Seventh century ce: The Expansion of Islam



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SEVENTH CENTURY CE: The Expansion of Islam
c.600-700: Book of Kells
c.600-900: Classic Maya civilization in Mexico. Tiahuanaco culture in Peru (to 1000)
610: First revelation of the Koran to Mohammed

618-907: T’ang Dynasty in China, Golden Age of Chinese Poetry and Empire

622: The Hegira(“breaking of ties”)marks first expansion of Islam, to city of Medina
c.625-633: Sutton Hoo burial
635: Lindisfarne Monastery founded
632: Death of the Prophet Mohammed. Abu Bakr first Caliph (“successor”)

637-644: Muslim (Islamic) conquest of Persia (Iran)
638: Muslim conquest of Syria and Palestine
640: Muslim conquest of Egypt and Armenia
641: Tibet converted to Buddhism
661: Division in Islam between supporters of Mu’awiyah of the Omayyad dynasty

and Ali, the son-in law and nephew of the Prophet (later to develop into

religious split between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims)
661-750: Omayyad Caliphate, with the capital of the caliphate moved from Mecca to

Damascus in Syria


664: Synod of Whitby: Papacy asserts its authority over British and Irish churches
669: Pope appoints the first Archbishop of Canterbury , organizes English church
670-695: Muslim conquest of North Africa
670-935: Silla Kingdom in Korea
674-678: First Muslim siege of Constantinople
692: Dome of the Rock built at Jerusalem

EIGHTH CENTURY CE: Islam and Iconoclasm
c.700: Lindisfarne Gospels
c.700-1200:African Kingdom of Ghana
c.700-750: Beowulf Epic
710-784: Nara period in Japan
711-720: Muslims conquer Spain
717-18: Muslims besiege Constantinople, halt of Muslim conquests in Eastern Europe
731: Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of England
725-98: First phase of Iconoclasm in Byzantium; schism between Byzantium and Papacy
732: Charles Martel defeats Muslim raiding party in battle near Poitiers, ending

political expansion of Islam into western Europe.


750-1258: Abbasid dynasty rules the Caliphate
751: Ravenna falls to Lombards. Charles Martel founds Carolingian dynasty in the

Frankish Kingdom. Muslims defeat Chinese at the Battle of Talas. Beginning

of expansion of Islam into Central Asia
752-757: Pepin I of the Frankish Kingdom grants territory in Italy to the Papacy
756-1031:Rival Omayyad dynasty (later Caliphate) in Spain, first political split of Islam

771-814: Reign of Charlemagne (“Charles the Great”) of the Frankish Kingdom
786-809: Harun al-Rashid, Caliph of the Arabian Nights and last great Abbasid Caliph
c.792-810: Carolingian royal chapel at Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle)
794-1185: Heian Period in Japan, Golden Age of literature, poetry, and court culture
797-802: Empress Irene restores veneration of Icons

NINTH CENTURY CE: Age of Charlemagne and Carolingians
800: Charlemagne crowned “Roman Emperor” by Pope Leo III. This “Holy Roman

Empire” increases tension with Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. The Pope

claims the throne is empty because it is held by a woman (Irene) and a usurper
c.800-50: Carolingian Renaissance
c.802-1431: Khmer Empire in Cambodia, capital at Angkor Wat
813-833: Caliph Mamun the Great moves capital of Caliphate to new city of Baghdad
814: Death of Charlemagne. Viking raids begin. Second period of iconoclasm in

Byzantium (814-843) leads to renewed schism with the Papacy



836: Einhard’s Life of Charlemagne
843: Treaty of Verdun: division of Frankish Empire among Charlemagne’s sons;

Final end of Iconoclastic Controversy with victory of the venerators of icons


845: Vikings capture Paris
c.850: Viking Rurik founds state of Rus (Russia) with its capital at Kiev
863-885: Missionaries Cyril and Methodius convert Slavs to Christianity, develop

(c863-5) Slavic (Cyrillic, Glagolithic) alphabet (adapted from Greek alphabet)



865: Bulgarians converted to Eastern Orthodox Christianity
867-1025:Revival of Byzantine Empire under Macedonian Dynasty, “Macedonian

