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Timelines of Christian Europe

    Frankish Empire     Normans and Crusaders     Medieval France     Early Modern France     Holy Roman Empire     German Reformation     Medieval Church     Arts and Culture



Frankish Empire—500 to 845

Baptism of Clovis to Treaty of Verdun


AD YearEvent

Merovingian Kings

448 Merovech succeeds Clodio as king of the Salian Franks.
451 Romans, Visigoths, and Franks under Merovech, defeat Attila the Hun at the Battle of Chalons.
465 Clovis I, grandson of Merovech, succeeds as leader of the Salian Franks.
486 Clovis defeats Syagrius, the last Roman appointed ruler of Gaul at the Battle of Soissons.
492 Clovis marries Clotilda, a Catholic princess of Burgundy.
496 Clovis baptized in Christmas day in 496 in the Abbey of Rheims by St. Remigus.
507 Clovis defeats a Visigoth army and conquers Aquitaine in Southwest France at the Battle of Vouille.
511 Frankish kingdom divided divided among sons of Clovis at his death. Capitals were at Soissons, Paris, Orleans, and Rheims.
558 Chlothar I becomes sole ruler of Franks. Kingdom later divided into four regions: Burgundy, Neustria, Austrasia, Aquitaine.
575-613 Brunhilda ruled in Austrasia after death of Sigebert I. Feuded with of Nuestria.
613 Chlothar II (son of Fredogunda) becomes ruler of Franks after executing Sibebert II and Brunhilda.
632 Dagobert I becomes king by murder and treachery. Later Merovingian kings considered "do-nothing" kings.

Mayors of the Palace

680-714 Pepin II (father of Charles Martel) served as "Mayor of Palace" of Austrasia, then for entire kingdom.
718-723 Charles Martel, illegitimate son of Pepin II, fought to claim 'Mayor of Palace' office from his step-brother.
731 Martel leads army against Odo, Duke of Aquitaine, who had made a truce with the Moors. Odo submits to Martel.
732 Battle of Tours: Franks and Burgundians under Martel severely defeat invading Moors of the Umayyad Caliphate.
741 Frankish realms divided between Pepin the Short and Carloman. Pepin sole ruler after Carlomon withdraws to Monastery (747).

Carolingian Kings

751 Pepin the Short crowned king of the Franks, first Carolingian ruler of the Franks.
751 Lombards conquer 'Exarchate of Ravenna' in central Italy, from Byzantines. Rome under rule of pagan Lombards.
756 Donation of Pepin: Pepin forces the Lombards to surrender conquests in central Italy to Pope of Rome. Legal basis for Papal States.
771 Charlemagne, son of Pepin, becomes ruler of the Franks.
774 Charlemagne surrounds Pavia, sends Desiderous into exile, and is crowned king of the Lombards.
778 Battle of Roncevaus Pass: Charlemagne leads Franks over the Pyrennes to oppose Basques and Moors. Basis for 'Song of Romand'.
782 Alcuin becomes Master of the Palace School in Aachen. Begins educational and ecclesiastic reforms.
785 After years of war with the Franks, Saxon leader Wittekindis baptized and swears fealty to Charlemagne.
789 Charlemagne issues laws that guide reforms throughout the Frankish kingdom.
780-840 Carolingian Renaissance: increased activity in art, literature, law, architecture, liturgy, and religion throughout Frankish realms.
795 Charlemagne creates the 'Spanish March' as a buffer between the Franks and Spanish Moors.
800 On Christmas, 800, Charlemagne is crowned 'King of the Romans' by Pope Leo III.
814 Charlemagne dies and his only legitimate son, Louis the Pious, inherits the Empire.
840 On death of Louis the Pious, his three sons, Lothair I, Louis the German, and Charles the Bald fight over Frankish dominions.
843 Treaty of Verdun: Sons of Louis the Pious divide the Empire into three Parts.



