus-made-famous Samaritan sect in Israel tops 1.5M, but by the year 2007 there are only 705 left, living in Nablus on Mt. Gerizim and Holon near Tel Aviv. In this cent. Scotland is divided into five kingdoms: the Picts, Gaels, Britons, Angles, and Norse. In this cent. the Veil (Sudarium) of St. Veronica (Gr. "true image"), allegedly used to wipe Christ's brow on the way to Calvary, and containing an imprint of his face is first mentioned; by the 12th cent. it is preserved in the Vatican Basilica in Rome, where it is a hit with pilgrims- whose house, mucous' house? In this cent. the canticle Benedicite Dominum (Song of the Three Young Men) (Song of Creation), based on the prayer of Abednego in the fiery furnace in Daniel 3:57-88 begins to be sung in Christian churches. Late in this cent. the Historia Augusta, a Latin bio. of the lives of the Roman emperors from Hadrian to Numerian (117-284) is allegedly written by six authors. In this cent. the title of Pantocrator (Pantokrator), meaning Almighty or Ruler of All, used by St. Paul in 2 Cor. 6:18 and 9x in the Revelation of St. John to refer to God gets transferred to Christ in Eastern Roman icons, portraying him as the mild-but-stern all-powerful judge of humanity; an attempt to steal the pagan images of Zeus? Anglo-Saxons living between this cent. and 1000 C.E. have much greater genetic diversity than modern-day British; Ivory Bangle Lady, with North African blood leaves a stone tomb in York indicating she's at the top of society. Roman consuls: Gaius Flavius Valerius Constantius Chlorus and Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus. Inventions: Early in this cent. the Chinese invent the Stirrup. Births: Indian Hinayana Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu (d. 350). French Roman Catholic bishop (St.) Hilary of Poitiers (d. 368) in Poitiers; feast day: Jan. 14; known for the soundbyte that Jews are "a perverse people whom God has cursed forever."
301 The 270th Olympiad. Diocletian's Edict on Prices of Foodstuffs (Edictum De Pretiis Rerum Venalium) attempts to counter monetary inflation resulting from the scarcity of foodstuffs and other commodities caused by the decrease of both pop. and agricultural output in the Roman Empire by fixing prices and wages, with the penalty for selling above the stipulated prices being execution, which only causes shortages and violence, and an inflated black market along with masses of scofflaws; copies of the edict are inscribed on stone monuments throughout the empire, which become objects of derision; "As we recall the wars which we have successfully fought, we must be grateful to the fortune of our state, second only to the immortal gods". San Marino, the oldest repub. to survive to modern times is founded in the Apennines 11 mi. SSW of modern-day Rimini by St. Marinus (-366) from Rab Island in Dalmatia (Croatia), becoming known for its wine and building stone quarried on Mt. Titano - a safe pimple on mighty Rome's increasingly ranged rump? Sima Lun, Duke of Zhao rebels and deposes his grand-nephew Jin Hui Di, then is killed later in the year, and Jin Hui Di restored. Roman-raised Tiridates IV (III) the Great (-339), ruler of W Armenia is converted to Christianity by St. Gregory the Illuminator after he reveals that his daddy killed his daddy and is thrown in a dungeon for 13 years, and his sister Xosroviduxt keeps him alive with daily loaves of bread and he miraculously cures the king of some horrible illness; Armenia becomes the first nation to declare Christianity its official religion; too bad, the pagan pop. don't go for it, causing T4 to become the Terminator and murder and burn his people into it, destroying much of Armenian history and culture? - I'm not your babysitter I'm your coach? Roman consuls: Titus Flavius Posthumius Titanius and ? Virius Nepotianus.
302 Emperor Diocletian and his subordinate Galerius hold the Council of Nicomedia, and after Galerius talks him into (or he flips a nickel?), Diocletian reverses his policy of toleration and tries to hold his temper while he counts to ten?; in Nov. the four mysterious stonemasons known as the Quatuor Coronadi (Four Stonemasons) (Four Crowned Martyrs) are executed in Pannonia, giving birth to the Masonic Legend? Narses dies, and his son Hormizd (Ormuz) II (-309) becomes Sassanian shah #8 of Persia (until 309), becoming known as a just ruler - slices his Hormel pepperoni justly, with two rulers? Gregory the Illuminator becomes metropolitan of Armenia. Roman consuls: Gaius Flavius Valerius Constantius and Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus.
303 On Feb. 23 the Diocletian (10th) Christian Persecution, the last and most terrible (to hear them talk?) is officially declared Roman emperor (284-305) Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (Diocletian) (236-316) (by Galerius?); too bad for pagans, Constantius slacks off in his Western prefecture, finally stopping in 306, although it continues in the East until 313; wealthy Christians in N Africa merely have to surrender their scriptures, causing the poorer Christians to call them traitors and lobby to have them permanently excommunicated; St. Pantaleon (b. 275) (Gr. "all compassionate") is allegedly martyred in Nicomedia, Bithynia. Kirti Sri Meghavanna (-331) becomes king of Ceylon (until 331), founding Gaya Monastery and bringing Buddhism to his kingdom. Arnobius speaks of some Chinese as "united in the faith of Christ". Roman consuls: Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus and Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus. Deaths: Spanish bishop-martyr St. Fermin (b. 272) on Sept. 25 in Pamplona, Spain, er, Amiens, France (beheaded); later the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain is founded, featuring eight 3/4-ton bulls chasing drunken revelers down a 900-yard cobblestone street corridor; originally held on Sept. 25, it begins running from noon on July 6 to midnight on July 14 starting in 1592; by the 20th cent. there are eight bull runs during the 9-day festival, one each morning at 8 a.m. - advice: stay in front?
304 On Oct. 25 Marcellinus dies, somehow avoiding martyrdom until now (what with all those chances?); his position as bishop of Rome remains unfilled for four years - everybody's chicken? Diocletian contracts a fatal illness - what would Rev. Falwell say about it being a judgment from God? The Hun Liu Yuan establish the Han Kingdom, beginning the Sixteen Kingdoms Period in China (ends 423). Fincormachus (Gael. "son of a chariot driver") (-351) becomes king of Scotland. Roman consuls: Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus and Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus. Nonfiction: Lactantius (240-320), De Opificio Dei (On the Works of God) - or, don't sweat the persecution? Deaths: Roman soldier-martyr St. George (b. 275) on Apr. 23 in Lydda, Palestine (tortured and beheaded); allegedly his example causes Empress Alexandria and pagan preist Athanasius to become Christians and join him in martyrdom. Roman Christian martyr St. Agnes (b. 291) on Jan. 21; allegedly martyred at age 12-13 after she jilts a Roman prefect's son and daddy exposes her as a criminal Christian, getting her thrown into a brothel, where the first john to touch her goes blind, causing her to be burned at the stake, but after the faggots refuse to burn she is beheaded, and the blind man converts and is healed; her symbol is the lamb, and two lambs are blessed after a pontificial high mass on her feast day of Jan. 21, and their wool woven into white palliums (bands), which the pope gives to archbishops; on St. Agnes' Eve maidens attempt to determine the ID of their future husbands by superstitious methods - which is why wankers go blind? Deaths: Spanish Christian martyr St. Acisclus (Ascylus) (Ocysellus) (b. ?) in Cordoba; feast day: Nov. 17.
305 The 271st Olympiad. On May 1 Roman emperor (since 284) Diocletian (b. 245) resigns, along with (at Diocletian's behest) Maximilian, and Constantius I Chlorus (the Pale) (250-306) (father of Constantine I the Great) and Galerius (Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus Augustus) (256-311) become Augusti (Roman emperors #53, #54); Diocletian and Galerius select new Caesar Flavius Valerius Severus II (d. 307) (Roman emperor #55) under Constantius, receiving the prefecture of Italy, and Galerius Valerius Maximinus Daia (270-313) (Roman emperor #56) (308-13) under Galerius (whose half-sister is Daia's mommy), who receives Syria and Egypt; Maximian's son Maxentius and Constantius' son Constantine are passed over. The Synod (Council) of Elvira in Spain results in 89 canons, incl. the earliest ecclesiastical ordinance requiring celibacy for clergy, prohibiting images in churches, sexual intercourse and intermarriage between Christians and Jews, or even eating together - I've been celibate all year; I sell a bit, and give away some too? Retired emperor Diocletian builds the biggest-best Baths of Diocletian in the NE corner of Rome just SW of the Praetorian Camp; they are dedicated next year, and are used until the Goths cut the water supply in 537. Roman consuls: Gaius Flavius Valerius Constantius Chlorus and Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus. Births: Roman emperor (317-26) Flavius Julius Valerius Crispus (d. 326); son of Constantine I the Great (271-337) and Minervina (either his 1st wife or some royal ho). Deaths: Italian Catholic bishop of Beneventum St. Januarius (b. 272) in Pozzuoli (martyred); his body and head are separately preserved in a cathedral crypt in Naples, and two phials allegedly containing blood liquify when exhibited in May and Sept. - same age Christ was martyred?
306 Roman consuls: Gaius Flavius Valerius Constantius Chlorus and Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus. On July 25 Roman emperor (since 305) Constantius I Chlorus (b. 250) dies in Eburacum (York), Britain, and his soldiers proclaim his son Constantine I (the Great) (Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus) (271-337) as Augustus (Roman emperor #57) at Eboracum, where he had earlier fled from Galerius to his father, but makes an agreement with Galerius to become Caesar, while Galerius raises Severus II to Augustus; Severus II announces plans to abolish the Praetorian Guards; on Oct. 28 Maximian's son Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius (279-312), with the support of the Senate, Praetorians, and people of Rome is hailed as princeps (Roman emperor #58) (until 312), and he calls his father out of retirement to resume as Augustus with himself as Caesar; Severus II marches on Rome, his troops are bribed and rebel, he surrenders to Maximian, and is later executed by Maxentius; Maximian seeks refuge from Galerius in Constantine's court in Gaul, where the latter recognizes him as senior Augustus and plans to marry his daughter Fausta. In Nov.-Dec. (St.) Marcellus I (-308) is elected bishop of Rome (pope #30), and has to deal with the problem of pardoning those who had abjured during the persecutions of the past four years. On Dec. 4 pagan ruler Dioscorus of Nicomedia, Bithynia, Asia Minor allegedly beheads his daughter St. Barbara for converting to Christianity under the influence of deacon Valentinus after all kinds of miracles happen during her questioning and torture, then is struck dead by lightning, causing her to become the patron saint of protection against you guessed it, also anybody dealing with explosives and mathematicians; she promises her devotees that they will not die without making confession and receiving extreme unction; her symbols are a 3-windowed tower, palm, chalice, lightning, and a crown. Constantine campaigns on the German frontier for the next two years. About this time St. Catherine of Alexandria is martyred on orders of Maxentius. (St.) James (Jacob) of Mygdonia (-338) is ordained as the first bishop of Nisibis. (St.) Metrophanes (-313) (born of pagan parents, but converted at a young age) becomes Christian bishop of Byzantium, going on to see his town become the Big Apple of the Empire. Architecture: Maxentius begins building the Basilica Nova bath complex on the Via Nova on the Quirinal Hill (completed by Constantine), becoming the last and largest basilica in the Roman Forum. Births: Syrian (Syriac) Christian deacon-theologian-hymnodist (St.) Ephrem the Syrian (d. 373) in Nisibis: feast day: Jan. 28/June 9. Deaths: Roman emperor (293-306) Constantius I Chlorus (b. 250) on July 25 in Eboracum (York), Britain. Greek Christian martyr St. Demetrios (b. 270) in Thessalonika (Thessalonica); run through by spears during the Diocletian Persecution.
307 In early summer Galerius marches on Italy, but is forced to withdraw after his troops prove disloyal. Constantine I relocates to Augusta Treverorum (Trier), and marries the prime heifer flavor of the month Flavia Maxima Fausta (293-326), daughter of Maximian, putting away Minervina, mother of his 1st son Crispus. Jin Hui Di (b. 259) is poisoned by regent Sima Yue, who becomes Jin Huai Di (Fengdu) (284-313), Xi Jin emperor #3 of China (until 313). Roman consuls: Flavius Valerius Severus and Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximinus Daia and Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius.
308 On Jan. 16 Pope Marcellus I is martyred. Maxentius takes the title of Augustus, rulng in Italy for the next four years, and Maximian flees to Constantine again; in Nov. at the insistence of Galerius, the Roman emperors meet in the Conference of Carnuntum, presided over by Diocletian, where Maximian is forced to abdicate; Valerius Licinianus Licinius (265-325) is appointed Augustus of the West (Roman emperor #59) in Severus' place, and Constantine is ordered to return to the rank of Caesar, but refuses, causing Galerius to give him and Daia the rank of fili Augustorum, which doesn't satisfy them; Maxentius' Praetorian African prefect Lucius Domitius Alexander (-311) rebels and cuts off the grain supply to Rome, and Maxentius is declared a public enemy. Roman consuls: Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Jovius and Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximinus and Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius and Marcus Valerius Romulus.
309 The 272nd Olympiad. Gaius Rufus Volusianus is sent by Maxentius to Africa, and kills the rebel Lucius Domitius Alexander. Hormizd II dies, and his son Hormizd III is set aside by the nobility in favor of his posth. son (bun in the oven?) Shapur II. Roman consuls: Flavius Valerius Licinius Licinianus Senior and Lucius Flavius Valerius Constantinus Magnus and Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius and Marcus Valerius Romulus. Deaths: Neoplatonist philosophy, er, philosopher Porphyry of Tyre (b. 233); leaves the (tiring?) 15-vol. pagan bestseller Against the Christians; too bad, it is ordered burned in 443 - too little too late?
310 On Apr. 18 (St.) Eusebius (-310) is elected bishop of Rome (pope #31); a catfight with Heraclius over the readmission of apostates causes Emperor Maxentius to exile them both, and Eusebius dies on Oct. 21. In July after attempting another revolt, Maximian (b. 250) is killed by Constantine in Massilia (Marseille), and Daia and Constantine are finally given the rank of Augustus - they'll do better in school now? Greek Christian teacher Pamphilius is martyred, and his student (later bishop) Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340) adopts the name Eusebius Pamphili; he is later imprisoned in Egypt. Shapur (Sapor) II (the Great) (310-79), newborn son of Hormizd II becomes king of Persia at birth - nice way to learn Persian? Vasudeva II, king of Kushan dies. Emperor (since 200) Hondawake (Ojin) (b. 200) dies, and in 313 his 4th son Nintoku (-399) becomes Japanese Yamato emperor #16 (until 399), going on to father emperors Richu, Hanzi, and Ingyo, and build a thorn field bank to control floods in the Kawachi Plains, becoming Japan's first large-scale engineering project. Roman consuls: ? Tatius Andronicus and ? Pompeius Probus and Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius. Nonfiction: Lactantius (240-320), The Divine Institutions (Divinarum Institutionum) (7 vols.); apology for Christianity, dissing paganism; first systematic Latin Christian theology, although it reveals his ignorance of the Bible, and when he does quote it he chooses the "Odes of Solomon"? Births: Roman poet-rhetorician (Gratian's tutor) Decimus Magnus Ausonius (d. 394) at Burdigala (Bordeaux); father is physician of Greek ancestry, mother is from aristocratic line in Bazas, SW Gaul; his aunt studied medicine in Bordeaux; educated in Toulouse, becoming prof. of rhetoric in Bordeaux at age 25; after working his way up to consul in 379 and getting Suebian slave girl Bissula as booty for a campaign against the Alamanni in 375, he goes with the program and pretends, er, converts to Christianity late in life. Christian bishop (St.) Epiphanius of Salamis (d. 403) in Besanduk (near Eleutheropolis), Palestine. Deaths: Japanese Yamato emperor #15 (200-310) Ojin (Handawake) (b. 200). Roman emperor (286-305) Maximian (b. 250) in July in Marseille. Kushan king Vasudeva II.
311 On May 5 Roman emperor (since 305) Galerius Maximianus (b. 250) dies of a loathsome disease (cancer?) near Serdica after reversing his persecution of Christians and asking their god in vain for forgiveness, and Daia seizes Asia Minor, leaving the Balkans to Licinius, with whom Constantine I makes an alliance; Daia begins a war on the Christian church of Armenia. On July 2 African native (probably white but blacks keep hoping?) (St.) Militiades (Melchiades) (-314) is elected bishop of Rome (pope #32) (2nd African pope), settling issues of fasting on Thursdays and Sundays; author of many hymns, Constantine I later gives him the House of Fausta (Domus Faustae) (Lateran Palace), where he constructs the first Basilica of St. John Lateran, becoming the official ecclesiastical seat of the bishop of Rome - maybe the black guy was the white guy's butler? The Xiongnu (Hsiun-nu) (Chionites) (Huns?) (a Turkic people?) under Liu Cong (-318) conquer Leyang and capture Jin Huai Di. Bishop Peter of Alexandria is martyred, and Achillas succeeds him, ordaining man of the religious century Arius (250-336), and setting off one heck of a chain of events. Roman consuls: Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus and Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximinus Daia. Births: Gothic Arian bishop Ulfilas (Ulfila) (Ulphilas) (Wufila) (b. 381); invents the Gothic Alphabet for his Gothic Trans. of the Bible, becoming instrumental in converting the Goths to Trinity-free Arianism; he borrows his signs for "u" and o" from the runic alphabet. Deaths: Roman emperor #51 (305-11) Galerius (b. 250) on May 5 near Serdica (cancer?).
312 Constantine I declares himself Augustus, invades Italy from Gaul, and on ? defeats Maxentius at the Battle of Augusta Torinorum (Turin). --it happens again, or, If you want them hippie dropouts to work for the system, give them a vested interest and they'll line up to get haircuts and helmets? On Oct. 27 the night before Saxa Rubra (really sometime later and backdated as part of a govt. coverup?), while praying to Sol Invictus (the Unconquerable Sun), Constantine I allegedly has a Vision of Christ, who tells him to put the letters chi and rho (the Christian cross) on his soldiers' shields, saying "Hoc signo victo eris" (By this sign you will conquer), or "In hoc signo vinces", initials IHS, a contraction of the Greek spelling of Jesus with E changed to H, also the initials of Iesus Hominum Salvator (Jesus, Savior of Men); on Oct. 28 (Saxa Rubra) the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (Ponte Milvio) (Saxa Rubra) on the Tiber River near Rome sees Maxentius defeated and drowned by the heavily-outnumbered chi-rho-wearing soldiers of Constantine (who carries the Spear of Christ passed down from Roman soldier martyr St. Maurice?), after which the Roman Senate declares Constantine to be Augustus and pontifex maximus; in 315 the Arch of Constantine is erected between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill in honor of the V, which is later celebrated by an annual horserace on July 5-7 called L'Ardia Di San Constantino; after this new voodoo causes his armies to be victorious, never mind the contradiction in killing for Christ, it's pagans killing pagans this time, Constantine I becomes sole ruler of the Western Roman Empire, and begins making Christianity its official religion, with the Roman Catholic Church as an organ of the state and himself as pagan pontifex maximus, what a politician, converting his mother Helena and breaking with previous emperors by adopting a youthful civilian image in official portraits; brought up in the monotheistic pagan Unconquerable Sun cult, going Christian isn't a big leap, esp. as he probably never understands any of its subtle doctrines, and becomes easy prey for manipulation by bishops; at least he thinks of himself as a Christian and spends the rest of his life trying to advance the Christian church in Rome, waiting to be baptized on his deathbed to wash away all possible sins; he disbands the Praetorian Guards and transfers all military functions from the prefects and their vicars to a magister militum, then divides the dioceses into halves, and subdivides them into provinces, putting them under control of praesides (equestrian govs.); Italy becomes a province, with districts supervised by senatorial correctores; Crete becomes a prefecture of Illyria; the Roman army numbers 500K-730K total. New emperor Constantine I allegedly declares the bishop of Rome the vicar of Christ, giving him his imperial symbols and regalia, which the pope lends back to him, becoming known as the Donation of Constantine, which first appears about 750 and is exposed as Church forgery by Lorenzo Valla in 440. Roman consuls: Lucius Flavius Valerius Constantinus Magnus and Flavius Valerius Licinius Licinianus Senior and Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius.
313 The 273rd Olympiad. In Feb. Constantine I and Licinius issue the Edict of Milan (Edict of Toleration), ending the Great Persecution, and making Christians eligible for public office, with allegedly neutral language such as "whence any divinity whatsoever in the seat of the heavens may be propitious and kindly disposed to us and all who are placed under our rule" and "we thought to arrange that no one whatsoever should be denied the opportunity to give his heart to the observance of the Christian or any religion which he should think best for himself", but in reality establishing Christianity as the de facto official religion of the Roman Empire, which is only 10%-20% Christian, but has a highly organized Church nursing centuries of grudges, and besides, the old emperor worship has failed miserably and is dying out, and the old glue that held Rome together was that all people, whatever other gods they worshiped, also worshiped the emperor, and them pesky Christians never would, so why not legalize it to get them into the system? (how else to get them tons of Christian hippies to quit protesting and dropping out, get that butch cut and join the military to fight for Rome than to stamp a big Red Cross on it and tell them to conquer in this sign?); at first the empire remains officially multireligious, and the bad habits of Christians are merely decriminalized, but the fanatical, intolerant Crucifixians are never satisfied, and once they get on the playing field they never stop working to get the tables turned on the pagans, and ultimately destroy them without mercy, but in stages, starting with the official Christian State Church granting them equal (but not really?) rights, and Constantine shifting imperial largess to Christian churches and favoring Christians in the govt., wooing the upper classes (if you know what's good for you, you will go with the new system?); the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls is built over the alleged burial place of St. Paul where followers had erected the Cella Memoriae memorial; now that the Christians are on the government dole, filthy lucre corrupts them like anybody else, and as a taste of the future there is at once a fight between the rigorist sanctimonious Donatists, followers of North African bishop Donatus Magnus of Casae Nigrae (-355) of Carthage, and the moderates over the lapsi, those who had lapsed during the years of persecution and want rebaptism in the faith, with Donatists wanting lapsi permanently excommunicated, esp. the priests, while the moderates believe that the office of priest not the priest's character gives sacrificial rites validity, and want all faithful to be members of the universal Catholic Church, not just saints; the dispute rages off and on until the 16th cent., with the Muslim invasions causing the Donatists to disappear from about 700 until the middle of the 11th cent., giving the Church time to solidify its power; the Synod of Rome in the Lateran Palace rules in favor of the moderates, but the Donatists appeal to Constantine I to keep his donations coming? In Feb. Constantine I and Licinius meet in Milan; Lucinus marries Constantine's half-sister Constantina; Maximinus Daia leaves Syria and attacks Licinius' troops at Byzantium in Apr., captures it, then moves to Heraclea near Adrianople (Adrianopolis), where Licinius defeats him on Apr. 30 at the Battle of Campus Ergenus; Daia flees to Nicomedia, then to Tarsus, where he dies in July. Now that Christianity is PC, Greek-speaking Arian Eusebius Pamphili of Caesarea (260-340) is released from prison and elected bishop of Caesarea next year, developing into a heck of an ecclesiastical historian, establishing the tradition of Christian chronography. Jin Huai Di is executed by order of Liu Cong, and Jin Min Di (300-18) becomes Xi Jin #4 (last) emperor of China (until 318). St. Metrophanes dies, and (St.) Alexander of Constantinople (240-337) becomes patriarch of Constantinople (until 237), going on to become a leader of the anti-Arians. Constantine replaces his portrait on his imperial standards and banners with the Christian X-P Symbol, containing the Greek letters in Christ's name (chi-ro) combined with all kinds of weird pagan voodoo. Bishop Qona builds the first Christian cathedral in Edessa. Roman consuls: Lucius Flavius Valerius Constantinus Magnus and Flavius Valerius Licinius Licinianus Senior. Deaths: Roman emperor #56 (308-13) Daia (b. 270) in July-Aug. in Tarsus.