Renaissance” of Byzantine culture


868: First printed book in China
871-899: Rule of King Alfred of Wessex in England, who makes peace with Vikings
890: Magyar invasions of central Europe begin
c.892: Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
TENTH CENTURY CE: Feudalism, revival of Byzantine and Holy Roman Empires
900s: Beginning of feudalism in Western Europe
910: Monastery of Cluny founded
911: Viking Rollo converted to Christianity and granted land in northern France, is

titled Duke Robert of the Duchy of the Northmen (Normandy)


929: Moslems in Spain proclaim separate Omayyad Caliphate
955: Otto I (936-973) of E. Frankish Kingdom (Germany) defeats Magyars
c.961-976:Great Mosque at Cordova in Spain
960-1279:Sung Dynasty in China
962: Otto I is crowned Emperor by Pope John XII, reviving Holy Roman Empire

963: Otto I deposes John XII, reforms Papacy. Empire controls selection of Popes
969: Rival Shi’ite Fatimid Caliphs establish rule in Egypt and their capital at Cairo
976-1025:Reign of Emperor Basil II Bulgaroktonos (“The Bulgar-slayer”) of Byzantium,

Conquest of Bulgarian Empire and height of Medieval Byzantine power.


989/990: Russia (Kievan Rus) converted to Orthodox Christianity

c.900-1000: Viking sagas
ELEVENTH CENTURY CE: Investiture Controversy, First Crusade
c.1000: Seljuk Turks, Muslim converts from Central Asia, conquer Iran
c.1000-1150:Romanesque art and architecture
c.1020: Lady Murasaki of Japan writes The Tale of Genji
1025-1067: Decline of Byzantine military and naval power
c.1050: Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. First recorded troubadour and trobairitz poems
1054: Schism between Eastern Orthodox and Western (Catholic) churches (to 1966)
1055: Seljuk Turks capture Baghdad, reduce Caliph to powerless figurehead
1056-1106: Reign of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. Investiture Controversy begins
c.1060-1150:Baptistery of San Giovanni (St. John) at Florence
1060s-1071:Papacy frees itself from imperial control, allies with Normans vs. Empire.
1066: William of Normandy defeats King Harold at Hastings, conquers England
1071: Battle of Manzikert: Defeat of Byzantine Emperor Romanus IV (1067-1071)

by Seljuk Turks; their expansion into Asia. Normans conquer Byzantine Italy


1073-1088: Pope Gregory VII in conflict with Henry IV opposes lay investiture, asserts

authority over emperor and excommunicates him


1077: At Canossa, Henry IV begs forgiveness from Pope, but soon breaks promises
1079-1142: Pierre (Peter) Abelard, French philosopher and teacher
1081-1118: Reign of Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus, who defeats Normans,

takes coastal areas of Asia Minor from Seljuks, and asks the Pope for aid.


1082: Alexius I grants trade privileges to Venice. Rise of Venetian power in East
1086: Domesday Book in England
1095: Pope Urban II preaches the First Crusade at Council of Clermont

1097: Crusaders cross to Asia after conflicts with Byzantines, mutual mistrust grows.
1098: Crusaders take Antioch and Edessa, and keep them in defiance of Byzantium.

Cistercian order founded. Chanson de Roland (Song of Roland)



1099: Crusaders capture and sack Jerusalem, create Kingdom of Jerusalem

TWELFTH CENTURY CE: The Medieval Renaissance of the Twelfth Century
c.1100-1200:Italian city-states of Venice and Genoa dominate Eastern Mediterranean.

Rise of Universities. Chansons de Geste. Spanish epic El Cid


c.1100-1194:Gothic architecture begins in the West
c.1120-1135: Cathedral Church of Autun, Gislebertus’ “Last Judgment,” (c. 1130-1135)
1122: Concordat of Worms, compromise that ends investiture controversy
1126-1198: Muslim philosopher Averroes
1136: Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) becomes Abbess
1141: Gratian’s Decretum, official collection of Canon (Church) Law. Hildegard of

Bingen has her first vision



1144: Fall of Edessa to Muslims, start of Muslim military response to Crusades
c.1145-1250: Age of the Great Cathedrals
1146-1148: Second Crusade fails to capture Damascus
c.1147: Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain. Abbot Suger

redesigns St. Denis in Paris


1148: Princess Anna Comnena’s (daughter of Emperor Alexius I) Alexiad
c.1150-1170:Rise of Vernacular literature. Revival of drama: Church Mystery Plays
1152: Henry II of England marries Eleanor of Aquitaine. Angevin Empire in France
c.1160: Marie de France active
1170: Chretien de Troyes active 1170s. Murder of St.Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, by agents of Henry II
1174-1193: Reign of Salah-ad-Din (Saladin) who unites Islam against Crusaders
1176: Lombard League (Italian city-states) defeats Holy Roman Emperor Frederick

I Barbarossa (1152-1190) at Legnano. Decline of Imperial power in Italy.

