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Updated:  Aug 12, 2013

Curricula: Church History

This Curricula: Church History provides an outline of the history of the church up to the Middle Ages.

NOTE: This is not an article from the Catholic Encyclopedia. It is provided here for the benefit of those interested in pursuing additional studies in this area.




A. Sources
B. Auxiliary Sciences
C. General Works On Church History


A. First Period (to 313 A.D.)

From Christ up to the Edict of Milan (313)

1. Foundation And Organization Of The Church
2. Life Of The Early Christians
3. The Persecutions
4. The Catacombs
5. Schisms And Heresies
6. Ecclesiastical Writers

B. Second Period (313 A.D. to 692 A.D.)

From the Edict of Milan (313) up to the Trullan Synod (692)

1. The Empire
2. The Emperors
  • Valentinian I - Western Roman Emperor (364-375)
  • Valens - Eastern Roman Emperor (364-378); brother of Valentinian
  • Valentinian II - Roman Emperor (Italy) (375-392)
  • Gratian - Western Roman Emperor (375-383); ended state support of paganism
3. The Popes
Number Name Reign Notes
32 Miltiades, Saint 311-314
33 Sylvester I, Saint 314-335
34 Mark, Saint 336 aka Marcus
35 Julius I, Saint 337-352
36 Liberius 352-366
37 Damasus I, Saint 366-383
38 Siricius, Saint 384-399
39 Anastasius I, Saint 399-401
40 Innocent I 401-417
41 Zosimus, Saint 417-418
42 Boniface I, Saint 418-422
43 Celestine I, Saint 422-432
44 Sixtus III, Saint 432-440 XYSTUS in the oldest documents
45 Leo I, Saint 440-461
46 Hilarus, Saint 461-468
47 Simplicius, Saint 468-483
48 Felix III (II), Saint 483-492
49 Gelasius I, Saint 492-496
50 Anastasius II 496-498
51 Symmachus, Saint 498-514
52 Hormisdas, Saint 514-523
53 John I, Saint 523-c.526
54 Felix IV (III) 526-530
55 Boniface II 530-532
56 John II 533-535
57 Agapetus I, Saint 535-536
58 Silverius, Saint 536-537
59 Vigilius 537-555
60 Pelagius I 556-561
61 John III 561-574
62 Benedict I 575-579
63 Pelagius II 579-590
64 Gregory I (the Great), Saint 590-604
65 Sabinianus 604-606
66 Boniface III 607
67 Boniface IV 608-615
68 Deusdedit, Saint 615-618
69 Boniface V 619-625
70 Honorius I 625-638
71 Severinus 640
72 John IV 640-642
73 Theodore I 642-649
74 Martin I, Saint 649-655
75 Eugene I 655-657
76 Vitalian, Saint 657-672
77 Adeodatus, Saint 672-676
78 Donus 676-678
79 Agatho, Saint 678-681
80 Leo II, Saint 682-683
81 Benedict II 684-685
82 John V 685-686
83 Conon 686-687
4. Spread of Christianity

a. England

  • London
  • York - ancient see with metropolitan jurisdiction for the northern province
  • Rochester - Oldest and smallest of all the suffragan sees of Canterbury
  • Dorchester - Dorcic, the capital of Wessex; grant from Oswald and Cynegils
    • Birinus - first Bishop of Dorchester (County of Oxford)
  • Lindisfarne - mother-church and religious capital of Northumbria
    • Aidan - first Bishop of Lindisfarne, apostle of Northumbria
    • Finan - second Bishop of Lindisfarne
    • Cuthbert - Bishop of Lindisfarne
  • Lichfield
  • Winchester - split from the great missionary Diocese of Dorchester
  • Worcester - Ancient Diocese created in 680 A.D.

b. Wales

c. Ireland

d. Scottish Church

e. Germany

5. Development of Monasticism
6. Growth of the Church
7. Heresies And Schisms
  • Monophysitism - heresy that posits "one nature" in Christ
  • Eutychianism - heresy; perhaps a more extreme version of Monophysitism
    • Eutyches - early proponent of "one nature", but not a key player
  • Pneumatomachi - heretical sect; aka Macedonians; "Combators against the Spirit"
8. Ecclesiastical Writers


A. First Period (692-1076)

From the Trullan Synod to the Synod of Worms

1. Conversion of the Nations







2. The Papacy and the Empire
3. Heresies
4. Eucharistic Controversy
5. Schism
6. Ecclesiastical Writers

B. SECOND PERIOD (1076-1303)

Conflict of Investitures to the Imprisonment of Boniface VIII.