314 On Jan. 11 Militiades dies, and on Jan. 31 (St.) Sylvester (Silvester) ("wooded") I (-335) is elected bishop of Rome (pope #33), becoming the first pope to wear a tiara, and to institute Never on a Sun God's Always on a Sun of God's Sunday as the memorial of the Resurrection. Constantine I the Great campaigns on the German frontier for two years (until 315). The Synod of Arles in Constantine's residence city of Arles in S Gaul decides the Donatist controversy, ruling them out, causing Constantine I to try unsuccessfully to suppress them, only to see them split into a separate church which continues in N Africa for the next two cents. The Persian Synod of Seleucia deposes bishop (since 285) Papa of Seleucia-Ctesiphon after he proposes that he should have primacy over the other Eastern bishops. The Council of Ankara bans sex with animals for the first time in Church history? Roman consuls: Gaius Ceionius Rufus Volusianus and ? Petronius Annianus. Nonfiction: African-born Lucius Caelius Firmianus Lactantius (240-320), teacher of rhetoric at Nicodemia and tutor to Constantine's son Crispus writes De Mortibus Persecutorum (On the Deaths of the Persecutors), telling of the deaths of those sad pagan losers who persecuted Christians, Nero, Domitian, Decius, Valerian, Aurelian, Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius, and let's not forget Maximus - that'll make them think twice next time about risking their lucious delicious firm milky anuses? Births: Roman emperor #60 (317-24) Licinius (Flavius Valerius Constantinus Licinianus) II (d. 324); son of Licinius I (265-325) and Constantia (half-sister of Constantine I the Great). Roman pagan Sophist historian Libanius (d. 395) in Antioch; devotes his life to rhetoric at age 14 and moves to Athens then Constantinople, becomes friends with emperor Julian the Apostate, then ends up exiled in Nicomedia by the Christians - you can live the want and earn the living you deserve?
315 By this year Jews constitute half the pop. of Abyssinia. A triumph of Constantine I the Great is held in politically-correct non-pagan fashion (kinda); the Arch of Constantine is erected in Rome E of the Palatine Hill W of the Colosseum (inscription: "Constantine overcame his enemies by divine inspiration"). The Carpi attack S of the Danube River this year and next. Constantine I writes a Letter to Shapur II of Persia, urging him to protect Christians in his realm; Papa is restored as bishop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, and begins using the title "Catholicos". Roman consuls: Lucius Flavius Valerius Constantinus Magnus and Flavius Valerius Licinius Licinianus Senior. Births: Christian bishop Cyril (Gr. "lordly") (d. 386); not to be confused with St. Cyril (376-444).
316 On Oct. 8 after Constantine I grows jealous of Licinius and they go to war, Constantine I gets the better of Licinius at the Battle of Cibalae in Pannonia, after which on ? the Battle of Campus Ardiensis in Thrace is a pure D for Licinius; in Dec. needing a new team, Licinius appoints Aurelius Valerius Valens (-317) as his fellow Augustus. Jin Min Di is captured by gen. Liu Yao (-329) of Han Zhao. Meropius, a Christian from Tyre explores the E coast of Africa along with Syro-Greek Christians St. Frumentius (-383) and his brother Aedesius (-355) (his nephews); after stopping the Red Sea coast, the natives kill all but the two brothers, who are given positions in the Ethiopian royal court, soon converting the queen and other members of the royal family, eventually turning Ethiopia (Axum) Christian after baptizing king Ezana of Axum in Ethiopia in 356, who becomes the first to use the title "king of kings", spreading Christianity and building churches; Axum eventually expands into Sudan, Somalia, and Kush (Meroe), launching trade through the Indian Ocean (until c. 700); meanwhile half-Christian half-who-knows-what Coptic missionaries from Egypt and Syria move in, causing Coptic Christianity (based on the teachings of St. Mark, with the other gospels chucked) to become the state religion - that's me, little O? Roman consuls: ? Antonius Cecina Sabinus and ? Vettius Rufinus. Births: Roman emperor #64 (337-40) (Athanasian Christian) Constantine II (d. 340) in Jan./Feb.; son of Constantine I the Great (271-337) and Flavia Maxima Fausta (293-326). Christian bishop (St.) Martin (Lat. Mars the god of War) of Tours (d. 397) in Savaria (Sabaria), Pannonia (modern-day Szombathely, Hungary); feast day: Nov. 11; disciple of St. Hilary of Poitiers; the festival of his birth is later called Martinmas, marking the start of winter. Deaths: Roman emperor (284-305)) Diocletian (b. 236) in Split, Dalmatia (modern-day Croatia) - don't hate me because I'm still pagan? Christian martyr (St.) Blaise (Blasius) (b. ?), bishop of Sebaste in Cappadocia on Feb. 3; allegedly saves a child from choking on a fish bone, flees from the Christian persecution of Licinius, is captured by Roman prefect Agricola, flayed with wool combers' hooks, then beheaded, becoming the patron saint of guess what, children; feast day: Feb. 3 (Roman Catholic), Feb. 11 (Orthodox).
317 The 274th Olympiad. On Mar. 1 a truce is declared at Serdia (Sofia), and Licinius cedes all of his European provinces and all of the Balkans except Thrace to Constantine I; Licinius is forced to execute Valens; Constantine I announces the appointment of three new Caesars: Constantine I's eldest son Flavius Julius Valerius Crispus (305-26) (Roman emperor #60) (Gaul), Licinius' son Licinius II (314-24) (Roman emperor #61), and Constantine I's newborn son Flavius Julius Constantius Junior (Constantius II) (317-61) (Roman emperor #62). Roman consuls: ? Ovinius Gallicanus and ? Cesonius Bassus. Births: Roman emperor #63 (337-61) (Arian Christian) Constantius II (Flavius Valerius Julius Constantius Junior) (d. 361) on Aug. 7; 2nd son of Constantine I the Great (291-337) and Flavia Maxima Fausta (293-326); brother of Constantine II (316-40) and Constans (323-50).
318 Roman consuls: Flavius Valerius Licinius Licinianus Senior and Flavius Julius Valerius Crispus. Jin Ming Di is executed by emperor Liu Cong of Hang Zhao, ending the Xi Jin Dynasty (founded 265), and Jin Yuan Di (Sima Rui) (Jingwen) (276-323) becomes emperor #1 (until 323) of the Dong (Eastern) Jin Dynasty (ends 420). Nonfiction: Eusebius of Caesaria (260-340), The Proof of the Gospel. Athanasius (296-373), On the Incarnation; a young church reader in Alexandria starts the bloody ball rolling with the Catholic Homoousian doctrine that the Son of God is of the same substance or essence with the Father, not just similar.
319 Arius (250-336), a priest in the Baucalis district of Alexandria (home of the study of the writings of Plato and his Logos) begins spreading his doctrine of Arianism, that Christ (the Logos) is "a dependent and spontaneous production, created from nothing by the will of the Father; the Son, by whom all things were made, had been begotten before all worlds" (Gibbon, Ch. 21), and is of a different substance (heterousios) than God, and that therefore Jesus was "adopted" by God as his son; "My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34), so how could God forsake himself? He says that no one, not even he knows the day and hour of the Bitter End but the Father (Matt. 24:36)?; meanwhile Arius' bitter opponent and boss (patriarch of Alexandria since 313) Archbishop Alexander of Alexandria (-328) (whose secy. is Athanasius) begins writing Epistles on the Arian Heresy, arguing that Christ is consubstantial (homoousios) with God, as Aristotle says the stars are homoousian to each other (is that like being gay?); "He [Arius] reckoned among his immediate followers two bishops of Egypt, seven presbyters, twelve deacons, and (what may appear almost incredible) seven hundred virgins. A large majority of the bishops of Asia appeared to support or favor his cause; and their measures were conducted by Eusebius of Caesarea [260-340], the most learned of the Christian prelates; and by Eusebius of Nicomedia [-341], who had acquired the reputation of a statesman without forfeiting that of a saint. Synods in Palestine and Bithynia were opposed to the synods of Egypt. The attention of the prince and people were attracted by this theological dispute; and the decision, at the end of six years, was referred to the supreme authority of the general council of Nice" - Gibbon, Ch. 21. Roman consuls: Lucius Flavius Valerius Constantinus Magnus and Flavius Valerius Licinius Licinianus Junior.
320 In this decade Ezana becomes king of Axum in Ethiopia, becoming the first to use the title "king of kings", and eventually expanding into Sudan, Somalia, and Kush (Meroe), and launching trade through the Indian Ocean (until c. 700); meanwhile half-Christian half-who-knows-what Coptic missionaries from Egypt and Syria move in, causing Coptic Christianity (based on the teachings of St. Mark, the other gospels chucked) to become the state religion after Ezana converts in 356 - that's me, little O? Magadha rajah Chandragupta I (305-30) founds the Gupta Empire (Dynasty), uniting N India after five cents. (until 540); he rules from Pataliputra (Patna); the Artha Sastra (Treatise on Material Gain) is written early in this cent. to teach a prince how to rule by the Machiavellian "end justifies the means" method; the Kama Sutra (Pleasure Treatise) (Laws of Love) is written by Vatsyayana Mallanaga during this dynasty - dial my time machine to this year? A cold wet spell ends in the Netherlands. A $2M digital computer virtual reality simulation of ancient Rome in this year, reconstructing 7K bldgs. in the 1M pop. city, created by Bernard Frischer et al. of the U. of Va. is unveiled on June 11, 2007 in Rome; "This is the first step in the creation of a virtual time machine, which our children and grandchildren will use to study the history of Rome and many other great cities around the world" (Frischer) - just give me a coupla trillion? Roman consuls: Lucius Flavius Valerius Constantinus Magnus and Flavius Claudius Constantinus Junior. Births: Roman emperor #65 (Athanasian Christian) (gay?) Constans I (Flavius Valerius Julius Constans) (d. 350); son of Constantine I the Great (271-337) and Flavia Maxima Fausta (293-326). Deaths: Roman Christian writer Lactantius (b. 240); leaves De Ira Dei (On the Wrath of God) (against Stoics and Epicureans); The Phoenix (poem); Death of the Persecutors (main source for the conversion of Constantine I the Great).
321 The 275th Olympiad. The Goths cross the Danube River and plunder modern-day Serbia and Bulgaria, and are driven back by Constantine I the Great. Archbishop Alexander of Alexandria convenes a council which condemns and excommunicates his bishop Arius, who takes refuge with Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia (-341), a distant relation of Constantine I the Great, who had used his connections to get his promotions to bishop of Berytus (Beirut), Nicomedia, and later (338) Constantinople. Pope Silvester, who allegedly cured him of leprosy gets Constantine I to make Sunday, the day of the Sun god Sol Invictus (official symbol the cross) the official Christian sabbath, exempted from being judicial, with its observance made a legal duty, becoming the first big step toward making Christianity the Hoover Vacuum Cleaner of the Roman Empire, absorbing all other pagan religions to get everybody to join and thus become "catholic" (Gr. "universal"); meanwhile pesky Bible-thumpers quote the Bible as proclaiming Saturday as the sabbath, but learned Catholics reply that Christ's resurrection changes it forever for Christians. Roman consuls: (East) Flavius Julius Valerius Crispus and Flavius Claudius Constantinus Junior; (West) Flavius Valerius Licinius Licinianus Senior and Flavius Valerius Licinius Licinianus Senior. Births: Roman emperor #73 (364-75) ("the last great Western emperor") Valentinian (Flavius Valentinianus) I (d. 375) in Cibalae, Pannonia Seconda (48 mi. W of Sirmium) (modern-day Vinkovici, Croatia); son of Gratian the Elder (Gratianus Major) (Gratianus Funarius); brother of Valens (328-78).
322 Roman consuls: ? Petronius Probianus and ? Amnius Anicius Julianus.
323 Egypt joins the Byzantine Empire. Jin Yuan Di dies, and Jin Ming Di (299-325) becomes Dong Jin emperor #2 of China (until 325), fighting warlord Wang Dun (Chuzhong) (266-324). Roman consuls: ? Acilius Severus and ? Vettius Rufinus.
324 On ? Constantine I defeats Licinius at the Battle of Adrianopolis (Adrianople) in Thrace (130 mi. NW of Constantinople), and again on Sept. 18 at the Battle of Chrysopolis on the Bosphorus; his son Crispus commands Constantine I's fleet; Constantine I breaks his vow and executes both Licinius (b. 265) and his son Licinius II by next spring. On Nov. 8 after getting pissed-off at the opposition of the still pagan Roman Senate to his courtship of Christianity, Roman emperor #57 (306-337) Constantine I the Great (272-327) announces a dream he had to transform the Greek city of Byzantium into the new crackalackin' mamajama holy Christian capital city of New Rome, AKA Constantinople, which is already laid out on seven hills, just like Rome; construction begins on the W wall. On Nov. 13 Constantine I's darling boy Constantine Junior (b. 317) is made Caesar in Nicomedia. On Nov. 18 Constantine I consecrates the first Church of St. Paul over his alleged tomb 1 mi. from the Roman city walls by the road to Ostia; he orders the Church of St. Peter to be built over the cemetery next to the circus of Caligula and Nero. Late in the year the Synod of Antioch, supposed to end the split between the E and W branches of the Catholic church ends in failure, causing Constantine to call the first ecumenical Nicene Council for next year. Constantine I adds the diadem and the upward gaze to his official portraits to evoke the image of Hellenistic kingship. Roman consuls: Flavius Julius Valerius Crispus and Flavius Julius Constantius Junior.
325 The 276th Olympiad. Roman consuls: Sextus Anicius Faustus Paulinus and Publius Ceionius Julianus. The Tribus Unum (From Three, One) Year, which starts off with a shoe-banging Khrushchev type at the Catholic U.N. General Assembly, and turns into the biggest year in the history of Church doctrine? In 325 C.E. after trying in vain to get the warring parties to rise above their bitter Athanasius-Arius Controversy over the pre-existence of Christ and the Trinity (ultimately a theological dispute over homoousion vs. heterousion) (a purely Greek thang, which the Latins yawned off?) (an attempt to define levels in the godhead, a partial return to paganism?) (a mainly Egyptian thang, which softened Egypt up for Islam?) by citing the example of the wise Greek philosophers in a Letter to the Catholic Hotheads, Roman Emperor (306-37) Constantine I the Great (272-337), with the official title of pontifex maximus (maximum bridge-builder for the people to God and therefore equal to the apostles, giving him the right) convokes the first ecumenical (universal) (authority second only to Scripture) First Nicene Council (First Council of Nicaea) in Nicaea (modern-day Iznik) in Bithynia (NW Asia across the Bosporus Straits from his under-construction city of New Rome AKA Constantinople) on May 20-June 19, with the #1 goal of establishing the authority of bishops (as long as they are on the govt. dole and call the emperor boss?), presided over by his favorite (pro-Trinity) bishop Hosius (Osius) (Ossius) of Cordova (256-359) to decide the issue, with the Trinity side championed by archdeacon Athanasius (296-373) of Alexandria, and the anti-Trinity side by way older and higher-ranking presbyter Arius (250-336) of Alexandria, and Eusebius of Nicomedia (-341); James of Nisibis and a bishop from Persia attend; only about one-third (318) of the episcopoi (bishops) in the Roman Empire show up, with the attendants and servants beefing up the assembly to 1.5K-2K, which is conducted in Greek and presided over by the emperor, complete with his Roman bodyguard (although he is not a baptized Christian yet); the Church only sends seven official delegates, incl. two presbyters representing the bishop of Rome (pope); the debate goes on for 2 mo., with Arius uttering the immortal soundbyte: "The Son of God was a creature, made from nothing; there was a time when he had no existence; he was capable of his own free will of right and wrong; were he in the truest sense a son, he must have come after the Father, therefore the time obviously was when he was not, and hence he was a finite being", causing many to stick their fingers in their ears and run out, while St. Nicholas of Myra (270-346) hits him in the kisser; Eustathius the Great of Antioch (270-360) gives a great anti-Arian speech; finally Osius gets big-fish-in-a-small-pond layman (still really pagan and faking it?) Constantine in a back room and talks him into backing the T-side, and Der Fuhrer publicly announces that the bishops are free to vote any way their conscience dictates, only face deposition and exile to the butthole of the empire if they vote Arian; no surprise, Arius and his "Ariomanites" (Arians) are condemned by a 316-2 vote, which incl. 15 flip-flopping Arians, and 100+ Semi-Arians (who believe in a "similar" substance, homoiousion, and slide by for the time being under the don't-ask-don't tell policy?); there is actually no official vote, only a document called the Nicene Creed, the first official test of Christian orthodoxy, which makes the Trinity (Consubstantialism) (Homoousion) an official article of faith for good Roman Catholics, and which all bishops must sign or else pack their toothbrush and lose their official govt. position and income and face exile; as there is no Holy Inquisition, Arians aren't burned at the stake but allowed to run loose making converts, incl. Constantine's son and future emperor Constantius II, further fragmenting into 18 different flavors; for not signing the Nicene Creed, Arius and Eusebius of Nicomedia are exiled to a remote province of Illyricum (Illyria), and labeled as Porphyrians, their writings burned, and a death penalty proclaimed for possessing them; meanwhile Constantine's favorite sister secretly supports the Arians and works on his mind, eventually turning him into an Arian; after the council ends, Constantine issues a Letter to the Churches, declaring that all churches are to observe Easter as well as the sabbath on his pet pagan Sunday; the Quartodecimans (14th Day Christians) (observing Easter on the Jewish Passover of Nisan 14, citing Leviticus 23:5) are declared heretical, and their numbers begin to decline; the Council pub. the soundbyte: "For it is unbecoming beyond measure that on this holiest of festivals we should follow the customs of the Jews. Henceforth let us have nothing in common with this odious people... We ought not, therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews... We desire our dearest brethren to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews. How, then, could we follow these Jews, who are almost certainly blinded?"; Canon 17 of the council forbids the clergy from engaging in usury, defined as charging interest higher than 1%/mo.; later the Athanasian Creed, AKA Quicunque vult ("Whoever wishes to be saved") is created; the Nicene Council causes the Paulicians to flee to Armenia in the Taurus Mts., where they practice beliefs resembling primitive 1st cent. Jewish Christianity, rejecting many Catholic dogmas, incl. worship of the cross, the Virgin Mary, the Mass, and confession (the first Protestants?); the pagan majority reacts by staging a pagan revival, with the aristocracy going back to the old prude morality of the Roman Repub., and becoming more monotheistic and mystical, meaning that there is going to be one hell of a civil war to see who takes it all? Shaka I (-345) becomes king of Kushan in Bactria (until 345). The Roman Period in Archeology ends, and the Byzantine Period in Archeology begins (ends 640). Nonfiction: Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340), Historia Ecclesiae (The History of the Church); written in Koine Greek; first full-length historical narrative written from a Christian POV, making him "the Father of Church History". (Ecclesiastical History). Births: Roman emperor #70 (351-4). Gallus (Flavius Julius Constantius Gallus) (325-54). Deaths: Roman emperor #59 (308-25) Licinius (b. 265).
Time out for Dr. TLW, Ph.D., Post Hole Digger?
Is it all about politics, and the bottom line for them Trinitarian bishops is clearly that Christ must be a god not a man, else how will them fickle polytheist pagans give up all their gods for him? But he can't be just a god, else they might just add him to their list and stay pagan, so he must be the one and only God so that they'll join their Sole Buyer's Club? But at the same time he was a man who worshiped God, get me some headache pills? In practice since Christ the man suffered and died for his faith, the Church has thrived by giving everyone the chance to do ditto, the word Christian means little Christ, no more sacrificing animals to Jehovah or children to Baal, Christ is the only acceptable sacrifice to God, never mind the side issue of whether it was a one-time-for-all thing, or believers must resacrifice him regularly via the Eucharist, or go for the brass ring of self-sacrifice AKA martyrdom, which takes a persecutor since suicide is a sin? Now that the Church is legit, it's no surprise that they immediately urge the emperor to persecute each other? Too bad, they too-eagerly accomodate the ex-pagans' need to worship a multitude of gods by creating a multitude of saints, incl. some recycled pagan gods, creating a dangerous extra layer, not to mention the special case of the Virgin Mary, ask me for a lecture sometime?
The dancing judges run down their celebrity wish-list for next season, let's see if we can figure it out? No matter which side you're on, you have to deal with Matt. 14:33, where his disciples say "Truly thou art the Son of God" after he walks on water, or is that just their uneducated opinion and he was just showing off?; Christ is God's only begotten son (John 3:16), "the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all other things were created in Heaven and Earth" (Colossians 1:15-16); duh, if Christ is a created or firstborn being, he has to be infinitely inferior to the Eternal Uncreated God, so it's a no-brainer slam dunk for Arianism, right? Since only God the Creator can have the power of creation, at most Christ the Logos can be God's First Created Being, the Word or computer instruction set through whom God creates everything else, just like the Gospel of John Ch. 1 says: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made"? Does it really say "was God" or "was divine (like a god)", like the Arians claim? In the beginning of what was the Word, the Creation? Didn't God exist before Creation, hence it's another no-brainer for Arianism, plus the fact that to be "with God" means one is not God?