Seljuk Turks defeat Byzantines at Myriokephalon, decline of Byzantine power
1180-1223:Reign of Philip II Augustus of France, who reconquers Angevin territory
1182-1226:Saint Francis of Assisi
1187: Saladin captures Jerusalem from the Crusaders
1188-1333: Kamakura Shogunate in Japan
1189-1192: Third Crusade (Crusade of Kings: Holy Roman Emperor, French, English).

French and English quarrel. Richard I of England, left in command, wins

victories but fails to recapture Jerusalem. Peace made with Saladin
1194: Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI of Hohenstaufen conquers Norman Kingdom

of Sicily. Beginning of struggle between Papacy and Hohenstaufen


c.1194-1450: High Gothic Art and Architecture
1198-1216: Reign of Pope Innocent III, height of power of Medieval Papacy
1199-1216: Reign of King John of England, loss of Angevin Empire in France
THIRTEENTH CENTURY CE: End of Crusades, Victory of Papacy over Empire
c.1200 The Nibelungenlied, Parsifal, Tristan and Iseult
1202-1204:Fourth Crusade comes under Venetian control, sacks Constantinople
1204-1212:Crusaders and Venice partition Byzantine Empire. Byzantine states in exile

formed at Nicaea and Epirus



1206-1227:Reign of Genghis Khan, who creates Mongol Empire
1208-1229:Albigensian Crusade against heresy in southern France
1212-1250:Reign of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen , who revives

imperial power in Italy. Final conflict of Empire and Papacy



c.1215: St. Dominic (1170-1221) founds Dominican order of monks to fight heresy
1215: King John of England (1199-1216) forced by barons to sign the Magna Carta
1223: St. Francis’ (1182-1226) Rule accepted by Papacy, Franciscan order founded

1228-1229: Sixth Crusade. Excommunicated Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II of

Hohenstaufen recovers Jerusalem for Crusaders by negotiation


c.1230-1450: African Empire of Mali
1236: Christians capture Muslim city of Cordova in Spain
c.1237-1275: Roman de la Rose
1237-1240: Mongols conquer Russia
c.1240-1250: Beginnings of parliamentary government in England
1240-1302: Cimabue, Florentine painter
1244: Muslim Mamluks of Egypt capture Jerusalem from Crusaders
1248: Christians capture Seville, reduce Muslim rule in Spain to Granada
1248-1254: Seventh Crusade: Louis IX of France fails in his attack on Egypt
c.1250: Rise of wool trade of Flanders
1258: Mongols sack Baghdad, kill Caliph. End of the Abbasid Caliphate
1260: Mamluks defeat Mongol invasion of Egypt
1260-1294: Reign of Kublai Khan, Mongols complete conquest of China
1261: Nicaean Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus (1258-1282) recaptures

Constantinople from Crusaders and revives Byzantine Empire


c.1265-1292/3:Marco Polo visits China, writes his Travels
c.1267-1273: Saint Thomas Aquinas writes the Summa Theologica
1268: Final victory of Papacy over the Hohenstaufen emperors
1268-1291: Mamluks capture Antioch (1268) and last Crusader cities in Palestine.
1294-1303: Reign of Pope Boniface VIII, conflict with King Philip IV the Fair of France
FOURTEENTH CENTURY CE: The Plague or Black Death
c.1300: Osmanli (Ottoman) Turks rise to power in Asia Minor.
1304-74: Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch)
1305-1306: Giotto di Bondone’s Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel frescoes, Padua
1305-1378: Papacy at Avignon in France
1308-1311: Duccio di Buoninsegna’s “Maesta” Altarpiece at Siena
1310-1313: Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII in Italy fails to restore imperial power
c.1320: Use of the cannon in warfare, beginning of end of castles as fortresses

