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600 - 1300 A.D.












600 - 1300 A.D.


Monasteries- Communities engaging a solitary way of religious life.  Organized around rule or teachers which regulate the way of life. practice self-discipline and self-denial, vows of poverty, etc..


600 - 726 A.D. Monasteries use the manufacture and sale of Icons as a source of income.


742 A.D. Concubinage Common among Clergy- unmarried man living with an unmarried woman.


751 A.D. Monastery holds King Pippin’s political prisoners by order of the Pope.


900 A.D.  Monasteries made independent of local churches, directly under authority of the Pope.  Time of great immorality.


1100 A.D. Military monasteries train Knights for the crusades. Time of Mystics.


THE RISE OF ICONS  500 A.D. - 843 A.D.


ICONS - (image)  Icons are sacred images; the focus of prayer and devotion. Most commonly a portrait of Christ, the Virgin, one of the saints, or an episode from the Bible. The usual place for the exhibition of icons is on the ICONOSTASIS of an Orthodox Church, but portable icons are also  carried in processions, set in roadside shrines, or  kept in the home. The icon is as essential to the Orthodox church as is the relic to the Roman Catholic Church in the West.


500 - 600 A.D.  The icon as a special type of sacred image developed in Byzantine art.  Many stories from that    period   tell of miracle-working icons and of others "not    made by human hands" but regarded as produced by or descended from heaven.   Such stories reflected and encouraged the veneration of the icon by many “Christians”  and led, not surprisingly, to a reaction by those who saw this practice as little removed from pagan idol worship.


717-740 A.D.   LEO III blamed the losses to Islam on Christians who worshipped Icons (idolatry) while the Moslems honored the commandments against idols.


726 A.D. ICONOCLASM, the prohibition and deliberate destruction of religious images, became official Byzantine policy.  At this time the “Representative of Christ” was the Pope in the West and the Emperor in the East.  This resulted in a loss of control over the church by the Emperor.


749 - 754 A.D.  John of Damascus defends and develops arguments supporting the worship of idols for the Eastern Church. John argued that the holy icon through divine grace partook of the spiritual essence of the figure it depicted, and, as the product of the emanation of its holiness, constituted the essential point of direct contact between the human and divine realms.  The Pope also supported icons as learning tools.


754 A.D. Council at Constantinople supported imperial policy against Icons. Ineffective because the Emperor had his picture worshipped while denying the same to Christ.


787 A.D. The Second Council of Nicaea. The veneration of images was restored in the empire during the rule of Empress IRENE (a very cruel ruler devoted to icon worship) Last recognized council by Eastern churches.  Dictated that idols receive “honorable reverence” while “True adoration” is reserved for God.


813 - 842 A.D. Emperors again fight against Icons.


843 A.D. John of Damascus theory and the support of Empress Theodora and Emperor Michael III led to the restoration of the icons which remains the Orthodox view to this day.


Note: Iconoclasm was also a feature of the Protestant REFORMATION of the 16th century.





31 B.C. - 337 A.D.


31 B.C. - 324 A.D.  The global Roman Empire was ruled from Rome.


324 A.D. Constantine transferred the capitol to the East.  The capitol was located at Byzantium and renamed Constantinople.  This is currently the city of Istanbul, Turkey.


337 A.D. Constantine dies and leaves the Empire to his sons. The Empire is split into East and West.  A series of dual Emperors starts with an occasional single ruler over both East and West.



        (EUROPE)                                     (Asia Minor, Palestine, Egypt, Africa)






337 A.D. The Bishop of Rome is located in this region.

400 A.D. Many barbaric invasions with the West being taken and freed.

410 A.D. Rome sacked by Alaric of the Goths.  A steady decline in Western Roman Power starts.

476 A.D. Germanic invaders end the Roman Empire in the West.

477 - 750 A.D. The Bishops of Rome protects the West by making treaties with the invaders and converting them to Christianity.

