4th Century

6th Century

0 Century

Augustine – Barbarians – Leo & Attila, the Hun – Patrick – Clovis



The Council of Hippo recognizes the canon. To be recognized as canonical, a book had to be Apostolic, fit in with the other scriptures, and have been of fruitful use throughout the church up to that time


Augustine becomes bishop of Hippo


The Council of Carthage agrees with the Council of Hippo


The reign of Theodosius, who establishes Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire


Augustine writes Confessions
400 Nestorius, the heretic who said that Mary was the bearer of Christ (christokos), but not the bearer of God (theotokos). He could not call a three month old Jesus God. So he said that Jesus Christ was two persons, whose only union was a moral one
405 Jerome Completes the Vulgate. This Latin translation stood as the preeminent Bible text for centuries—and set the standard for future translators.
410 The Fall of Rome to Alaric and the Visigoths (Goth’s take over through 476)
 429  Vandals invade Africa
430d St Augustine – Hippo in Northern Africa (death) New Advent
433 St Patrick and his companions landed at the mouth of the Vantry River close by Wicklow Head
431 The Council of Ephesus. Jesus Christ is one person, contrary to Nestorianism, which held that Christ was two persons, one divine and one human
445d St. Vincent of Lerins.  Sketched out “patristics”, study of Church Fathers
451 St Leo called Council of Chalcedon (451) = 451 “Christ is one person with both divine and human nature
Given political disorganization of the time, Rome started to evolve as papal state.
452 Pope Leo the Great and his discussion with Attila the Hun
476 Western Empire falls. The last Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustulus, is deposed by Odoacer, a German general
484 The Acacian Schism
486 Clovis, a Frankish king, takes hold of Syagrius’ kingdom (Gaul), a remainder of roman possessions between the rivers Somme and Loire. The Franks hold the northern half of nowadays France, and expand southwards. (France begins to form as a country ?)
494 Gelasius (later known as Pope St. Gelasius I) published his celebrated catalogue of the authentic writings of the Fathers
496 King Clovis (466b) is baptized as a Catholic by Remigius, bishop of Reims. St Clotilda, wife


Year: 431

Summary: The Council of Ephesus, of more than 200 bishops, presided over by St. Cyril of Alexandria representing Pope Celestine I, defined the true personal unity of Christ, declared Mary the Mother of God (theotokos) against Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople, and renewed the condemnation of Pelagius.

Further Reading: www.newadvent.org/cathen/05491a.htm


Year: 451

Summary: The Council of Chalcedon — 150 bishops under Pope Leo the Great and the Emperor Marcian — defined the two natures (Divine and human) in Christ against Eutyches, who was excommunicated.

Further Reading: www.newadvent.org/cathen/03555a.htm

Emperor Theodosius II called two synods in Ephesus, one in 431 and one in 449, that addressed the teachings of Patriarch of Constantinople Nestorius and similar teachings. Nestorius had taught that Christ’s divine and human nature were distinct persons, and hence Mary was the mother of Christ but not the mother of God.

In 451 the Council of Chalcedon was held to clarify the issue further. The council ultimately stated that Christ’s divine and human nature were separate but both part of a single entity,

Given political disorganization of the time, Rome started to evolve as papal state.

St Augustine

St Augustine (from The Fathers of the Churchby Mike Aquilina)By far the most influential theologian the in history of the Western Church.Son of a pagan Roman official, Patricius and a Christian mother, Monica.At 16 he went to Carthage to study law, literature and philosophy.

Just like kids going off to college today, he lost sight of his Christian upbringing and followed a lustful, ambitious life style. At age 17 (372 AD), and not married, he had a son named Adeodatus with his girlfriend.

Like so many people today who are made in the image and likeness of God, his intellect provided him with a God Complex of sorts and he lost his faith in God and turned toward the material aspects of this world.

He was, by profession, a professor of rhetoric, that is, he taught people how to think and debate the philosophical thoughts of the time (like, What was the best thing before sliced bread?). His profession took him to Milan where he met someone with a similar love for truth (philosophy) and similar intellect, and he soon became friends with St. Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan.

This brought him back to the Church and he began to live a contemplative, prayerful life with his mother, brother and friends. Later that same year (387) his mother died, followed by his son a couple years later.

He returned to Hippo where he received Holy Orders and was ordained Bishop in 395. During this time his writing flourished, the three most famous are The Confessions, The City of God and On the Trinity. As Bishop, he played an active role in the councils that definitively set the New Testament and the numbering of the Ten Commandments found in Catholic Bibles, based on the Hebrew text, was made by St Augustine in his book of “Questions of Exodus” and was adopted by the Council of Trent.

