The Eton Choirbook is a richly illuminated manuscript collection of English sacred music composed during the late 15th century. It was one of few collections of Latin liturgical music to survive the Reformation, hence is an important source, it contained music by 24 different composers. It is one of three large choirbooks surviving from early-Tudor England; the Choirbook was compiled between 1500 and 1505 for use at Eton College. 126 folios remain including the index. In the original, there were a total of 93 separate compositions; some of the 24 composers are known only because of their inclusion in the Eton Choirbook. John Browne has the most compositions, followed by Walter Lambe. Stylistically, the music contained in the Eton Choirbook shows three phases in the development of early Renaissance polyphony in England; the first phase is represented by the music of William Horwood and Gilbert Banester. Most of the music of this early phase is polyphonic but non-imitative, with contrast achieved by alternation of full five-voice texture with sections sung by fewer voices.
The second phase, which includes music by John Browne, Richard Davy and Walter Lambe, uses imitation, cantus firmus techniques, frequent cross-relations. The final phase represented in the choirbook includes music by William Cornysh and Robert Fayrfax, composed around 1500. Points of imitation are frequent, cantus firmus techniques disappear, in general the sound of the music is more Continental. All of the compositions in the book are sacred vocal music in Latin. According to the index, it contained 93 works. However, part of its content was lost and only 64 works have survived, a few of them incomplete, they consist of: 54 motets 9 Magnificats 1 PassionThe following inventory represents the contents as enumerated by the index, with folio numbers for the works that survive. 1. F. 1v-4: O Maria salvatoris mater - John Browne 2. F. 4v-8: Gaude flore virginali - Hugh Kellyk 3. F. 8v-9v: O Maria plena gratiae - Walter Lambe 4. F. 10-11: Gaude flore virginali - Richard Davy 5. F. 11v-14: Stabat mater dolorosa -?
John Browne 6. F. 14v: O regina caelestis gloriae - Walter Lambe 7. F. 15-17: Stabat virgo mater Christi -? John Browne 8. F. 17v-19: Stabat juxta Christi crucem -? John Browne 9. F. 19v-22: O regina mundi clara -? John Browne 10. F. 22v-25: Gaude virgo mater Christi - Sturton 11. F. 25v: O virgo prudentissima - Robert Wilkinson 12. Missing: Gaude flore virginali - Robert Wilkinson 13. Missing: Salve regina vas mundiciae - Fawkner 14. F. 26: Gaude flore virginali - William Cornysh 15. F. 26v-29: Salve regina mater misericordiae - Robert Wilkinson 16. F. 29v-30: Salve regina mater misericordiae - William Brygeman 17. F. 30v-32: Salve regina mater misericordiae - William Horwood 18. F. 32v-34: Salve regina mater misericordiae - Richard Davy 19. F. 34v-36: Salve regina mater misericordiae -? William Cornysh 20. F. 36v-38: Salve regina mater misericordiae -? John Browne 21. F. 038v-40: Salve regina mater misericordiae - Walter Lambe 22. F. 40v-042: Salve regina mater misericordiae - John Sutton 23. F. 42v-44: Salve regina mater misericordiae - Robert Hacomplaynt 24.
F. 44v-46: Salve regina mater misericordiae - Nicholas Huchyn 25. F. 46v-48: Salve regina mater misericordiae - Robert Wilkinson 26. F. 48v-50: Salve regina mater misericordiae - Robert Fayrfax 27. F. 50v-52: Salve regina mater misericordiae - Richard Hygons 28. F. 52v-54: Salve regina mater misericordiae -? John Browne 29. F. 54v-56: Salve regina mater misericordiae - John Hampton 30. F. 56v-59: O Domine caeli terraeque creator - Richard Davy 31. F. 59v-62: Salve Jesu mater vera - Richard Davy 32. F. 62v-65: Stabat mater dolorosa - Richard Davy 33. F. 65v-68: Virgo templum trinitatis - Richard Davy 34. F. 68v-71: In honore summae matris - Richard Davy 35. F. 71v-74: O Maria et Elisabeth - Gilbert Banester 36. F. 74v-76: Gaude flore virginali - William Horwood 37. F. 76v-77v: Gaude virgo mater Christi - William Horwood 38. Missing: O regina caelestis gloriae - Walter Lambe 39. Missing: Gaude flore virginali - Walter Lambe 40. Missing: Virgo gaude gloriosa - Walter Lambe 41. Missing: Stabat mater dolorosa - Robert Fayrfax 42.