Or does closer reading between the lines allow for the Word to co-exist with God eternally, before the beginning of Creation, and therefore be God? Duh, John 14:28 says "If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I", in John 20:17 Jesus refers to the Father as "my God", and in 1 Corinthians 11:3 it says "The head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God"; Let's say Christ was created? Angels, which are higher than humans, were created too, so is he nothing but an angel, maybe the #1 angel Michael? Duh, Mark 13:32 says "No one knows the day or exact time, not even the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone", which separates him from the angels categorically, and Christ did what none of them ever did, namely, come into the world through a spermless human egg (divinely reprogrammed to get rid of the Sin Virus, like an operating system sysgen?) in a human womb to assume a human existence, becoming God's only begotten Son, and fulfilling God's original Plan of Salvation in Gen. 3:15 expressed to the snake, who started it all: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he [the woman's seed] shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel", which itself proves that God had Christ the Savior waiting in the wings from the beginning of man? Don't ask if the spiritual Christ had to dissolve into the human egg, so that if Mary miscarried, the Word is in the toilet, because God is cool like the movies and doesn't ever mess up, and there can't be two Christs, one still up with God and the other walking around on Earth, or can there?
Isn't it enough for Christ to be the Second Adam, who never sinned, that is, disobeyed God, and is sacrificed as a Lamb Without Spot to become a ransom to God to save, at the coming Day of the Resurrection, those believers who are born in sin and whose good works and sacrifices of bulls and goats won't be sufficient to get them out of a death sentence? Therefore he doesn't need to be God himself, and indeed can't be, since it would be an overpayment? But didn't his earthly body dematerialize and get replaced with a spiritual body, i.e., get resurrected ahead of the General Resurrection, then ascend to heaven to sit on God's right hand, the first fruits of those who are saved, making him the only name which we are given whereby we may be saved, hence divine, no matter whose side you're on at Nicaea? Don't ask if those who are saved have to forever forsake Earth and human form (and the pleasures of the flesh), and end up as spirits in heaven, that's for God to know and you to find out? And is it begging the question to point out that, if God can do anything, he can "beget" an uncreated Son whose "nature" or "substance" is the same as his, if he wants to, despite defying human reason, and maybe it's all God's test to see if he can trick you into disobeying his will by thinking for yourself? And if them pesky Bible-thumping Arians, who point to the Trinity (the real issue) as an age-old pagan doctrine (Isis, Osirus, Horus, et al.) turned into high-powered philosophy by Plato, which the Devil is using to corrupt the Church and is not really in the Bible (no Sermon on the Trinity, etc.), end up winning out, won't they ban sacred cow Plato (a pagan, yes, but with a special pass?) and his deliciously addictive writings (when Bible reading gets to be a bore) that prove the existence of God through pure reason and mention a Logos, and even worse, destroy his writings, leaving the Church totally based on revelation rather than reason (if you can call all of this reason?), which might threaten its total lock on human minds?
Maybe the Devil put the Trinity into pagan religions as disinformation to make believers reject it when they shouldn't? So, since he who has the gold rules, and we got ourselves a Roman emperor here and the mortgage payment is due, isn't it safer to officially make Christ into a part of the triune godhead, and Truly God Himself, with the Church carrying the deed to all three, never mind what we admit to in back-room get-togethers? Besides, I don't just want to believe in Christ, I want to worship him as a God, the difference between looking into his eyes and falling into his arms, the Nazarene difference, touch and be touched? And speaking of sparks flying and toys for tots, isn't it easier to get ex-pagans to switch from all their cool nobody-beats-the-king pagan idols to worship of them cool Dead Man On A Cross thingies, the phallic vibes strongly swinging under their chins, if they know it's a no-holds-barred Three-Way?
Duh, if you can read the King James Bible, you know that the Trinity is stated plainly right in there, in 1 John 5:7: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one"? Too bad, many scholars claim that this is an interpolation and not in the original mss., although those are long gone, and the surviving mss. are a push?Speaking of interpolations, didn't I read Dan Brown and and and, a seasoning-opening record crowd? Didn't Constantine create Jesus' divinity, or did he simply sanction a pre-existing idea? Did Constantine engineer the council to make Yehoshua (Heb. Yahweh-Showa = "God is Salvation") into Jove-Zeus (Je-sus), a god like the pagans have, the empire's new and final one-and-only god, so he can destroy female deity and sex worship (the sacred feminine) and erect statues of himself with his danglies modestly covered up and then rule everything behind a Last Reich of male front-bishops, no longer claiming to be a god like Augustus, but ruling through the new hi tech Divine Right of Kings Operating System, v. 1.0? Or is that pure moose hockey, as well as the notion that he made up his own official Bible by picking and choosing from a smorgasbord of umpteen Gospels, then pushed it onto the body politic while covering his tracks? Either way, didn't the Devil win here, corrupting the Church by making it the State Church, giving it the world in order to steal its soul, seducing the bishops to sell-out for power and filthy lucre, then allowing his old dark con of paganism to be phased-out for this bigger better con, with his puppet Constantine riding it all to Hell? One little problem, though? The official Bible based on Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John seems to portray a man who is not a god because he laughs, cries and bleeds (although he does work miracles and is resurrected, the first maybe a trick the Devil the Deceiver can do for his worshipers, but not the second), and doesn't want anything to do with worldly power or wealth, and even told the Devil to fork off when he offered him the kingdoms of the world, and tells his followers to not be any part of the Devil's wordly system, period, which is what the Roman Empire is? Hence if this is the work of Constantine, what happened, the phrase no comment comes to mind? This is really embarrassing, which way should the Church go, which way, kumbaya?
Actually, how diabolically clever of the Devil to make the Catholic Church ruthlessly persecute enemies of the Trinity, even if the Trinity is true, because it stinks up all three gods at the same time? Later his other state religion of Islam was founded to persecute believers in the Trinity, leaving him in charge as he plays both ends against the middle to persecute all real believers in Christ, while revealing to the mucky-mucks at the top of both religions that he's their real god and that they must in fact worship the Satanic Trinity, as in 3-pronged pitchforks, to gain the whole world in return for losing their souls?
326 Constantine I orders the execution of his eldest son Crispus and his wife Fausta by means of suffocation in an overheated bath after they are accused of hooking up; Constantine II is put in charge of Gaul. Constantine I's mother James Cameron, er, St. Helena makes a 2-year pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and recovers the True Cross of Christ, allegedly found in a cave on May 3 and distinguished from several others because of an alleged miracle; Constantine and Helena raze the Roman bldgs. in Jerusalem and build the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Sepulcher); the Finding of the Holy Cross Festival is later celebrated each May 3. After most Christian documents were destroyed in the 303 Diocletian Persecution, Constantine I orders orders confiscation and destruction of all works challenging Christian orthodoxy, incl. pagan works referring to Jesus; he orders a fixed income to be allocated to the Church, and installs the bishop of Rome in the Lateran Palace. Jin Ming Di dies, and his 4-y.-o. eldest son Jin Cheng Di (Sima Yan) (Shigen) (321-42) becomes Dong Jin emperor #3 of China, with a succession of regents, facing a revolt by gen. Su Jun (-328). Roman consuls: Lucius Flavius Valerius Constantinus Magnus and Flavius Julius Constantius Junior.
327 In 327 Eusebius of Nicomedia writes to Constantine I asking him to let him and Arius return from exile, and unbaptized-but-Arian-leaning Constantine I allows it, making Eusebius his chief spiritual advisor, learning how to be a good Arian. Papa dies, and Shimun bar Sabbaeas (-344) succeeds as bishop (Catholicos) of Seleucia-Ctesiphon (until 344). Roman consuls: Flavius Julius Constantius Gallus and ? Valerius Maximus.
328 Alexander dies, and his secy., Nicene Council Gold Medalist and Lifelong Trinity Champeen (St.) Athanasius (the Great) (296-373) succeeds him as archbishop of Alexandria, in charge of the 100 bishops of Egypt for the next 46 years, being exiled five times for a total of 20 years, while he gains a rep. for being a master of jurisprudence and divination; the sparks fly immediately as Constantine orders him to reinstate Arius and Eusebius of Nicomedia, which he resists, sparking a no-holds-barred super-slam religious war over incomprehensible doctrinal points, which proves nobody's got a direct channel to God anymore and the latter never sends down an angel ambassador to an ecumenical council to settle the issue? Roman consuls: Flavius Januarinus and ? Vettius Justus. Births: Roman emperor #74 (364-78) (pagan-turned-Arian Christian) ("the Last True Roman Emperor") Flavius Julius (Iulius) Valens (d. 378) in Cibalae (near Sirmium) (modern-day Vinkovici, Croatia); son of Gratian the Elder (Gratianus Major) (Gratianus Funarius); brother of Valens (328-78).
329 The 277th Olympiad. Helena (b. 248) dies in her son Constantine I's presence in Rome after returning from the Holy Land, and is later sainted - makes everything else seem old fashioned? On Nov. 26 Constantine I lays the foundations of New Rome (Roma Nova), later called Constantinople; meanwhile his real capital is in Nicomedia until the plaster and paint dry. Roman consuls: Lucius Flavius Valerius Constantinus Magnus and Flavius Claudius Constantinus Junior. Births: Greek Christian theologian (St.) Gregory of Nazianzos (Nazianzus) (Nazianzen) (d. 389); first to refer to Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine as "patres ecclesiae" (Fathers of the Church). Deaths: Roman empress (St.) Helena (b. 248) in Rome.
330 Lucy and Ricky ditch run-down New York for bright sunny L.A.? On May 11 after using the spoils from pagan temples in Greece and Asia to pay for it, the new improved city of Byzantium commanding the strategic Bosporus Straits, renamed New Rome is formally dedicated by Roman emperor #57 (306-37) Constantine I (the Great) (Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus) (271-337) as a new Rome 800 mi. E of the old Rome; it becomes known as Constantinople (Constantine's town), becoming the foundation of the busy-bee Byzantine Empire, which lasts 1123 years (until 1453); the city's longtime crescent symbol, of Diana, goddess of the hunt (Hecate, goddess of the crossroads?) is kept, with the star symbol representing the Virgin mary added; the myth that Constantine I Da Great was divinely appointed by God to found the city causes it to develop a mythical aura which is later used to scare off invaders, and it is usually referred to as Great City (megalopolis), Queen City (basileuousa), or simply The City (polis); located at the crossroads of the trade routes between Europe and Asia at the hub of the great eastern trade centers of Ephesus, Antioch, and Alexandria, it is within striking distance of the Danube River and the eastern front, and close to the Balkans where the finest soldiers come from, plus it's at the entrance to the Bosphorus on a point of land jutting out from Europe separating the Sea of Marmora on the W from the long natural Golden Horn harbor on the east, which is a natural defense point; after finally being conquered by the Muslims in 1453, it is later (1930) renamed Istanbul (Gr. "eis ten polin" = "into the city"); Constantine I imports a mob of the "Roman people" (proletariat) to give the city a Roman flavor, and founds a new Roman govt. in Constantinople complete with a Roman-style Senate (although both are limited to governing the city) and two annual consuls, and lures leading Roman citizens to move in by offering them exact reproductions of their homes and palaces; to attract the hoi poloi he begins offering free circuses and 80K loaves of bread a day, which backfires as Constantinople becomes a Greek rather than Latin city by the 6th cent.; he issues the new pure gold solidus coin, which reestablishes monetary stability and remains the standard coinage of the Eastern Empire until 1070; there are 72 coins per lb. of gold, compared to 60 in Diocletian's aureus; intending New Rome to be the Christian capital of the world, binding people of all nationalities with a common religion, Constantine I orders the building of the finest churches ever, incl. the Church of Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia), Church of the Holy Apostles (Imperial Polyandreion), and the Church of the Holy Peace (Hagia Irene or Eirene); the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls is built over the alleged burial place of St. Paul where followers had erected the Cella Memoriae memorial; he gives the bishop of Byzantium the title of patriarch; a few large pagan temples are closed, and the others are looted for gold; he allegedly prohibits the making of sacrifices to "false gods", and makes Latin the official language of the city; he loots Greece and Asia Minor for art treasures and places them about the city, turning it into a giant museum, incl. 400 statues in front of the Hagia Sophia; he orders libraries built and filled with Greek mss. (not that anybody reads them if they're by pagans?); the churches in the East lose their independence and come under state control; the armies of the empire are restationed so as to protect the new capital and the E borders, leaving the West and its old capital poorly defended, which dooms it in the coming cent.; meanwhile the new idea of the emperor as God's vicar on Earth complete with divine attributes was born, becoming the #1 theme of European politics until the 12th cent. Chandragupta I dies, and his son Samudragupta becomes ruler ("universal monarch") of the Gupta Dynasty in N India, completing the conquest of Aryavarta, forcing homage of the Pallava, and reviving the Vedic horse sacrifice; he receives tribute from SE Bengal, Assam, Nepal, and presents from Kushan, Ujjain and Ceylon. The first Syrian Christian monastery is founded by Mar Augin N of Nisibis. After his anti-Arian polemics directed against Eusebius of Caesarea piss his fellow eastern bishops off, Eustathius the Great of Antioch is deposed by a synod in Antioch for adultery, causing the pop. of Antioch to revolt; Eusebius turns down the offer of the job of new bishop. Constantine I, who detests Jews and calls their religion a bestial sect ("sect nefaria") gets laws passed restricting Jewish rights, forbidding them from performing the rite of circumcision on slaves or to own Christian slaves, with the death penalty for converting to Judaism or for Jews who aid them, and forbidding marriages between Jews and Christians, with a death penalty for the Jew partner; other laws protect a Jewish convert to Christianity; the law prohibiting Jews from entering Jerusalem is also renewed? The Koine Period of the Greek language is succeeded by the football-is-brutal-on-my-body Byzantine Period of the Greek Language (ends 1453). Roman consuls: Flavius Gallicanus and ? Valerius Tullianus Symmachus. Births: Greek prelate ("the Holy Fool") (St.) Basil the Great (d. 379) (b. 329); bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia; brother of St. Gregory of Nyssa (331-95); one of the Trinitarian Cappadocian Fathers; feast day: Jan. 1/2/10/15 or June 14. Roman historian and Syrian army officer Ammianus Marcellinus (d. 395) in Antioch. Roman bishop of Rouen (393-407) Victricius (d. 407); son of a Roman legionnaire; feast day: Aug. 7.
331 The Three Colla defeat king Fergus Foga of the Ulaid Tribe in NE Ireland (who gave their name to Ulster) at the Battle of Achadh Leithdheirg in County Monaghan, seizing their territory W of the River Newry and Lough Neagh and burning their capital of Emain Macha. Constantine I orders new copies of the Bible created, allowing his bishops to edit them according to his wishes, making Jesus into a god and the Roman Empire into his true kingdom?; of 5K early mss. of the New Testament, none predate this event? Roman consuls: ? Julius Annius Bassus and Flavius Ablabius. Births: Roman emperor #72 (363-4) Jovian (Flavius Claudius Jovianus) (d. 364) in Singidunum (modern-day Belgrade, Serbia); son of Constantius II's imperial bodyguard cmdr. Varronianus. Roman emperor #71 (361-63) Julian the Apostate (Flavius Claudius Juli>anus) (d. 363) on Nov. 6 in Constantinople; half-brother of Gallus; his family is murdered by Constantius II, leaving him an orphan, and he is raised as a Christian along with Gallus by Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia, a relative of his mother, remaining a Christian until the age of 20, but claims that the Trinity was not a doctrine of Jesus, Moses or St. Paul, and takes the pagan side in debates as a sophist, for the sake of argument; later he goes for the Platonic Trinity and Logos, which he claims Christians messed up by making it mortal instead of immortal? Greek theologian (bishop of Cappadocia) (St.) Gregory of Nyssa (Gregory Nyssen) (d. 395) on Mar. 9 in Neocaesarea, Cappadocia; one of the Trinitarian Cappadocian fathers; brother of St. Basil.
332 Constantine I campaigns against the Goths, who are trapped in Sarmatian territory after siding with Licinius in the civil war, and defeats them; the Goths are granted a feodus (peace treaty in exchange for military service) inside Roman territory, which lasts for 35 years. Roman consuls: Lucius Papinius Fabius Pacatianus and Mecilius Hilarianus.
333 The 278th Olympiad. On Dec. 25 Constantine I's son Flavius Julius Constans (320-50) is made Caesar - what do you think? Roman consuls: Flavius Julius Delmatius and Domitius Zenophylus.
334 Roman consuls: Flavius Ontas and Ammius Manius Cesonius Nicomachus Anicius Paulinus. Constantine I campaigns against the Sarmatians. The first Christian bishop of Merv, Persia is consecrated. Nonfiction: Roman astrologer and Christian convert (noble Sicilian senator) Julius Firmicus Maternus writes Mathesis (Matheseos Libri Octo) (Eights Books of Astrology), a textbook on astrology.
335 On Sept. 19 Flavius Dalmatius (-337) is raised to the rank of Caesar by his uncle Constantine I, and given Thrace, Macedonia, and Achaea. I went sky-diving, how do you like me now? Constantine I the Great, who flopped and became an Arian gets his brother Dalmatius, censor of Antioch to convene the First Synod of Tyre, presided over by Eusebius of Caesarea (Pamphili) (260-340), and attended by Athanasius with 48 Egyptian bishops, who are not allowed to leave to consecrate the new Church of the Resurrection containing the Sepulchre of Christ in nearby Jerusalem until they earn it by reversing the 325 Nicene Council and approving Arianism; after doing that, they depose and exile Athanasius on trumped-up charges of breaking a chalice in a church in Maraeotis, whipping or imprisoning six bishops, and murdering a 7th, Arsenius, even though Athanasius claims that the church doesn't exist, and produces Arsenius alive at the synod, which gets him cleared of those charges, but then backfires as a charge of threatening to cut off the grain supply from Egypt to Constantinople is not thrown out; Athanasius then boldly goes to Constantinople and confronts the emperor as he passes on his horse in the street, causing him to reconsider and let him go to Gaul to the court of Treves (Trier) for the next 28 mo. until the emperor dies, while refusing to fill his vacant seat in Alexandria; Arianism now has the upper hand in the Roman Empire. Xandesh (-336) becomes a rival king of Kushan. Roman consuls: Flavius Julius Constantius Gallus and Ceionius Rufius Albinus. Births: Greek mathematician-astronomer Theon of Alexandria (d. 405); father of Hypatia (370-415). Deaths: Roman emperor #78 (383-8) Magnus Maximus (Maximianus) (d. 388) in Spain. Roman bishop Sylvester I (b. ?) on Dec. 31.
336 On Jan. 18 (St.) Mark (-336) is elected bishop of Rome (pope #34), but he dies on Oct. 7. Constantine I campaigns on the Danube frontier, and gives the Vandals (relatives of the Goths, who are pushing them) permission to cross the Danube River into Pannonia (Hungary W of the Danube); 20-y.-o. (St.) Martin of Tours (316-97) (whose name comes from Mars, the god of war), who two years ago was an unbaptized Roman soldier, and had a dream about cutting his cloak and sharing it with a beggar, which caused Jesus to restore his cloak, after which he got baptized quick refuses to fight the Gauls at Worms, saying "I am a soldier of Christ and cannot fight", causing him to be arrested, but luckily the peace with the Goths happens just in time, and he is allowed to leave military service, moving to Tours on the Loire River, and becoming a disciple of Trinitarian champion St. Hilary of Poitiers, where he takes on pesky Arian Goths and Gaullic Druids - so Mister Hilary, what's hot? Constantine I orders Anathasius to reconcile Arius with the Church and orders him readmitted to communion in the cathedral of Constantinople, but on the day set for his triumph, Arius (b. 250) dies after "his bowels suddenly burst out" in a privy (poisoned by the Athanasians or an act of God?) - one spoonful's all it takes? Roman consuls: Flavius Julius Virius Nepotianus and ? Tettius Facundus. Deaths: Kush king Xandesh.
337 The 279th Olympiad. Early in the year Constantinople archbishop (since 313) St. Alexander (b. 240), who had shut himself up in the Church of Hagia Irene to go on strike dies suggesting two candidates for his job on his deathbed, his secy. (St.) Paul (Paulinus) I the Confessor (-350) (an Athanasian from Thessalonica) and Macedonius (an Arian), who start a war over the vacant throne, which Paul wins in a railroad election at the Church of Peace near the Hagia Sophia. On Feb. 6 (St.) Julius I (-352) is elected bishop of Rome (pope #35). On Apr. 3 (Easter Sun.) after banishing Jewish rabbis from his empire, Constantine I (b. 271) falls ill (poisoned by the Athanasians with a Trinity treat?), travels to Helenopolis, then Nicomedia, is baptized by Arian (yes!) bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia (-341), and dies on May 21/22, wearing the white robes of a Christian neophyte (no shamrocks in sight?); the still mainly pagan Roman Senate places him among the pagan gods, while his sarcophagus is placed in the Church of the Apostles in an effort to make him the 13th Apostle (his birth was the most miraculous event since the Resurrection?); as soon as he grows cold, the "massacre of the princes" purges many of his relatives, and in late summer his nephews Flavius Dalmatius Caesar and Annibalianus Caesar are murdered by the army; on Sept. 9 Constantine I's three sons Constantius II (Flavius Valerius Julius Constantius) (317-61) (Arian), Constantine II (Flavius Valerius Claudius Constantinus) (316-40) (Athanasian), and Constans I (Flavius Valerius Julius Constans) (320-50) (Athanasian and gay?) meet in Pannonia, and each assumes the rank of Augustus (Roman emperors #63, #64, #65), and divide the empire: Athanasian Constantine II rules the West (prefectures of Italy, Gaul and Egypt); Arian Constantius II rules the East except for Macedon, Thrace, and Achaea, which go to Athanasian Constans I, who also gets Illyricum and part of Africa; Constantius II promulgates a law making the marriage of a Jewish man to a Christian woman punishable by death, and in 339 ups it to making conversion to Judaism itself a criminal offence subject to confiscation of all property; Persian shah Shapur II invades Mesopotamia to take on Constantius II, beginning the Sixth Roman-Persian War (ends 363). Roman consuls: Flavius Felicianus and Fabius Titianus. Nonfiction: Aphrahat, Demonstrations, Pt. I; by a Persian monk. Births: Chinese Buddhist monk-traveller Faxian (Fa-Hsien) (Kung) (d. 422) in Wu-Yang, P'ing-Yang. Deaths: Christian anti-Arian bishop St. Alexander of Constantinople (b. 240) in Constantinople. Gregory the Illuminator (b. 257) in Armenia? Roman emperor (306-37) Constantine I the Great (b. 271) on May 21/22 in Nicomedia.
