I’ve been working on a bit of software to draw timelines for a while. It is nowhere near finished, there are all sorts of things I’d like to add, plus some minor bugs. But the test case I’ve been using it for is a course on church history.
I’ve decided to attach it to see if anyone can make any sense of it. Get it here.
Some things to note.
- It is a switchback chart to get everything on one page. I’ve not seen this structure done in this way before, but I can’t believe I’m the first to think of it. The software can do any shape, which is neat. That’s the bit I’m proudest of 🙂
- In some parts of the chart I’ve had to edit who I included quite heavily. In others I’ve been searching around for additions. That’s particularly evident in the Reformation where I could have added far more. That may be a side-effect of the protestant bias in teaching church history in the UK.
- There isn’t a key on the diagram yet. (One of the features I’m getting to!). The color scheme is pretty simple though:
- Red – A key person in Christian theology. Note that in the timeline of people I’ve picked a set of likely dates. I’ve not tried to show where unknowns are. Showing uncertainty is a graphical feature I’d like to add later.
- Mauve – A key person with a non-Christian or heretical theology (this is somewhat arbitrary, so the early church heretics are in this color, as are key figures in other religions, but I haven’t put atheistic/agnostic philosophers in this color, nor separated out non-orthodox recent Christian movements such as Mormonism).
- Blue – Councils of the church. Followed by (C) for Catholic and (O) for Orthodox. Most councils that were later repudiated are omitted.
- Black – Persecutions. No indication of the severity or organization is given.
- Deep Purple – Crusades.
- Green – Major writings or bible editions. The dates show approximate date of composition.
- Bright Purple – Other events.
It goes without saying that I’d love to hear about any errors or obvious omissions. It covers the content of the course, plus some extras, but it would be good to know where I’ve been particularly remiss about extras.