Missing: Ave cuius conceptio - Robert Fayrfax 43. Missing: Quid cantemus innocentes - Robert Fayrfax 44. Missing: Gaude flore virginali - John Dunstaple 45. Missing: Ave lux totius mundi -? John Browne 46. Missing: Gaude flore virginali -? John Browne 47. Missing: Stabat mater dolorosa -? William Cornysh 48. F. 78-80: Stabat mater dolorosa -? William Cornysh 49. F. 80v-82: Gaude virgo salutata - Fawkner 50. F. 82v-85: Gaude rosa sine spina - Fawkner 51. F. 85v-87: Gaude flore virginali - Edmund Turges 52. F. 87v-88: Nesciens mater virgo virum - Walter Lambe 53. F. 88v: Salve decus castitatis - Robert Wilkinson 54. F. 89: Ascendit Christus hodie - Nicholas Huchyn 55. F. 89v-91v: O mater venerabilis -? John Browne 56. Missing: Ad te purissima virgo -? William Cornysh 57. F. 92v-93v: Ave lumen gratiae - Robert Fayrfax 58. Missing: O virgo virginum praeclara - Walter Lambe 59. F. 94-95: Gaude virgo mater Christi - Robert Wilkinson 60. F. 95v-97: Stabat virgo mater Christi -? John Browne 61. F. 97v-99: Stella caeli extirpavit que lactavit - Walter Lambe 62.
F. 99v-101: Ascendit Christus hodie - Walter Lambe 63. F. 101v-103
Stirling Castle, located in Stirling, is one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland and architecturally. The castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation, it is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs. Its strategic location, guarding what was, until the 1890s, the farthest downstream crossing of the River Forth, has made it an important fortification in the region from the earliest times. Most of the principal buildings of the castle date from the sixteenth centuries. A few structures of the fourteenth century remain, while the outer defences fronting the town date from the early eighteenth century. Before the union with England, Stirling Castle was one of the most used of the many Scottish royal residences much a palace as well as a fortress. Several Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned at Stirling, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1542, others were born or died there. There have been at least eight sieges of Stirling Castle, including several during the Wars of Scottish Independence, with the last being in 1746, when Bonnie Prince Charlie unsuccessfully tried to take the castle.
Stirling Castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, is now a tourist attraction managed by Historic Environment Scotland. Castle Hill, on which Stirling Castle is built, forms part of the Stirling Sill, a formation of quartz-dolerite around 350 million years old, subsequently modified by glaciation to form a "crag and tail", it is that this natural feature was occupied at an early date, as a hill fort is located on Gowan Hill to the east. The Romans bypassed Stirling, building a fort at Doune instead, but the rock may have been occupied by the Maeatae at this time, it may have been a stronghold of the Manaw Gododdin, has been identified with a settlement recorded in the 7th and 8th centuries as Iudeu, where King Penda of Mercia besieged King Oswy of Bernicia in 655. The area came under Pictish control after the defeat of the Northumbrians at the Battle of Dun Nechtain thirty years later. However, there is no archaeological evidence for occupation of Castle Hill before the late medieval period. Other legends have been associated with Stirling.
The 16th-century historian Hector Boece claims in his Historia Gentis Scotorum that the Romans, under Agricola, fortified Stirling, that Kenneth MacAlpin, traditionally the first King of Scotland, besieged a castle at Stirling during his takeover of the Pictish kingdom in the 9th century. Boece is, considered an unreliable historian. Another chronicler, William Worcester, associated Stirling with the court of the legendary King Arthur. Tradition suggests that St Monenna founded a chapel here, as she is said to have done at Edinburgh Castle, although it is now thought that the legend of Monenna results from a confusion of early Christian figures, including Modwenna and Moninne; the first record of Stirling Castle dates from around 1110, when King Alexander I dedicated a chapel there. It appears to have been an established royal centre by this time, as Alexander died here in 1124. During the reign of his successor David I, Stirling became a royal burgh, the castle an important administration centre.