338 The Persians siege Roman-held Nisibis. Pissed-off Constantius II (who didn't give his permission) summons a synod of Arian bishops which deposes and banishes pesky St. Paul I the Confessor, and translates Eusebius of Nicomedia to Constantinople as the new archbishop (until 341); Trinitarian bishop Eustathius the Great of Antioch is deposed and exiled to Trajanopolis in Thrace, and Athanasius is exiled to Gaul - where in the hell did the tigers come from? Egyptian monk St. Amun (Ammon) (294-357) founds Kellia (Cellia) ("the Cells") in Egypt 12 mi. S of the Nitrian Desert under the spiritual guidance of St. Anthony, with cells spaced so that monks can't see or hear each other, although they gather on Sat.-Sun. for meals and church; the pop. eventually reaches 600 wankers; the Arabs later call it all-Muna; in 1964 French archeologist Antoine Guillaumont (1915-2000) discovers it, revealing that eventually multiple monks shared cells. Roman consuls: ? Ursus and ? Polemius.
339 Constantius II permits exiled Athanasius to return to his see of Alexandria, but the synod elects their own Arian archbishop of Alexandria, Pistus (Gregory?), causing prefect Philadrius to drive Athanasius into his 2nd exile (until 346), and he stays in Rome for three years, where he learns Latin and teaches the Egyptian monastic life; meanwhile Constantinus II and Constans I become co-consuls, forming a bridge locking out black sheep Arian Constantius II to give them time to think and maneuver? The Great Persian Persecution of Christians begins in Shapur II's Persia, along with Jews and Manichaeans (ends 363). Roman consuls: Flavius Julius Constantius Junior and Flavius Julius Constans. Deaths: Armenian king (285-339) Tiridates IV (III) the Great (b. ?).
340 Former co-consuls Constantine II and Constans I start a catfight in Aquileia, and Roman emperor (since 337) Constantine II (b. 317) is killed, after which Constans I absorbs his brother's territory, keeping it nice and Athanasian; meanwhile Pope Julius I summons the Synod of Rome of 50 bishops, which decides that Athanasius should be restored as archbishop of Alexandria, and Athanasian Constans I then summons him to Milan. King Ezana of Axum occupies Yemen for the 1st time (until 378), makings use of their rivalry with the Hamdan tribe to overthrow the Himyarites (who ruled since -115), causing some of them to decide to finally chuck the worthless pagan gods but spite the Christians by converting to Judaism, founding the Kingdom of Saba (Sheba) in S Arabia (until 525) - the hidden genesis of Islam? The first Persian monastery is founded by Aphrahat N of Mosul, Iraq. Egyptian monk (St.) Pachomius (292-348) founds the first monastic community at Tabenna (Tabennae) (Tabennisi), an island in the Nile, consisting of up to 1.4K monks, becoming the first time that they give up the solitary recluse life - and get into mutual masturbation? Bishop Eusebius first quotes the Testimonium Flavianum, where 1st cent. C.E. orthodox Jewish historian Josephus claims to believe in Jesus Christ and confirms his existence; the short passage conveniently just fits at the end of some scroll? Roman consuls: ? Acindynus and Lucius Aradius Valentinianus Proculus. Births: Roman Catholic bishop (of Milan) (St.) Ambrose (Gr. "immortal") (d. 397) in Trier or Lyons; son of Aurelius Ambrosius, prefect of Gallia (Gaul); first doctor of the Roman Catholic Church; feast day: Dec. 7. Roman senator-historian Quintus Aurelius Symmachus (d. 405); revives classical pagan lit. and culture one last time, in vain. Roman Catholic monk-scholar (Vulgate author) (St.) Jerome (Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius) (d. 420) in Pannonia (Gr. "Hieronymous" = holy name); feast day: Sept. 30; pupil of Roman grammarian Aelius Donatus (d. ?); claims a vision of being accused before the Judgment Seat of being a Ciceronian, causing him to spend five years as a hermit in the Egyptian desert. Deaths: Roman "Christian Cicero" writer Lactantius Firmianus (b. 260); leaves Divinae Institutiones, predicting that Rome will fall in 410 (in the fall?), with the soundbyte "The fall and ruin of the world will soon take place, but it seems that nothing of the kind is to be feared as long as the city of Rome stands intact." Roman Arian bishop Eusebius Pamphili of Caesarea (b. 260); leaves Theophania (Divine Manifestation), Against Hierocles, Encomium on the Martyrs, Life of Constantine (claims that Christ's birth during the reign of Roman emperor #1 Augustus proves that the Church and the Roman Empire were meant to be partners until the Second Coming, and that Constantine I and his army saw the flaming cross in the sky with the inscription "By this sign thou shalt conquer" before crossing the Alps into Italy), In Praise of Constantine (promotes the political monotheist Christian sacred monarchy Caesaropapist Doctrine that a Christian Roman emperor is elevated by God to a position higher than the Church, and is a king-priest, both caesar and pope, which unites the pop., but is too late to save the West, and is ditched in the 5th cent., but after the West falls is adopted by the Byzantines in the 6th cent. with success, while the belief that the ruler was appointed by God's will lasts in the West until the 20th cent.), Constantine's Address to the Assembly of the Saints, History of the Martyrs of Palestine, Preparation of the Gospel (Praeparatio Evangelica) - Christianity is now totally legit., but the Trinity is still on the ropes? Roman emperor #64 (337-40) Constantine II (b. 315) in Auileia.
341 The 280th Olympiad. After eunuchs, slaves, and palace girls turn Constantius II into a rabid anti-Nicene Creed Semi-Arian (homoiousion) ("the eunuchs are the natural enemies of the Son" - Gibbon, Ch. 21), he convokes the Synod of Antioch of 95+ bishops, led by Eusebiuis of Caesarea (260-340), which composes a Semi-Arian creed and 25 canons which are later recognized by the Greek Orthodox Church but snubbed by the Roman Catholic Church; meanwhile Constans I and Constantius II drop their Catholic catfight long enough to issue a law prohibiting pagan sacrifices (or compose it without publishing it, or publish it without executing it, as pagan sacrifices go on throughout their reigns?); meanwhile Arian champ Eusebius of Nicomedia dies, causing St. Paul to return to his episcopal throne in Constantinople, but Constantius II's fervent Arianism causes him to withdraw govt. support for Athanasian churches, become indifferent to attacks on them, and close them and confiscate their lands; meanwhile Constans I backs the Athanasians, threatening his brother with a war if he doesn't let Athanasius return to his episcopal throne in Alexandria, causing the latter to beg the archbishop 3x by letter to return before he finally does, in a triumphal manner, with all his adherents, expelling the Arian airheads with a bum shove. Roman consuls: Antonius Marcellinus and Petronius Probinus. Deaths: Catholic Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia (b. ?); distant relation of Constantine I the Great.
342 Constans I defeats the Franci. Jin Cheng Di dies, and Jin Kang Di (322-44) (son of Jin Ming Di and younger brother of Jin Cheng Di) becomes Dong Jin emperor #4 of China (until 344). The first bloodshed in New Rome (Constantinople) over religion begins when, at the orders of Constantius II, praetorian prefect Philip lures archbishop Paul I the Confessor into the Baths of Zeuxippus, then kidnaps and ships him back to Thessalonica, while rabid Arian Macedonius is driven in Philip's chariot surrounded by soldiers to the cathedral, causing a street war that kills 3,150; George of Laodicea (the Cappadocian) becomes Arian archbishop of Alexandria (until 361); Hermogenes, master-gen. of the cavalry is dragged by his heels from his palace by the Athanasians and murdered in the streets, and his body desecrated, causing Constantius to have two Athanasians beheaded for the murder at the gates of Constantinople, and to issue an edict depriving Christian ecclesiastics of their immunities if they don't accept the Arian archbishop, while banning Athanasian churches throughout the empire, beginning a persecution which incl. forcing holy bread down Athanasians' throats, and female breast torture with hot egg shells and heavy boards. Half-Christian half-who-knows-what Coptic missionaries from Egypt and Syria reach Axum (Ethiopia), and Coptic Christianity (based on the teachings of St. Mark, the other gospels chucked) eventually becomes the state religion (see the year 570). "The writer who should impute these tumults solely to a religious principle would betray a very imperfect knowledge of human nature; yet it must be confessed that the motive which misled the sincerity of zeal, and the pretence which disguised the licentiousness of passion, suppressed the remorse which, in another cause, would have succeeded to the rage of the Christians of Constantinople" - (Gibbon, Ch. 21). Roman consuls: Flavius Julius Constantius Junior and Flavius Julius Constans.
343 On Dec. 6 wealthy St. Nicholas, bishop of Demre (Myra) in S Turkey, who attended the 325 Council of Nicaea (and allegedly once heard of a poor man who couldn't pay for the wedding dowries of his three daughters, causing him to throw a sack of gold through his window two nights in a row, and on the 3rd night drop one down the chimney after the guy closed the window, where it landed in the girls' stockings as they were drying in the fireplace, then decided to obey Jesus' words to "sell all you own and give the money to the poor") dies, and becomes the patron saint of Russia and Greece, children, and sailors - how big of a goof up was this for CNN? At the urgent request of Pope Julius I, Constans and Constantius II convene the Synod (Council) of Sardica (Sofia) in Dacia (ends 344) over the pesky Arian controversy, attended by Athanasius plus 94 Western (Hosius of Cordova, Servatius of Maastricht et al.) and 76 Eastern bishops (Marcellus of Ancyra, Asclepas, Perigorius of Skopje et al.); too bad, while deciding to act as a body and support the Arian views of their emperor, the Eastern bishops split and move to a new Synod (Council) of Philippopolis in Thrace, condemning Athanasius as a criminal, while the Western bishops proclaim him a saint and censure the Eastern bishops, deposing and excommunicating several of them and passing 21 canons, most about dos and don'ts for bishops; Athanasius begins his 3rd exile, hiking for Rome to the protection of Pope Julius I, where St. Paul I soon joins him - the beginning of the East-West Church Schism? The Synod of Laodicea is convened (ends 381), approving Canon 38: "It is not lawful to receive unleavened bread from the Jews, nor to be partakers of their impiety." Roman consuls: Marcus Maecius Memmius Furius Placidus and Flavius Pisidius Romulus.
344 Bishop Shimun bar Sabbae of Seleucia-Ctesiphon is martyred, along with five bishops and 100 priests. Traditional date of arrival of Syrian merchant St. Thomas of Cana in India (really around 800 C.E.?), who founds Christian churches on both the E and W coasts. On Nov. 17 Jin Kang Di (b. 322) dies, and next year Jin Mu Di (343-61) becomes Dong Jin emperor #5 of China (until 361), with his mother empress Chu Suanzi (Kangxian) ("joyful and wise empress") (324-84) holding real power. Roman consuls: ? Leontius and ? Sallustius. Nonfiction: Aphrahat, Demonstrations, Pt. II; how faith is built up like a house, with Christ as the foundation stone.
345 The 281st Olympiad. Roman consuls: ? Amantius and ? Albinus. Births: Christian ascetic monk Evagrius Ponticus (the Solitary) (d. 399) in Ibora, Pontus; supporter of Origen of Alexandria. Deaths: Kushan king Shaka.
346 On Oct. 31 Athanasius returns from his 3nd exile (begun 343) to Alexandria, taking advantage of the Persian War and civil war against Maxentius. The Persians siege Nisibis again. Roman consuls: Flavius Julius Constantius Junior and Flavius Julius Constans. Nonfiction: Julius Firmicus Maternus, De Erroribus Profanarum Religionum (On the Errors of the Profane Religions); dedicated to Constantius II and Constans, imploring them to stamp out the old pagan religions as a sacred duty to God. Deaths: Christian bishop St. Nicholas of Myra (b. 270) on Dec. 6 in Myra; in 1087 Italian merchants steal his body and bring it to Bari. Syrian bishop (Catholicos) Barbashmin (b. ?) (martyred).
347 The First Council of Sirmium, convened by Constantius II opposes Arian Bishop Photinus of Sirmium, who claims that Christ was merely a man. Roman consuls: ? Rufinus and ? Eusebius. Births: Roman emperor (279-95) Flavius Theodosius (Gr. "God's Gift") I (the Great) (d. 395) on Jan. 11 in Cauca (Italica) (near Seville), Spain; son of Count Theodosius the Elder and Thermantia. Greek archbishop of Constantinople (398-407) (St.) John Chrysostom (Gr. "golden mouthed") (d. 407) in Antioch; feast day: Sept. 13-14/Nov. 13/Jan. 27/Jan. 30. Greek historian Eunapius of Sardius (d. 414).
348 Constantius II defeats the Persians at the Battle of Singara. King Athanaric of the Goths orders that a statue of Nerthus (Hertha) (Germanic fertility goddess, AKA Earth Mother) be carried in a wagon through the Christianized Goths in order to force them to give Christ up for Miss Superbad. Roman consuls: Flavius Philippus and Flavius Salia. Births: Roman Christian poet Marcus Aurelius Prudentius Clemens (d. 413) in Tarraconensis (N Spain).
349 The 282nd Olympiad. Roman consuls: ? Limenius and Aco Catulinus.
350 Roman consuls: ? Sergius and ? Nigrinianus. On Jan. 18 Flavius Magnus Magnentius (-353) is declared Roman emperor #66 at a banquet (until 353), and in Jan. Roman emperor (since 337) Constans I (b. 320) is killed by Magnentius' assassins in Helena (Pyrenees), causing his big bad Arian brother Constantius II, now sole emperor of East and West to begin a 3-year civil war with Magnentius, while Athanasius knows his days in the Sun are running out; Constantius' sister Constantina persuades the old man Vetranio (-356) to assume the title of Caesar on Mar. 1 (Roman emperor #67), and he allies with Magnentius, but Constantius forces him into retirement on Dec. 25. On June 3 Julius Nepotian (-350), son of Eutropia the half-sister of Constantine I declares himself Roman emperor #68 in Rome, but is killed on June 30 by Magnentius' generals; meanwhile Athanasius makes the mistake of communicating with Magnentius, causing Constantius II to declare that he is more eager to kill him than the rebel emperor; speaking of eager to kill, Constantius II takes care of some dirty laundy by having pesky St. Paul I the Confessor captured in Mesopotamia, dragged to the town of Cucusus in Armenia on Mt. Taurus, starved, then strangled by his own episcopal omophorion while celebrating the divine liturgy - happy holidays to all? In this decade the Scots (Irish Celts settling in W Scotland) increase their attacks on Hadrian's Wall and the coast of Wales; the German Franks and Saxons simultaneously increase their piratical raids on the E British coast, cracking the Roman defenses of the Roman Count of the Saxon Shore; the Franks are known for their height and blue Germanic eyes, the way the kings are elevated on a shield during their coronation and wear long hair, while the subjects shave the backs of their heads and comb their bangs over their foreheads and only wear two small whiskers? Shapur II of Persia sieges the city of Nisibis for 3 mo. (3rd time) and fails again, having to break off and go E to counter an invasion of the Xiongnu (Huns). After Julian's brother Gallus taxes them so heavily that many sell their children to pay, the Jews of Palestine stage the Jewish Revolt Against Constantius Gallus (ends 352), ending up losing thousands killed or enslaved and seeing Sephoris burned to the ground, with partial destruction of Tiberias and other cities - talk about a losing cause? Bishop Julius I of Rome orders that Christmas be observed on Dec. 25, taking over the celebration of the winter solstice (Brumalis) from the Mithra worshipers and the celebration of the rebirth of the Sun (Saturnalia) from Roman pagans - that's the power of honey baked? Arian big brain (former physician, goldsmith and grammarian) Aetius (-370) becomes a deacon in Antioch, and after being deposed by Bishop Leontius moves to Alexandria, where he takes on a disciple named Eunomius (-395), and founds the Anomoean (Eunomian) branch of Arianism, which goes the extreme left of the spectrum by not only denying the homoousios of the Trinitarians and the homoiousios of the Semi-Arians, but proclaiming that the Son and Father are downright unlike (animoios) in substance, so there? Ephrem the Syrian helps repel a Persian attack on the Syrian Christian stronghold of Nisibis. Ermanaric (Ermenrichus, Hermeneric, Jormunrekkr) (-375) becomes king of the Goths, whose kingdom extends from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. Vashishka (-360) becomes king of Kushan. The Yamato court forms Japan's first unified state. A Roman noble is buried near Speyer, Germany with a bottle of wine, becoming the oldest known bottle of wine to survive to modern times; it is not opened until?; "Micro-biologically it is probably not spoiled, but it would not bring joy to the palate." (Monika Christmann of Hochschule Geisenheim U.) In this half-cent. peoples in the Copan Valley in the SE Maya area (Honduras) build plastered masonry structures and trade with the S highlands. Monks and bishops bring antiphonal psalmody into the Roman Catholic Church. Gold is used as currency among Danish traders. Roman coins are found in the Western Isles of the Outer Hebrides dating to this time. Nonfiction: Popular demand for a Jesus sequel brings forth the Gospel of Nicodemus (Acts of Pilate). Births: British Celtic king Coel Hen (Old King Cole) of Eboracum (York) (d. 420). Roman bishop (418-22) (St.) Boniface (Lat. "fortunate") I (d. 422) in Rome; feast day: Oct. 25. Syrian Catholic bishop Theodore (the Interpreter) of Mopsuestia (Antioch) (d. 428) in Antioch. Deaths: Egyptian Christian monk #1 St. Anthony (b. 250) in Egypt. Greek mathematician Pappus of Alexandria (b. 290); leaves Mathematical Collection, describing the cogwheel, lever, pulley, screw, and wedge, summarizing mathematical knowledge, and proposing geometrical theorems incl. Pappus' Hexagon Theorem in projective geometry, becoming the last important Greek scientist. Indian philosopher Vasubandhu (b. 300); leaves Abhidharmakosa Sastra. Roman emperor #65 (337-50) Constans I (b. 320) in Helena (Pyrenees). Greek bishop #6 of Constantinople (342) (St.) Paul (Paulus) I the Confessor (b. ?); feast day: Nov. 6. Greek poet Quintus of Smyrna (b. ?); leaves Posthomerica (The Fall of Troy), which fills in the gaps between Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, incl. the story of the Trojan Horse.
351 Early in the year Magnentius proclaims his brother Magnus Decentius (-353) as Caesar (Roman emperor #69); on Mar. 15 Constantius II proclaims his cousin Gallus (Flavius Julius Constantius Gallus) (325-54) as Caesar (Roman emperor #70) after he brutally suppresses the Jewish revolt, then sends him E to keep the Persians in check after giving him Constantina, daughter of Constantine I and Fausta as his wife. On Sept. 28 Constantius II defeats Magnentius at the Battle of Mursa on the Drava River in modern-day Croatia, becoming the bloodiest battle of the cent., with losses of 54K men. Constantius II sends the Roman Gallic army under gen. Silvanus (-355) to expel the pesky Germans from Gaul. Romachus (-354) becomes king of Scotland. The Second (2nd) Council of Sirmium, led by Bishop Basil of Ancyra (Ankara), leader of the semi-Arians (homois) has Bishop Photinus of Sirmium deposed, and drafts the Semi-Arian Sixth (6th) Arian Confession. The last time when a Roman royal can throw off the sickly Christ Son of God B.S. and revert to the healthy Sun God of the old days in good conscience? As soon as Gallus obtains the purple, his half-brother Julian goes pagan, studying with the Platonic school of Aedesius and his disciples Chrysantes and Eusebius in Pergamus, the Theurgic school of Maximus in Ephesus (where he is secretly initiated), and the Eleusinian Mystery School of Athens, and comes to believe that the poems of Homer are divinely inspired by Apollo and the Muses (love that Posthomerica, #1 on the Roman bestseller list?); he also touts the Ancilia (holy shields) which dropped from heaven onto the Quirinal hill of Rome as superior to Christ's cross as a celestial trophy? Roman consuls: Magnus Magnentius and Gaiso.
352 On Apr. 12 Julius I dies, and on May 17 (St.) Liberius (-366) (an Athanasian) is elected bishop of Rome (pope #36); on Aug. 4 the Virgin Mary allegedly appears to him and patrician Giovanni Patricio on the Esquiline Hill in Rome on the site of a temple to pagan goddess Cybele, instructing them to build a church to her, which later becomes the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Constantius II calls all bishops of the East to meet at the Council of Seleucia in Isauria, and all bishops of the West to meet at the Council of Rimini in Italy; the Eastern council disbands after four days of debate, but the Western council is kept under guard by Praetorian prefect Taurus for 7 mo. until they agree to Constantius II's Semi-Arian creed. Roman consuls: Decentius and Paullus.
353 The 283rd Olympiad. On Aug. 13 Constantius II defeats Roman emperor (since 350) Magnentius at the Battle of Mons Seleuci (Mount Seleucus), causing him to flee to Lugdunum and magnanimously commit suicide; on Aug. 18 Decentius does the decent thing and follows suit. The Council of Arles, attended by two papal legates condemns Athanasius; the refusal of the legates to condemn Arius pisses off Pope Liberius. Roman consuls: Flavius Julius Constantius Junior and Flavius Julius Constantius Gallus.