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” – St Augustine

“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” – St Augustine


The Visigoths Sack Rome
The Vandals and Huns

Leo & Attila

from Fordham Univeristy
 Prosper: Account 1
Prosper, a Christian chronicler, writing about 455, gives the following simple account of Leo’s famous interview with the king of the Huns three years before:
Now Attila, having once more collected his forces which had been scattered in Gaul [at the battle of Chalons], took his way through Pannonia into Italy. . . To the emperor and the senate and Roman people none of all the proposed plans to oppose the enemy seemed so practicable as to send legates to the most savage king and beg for peace. Our most blessed Pope Leo -trusting in the help of God, who never fails the righteous in their trials – undertook the task, accompanied by Avienus, a man of consular rank, and the prefect Trygetius. And the outcome was what his faith had foreseen; for when the king had received the embassy, he was so impressed by the presence of the high priest that he ordered his army to give up warfare and, after he had promised peace, he departed beyond the Danube.
 Anonyomus Later Account 1
[somewhat condensed]
In a life of Leo the Great by some later author, whose name is unknown to us, the episode as told by Prosper has been developed into a miraculous tale calculated to meet the taste of the time
Attila, the leader of the Huns, who was called the scourge of God, came into Italy, inflamed with fury, after he had laid waste with most savage frenzy Thrace and Illyricum, Macedonia and Moesia, Achaia and Greece, Pannonia and Germany. He was utterly cruel in inflicting torture, greedy in plundering, insolent in abuse. . . . He destroyed Aquileia from the foundations and razed to the ground those regal cities, Pavia and Milan ; he laid waste many other towns, and was rushing down upon Rome. [This is, of course, an exaggeration. Attila does not seem to have destroyed the buildings, even in Milan and Pavia.]
Then Leo had compassion on the calamity of Italy and Rome, and with one of the consuls and a lar,e part of the Roman senate he went to meet Attila. The old man of harmless simplicity, venerable in his gray hair and his majestic garb, ready of his own will to give himself entirely for the defense of his flock, went forth to meet the tyrant who was destroying all things. He met Attila, it is said, in the neighborhood of the river Mincio, and he spoke to the grim monarch, saying “The senate and the people of Rome, once conquerors of the world, now indeed vanquished, come before thee as suppliants. We pray for mercy and deliverance. O Attila, thou king of kings, thou couldst have no greater glory than to see suppliant at thy feet this people before whom once all peoples and kings lay suppliant. Thou hast subdued, O Attila, the whole circle of the lands which it was granted to the Romans, victors over all peoples, to conquer. Now we pray that thou, who hast conquered others, shouldst conquer thyself The people have felt thy scourge; now as suppliants they would feel thy mercy.”
As Leo said these things Attila stood looking upon his venerable garb and aspect, silent, as if thinking deeply. And lo, suddenly there were seen the apostles Peter and Paul, clad like bishops, standing by Leo, the one on the right hand, the other on the left. They held swords stretched out over his head, and threatened Attila with death if he did not obey the pope’s command. Wherefore Attila was appeased he who had raged as one mad. He by Leo’s intercession, straightway promised a lasting peace and withdrew beyond the Danube.
From the accounts translated in J. H. Robinson,

Readings in European History, (Boston: Ginn, 1905), pp. 49-51

St. Patrick



In addition to the content below, here is  Another Short Story about Clovis

From Fordham University 

Clovis had a first-born son by queen Clotilda, and as his wife wished to consecrate him in baptism, she tried unceasingly to persuade her husband, saying: “The gods you worship are nothing, and they will be unable to help themselves or any one else. For they are graven out of stone or wood or some metal. And the names you have given them are names of men and not of gods, as Saturn, who is declared to have fled in fear of being banished from his kingdom by his son; as Jove himself, the foul perpetrator of all shameful crimes, committing incest with men, mocking at his kinswomen, not able to refrain from intercourse with his own sister as she herself says: Jovisque et soror et conjunx. What could Mars or Mercury do? They are endowed rather with the magic arts than with the power of the divine name. But he ought rather to be worshipped who created by his word heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is out of a state of nothingness, who made the sun shine, and adorned the heavens with stars, who filled the waters with creeping things, the earth with living things and the air with creatures that fly, at whose nod the earth is decked with growing crops, the trees with fruit, the vines with grapes, by whose hand mankind was created, by whose generosity all that creation serves and helps man whom he created as his own.” But though the queen said this the spirit of the king was by no means moved to belief, and he said: “It was at the command of our gods that all things were created and came forth, and it is plain that your God has no power and, what is more, he is proven not to belong to the family of the gods.” Meantime the faithful queen made her son ready for baptism; she gave command to adorn the church with hangings and curtains, in order that he who could not moved by persuasion might be urged to belief by this mystery. The boy, whom they named Ingomer, died after being baptized, still wearing the white garments in which he became regenerate. At this the king was violently angry, and reproached the queen harshly, saying: ” If the boy had been dedicated in the name of my gods he would certainly have lived; but as it is, since he was baptized in the name of your God, he could not live at all.” To this the queen said: “I give thanks to the omnipotent God, creator of all, who has judged me not wholly unworthy, that he should deign to take to his kingdom one born from my womb. My soul is not stricken with grief for his sake, because I know that, summoned from this world as he was in his baptismal garments, he will be fed by the vision of God.”

After this she bore another son, whom she named Chlodomer at baptism; and when he fell sick, the king said: “It is impossible that anything else should happen to him than happened to his brother, namely, that being baptized in the name of your Christ, should die at once.” But through the prayers of his mother, and the Lord’s command, he became well.

From Wikipedia

Clovis was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the leadership from a group of royal chieftains, to rule by kings, ensuring that the kingship was held by his heirs.[1] He was also the first Catholic King to rule over Gaul, known today as France.

Clovis converted to Catholicism;[6] at the instigation of his wife, Clotilde, a Burgundian Gothic princess who was a Catholic in spite of the Arianism which surrounded her at court. The followers of Catholicism believe that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are three persons of one being (consubstantiality), as opposed to Arian Christianity, whose followers believed that Jesus, as a distinct and separate being, was both subordinate to and created by God. While theology of the Arians was declared a heresy at the First Council of Nicea in 325 AD, the missionary work of the bishopUlfilas converted the pagan Goths to Arian Christianity in the 4th Century. By the time of the ascension of Clovis, Gothic Arians dominated Christian Gaul where Catholics were the minority. In this context, Clovis was baptized at Rheims around 496 AD. In the 11th century the abbey’s church was to become the Cathedral of Rheims, where most future French kings would be crowned. The king’s Catholic baptism was of immense importance in the subsequent history of Western and Central Europe in general, for Clovis expanded his dominion over almost all of the old Roman province of Gaul(roughly modern France). He is considered the founder of the Merovingian dynasty which ruled the Franks for the next two centuries.