Ancient Rome - Index

Roman Index / Timeline Italy before the Romans Romulus and Remus Birth and Rise of Rome Early Roman Republic
The Twelve Tables Punic Wars Late Roman Republic Consuls of the Republic Trouble in the Republic
Julius Caesar Julius Caesar Play and Brutus Trial Antony and Cleopatra Octavian Late Republic Poetry
Early Roman Empire Caesar Augustus Basics of Christianity Pontius Pilate The New Testament
Bishops of Rome / Popes Late Roman Empire Attack of the Barbarians Roman Emperors Roman Emperors List

27 BC - AD 284 - Early Roman Empire

27 BC-14 AD

Caesar Augustus Expands the Roman Empire

27 BC-AD 14

  • Augustus (Octavian) reigns as Roman emperor

12 BC

  • Augustus named Pontifex Maximus after the death of Lepidus

6 BC

  • Roman legionaries serve 20 years and receive a retirement bonus

6 BC ?

  • Jesus Christ is born in Bethlehem in Judea

4 BC

  • Herod the Great dies

4 BC-AD 39

  • Herod Antipas rules Palestine

2 BC

  • Augustus named pater patriae, which means "father of the fatherland"

AD 7/8

  • Christ teaches in the temple at age 12

AD 14

  • Augustus dies
  • His step-son Tiberius succeeds him

AD 50-52

  • Paul's second missionary journey

AD 50's ?

  • Matthew writes Matthew

AD 51/52 ?

  • Paul writes 1 and 2 Thessalonians

AD 53 ?

  • Paul writes Galatians

AD 53-57

  • Paul's third missionary journey

AD 54-68

  • Nero reigns as Roman emperor

AD 55 ?

  • Paul writes 1 and 2 Corinthians

AD 57 ?

  • Paul writes Romans

AD 59-61/62

  • Paul is imprisoned in Rome

AD 60 ?

  • Paul writes Ephesians
  • Paul writes Colossians
  • Paul writes Philemon

AD 60's ?

  • John Mark writes Mark
  • Paul (?) writes Hebrews
  • James writes James
  • Peter writes 1 Peter

AD 61 ?

  • Paul writes Philippians

AD 63 ?

  • Luke writes Acts

AD 65 ?

  • Jude writes Jude

AD 66/67 ?

  • Paul writes Titus
  • Paul writes 1 and 2 Timothy
  • Peter writes 2 Peter

AD 67-76

  • St. Linus serves as 1st bishop of Rome and 2nd pope

AD 67/68

  • Paul dies

AD 68-69

  • Galba reigns as Roman emperor

AD 69

  • Otho reigns as Roman emperor

AD 69

  • Vitellius reigns as Roman emperor

AD 69-79

  • Vespasian reigns as Roman emperor

AD 70

  • Destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple
  • Temple served as a rallying and unifying force
    • "No destruction ever wrought by God or man approached the wholesale carnage of this war. Every man who showed himself was either killed or captured by the Romans...The Romans now fired the outlying districts of the town and demolished the walls." (Josephus, 6.423)
    • Many of the Christians were Jews & Christianity is flung out on its own with the Diaspora
  • Persecutions lead to need for greater unity.
    • Paul tells Christians in Rome, "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus..." (Romans 15:5)

AD 70-155


  • Epistle to the Philippians, chapter 5--> duties of deacons
    • ...the deacons be blameless before the face of His righteousness, as being the servants of God and Christ, and not of men. They must not be slanderers, double-tongued, or lovers of money, but temperate in all things, compassionate, industrious, walking according to the truth of the Lord, who was the servant of all.
  • chapter 6--> duties of presbyters
    • And let the presbyters be compassionate and merciful to all...

AD 70's ?

  • Luke writes Luke

AD 76-88

  • St. Anacletus serves as 2nd bishop of Rome and 3rd pope

AD 79-81

  • Titus reigns as Roman emperor

AD 79

  • Volcanic eruption destroys the city of Pompeii

AD 80's ?

  • John writes John
  • John writes 1, 2, and 3 John

AD 81-96

  • Domitian reigns as Roman emperor

AD 88-97

  • St. Clement serves as 3rd bishop of Rome and 4th pope
  • unity was paramount in the early Church to survive persecutions
  • First Epistle --> tries to keep members of the Church from arguing among themselves
    • 1:1 ...foul and unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few headstrong and self-willed persons have kindled to such a degree of madness..