354 Roman emperor (since 351) Gallus (b. 325) is executed by order of his cousin Constantius II after Gallus' wife Constantina influences him to challenge his authority; Constantina dies en route to Constantius II to plead her husband's case - money can't buy me love? Angusianus (Gael. "sole choice") (Aneas) (-357) becomes king of Scotland - Lat. "angus in herba" = snake in the grass? Heng Wen defeats the Qin kingdom in China. Now that he's sole emperor of East and West, rabid Arian Constantius II sees his chance and sends an army of 5K led by Duke Syrianus of Egypt to Alexandria to crush pesky Athanasius and his followers, and they lay siege to the city for 4 mo., pillaging and raping, while the Arians their support to George of Cappadocia (the real St. George of dragon fame?), who is placed on Athanasius' episcopal throne by Count Sebastian of Egypt, and then presides over the rape of 90 episcopal Egyptian pro-Athanasius cities; meanwhile Athanasius slips away from the Church of St. Theonas as the soldiers storm it during a service and get blocked by his sheep long enough, and goes into hiding for the next six years, while roid-raging Constantius II puts an all-out hit on him; "The doors were at length burst open: a cloud of arrows was discharged among the people; the soldiers, with drawn swords, rushed forwards into the sanctuary; and the dreadful gleam of their armour was reflected by the holy luminaries which burnt round the altar. Athanasius still rejected the pious importunity of the monks and presbythers who were attached to his person; and nobly refused to desert his episcopal station till he had dismissed in safety the last of the congregation. The darkness and tumult of the night favoured the retreat of the archbishop; and though he was oppressed by the waves of an agitated multitude, though he was thrown to the ground, and left without sense or motion, he still recovered his undaunted courage, and eluded the eager search of the soldiers, who were instructed by their Arian guides that the head of Athanasius would be the most acceptable present to the emperor. From that moment the primate of Egypt disappeared from the eyes of his enemies, and remained above six years concealed in impenetrable obscurity" - Gibbon, Ch. 21; both the Arians and Athanasians hire street singers to inculcate their beliefs, the Arian refrain being "To the Father, by the Son, and in the Holy Ghost" - meanwhile will the real Christ please stand up? Theodore the Indian allegedly visits Christians in India. The Bulgars are first mentioned in The Anonymous Chronograph, calling them the Vinduri, a mix of Altaic nomadic horsemen tribes, Sarmatians, and Uguri Turks living E of the Black Sea. Roman consuls: Flavius Julius Constantius Junior and Flavius Julius Constantius Gallus. Births: African Roman Catholic theologian-philosopher (doctor of the Roman Catholic Church) and bishop of Hippo (395-) (first Medieval thinker?) (St.) Augustine (Austin) (Aurelius Augustinus) (d. 430) on Nov. 13 in Tagaste, Numidia (Souk Ahras, Algeria); son of pagan Roman admin. Patricius (a Berber Arab) and Monica, a Christian; after a youth spent as a juvenile delinquent, he is sent to school 30 mi. away in Madaura to keep him out of trouble, and becomes a bookworm, mastering Latin but only becoming mediocre at Greek and never learning Hebrew, going on to struggle with how to reconcile classical culture and the Church, and coming up with the ideas of the uniqueness of history and progress; "He established anew the ancient Faith" (Jerome). Roman bishop of Nola (410-31) and poet-historian (Christian convert) (St.) Paulinus of Nola (Pontius Meropius Anicius Paulinus) (d. 431) in Bordeaux; son of Paulinus of Pella, Praetorian prefect of Illyricum, a wealthy aristocrat; feast day: June 22. Deaths: Roman emperor #70 (351-4) Gallus (b. 351).
355 On Aug. 11 Silvanus, a victim of intrigue, is maneuvered into declaring himself emperor at Colonia Agrippa, and is murdered by his own men on Sept. 7. On Nov. 6 Constantius II appoints Gallus' short brainy closet pagan half-brother Flavius Claudius Julianus (Julian the Apostate) (331-63) as Caesar, and dispatches him to Gaul to kick Alamanni and Frankish butt. The 300-bishop Synod of Milan, called by Athanasius' sworn enemy Constantius II confirms the 353 Council of Arles, and condemns Athanasius, with all dissidents required to sign under threat of exile; strongly Trinitarian bishop Eusebius of Vercelli (Vercellae) (283-371), bishop Liberius of Rome, bishop Osius of Cordova (100 years old?) (Constantine I's favorite and the father of the Nicene Creed), bishop Paulinus of Treves, bishop (since 351) St. Dionysius of Milan (-359), bishop Lucifer of Cagliari (-371), bishop (St.) Hilary of Poitiers (Pictavium) (300-68) et al. refuse to go along, and Eusebius and Dionysius are banished to Cappadocia, Lucifer to Syria, Osius to Beraea in Thrace, Liberius to Thrace, Hilary to Phrygia, while the rest end up in the armpits of the empire (Arabia, Thebais, Mt. Taurus, Amblada); too bad, feeble Osius soon flip-flops to be allowed to return, causing Arians to crow in triumph that Athanasians are yellow chicken whimps?; Arian Felix II (-365) becomes the 3rd antipope in Rome (until 358) after the exile of Liberius, and a church assembly in Rome of Liberius' followers vows never to accept him; Cappadocian-born Arian Auxentius of Milan (-374) becomes bishop of Milan (until 374), even though he can't speak Latin; in exile, St. Hilary of Poitiers writes History of Constantine, in which he complains about finding few homoousian bishops; "The Homoousion is rejected, and received, and explained away by successive synods... We condemn either the doctrine of others in ourselves, or our own in that of others; and, reciprocally tearing one another to pieces, we have been the cause of each other's ruin." According to some Bible-thumpers, this year marks the start of the "1,260 days" that the woman hides in the wilderness (Rev. 12:6) until Protestantism comes to save the world from Catholicism. Roman consuls: Flavius Arbitio and Flavius Lollianus. Deaths: North African Christian Donatist purity sect founder Donatus Magnus (b. ?), bishop of Carthage (Casae Nigrae); found guilty in 313 by Pope Militiades of rebaptizing lapsed clergy.
356 Julian the Apostate invites the Athenian Eleusinian mysteries pontiff to his court in Gaul, and consummates their mystic rites and sacrifices in a cave at night, freaking out at the visions and momentarily lapsing by making the sign of the cross to scare away the demons, causing the priest to explain that they weren't scared just indignant; Julian then claims to receive divine illumination and devotes his life to the service of the gods Jupiter, Apollo, Minerva, Hercules, Pan, Mercury, Hecate et al., abstaining from different foods on certain days to receive visions, but publicly pretending to remain a Christian for fear of Constantius II. Theophilus the Indian is consecrated as a Christian bishop, and converts the king of the Himyarites in Yemen - so Islam is really from India? Tyre, Lebanon-born St. Frumentius (-383) converts King Ezana of Axum to orthodox Christianity, becoming its first bishop after appointment by Athanasius, causing Roman emperor Constantius II to write to king Ezana and his brother Saizanas to request them to replace Frumentius as bishop with Theophilus, who supports the Arian position like he does, but he refuses; soon afterward Axum invades Nubia, destroying Meroe and converting it to Christianity; it eventually turns into the Christian kingdoms of Nobatia (Nobadia) (350-650) (between the 1st and 2nd cataract of the Nile River), with capital at Pachoras (modern-day Faras), converted to Christianity in 545, Makuria (340-1276, 1286-1317), with capital at Old Dongola, converted in 569, and Alodia (Alwaa) (600-1504) (southernmost) (great bend in the Nile River S into the Gezira), with capital at Soba near Khartoum, converted to Monophysite Christianity by missionaries sent by Byzantine emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora in 569; in 719 the Church of Nubia transfers its allegiance from the Greek Orthodox Church to the Coptic Orthodox Church; in the 8th cent. Makuria becomes the dominant power, enjoying its goloden age in 750-1150, halting the S expansion of Islam with a peace treaty (baqt) that lasts until Arab traders gradually convert most of the pop., who convert the cathedral of Dongola into a mosque in 1317; in 1504 the last Nubian kingdom collapses, and the Arab identity takes over. Roman consuls: Flavius Julius Constantius Junior and Flavius Claudius Julianus Apostata.
357 The 284th Olympiad. In the summer the Third (3rd) Council of Sirmium issues the Seventh (7th) Arian Confession, declaring that both homoousios and homoiousios are unbiblical, and that the Father is greater than the Son like the Bible says; the Trinitarians call it the Blasphemy of Sirmium - stop embarrassing yourself, crybaby? In Aug. Julian the Apostate leads 13K troops against 30K Alamanni led by Chnodomarius at the Battle of Argentoratum in Gaul, and drives them across the Rhine River despite Julius' cavalry gen. (magister equitum) Marcellus deserting his standards. Fethelmachus (-360) becomes king of Scotland. Shapur II defeats the Huns and forces them into an alliance with Persia. Bishop Cyril (Gr. "lordly") (315-86) is exiled for selling church furniture during a famine - which of the Seven Deadly Sins is that? Constantius II visits Rome, and is accosted by the followers of exiled Athanasian bishop Liberius, demanding his return, and caves in after a delegation of Roman noblewomen threaten to go into exile with him, allowing both him and his Arian rival Felix to remain in Rome, but thousands of protesters in the Circus crying "One God, One Christ, One Bishop!" start a bloody sedition, causing Constantius to exile Felix, after which his Arian followers are murdered by their Christian brother Athanasians - from the newsboys on K-love? Roman consuls: Flavius Julius Constantius Junior and Flavius Claudius Julianus Apostata. Deaths: Egyptian Christian monk St. Amun (b. 357) in Scetes.
358 The Germanic Salian Franks (Salii) in N Gaul (N of the Roman limes along the Ijssel River in the Netherlands, who settled earlier this cent.) are subdued by the Romans under Julian the Apostate, and allowed to settle in Belgium as an ally of Rome, bringing their male-ruler-only Salic Law (Lex Salica) with them; Emperor Constantius II begins to get jealous of Julian, and his palace buffoons begin calling him a "hairy savage... an ape invested with the purple" who at the same time is a "loquacious Greek, a speculative soldier, who had studied the art of war amidst the groves of the Academy." - Gibbon, Ch. 22. Meanwhile Roman Christians are turned into savage beasts over incomprehensible theological arguments about the Prince of Peace? Arian archbishop Macedonius of Constantinople sends four legions of soldiers to exterminate the Athanasian Novatians of Mantinium in Paphlagonia, but they fight back with farm implements, killing 4K soldiers; meanwhile "Many were imprisoned, persecuted and driven into exile. Whole troops of those who are styled heretics were massacred, particularly at Cyzicus and Samosata. In Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Galatia, and in many other provinces, towns and villages were laid waste and utterly destroyed" (Emperor Julian the Apostate). The Council of Ancyra, chaired by Semi-Arian bishop Basil of Ancyra (Ankara) goes back to the homoousios formula; meanwhile the Fourth (4th) Council of Sirmium (1st in 347) backs a new compromise homoios ("like the Father") formula; meanwhile the Synod of Antioch, run by Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch (-370) goes for the Anomoean (Eunomian) (unlike substances) formula, which is condemned by the Council of Ancyra, causing their leaders to be exiled for a short time to Pepuza. Another cross on the side of the road? The radical Donatist Circumcellions (Agonistici) of Numidia and Mauritania in N Africa flee to the Gaetulian Desert and become Robin Hood type rebels, carrying huge clubs that they call "Israelites", and wield in battle with the cry "Praise be to God!" (almost like the later Islamic cry of "Allahu akbar"?); after taking on the Roman cavalry in the Battle of Bagai, they decide that they must be killed for their religion or else, and begin suicide attacks on pagans, and even stop travelers on the highways and order them to kill them so that they can die happy, finally throwing themselves over cliffs; "In the actions of these desperate enthusiasts, who were admired by one party as the martyrs of God, and abhorred by the other as the victims of Satan, an impartial philosopher may discover the influence and the last abuse of that inflexible spirit which was originally derived from the character and principals of the Jewish nation... The experience of [pagan historian] Ammianus had convinced him that the enmity of the Christians towards each other surpassed the fury of savage beasts against man; and Gregory Nazianzen most pathetically laments that the kingdom of heaven was converted by discord into the image of chaos, of a nocturnal tempest, and of hell itself." - Gibbon, Ch. 21. Roman consuls: ? Datianus and Neratius Cerealis.
359 The Burgundians settle in Swabia. Shapur II of Persia invades Syria, and sieges Amida for 73 days, taking the city after losing 30K men to a valiant defense; meanwhile Julian's cavalry gen. Lupicinus is sent to Britain to fight the Scots and Picts, while his prefect Florentius is sent to Vienne to assess the tribute; Constantius II sends messengers to Julian ordering him to hand over his main forces to be sent E to fight the Persians, and he stalls, calling for Florentius, who refuses to come, leaving him with no choice but to approve the order and send them off, permitting them to take their wives and families. In July after Constantius II tries to impose the 358 Fourth Council of Sirmium's homoi formula, the Synod of Rimini in Ariminum (Rimini) (good name for Arians?), attended by 300-400 Western bishops contains only 80 Arian bishops, incl. bishops Auxtenius of Milan, and Valens and Ursacius of Illyricum, but even after a good show put up by Trinitarian bishop Phoebadius (-393) of Aginnum (Agen) (73 mi. SE of Bordeau), they somehow chisel an Arian meaning into the creed (the Son was like the Father, but only "according to the Scriptures", bypassing the Homo-Heteroousian language), which later causes Jerome to complain that "the whole world groaned in astonishment to find itself Arian"; the Homoousian (Trinitarian) bishops get back home, find out about the trick, reject the creed, and get back into control in the West, hardening feelings even more?; meanwhile in Sept. at Constantius II's orders the Eastern bishops meet in the Semi-Arian Synod of Seleucia in Seleucia Isauria, and by this time who cares what they did?; okay, the Anomoeans, freshly returned from exile end up getting the boot after Bishop Acacius of Caesarea (disciple of historian Eusebius of Caesaria), and exiled again to Mopsuestia in Cilicia, and later to Amblada in Pisidia, which pretty much finishes this left-wing splinter group off; not really, they make a comeback when Julian the Apostate lets them return; to give the other side a chance, Bishop Hilary of Poitiers is specially invited to attend, and furnished with post horses for his journey, and represents the Trinitarian side, engaging in bitter debates which only leave the two camps more hardened, causing Constantius II to listen to the spoilsport Anomoeans and send him packing home, where he gets Arian bishop Saturninus of Arles deposed, and becomes a hero, but gets a bad rap of trying to reconcile the Arian and Trinitarian camps with hardhead Bishop Lucifer of Cagliari and his followers; meanwhile Bishop Eudoxius of Antioch is deposed for being too heretical (?), and flees to Constantinople, and the remaining bishops sign the Creed of the Dedication. Julian the Apostate's wife Helena (sister of Constantius II and Constantina) dies during childbirth at the worst possible time, severing the connection between the two and leaving Constantius open to the whisperings of his eunuchs? After the destruction of Jewish communications makes it too difficult, Jewish Patriarch Hillel II resigns the right to determine for all Jews the dates of Jewish festivals, and issues a calendar for independent computation that is used to modern times. Roman consuls: Flavius Eusebius and Flavius Hypatius. Births: Roman emperor #75 (367-83) (Christian) Flavius Gratianus (Gratian) (d. 383) on Apr. 18; son of Valentinian I (321-75). Vandal king Godigisel (d. 406); father of Gunderic (379-428) and Genseric (389-477). Births: Roman super-tall Roman Catholic gen. Flavius Stilicho (Stilico) (Stilcho) (d. 408) in Germany; son of a Pannonian Vandal father and Roman mother. Deaths: Spanish Roman Catholic bishop Hosius of Cordova (b. 256).
360 Roman consuls: Flavius Julius Constantius Junior and Flavius Claudius Julianus Apostata. On Jan. 27 after disinterring the body of emperor Constantine I the Great without permission, causing a bloody fight between between the Arians and anti-Arians, Macedonius is deposed by Constantius, and Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch becomes archbishop of Constantinople (until 370) in the presence of 72 bishops, uttering the immortal soundbyte "The Father is asebes, the Son is eusebes", which causes a nonplussed reaction, causing him to explain "The Father is asebes because he honors nobody, and the Son is eusebes because he honors the Father", causing the bishops to ROFL, which later causes Greek historian Socrates of Constantinople (380-450) to comment that holy ignoramuses like him tear the Church to pieces with their captious subtilties; on Feb. 1 the Hagia Sophia (St. Sophia) Church in Constantinople (begun in 342) is dedicated by the new archbishop and holy comedian. In Jan. Julian's German troops proclaim him Augustus in Paris after balking at a request from Constantius II to march E to fight the Persians and leave him without an army, crowning him with a military collar after first trying a female necklace and/or a horse collar; meanwhile Persia captures Singara and Bezabde, and Constantius II tries in vain to recapture Bezabde; Julian sends messengers to Constantius II in Antioch trying to explain the impulsive actions of his troops, and offering to remain as the emperor of Gaul only; meanwhile Julian gets his ducks in a row by pardoning the Constantius-hating outlaw followers of Magnentius and recruiting them into his army, defeating the Attuarii Franks at the Rhine River near Cleves, strengthening his Rhine fortifications from Cleves to Basel, and wintering at Vienne, tricking Alamanni prince Vadomair to a party and having him taken POW and shipped to Spain to get him out of the way, then blitzing the Alamanni to make them back off. Eugenius I (-404) becomes king of Scotland. Vashishka dies, and Vasudeva III (-365) becomes king of Kushan. The Roman Don't Ask Don't Tell? The First (Zeroeth?) Council of Constantinople, called by Constantius II is attended by 50 Eastern bishops and ? Western bishops; Arian bishop to the Goths Ulfilas (311-81), who works at the foot of Mt. Haemus in Lower Moesia visits Constantinople to lobby for the Arians; the heteroousians start out with the upper hand, but after Constantius II banishes Aetius, the homoousians prevail, and they overturn the 335 pro-Arian Synod of Tyre, rejecting the very use of the term "ousia" (substance), whether it be homo, hetero, or homoi, with the Creed of Constantinople, which begins: "We believe in one God the Father Almighty, of whom are all things, and in the only begotten Son of God, begotten of God before all ages, and before every beginning, through whom all things visible and invisible were made, who is the only begotten born of the Father, the only of the only, God of God, like to the Father who begat him, according to the Scriptures, and whose generation no one knows but the Father only that begat him"; semi-Arian bishop Macedonius is deposed, causing him to found the sect of the Pneumatomachi ("fighters against the Holy Spirit"), which declares that the Holy Ghost (Spirit) is a divine energy diffused throughout the Universe and not a person, denying its divinity - the original Jedi Knights? Roman lit. first describes a warring tribe in Ireland as the Scoti (Scots), who harry the Roman province of Britannia and reach as far as the coast of Gaul - the squats? the skotes? the skwotes? the skahts? Nisibis becomes the camp of Roman Legion I Parthica, becoming known as the impregnable city and bulwark of the provinces as the Persians keep hammering it. Architecture: The Merovingian Baptistery of St. Jean in Poitiers (Baptistère Saint-Jean) is built near the residence of St. Hilary, becoming the oldest Christian bldg. in France to survive to modern times. Births: Christian nun (St.) Olympias (d. 408) in Constantinople; disciple of St. John Chrysostom; feast day: July 24 (Greek), Dec. 17 (Roman); starts out rich, marries Nebridius in 384, then after he dies stays unmarried and builds churches. African bishop (of Ptolemais) Synesius of Cyrene (d. 415). British ascetic theologian-monk (not a priest) Pelagius (AKA St. Morgan of Wales) (d. 420) (Lat. "the sea"); of Celtic Briton descent?; denies the doctrine of original sin and substitutes freedom of will. English Catholic bishop (St.) Ninian (Nynia) (Ninias) (Ninus) (Ninnidh) (Rigna) (Ringan) (Trignan) (Dinian) (d. 432) in Cumberland. Deaths: Anti-Arian bishop Eustathius the Great of Antioch (b. 270) in Trajanopolis, Thrace.