Normans and Crusaders—845 to 1100

Siege of Paris to First Crusade


AD YearEvent

Vikings and Dukes of Normandy

845 Paris is besieged by Ragnar Lodbrok. Seige is lifted when Charles the Bald pays a ransom.
858 Chartres is besieged by Northmen, and burned.
885 Vikings, lead by Rollo the Viking, besiege the City of Paris. Odo of Paris resists
911 Rollo besieges Chartres, negotiates with Charles the Simple. Made Duke of Normandy; pays homage to king of Franks.
942-996 Richard the Fearless, grandson of Rollo, expands Norman territory, donates to Church, builds alliances, rulse for fifty years.
1027-35 Robert the Magnificent, becomes Duke of Normandy after his brother's 'sudden' death.
1035-87 William the Conqueror reigns in Normandy for over fifty years, becomes strongest baron in Northern Europe.
1066 William the Conqueror, defeats Saxons at the Battle of Hastings, becomes king of England.
1087-1106 Reign of Robert Curthose , son of William the Conqueror, as Duke of Normandy.

Frankish Leaders during Viking age

875 Charles the Bald crowned Holy Roman Emperor, but is defeated by German cousin and dies 'suddenly'.
879 Grandsons of Charles the Bald succeed him as joint kings of West Francia.
888 Charles the Simple, crowned HRE in 881, briefly reunites Frankish Empire, but dies without an heir.
888-898 Odo of Paris serves as the first Robertian king of France.
898 Charles the Simple is declared king of West Francia on the death of Odo.
910 Monastery at Cluny is established. Influential in Gregorian Reforms of the Church.
987 Death of Last Carolingian king. Hugh Capet chosen as successor.
996 Robert II, succeeds his father as king of West Franconia. Rules for 35 years.

Normans in Italy

999 First Normans arrive in Italy to serve as mercenary soldiers for Byzantine wars against Lombards.
1042 Norman mercenary William of Hauteville conquers Byzantine territory in Italy, rules as Count of Calabria.
1053 Normans begin conquest of Lombard territory in Southern Italy.
1054 Schism with Eastern Church, due in part to Norman aggression in Italy.
1059 After losing a critical battle to the Normans, Pope Nicholas II agress to recognize Robert Guiscard as Duke of Calabria, and Normans agree to protect Papal interests.
1061 Guiscard and brother Roger of Sicily begin conquest of Sicily, held by Moslems for 200 years.
1077 Robert Guiscard adds Naples to his territories in Southern Italy.
1080 Christians in Sicily and Southern Italy forced to switch allegience from Byzantine to Roman Church.
1091 Roger of Sicily completes conquest of Sicily, attempts to conquer Moslem-held Malta.
1130 Roger II made first 'King of Sicily' with territory encompassing all of southern Italy.

Normans Heroes of the First Crusade

1095 Pope Urban II calls for a Crusade at the Council of Clermont. First Crusade was led primarily by Norman princes.
1098 Baldwin I founds the Crusader kingdom of Edess, later governed by his cousin Baldwin II, lasts unil 1148.
1098 Bohemond I , son of Robert Guiscard, founds Principality of Antioch, lasts until 1268.
1099 Godfrey of Bouillon founds Kingdom of Jerusalem, lasts until 1291.



Medieval France—1100 to 1485

University of Paris to Louis XI-Spider King


AD YearEvent

Capet Kings

1120 St Denis Abbey rebuilt by Abbot Suger . Popularizes Gothic architecture.
1137 marries Eleanor of Aquitaine, begins reign of almost 40 years.
1147 Louis VII leads the disastrous 2nd Crusade.
1150 University of Paris Founded
1152 Marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine annulled. Soon after she marries Henry II.
1163 Begin construction of Notre Dame of Paris in Gothic style.
1180 Philip Augustus succeeds to throne, reigns for 43 years.
1189 Third Crusade led by Philip II Augustus and Richard I. Crusaders fail to recover Jerusalem.
1202 Fourth Crusade launched; crusaders allied with Venice sack Constantinople.
1209-29 Albigensian Crusade called by Innocent III, after years of civil war their protector, Raymond VII of Toulouse makes peace.
1214 Battle of Bouvines: French army defeated English-Flemish force, consolidating Philip's control over Anjou, Brittany, and Normandy.
1226 Louis IX begins 45 year reign. Mother Blanche acts as regent during minority.
1248 Louis IX leads 7th crusade to Egypt.
1270 Louis IX dies during failed 8th crusade to Tunisia.
1282 Sicilian Vespers. Rebels overthrough French king of Sicily, massacre thousands of Frenchmen.