500 -1300 A.D. Feudal Society

751 A.D.  Pippin the Short gets moral sanction from the Pope for his takeover of the government of the Franks (French & Germans).

754 A.D. The Pope anoints Pippin “King of the Franks”.  Pippin drives out the enemies of the Pope from Italy. Gives the Pope civil rule over most of Italy.

768 A.D. Charlemagne (Pippin’s Son) establishes rule over most of Western Europe.  Expands the Catholic Church by force among the people he conquered.

800 A.D. Charlemagne crowned as the new Holy Roman Emperor by Pope.

800 - 925 A.D. Charlemagne’s family are Emperors. Strong then Weak.

850 A.D. Pope claimed political power over civil rulers.

962 - 1250 Otto’s Family are Rulers, Strong Emperors.

1049 A.D. Emperor Henry III removes three rival Popes and places his cousin on the Papacy.

1050 - 1100 A.D. Popes and Emperors struggle for power

1054 A.D. East & West “church” split

1096 - 1248 A.D. Crusades with Pope assuming military powers.  The Emperors and Kings conduct the wars for them.

1250 - 1438 A.D. Weak Emperors controlled by church and ignored by most Kings.

1438 - 1806 A.D. Figurehead German Emperors of a loose confederation.

1806 A.D. Napoleon brought the Holy Roman Empire to a complete end.




(Asia Minor, Palestine, Egypt, Africa)


337 A.D. The Bishop of Jerusalem, Constaninople, Antioch, & Alexandria are located here.

337 - 800 A.D. The Emperor alternately controls and is controlled by the Catholic Church. 

632 - 641 A.D. Islam (Moslems) takes Palestine, Syria, and Egypt in Jihad (Holy War)  Allow people to keep religion but must pay a tax to do so.

717 A.D. Emperor Leo III states he is King and priest of the church.

741 A.D. Islam’s advance is turned at Constantinople.

726 - 775 A.D. Emperors persecute icon users, some executed.

843 A.D. Emperor Michael III restores use of icons to the East.

867-886 A.D. Emperors recover some land from Moslems.

 1054 A.D. East & West Catholic church split permanently.

 1070 A.D. Seljuk Turks take control of Islam. They make pilgrimages to Palestine difficult for Christians.

 1095 A.D. Eastern Emperor Alexius requests aid from the West to recover Palestine from the Moslems.  West starts the Crusades.

1204 A.D. Fourth Crusade captures Constantinople and establishes a Latin Ruler. Feels East has benefited from the Crusades but paid none of the cost or suffered any of the loses. Eastern refuges  establish a temporary capital at Nicaea.

1261 A.D. Constaninople is retaken by the Eastern Emperor.

 1453 A.D. Ottoman Turks bring the Eastern Empire to an end.  They use Constaninople as their own capital for their empire (1453 - 1918 A.D.)


 600 - 1300 A.D. Marked by Feudal System

   -The King- the highest ruler, waged wars, Governed the State,

   -The Catholic Church was the greatest landholder of this age.

   -The Lord provided protection, organize agriculture, Industry, trade,  and served the King during war.

   -Freeman- nobles, clerics, soldiers, professionals, merchants, artisans, and peasants who owned their land without obligation to a Lord.

   -Serfs- farmed, ranched a plot of ground belonging to a Lord.  Paid an annual rent in return for land use and protection.

   -Slave- captured enemies (originally Slavs: hence slaves)


600 - 726 A.D. Icons in common use especially in the East.

607 A.D.-Boniface III- Roman Emperor Phocas decrees the Bishop of Rome as the Universal Bishop, later to be called the “Pope.”

   -Monasteries become a powerful institution.

   -”Church” now refers to the non-Biblical and fallen “Catholic Church”.  The churches following the New Testament as well as false religions are referred to as “Heretics” by the Catholics.  Since the Catholics control the civil government, these “heretics” do not have the freedom to publish their beliefs and practices. Church history becomes “Catholic Church” history.


