4th Century, 301 to 400
Perhaps as early as now, or maybe into the following century, Samoans
have traveled across 2000 miles (3200 km) of ocean to the Marquesas
Islands, and in their boats, navigating by the sun and stars,
Polynesians migrate from there to the Hawaiian Islands. At some unknown
date in the coming centuries they will arrive at uninhabited Easter
Island, about 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) southeast of the Marquesas
To better rule the Roman Empire, Diocletian has created four
vice-emperors - military men who are to govern separate sections of the
empire. Diocletian has attempted to restore Rome's ruined economy by
fixing prices. Everyone has been ordered to remain at his present
occupation and location - adding to what will someday be a part of
feudalism. Diocletian has attempted another purge of Christians, but
their numbers are too vast, and the persecutions drag on. Because of
ill-health, he abdicates, leaving his vice-emperors in charge.
In China, Empress Jia has slaughtered many. Civil war has weakened the
country, and, spotting the weakness, a tribal army arrives at the
capital, Luoyang. The tribal army slaughters thousands. It is the
beginning of rule by Xiongnu chieftains in northern China.
The armies of two sons of former vice-emperors fight each other. The
army of Constantine wins, and Constantine becomes emperor of the
western half of the Roman Empire. Constantine's mother is a Christian.
The Edict of Milan, agreed to by Constantine and the emperor of the
eastern half of the empire, Licinius, makes Christianity a legal faith.
Chinese flee from the Xiongnu in northern China. The Jin emperor, Yuan,
sets up rule in southern China at the city of Jiankang (Nanjing).
Economically, local areas in India have been functioning at world class
levels, but India has been fragmented politically. The ruler
of Magadha, Chandra Gupta, extends his power in the Ganges Valley.
Constantine makes the day of the sun god Sol Invictus (Sunday) a holy
day and a day of rest for Christians.
By around now saddles and stirrups are in use at least for a few in
China. A representation of a rider with these exists in a Jin Dynasty
Constantine defeats the eastern emperor and becomes emperor of all the
empire. He prefers the more Christianized eastern half of the empire
and founds a new capital in the east called New Rome, eventually to be
known as Constantinople (in the 1900s to be changed to Istanbul).
Christianity is receiving state support, new churches, more wealth and
more elaborate rituals. Christianity's bishops defer to the authority
of Constantine, who wants to heal divisions within the Church.
Constantine presides over the Church's first ecumenical (general)
council, at Nicea, to decide the nature of Jesus Christ. Bishop Arius
and Arian Christianity lose. The doctrine of the Trinity is accepted.
Constantine widens the gap between Christianity and Judaism, decreeing
that Christians of Jewish heritage will either break all ties with
Judaism or be executed.
According to Bishop Eusebius, with Constantine at his death-bed,
Constantine chooses baptism. Bishop Eusebius is the Church's leading
theoretician, a scholar of history and theology. He has written of the
Roman Empire as having arisen to prepare the way for the arrival of
Jesus Christ and to unify the world under the authority of God. He
associates Rome with God's eternal order and peace.
A German named Ulfilas, who was converted to Christianity in
Constantinople, has turned forty. He has translated the Bible and is
doing missionary work among his fellow Goths outside the empire. As a
result, Goths entering the empire are largely Christian.
Chandra Gupta's son, Samudra Gupta is halfway through his forty-five
years of rule. He is extending the Gupta empire.
Constantine's grandson becomes emperor. Disillusioned by bloodshed
within the family of Constantine, and a secret admirer of Hellenistic
culture, he is to be known as Julian the Apostate. Lacking
the hostility felt by Christians toward Jews, he rescinds a law that
forbids marriage between Christians and Jews. He rescinds the law that
bans Jews from entering Jerusalem, and he abolishes privileges that
have been bestowed upon the Christian clergy.
Emperor Julian is killed while fighting an army of the Sassanid Empire.
Christians rejoice at news of his death and express their belief that
Julian's death was the work of God. The Sassanid king, Shapur II, is
devoted to Zoroastrianism and has been attempting to exterminate his
A monk introduces Mahayana Buddhism to the Kingdom of Goguryeo
(Koguryo) in northern Korea, and the king of Goguryeo welcomes Buddhism
and patronizes it.
Christians are back in power. Germans have been invading the Roman
Empire. The Christian emperor of the eastern half of the empire,
Valens, is defeated by Christianized Germans called Goths, at
The co-emperors Gratian and Theodosius publish their edict that the
doctrine of the Trinity is to be the official state religion.
Buddhism spreads to the royal family of Paekche (Baekche) (southern
Korea) and to Silla (central Korea). These two Korean states make
Buddhism their state religion.
The Sassanid king, Shapur III, has ruled for five years and has lifted
the persecutions of Christians, believing they are of more value to him
working and paying taxes. Zoroastrian priests are upset.
The three Korean states, Koguryo, Paekche (Baekche) and Silla have
adopted Buddhism as their state religion. Buddhist prayers are offered
for the well-being of their kingdom, for recovery from illness and for
the conception of children. Aristocrats leave the animist shamans to
those they considered unsophisticated. Soldiers fight wars not only for
their king but for the Way of the Buddha.
Emperor Theodosius the First sanctions the destruction of the great
pagan temple of Serapeum at Alexandria, Egypt, dedicated to
Alexandria's protector deity, Serapis.
Theodosius bans pagan worship. He proclaims Christianity the religion
of his Roman Empire. He abolishes the Olympics. This is the last year
of the Olympic games until the middle of the 19th century.
Christian emperors have been persecuting pagans, Jews and Arian
Christians. Christian mobs have been attacking what are described as
works of the devil. Pagan temples have been robbed of their treasures.
Libraries have been destroyed, causing the disappearance of many
writings. Emperor Theodosius, who has described heretics as insane,
dies. Augustine is named bishop of Hippo (in North Africa).
On the plains of what someday will be called the United States, the bow
and arrow is replacing the spear, the bow and arrow giving hunters and
warriors a greater striking distance. Bantu speaking people have been
migrating through the territory of other peoples and they have reached
the southern tip of the African continent.
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