King William I formed a deer park to the south-west of the castle, but after his capture by the English in 1174, he was forced to surrender several castles, including Stirling and Edinburgh Castle, under the Treaty of Falaise. There is no evidence that the English occupied the castle, it was formally handed back by Richard I of England in 1189. Stirling continued to be a favoured royal residence, with William himself dying there in 1214, Alexander III laying out the New Park, for deer hunting, in the 1260s. Stirling remained a centre of royal administration until the death of Alexander III in 1286, his passing triggered a succession crisis, with Edward I of England invited to arbitrate between competing claimants. Edward came north in 1291, demanding that Stirling, along with the other royal castles, be put under his control during the arbitration. Edward gave judgement in favour of John Balliol, hoping he would be a "puppet" ruler, but John refused to obey Edward's demands. In 1296, Edward invaded Scotland, beginning the Wars of Scottish Independence, which would last for the next 60 years.
The English found Stirling Castle abandoned and empty, set about occupying this key site. They were dislodged the following year, after the victory of Andrew Moray and William Wallace at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Many of the garrison were killed during the battle, after which the English commanders William FitzWarin and Marmaduke Thweng retreated into the castle. However, they were starved into surrender by the Scots. Next summer, the castle changed hands again, being abandoned by the Scots after the English victory at Falkirk. Edward strengthened the castle. King Edward failed to relieve the garrison. By 1303, the English again held the upper hand, Stirling was the last remaining castle in Scottish hands. Edward's army arrived with at least 17 siege engines; the Scots, under William Oliphant, surrendered on 20 July, but part of the garrison were ordered back into the castle by Edward, as he had not yet deployed his latest engine, "Warwolf". Warwolf is believed to have been a large trebuchet.
Although Edward's victory seemed complete, he was dead by 1307, Robert Bruce was now King of Scots. By 1313, only Stirling, Roxburgh and Berwick castles were held by the English. Edward Bruce, the king's brother, laid siege
National Library of Scotland
The National Library of Scotland is the legal deposit library of Scotland and is one of the country's National Collections. Its main public building is in Edinburgh city centre on George IV Bridge, between the Old Town and the university quarter. There is a more modern building in a residential area on the south side of the town centre, on Causewayside; this was built to accommodate some of the specialist collections, such as maps and science collections, to provide extra large-scale storage. In 2016 a new public centre opened at Glasgow's Kelvin Hall providing access to the Library's digital and moving image collections; the National Library of Scotland holds 7 million books, 14 million printed items and over 2 million maps. The collection includes copies of the Gutenberg Bible, the letter which Charles Darwin submitted with the manuscript of Origin of Species, the First Folio of Shakespeare and numerous journals and other publications, it has the largest collection of Scottish Gaelic material of any library.
Scotland's national deposit library was the Advocates Library belonging to the Faculty of Advocates. It was opened in 1689 and gained national library status in the 1710 Copyright Act, giving it the legal right to a copy of every book published in Great Britain. In the following centuries, the library added books and manuscripts to the collections by purchase as well as legal deposit, creating a funded national library in all but name. By the 1920s, the upkeep of such a major collection was too much for a private body, with an endowment of £100,000 provided by Alexander Grant, managing director of McVitie & Price, the Library's contents were presented to the nation; the National Library of Scotland was formally constituted by Act of Parliament in 1925. The Nation recognised Grant with a baronetcy, he was created Sir Alexander Grant of Forres in June 1924. In 1928 he donated a further £100,000 – making his combined donations the equivalent of around £6 million today – for a new library building to be constructed on George IV Bridge, replacing the Victorian-period Sheriff Court, which institution moved to the Royal Mile.
Government funding was secured. Work on the new building was started in 1938, interrupted by the Second World War, completed in 1956; the architect was Reginald Fairlie. The coat of arms above the entrance was sculpted by Scott Sutherland and the roundels above the muses on the front facade by Elizabeth Dempster. By the 1970s, room for the ever-expanding collections was running out, other premises were needed; the Causewayside Building opened in the south-side of Edinburgh in two phases, in 1989 and in 1995, at a total cost of £50 million, providing much-needed additional working space and storage facilities. Since 1999, the Library has been funded by the Scottish Parliament, it remains one of only six legal deposit libraries in the United Kingdom and Ireland, is governed by a board of trustees. The Library holds many ancient family manuscripts including those of the Clan Sinclair, which date back as far as 1488. On 26 February 2009, areas of the building were flooded after a water main burst on the 12th floor.
Firefighters were called and the leaking water was stopped within ten minutes. A number of items were damaged; the last letter written by Mary Queen of Scots made a rare public appearance to mark the opening of a new Library visitor centre in September 2009. The Library joined the 10:10 project in 2010 in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint. One year they announced that they had reduced their carbon emissions according to 10:10's criteria by 18%. On 16 May 2012 the National Library of Scotland Act 2012 was passed by the Scottish Parliament, received Royal Assent in 21 June 2012. In April 2013 the Library advertised for a Wikipedian in residence, becoming the first institution in the Scotland to create such a post. In 2016, the Library recruited a Gaelic Wikipedian in residence. In September 2016 the Library opened a new centre at the refurbished Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, in partnership with Glasgow Life and the University of Glasgow; the centre provides access to moving image collections. As of 2013, the Library holds: manuscripts: 100,000 items maps: 2 million items films: more than 46,000 items newspaper and magazine titles: 25,000 items Bartholomew Archive John Murray Archive Scottish Publishers Association Ask Scotland, Scotland's online information service provided by Scotland’s libraries Books in the United Kingdom Official website
The Chapel Royal is an establishment in the Royal Household serving the spiritual needs of the sovereign of the British royal family. It was a body of priests and singers that travelled with the monarch; the term is now applied to the chapels within royal palaces, most notably at Hampton Court and St James's Palace, other chapels within the Commonwealth designated as such by the monarch. The Chapel Royal's role is to perform choral liturgical service, it has played a significant role in the musical life of the nation, with composers such as Tallis and Purcell all having been members of the choir. The choir consists of Gentlemen of the Chapel Royal singing the lower parts alongside the boy choirsters known as the Children of the Chapel. In their early history, the English chapel royal travelled, like the rest of the court, with the monarch and performed wherever he or she was residing at the time; the earliest written record of the chapel dates to c.1135 in the reign of Henry I. Specified in this document of household regulations are two gentlemen and four servants, although there may have been other people within the chapel at this time.
An ordnance from the reign of Henry VI sets out the full membership of the chapel as of 1455: one Dean, 20 Chaplains and Clerks, seven Children, one Chaplain Confessor for the Household, one Yeoman. However, in the same year the clerks petitioned the King asking that their number be increased to 24 singing men due to "the grete labour that thei have daily in your chapell". From the reign of Edward IV further details survive. There were 26 chaplains and clerks, who were to be "cleare voysid" in their singing and "suffisaunt in Organes playing"; the children were supervised by a Master of Song, chosen by the dean from among the gentlemen of the Chapel. They were allocated supplies of meat and ale, their own servant. There were two Yeoman of the Chapel who acted as epistlers, reading from the bible during services; these were appointed from Children of the Chapel whose voices had broken. The chapel remained stable throughout the reign of Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries; the number of singers did vary during this period however, without apparent reason, from between twenty to thirty gentlemen and eight to ten children.
The chapel travelled with the King to the Field of the Cloth of Gold, on the second invasion of France. In the Tudor period, the chapel took on another, function that would gain in significance into the 17th century - that of performing in dramas. Both the gentlemen and children would act in pageants and plays for the royal family, held in court on feast days such as Christmas. For example at Christmas 1514, the play "The Triumph of Love and Beauty" was written and presented by William Cornysh Master of the Children, was performed to the King by members of the chapel including the children; the chapel achieved its greatest eminence during the reign of Elizabeth I, when William Byrd and Thomas Tallis were joint organists. The Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal had, until at least 1684, the power to impress promising boy trebles from provincial choirs for service in the chapel; the theatre company affiliated with the chapel, known as the Children of the Chapel Royal, produced plays at court and commercially until the 1620s by playwrights including John Lyly, Ben Jonson and George Chapman.