Philip V and the Knights Templar

1285 Reign of Philip the Fair begins. Reigned 30 years, consolidated power, taxed clergy, feuded with Pope.
1291 Kingdom of Jerusalem, the last 'Crusader kingdom' falls to the Mamluks when the city of Acre was taken.
1296 Pope Boniface VIII's bull 'Ineffablis amor' excoriates French king when he attempts to tax the clergy.
1307 Philip expels Jews from French dominions, Knights Templars order disbanded.
1306-78 Avignon Papacy: Papal court of Clement V relocated from Rome to Avignon. Remains for 72 years.
1311 Battle of the Golden Spurs: Flemish victory in the Franco-Flemish War.
1314 Philip IV orders the execution of Jacques de Molay and Knights Templars for heresy. Philip IV and Clement V die soon thereafter.
1314-28 Within 14 years of the execution of Knights, Philip's three sons die suspiciously, bringing an end to the Capet dynasty.
1328 Philip Valois, a Capet cousin, succeeded to the throne, but it was disputed by Edward III, leading to the 100 years War.

Hundred Years War

1337-60 First Phase of the Hundred Years War: English victories in Normandy and Aquitaine.
1346 Battle of Crecy and Seige of Calais are English victories over France.
1356 The Black Prince princed defeats John II at the Battle of Poitiers. King and son taken prisoner.
1337-60 Second Phase of the Hundred Years War: French led by Bertrand du Guesclin reclaim territory from English.
1347 Black Plague in France kills thousands in coastal areas.
1380 Charles VI begins his long reign during Hundred years war. His insanity complicates things.
1415-53 Final Phase of Hundred Years War. Henry V wins victory, but his gains are overcome by Joan of Arc.
1415 Battle of Agincourt. Henry V lands in France and defeats the French, claims the throne.
1418 Duke of Burgundy captures Paris. The dauphin, the future , flees.
1422 Charles VII inherits the throne on the death of the mad king, but succession is disputed and he remains uncrowned.
1428 Joan of Arc lifts the siege of Orlean, Charles VII crowned at Rheims shortly thereafter.
1453 Castillon: Last Battle of the Hundred Year's War, all English possesions in France reclaimed except Calais.

Burgundian Wars

1461-83 Reign of Louis XI, the "Spider-king" spent consolidating power and building alliances.
1477 Louis XI adversary, the Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, killed at the Battle of Nancy.



Early Modern France—1485 to 1715

Italian Wars to Louis XIV-Sun King


AD YearEvent

Italian Wars: 1495 to 1559

1494 Charles VIII invades Italy, but is repulsed by the League of Venice.
1499 Five years later Louis XII sends another army to press his claims to Milan and Naples.
1508 The Papacy, France, Spain, and Germany establish the League of Cambrai, to defeat Venice.
1515 Wars in Italy continue throughout the 32 year reign of Francis I of France.
1516 Leonardo da Vinci enters the service of Francis I after Milan is captured.
1520 Field of the Cloth of Gold, tournament between Francis I of France and Henry VIII.
1525 Francis is defeated by Imperial forces under Charles V in Italy and captured.
1520-47 Construction of landmark buildings in Paris. The Louve, Fontainebleau, Hotel de Ville, etc. Royal Library established.
1541 John Calvin's "Institutes of the Christian Religion" published.
1547 ascends to throne of France, married to .
1559 Henry II renounces claims in Italy, ends Italian Wars.