361 The 285th Olympiad. On July 10 Jin Mu Di (b. 343) dies, and Jin Ai Di (Sima Pi) (341-65) becomes Dong Jin emperor #6 of China (until 365), with his granduncle Sima Yu, Prince of Kuaiji holding the real power; the Yan kingdom attacks Leyang, and gen. Heng Wen sends rescuing troops. Speaking of Jedi Knights? With the Creed of Constantinople simmering things down, just when maybe, Constantius II replies to Julian's messengers that he must step down and surrender to Gallic Arian bishop Epictetus, with the promise of a pardon, and Julian sees through this and sends Constantius' ambassador, questor Leonas back with a declaration of war, and publicly renounces the whole blasted confounded Christian religion weeks after celebrating the Christian festival of the Epiphany, declaring himself the implacable enemy of both his uncle Constantius (who murdered his family and inexplicably spared him, and which he now suddenly remembers?) and Christ, and lamenting the long years when he had to put up the pretend act; his praetorian prefect Nebridius brashly stands up for Constantinus, and a soldier cuts off one of his hands, causing him to fall at Julian's feet, who protects him with his purple mantle, but replaces him with Flavius Sallustius of Spain, who promises to cut taxes, after which Nebridius marries rich Constantinople babe St. Olympias (360-408) and does okay for himself; Julian then sends an army of 10K under cavalry Gen. Nevitta to Rhaetia and Noricum in Illyricum, hoping to rally the people to his side and capture their gold and silver mines, and a 2nd army under Gens. Jovius and Jovinus through the Alps to N Italy; Julian then makes a secret supermarch wih 3K soldiers through the Black (Marcian) Forest, captures a fleet of ships and sails down the Danube, arriving at Sirmium before his opponent even knows he has left the Rhine, and is received as a conquering hero, celebrating the games at the circus, then takes the narrow Succi Pass on Mt. Haemus which separates Thrace and Dacia; the Roman Senate smells the roses and recognizes him as emperor; meanwhile Sapor retreats from Syria, and Constantius II gives a speech in his camp in Hierapolis how he will soon have his rival's head adorning the city gates; as he prepares to march against him he sends Gaudentius to Africa to stop grain shipments to Rome, which puts a dent in Julius' plans; meanwhile some Sirmium legions whom Julian had coopted turn on him and hole up at Aquileia, causing Julian to send Gen. Jovian to siege them, where they prove the place virtually impregnable, giving Julian another worry, but on Nov. 3 (the gods be praised?) 45-y.-o. Roman emperor (since 337) Constantius II (b. 317), last surviving son of Constantine I dies of a fever in the town of Mopsucrene 25 mi. from Tarsus after magnanimously naming Julian as his successor, and after a little commotion caused by eunuch Eusebius trying to get another emperor elected at Constantinople, Julian the Apostate (Flavius Claudius Julianus) (331-63) becomes Roman emperor #71 (until June 25, 363), and is met at Heraclea (60 mi. away) by the pop. of Constantinople, who conduct him triumphantly to the capital, where he attends the funeral of Constantius without his diadem dressed in mourning and shedding tears; he pardons the Aquileia rebels after they kill their leaders, publicly renounces the Christianity his elders had tried to brainwash him into, proclaims his belief in Mithraism and Neo-Platonism, but instead of taking advantage of the situation and stamping out the pesky Christians (still in a minority) with a new persecution, the tolerant Emperor Julian issues an edict of toleration, permitting all religions, even intolerant Christianity freedom of worship, while unsuccessfully attempting to reinstitute a tolerant paganism with himself as an ascetic, vegetarian, razor-spurning, bath-despising, floor-sleeping philosopher-king, who is head of a polytheistic church, where "one should diligently study the systems of Pythagoras, of Plato, and of the Stoics, which unanimously teach that there are gods; that the world is governed by their providence; that their goodness is the source of every temporal blessing; and that they have prepared for the human soul a future state of reward or punishment"; under his patronage, pagan philosopher Sallust (Sallustius)(the pretorian prefect of Gaul?) writes On the Gods and the Cosmos, with the aim "to parry the usual onslaughts of Christian polemic", and "meet theology with theology"; Julian dismisses the herd of palace eunuchs, slaves, and parasites, tries and executes the eunuch chamberlain Eusebius and other ministers in Chalcedon (under Sallust Secundus, prefect of the East), revokes govt. support of Christian clergy, shifts imperial funding to the old pagan cults, forbids Christians to teach Greek and Latin lit., and allows all banished Christian clergy of every stripe to return, incl. Athanasians, Donatists, Novatians, Macedonians, and Eunomians, inviting them all into his palace to argue with each other before trying in vain to convert them to paganism with eloquent speeches; "Hear me! The Franks have heard me, and the Alamanni!"; "And though he exerted the powers of oratory to persuade them to live in concord, or at least in peace, he was perfectly satisfied, before he dismissed them from his presence, that he had nothing to dread from the union of the Christians"; he restores pagan sacrifices, and insists on slaughtering animals and reading their hearts and livers himself; nobody's perfect, so he does passively condone attacks on Christian churches? Julian appoints Sixtus Aurelius Victor as prefect of the Second Pannonia, and executes Gaudentius, praetorian viceregent of Africa, and Duke Artemius of Egypt in Antioch. During his long poontang-free winter nights in Constantinople this year and Antioch next year, Julian writes The Misopogon (Beard-Hater) (satirical essay on philosophers), The Caesars, and the bestseller Twenty Years a Christian Slave and Ten More a Christian Hypocrite, or, Why the Christian Religion Sucks and Paganism Rocks, an elaborate refutation of Christianity beloved of pagans, which is later suppressed and only survives in quotations in a polemic by St. Cyril of Alexandria; too bad, all this only causes the Nicene party of the West to harden around their homoousios position? After declaring Jehovah a "great god" and ending Jewish persecution, then asking Jewish leaders why they still don't perform animal sacrifices, and being told that they can only do it in the Temple of Jerusalem (demolished in 70 C.E.), Emperor Julian the Apostate allows the Jews to return to Jerusalem, calling it "holy Jerusalem, which you have for many years longed to see rebuilt"; too bad, flames burst from the ground twice as the foundations are being dug, killing several workmen, causing Christians to rejoice that God is against them. Roman philosopher Gaius Marius Victorinus (280-365), who had become such a star as a teacher of rhetoric that a statue was erected to him in the Forum of Trajan in 353 converts to Christianity via a study of the Bible, causing his popularity with the regime to plummet, and next year he loses his job and retires. Bishop Hilary of Tours is allowed to return to his see, and his disciple St. Martin of Tours (316-397) joins him, founding the Monastery of Marmoutier (on the opposite shore of the Loire River from Tours), becoming the first Gallic monastery, spreading monasticism in the West and developing into the Benedictine Liguge (Ligugé) (St. Martin's) Abbey in Vienne - watch that goose grease? Roman consuls: Flavius Taurus and Flavius Florentius. Births: Armenian monk (St.) Mesrob (Mesrop) Mashtots (d. 440) in Hatzegatz, Daron; inventor of the Armenian alphabet. Deaths: Roman emperor #63 (337-61) Constantius II (b. 317) on Nov. 3 in Mopsucrene (25 mi. from Tarsus).
362 Emperor Julian closes the teaching profession to the pesky Christians, and wows the people by refusing the title of Dominus (Lord), and marching on foot on the calends of January with his new consuls Mamertinus and Nevitta from the palace to the senate, then declaring that the senate of Constantinople is equal to the Roman senate, and claiming himself to be a senator, which all later emperors copy; he restores the "soul" of the expiring cities of the empire (Libanius), incl. Nicopolis, Athens, Corinth, Argos and the cities of Epirus and the Peloponnesus, and reinstates the Actiac games of Augustus. Emperor Julian tolerantly underwrites reconstruction of the Temple of Jerusalem (destroyed in 70 C.E.) for the super-intolerant Jews, and allows the exiled super-intolerant Athanasius and his super-intolerant adherents Eusebius of Vercelli (Vercellae) et al. to return to Alexandria, where they convene the Synod of Alexandria, which supports the, guess, yes, the Athanasian Creed and condemns the erring Arians; meanwhile he foils an assassination plot at Antioch, and executes the son of coward Gen. Marcellus for another plot; let's not count the Anomoeans (Eunomians) out yet, they get their creed restored by the Synod of Antioch, which decrees that "The Son is in all things unlike the Father, as well in will as in substance" - maybe they should switch from abstract algebra to topology? In Rome a chasm suddenly opens in the Forum, and after an oracle declares that it would close only if Rome's greatest possession were thrown into it, conceited Marcus Curtius leaps into it on his horse, after which it allegedly closes up, leaving only a depression, which becomes known as the Lake of Curtius (Lacus Curtius) - I'll buy that for a denarius? Roman consuls: Claudius Mamertinus and Flavius Nevitta.
363 Roman consuls: Flavius Claudius Julianus Apostata and Flavius Sallustius. In the spring pagan philosopher-king Roman emperor (since 361) Julian the Apostate (b. 331) invades Persia, forces a passage over the Tigris River, and in May sieges the Persian city of Ctesiphon, pushing Persian forces back S into the city without capturing it, concluding a peace by which Rome returns the territories W of the Tigris River, ending the Sixth Roman-Persian War (begun 337); on June 26 on his way back home he is KIA in a battle on the Persian frontier near Samarra by a Persian cavalryman's lance, ending the line of Constantine, and the next day Jovian (Flavius Jovianus) (331-64), a Christian is elected Roman emperor #72 (until Feb. 17, 364) by the army, going on to copy Julian and issue an edict of gen. toleration; too bad that Christanity has penetrated the army so fully that all future emperors are Christians, although it takes almost 30 years before official persecution begins again; meanwhile the Persians take over Mesopotamia, and recapture Nisibis without a fight despite pleas from the pop. to emperor Jovian that they are willing to fight, causing the Roman pop. to move to Amida and the Christian School of Nisibis led by Ephrem the Syrian to flee to Edessa; Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus, who is in Nisibis at the time later disses Jovian in his writings. The reconstruction of the Temple of Jerusalem is halted by Julian's death, opposition by the rabbis, and an earthquake on May 19, which also destroys half of the ancient city of Petra (where Indiana Jones finds the Holy Grail?); the old restrictive laws are reenacted and made more severe, and the Jews are again banned from Jerusalem, causing Jerome to report that the Jewish pop. of Palestine is "but a tenth part of their previous multitude". Eusebius of Vercelli returns to Vercelli, where he gleefully stamps out Arianism. Nonfiction: Julian the Apostate (331-63), Allegory of Atys and Cybele. Births: French Christian chronicler Sulpicius Severus (d. 425) in Aquitania; not to be confused with St. Sulpitius the Pious (-646); the Church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris is built in his honor in the 13th cent. Deaths: Roman emperor #71 (361-3) Julian the Apostate (b. 331) on June 26 near Samarra (KIA); leaves Epigrams, incl. "On wine made from barley", which claims that Bacchus' wine smells of nectar, but Demetrius' beer smells of goat.
364 On Feb. 17 after making a humiliating peace with the Persians under Shapur II the Great, who recover their Mesopotamian territories ceded by Narses in 298, as well as Nisibis and Singara, Roman emperor (since 363) Jovian (b. 331) dies under suspicious circumstances, and on Feb. 26 Valentinian I (Flavius Valentinianus) (321-75) is proclaimed Roman emperor #73 of the West by the army; on Mar. 28 he appoints his pagan brother Flavius Julius (Iulius) Valens (328-78) as Roman emperor #74 of the East (until 378); Valentinian and Valens renew Jovian's edict of gen. toleration, but begin confiscating non-Christian temple lands while leaving the temples open. On June 16 Theon of Alexandria observes a solar eclipse, and another on Nov. 25. St. Hilary of Poitiers travels to meet Bishop Eusebius of Vercelli to try to make peace with the followers of Bishop Lucifer of Cagliari, then goes to Milan to take on Arian Bishop Auxentius, which pisses-off Valentinian, who orders him to return to Poitiers, where he hunkers down and writes all kinds of true blue orthodox propaganda, causing him to be sainted and raised to Doctor of the Universal Church by Pope Pius IX. Roman consuls: Flavius Jovianus and Flavius Varronianus Joviani. Births: Greek Arian Christian ecclesiastical historian Philostorgius (d. 425) in Cappadocia. Deaths: Roman emperor #73 (363-4) Jovian (b. 331) on Feb. 17 in Dadastana, Anatolia (murdered?).
365 The 286th Olympiad. St. Hilary of Poitiers predicts the End of Time for this year. On Mar. 30 after becoming obsessed with immortality, Jin Ai Di (b. 341) dies of pills given him by magicians, and his younger brother Jin Fei Di (Sima Yi) (Yanling) (342-86) becomes Dong Jin emperor #7 of China (until 371). On July 21 (sunrise) the 8.0 Cretan Earthquake wipes out nearly all towns in Crete, and causes damage in C and S Greece, N Libya, Egypt, Cyprus, and Sicily; the Egyptian city of Leukaspis (Antiphrae) is destroyed by a tsunami, and covered-over by the resort town of Marina until it is rediscovered in 1986. Valentinian I defeats the Alamanni at the Battle of Charpeigne and the Battle of Chalons-sur-Marne. Shapur II is given a free hand in Armenia, and invades and devastates it, bringing it back under Persian control - but not before converting to Christianity? Vasudeva III dies, and Kipunanda (-375) becomes the last king of Kushana (until 375). The term "pagan" is first used in the Valentinian Code to refer to civilians who refuse a military oath of Christian baptism needed to join the military; previously the term meant people of the country (pagus), derived from the Doric word for fountain; later, after the only place the old religion is still practiced is out in the country, the word comes full circle? The Semi-Arians, who now call themselves the Macedonians hold the Synod of Lampsacus, and sign the 341 Creed of the Dedication, and condemn Arian patriarch Eudoxius of Antioch, but Valens refuses to confirm their proceedings. Roman consuls: Flavius Valens and Flavius Valentinianus I. Deaths: African-born Roman philosopher Marius Victorinus (b. 280) in Rome; leaves Liber de Definitionibus, Ars Grammatica, Commentary on Cicero's "De Inventione", Commentary on Aristotle's "Categories". Roman antipope Felix II on Nov. 22.
366 On Sept. 24 Liberius dies, and on Oct. 1 Spanish-born (St.) Damasus I (304-84), a notorious ladies' man nicknamed "matron's ear tickler", who surrounds himself with an entourage of young bi men, and hires a gang of hit men to storm the Julian Basilica and murder his nearest rival and all his supporters is elected bishop of Rome (pope #37), but deacon Ursinus (Ursicinus) (-381) is elected antipope by adherents of Liberius, starting a war while he rules in Rome for several mo. (until 367). Athanaric (-381) becomes judge (ruler) of the Visigoths in Dacia (until 380), fiercely persecuting Christians. The 5th and last exile of Athanasius ends after only 4 mo. Roman consuls: Flavius Gratianus and Dagalaifus.
367 Roman consuls: Flavius Lupicinus and Flavius Jovinus. The Alamanni capture Mainz, but are defeated at the Battle of Solicinium by Valentinian I, who while campaigning in Gaul is stricken with a mysterious illness and almost dies; meanwhile a power struggle ensues, and to ensure a smooth succession he names his 8-y.-o. son Flavius Gratianus (Gratian) (359-83) as co-Augustus (Roman emperor #75) of the Wild, Wild (but not yet Wild, Wild, Wild, Wild?) West; Gratian becomes the first Roman emperor who refuses to wear the pagan pontifical robe in rites and sacrifices in Rome, and ends up prohibiting pagan worship in Rome entirely; prior to this "The title, the ensigns, the prerogatives, of sovereign pontiff, which had been instituted by Numa, and assumed by Augustus, were accepted, without hesitation, by seven Christian emperors, who were invested with a more absolute authority over the religion which they had deserted than over that which they professed." - Gibbon, Ch. 21. After his wife pussy-whips him, pagan Roman emperor Valens goes Christian, and is baptized in Constantinople by Arian patriarch Eudoxius, splitting with his Trinitarian bro' Valentinian over the big issue dividing Christians; now that Eudoxius is calling his theological shots, Valens orders the re-exiling of bishops banished by Constantius II and allowed to return by Julian the Apostate, causing the true blue Catholics to point to every bad thing that happens as a portent showing the anger of Heaven at them; meanwhile Valentinian I recognizes Damasus and banishes Ursinus, who dies in Nov., and Damasus becomes undisputed bishop of Rome over the dead bodies of over 100 opponents? - the price of official sanction is official meddling? Nonfiction: Athanasius (296-373), Annual Pastoral Letter to the Churches of Egypt, listing the 27 books of the New Testament canon for the first time ever, listing "fourteen letters of Paul to the apostle", incl. "two to the Corinthians".
368 On Apr. 4 there is a solar eclipse, causing a "double dawn" over Zheng, China. The Pict, Scot, and Saxon tribes attack and plunder London; the Picts and Scots are driven back from Britain, and the province of Valentia is formed. The Goths attack the troops of Emperor Valens. There is a flood of the Danube River. Roman consuls: Flavius Valens and Flavius Valentinianus I. Deaths: French Roman Catholic bishop St. Hilary of Poitiers (b. 300) in Poitiers on Jan. 13 (Nov. 1); leaves Sancti Hilarii, Pictavorum Episcopi Opera (ed. by Dom Constant and pub. in Paris in 1693).
369 The 287th Olympiad. Roman consuls: Flavius Valentinianus Valentiniani and ? Victor. The Visigoths under Athanaric attempt to trade for needed produce, but Emperor Valens boycotts them in the marketplace, causing them to attack and defeat him before he defeats them, causing the Romans to increase their frontier fortifications. Nonfiction: Rufus Festus, Magister Memoriae to Valens writes a History of Rome about this time, crowing about Valens' great V over the Goths this year.
370 In this decade pagan Anglo-Saxons from Germany and Scandinavia invade Latin-Celtic Britain, along with Irish and Picts, causing the Romans under gen. Magnus Maxentius to abandon the fort of Chester. On June 14 anti-Arian theologian (St.) Basil (the Great) (330-79) becomes Greek Orthodox bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor, going on to build a city-like hospital complex called the Basiliad. The Huns arrive in Scythia from the region of Meotis (Sea of Azov) near Persia, and overpower the Alani (Alans), after which they and the remaining Alans attack the Ostrogoths in the Ukraine, who make a stand at the Dniester River, but are forced SW by the thousands, many of them forced to join the Huns, later ending up fighting their Visigoth kinsmen in Chalons in 451; by now the Goths of Dacia have permanently split into the Ostrogoths and Visigoths, with the Ostrogoths inhabiting the shores of the Black Sea, and the Visigoths inhabiting the region from the Dniester River to the Danube River. Future St. Augustine is sent to Carthage, where he opens a school and continues his philosophical studies, flip-flopping in his beliefs. A Christian religious settlement is founded in Muckross on the estuary fringes of the Tay and Eden Rivers, which later changes its name to Cennrigmonaid (Gael. "king's church peninsula"), later becoming the town of St. Andrews. The first record of Infant Baptism, which considers that the act of baptism rather than the person's faith is what saves, which spawns a long series of protesters called Anabaptists (Gr. "ana" = re), who face persecution for rebaptizing adults; the Roman Catholic Doctrine of Complete Regeneration and Washing of All Sins by Baptism regards all those who have been washed in the baptismal font as becoming pure as the virgin snow, along with Christ popularly being called the Ichthys (Fish).Roman consuls: Flavius Valens and Flavius Valentinianus I. Births: Classic Roman poet (last of the breed?) Claudius Claudianus (Claudian) (d. 404) in Alexandria; court poet of Milan. Visigoth king (395-410) Alaric (Aleric) (OG "ruler of all", "highborn ruler", "noble king") I (d. 410) on Peurce (Fir) Island in the Danube River Delta; of the royal house of Baltha ("bold"); his tribe is driven W by the Huns, and ends up in the Gothic province of Septimania (Languedoc) in S France between the E Pyrenees and lower Rhone River, then later settles in Naples. Greek pagan Neoplatonic philosopher-mathematician-librarian (last of the breed?) (first notable woman in mathematics) Hypatia of Alexandria (d. 415) (b. 350?) in Alexandria; daughter of Theon (335-405).
371 The pagan Saxons invade Gaul from the N. Jing Fei Di is deposed by gen. Huan Wen (Yuanzi) (312-73) (Duke Xuanu of Nan), and Jin Ming Di's younger brother Jin Jian Wen Di (Sima Yu) (Daowan) (320-72) becomes Dong Jing emperor #8 of China (until 372), spending all of his time in philosophical discussions of Taoism. St. Martin of Tours becomes bishop of er, Tours. Births: Roman emperor #76 (375-83) Valentinian II (d. 392); son of Valetinian I (321-75) and 2nd wife Justina (-388); half-brother of Gratian (359-83); brother of Galla (-394). Roman consuls: Flavius Gratianus and Sextus Anicius Petronius Probus. Deaths: Ialian anti-Arian bishop St. Eusebius of Vercelli (b. 283) on Aug. 1 in Vercelli, Piedmont, Italy.
372 The Huns, who have already subjugated the Alani and made the Ostrogoths tributary attack the Visigoths to the W of the Carpathians, forcing them to move W over the Danube River into Roman lands, and Emperor Valens makes a big mistake in allowing them to cross the Danube to save themselves? Jin Jian Wen Di (b. 312) dies before proclaiming himself emperor, and Jin Xiao Wu Di (Sima Yao) (Changming) ("filial martial emperor") (362-96) becomes Dong Jin emperor #9 of China (until 396). Roman consuls: Flavius Domitius Modestus and Flavius Arintheus.
373 The 288th Olympiad. The Huns begin a migration W from Asia across the Ural River N of the Caspian Sea. The Visigoths (from N of the Carpathians to S of the Dnieper) attack along the Roman limes on the Danube River in N Moesia. The Quadi and Burgundians from the S Baltic region attack Pannonia. Shapur II of Persia invades Armenia, but is driven back beyond the Tigris River. Korea pays tribute to the Qin Kingdom. Mawiyaa becomes the first Christian Arab queen of the Tanukh tribe. Roman consuls: Flavius Valens and Flavius Valentinianus I. Deaths: Alexandrian archbishop (328-73) Athanasius the Great (b. 296); leaves Discourses Against the Arians, The History of the Arians, Apology Against the Arians, and On the Decrees of the Nicene Synod - did he die knowing he won? Syrian Christian bishop St. Ephrem (b. 306) on June 9 in Edessa.
374 Valentinian I concludes a treaty with Alamanni king Macrianus. Milan gov. Aurelius Ambrosius, son of a praetorian prefect appears at a meeting to elect the bishop of Milan that is getting out of hand, and the crowd shouts to elect him, and he is elected bishop of Milan, becoming known as (St.) Ambrose (Gr. "immortal") (340-97), showing how the upper echelon of the powerful are rising in the Church; he cements the role of bishops as authoritarian figures who are more to be feared than loved, and begins ingratiating himself with Gratian, prodding him to revoke the edict of toleration and scotch the pagans completely, which only takes two years; meanwhile he backs St. Paul and St. Augustine in regarding sex as of the Devil, preaching that virginity is the ideal state, esp. for women, while keeping women out of leadership positions in the Church esp. the priesthood. Roman consuls: Flavius Gratianus and Gaius Equitius Valens.
375 On Nov. 17 Roman emperor (since 364) Valentinian I (b. 321) dies of apoplexy in Brigetio in Illyricum on the Danube River while parleying with the Quadi and Sarmatians; his oldest son Gratian being considered unfit, the Roman army proclaims his other son, 4-y.-o. Valentinian II (371-92) as Roman emperor #76 (until 392); his half-brother Gratian acquiesces next year, remaining co-Augustus of the West. The Huns attack the Visigoths on the Pontiac Steppes, then crush the Alani (Alans) and the Ostrogoths in the Ukraine, causing King Ermanaric of the Ostrogoths to commit suicide as his empire between the Dneister and Don Rivers is being overrun; in the fall emperor Valens grants thousands of starving fleeing Visigoths a feodus - is that like a freeloafus? Samudragupta dies, and his son Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (-415) becomes king of the Gupta Dynasty in N India by 379, going on to vastly expand the kingdom and subjugate all of the Indian subcontinent N of the Narbada River, bringing a golden age of peace, prosperty, and intellectual accomplishment, with Hinduism reversing its decline through absorption of features of Buddhism. King Kipunanda of Kushan dies. Roman consuls: Flavius Valentinianus I and Flavius Gratianus. Births: Roman Christian priest-theologian-historian Paulus (Paul) Orosius (d. 419) in Bracara Augusta (modern-day Braga), Gallaecia (Spain); student of St. Augustine of Hippo. Deaths: Roman emperor #73 (346-75) Valentinian I (b. 321) on Nov. 17 in Biegetio (near Kamarom), Pannonia Valeria (modern-day Szony, Hungary) (apoplexy).
376 The Huns defeat the Visigoths under Athanaric, and advance onto the plains of Dacia and the Russian steppes (which is nice for their horses?); meanwhile Emperor Valens requests Gratian's help in defeating the Visigoths in Thrace, then after they ask for protection from the Huns he accepts them as allies, orders them disarmed, and allows them to cross the Danube River to settle Lower Moesia (modern-day Bulgaria and SE Yugoslavia); Athanaric bugs out and moves with part of his people to the W (Transylvania). Gratian graciously kisses Christian butt and separates the Roman state from the pagan church? After prodding by Bishop Ambrose, 17-y.-o. Emperor Gratian withdraws the edict of toleration, removes the Altar of Victory from the Senate Forum, and withdraws state subsidies from pagan priests, confiscating the revenues of the Vestal Virgins and other pagan priesthoods; this causes a split with the Senate, and Gratian retaliates by rejecting and abolishing the title and robes of pontifex maximus, again at Ambrose's urging; the imperial edict is respected throughout the empire except in the city of Rome, where "The image and altar of Victory were indeed removed from the Senate-house; but the Emperor yet spared the statues of the gods which were exposed to public view; four hundred and twenty-four temples or chapels still remained to satisfy the devotion of the people, and in every quarter of Rome the delicacy of the Christians was offended by the fumes of idolatrous sacrifice." - Gibbon, Ch. 28. Roman consuls: Flavius Valens and Flavius Valentinianus II. Births: Christian archbishop of Alexandria (412-44) (St.) Cyril (Gr. "lordly") of Alexandria (d. 444) in Theodosios (El-Mahalla El-Kubra); feast day: Feb. 9.