In the 17th century the chapel royal had its own building in Whitehall, which burned down in 1698. The English Chapel Royal became associated with Westminster Abbey, so that by 1625 over half of the Gentlemen of the English Chapel Royal were members of the Westminster Abbey choir. In the 18th century the choristers sang the soprano parts in performances of Handel's oratorios and other works. Under Charles II, the choir was augmented by violinists from the royal consort. In the United Kingdom, the Chapel Royal is a department of the Ecclesiastical Household, formally known as the royal "Free Chapel of the Household"; the household is further divided into two parts: an ecclesiastical household each for Scotland and England, belonging to the Church of Scotland and the Church of England respectively. Since such establishments are outside the usual diocesan structure, the chapels royal are royal peculiars. Scotland and England have distinct Deans of the Chapel Royal, that of England being held since 1748 by the Bishop of London, while daily control is vested in the Sub-Dean, presently the Revd Canon Paul Wright, Domestic Chaplain to the sovereign at Buckingham Palace.
He is assisted by the Revd William Whitcombe and the Revd Richard Bolton, who both hold the office of Priest in Ordinary to the Sovereign, Jon Simpson, Sergeant of the Vestry. The chapels royal are served by a choir, six Gentlemen-in-Ordinary and ten Children of the Chapel— all boys; the current Director of Music of the English Chapel Royal is Joe McHardy, assisted by a sub organist. The chapel royal occupies a number of buildings; the Chapel Royal conducts the Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall and combines with the choir of the host abbey or cathedral on Royal Maundy. The principal locations in which the chapel operated have varied over the years. For example in the early Tudor period and in Elizabeth I's reign, the chapel's activity was centered around the Greenwich Palace and the Palace of Whitehall. Under Elizabeth II the chapel's primary location is at St James's Palace; the chapel at St James's has been used since 1702 and is the most used facility today. Located in the main block of St James's Palace, it was built c. 1540 and altered since
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
MusicBrainz is a project that aims to create an open data music database, similar to the freedb project. MusicBrainz was founded in response to the restrictions placed on the Compact Disc Database, a database for software applications to look up audio CD information on the Internet. MusicBrainz has expanded its goals to reach beyond a compact disc metadata storehouse to become a structured open online database for music. MusicBrainz captures information about artists, their recorded works, the relationships between them. Recorded works entries capture at a minimum the album title, track titles, the length of each track; these entries are maintained by volunteer editors. Recorded works can store information about the release date and country, the CD ID, cover art, acoustic fingerprint, free-form annotation text and other metadata; as of 21 September 2018, MusicBrainz contained information about 1.4 million artists, 2 million releases, 19 million recordings. End-users can use software that communicates with MusicBrainz to add metadata tags to their digital media files, such as FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis or AAC.
MusicBrainz allows contributors to upload cover art images of releases to the database. Internet Archive provides the bandwidth and legal protection for hosting the images, while MusicBrainz stores metadata and provides public access through the web and via an API for third parties to use; as with other contributions, the MusicBrainz community is in charge of maintaining and reviewing the data. Cover art is provided for items on sale at Amazon.com and some other online resources, but CAA is now preferred because it gives the community more control and flexibility for managing the images. Besides collecting metadata about music, MusicBrainz allows looking up recordings by their acoustic fingerprint. A separate application, such as MusicBrainz Picard, must be used for this. In 2000, MusicBrainz started using Relatable's patented TRM for acoustic fingerprint matching; this feature allowed the database to grow quickly. However, by 2005 TRM was showing scalability issues as the number of tracks in the database had reached into the millions.