Medici Regencies: 1559 to 1617

1559-89 Henry II dies, and acts as regent reigns sons Francis II, Charles IX, Henry III.
1562-98 French Wars of Religion fought mainly for political control rather than actual religion.
1562 Massacre of Vassy begins The French Wars of Religion.
1572 St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of French Protestants following Wedding of Henry IV.
1578 Henry of Guise forms the 'Catholic League' to prevent Huguenot Henry IV from ascending to the throne.
1588 Henry Guise is murdered by agents of Catherine d'Medici and Henry III
1589 Henry III is murdered by and agent of the Catholic leauge.
1589 Henry IV becomes 1st Bourbon King and converts to Catholicism.
1598 Henry IV issued Edict of Nantes to end persecution of Huguenots and end French Wars of Religion.
1610 Henry IV assassinated by Francois Ravaillac. acted as regent for Louis XIII.
1608 Samuel de Champlain founds the city of Quebec, establishes colony of New France.
1617 Louis XIII exiles his mother and takes control of the government

Richelieu and Mazarin: 1624 to 1661

1624-42 Cardinal Richelieu serves as chief minister of the state. Persecutes Huguenots in France, but provides funds for Protestant enemies of the Hapsburgs in Thirty Years War.
1643 Five-year-old Louis XIV succeed to throne of France with Jules Cardinal Mazarin as regent.
1648 Thirty Years' War: The Peace of Westphalia ended with France annexing eastern territories.
1648-59 Wars of the Fronde: Last effort of nobles to reduce the power of the French king.
1648 Cardinal Mazarin ordered the arrest of the leaders of the parliament of Paris, provoking widespread rioting.
1659 France ends war with Spain, annexes northern Catalonia and French Flanders.

Age of Louis XIV: 1661 to 1715

1661 Louis XIV assumes personal rule at age 23 after the Death of Mazarin.
1668 War of Devolution. France obtains Lille and other territories of Flanders from Spain.
1678 Franco-Dutch war. France obtains the Franche-Comte and cities in Flanders and Hainaut.
1678 Louis XIV begins large scale remodel of the palace of Versailles.
1684 War of the Reunions. France obtains territories in the north-west from Spain.
1682 Explorer Rene La Salle claims the Mississippi valley for France.
1685 Edict of Fontainebleau. Louis XIV revokes Edict of Nantes, removing the religious liberties of Huguenots.
1697 War of the Grand Alliance ends with French losses. Some territories returned to Hapsburg powers.
1701-14 War of the Spanish Succession
1715 Treaty of Utrecht: Bourbon prince Philip V assumes Spanish throne but renounces his descendants rights to French throne.
1715 Louis XIV is succeeded by five-year-old great-grandson Louis XV.



Holy Roman Empire—912 to 1500

Henry the Fowler to Maximilian I


AD YearEvent
962 The imperial coronation of Otto I by Pope John XII in St Peter's puts in place the formal role of a Holy Roman emperor
1024 Conrad II is elected as the German king, beginning the dynasty variously known as Franconian or Salian
1075 Pope Gregory VII decrees that only the church may make ecclesiastical appointments, thus initiating the investiture controversy between pope and emperor
1077 The emperor Henry IV stands as a penitent outside the pope's castle at Canossa, so as to be released from excommunication.
1138 Conrad III, is elected as the first Hohenstaufen King of Germany. The title remains in the family for over a century.
1152 Frederick Barbarossa becomes king of Germany and Holy Roman emperor, greatly extending the power of the empire during a long reign
1197 The three-year old Frederick II has a claim to the thrones of both Sicily and Germany on the death of his father, the emperor Henry VI
1220 Frederick II is crowned Holy Roman emperor by a somewhat reluctant pope, Honorius III
1254 The death of the last Hohenstaufen ruler, Conrad IV, leaves a vacancy on the German throne which is not filled for nineteen years
1260 The Bohemian prince Otakar II, ruler also of Austria, extends his territories after defeating the Hungarians at Kressenbrunn
1273 The period without a German king, known as the Great Interregnum, ends with the election of a Habsburg prince, Rudolf I
1278 At Durnkrut Rudolf I defeats and kills Otakar II, his rival for Austria - thus bringing the Austrian territories into the Habsburg domain
1346 Charles IV, king of Bohemia, German king and Holy Roman emperor, makes Prague a glittering centre of learning and architecture
1356 Charles IV establishes a permanent group of seven electors - four hereditary German rulers and the archbishops of Mainz, Cologne and Trier
1438 The office of Holy Roman emperor becomes a hereditary title within the Habsburg dynasty
1477 Maximilian I weds Mary of Burgandy, in the first of the great marriage alliances which form the Habsburg empire
1496 Philip of Hapsburg marries Joanna of Castile. Their son Charles V reigned over both Spanish and Austrian Hapsburg Empires.