AD 90-95

  • John is exiled on Patmos

AD 95 ?

  • John writes Revelation

AD 96-98

  • Nerva reigns as Roman emperor

AD 97-105

  • St. Evaristus serves as 4th bishop of Rome and 5th pope

AD 98-117

  • Trajan reigns as Roman emperor

AD 100

Didache: The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

  • chapter 7--> origin of baptism by affusion (sprinkling) rather than full immersion
    • 7:1 ...baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in running water;
    • 7:2 but if thou hast not running water, baptize in some other water...
    • 7:3 but if thou hast neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
  • chapter 9--> the Last Supper
    • 9:5 And let none eat or drink of your Eucharist but such as have been baptized into the name of the Lord, for of a truth the Lord hath said concerning this, Give not that which is holy unto dogs. (cf. Matthew 7:6)
  • chapter 14--> the Lord's Day (observance of the Eucharist)
    • 14:1 But on the Lord's day, after that ye have assembled together, break bread and give thanks, having in addition confessed your sins, that your sacrifice may be pure.
  • chapter 15--> the Didache offers a more charismatic and less formal view of Church organization than that of Ignatius

AD 105-115

  • St. Alexander I serves as 5th bishop of Rome and 6th pope

AD 115

Ignatius of Antioch martyred
  • "...sought to facilitate the unity and growth of the church by increasing the power of a bishop to a place above the elders and deacons, making him in effect both the ruler of the church and a rallying point for it." (Smith, 23-4)
  • Epistle to the Ephesians, chapter 4
    • Wherefore it is fitting that ye should run together in accordance with the will of your bishop, which thing also ye do. For your justly renowned presbytery, worthy of God, is fitted as exactly to the bishop as the strings are to the harp.
  • Epistle to the Smyrnaeans, chapter 8
    • 8:1 But avoid divisions, as being the beginning of evils. Do ye all follow the bishop, as Jesus Christ doth the Father; and follow the presbyters as the apostles; and have respect unto the deacons as unto the commandment of God.
    • Ignatius "advocated a carefully organized hierarchy culminating in the "monespicopate" (i.e., the supreme authority of a single bishop over all other bishops, presbyters, and other church officers)." (Smith, 25)

AD 115-125

  • St. Sixtus I serves as 6th bishop of Rome and 7th pope

AD 117-138

  • Hadrian reigns as Roman emperor

AD 120

  • Hadrian builds a wall in northern Britain

AD 125-136

  • St. Telesphorus serves as 7th bishop of Rome and 8th pope

AD 130 

Irenaeus of Lyons is born

  • Spoke out against Gnosticism as heresy
    • Apostolic succession (making a case for what becomes the papacy)--> "The church, according to Irenaeus, is the sole reserve of God's truth. The proof of this lies in the apostolic succession; the knowledge of the apostles has been handed down from bishop to bishop." (Smith, 32)
  • Against Heresies, chapter 3, section 1,3
    • 1. It is within the power of all, therefore, in every Church, who may wish to see the truth, to contemplate clearly the tradition of the apostles manifested throughout the whole world; and we are in a position to reckon up those who were by the apostles instituted bishops in the Churches, and [to demonstrate] the succession of these men to our own times...
    • 3. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. ...To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. ...In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth.

AD 136-140

  • St. Hyginus serves as 8th bishop of Rome and 9th pope

AD 138-161

  • Antoninus Pius reigns as Roman emperor

AD 140-155

  • St. Pius I serves as 9th bishop of Rome and 10th pope

AD 155-166

  • St. Anicetus serves as 10th bishop of Rome and 11th pope

AD 161-169

  • Lucius Aurelius Verus reigns as Roman emperor

AD 161-180

  • Marcus Aurelius (surnamed Antoninus) reigns as Roman emperor

AD 166-175

  • St. Soter serves as 11th bishop of Rome and 12th pope

AD 175-189

  • St. Eleutherius serves as 12th bishop of Rome and 13th pope

AD 180-192

  • Commodus reigns as Roman emperor

AD 185-254


  • Against Celsus, 8.33
    • "Origen, long before Augustine, declared the church to be the city of God on earth, coexisting with the secular state. It is therefore, a "state within a state," but through the indwelling Logos (Word), it will overcome the secular state." (Smith, 39)
  • His views led to a more sacramental view of the ordinances of the church. (Smith, 40)