377 The 289th Olympiad. Roman consuls: Flavius Gratianus and Flavius Merobaudes. Births: Roman emperor #79 (395-408) Flavius Arcadius (d. 408); son of Theodosius I; brother of Flavius Honorius (384-423). Armenian abbot (in Palestine) (St.) Euthymius (the Great) (d. 473) in Melitene, Lesser Armenia; feast day: Jan. 20.
378 In Feb. the Alamanni invade Gaul, and the Romans win a V at the Battle of Argentia. After many Visigoths are allowed to enlist in the Roman army only to be mistreated by Roman officers, the Visigoths banish Athanaric, and Fritigern becomes their new leader, immediately standing up to the bungling imperial officials, refusing to disarm, and planning an attack on Constantinople; too late, the Romans belatedly decide to correct their mistake and renege on an agreement to let them cross the Danube River to the S and settle in Roman territory as good little boys and girls, but the Visigoths say stuff it and defeat and massacre two-thirds of the Roman army under Roman emperor (since 364) Valens (b. 328) on Aug. 9 at the Battle of Adrianople (Adrianopolis) (after he gets tired of waiting for reinforcements and goes ahead without them), becoming the worst Roman D since the 216 B.C.E. Battle of Cannae, as well as their first cavalry battle (during which the Roman cavalry flee); Valens is mortally wounded by an arrow, and retreats to a country house (small wooden hut?), which is set on fire by the Goths, killing him; the Goths then give up on taking Constantinople and ravage Thrace; Western emperor Gratian appoints Spaniard (son of Valentinian I's magister equitum) Flavius Theodosius (Gr. "God's Gift") I "the Great" (347-95) to lead the Eastern Roman armies; the Western Roman Empire and its broken military can be stuck with a fork, and the Rhine-Danube frontier is broken for all time, with the barbarians able to invade at will, making it critical to absorb the *?*!* Goths and use them as a buffer, which doesn't end up working out?; Bishop Ambrose of Milan identifies the pesky Goths with Ezekiel's Gog, and calls the demise of pagan-protecting Valens a sign from God, issuing the soundbyte: "The End of the World is coming upon us." Persia makes Armenia and Iberia (in the S Caucasus Mts. in modern-day Georgia) vassal states. The Ethiopian occupation of Yemen (begun 340) ends, and Yemen regains its independence. A watershed is reached in Roman and Catholic history, when Rome becomes, er, Roman Catholic? Roman bishop (pope) (since 366) Damasus I is tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for adultery by a synod of 44 bishops, but that doesn't phase emperor Gratian, who next year gives him the recently-abolished pagan title of pontifex maximus (maximum bridgemaker to God), along with its secular powers (immunity from prosecution by the synod?), making him the first real pope, B.A. (bad attitude) Damasus, virtually an emperor in his own right, able to use the police power to crush religious opponents (thus insuring the complete takeover of the Roman Catholic Church by Satan, who slithers from one set of bridgemaker franchises to the other, taking the masses with him by creating the "man of lawlessness" - 2 Thess. 2:3?); the Roman Senate, starting with the Anician Family speedily announces its conversion, followed by the Roman pop., after which plain old-time paganism becomes virtually kaput by 395, with the favorite Greek pastime of pederasty punished by burning at the stake; "The ruin of paganism, in the age of Theodosius, is perhaps the only example of the total extirpation of any ancient and popular superstition; and may therefore deserve to be considered as a singular event in the history of the human mind. The edifying example of the Anician family was soon imitated by the rest of the nobility... The citizens who subsisted by their own industry, and the populace who were supported by the public liberalty, filled the churches of the Lateran and Vatican with an incessant throng of devout proselytes. The decrees of the senate, which proscribed the worship of idols, were ratified by the general consent of the Romans; the splendour of the capital was defaced, and and the solitary temples were abandoned to ruin and contempt. Rome submitted to the yoke of the Gospel... The generation that arose in the world, after the promulgation of the Imperial laws, was attracted within the pale of the Catholic Church, and so rapid, yet so gentle was the fall of Paganism, that only twenty-eight years after the death of Theodosius, the faint and minute vestiges were no longer visible to the eye of the legislator." - Gibbon, Ch. 28; too bad, to finish paganism off, the Church sells out to it?; "It must ingenuously be confessed, that the ministers of the Catholic Church imitated the profane model they were so impatient to destroy... As the objects of religion were gradually reduced to the standard of the imagination, the rites and cremonies were introduced that seemed most powerfully to effect the senses of the vulgar. If, in the beginning of the fifth century, Tertullian or Lactantius had been suddenly raised from the dead, to assist at the festival of some popular saint or martyr, he would have gazed with astonishment and indignation on the profane spectacle which had succeeded to the pure and spiritual worship of a Christian congregation. As soon as the doors of the church were thrown open, they must have been offended by the smoke of incense, the perfume of flowers, and the glare of lamps and tapers, which diffused at noon-day a gaudy, superfluous, and in their opinion, sacrilegious light." - Gibbon, Ch. 28; too bad, the few true Christians who don't sell out to the system, such as Jovinian, Vigilantius, and the Waldenses end up fleeing to the mountains, where they can only last so long unless a miracle happens; therefore the Gothic revolt, which starts right at this time and ends up destroying the empire by 476 and keeps the pope from ruling a centrally-run Western world and finishing off the last true Christians fulfills Rev. 12:15-17 ("The dragon poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. But the Earth came to the help of the woman, and opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of its mouth. Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus"), and is thus a good thing, or is this just a case of Protestant hindsight being 20-20? Pope Damasus and a Roman council sends a book containing their latest take on true Church doctrine to Constantinople, which later agrees with the 381 Council of Constantinople. Roman consuls: Flavius Valens and Flavius Valentinianus II. Nonfiction: Epiphanius of Salmis (310-403), The Panarion (Gr. "medicine chest") (AKA Adversus Haereses or Against the Heresies); "a stock of remedies to offset the poisons of heresy", refuting 80 religious sects from the time of Adam. St. Ambrose (337-97), De Fide (Of the Faith); written at the request of emperor Gratian; claims that the Goths are the evil nation of Gog mentioned in Ezekiel 39:10-11. Deaths: Roman emperor #74 (364-78) Valens (b. 328) on Aug. 9 in Adrianople (KIA).
379 On Jan. 19 after some military successes, Gratian hails Theodosius I as his co-Augustus of the East (Roman emperor #77) (until 395) in succession to Valens in Sirmium; ever since Adrianople last year the Roman army is seen as out of date, and Theodosius I attempts to recruit more cross-kissing baptized cavalry units. After ravaging Thrace for two years, Visigoth King Fritigern fries his last fritter and dies. Shapur II (b. 310) dies, and his son Ardashir II (-383) becomes shah of Persia, which is at its zenith of power, although the new shah is weak; a new Christian persecution begins (ends 402). Architecture: The Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio in Milan, Italy is built, and consecrated by St. Ambrose in 386. Roman consuls: Decimus Magnus Ausonius and Quintus Clodius Hermogenianus Olybrius. Births: Vandal king (407-28) Gunderic (d. 428); son of Godigisel (359-406); half-brother of Genseric (389-477). Deaths: Greek bishop (since 370) St. Basil the Great (b. 330) on Jan. 1/2 in Caesarea Mazaca, Cappadocia (in a basilica?): "Fooled by the atheism that they carry inside of them, [some] imagine a universe free of direction and order, as if at the mercy of chance... With the sacred Scripture, the Lord awakens the reason that sleeps and tells us: In the beginning, there was the creative word... this word... is also love." Ceylonese king Meghavanna.
380 On Feb. 27 Theodosius I issues an Epistula on the Nicene Creed, declaring Nicene Creed "Catholic Christianity" as the only legal imperial religion, ending state support of paganism; all heretical variations of Christianity, esp. Arianism are to be punished as crimes against the state, reversing Constantine I the Great's 313 Edict of Toleration, and ending the theological debate by fiat; religious freedom and toleration become kaput in Europe for the next thousand years. Ex-Visigoth ruler Athanaric accepts Roman hospitality and moves to Constantinople, where Emperor Theodosius I honorably receives him; he dies next year. The Saragossa Synod in Spain is convoked to condemn the Priscillianists, an ascetical sect led by Priscillian of Avila (-384) in S Gaul that is gaining ground; Gratian sides with the synod - so often my subjects fail to do what I want and I have to have their heads cut off? Concern for the increasing number of Greek-speaking Christian churches causes Latin to be adopted as the official language for the Roman Catholic Mass, whose name comes from the words "Ite, missa est" with which the priest dismisses the congregation. This is war, this is war, yeah yeah yeah? About this time the perpetual virginity of Mary is such a rage with Christians that Tertullian's writings of 208 get mashed, being supported mainly by Helvidius, claiming that the references in the Gospels to the "brethren" of Jesus (1 Cor. 9:5, Gal. 1:19, Mark 6:3, Mt. 13:55) refer to later sons of Mary by Joseph; instead bishop Epiphanius of Salamis (310-403) proposes the more PC theory that they are sons of Joseph by a former marriage, and Jerome proposes the even safer theory that they are sons of Alpheus, the husband of Mary's sister, and hence only Jesus' cousins. Bishop St. Ambrose of Milan orders the burning of a synagogue, calling it "an act pleasing to God", and when Theodosius I orders the synagogue rebuilt, Ambrose excommunicates him until he grovels and repents, the incident being used by churchmen to break with obsequious Eusebius of Caesarea and claim separation of church and state as dual authorities. In this decade emperor Magnus Maximus puts Padarn Beisrudd (Gael. "Scarlet Robe") (of British descent) in command of Votadini troops in the Clackmannanshire region of Scotland; he later passes command to his son Edern (Lat. Aeturnus). Roman consuls: Flavius Gratianus and Flavius Theodosius I. Births: Greek Church historian Socrates of Constantinople (Socrates Scholasticus) (d. 450). Roman Catholic bishop (first bishop of Turin) (St.) Maximus of Turin (d. 465) (d. 408-423?) in Rhaetia; feast day: June 25.
381 The 290th Olympiad. In May-July 9 the First (Second Ecumenical) Council of Constantinople (2nd universal council since Nicaea in 325) of 150 Eastern Orthodox bishops, called by Gratian and Theodosius I condemns Constantinople patriarch (since 380) Maximus the Cynic, replacing him with his rival Gregory of Nazianzus, who is ousted in favor of Nectarius, then censures the council; it supports the 230 Synod of Iconium, and reaffirms and standardizes the various versions floating around of the "Faith of the 150 Fathers", AKA the Nicene Creed, rounding it out more fully to make them pesky *!?! criminal heretic Arians shut the f--- up, as well as the pesky Pneumatomachians, and clearly proclaims the Enanthropesis (taking of humanity) of the Word, as well as the doctrine of the Holy Ghost, 3rd person of the Trinity; it also declares Chiliasm (Millennialism) (Millennium Fever) (MF) to be a heresy; on July 30 Theodosius I ratifies its four canons (condemning Arius, setting fixed jurisdictional limits for bishops, ranking Rome as #1 and Constantinople as #2 in honor and dignity, and condemning Maximus and his followers), after which three more are framed next year; Bishop Ulfilas attends for the Arian side, and leaves wanting to get not mad but even, which he does by the conversion of the Goths?; just when the Church is on the brink of greatness, Constantinople bishop Nectarius is nominated as patriarch #1 of Constantinople, and declared 2nd in rank to the bishop of Rome (leaving the bishop of Alexandria out in the cold desert?), starting the East-West Schism in the Church as #2 tries harder? In Sept. a Catholic Church council summoned by Gratian is held in Aquileia. Roman consuls: Flavius Syagrius and Flavius Eucherius. Deaths: Arian apostle of the Goths Bishop Ulfilas (b. 311). Visigoth ruler Athanaric (b. ?) in Constantinople.
382 Emperor Theodosius I makes a treaty with the new-improved-PC Visigoths, making them the first independent barbarian nation within the Roman Empire, allowing them to settle in the Balkans in Moesia, with their army nominally a Roman army (federates) but with their own chiefs, and they become farmers known as Moeso-Goths; the Roman Empire is now fully "barbarized", and the Christianized Visigoths become useful servants of the crumbling empire in its last days, despite being Arian heretics, which ultimately leads to Rome's nasty fall in 476? Roman consuls: Antonius and Afranius Syagrius.
383 In Jan. Theodosius I names his 6-y.-o. Spanish-born son Flavius Arcadius (377-408) as Augustus of the East (Roman emperor #79) (until 395). On Nov. 30 the Battle of Fei Shui (Fei River) in modern-day Lu'an, Anhu near the Huai River is a V for the Eastern Jin (Xia Jin) over the numerically superior Qin led by Fu Chien (Fu Jian), causing the Qin empire to fall into massive civil war and become kaput, ensuring the survival of the Eastern Jin and other kingdoms S of the Yangtze River along with their precious Chinese culture. The Romans in Gaul under Roman emperor (since 367) Gratian (b. 359) fight the Alamanni; meanwhile Spanish-born Roman gen. Magnus Maximus (Maximianus) (335-88), cmdr. of the Roman army in Britain is proclaimed Roman emperor #78 (until 388) by his troops, and crosses into Gaul to confront Gratian, who is betrayed, flees, and is killed in Lugdunum (Lyons) on Aug. 25, after which Magnus Maximus seizes Gaul, becoming the last really powerful emperor of the West, ruling Britain, Gaul, Spain, and Africa; Theodosius I recognizes him. Firmus dies, and his Moorish brother Count Gildo is made military cmdr. of Africa by Theodosius I, where he sets up a rapacious tyranny - enjoying all the white women he can get? Ardashir II dies, and Shapur (Sapor) III (-388) becomes yet another weak shah of Persia. Theodosius I begins a campaign to root out Arianism in the Eastern Roman Empire, passing laws forbidding Arian meetings; by next year Arianism as a force is kaput, with only scattered pockets remaining, which doesn't stop them from sending missionaries across the Rhine and Danube to convert the Germans; from now on every Roman emperor automatically takes the side of the pope against schismatics or heretics, which ultimately backfires as they welcome the Muslims as liberators. After Gratian's death, the town of Cularo in Gaul is renamed Gratianopolis in his honor, the name being eventually corrupted to Grenoble. The future St. Augustine goes to Rome, then Milan, becoming a teacher and coming under the influence of Bishop Ambrose, who turns him into a Christian in three years. Evagrius of Ponticus (the Solitary) (345-99), who had spent time in Constantinople, where he found it hard to resist the temptations of the flesh, particularly a married woman, then spent time in Jerusalem and still wasn't cured moves to a monastic community in Kellia, Egypt, developing the concept of the Seven Deadly Sins, actually eight: anger, avarice, discouragement, fornication, gluttony, pride, sorrow, and vainglory; Pope St. Gregory I the Great later revises it to seven, with the Latin mnemonic SALGIA (superbia, avaritia, luxuria, invidia, gula, ira, acedia) (pride, envy, greed, extravagance or lust, gluttony, wrath, sloth), with the corresponding holy virtues being humility, patience, charity, chastity, temperance, kindness, and diligence; the fact that they aren't listed in the Bible strengthens the Catholic tendency to go beyond it? Roman consuls: Flavius Merobaudes and Flavius Saturninus. Deaths: Roman emperor #75 (367-83) Gratian (b. 359) on Aug. 25 in Lugdunum (Lyons) (murdered). Lebanese-born Christian bishop of Axum (328-83) (St.) Frumentius (b. ?) in Tyre; feast day: Dec. 18. Roman-British Christian princess (St.) Ursula (Lat. "bear") (b. ?); feast day: Oct. 21; patron of archers, orphans, and students; allegedly beheaded along with fellow British princess (St.) Odilia (Odile) (Ottilia) of Cologne (feast day: July 18; patroness of good eyesight) and 11K virgins by the pesky Huns at Colonia Agrippina (Cologne); Ursula's bones are allegedly ID'd by nun Elizabeth of Schonau in the early 12th cent. during the digging of a cemetery, making her the patron saint of maidens; since the story is obviously all made-up, she is removed from the gen. calendar of saints in 1969.
384 On Dec. 11 Damasus I dies, and on Dec. 15 Pope (#38) (St.) Siricus (Siricius) (-399) is elected, becoming the first to assume the official title of Godfather, er, Pope (Gr. papa = "father"), getting pissed off by Magnus Maximus' intrusion into church authority, and showing off his new muscle by executing the heretic Priscillian of Avila and his followers; Priscillian becomes the first Christian burned alive for heresy (in Treves), beginning a long tradition of heterodoxy and heresy in S Gaul. Shapur III of Persia concludes a peace treaty with Rome, partitioning Armenia between them. At the urging of Christian supremacist Bishop Ambrose, who disses his claim that there are many ways to worship God, Valentinian II denies the request of why-can't-we-just-get-along liberal pagan senator Quintus Aurelius Symmachus (340-405) to restore the Altar of Victory to the Senate house in Rome. Future St. Augustine gives up his Carthaginian mistress of 11 years after their son Aeodatus dies young, then gets a teaching job in Milan. Roman consuls: Flavius Ricomer and Flavius Clearchus. Births: Roman emperor #81 (395-423) Flavius Honorius (d. 423); youngest son of Theodosius I; brother of Flavius Arcadius (377-408); a pampered sheltered palace whimp. Deaths: Syrian anti-Arian Catholic bishop (St.) Servatius (Servais) (b. ?) in Syria; bishop of Tongres and Maastricht (Mosae Trajectum), where he built a church over the Roman Temple of Fortuna and Jupiter; feast day: May 13.
385 The 291st Olympiad; Zopyros of Athens wins the pankration. Theodosius I prohibits ritual sacrifice in pagan temples, and requires the clergy to abstain from meat and practice celibacy (like the pagan clergy?). Theophilus of Alexandria (-412) becomes patriarch of Alexandria. Christian Roman senator (St.) Pammachias (-409) marrries Paulina, 2nd daughter of St. Paula in 385; feast day: Aug. 30. Roman consuls: Flavius Arcadius and Banto.
386 Roman consuls: Flavius Honorius and Evodius. Dao Wu Di (Tuoba Gui) (Tuoba Shegui) (371-409) becomes emperor #1 (until 409) of the Northern Wei Dynasty (ends 534). Under the warm tutelage of Bishop Ambrose of Milan, St. Augustine (354-430) gives up his academic post in Milan in the summer, retires to the country, and converts to Christianity, with the help of his mother Monica; whether reading the Gospels and Epistles of Paul did it to him or not, he finally repudiates women and sex, and considers women to be a venereal disease - forking the Catholic Church up forever, and giving male homos and pedophiles a permanent home? Science: Chinese astronomers witness a supernova. Births: Syrian Christian patriarch of Constantinople (428-31) Nestorius (d. 451) in Germanicia, Syria (Kahramanmaras, Turkey); founder of Nestorianism. Deaths: Christian bishop Cyril of Jerusalem (b. 315) on Mar. 18.
387 On Apr. 25 (Easter Sun.) Augustine is baptized by Ambrose in Milan - under as well as over the robes? Magnus Maximus invades Italy, and Valentinian II flees to the protection of Theodosius I. Theodosius I makes a treaty with Persia, pacifying the E front, and allowing him to play Santa Claus to pagan-hating Christians; he gives up trying to rebuild his army with Romans, and begins recruiting whole tribes of barbarian horsemen serving under their own leadership; he makes super-tall Vandal (son of a Pannonian Vandal father and Roman mother) Gen. Flavius Stilicho (359-408) (Stilicho the Stilt?) (who had helped ratify the Persian treaty) his utriusque militae (field marshal of both services) after marrying him to his daughter Serena (adopted daughter of his brother Honorius) and promoting him through the ranks - loose cannon on deck? Roman consuls: Flavius Valentinianus II and Eutropius. Births: Armenian leader (St.) Vardan Mamigonian (Mamikonian) (d. 451) in Artaxata. British Christian missionary (in Ireland) (St.) Patrick (Patricus) (L. "patricius" = patrician) (Succat) (Succathus) (d. 461) (d. 493?) (b. 360?) in Banna Venta Berniae (Kilpatrick, Britannia?) (near Dumbarton, Scotland?); feast day: Mar. 17; son of Christian deacon Calpurnius, son of priest Potitus; sold into slavery in Slemish, County Antrim, Ireland at age 16; at age 31 the voice of God tells him to go to Ireland and Christianize it; really not a Roman Catholic but a Baptist?
388 On July 28 after regrouping, Valentinian II marches W and defeats and executes Roman emperor (since 383) Magnus Maximus (b. 355) in Aquileia; since his British garrisons are never restored to their full complement, Roman power in Britain is weakened. Shapur III dies, and his son Bahram (Varahan) IV (-399) becomes shah of Persia, placing his brother on the Armenian throne. Theodosius I gets laws passed outlawing ancient Egyptian rites and closing all temples, and sends prefect Theophilus of Alexandria around Egypt, Syria, and Asia Minor to destroy pagan temples and groups, causing the practice to sweep over Egypt; the Serapeum in Alexandria is destroyed; discovered in 1851. Chandragupta II begins the conquest of Malwa, Gujarat, and Surashtra, ending the satrapy of Ujjain by 401; he moves his capital from Pataliputra to Ayodhya in Awadh, then to Kausambi on the Jumna River. The future St. Augustine returns to Tagaste in N Africa, and studies to become a priest. Roman consuls: Flavius Theodosius I and Cynegius. Deaths: Roman emperor #78 (383-8) Magnus Maximus (b. 335) in Aquileia, Italy (executed).