Medieval Church—600 to 1600

Gregory the Great to Council of Trent


AD YearEvent

Conversion of European Nations

500 St. Remi and Clotilda convert Clovis, king of the Franks (Gaul).
500 Columba and Irish missionaries establish monasteries in Scotland.
600 St. Columbanus founds Celtic missions in Eastern Gaul and Switzerland.
600 Leander and Isidore of Seville convert king Recared and the Visigoths (Hispania).
600 Augustine of Kent converts Ethelbert, first Saxon-Christian king in Britain.
750 St. Boniface leads a mission of British monks to convert the Frisians in Germany.
780 Charlemagne converts Wittekind, leader of the German-Saxons.
850 St. Cyril and St. Methodius convert the Slavs of Moravia (Czech Republic)
850 St. Ansgar of Hamburg, serves as missionary to Swedes and Scandinavians.
880 Alfred the Great converts Guthrum, leader of Danish invaders of England.
880 Rollo the Viking converts to Christianity and becomes Duke of Normandy.
1000 St. Adalbert of Prague, serves as missionary to Poles, Czechs, and Prussians.
1000 Olaf II of Norway, converts his Vikings subjects to Christianity.
1000 St. Stephen, king of Hungary, converts his Magyar subjects to Christianity.

Eastern Church and Early Councils

527-565 Reign of Justinian the Great, height of Eastern Roman Empire.
636-647 Moslem Conquest of Syria and North Africa.
680 Third Council of Constantinople (6th) — condemns Monothelites.
787 Second Council of Nicaea (7th) — condemns Iconoclasts (image breakers).
869 Fourth Council of Constantinople (8th) — resolves Photian Schism (850-869).
1054 Eastern Schism due mainly to political division

Western Church and Frankish Empire

520 Benedict of Nursia establishes traditions of Western Monasticism.
537-753 Byzantine Papacy: Roman Pontiff subject to Byzantine Emperor.
600 Gregory the Great asserts Roman authority over France, Spain; sends mission to Britain.
756 Donation of Pepin grants central Italy to Roman pontiff.
800 Charlemagne crowned Emperor of the West by pope in Rome.
962 Otto the Great conquers Northern Italy, crowned HRE by Pope.
1053 Pope forges alliance with Normans, condones Norman conquest of S. Italy.
1054 Eastern Schism, initially due to conflicts over Norman aggression in Italy.

Crusades and Military Orders

1096 First Crusade — creation of Crusader States in Jerusalem/Antioch/Edessa.
1099 Knights Hospitallers order founded by Blessed Gerard.
1119 Knights Templars order founded in Jerusalem, Bernard of Clairvaux Patron.
1189 Third Crusade — reclaims Acre from Saladin but fails to retake Jerusalem.
1202 Fourth Crusade — Crusaders sack Constantinople, establish Latin Empire in East.
1248 Saint Louis IX leads failed Seventh Crusade to Egypt.
1270 Eighth/Ninth Crusades to Tunisia ends Badly. St. Louis dies in Tunisia.
1291 Last Crusader Kingdom of Acre falls to Mamluks.

Gregorian Reforms

910 Order of Cluny founded, plays leading role in Reforms.
1073 Accession of reformer Hildebrand as Pope Gregory VII
1077 Emperor Henry IV seeks reconciliation from Pope at Canossa.
1123 Lateran I Council (9th) — Addressed Investiture Controversy, Canonical Elections.
1179 Lateran III Council (11th) — Clerical reforms, heresies condemned, Papal elections regulated.
1213 Lateran IV, "The Great Council" (12th) — called by Innocent III: Albigenses condemned. Paschal communion ordered.
1221 Mendicant order of St. Dominic established.
1226 Mendicant order of Francis of Assisi established.
1229 End of Albigensian Crusade in Southern France. Inquisition founded to deal with heretics.

Avignon Papacy and Schism

1245 First Lyons Council (13th) — 7th Crusade called. HRE condemned, Reunion of Greeks, etc.
1274 Second Lyons Council (14th) — Churches reunited briefly. Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure die during council.
1294 Pope Boniface VIII elected Pope after Celestine 'resigns'. Feuds with French king Philip the Fair .
1309-1376 Avignon Papacy: Popes, beginning with Clement V reside at Avignon (high papal mortality rate in Rome).
1311 Council of Vienne (15th) — Knights Templars suppressed. Condemnation of Beghards, Beguines, etc.
1314 Knights Templar leaders condemned for heresy, executed on Friday the 13th. Curse of Jacques de Molay.
1375 Conquer almost all Greek Empire, except Constantinople.
1376 Pope returns to Rome, ( thanks to Catherine of Siena). Wyclif preaches heresy.
1378-1417 Western Schism — Council of Constance (16th) ends schism, condemns heresy of Jan Hus.
1431 Council of Basel/Florence (17th) address concilarism and briefly ends eastern schism.
1453 Constantinople falls to the Ottomans and Greek Patriarch dies before an east-west union can be ratified.

Reformation Era

1419-1434 Hussite War in Germany ends with reconciliation to Church.
1478 Spanish Inquisition instituted, deals mostly with false conversions of Jews and Moors.
1492 Expulsion of the Jews from Spain. Many seek refuge in Catholic Italy.
1494 Beginning of "Italian Wars" Sixty Year conflict in Italy between French and Spanish powers.
1498 Girolamo Savonarola condemned for criticizing clerical corruption.
1502 University of Wittenberg founded by Elector of Saxony, Luther's patron.
1514 Fifth Council of Lateran (17th) — Endorses doctrine of 'Papal supremacy' but fails to address reforms.
1517 Martin Luther condemns indulgences. Posts theses on door of Wittenberg Palace chapel.
1525 Peasant revolt in Germany put down harshly by Protestant nobles.
1527 Rome sacked by troops of Charles V during Italian Wars.
1534 Act of Supremacy — Church of England breaks with Rome. (John Fisher, Thomas More, martyrs).
1540 Jesuit Order established by Ignatius of Loyola. Admitted Conversos, favored by Popes, grew rapidly.
1545-1563 Council of Trent (18th) — addresses Protestant heresies, clerical reform. clarifies doctrine and scriptural interpreation, regulates liturgy. Jesuit scholars orchestrated procedings.
1555 Peace of Augsburg gave rights to Protestant Princes, ended religious wars in Germany.
1566 St. Pius V promulgates reforms of Trent, Charles Borromeo leads reform effort in Milan.
1571 Battle of Lepanto, Holy League defeats Ottomans in Mediterranean.
1575 Oratory of Philip Neri established in Rome.
1598 Edict of Nantes, granting political rights to Huguenots, ends Religious Wars in France.
1648 Peace of Westphalia.

World Evangelization

1511 Establishment of first American bishoprics in the New World.
1514 Bartholomew de Casas begins advocating for the rights of natives.
1524 Twelve Apostles of Mexico Arrive to convert natives of New Spain
1530 Zumarraga, protector of Indians, appointed first Archbishop of Mexico
1531 Our Lady of Guadalupe appears to Juan Diego in Mexico
1541-1552 Missions of Francis Xavier in Goa, Ceylon, Malacca, Japan
1542 New Laws for the Protection of the Indians promulgated by Charles V.
1551 First Universities in the Americas: University of San Marcos in Lima and University of Mexico.
1560 Inquisition established in Goa and Brazil
1582 Matteo Ricci and Michele Ruggieri establish first Jesuit Missions in China.
1597 Death of Paul Miki and 26 Japanese Martyrs in Nagasaki
1608 Samuel de Champlain establishes Quebec colony in Canada
1608 First Jesuit Mission in Canada established in Acadia
1609 First Jesuit Reductions (Missions) established in Paraguay
1622 Urban VIII establishes the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith
1632 Maryland founded as Catholic colony in the Americas
1642-49 Deaths of Isaac Jogues and "North American Martyrs" at the hands of Iroquois



Arts and Culture—800 to 1600

Song of Roland to Machelangelo

Artists of the Early Renaissance (1300-1480)

Artists of the High Renaissance (1480-1580)

Baroque Artists(1580-1700)

Composers and Musicians

Literary Arts