This issue was resolved in May 2006 when MusicBrainz partnered with MusicIP, replacing TRM with MusicDNS. TRMs were phased out and replaced by MusicDNS in November 2008. In October 2009 MusicIP was acquired by AmpliFIND; some time after the acquisition, the MusicDNS service began having intermittent problems. Since the future of the free identification service was uncertain, a replacement for it was sought; the Chromaprint acoustic fingerprinting algorithm, the basis for AcoustID identification service, was started in February 2010 by a long-time MusicBrainz contributor Lukáš Lalinský. While AcoustID and Chromaprint are not MusicBrainz projects, they are tied with each other and both are open source. Chromaprint works by analyzing the first two minutes of a track, detecting the strength in each of 12 pitch classes, storing these 8 times per second. Additional post-processing is applied to compress this fingerprint while retaining patterns; the AcoustID search server searches from the database of fingerprints by similarity and returns the AcoustID identifier along with MusicBrainz recording identifiers if known.
Since 2003, MusicBrainz's core data are in the public domain, additional content, including moderation data, is placed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license. The relational database management system is PostgreSQL; the server software is covered by the GNU General Public License. The MusicBrainz client software library, libmusicbrainz, is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License, which allows use of the code by proprietary software products. In December 2004, the MusicBrainz project was turned over to the MetaBrainz Foundation, a non-profit group, by its creator Robert Kaye. On 20 January 2006, the first commercial venture to use MusicBrainz data was the Barcelona, Spain-based Linkara in their Linkara Música service. On 28 June 2007, BBC announced that it has licensed MusicBrainz's live data feed to augment their music Web pages; the BBC online music editors will join the MusicBrainz community to contribute their knowledge to the database. On 28 July 2008, the beta of the new BBC Music site was launched, which publishes a page for each MusicBrainz artist.
Amarok – KDE audio player Banshee – multi-platform audio player Beets – automatic CLI music tagger/organiser for Unix-like systems Clementine – multi-platform audio player CDex – Microsoft Windows CD ripper Demlo – a dynamic and extensible music manager using a CLI iEatBrainz – Mac OS X deprecated foo_musicbrainz component for foobar2000 – Music Library/Audio Player Jaikoz – Java mass tag editor Max – Mac OS X CD ripper and audio transcoder Mp3tag – Windows metadata editor and music organizer MusicBrainz Picard – cross-platform album-oriented tag editor MusicBrainz Tagger – deprecated Microsoft Windows tag editor puddletag – a tag editor for PyQt under the GPLv3 Rhythmbox music player – an audio player for Unix-like systems Sound Juicer – GNOME CD ripper Zortam Mp3 Media Studio – Windows music organizer and ID3 Tag Editor. Freedb clients can access MusicBrainz data through the freedb protocol by using the MusicBrainz to FreeDB gateway service, mb2freedb. List of online music databases Making Metadata: The Case of Mus
Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, prayer, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations hold regular group worship services. Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism, it soon attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, to Ethiopia and some parts of Asia. Constantine the Great decriminalized it via the Edict of Milan; the First Council of Nicaea established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire.
By 380, the Roman Empire designated Christianity as the state religion. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united full communion of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon over differences in Christology; the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism over the authority of the Pope. In 1521, Protestants split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation over Papal primacy, the nature of salvation, other ecclesiological and theological disputes. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity was spread into the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, the rest of the world via missionary work and colonization. There are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, or 31.4% of the global population. Today, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy.
Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization around Europe during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers". Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. While Christians worldwide share basic convcitions, there are differences of interpretations and opinions of the Bible and sacred traditions on which Christianity is based. Concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds, they began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith.
The Apostles' Creed is the most accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical churches of Western Christian tradition, including the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism and Western Rite Orthodoxy, it is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists. This particular creed was developed between the 9th centuries, its central doctrines are those of God the Creator. Each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period; the creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Its main points include: Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Holy Spirit The death, descent into hell and ascension of Christ The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful; the Nicene Creed was formulated in response to Arianism, at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the First Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Chalcedonian Definition, or Creed of Chalcedon, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental Orthodox churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, unchangeably, inseparably": one divine and one human, that both natures, while perfect in themselves, are also united into one person. The Athanasian Creed, received in the Western Church as having the same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: "We worship one God in Trinity, Trinity in Unity. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. Most Baptists do not use creeds "in that they have not sought to establish binding