632 A.D. Death of Mohammed. Islam  (Moslem) religion begins the Holy War to convert the world.


717 A.D.  Leo III   blamed the losses to Islam on Christians who worshipped Icons while the Moslems honored the commandments against idols. Iconoclasm  starts.

732 A.D.  Islam’s invasion of Western Europe stopped by Franks

741 A.D.  Islam turned back at Constantinople

 742 A.D.  Concubinage common among Clergy (unmarried man living with an unmarried woman.)

787 A.D. Empress Irene’s 2nd Council of Nicaea restored Icons.  Idols to receive honorable reverence while “True adoration” is reserved for God.

 843 A.D.  Empress Theodora & Emperor Michael III solidly establishes worship of  icons.

 867A.D. - 870 A.D. Many religious splits over doctrine and territory.

897 A.D. Pope Stephen VI  desecrates the corpse of Pope Formosus

 900-1100A.D. Simony (the selling of church offices), fornication, corruption was at its worst.  Many noble children (11-12 years old) bought high church offices.

 900 A.D.  Monasteries made independent of local church authorities and placed under the Pope.

904 A.D. Marozia (daughter of Theophylact in charge of papal palace) has her lover made Pope (Sergius III)

 914 A.D. John X made Pope by influence of suspected lover, Theodora.

 931 A.D. Marozia’s son by Sergius III (John XI) made Pope

 955 A.D. Marozia’s Grandson made Pope John XII, conducted regular orgies in the Lateran palace.

 962 A.D.    Emperor Otto I makes discovery that John XII has slept with his father’s widow, concubine, and niece, and turned the Papal palace into a brothel. He was unable to do much about it.

964 - 1046 A.D. Variety of Popes come into power by assignation, Simony, political power of the Emperors, with more then one Pope claiming the Papacy at the same time.

1000 A.D. Term “Cardinal” came into use designating a Bishop with exceptional understanding.

1032 A.D. A 12 year old boy buys the office of Pope (Benedict IX) and is so evil the citizens of Rome drives him away from Rome. 

 1045A.D.  The boy (Benedict IX) sells the office to Gregory VI


1046 A.D. The Tusculum Counts do not like Gregory VI’s reforms and place Benedict IX back as Pope.  At the same time another Group established a 2nd Pope  Sylvester III.  Emperor Henry II got rid of Benedict IX, Sylvester III, and Gregory VI  and put new Pope.

 1050 A.D. Cardinals came to be the leading Bishops trusted by the Pope as advisors.


1054A.D.    Roman Catholics and Orthodox Church split permanently. The Roman Pope excommunicates the Bishop of Constantinople. The Bishop of Constantinople excommunicates the Pope.  Both were in effect until 1965 A.D.

1059 A.D. Election of Pope by Cardinals instituted to stop the selling of Church offices, Civil rulers controlling Popes, and nepotism.

1070 A.D. Seljuk Turks take control of Palestine.  They make pilgrimages to Palestine difficult for Christians.  Previous Moslems had allowed pilgrimages.

 1073 A.D. Papacy office systematized, institutionalized, unified, clarified by “Dictus Papae” document.  Term “Pope” exclusive to Bishop of Rome.

1084 A.D. Emperor disposes the Pope and puts in his own Pope.  The power struggle continued between Popes and Emperors.

 1095 A.D. Eastern Emperor Alexius requests aid from the West to recover Palestine from the Moslems.  The Pope, hoping to regain the Eastern Church's favor, starts the Crusades.  Establishes a Christian “Holy War” after the Islamic “Jihad” and the Pope’s right to make war for all Christians (Formerly the right of the Emperor).  Ushers in the age of the “Knights.”

1096 - 1099 A.D. 1st Crusade; very successful, recaptures Jerusalem.  Makes the cross the official insignia of crusades.

1100 A.D. Roman Catholic Church is very corrupt politically, morally,  religiously. Loving power, wealth, sexual immorality.