AD 189-199

  • St. Victor I serves as 13th bishop of Rome and 14th pope

AD 193

  • Pertinax reigns as Roman emperor

AD 193

  • Didius Julianus reigns as Roman emperor

AD 193-211

  • Septimius Severus reigns as Roman emperor

AD 199-217

  • St. Zephyrinus serves as 14th bishop of Rome and 15th pope

AD 200-258

Cyprian of Carthage

  • Beheaded under Emperor Valerian
    • "Cyprian's ecclesiology dominated the West until the time of Augustine." (Smith, 41)
    • "The church's unity, he asserted, was guaranteed by the episcopacy, the divinely initiated principle of unity throughout the church. The bishops are representative of the apostles, not only in an unbroken succession, but by having been ordained to the office by Christ Himself. Furthermore, the episcopacy itself is one and indivisible; each bishop in his diocese is a microcosm of the church." (Smith, 41)
  • Epistles 33.1
    • Our Lord, whose commandment we must fear and obey, established the honorable rank of bishop and the constitution of His Church when in the gospel He speaks and says to Peter: "I say to thee: Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven..." [Matthew 16:18-19] Thence have come down to us in course of time and by due succession the ordained office of the bishop and the constitution of the Church, forasmuch as the Church is founded upon the bishops and every act of the Church is subject to these orders.
  • Epistles 55.21 --> "Cyprian believed that each bishop answered only to God, and to no other human being." (Smith, 42)
    • So long as the bond of friendship is maintained and the sacred unity of the Catholic Church is preserved, each bishop is master of his own conduct, conscious that he must one day render an account of himself to the Lord.
AD 211-212
  • Geta reigns as Roman emperor
AD 211-217
  • Caracalla (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus) reigns as Roman emperor
AD 217-222
  • St. Callistus I serves as 15th bishop of Rome and 16th pope
AD 218-222
  • Heliogabalus (Elagabalus) reigns as Roman emperor
AD 222-235
  • Alexander Severus reigns as Roman emperor
AD 222-230
  • St. Urban I serves as 16th bishop of Rome and 17th pope
AD 230-235
  • St. Pontian serves as 17th bishop of Rome and 18th pope
AD 235-238
  • Maximinus (surnamed Thrax) reigns as Roman emperor
AD 235-236
  • St. Anterus serves as 18th bishop of Rome and 19th pope
AD 236-250
  • St. Fabian serves as 19th bishop of Rome and 20th pope
AD 238
  • Gordianus I reigns as Roman emperor
AD 238
  • Gordianus II reigns as Roman emperor
AD 238
  • Pupienus Maximus and Balbinus reigns as Roman emperor
AD 238-244
  • Gordianus III (Gordianus Pius) reigns as Roman emperor
AD 244-249
  • Philip (called the Arabian) reigns as Roman emperor
AD 249-251
  • Decius reigns as Roman emperor
AD 251-253
  • St. Cornelius serves as 20th bishop of Rome and 21st pope
AD 251-253
  • Gallus reigns as Roman emperor
AD 253
  • Aemilianus reigns as Roman emperor
AD 253-259
  • Valerian reigns as Roman emperor
AD 253-268
  • Gallienus reigns as Roman emperor
AD 253-254
  • St. Lucius I serves as 21st bishop of Rome and 22nd pope
AD 254-257
  • St. Stephen I serves as 22nd bishop of Rome and 23rd pope
AD 257-258
  • St. Sixtus II serves as 23rd bishop of Rome and 24th pope
AD 259-268
  • St. Dionysius serves as 24th bishop of Rome and 25th pope
AD 268-270
  • Claudius II (surnamed Gothicus) reigns as Roman emperor
AD 269-274
  • St. Felix I serves as 25th bishop of Rome and 26th pope
AD 270-275
  • Aurelian reigns as Roman emperor
AD 275-283
  • St. Eutychian serves as 26th bishop of Rome and 27th pope
AD 275-276
  • Tacitus reigns as Roman emperor
AD 276
  • Florian reigns as Roman emperor
AD 276-282
  • Probus reigns as Roman emperor
AD 282-283
  • Carus reigns as Roman emperor
AD 283-284
  • Numerianus reigns as Roman emperor
AD 283-285
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