389 The 292nd Olympiad (last); King Varasdates of Armenia wins in boxing, becoming the last Olympic champ until 1896 C.E. There is a famine in the Roman Empire this year. Augustine returns to Tagaste and forms a monastery. The Synod of Milan, presided over by St. Ambrose and attended by St. Maximus of Turin (380-465) and Bishop Theodorus of Octodurum in modern-day Martigny, Switzerland sees St. Jerome refute the heresy of Jovinian. After marrying Spanish Christian woman Therasia, wealthy Roman senator Pontius Meropius Anicius Paulinus (354-431) is baptized by Bishop Delphinus of Bordeaux, moving to their estates in N Spain, and being ordained a presbyter by Bishop Lampius of Barcelona on Christmas of 393 or 394 and becoming a fan of St. Felix of Nola (-250). Roman consuls: Flavius Timasius and Flavius Promotus. Births: Vandal king (428-77) Genseric (Gaiseric) (Geiseric) (d. 477) (OG "spear king"); illegitimate son of Godigisel (-406); half-brother of Gunderic (379-428). Deaths: Christian theologian Gregory of Nazianzus (b. 329).
390 Riots in the Roman Empire kill Germans out of hatred, incl. Goth cmdr. Thessalonica. The Huns (the original Hell's Angels?) settle in Pannonia (modern-day Hungary) - Hun-gary, get it? Emperor Theodosius I massacres 7K citizens in Thessalonica, causing St. Ambrose to refuse him entrance to the Church until he does 8 mo. of penance - 1 month for each 1K killed, plus one for himself? Nestorian missionary Abdyeshu builds a monastery on the island of Bahrain. Very PC Athanasian Roman monk (St.) Jerome (340-420) begins trans. the Bible into common (vulgar) Latin to create his Watergate, er, Vulgate Bible (finished 405). The Syriac Doctrine of Addai begins to be written (until 430), about the conversion of Edessa after Jesus corresponds with King Abgar. The "viri genere optimi religione praeclai" incl. Roman senator St. Pammachius (-409) denounce Jovinian to Pope St. Siricius. Late in this cent. the Roman practice of making drinking cups from rhino horns for the purpose of detecting or neutralizing poison begins. Roman consuls: Flavius Valentinianus II and Neoterius. Births: French monk (St.) Prosper of Aquitaine (d. 455) in Aquitaine; disciple of St. Augustine of Hippo. Arab Christian monk (St.) Simeon Stylites (Gr. "pillar") the Elder (d. 459) in Sisan, Cappadocia; feast day: Jan. 5; lives and preaches on the top of a pillar near Antioch for 37 years - less travel, more video conferences? Deaths: Syrian Christian bishop Diodore of Tarsus (b. ?).
391 Roman Catholic er, Roman emperor Theodosius I bans the Olympic Games (founded in 776 B.C.E.), and orders the Temple of Zeus in Olympia, Greece closed; the Great Statue of Zeus (built in 456 B.C.E.) is moved to a palace in Constantinople, and is lost in a fire in 462 - no more dangly daylight shin-kicking fun around guilt-tripped filthy unwashed Christians? Despite resisting, St. Augustine is ordained a priest in Hippo Regius (near modern Annaba, Algeria) by a crowd working for Bishop Valerius, going on to become famous for his preaching, writing, and holiness. Roman consuls: Tatianus and Quintus Aurelius Symmachus.
392 On May 15 after Theodosius I at the urging of Christian supremacist Bishop Ambrose of Milan makes Roman Catholicism the one and only official state religion of the Roman Empire, labelling as heretics all non-orthodox Christians, Jews, and pagans, and making belief in the faith the price of citizenship, banning pagan worship even in private, the pagans stage a last ditch comeback, and Roman emperor (since 375) Valentinian II (b. 371) is murdered (suicide?) in Vienne by Frankish barbarian magister militium Arbogastes (Arbogast) (-394), who proclaims pagan grammar-rhetoric teacher Flavius Eugenius (-394) as Roman emperor #80 (until 394) on Aug. 22, causing Theodosius I to step in and take control of the West, for the last time in history ruling the entire empire; from now on the center of Roman power is in Constantinople not Rome; Theodosius I closes all pagan temples, incl. the Oracle at Delphi; meanwhile, the Church makes it easier for the pagans to join by absorbing many pagan religious beliefs and practices, while the Jews hastily skedaddle?; too bad, Theodosius I began putting the Church out of reach of the state, not only exempting the clergy from taxes like Constantine I did, but relieving them of all fiscal obligations to the state, weakening the tax system; he also allowed the Church to develop canon law with its own tribunals, and tolerated bishops mitigating sentences via the right of sanctuary; no wonder when Rome fell the Church had a state within the state ready to take over. Theodore of Mopsuestia (350-428) becomes bishop of Mopsuestia. Roman consuls: Flavius Arcadius and Flavius Rufinus. Births: Roman empress Aelia Galla Placidia (d. 450); daughter of Theodosius I and 2nd wife Galla (daughter of Valentinian I and 2nd wife Justina); paternal half-sister of Arcadius, Honorius, and Pulcheria; wife of Gothic king Ataulf and Constantius III; mother of Valentinian III and Justa Grata Honoraria (416-) (Attila the Hun's babe). Roman (Byzantine) emperor #93 (450-7) Marcian (Flavius Marcianus) (d. 457) in Illyricum; husband of Pulcheria (399-453). Deaths: Roman emperor #76 (375-92) Valentinian II (b. 371) on May 15 in Vienne (murder) (suicide?).
393 The 293rd Olympiad NOT (prohibited by Theodosius); next Olympic Games in 1896. Theodosius I's youngest son Flavius Honorius (384-423) is proclaimed flavor of the day Augustus of the West (Roman emperor #81) (until 423). The popular writings of ex-monk ("the Epicurus of Christianity") Jovinian (Jovinianus) (-405) (Jovial Anus?), which claim that a virgin is no better than a wife in the sight of God, that abstinence is no better than thankful partaking of food, that a person baptized with the Holy Spirit and water cannot sin, that all sins are equal, and there there is but one grade of punishment and another of reward in the future life, piss-off St. Jerome, who pub. Contra Jovinianus, in which he claims that he "amidst pheasants and pork rather belched out than breathed out his life", causing Pope Siricius to convene a synod in Rome, and St. Ambrose to convene another one in Milan to condemn him, and he is severely whipped and condemned to perpetual exile on a desert island; they also condemn Bishop Boner, er, Bonosus of Sardica for maintaining that Mary had other children after Jesus, and proclaim that Mary remained forever a virgin, because even Jesus passed through her womb magically like he did the closed tomb during his resurrection - I guess the tomb door was rolled away only so that it could be inspected later? Roman consuls: Flavius Theodosius I and Abundantius. Births: Christian Syrian bishop, theologian and historian Theodoret of Cyrus (Cyrrhus) (d. 457) in Antioch.
394 The Visigoths ally with Rome and march against the Huns (who had been attacking their rear and driving them to the W) as auxiliary mercenary troops. On Sept. 5-6 Roman emperor (since 392) Eugenius and Arbogast, backed by the remaining pagan wing of the Roman Senate are defeated by Theodosius I in the Battle of Frigidus (Wippach) River E of Aquileia in a battle in which both sides use lots of barbarian mercenaries; Eugenius is captured and executed, and Arbogast escapes to the mountains, then commits suicide on Sept. 8; paganism as a force in the Western Roman Empire is kaput; Theodosius I causes a law to be passed enforcing the keeping of Sunday. The last Egyptian hieroglyphs appear on the Philae Island in the Nile River on a temple inscription - there's a place called Hidden Valley, where kids can eat their hieroglyphs? Christian pilgrim Aetheria visits the Church of Syagha on Mount Nebo, where Moses was allegedly buried (Deut. chap. 34); it is rebuilt in 597, and discovered along with a monastery in 1933; the Ark of the Covenant is hidden there? Roman consuls: Flavius Arcadius and Flavius Honorius. Deaths: Roman poet Decimus Magnus Ausonius (b. 310).
395 On Jan. 17 Roman emperor (since 379) Theodosius I (b. 346) dies in Milan, becoming the last to rule over both halves of the empire, and his 18-y.-o. son Flavius Arcadius (377-408) succeeds to the more important Eastern throne in Constantinople as Roman emperor #79 (until May 1, 408), while 11-y.-o. son Flavius Honorius (384-423) succeeds to the less important Western throne in Ravenna as Roman emperor #81 (until 423); Arles in S Gaul becomes the seat of the praefecture of Gaul, also governing Spain and Armorica (Brittany); "The genius of Rome expired with Theodosius, the last of the successors of Augustus and Constantine who appeared in the field at the head of their armies, and whose authority was universally acknowledged" - Gibbon, Ch. 29; Gen. Stilicho is made guardian of his sons Arcadius and Honorius by Theodosius I on his deathbed, virtually ruling the West; Dacia and Macedonia are split off from Illyricum and become part of the Eastern Roman Empire, along with Syria and the no-longer-great learning center of Rhodes, leaving Noricum, Pannonia, and Dalmatia to Honorius; Singidunum (modern-day Belgrade) ends up on the NW border of the Eastern Roman Empire; Albania begins to be ruled by the Byzantines (until 1204); "The boundary in Europe was not very different from the line which now separates the Germans and the Turks; and the respective advantages of territory, riches, populousness, and military strength, were fairly balanced and compensated in this final and permanent division of the Roman Empire" - Gibbon, Ch. 29; cruel crafty Gaul-born ultra-religious-acting Rufinus, master of the offices under Theodosius I becomes prefect of the East, dominating over the young Arcadius while getting rich and plotting to marry his daughter to him, and plotting against Stilicho; "His avarice, which seems to have prevailed in his corrupt mind over every other sentiment, attracted the wealth of the East by the various arts of partial and general extortion" - Gibbon, Ch. 29; early in the year Stilcho crosses the Alps, revives the Roman garrisons on the Rhine, and suppresses the Germans, obtaining a "firm and honorable peace", then returns to Milan; Alaric I (370-410), who had hoped for a career in the Roman service gets pissed off at Theodosius' death and Stilicho's promotion in his place, is declared king of the Visigoths (until 410), and, conspiring with Rufinus, immediately renounces his allegiance to Rome, claiming an interruption of the subsidy; in late winter "The barriers of the Danube were thrown open; the savage warriors of Scythia issued from their forests; and the uncommon severity of the winter allowed the poet [Claudian] to remark 'that they rolled their ponderous wagons over the broad and icy back of the indignant river'" - Gibbon, Ch. 30, crossing to Thrace, then Dalmatia, then to the gates of Constantinople, which they can't take, then W across Macedonia and Thessaly into Greece, which had last seen Gothic hordes in 267-8, while Rufinus plots to let him conquer it by having his proconsul Antiochus recall the troops guarding the Pass of Thermopylae ("a road capable of admitting only a single carriage" - Gibbon); the lucky (with Greek women) Visigoths sack Phocis and Boeotia, bypass 7-gated Thebes in their haste, and spare Athens in exchange for a heavy ransom, plus a free bath and banquet for Alaric; they then continue on to ravage Corinth, Argos, and Sparta, raping Greek women and stealing vases and statues, and wiping out the last remains of paganism with the help of happy monks who follow along; the Eleusinian Mysteries at the Temple of Eleusis are no longer celebrated after this; meanwhile Arcadius gets Stilicho to come to Greece with Western troops in ships which land near the ruins of Corinth, where they take on Alaric I in Arcadia (home to Pan and the Dryads), causing him to retreat to the mountains of Pholoe, where he is sieged and starved, the Alphaeus River being diverted to take away the water supply; too bad, instead of sticking around, half-barbarian Stilicho goes off to enjoy Greek poontang and theater, leaving his soldiers free to rape the land themselves, and allowing Alaric and his host to sneak away and escape over the Gulf of Corinth, then conclude a treaty with Constantinople which orders Stilcho to get out of "their" empire, and makes Alaric master-gen. (prefect) of Illyricum, becoming the ruler of the cities he had just raped; this example encourages other barbarians to get their own piece? - give a mouse a cookie and he'll ask for a glass of milk? Valerius dies, and (St.) Augustine (354-430) becomes bishop of Hippo Regius - just in time to ride the new established religion in? Irish raids begin on the N (Pict) and W (Welsh) British coasts - the Squats ah ah-cumin'? Roman consuls: Anicius Hermogenianus Olybrius and Anicius Probinus. Births: Roman emperor #95 (455-7) Eparchius Avitus (d. 457). Deaths: Roman historian Libanius (b. 314). Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus (b. 330); leaves the 31-vol. Res Gestae, a history of Rome from 96-378 C.E.; too bad, only the parts covering 353-78 survive to modern times. Christian bishop (in Cappadocia) St. Gregory of Nyssa (b. 331). Roman emperor #77 (379-95) Theodosius I the Great (b. 347) on Jan. 17 in Milan; buried in Constantinople.
396 Roman Gen. Stilicho marches from trashed Greece up the Adriatic coast, and is stopped by an order from Arcadius (really Rufinus), who declares that closer approach to Constantinople will be considered treason; obeying the order, he gets Gainas (a Goth), cmdr. of the eastern army to take over the troops, which march to Constantinople, and trick Rufinus into believing they will support him as the new emperor, then murder him in front of the emperor in front of the Palace of Hebdomon with a sword in the chest, letting the delighted crowds trample the corpse of the cruel SOB and cut off his right hand and carry it through the streets mocking his extensive prior use of it to receive baksheesh, and carry his head around on a lance; Rufinus' wife, daughter, and sister (Sylvania) flee to Jerusalem, where they are given religious sanctuary; Greece goes from the intellectual center of classical pagan culture to a manure hole, and the world Roman Empire is permanently halved, with the E half, incl. the Aegean region becoming the Byzantine Empire, AKA the Greek Empire even though it substitutes an Oriental culture in the place of classic Hellenism; Sylvania (from Latin for nurse, tutor, aunt, or mother?) goes on to become a famous nun, reading 5M lines of Bible commentary and boasting that by age 60 she had never washed any part of her body except the tips of her fingers to receive Communion?; Arcadius makes the eunuch Eutropius the new praetorian prefect, and makes the "perfidious Goth" (Gibbon) Gainas the master-gen. of the East, who flip-flops on Stilcho, plotting with Arcadius and Eutropius to undermine him, getting him declared an enemy of the republic, and his possessions in the eastern provinces confiscated while sending assassins; instead of uniting against the barbarian threat, Arcadius and Honorius start a feud, each trying to get the barbarians to attack the other, while reviving the ancient Greek-Roman hatreds - the beginning of the Great Schism? Claudius Claudianus (-404) of Alexandria becomes the poet laureate of Honorius (until 404), singing the praises of Gen. Stilicho; "If Stilicho had not possessed the external advantages of strength and stature, the most flattering bard, in the presence of so many thousand spectators, would have hestitated to affirm that he surpassed the measure of the demi-gods of antiquity; and that, whenever he moved, with lofty steps, through the streets of the capital, the astonished crowd made room for the stranger, who displayed, in a private condition, the awful majesty of a hero." - Gibbon, Ch. 29. Rouen bishop (393-407) St. Victricius (330-407) Rouen visits Britain to settle a dispute among the bishops, is accused of heresy, but is defended by Pope Innocent I, receiving the decretal Liber Regularum, along with relics of Vitalis and Agricola; he meets with freshly escaped Irish slave St. Patrick? Jin Xiao Wu Di (b. 362) is killed by his concubine Consort Zhang after he insults her, and retarded Jin An Di (Sima Dezong) (382-419) becomes Dong Jin emperor #10 of China (until 419), with his uncle Sima Daozi, Prince of Kuaiji (364-403) holding real power; Nanliang and Beiling establish empires. Roman consuls: Flavius Arcadius and Flavius Honorius. Births: Roman gen. (savior for 20 years of the Tottering West) Flavius Aetius (d. 454) in Durostorum; son of a wealthy noble Italian mother and Gaudentius, master of the cavalry in Scythia; is given as a hostage to Alaric I and later to the Huns, where he learns martial arts and becomes friends with Attila the Hun but fails to tame the tiger.
397 The Roman-African War begins when black (Moorish) Count Gildo, cmdr. of the five Roman provinces of Africa plots with Arcadius and Eutropius to give them over to the east, and Gen. Stilcho gets the Roman Senate to unanimously condemn him (a last vestige of the old Republic?); Stilicho prevents a famine caused by the cutoff of African corn by rounding up a supply in Gaul, then gets Gildo's younger brother Mascezel, who had been exiled by Gildo to the court of Milan (and his two children murdered by him) to lead 5K Roman troops into Africa, sailing from Pisa to the island of Capraria, which is filled with hermit monks, then to Cagliari with some monks on board so that Mascezel can sing some psalms with them, then to N Africa; Gildo recruits 70K naked barbarian soldiers from Gaetulia and Ethiopia, who are armed only with javelins and ride horses without bridles, but his Roman African army switches sides at the last minute, and the barbarians flee, giving Mascezel an easy V, and Gildo is captured in Tabraca (between the two Hippos) and commits suicide in a dungeon; Mascezel returns to Milan, where he is acclaimed a hero, making Stilicho jealous, and is soon thrown from his horse into a river while riding over a bridge with Stilicho; "The officious haste of the attendants was restrained by a cruel and perfidious smile which they observed on the countenance of Stilcho; and while they delayed the necessary assistance, the unfortunate Mascezel was irrecoverably drowned." The Third (3rd) Council of Carthage compiles an official Bible canon, accepting the Big 27 Books of the modern-day New Testament, but incorporating the Apocrypha; the Eastern churches reject the latter. Where does depression hurt, everywhere, take Cyrenebalta? Synesius of Cyrene (360-415) becomes Cyrenian deputy to Arcadius in Constantinople (until 400), presenting him with a gold crown, and giving the oration De Regno, which exhorts him in vain to quit letting the empire go to ruin and shape up; meanwhile Alaric I gets the Eastern Roman Empire to supply his troops with large numbers of fresh-made weapons, and plots to invade Italy after a voice in a dream tells him he will plant his standard on the walls of Rome. Roman-trained English bishop (St.) Ninian (360-432) moves to Whithorn in SW Caledonia (Scotland) to evangelize the Picts to Trinitarian Catholicism; too bad, a cent. later Aidan turns them into heretic Arians? Three Christian missionary priests are martyred in Anaunia in the Rhaetian Alps, and witnessed by future saint (St.) Maximus of Turin (380-465). Architecture: Mor Gabriel Monastery in Turkey is founded by monks Mor Samuel (-409) and Mor Simon (-433), becoming known as the "second Jerusalem" and the center of the Orthodox Syriac community of Turkey. Nonfiction: St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), The Confessions of St. Augustine (13 vols.) (397-400); the first autobio., showing what about the Catholic movement?; the first nine books narrate his first 31 years, ending with his baptism; the last four deal with his interpretation of Genesis and his ruminations on time and memory, attempting to reconcile Christian theology with Greek philosophy; he formulates a psychology that almost recognizes the subconscious, along with an "inner sense"; "Oh God, make me chaste - but not yet." Roman consuls: Flavius Caesarius and Nonius Atticus. Births: Chinese "Pounding Cloth" poet Xie Huilian (d. 433). Roman emperor #94 (455) (first of the Shadow Emperors) Petronius Maximus (d. 455). Deaths: French bishop St. Martin of Tours (b. 316) on Nov. 11 in Candes; leaves the soundbyte "There is no doubt that the Antichrist has already been born. Firmly established already in his years, he will, after reaching maturity, achieve supreme power." French Catholic bishop St. Ambrose of Milan (b. 340) on Apr. 4 in Milan. Catholic bishop of Modena (St.) Geminian(us) (b. ?) on Jan. 31 in Modena, Italy.
398 14-y.-o. Honorius marries Stilicho's and Serena's daughter (his own cousin) Maria, making Stilicho Honorius' virtual father; thanks to her mommy Serena she is still a virgin when she dies ten years later, while the original Mister Peanut takes up poultry raising, and Stilicho runs things (into the ground?); "The son of Theodosius passed the slumber of his life a captive in his palace, a stranger in his country, and the patient, almost the indifferent, spectator of the ruin of the Western empire, which was repeatedly attacked, and finally subverted, by the arms of the barbarians." - Gibbon, Ch. 29. Roman consuls: Flavius Honorius and Flavius Eutychianus.
399 As another Millennium Fever date approaches, epidemics and social upheavals along with real and imagined Goth invasions rock the Roman Empire, incl. cannibalism, mass suicide, noble ladies begging in the streets, oh my? On Nov. 26 Pope (since 384) Siricus dies, and on Nov. 27 Pope (#39) (St.) Anastasius I (-401) is elected, condemning self-castrating Origenism. Bahram IV is killed in a mutiny, and his son Yazdgird (Yazdgard) I (the Wicked) (-420) becomes Sassanid king #13 of Persia (until 420), ending persecution of Christians and Jews while going after the Zoroastrian priesthood. Emperor (since 313) Nintoku (b. ?) dies in Osaka, and is buried in the keyhole-shaped island tomb of Daisen-Kofun in Sakai, Osaka (biggest tomb in Japan), and next year his eldest son Richu (-405) becomes Japanese Yamato emperor #17 (until 405). St. Pammachius and Oceanus write St. Jerome, asking him to trans. Origen's "De Principiis" and repudiate Rufinus' insertion that he and St. Jerome see eye-to-eye on him, causing Jerome to dedicate many of his commentaries on the Bible to him. Roman consuls: Eutropius and Mallius Theodorus. Births: Roman (Byzantine) emperor #92 (450-3) Aelia Pulcheria (Lat. "beautiful") (d. 453) on Jan. 19; eldest daughter of Arcadius (377-408); sister of Theodosius II (401-50); wife of Marcian (390-457). Deaths: Christian ascetic monk Evagrius Ponticus (b. 345) in Kellia, Egypt; leaves On Asceticism and Stillness in the Solitary Life; his Writings on Origen leave out the philosophical speculative nature of his views, causing Origen (182-253) to be posth. condemned? - the wildlife experience, more than a museum? Roman noble Christian ascetic nurse (St.) Fabiola (b. ?) (d. 400?) on Dec. 27; feast day: Dec. 27; patron saint of divorced people; starts out as a super-rich patrician who divorces her hubby for abuse, remarries, and after his death does public penance and is accepted back into the Church by the pope, building Rome's first hospital ca. 390, then moving to Bethlehem in 395 to work in the hospice of the convent under St. Paula and St. Jerome before moving back to Rome and building a large hospice for pilgrims in Porto at the mouth of the Tiber River opposite Ostia with St. Pammachius. Japanese Yamato emperor #16 (313-99) Nintoku (b. ?).