      -Beginnings of the Military Monasteries of Knights.

      -Rise of Mystics, Catholics who claimed to have visions,  prophecy, and meetings with God and Saints. (950 - 1350 A.D.)

      - Tanchelm denied the authority of Catholic church, the pope,  the value of some of the sacraments. Killed 1115 A.D.

      - Peter of Bruys rejected infant baptism, Mass, church buildings, ceremonies, prayers for the dead, veneration of the cross.

      -Arnold of Brescia preached against the Pope’s and Bishop’s worldly life, political power, wealth. (Hanged by Pope 1155A.D.)

       -The Cathari, a secret Gnostic offshoot of the Catholic Church although secretly separated from them.  Against sexual contacts both human and animal (refused to eat meat, eggs, milk, etc.. as fleshly reproductive elements)  Did not believe Jesus came in the flesh.  (Anti-Christ)

1147 - 1148 A.D. 2nd Crusade, To retake Edessa, Total failure, Army lost

 1176 A.D. Waldensees start. Peter Waldo studied New Testament and tried to imitate Christ by preaching in poverty and adhering to the New Testament.   Although considered themselves Catholic, they rejected the Pope and the Church of Rome as its head, against Mass, prayers for the Dead, exclusiveness of clergy in Bible study and preaching, the administering of Communion by clergy only.   Called “The Poor Men of Lyons.”

 1179 -1181 A.D. Third Lateran Council established a regular military “Crusade” against the Cathari, Waldensees, and other heretics. First “in-country” crusade. It meet with little  success.

1189 - 1192 A.D. 3rd Crusade, To retake Jerusalem from Saladin. (Robin Hood story about this crusade) Most  leaders either killed or captured. (King Richard Captured).

1198  - 1216 A.D. Highest point of Papal authority.  Innocent III rules over Emperor, Kings, and Roman Catholic Church with an  iron fist. 

1200 - 1204 A.D.  4th Crusade, To undermine Saracen power, sacked Christian cities of Zara and Constantinople.  Pope did not approve but Kings wanted money from East.

1208 A.D. Pope established the “Poor Catholics” who imitated Waldensees to attract those who liked the Waldensees back to the Catholic Church.  Pope seeks to eliminate true Waldensees by persuasion or force.

1208 - 1229 A.D. Pope initiates 2nd in-country Crusaded against Heretics, very bloody, merciless to innocents, and effective.

1212 A.D.  “Children’s Crusade”, Supernatural conquest of Holy Land by the “pure in heart.”  Formed and led by Children Mystics. Children were drowned, sold into slavery, or killed. Shipowners hanged for providing transportation.

1215 A.D. 4th Lateran Council Makes the doctrine of Transubstantiation official. (Taught Bread & wine of Communion actually turn into the body & blood of Jesus)

1219-1221 A.D. 5th Crusade,To undermine Saracen power, Took Damietta,  Egypt

1229 A.D. 6th Crusade, Regain Jerusalem, Treaty with Sultan gave control to Frederick II. Pope excommunicates Frederick.

       -Synod of Toulouse: Laity (commoners) forbidden to posses the Scriptures, outlined and institutionalized “The Inquisition”  to eliminate remaining heretics.

1232 A.D.  The Inquisition instituted. An systematic eradication of heretics placed under the control of Dominican & Franciscan monasteries.  Went under the rule guilty until proven innocent, secret witnesses, Torture; prescribed imprisonment and confiscation  of property as punishment for heresy and threatened to excommunicate princes who failed to punish heretics. Active well into the 1800’s.  Still in effect if needed.

1248 A.D. Relief of Holy Land by invading Egypt,  Crusaders defeated.

1259 A.D. beginning of “The Flagellants.” marching through streets, whipping themselves until blood runs.

1261 A.D. Byzantine (Eastern) Emperor retakes Constaninople.

Next Lesson:  "The Reformation" 1300 to 1800 A.D.

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