PRE-SCHISM APOSTOLIC PERIOD
The Holy Apostles found sees (of Bishops) in Rome and “at nearly every watering hole” throughout the Eastern region of the empire, as well as Africa. Apostles Peter and Paul found the Patriarchate of Antioch. Patriarchate of Alexandria founded by St. Mark. Indeed, the Christianization of the whole world had begun. St. Irenaeus, a disciple of St. Polycarp, a disciple of St. John the Evangelist (author of the Gospel) was sent as Bishop to the Celts in Gaul, and this began the conversion of the Celts that would culminate in the Orthodox Ireland of St. Patrick. Centuries later, the Latin Papacy would send ‘missionaries’ to the Celts, only to discover they were already Christian, and then force them at swordpoint into fealty with Rome, resulting in the Roman Catholic history of Ireland that still (including it’s Protestant reaction) makes headlines.
251 AD – THE TRADITION OF CHARITY
By this time, the Church in Rome supported more than 1500 widows and needy persons. The example of the Christians was unknown in the ancient world.
370 AD – GLOBAL RELIEF
St. Basil the Great of Caesarea becomes the first person in human history to establish an orphanage. He founds the very first hospital. He builds a complex (The Basilidad) in Cappadocia that includes a hospital, a hospice and isolation unit for lepers, and housing for the poor, elderly, and infirm. His example of social work is imitated throughout the Christian world and becomes the basis of charity and charitable organizations as we now know them. In Rome, St. Fabiola likewise will use her personal fortune in this way. St. Benedict will build a similar foundation in Monte Cassino.
391 AD – ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE
Emperor Theodosius I declares Orthodoxy the only legitimate imperial religion, ending state support for paganism – effectively making it illegal. Emperor St. Constantine is often credited with this – actually St. Constantine only legalized Christianity – it was his successor Emperor Theodosius who made it exclusive for imperial support.
399-422 AD – SYNTHESIS
St. Augustine’s speculations include the notion that created things and the Creator can be philosophically analogous. This is the seed of an attitude that would divide the Christian world into The ancient Creed, or the filioque additions, religion or religious philosophy, Orthodox or Roman Catholic and Protestant. While the Orthodox venerate St. Augustine, they never followed his theological speculations, since they were at variance with the teaching of Christ and the Holy Apostles. This is the beginning of a trend, however, in the Latin West, of synthesizing Faith and philosophy. The Orthodox East was actually the heart of mediaeval Greek philosophy, and would retain Aristotle throughout its history, but always did philosophy and theology separately.
524 AD – SYNTHESIS CODIFIED
Latin religious philosopher Boethius, extends Augustinist speculations: claims that “philosophy is the handmaiden of theology”. This view of theology as Queen of the Sciences, is the seed of the scholasticism that will develop in the West when it rediscovers Aristotle.
529-34 AD – THE TRADITION OF LAW
The Code of Justinian: Justinian collects and codifies the law of all parts and periods of the Roman empire into the famous Corpus Juris Civilis. This becomes the origin and basis of modern law and constitutions. The shadowy Bureau of Barbarians comes into being – considered by the CIA the first modern intelligence service; a model for all such agencies in the future.
532-37 AD – ARCHITECTURE, GOLDEN AGE
Emperor Justinian builds the Hagia Sophia – the greatest architectural wonder of the known world.
750-850 AD – MODIFICATION
Sometime during this period the Donation of Constanine, a forged imperial edict, is created. It will be used in the Latin West to justify the doctrines of Development of Doctrine and of Papal Supremacy. In the 15th century, the Papacy will realize it is a forgery, and will abandon the document. They will later admit to the world it is forged, but will retain the doctrines that the forgery seems to support.
787,842 AD The Triumph of Orthodoxy.
864 AD – BAPTISM OF BULGARIA
Sts. Cyril and Methodius have been sent as missionaries to the Slavs by Patriarch St. Photius. They immediately begin creating a written language for the slavs, and then translate all the liturigcal works and the scriptures into Cyrillic.
988 AD – BAPTISM OF RUSSIA
The baptism of Russia, again from the work of Sts. Cyril and Methodius.
1143-51 AD AESTHETIC REFLECTIONS OF THE FILIOQUE
Recognized for their brilliance as the masters of the mosaic art form, mosaicists of Constantinople are invited to decorate churches in the Norman kingdom of Sicily. Later Latin artists will regard these not as an art form in itself, but as an inferior development in their own artistic history, preferring painting and realism over mosaic and expressionism. The historiography of art in the West (e.g the Renaissances of the 12, and then the 14th-17 centuries) are microcosms of the departure of the West from its Orthodox origins. For instance, the artists of the 12th century renaissance, would draw heavily on scholastic interests – the supposed intersection of religion and philosophy – trying to express the divine by representing the world in mathematical schemas of geometric forms – again, an attempt to draw analogy between creation and Creator. The Orthodox did not “develop” in this way, because they did not share this worldview but actively and expressly rejected it as heresy. At this point, Byzantium is still the center of high culture in Europe, with its own great universities not steeped in scholasticism.
In the west, perhaps most poignantly expressed in the conflict between Galileo and the Latin Church, any development in philosophy would create a corresponding development in theology, and vice versa. This would become quite evident with the Latin rediscovery of Aristotle and the development of the Latin doctrine of transubstantiation.