« PreviousContinue »
Philippus. 249. Decius. Christians persecuted. 253. Valerianus. Christians persecuted. 251. Gallus. 252. Æmilianus. 253. Valerianus. 260. Gallienus. Persecution of Christians stayed.
Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, invades Egypt A.D.
the Blemmyes. 268. Claudius II. In this reign the Romans in Egypt
were masters in Alexandria only. The Blemmyes invaded Egypt, and the troops of Zenobia, 70,000
in number, led by Zabdas, marched against Egypt. 270. Quintillus. 270. Aurelian. Zenobia becomes Queen of Egypt for a
short time, but is dethroned A.D. 273. 276. Probus. The Blemmyes become masters of the
282. Carus. 283. Carinus. 284. Diocletian. The Romans were obliged to make a
contract with the Nobatæ to keep the peace in Upper Egypt, and to hold the Blemmyes in check. In 295 Diocletian crushed the rebellion in Alexandria headed by L. D. Domitianus, and practically destroyed Alexandria. “Pompey's Pillar" erected A.D. 302. Persecution of Christians A.D. 304. The Copts date the era of the Martyrs from the day of Diocletian's accession to the throne (August 29). It is thought that “Pompey's Pillar” was set up by the Alexandrians as a mark of gratitude to Diocletian who, in order to relieve distress in Alexandria, had ordered that a portion of the annual tribute of corn from Egypt to Rome should be devoted to the needs of the inhabitants of that
city. 305- Galerius 311
į Persecution of Christians. 305- Maximinus
313- Licinius. 323 Constantine the Great, the Christian Emperor, in
whose reign, A.D. 325, the Council of Nicæa was held. At this council it was decided that Christ and His Father were of one and the same nature, as taught by Athanasius; and the doctrine of Arius, that Christ and God were only similar in nature, was decreed heretical. “Arius was a most expert logician, but perverted his talents to evil purposes, and had the audacity to preach what no one before him had ever suggested, A.D. namely, that the Son of God was made out of 324. that which had no prior existence; that there was
a period of time in which He existed not; that, as possessing free will, He was capable of virtue, or of vice; and that He was created and made.” -Sozomen, Eccles. Hist., Bk. I., chap. xv. For the statement of the views of Arius by his opponent Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria, see his letter addressed to the Catholic Church generally, in Socrates, Eccles. Hist., Bk. I., chap. vi. Athanasius, Archbishop of Alexandria, was charged with having usurped the imperial power by levying a tax on the Alexandrians, and as this act was construed by Constantine into párt of a scheme to overthrow the Government, and as the Alexandrians themselves sided with Licinius, Constantine's rival, the Emperor founded the city of Byzantium, or
Constantinople. 337. Constantius. George of Cappadocia, an Arian, is
made Bishop of Alexandria. 361. Julian, the Apostate. He rejected Christianity as
the State religion, and in consequence the Pagans attacked the Christians and wrecked their churches, and built temples to the old gods of
Greece and Rome. 363. Jovianus. 364. Valens. 378. Theodosius I., the Great, proclaims Christianity
the religion of his empire. The Arians and followers of the ancient Egyptian religion were persecuted.
THE BYZANTINES. A.D. 395. Arcadius, Emperor of the East. The Anthropomor
phites (the leader of this persecution was Theophilus, Bishop of Alexandria, who, before he discovered that the majority of the Egyptian monks were Anthropomorphites, was himself opposed to this body), who affirmed that God was of human form, destroyed the greater number of their
opponents. 408. Theodosius II. In his reign the doctrines of
Nestorius were condemned by Cyril of Alexandria. Nestorius, because of the two natures of Christ, inferred also two persons, a human and a divine. “In the Syrian school, Nestorius had been taught (A.D. 429-431) to abhor the confusion of the two natures, and nicely to discriminate the humanity of his master Christ from the Divinity of the Lord Jesus. The Blessed Virgin he revered as the mother of Christ, but his ears were offended with the rash and recent title of mother of God, which had been insensibly adopted since the origin of the Arian controversy. From the pulpit of Constantinople, a friend of the patriarch,* and afterwards the patriarch himself, repeatedly preached against the use, or the abuse, of a word unknown to the apostles, unauthorized by the Church, and which could only tend to alarm the timorous, to mislead the simple, to amuse the profane, and to justify, by a seeming resemblance, the old genealogy of Olympus. In his calmer moments Nestorius con408.
fessed, that it might be tolerated or excused by the * Anastasius of Antioch, who said, “Let no one call Mary Theotokos; for Mary was but a woman; and it is impossible that God should be born of a woman."-Socrates, Eccles. Hist., Bk. VII., chap. xxxii.
A.D. union of the two natures, and the communication
of their idioms (i.e., a transfer of properties of each nature to the other-of infinity to man, passibility to God, etc.): but he was exasperated, by contradiction, to disclaim the worship of a newborn, an infant Deity, to draw his inadequate similes from the conjugal or civil partnerships of life, and to describe the manhood of Christ, as the robe, the instrument, the tabernacle of his Godhead.”— Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chap. 47. In this reign Hypatia was murdered by the monks in
the Church of the Cæsareum, 450. Marcianus. The Monophysite doctrine of Eutyches
was condemned at the Council of Chalcedon, A.D. 451. Eutyches, from the one person of Christ, inferred also one nature, viz., the Divine-the human having been absorbed into it. Silko invaded Egypt with his Nubian followers. The Blemmyes and Nobatæ agreed with the Romans to keep the peace for 100 years. In this reign the Temple of
Serapis was burned by the Alexandrians. 457. Leo I. Proterius the bishop was murdered by the
Alexandrians, who made Timotheus Achirus their patriarch; he was rejected by the Emperor in
favour of Timotheus Salophaciolus. 474. Leo II. 474. Zeno. He issued the Henoticon, an edict which,
while affirming the Incarnation, made no attempt to decide the difficult question whether Christ possessed a single or a double nature. The Alexandrians elected Peter Mongus as their
patriarch. 491 Anastasius. In this reign Peter Mongus died and
the Persians invaded Egypt.