1. Popes, Emperors, and Councils
2. Crusades:
3. Heresies:
  • Albigenses - Neo-Manichaean sect that flourished in southern France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
  • Waldenses - An heretical sect which appeared in the second half of the twelfth century and, in a considerably modified form, has survived to the present day.
  • Petrobrusians - Heretics of the twelfth century so named from their founder Peter of Bruys.
4. Religious Orders:
  • Cistercians - Religious of the Order of Citeaux, a Benedictine reform, established at Citeaux in 1098 by St. Robert.
  • Carthusian Order - Enclosed religious order.
    • Bruno - Confessor, ecclesiastical writer, and founder of the Carthusian Order.
  • Canons Regular - Religious clerics.
  • Premonstratensian Canons - Founded in 1120 by St. Norbert.
  • Francis of Assisi - Saint, founder of the Franciscan Order.
  • Franciscan Order - The members of the various foundations of religious, whether men or women, professing to observe the Rule of St. Francis of Assisi in some one of its several forms.
  • Friars Minor - Order founded by St. Francis of Assisi.
  • Capuchin Friars Minor - An autonomous branch of the first Franciscan Order.
  • Conventuals - One of the three separate bodies, with the Friars Minor and the Capuchins, which form what is commonly called the First Order of St. Francis.
    • Clare of Assisi - Cofoundress of the Order of Poor Ladies, or Clares, and first Abbess of San Damiano.
    • Poor Clares - The Second Order of St. Francis.
  • Spirituals - General term denoting several groups of Friars Minor.
  • Fraticelli - A name given to various heretical sects which appeared in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, principally in Italy.
  • Dominic - Saint, founder of the Order of Preachers, commonly known as the Dominican Order.
  • Preachers, Order of - The principal part of the entire Order of St. Dominic.
  • Carmelite Order - One of the mendicant orders.
    • Simon Stock - Saint, chief privilege and entire history of the Carmelite scapular is connected to him.
  • Augustinians (Hermits of St. Ausgustine) - A religious order which in the thirteenth century combined several monastic societies into one, under this name.
  • Servites - Fifth mendicant order, the objects of which are the sanctification of its members, preaching the Gospel, and the propagation of devotion to the Mother of God, with special reference to her sorrows.
  • Trinitarians - Order of catholics dedicated to the redemption of captives.
    • Felix of Valois - Hermit who inspired Saint John of Mathos to found the order of Trinitarians.
  • Mercedarians - Order of Our Lady of Mercy, congregation of men founded in 1218 by St. Peter Nolasco.
  • Beguines; Beghards - Consecrated religious women.
  • Third Orders - Men and women who do not necessarily live in community and yet can claim to wear the habit and participate in the good works of some great order.
  • Mendicant Friars - Members of those religious orders which, originally, by vow of poverty renounced all proprietorship not only individually but also in common, relying for support on their own work and on the charity of the faithful.
  • Military Orders - Includes every kind of brotherhood of knights, secular as well as religious.
    • Templars - Earliest founders of the military orders.
    • Clement V - Pope.
    • Philip IV - Surnamed Le Bel (The Fair), King of France.
    • Nogaret - One of the chief counsellors of Philip the Fair.
    • Molai - Grand Master of the Templars.
    • Vienne, Council of - Pope Clement V, by the Bull 'Regnans in coelis' of Aug. 12, 1308, called a general council to meet on Oct. 1, 1310, at Vienne in France.
    • Christ, Order of - Military order which sprang out of the famous Order of the Temple.
    • Montessa, Order of - Order was established in the Kingdom of Aragon to take the place of the Order of the Temple, of which it was in a certain sense the continuation.
    • Aviz - Military body of Portuguese knights.
    • Calatrava - Founded in Castile, in the twelfth century, as a military branch of the great Cistercian family.
    • Alcántara - Military order formerly known as the "Knights of St. Julian de Pereiro".
    • Hospitallers of St. John - The most important of all the military orders.
    • Aubusson - Grand Master of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
    • La Valette - Forty-eighth Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.
    • Malta - Primary and largest of the Maltese Islands.
    • Teutonic Order - A medieval military order modelled on the Hospitallers of St. John.
    • Hermann of Salza - Fourth Grand Master of the Teutonic Order.
    • St. James of Compostela - Order founded in the twelfth century, owes its name to the national patron of Spain, St. James the Greater.
    • St. Lazarus - Twelfth-century military order.
    • Holy Ghost - Religious order originating from a hospital in Rome.
    • St. Michael - Bavarian order, founded in 1721 by Elector Joseph Clemens of Cologne, Duke of Bavaria.
    • Holy Sepulchre - The tomb in which the Body of Jesus Christ was laid after His death.
    • Knights of the Cross - Bohemian religious order.
    • St. Hubert - Name of two military orders.
    • Bethlehemites - Medieval military order.
5. Scientific Movement:
  • Scholasticism - Term used to designate both a method and a system. It is applied to theology as well as to philosophy.
  • Universities - An institution dedicated to higher learning.

(See also Curricula: Philosophy and Curricula: Education.)

C. THIRD PERIOD (1303-1517)
1. The Popes at Avignon:
2. Attempts at Reunion
3. Heretical and Reform Movements:
4. Medieval Life

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