1321: Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy)
1336-1568: Ashikaga (Muromachi) Shogunate in Japan
1337-1453: Hundred Years’ War between England and France
1338-1340: Pietro Lorenzetti’s “Allegory of Good and Bad Government” at Siena
1343-1400: Geoffrey Chaucer
1347-1350: Black Death or Plague in Europe
1348-1353: Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron
1350-1365:Ottoman Turks conquer Byzantine territory in Asia Minor, cross into Europe

and begin conquest of Balkans. Byzantine Empire reduced to a vassal state



c.1350-1600: Songhay Empire in Africa
c.1366-1440: Rise of Flemish Art
c.1367-1519:Aztec Empire in Mexico
1368-1644: Ming Dynasty in China, ends Mongol rule
c.1370-1390: Piers Plowman
1375: Hanseatic League dominates trade of Baltic Sea
1378-1414: Great Schism: Rival Popes at Rome and Avignon
c.1380: John Wycliffe translates the Bible into English
1380: Venice defeats Genoa, dominates Mediterranean trade
1381: Peasants’ Revolt
c.1386: Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales begun
c.1390-1402: Christine de Pisan’s City of Women, Treasure of the City of Ladies
1395-1402: Giangaleazzo Visconti of Milan attempts conquest of Italy
1396: Ottoman Turks defeat Crusaders at Nicopolis
1397: Medici bank founded at Florence
FIFTEENTH CENTURY CE:The Italian Renaissance
c.1401: Leonardo Bruni popularizes the term “Humanitas” or Humanism
c.1405-1471: Leon Battista Alberti, author of On Architecture , On Painting
1412-1431: St. Joan of Arc defeats the English, restores French monarchy
1413-1416: Limbourg brothers’ “Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berri”
1414: Council of Constance ends Great Schism, Papacy returns to Rome
1415: Jan Hus burnt at the stake for heresy
1420-1436: Filippo Brunelleschi’s Dome, Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore at Florence
c.1425-1442: Donatello’s ‘David”: first major classical nude sculpture of the Renaissance
c.1427: Masaccio’s “The Tribute Money” and Brancacci Chapel frescoes at Florence
c.1434-1477: Duchy of Burgundy at height of its power under Valois Dukes
1434-1494: Medici rule at Florence
c.1435: Lorenzo Ghiberti’s “Gates of Paradise” doors of Baptistery at Florence
1438-1439: Council of Florence. Temporary union of Orthodox and Catholic churches
1438-1538: Inca Empire in South America
1438-1806: House of Habsburg rules remains of Holy Roman Empire
1452-1519: Leonardo Da Vinci, painter, inventor, scientist
c.1453: Gutenberg and others (Furst, Schaffer) invent Moveable Type Printing
1453: Ottoman Turks conquer Constantinople, end East Roman (Byzantine) Empire

1454: Peace of Lodi temporarily establishes peace among Italian states
c.1455: Piero della Francesca’s frescoes for San Francesco, Arezzo
1455-1485:Wars of the Roses in England, civil war between Lancaster and York families
1458-1464:Reign of Humanist Pope Pius II (Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini)
1461: End of the Hundred Years’ War
1461-1483:Reign of King Louis IX of France, who defeats and conquers Burgundy
1462: Marsilio Ficino founds Platonic Academy at Florence
1465: First printed books in Italy
1478: Spanish Inquisition established
1478-1492: Reign of Lorenzo il Magnifico (‘The Magnificent”) de Medici at Florence
1479-1516: Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella who unite Spanish monarchy
1480: Sandro Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”
1480: Ivan III of Moscow is crowned Tsar (Emperor, Caesar) of Russia
1484: William Caxton prints Malory’s Morte d’Arthur. Durer’s “Self Portrait”
1485-1509:Reign of Henry VII, who establishes Tudor dynasty (1485-1603) in England
1486: Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s Oration (“On the Dignity of Man”)
1488: Bartolomeu Diaz rounds the Cape of Good Hope in Africa
1492: Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain conquer Granada, last Muslim state in Spain

Christopher Columbus voyages to the New World


1492-1503:Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) and his son Cesare Borgia (Duke

Valentino) attempt conquest of Italy


1494: French King Charles VIII invades Italy, drives Medici out of Florence

Treaty of Tordesillas divides world between Spain and Portugal



1494-1497:Dominican preacher Girolamo Savonarola controls Florence
c.1495-1498: Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper”
1497-1499: Vasco da Gama’s voyage from Portugal to India and back via Africa
1499: King Louis XII of France invades Italy


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