2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.


The Ecole Initiative

About The Ecole Initiative


The Early Church On-Line Encyclopedia (Ecole) Initiative is a cooperative effort on the part of scholars across the internet to establish a hypertext encyclopedia of early Church history (to the Reformation) on the World-Wide Web. In principle, authors of the various articles that make up the encyclopedia maintain their own articles at their own locations. Each article is connected to the Ecole Initiative's [E] Title Index, which can be accessed at any time by clicking on the Ecole icon (see the top left corner above) anywhere it appears in the encyclopedia. In addition, each article is linked directly to related articles and other information available on the Web. Each article is also linked to the [E] Contributors' Index, which provides a brief biography for each author along with links to other articles by the same author. The Contributor's Index can be accessed by clicking on the author's name at the bottom of each article. Some authors welcome your questions, comments and observations about their articles. This invitation is indicated by a sensitive mail icon [Mail] after the author's name.

[E] The Ecole Chronology Project supports a two-dimensional chronology that allows users to view data organized according to both place and time by way of a special program that creates space/time indices on demand. To sample the chronology, check out 313 CE. [E] The Ecole Glossary contains short, 100-200 word glosses that are intimately tied to the chronology and to each other.

Links that follow a letter in a blue box (e.g., [E]) refer to other sites in the Ecole Initiative, with the exception of chronological items which receive no indicator. (The reader may assume that all highlighted dates point to the chronology.) [A] is used to designate articles, while [G] designates items in the glossary. [E] is used for items not covered by the above. The [DOC] symbol points to a version of the document previously named somewhere on the internet beyond the Ecole Initiative. When referring to an Ecole document, [[E]" DOC] will be used.

The cut-off date for the project is around 1500 CE. Articles that are about topics slightly after 1500 are included in the Title Index, provided that they fall within the spirit of the pre-Reformation period. However, anticipating that the project will one day be expanded to the Reformation and beyond, the Ecole Initiative will include articles on topics that fall beyond the cut-off date. These articles are linked to the Ecole [E] Supplement, which can be found at the bottom of the Title Index page.

The Ecole Initiative maintains five pages of links to existing early Church resources on the internet. The [E] Early Church Documents page (no longer available - Ed., 2007) lists primary sources that are either from the early Church period or pertinent to it in some way. The [E] Index of Images (no longer available - Ed., 2007) lists links to relevant pictures. The [E] Internet Mailing Lists page provides brief descriptions of internet listservs that are topically related to the encyclopedia, along with directions for signing on to them. The [E] Miscellaneous Information page provides links to tables, charts, the homepages of early Church scholars, and other relevant pages on the internet. Finally, the [E] Word-Wide Web Sites page offers access to a variety of project sites that might interest those who are concerned with the early Church.

Readers of the Ecole Encyclopedia may wish to participate in an on-going electronic conference dedicated to early Church history and receive regular updates concerning recent developments in the encyclopedia. To join the conference and receive the updates, send the message "subscribe ecole-readers" (do not include quote marks) to majordomo@evansville.edu. Include only the subscribe command in the body of your message. Majordomo will respond with an information file about interacting with the Ecole readers' group, and you should start receiving mail soon thereafter.

Individual authors are solely responsible for the content of their articles and retain the copyright to their portion of the Ecole Initiative on the understanding that their article may be reproduced so long as the entire article, including the header and the copyright notice at the bottom of each page, remain intact. The Ecole Initiative welcomes proposals from authors with academic credentials. The proposal procedure is explained on a page set aside for [E] Submissions.

Finally, the Ecole Initiative is a work that is continually in progress; it makes no pretense to being a finished product. Thus, there is always room for implementing new suggestions. If you have an idea that would improve the encyclopedia and would like to share it with the Editorial Board, please email your suggestion to ecole@evansville.edu.

Acknowledgements: The Ecole Initiative began as an experiment at The University of Evansville on 19 May 1995. It was created by [E] Anthony F. Beavers, who serves as the General Editor. Robert Kraft and [E] Roland Teske serve as Editorial Advisors. In addition to the authors listed in the [E] Contributors' Index, the following people have also helped to bring the Ecole Initiative to the internet: Michael Batt, Elise Bender, April Blazevic, Heidi Boener, Jennifer Bridges, Jennifer Brom, Chris Doran, Marda Kaiser, Lisa Nord, Andrea Parra, Heather Schumann, Melissa Smeltzer, Joseph Stagnitto, Emily Strand, Matthew Stultz and Theresa Winters. The Ecole Initiative would also like to acknowledge the work of technical assistant Hiten Sonpal, who along with other contributions provided the cgi scripts that run the Ecole Chronology Project. The background paper, rose_window.gif or ecolebak.gif, was created by Anthony F. Beavers and Hiten Sonpal expressly for this project. Copyright 1995, All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy our background paper.

The ECOLE Initiative "has been selected by The McKinley Group's professional editorial team as a "4-Star" site. This is the highest rating an Internet site can achieve in Magellan, McKinley's comprehensive Internet directory of over 1.5 million sites and 40,000 reviews." It has also been reviewed and included in Point's Index of the Top 5% of the World Wide Web, and it has won the "hot sites" award from the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life.


Copyright 1995, Anthony F. Beavers. This file may be copied on the condition that the entire contents,
including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact.