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From 1AD to Crusader times



Trade - an international perspective

This Merchants and Bankers Listings website is years old and is now (from 2009) undergoing a marked identity change. Its timeline material on economic history (for 1560-1930) is being moved to a website managed by Ken Cozens and Dan Byrnes, The Merchant Networks Project. This will empty many of this website's pages which have always been in series. In due course, Merchants and Bankers Listings will carry information from the Crusades on the early development of what became “capitalism” in Europe to 1560 or so. As well as a conglomeration of data on modern developments, mostly on modern/technical industry, computing, and for the future, today's climate change problems. The editor's view is that in the context of climate change, the views of Merchants and Bankers (and Economists), the keepers of matters economic, are due for a considerable shake-up. If this website can encourage the shake-up, and help inform it reliably, well and good. -Ed


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A penny for a thought?

The Merchant Networks Project
Merchant Networks Project logo by Lou Farina

The history websites on this domain now have a companion website on a new domain, at Merchant Networks Project produced by Dan Byrnes and Ken Cozens (of London).

This website (it is hoped) will become a major exercise in economic and maritime history, with some attention to Sydney, Australia.

Since your webmaster comes from Tamworth, NSW, Australia, a very commercially-minded town, this website just for amusement' sake will begin with a story on the origins of the English Penny!
When Offa, King of Mercia, (who died c.796AD), became ruler of Mercia, a Saxon kingdom, he made his capital at Tamworth on the River Tame, by way of keeping a fortified enclosure (a "worth") there - which became known as Tame-worth. Offa established a Mint there and became the first to produce the coin known as the penny. Long later, Tamworth in NSW, Australia was named for Tamworth, England.
This little gem comes from an article by Jim Hobden, 'The Naming of Tamworth', p. 22 of Centenary Edition, Journal of Tamworth Historical Society (NSW Australia), Vol. IV, No. 1, March 1976.


Ancient economic history

Wondering about ancient economic history? Is there such a thing? Is it useful? Here are some remarks from Keith Hopkins... "The ancient economy is an academic battleground. The contestants campaign under various colours - apologists, marxists, modernizers, primitivists. Since academics are individuals, well-disciplined but not all marching to the same music, these categories are neither mutually exclusive nor internally united. Even within schools, there are sects. Besides, new strategies, new alliances, new compromises are repeatedly devised. Fresh contingents of scholars arrive; new tactics (such as under-water archaeology) are developed.

The disputed territory is enormous. In space, it covers the whole of the Mediterranean basin and beyond, northwards to Britain, and eastwards to the Black Sea and the Red Sea. In time, our period runs roughly from the eighth century BC to the fifth century AD when the Roman Empire in the West collapsed. The other dimensions of the ancient economy, indeed its very existence as an autonomous entity, are disputed. As in all battles, there are innocent bystanders, who do not want to get involved, such as the conventional political historians, or the philologically oriented sub-specialists of ancient history - epigraphers, papyrologists, pot-cataloguers.

Their pacifism (in this battle) has its defensive ideology and rhetoric; their focus, or so they claim, is on 'the evidence', the 'facts', and on 'what really happened'. Finally, there are the non-combatant workers, such as the field archaeologists, who continually mine for ancient artefacts, and so provide the standing armies of scholars with their only new weapons. But no new weapon is lethal; and none of the battles is decisive. The war continues. Its underlying causes? They are difficult to discover. But professional love of polemic, deep differences in beliefs and values, and irredeemiable ignorance about the classical world all contribute"...


From the introduction by Keith Hopkins to..
Peter Garnsey, Keith Hopkins and C. R. Whittaker, (Eds.), Trade in the Ancient Economy. London, Chatto and Windus/Hogarth Press, 1983.

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Views on Rome: "The city of Rome has never been an important center of trade... Perhaps no major city in Western history has had so little commercial and economic importance as has ancient, medieval and modern Rome... (William I. Davisson and James E. Harper.)
Also, "From the time Rome became an Imperial city until today she has been a parasite city, living on gifts, rents, taxes, tribute. That does not make Rome any less a city, only a different kind of city from Genoa." (Sir Moses I. Finley)

Geographer Strabo publishes his great work of compilation.

100AD: Rome and China: By about 100AD, China begins to appear on Roman maps. Syrian merchants by now are familiar with the Silk routes between Mediterranean and the Far East. (Source: James/Thorpe).

C200AD, Chinese discover use of the ship rudder, 1000 years before Europeans discovered it.

Second Century AD: Claudius Ptolemy, the second-century Egyptian astronomer, had hypothesized that a Terra Australis Incognita must lie somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, to balance the known land masses of the northern hemisphere. (See McIntyre, Secret Discovery of Australia, pp. 92ff.)

202AD-220AD, Chinese doctors of the Han dynasty appear to be familiar with the idea of the circulation of the blood in human and animal bodies. About this time, Chinese doctors seemed also aware of human hormones and could distill them from urine for use regarding disorders of sexuality.

271AD: Early form of the compass is used in China.

297AD: Use in China of aluminium belt ornaments found in a military commander's grave. Aluminium with admixture of 10 per cent copper and 5 per cent manganese. Not re-discovered till 1956. It had been thought that aluminium was not isolated till 1827 and not mass-produced till 1889. Historian of Chinese science, Joseph Needham, thought an alchemist discovered how to smelt aluminium by accident and the secret died with him.

300AD: China: By 300AD appears in China, Invention of "the south-pointing carriage". A figure on the carriage always points south no matter which way the carriage is positioned. This machine used complicated gears. The carriage is displayed at the Science Museum, London. "The world's first cybernetic machine". (Source: James/Thorpe)

300-399AD: Appearance of people of Indonesian origins in Madagascar, off the south-east of Africa.

400AD: Opium thebaicum, from the Egyptian fields at Thebes, is first introduced to China by Arab traders.
From website based on book: Opium: A History, by Martin Booth Simon and Schuster, Ltd., 1996. e-mail info@opioids.com

410AD: Rome abandons its British colonies. (Did Romans remaining in Britain become "dark age chieftains"?)

419AD: Pre-Roman conquest of Gaul, capital of Visigoths from 419AD, later conquered by the Carolingians of Aquitaine.

535AD: Documentary screened by SBS TV in Australia on 14 January 2001.
Two-part documentary: A British researcher becomes fascinated by tree-ring evidence of dramatic climatic change between 535-542 AD and tries to find explanations. He rejects scenarios such as comets or asteroid bombardment, and comes up with a view on a massive eruption that produces enough volcanic ash to pollute the entire globe's atmosphere for decades and from which natural systems took over a century to recover. Other interesting events are occurring worldwide, simultaneously, and he tries to find causal connections. They range from other climatic disasters (floods, droughts, the abandonment of a major city in the Central Mexican plains etc.), to the collapse of the remains of the Roman empire and the overrunning of Europe by barbarians. This also coincided with an outbreak of bubonic plague in Europe that was introduced to Britain via contact of Western Britons with merchant mariners. The eastern Anglo-Saxons (who were dealing mainly with Northern Europe and Scandinavia) were not as affected and were able to finally conquer the last of the Gaelic Britons. (Does the death of King Arthur stem from this time?) Also, literary evidence and legends refers to darkness, cold, winter, almost-apocalypse. This series of events (which could be closely linked) overturned the 'old-world', the ancient world, and provided a transition to the forerunner of the modern world we now have. The researcher's explanations did appear plausible. He threw some religion in here too - for instance, the ancestors of Mohammed moved from Yemen (then the richest, most fertile part of the Arabian peninsula) where the Marib Dam was fatally breached and not repaired again - hence drought and fleeing of the population - to the area around Mecca. Later with Mohammed came the emergence of Islam. The timing of this coincides with the other events. One conclusion: The ability of natural forces to change the courses of history needs more attention from historians.
Submitted by Brian Bailey in January 2001. The material below is adapted from Historians' History of the World, 1907., p. 106ff of Volume 8. Ignoring the previous history of various kingdoms, we find that the sovereignty of the Yemenis, a long dynasty, was overthrown by an Abyssinian invasion in 529AD, but this lasted till only 603, when the area became a dependency of the Persian Empire. There is an unclear legend of a great flood ("flood of Arem"), which had disturbed rules and politics, in about the First Christian Century. We are concerned with the Koreish, who produced the Prophet, Mohammed. About the Fifth Christian Century arose a Mustareb tribal leader named Kolaib, from the tribe of Rabiah. He revolted against "tax gatherers", and made a general revolt in Nejd. There followed the Battle of Hazat in 500AD, and he broke Yemen from control of Northern Arabia. Kolaib inspired a general confederacy, but was assassinated. The Mustareb tribe later had many wars, and gained control of the kingdom of Kindeh, and then Yemen, Irak and Ghassan. There then arose a potent element, the Fihr or Koreish, of Mustareb descent, who established themselves in Hedjaz, near Mecca, which already was a religious and commercial centre. The Koreish contrived to become guardians of the Kaaba, a square stone shrine of unknown antiquity, at Mecca. Arabs would then bring yearly offerings to the Kaaba, or, make pilgrimages. The keys of this consecrated building were in the hands of the Koreish, and they fended off their pagan competitors and the invading Christian Abyssinians of 570AD who wished to seize the keys.

Mecca was also close to sea-port trade. Also, a day's journey from Mecca was Okad, a yearly gathering place for Arabs of all varieties, for annual ceremonies, pilgrimage, horse races, athletic games, poetry recitals, all forms of amusements, a kind of national exhibition. Questions of peace and war, justice and revenge, were also settled. The Koreish were also powerful in this environment. The Koreish believed they were descended from Ishmael, son of Abraham. (Yemenites appear to be descended from "the children of Joktan, the son of Eber of the Old Testament). Mohammed the later Prophet was born in 570AD. In 529, Aryat, an agent of the King of Abyssinia, landed at Aden with an army of 70,000 men to avenge Christians, co-religionists, who had been persecuted by the king of Yemen, Dhu-Nowas, who followed the Jewish code. Dhu-Nowas perished. The Ethiopian conquerors remained in power, and by 570 were near Mecca, but were repulsed from Mecca. Mohammed's successes date from 622AD. The Jewish faith had penetrated into Arabian areas by about 225-310, and in 495AD.

The Himyarites on the coast of the Persian Gulf practised Sabaism or Magianism. The Ghassanides preached Christianity from about 330 to some Arab tribes. Idolatry however remained the predominant religion, although it might be mixed with recognition of one supreme God, Allah. The Kaaba was regarded as the chief shrine, a gift from God to indicate that Arabs were privileged beyond other peoples. It was the oratory of Abraham and Ishmael, the house of Allah. Abdul-Muttalib, son of Hashim, born in 497, exercised supreme authority in Mecca, from 520-579. He fathered 18 children, and beat off the Abyssinians. Muttalib believed he needed to sacrifice one of his sons, in 569, before one of the idols of the Kaaba, son Abdallah. As the sacrifice was to be made, some Koreish chiefs rose in protest, and the boy was replaced by 100 camels as a price of blood.
A few days later Abdallah married Amina, daughter of Wahb, chief of the Zohri family, and so was born Mohammed, about August, 570. (Historian's History of the World, Vol. 8, p. 113)


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537AD: Italy, Venice: Cassiodorus' letter to the lagoon-dwellers.

547AD: Geography: Writings of Cosmas Indicopleustes

554: Arabia: Dam of Ma'rib breaks, causing downturn in agricultural production.

568AD: Venice, Italy: The original "natives" of the area now called Venice were joined by city refugees from the time of the Lombard invasion of Italy, about 568AD. This movement of people later gave rise to an exaggerated sense of the importance of genealogy amongst the Venetians, with the focus of family origin being "Rome". Gradually, "Venice" congealed with a new site and a revised social structure. Rivals supported by the Lombards also attempted to influence the new social and working life of the "Venetians". The first Doge, after the area was nominally ruled from Ravenna, may have been dignified by the Byzantine Emperor. After the Lombards captured Ravenna in 751, Venice remained tied to the Byzantines. Venice opened the Levant to Europe generally, but it also faced the Moslem trading empire stretching from Syria to North Africa and Spain. Lombards were recognised in Venice, they could engage in mainland trade, but not overseas (seagoing) trades. Part of Venice's overseas trade (from the Ninth Century) was in slaves (pagans, Christian heretics, and infidels), and timber export. (Even by the Sixth Century, pagan Angles and Saxons were found in Italian slave markets; in the Ninth and Tenth centuries, the not-yet-converted Slavs, perhaps sold to the Saracens, made a supply of labour.) From before 1000AD, the fame of Venice was built partly on supplying slaves and timber. Naturally, the city's shipbuilding industry grew.

568AD: Italy: Lombards invade Italy.

570AD: Birth of Mohammed, of a noble Koreish family, at Mecca. The Koreish tribe had become prominent since about 500AD, amongst the rival peoples of the Arab Mustareb Kingdoms. Traditions had it that the Koreish had their origin with Ishmael, of the line of Abraham. They became the custodians of the sacred Kaaba (a black stone, possibly meteorite, the origins of which are seldom noted, let alone described), which gave them pre-eminence amongst other tribes. By about 600+AD, the Koreish and their Mustareb allies were the most powerful confederacy in Arabia. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

605-610AD: The years of deep meditation for Mohammed, the Prophet of Allah. Being developed are the major principles of Islam. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

610AD: For Mohammed, the Prophet, the year of his call. He begins to make converts. But opposition to his views increased amongst the Meccans, till in 622 he fled with followers to Medina. The Hegira. This flight of 622 begins the Mohammedan era. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

622-623AD: Mecca-Medina: Mohammed with followers flees opposition in Mecca and go to Medina. The first mosque is built. Mohammed becomes a warrior. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)


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624AD: Arabia; First battle for the faith with the Meccans at Bedr. Victory of Mohammed.

625AD: Arabia, Battle of Ohod, victory of the Meccans.

627AD: Arabia, War of the Fosse. The Koreish make terms with Mohammed.

628AD: Mohammedan war against the Jews of Khaibar.

629AD: Arabia, Mohammedan war against the Greek subjects in Arabia.

629AD: Emperor Heraclius in Constantinople receives embassies from as far away as France and India, and surprisingly, also a letter (as an apocryphal legend) from an Arabian chieftain and a Prophet of God, Mohammed, suggesting that he join a new faith. The revolution of Islam is poised to change the world. Mohammed is a poor-relation member of a great clan of Mecca, the Qoraishites. Runciman in his first volume on the Crusades says that prior to Mohammed's arrival, there had existed a non-Jewish tradition of monotheism in the Middle East, the hanif tradition.

630AD: Arabia: Mohammed moves against Mecca and conquers it. War with the Hawazin. Rapid spread of Islam. The Ka'aba in Mecca, a repository of idols, is cleansed of idols and becomes a building deeply revered by Moslems.

632AD: Death of Mohammed the Prophet of God. The Prophet's successor is his father-in-law, Abu Bakr (Abu Bekr) who is chosen Caliph, or representative, and pursues an expansionist policy. Persians are expelled from Bahrein. An army under Khalid sets out against the Byzantine Empire. An Arab army moves up the south coast of Palestine and takes Gaza. Abu Bakr reduces a revolt in Nejd and Yemen, and defends Medina. Omar later succeeds Abu Bakr who died 634AD. In 635 the Arabs take Damascus. In 636 is a decisive victory against Christians, partly due to discontent amongst Christian soldiers who adopt Islam. Emperor Heraclius fears it is a punishment from God for his incestuous marriage with his niece Martina. (Some items from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

634AD: Moslem conquest of Yemen.

635AD: Moslem capture of Damascus. by 636 are added conquests of Emesa, Heliopolis, Chalcis, Beroae, Edessa, Battle of Yermuk. Heraclius abandons Syria to the Moslems.

636AD: Kingdom of Ghassan (300-636AD): Founded about 300AD by Thalaba, the first to take the name of king. His successors rule until 636, when Djabala VI surrenders to the Mohammedans.

637AD: Arabia - Middle East, Battle of Cadesia, or Kadisiya, Moslem victory over the Persians. Omar captures Jerusalem, then Aleppo and Antioch. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

637AD and later: Moslem missionary expansionism had meant that Moslems had intervened at Jerusalem from 637AD. Moslems, partly due to their existing maritime skills, were actually invited into Portugal to help with problems by 711. Later they occupied Toledo. They were on Crete by 826, taking the island from the Byzantines, another obviously maritime adventure. Moslems had intervened in Sind (India) by the early Eighth Century, but they did not dominate Northern India till the Eleventh Century. (As the Moghuls they established the Delphi Sultanate by 1206).

638AD: Mesopotamia is conquered by Islam who also take Tarsus and Diar-Bekr.

638AD: Edinburgh in Scotland is in the hands of the English.

639AD: Invasion of Egypt by Moslem, Amru.

640AD: The Arabs invade Egypt and burn the library of Alexandria (a possible myth of blame, see reports on problems caused by Christians). However, the Arabs preserved the use of engineering skills known in Egypt at the time, while Europe remained ignorant. (Source: James/Thorpe).

To 640AD: Arab forces take Palestinian cities such as Dara, Caesarea, Antioch, the isthmus of Suez. Iraq was taken by 637AD. IN 639, Egypt was invaded by Moslem Arabs. in 641, Babylon (Old Cairo) was taken. Alexandria was recaptured in 645. By 700AD, Roman Africa was under Moslem control.

641AD: Islam: Battle of Nehavend, great victory for Islam over Persians, and many Persian nobility come to terms with Islam. Yezdegerd the king flees to a remote corner and holds a vestige of power till about 651-652. Alexandria is captured. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., pp. 32ff.)

644AD: Islam: Death of Omar succeeded by Othman, a weak ruler who allows Islamic power to fall into the hands of the Koreish nobility.

647AD: Islam: Invasion of Africa by Abdallah, Arabs expel the Romans.


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649AD: Islam: Invasion of Cyprus in 649, Conquest of Aradus in 650, Conquest of Armenia in 652, Conquest of Rhodes in 654, in 655 is defeat of emperor Constans by Mohammedans in naval battle off Mt Phoenix in Lycia.

655AD: Defeat and death of the Mercian ruler, Penda, in England.

656AD: Murder of Othman by a party in opposition to growing worldliness of Islam. Leader of the opposition, and son-in-law of Mohammed the Prophet, is Ali, who succeeds. Battle of the Camel. Moawiyah, governor of Syria, heads the opponents of Ali, and incites them to revenge. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

657AD: Ali invades northern Syria. Battle of Siffin. The theocratic faction rebels against Ali.

658AD: Islam: Decision of the Umpires, Ali and Moawiyah, the latter wins. Peace made with the Byzantine Empire. Egypt conquered for Moawiyah.

659: Islam: Moslem conquest of Egypt.

660AD: Islam: Truce between Ali and Moawiyah, the caliphate is divided into east and west.

661AD: Islam: Kharejite conspiracy to murder Ali, Moawiyah and Amru. Only Ali falls. Alis' son Hassan succeeds, but abdicates in favour of Moawiyah, who then heads a united caliphate. Opposition to him slowly reduces. The capital is moved to Damascus. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)


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662-663AD: Islam: Great invasion of Asia Minor. Death of Amru.

668AD: Islam: Islam advances to Chalcedon and holds Amorium for a time.

669AD: Islam: Great invasion of Sicily. In 670, foundation of Kairwan.

670AD: Moslem conquest of Kabul (Afghanistan).

673-677AD: Islam: Mohammedans besiege Constantinople but are driven off by Greek fire.

676AD: Islam: Yazid, son of Moawiyah, is appointed heir-apparent. Hereditary nomination becomes a precedent in Islam.

677AD: Siege of Constantinople.

678AD: Islam: 30 years' peace is made with Constantinople.

680AD: Islam: Death of Moawiyah, Yazid I succeeds, the Ali faction refuses recognition. Hosein, son of Ali and his company are slain. In 681, Abdallah ben Zobair proclaims himself Caliph.

C7thAD, approx: The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has a population of 200,000 foreign residents, including Arabs, Persians, Malays, Indians, Africans and Turks.

In C7th-8th, population of Europe shrinks to about 14-17 million people.
In C7th-8th, is underpopulation in Europe, and undercultivated lands lead to undernourishment. There are maybe 22 million Europeans in 950AD, or 42 million in 1000AD?

683AD, Islam: Rebellion and sack of Medina. The cause of Ibn Zobair grows. He has a rival court at Medina and rebuilds the Kaaba.

684AD: Islam: Death of Yazid, his weak son, Moawiyah II, reigns but a few months. Merwan is elected to succeed.
684AD: Vikings are active about 684 in Scotland, becoming the Earls - Jarls of Orkney and later dealing with the Canmore/Stuarts, by 1152; and dealing with some of the early Earls Caithness of Scotland.

685AD: Islam: Death of Merwan, his son Abdul-Malik, succeeds. Peace is made with the emperor Justinian II. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907.Vol. 8, , pp. 32ff.)

685-687AD: Islam: Rebellion of Mukhtar, who is defeated and slain.

688-725AD: King Ine reigns over the Saxons of England/Devon.

689AD: Abdul-Malik has Amru put to death.

691AD: Islam: In Jerusalem, The Dome of the Rock is completed for Caliph Abdul-Malik.

692AD: Islam: Death of Ibn Zobair. The Omayyad rule is recognised without dispute. In 692-693 the Mohammedans ravage Asia Minor and Armenia, but are compelled to accept peace.

697AD: Italy: Appearance of the first Doge of the Venetians.

697-698AD: Islam: Hassan invades Africa, takes Carthage. Last remnants of Roman Empire disappear from southern shores of the Mediterranean.

705AD: Islam: Death of Abdul-Malik, succession of his brother Walid I, earlier designated as heir to Caliphate. Schools are founded, public works undertaken, a culminating glory for the Omayyad. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

709AD: Islam: Conquest of Tyana.

711AD: Islam: Moorish Invasion of Spain at instigation of Julian, governor of Ceuta. Battle of Xerxes. Tarik destroyed the Visigothic Kingdom. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

711AD: Islam: Moslem forces occupy Spain. By 717, Moslem forces are trying to take Constantinople. Religion as never before became a means of securing a sense of personal identity, somewhat replacing senses of regionalism, nationalism, views on economic interest, cultural/racial traditions. (From Runciman on The First Crusade.) (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.) By 715, almost all the Iberian peninsula except for mountainous northern areas, is under Moslem control. Many emirs succeed each other. The Moslems move north into France but are repulsed by Charles Martel in 732.

712AD: Islam: Mohammedans take Antioch in Pisidia. Great success for Moslem generals Kotaiba and Muhammed b. Kasim in Asia.

715AD: Islam: Death of Walid and accession of Suleiman, the pre-designated heir.

716AD: Islam: Mohammedans invade Asia Minor, siege of Amorium, the town is relieved by Leo the Isaurian.

717AD: Islam: Siege of Pergamus, siege of Constantinople, death of Suleiman, the appointed heir Omar II, grandson of Merwan I, succeeds.

718AD: Islam: Repulse of the Mohammedans from Constantinople, in revenge the Caliph excludes all Christians from servants of the state. Omar's reign is not especially warlike. This marks the beginning of the Abbasid movement in favour of the descendants of Abbas, uncle of the Prophet, acquiring the Caliphate.

720AD: Islam: Death of Omar. Yazid II, son of Abdul-Malik, succeeds. Yazid B. Muhallab, who has been in disgrace for some years, makes a small army and takes Basra (Bassora).


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721AD: Islam: Death of Ibn Muhallab in battle. Mohammedans cross the Pyrenees and capture Narbonne, France, but are defeated at Toulouse, and they retire under Abd ar-Rahman.

724AD: Islam: Death of Yazid. His son Hisham, the appointed heir, succeeds,and is a severe and pious ruler.

725AD: Islam: Abbasid revolt at Balkh. Abbasid troubles continue.

726AD: Islam: Mohammedans invade Cappadocia.

731AD: circa: England: The Venerable Bede publishes his book, Ecclesiastical History of the English Peoples. Bede popularised the custom of dating events from the supposed birth date of Jesus Christ.

732AD: Battle of Tours in France.

734AD: Islam: Mohammedan invasion of Asia Minor.

737AD: Islam: Peace restored in the Abbasid faction.


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739AD: Islam: Byzantine victory at Acroinon. Death of Sid (Said) al-Battal.

743AD: Islam: Death of Hisham, succeeded by his nephew Walid II, whose debaucheries make him hated. Yazid, son of Walid I, assumes title of Caliph and is received at Damascus in absence of Walid.

744AD: Islam: Death of Walid in battle with his rival. Yazid III succeeds. Signs of disintegration appear. Abd ar-Rahman b. Muhammed declares himself independent in Africa. Revolt of Emessa over Walid's death. Merwan, Yazid's grandfather, attempts to obtain Caliphate. Yazid makes him governor of Mesopotamia. Death of Yazid after reign of six months, succeeded by his brother Ibrahim. Merwan marches against Damascus. Ibrahim flees after reign of two months. Merwan II is acknowledged as Caliph. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

746AD: Islam: Mohammedan invasion of Cyprus.

750AD and after, to 1500: Muslim/Arab traders expand via maritime activity to (Muslim communities in) China, India, South-East Asia, East Africa, Madagascar and The Philippines. They trade in spices, aromatic gums, dye woods, tortoiseshell, precious gems, textiles, silk, timber, horses, rice, coit, metals and pharmaceuticals. (Item from text by Paul Lunde, in magazine Saudi Aramco World, The Indian Ocean and Global Trade, issue July/August 2005)

750AD: Islam: As result of ferment in eastern part of the Empire, the Abbasid Abul-Abbas assumes title of Caliph. War between Omayyads and Abbasids. Battle of the Zab. Defeat of Merwan. Downfall of the Omayyad dynasty. Abul-Abbas is established in the Caliphate. He has all the Omayyad princes except Abd ar-Rahman b. Moawiyah, who escapes to Africa, put to death. Revolts arise due to his cruelty, but are suppressed. Abul-Abbas makes his residence at Anbar.

661-750AD: Umayyad Caliphate: Islam in general, rise of golden period of Arabic learning in astronomy, medicine, mathematics, optics, chemistry, philosophy and music.

751AD: Italy: The Lombard invaders capture Ravenna.


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754AD: Islam: Death of Abul-Abbas. He has designated Abu Jafar (Al-Mansur) his cousin as his successor. Abdallah b. Ali revolts, but is defeated at Nisibia. Several risings are suppressed. Revolt arises in Africa, which now is only nominally guided by the caliphs.

755AD: Islam: Mohammedans in Spain elect Abd ar-Rahman b. Moawiyah as caliph, ending years of disunity since 715 or so. Spain is lost to the Abbasids.

756AD: Islam: Foundation of the western Omayyad caliphate. The Omayyad Dynasty has dates 756-1031AD. In 756, Abd ar-Rahman I defeats the Abbaside emirs, and founds his kingdom at Cordova. His reign sees constant warfare, he has to suppress many revolts.

756-757AD: Islam: Invasion of Asia Minor, capture of Malatiya, defeat of the Byzantines in Cilicia. Seven years' truce with the emperor.

757-769AD: Offa is king of the Mercians in England. (Germanic peoples south of the Humber River.)

760AD: approx: China invented paper money 500 years before Marco Polo brought the idea of Europe. Europeans took 300 years to realise that printed money could be a substitute for coined money. China had hyperinflation, the first recorded case of it, in 1020AD, as war costs and imported made for a coin famine, and private banks over-reacted by printing paper money.

762AD: Islam: Baghdad made the capital of the Islamic Caliphate.

763AD: Islam: Muhammed Mahdi falls in battle after being proclaimed caliph. His brother Ibrahim also revolts and is killed in battle.

775AD: Islam: Death of Mansur, succeeded by his son, Muhammed, Al-Mahdi. He restores peace and improves internal conditions. Revolt of Hakim in Khorasan. Continued invasion of Asia Minor.

776AD: Islam: Destruction of Charlemagne's army at Roncesvalles, on its return from the invasion to restore Hosein to power in Spain.

780AD: Islam: Capture of Semaluos by Harun ar-Rashid. In Spain, capture of Saragossa, Hosein is taken and executed.

782AD: Islam: Renewal of war between Byzantines and Mohammedans. Victory for Byzantium in Cilicia. Harun ar-Rashid takes command. He marches to the Bosphorus, and compels empress Irene to pay annual tribute.

785AD: Islam: Rebellion of Mahdi's eldest son, Musa, because Harun is preferred as heir. Death of Mahdi on way to crush this rebellion. Mus takes the title Hadi and succeeds. Rising of Hosein b. Ali is suppressed.

786AD: Islam: Hadi attempts to exclude Harun from the caliphate, and is smothered at instigation of his mother. Harun ar-Rashid, the most celebrated of the caliphs, succeeds without opposition.

786AD: Islam in Spain: Suppression of the rebellion of Beni Yusuf.


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786-820AD: Serious Norwegian Viking raids from three ships from the north, down the east and west coasts of Britain, the Dorset coast. See archaeological finds at Jarlshof in Shetland. Also, the Jarls (Earls) of Orkney. In the time of the Wessex King Brihtric (786-802).

788AD: Islam: Spain, Death of Abd ar-Rahman. His son and appointed heir, Hisham I, succeeds. He proclaims a holy war and finishes the mosque of Cordova.

789AD: Islam: Arabs invade Rumania.

792-793AD: Islam: Suppression of the party formed by Yahya b. Abdallah.

793AD: Vikings, England: Lindisfarne Monastery, A Norwegian Viking raiding party descends, it is said, accompanied by high winds, lightning and fiery dragons in the sky, on Holy Island, off the Northumbrian Coast. Events widely regarded as beginning of "Viking Age".

792AD: Moslem invasion of Southern France.

794AD: Vikings, England: A Viking raid on a Northumbrian monastery, possible at Jarrow, is thwarted. (Dixon, Barbarian Europe, p. 117.) In 795, Vikings raid the western sea, Iona, an island off the Irish coast.

795AD: First recording Viking attack on Ireland, at Lambey. Norsemen had sailed south from Skye in Scotland. They are probably Norwegians.

796AD: Islam: Spain, Death of Hisham, succeeded by his son Al-Hakim, who suppresses his rebellious uncle.

797-798AD: Islam: Victories for Byzantines over Islam till empress Irene sues for peace. The Khazars are driven out of Armenia. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

798AD: By about now, Norwegian Vikings are attacking the coasts of Aquitaine, France.

799AD: Further Viking raids on Aquitaine coast, France.

800-810AD: Vikings: King of the Danes and an affront to the Franks is King Godfred 800-810.

800AD: Approx, Vikings, Denmark: Appearance of first Danish king, Godfred.

800AD: Islam: The Aglabite Dynasty is founded at Kairwan. In Spain, the Franks invade Catalonia and retake Barcelona from Moslem control.

800AD: Charles the Great is crowned Emperor in basilica of St Peter's, Rome, by Pope Leo III, on Christmas Day. Is this a sign that the barbarians are tamed?

800AD: Vikings: Norwegians begin to penetrate the Orkneys coastal area of Scotland, bothering the Picts. However, the Norwegians only penetrate on the mainland in the areas of Caithness and Ross, as shows in the history of the Earls of Caithness. About 800, Vikings also bother the Christian Celts of the Isle of Man. They tend to land on the north of the Isle of Man. Later the Vikings establish a system of government, the Tynwald.

801-802AD: Islam: Harun al-Rashid sends an embassy to Charlemagne.


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802AD: Islam: Byzantine emperor Nicephorus refuses further tribute payment to Islam. Harun invades Asia Minor devastatingly so Nicephorus sues for peace. He breaks the peace in 803 and the same process is repeated.

804-805AD: Islam: Rebellion in Khorasan.

806AD: Islam: Peace restored with Nicephorus after hostilities.

807AD: Islam: Spain, After continual disorder in Toledo, Al-Hakim massacres the chief citizens. Resistance is abandoned.

808AD: Islam: Edrisite Dynasty founded at Fez.

809AD: Islam: Death of Harun on way to quell disturbances in Khorasan. Arts and sciences flourish during his reign. His son Emin succeeds, but has to cope with rebellion from his brother Mamun, who gradually wins all the provinces except Baghdad to his side.

813AD: Islam: Capture and assassination of Emin. Mamun is proclaimed at Baghdad. Civil war continues.

815AD: Islam: Spain, Rising in Cordova against Moslems put down with great cruelty. Exile of the inhabitants who go to Africa.

817AD: Islam: Mamun appoints Musa b. Ali to the throne. The people of Baghdad declare Mamun deposed and elect his uncle Ibrahim as Caliph. Sudden death of Musa. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

820AD: Vikings, France: Viking attacks on the coast of Flanders and at the mouth of the Seine River, driven off successfully. (A fleet from "Nordmannia".)

820AD: Islam: Appointment of Tahir as governor of Khorasan, where his descendants rule until 872. (Sometimes called Tahirite Dynasty).

821AD: Islam: Spain, Death of Ak-Hakim, succeeded by his son Abd ar-Rahman II.

823AD: Islam: Spain, Sancho captures Viguera. Death of Ordono enables Abd ar-Rahman to complete work of internal organisation.

823AD: Islam: Spain, A band of Cordovan exiles from Alexandria conquer Crete. The king defeats his great-uncle, Abdallah.

825AD: If not 30 years earlier, Iceland, Irish monks in search of solitude have sailed to Iceland and back. They call Iceland, "Thule". These monks left when the Viking settlers arrived by 860.

829AD-842: Movements of some people of Turkish tribal origin. From 829, a colony of Persians settles on the Vardar (Axios). They supply soldiers - Vardariots - for Byzantine Imperial Guard. In 1065 a colony of Uzes settled in Macedonia, its senior men becoming senators of Byzantium. Before 1081, colonies of Turks move to Achrida area. By 1123, a colony of Patzinaks settle in western Macedonia in time of Byzantine John II. By 1243, colonies of Romans are in Macedonia and Thrace, after areas had been depopulated by Crusaders and Bulgarians. (Finlay, History of Greece, p. 32).

829AD: Islam, Spain: Abd ar-Rahman assumes title of Caliph. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)

829AD: Islam: Euphemius invites the Mohammedans from Africa into Sicily. They take Palermo.

831AD: Islam: Mohammedans being long invasion of Asia Minor.

832AD: Islam: Capture of Heraclea. In Spain in 1832, Toledo rebels against Moslem rule and is suppressed again.


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833AD: Islam: Idea that the world is round: Death of Mamun. His reign is the Augustan Age of Arabian literature. Works on science and philosophy are translated from the Greek. Mamun orders the measurement of a degree of the earth's circumference. The designated heir, his brother Mutasim, succeeds. A party in favour of Manun's son, Abbas, is put down. Mutasin employs Turks in his bodyguard, but their excesses cause Baghdad to revolt. The Caliph removes the capital to Samarra. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

833AD: Islam: Death of Mamun. His reign is the Augustan Age of Arabian literature. Works on science and philosophy are translated from the Greek. Mamun orders the measurement of a degree of the earth's circumference. The designated heir, his brother Mutasim, succeeds. A party in favour of Manun's son, Abbas, is put down. Mutasin employs Turks in his bodyguard, but their excesses cause Baghdad to revolt. The Caliph removes the capital to Samarra.

834AD: Vikings: Following the surrender of Louis of France to Lothar, and Louis' subsequent imprisonment, a fleet of Danish Vikings sail up the Rhine River and sack the trading centre of Dorestad. For the next 40 years, Frisia is under Viking control. Dorestad loses its role as a trading centre. The first Danish Viking raids are against large trading centres of other people. Earlier raids had been conducted by Norwegians. In 834, a raid of Frisia. (Annals of St Bertin's).

835AD: Vikings: Danish Vikings devastate Sheppey on the north coast of Kent, England, which is under the hegemony of Egbert, King of Wessex (Cornwall to Kent). Egbert seems to have redirected Viking attacks to the coasts of France. Vikings also attack a monastery at Noirmoutier. (See work of the monk from there, Ermentarius).

836AD: Islam: Byzantine emperor Theophilus destroys Zapetra in his savage war with the Moslems.

838AD: Islam: Moslem victory at Dasymon. Amorium captured. Second revolt of Abbas, who dies in prison.

839AD: Moslem occupation of Southern Italy.

841AD: Islam: Death of Mutasim, his son Wathik succeeds. Caliphate begins to decline.

841AD: Vikings: Ireland: Norwegian Vikings fortify a base for their ships at Ath Cliath (The Black Pool, Dubh Linn), on the Liffey River - Dublin.

841AD: Vikings: Perhaps following a civil war between the sons of Louis of France, and maybe due to the use of Scandinavian mercenaries by both sides, Vikings send a fleet up the Seine River and sack Rouen. In 842, a Viking fleet sacked the usefully-trading port of Quentavic near Boulogne.

842AD: Norwegian Vikings visit the Loire area, France.

843AD: Scotland, King Kenneth McAlpin brings Picts and Scots into a political union, sometimes known as Scotland, more often by the Roman name of Albany.

843AD: Vikings, France: A Viking fleet attacks the town of Nantes on the Loire River, south of Paris and the Seine River. Ominously in 843, Vikings, the earlier raiders of Nantes, establish their first permanent fortified base from which they can terrorise the French coast, at Noirmoutier, an island at the mouth of the Loire River, as a Frankish historian noted, "as if they meant to stay forever".

845AD: Vikings, France: A Viking fleet of up to 600 ships is sent to burn Hamburg by King Horek. In 845, a Viking fleet of up to 120 ships sails up the Seine River, commanded by Ragnar, perhaps a relative of the Friesian chiefs and of the Danish royal family, past Rouen, taking captives, pillaging monasteries and towns on either river bank. On Easter Day 845 Vikings sacked Paris. They took away their booty plus a protection-money from King Louis (danegeld), tribute to go away. In 845, A Danish Viking, Ragnar, enters the Seine with 120 ships, probably legendary Ragnar loobrok, Ragnar Hairy-Breeks. Confronted by Charles the Bald. Ragnar hanged 111 prisoners in front of the Frankish army. Charles the Bald paid him 7000 pounds of silver, protection money, to depart. Later, Viking fleets sail up the Gironde and Garonne to ravage Aquitaine and Bordeaux. Spain and Portugal are attacked. The Vikings with an attack on Seville on the River Guadalquivir lost a thousand in battle and had 400 taken prisoner and hanged. In 845 a notable Viking pagan, Thorgils, is captured by his enemies and drowned.

845AD: Islam: Truce with Byzantine empress, Theodora.

846AD: A fleet of Moslem pirates seizes Ostia and besieges Rome. St Peter's and St Paul's are sacked. Carolingian power in Italy seems defeated.

846AD: Islam: Moslem forces sack Rome.

847AD: Islam: Death of Wathik. State officials elect his son Mohammed to succeed him, but change their mind and appoint his brother Mutawakkil. He is noted for atrocious cruelty and persecutes Jews and Christians.

C848AD: As part of the story of the Counts of Barcelona. Sunifred (Borell), a Count of Barcelona, rebels against the rulers of Septimania (Southern France-North-eastern Spain) - as led by Bernard Plantvelue, a relative of Charlemagne. Sunifred, who became a Count Barcelona after the killing in 844 of Bernard (Plantvelue), in 848-849 is killed in a counter-attack by a Duke of Aquitaine. Sunifred is succeeded as Count Barcelona by his son Wilfrid I. (Quifre "The Hairy").

850AD: Circa: Vikings: Probable date of building of a medium-sized ship, the Viking "Gokstad ship" later found in a funerary mound containing a dead king (plus slaughtered animals), in Norway in 1880, near Sandefjord, western side of Oslo Fjord..

850AD: Probable beginning of Viking settlement in Outer Hebrides of Scotland, probably with violence. The later leader seems to be Thorffin the Mighty, who inherited an Orkney earldom at the age of five, in 1014, he died in 1064. He extended his power deep into Scotland

850AD: Vikings: The worrying trend of "the settling Viking" moves from France to England, when Vikings winter in Thanet in England.

850AD: Circa: In the Ninth Century, in Baghdad, the three Banu Musa Brothers, scientists, produce The Book of Ingenious Devices. Two of these brothers came close to estimating the circumference of the Earth.


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Arabs perfect the use of the Astrolabe for navigation/geography.

Circa 850AD: Pope Leo IV declares that any Christian dying in battle for the defence of the Church would receive a heavenly reward. (Runciman, The First Crusade). This more or less established the spiritual justification for later Christian military action against any Moslem incursions.

851AD: Oldest firsthand-written accounts of India and China.

852AD: Islam: Serious revolt is suppressed in Armenia. In Spain, in 852 dies Abd ar-Rahman, succeeded by his son Muhammed I. The Christian monarchs now have control of Castile and Navarre in Spain. Revolts continue in many areas.

853AD: Ireland, Vikings: Arrival in Dublin of Norwegian prince, King Olaf, who founds a kingdom based on the coasts but bothers little with the hinterland.

855AD: Vikings: More Vikings seem to want to settle in England as they winter on the Isle of Sheppey near London.

855AD: Major Viking attack on Wales fails, in time of Danish leader Gorm d.855. Versus Welsh leader Rhodri Mawr, prince of Gwynedd 844-878.

855AD: Islamic writer Ibn Khurradadhbih produces his Book of Ways and Kingdoms.

857AD: Vikings: Paris, merely a bastion of Isle de Paris, is sacked by Vikings (possibly led by son of Ragnar, Bjorn Ironside and his friend Hastein. The plan then arises to sack Rome, via Moorish Spain? Via Straits of Gibraltar. Plunder of Algericas, taking Negro slaves/prisoners for Ireland, then attacking Balearics, Narbonne, sailing up the Rhone. French Coast, the Ligurian River of Northern Italy, possibly sacking Pisa. By mistake, the Vikings sacked Luna, or Luni, north of Rome, so they massacred in petulance. They possibly proceed as far east as Alexandria. Moorish ships wait for them once they return past Gibraltar. They return to the Loire by 862.

858AD: Islam: Great war with Byzantines begins in Asia Minor. Mohammedans capture the Byzantine commander.

859AD: Vikings: Some 62 Viking ships (up to 2000 men) sail from the Loire River France to harass the Spanish coast. They had no success there, so tried the North African coast, then wintered on the Rhone River and ravaged as far as Arles. They then sailed along the shores of Italy, where they evidently met the fleets of the Saracens unsuccessfully, as when in 861 the Vikings returned to Loire, they had only 22 ships left. At this time the Saracen fleets are engaging the Franks in Italy; the Mediterranean remained a Saracen sea. The Vikings returned attention to England. (Dixon, Barbarian Europe, p. 127.)

860AD: In maritime history: before 860AD, Irish monk-mariners were said to sail to Iceland before it was settled by Vikings from 860AD - (See Njal's Saga - in legends of Vikings "discovering" parts of Canadian North America - and so on.) In 860 By about 860, Viking Norwegian Floki Vilgeroarson took livestock with him to Iceland, which had earlier been visited by a Norwegian King called Naddod and a Swede called Garoar Svafarsson. Floki went first to the Shetlands, and lost a daughter drowned in an accident, then to the Faroes ("sheep islands"), where another daughter was married. Legend has it that Irish monks had been on the Faroes for one hundred years. It is 400km from the Faroes to Iceland, where Floki landed on the west coast, only to be disgusted by the climate, so he returned to Norway. Other settlers later followed, by legend, avoiding the power plays of King Harold Finehair. By legend, the first settler was Ingolf Arnarson, from western Norway, needing a new start, which he found at Reykjavik ("Steamy Bay"). He had a brother-in-law, Hjorleif. The settlement period is dated 870-930AD.

860AD: Islam: Byzantine defeat near Melitene.

861AD: Islam: Murder of Mutawakkil by his Turkish guard, bribed by his son, Muntasir, who takes the Caliphate.

862AD: Islam: Death of Muntasir, probably by poison. His cousin, Akhmed, who takes name of Mustain, is chosen to succeed by the Turkish soldiery. In Moslem Spain in 862, Muhammed recovers Tudela and Saragossa after the death of Musa, the head of the rebels Beni Casi, but the latter with help from Alfonso II of Asturias and Leon, soon expel his soldiers. Ibn Merwan forms an independent state in the west.

863AD: Islam: Great victory for Byzantines over Moslems at Amasia. Death of the general, Omar. Some years of peace result. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

865AD: Vikings especially attack England 835-865. In 865AD, Main onslaught against England. The harsh coast of Wales serves to protect its people from Viking landings. A large body of Vikings, "the great army", occupy East Anglia, evidently peacefully, and are supplied with horses. They are possibly reinforced in 866 by Vikings from the Seine Valley, France. These Vikings move north and occupy York. It seems the invasions led by three Viking brothers, Halfdan of the Wide Embrace, Ubbi and Ivar the Boneless, the latter known in Ireland. They are sons of Ragnar, perhaps the Ragnar who attacked Paris in 845? The brothers ride into York on 1 November, 866, in the middle of a local civil war.
The Carolingians were to the south of Viking influence, and in Burgundy, France; notable are the names Brabant, Welf/Guelf (the predecessors of the Hanoverian Guelfs of England), Merovingians, Charlemagne, the Kings of Wessex in England (see Alfred the Great died 899). And in France, the Capetians, and the Counts of Flanders, such as Baldwin, Count VIII of Flanders.

867AD: Vikings, England: Now occupying York in the north, Vikings move south into Mercia, and fortify Nottingham. York rises to a population of 30,000 and becomes the largest trading city in Britain.


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866AD and later: The family of Hugues, Count Paris, intermarried with the Hohenstaufers, of Germany/Bavaria (see Luidolf died 866AD Duke Savoy). Gisela Hohenstaufer married Stephen I of Hungary, King Hungary, Saint Stephen (969-1038); Gisela, daughter of Duke of Bavaria, Henry the Wrangler (died 995).

866AD: Vikings: A Viking "army" of only 400 men ravages northern France and destroys a Frankish army led by a marquis and three regional counts. in 866-867, Vikings attempt to dominate Northumbria in England.

866AD: Islam: The Turks revolt against Mustain and choose his brother Motazz as caliph. Surrender of Motazz, who is put to death. He tries to free himself from the yoke of Turkish soldiery.

868AD: Vikings again descend on York, England.

869AD: England: Vikings return to East Anglia, and ravage the kingdom of the saint-king, Edmund, killing Edmund on 20 November, who is later regarded as a saint. Later they move south to London and impose the Danegeld tribute. They soon move north to Cambridge by 875.

869AD: Islam: Turks besiege the Caliph, who is imprisoned and dies. Mutahdi, son of Wathik, is chosen Caliph. He tries in vain to reform his empire.

870AD: Vikings: Son of Ragnar, Ivar the Boneless, with Vikings from Ireland attack Dumbarton, the fortress of Strathclyde, in Scotland. Ivar then goes to Dublin, to become king of the Vikings there, and die there in 873.

870AD to 1262: Existence of Iceland (Viking settlers) as a free state. During 870-930, Celtic people (often Irish) are used for servile labour on Iceland.

1880: Discovery at Gokstad, Norway, of a marvellous Viking ship. On the west side of Oslo fjord, 50 miles from Oslo, under a funerary mound. A sailing boat, nearly 80 feet long, 17.5 feet at the widest point, built of oak with decking of pine. The keel was of a 60-foot long piece of single timber, suitable for shallow water moving; the hull was clinker style. Weight of 8.5 tons, 10 tons when fully laden. A replica was built in 1892 and sailed to New York is less than a month in April 1893, Capt Magnus Anderson. The replica made speeds of over ten knots with unsophisticated rigging.

870AD: Islam: Mutahdi is slain by Turks. Mutamid, son of Mutawakkil, chosen as caliph. He reduces power of Turkish soldiery and re-establishes capital at Baghdad.

871AD: Vikings: Danish Viking led by a king called Guthorn leads his "Great Summer Army" into East Anglia, prior to assault on Wessex/King Alfred. The Danes take their danegeld protection money and retire to London. They have used a base at Reading. From 871-878, the Viking hold on East Anglia is tighter.

872AD: Islam: The Tahirites are overthrown in Persia, and the Saffarid Dynasty is founded. War with the Byzantines recommences.

873AD: Vikings, England: Following a revolt against Danes in Northumbria in 872, the Danes suppress it in 873:

874AD: Vikings, England: The Danish army moves to Repton and drive out the Mercian king, Burgred, to install a puppet named Ceolwulf. The Danish plan is to divide England into two, north and south of the Humber River, under Guthorm and Halfdan of the Wide Embrace.

875AD: Vikings, England: Vikings move from the London area to Cambridge. In 876 they launch a surprise attack on Wessex, aided by Vikings from Ireland. They confront Alfred the Great, are bottled up, but in 877 they overrun Wessex.

876AD: Vikings: Guthorm the Viking king advances from Cambridge on Wessex.


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878AD: Vikings, England: Vikings disarrayed in London England return to the coasts of France and ravage Flanders for eight years. Their army in 885 returned to England and besieged Rochester to be beaten by Alfred, they return to France. Later they attacked Paris. In 878, Guthorm (Guthrum) in England makes his third assault on Wessex. One result is the creation of five Danish boroughs - Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and Stamford. Ubbi has meantime brought a fleet of 23 ships from Wales. Wessex King Alfred The Great operates as a guerrilla leader, sometimes harassing Danes who had turned soldier-settlers-farmers. The Danes finally surrendered at Edington.

878AD: Islam: Akhmed b. Tulun, governor of Egypt, makes himself independent and founds Tulunite Dynasty, that lasts to 905.

879AD: Vikings: Guthorm's Vikings begin to settle East Anglia systematically. By 879, Guthorm is a Christian king (dies in 890) who takes the name of Athelstan.

885AD: Circa, Vikings: Up to 700 Danish Viking ships cruise up the Seine River, to confront Charles the Fat.

886AD: Islam, Spain: Death of Muhammed, his son Mundhir succeeds, but he dies in 888 and his brother Abdallah succeeds. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)

886-887AD: France: Paris successfully defends itself against Viking attacks. Followed by Arnulf's victory at Battle of River Dyle near Louvain in 891. In England, Alfred occupies London and attempts to control the Thames estuary against Viking piracy.

877AD: Vikings: Halfdan of the Wide Embrace visits Ireland to assist his brother there, Ivar, but is killed in a sea-battle off Ireland.

887-888AD: Islam: Mohammedan invasions of Asia Minor.

880AD: Vikings: From 880, a notable Viking leader in England is Guthfrith, after the death of Healfden.

890AD: Probable date (872?) for Battle of Hafrsfjord, Norway. A central event re throne of Norway and the country's trading wealth. Some scholars see the settlement of Iceland as one outcome (In the days of King Harold Finehair.)

890AD: Islam, Spain: Defeat of Omar b. Hafsan, who has had an independent area in Andalusia. Serious risings occur in Elvira and Seville. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)

891AD: Scandinavian kings Sigfred and Godfred are killed on the River Dyle (Louvain, France. This is a victory of the East Frankish/German realm. Vikings earlier disappointed in England are beaten by Emperor Arnulf son of Louis the German.

September 891-September 892AD: Some 250 ships sail from Boulogne, France, with horses, and land at estuary of river Lympne in south-east Kent, England. Alfred's defenses are incomplete. Danish reinforcements under Haesten camp at Milton in north-east Kent. Danes have a complex plan to take the Thames River estuary from the English, but the plan fails by 896 despite Danish incursions into Wales from the English north, south-west of the origins of the Thames. It seems that part of this quite long-lasting Viking army is Rollo (a giant of man, so large that no horse could carry him, so "Ganger", or, walker?) (Gongu-Hrolf, Rolf the Ganger, "according to Icelandic tradition" the son of Earl Rognvald of More and brother of Earl Turf-Einar, an early Norse earl of Orkney), who later by 911 laid siege to Chartres in France, failing but still meeting Charles III to discuss issues. Later, Rollo is the founder of the Duchy of Normandy.

892AD: France: A Viking army short of supplies retires to Boulogne and then goes to England, to be repelled by King Alfred's army. It attacks South Kent, and the Thames estuary. By 896 this disappointed army breaks up and settles into East Anglia and Northumbria. The Viking losers here get ships and retire to the Seine River area. It is evidently this Viking host which later takes over Normandy. It is possible that one of this army is Rolf the Ganger, (Rollo, Hrolf) the huge man who became the progenitor of the Norman family, the De Conteville, who conquered England in 1066. Rollo is thought to be the son of Earl Rognvald of More, of the Orkneys, and brother of Earl Turf-Einar, an early Norse earl (jarl) of the Orkneys.

892AD: Islam: Death of Mutamid. His nephew Mutadid succeeds. Rise of the Karmathian sect, inimical to the pomp of the court of Baghdad. Turkestan becomes independent under Samani, who later conquers Persia and extinguishes the Saffarid Dynasty. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

894AD: Islam: The Karmathians have ravaged Mecca, but the Caliph rebuilds the city. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., pp. 32ff.)

898AD: Dies Wilfrid I, Count Barcelona, regarded as "the patron saint" of the spirit of Catalan independence.

Vikings had begun moving south, raiding, from C8th to C10th. They were some of the best shipbuilders and sailors in the world, their war ships had 30 oarsmen and about 90 crew, The Vikings were called Danes in England and Varangians in Russia. Two prompts for Viking expansionism to Germany, the Low Countries, France and Spain had been population growth and efforts by Harold I of Norway to subjugate the Vikings, who were raiding northern France by 843AD. Vikings attack Ireland from the Eighth Century till 1014.

899AD: Death in Wessex of Alfred the Great.

About900AD: Islam: City of Baghdad boasts possibly the world's richest state, with 1000 physicians, a large free hospital, postal service, banks with some banks having branches in China, good water supply system, organised sewage system and a paper mill. (Peter James and Nick Thorpe.)

902AD: Islam: Death of Mutadid, leaving the throne to his son, Muktafi. Struggles with the Karmathians. They plunder the pilgrimage to Mecca and slay 20,000 pilgrims. They are then defeated and remain quiet for a time. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

902AD: Ireland: Cearbhall the native king of Leinster attacks and sacks Viking-controlled Dublin on the Liffey River, Ireland.

904AD: Islam: Moslems capture Thessalonica. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, p. 43.)

905AD: Islam: Muktafi takes Egypt from the Tulunites and gives it to the Ikhshidites. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)


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907AD: Viking legend: Oleg, Great Prince of Kiev, Russia, is said to have gone down the Dneiper with a huge fleet and over the Black Sea. The defenders of Constantinople are said to have tried to stop him by placing heavy chains across the Bosphorus, but Oleg's men dragged their boats ashore, put them on rollers, and took them past any obstacles. The result was a trade treaty with Constantinople, which the Vikings called, "Great City", Mikligarour. Later arose the Viking Varangian guard for the Byzantine Emperor.

908AD: Islam: Death of Muktafi. His son Muktadir succeeds. Rebellion in favour of Abdallah b. Motazz is put down and Abdallah is killed. Muktadir is a weak caliph and hands power to ministers. Establishment in Egypt of Fatimite Dynasty in Egypt and Africa, which subverts the Aglabite and Edrisite dynasties. The Byzantines invade Mesopotamia and the Karmathians are again disorderly. The Caliph's inaction and laziness cause reaction against him, to 930. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

908AD: Islam: (Re Fatimite Dynasty of Egypt 908-1117AD). Fatimites claim descent from Mohammed through his daughter Fatima wife of Ali, although this claim of theirs is disputed. The first to claim power is Obaid Allah, of the Ismailian sect. He is proclaimed Al-Mahdi. Fatimites oppose the Moslem Aglabite emirs in Sicily.

910AD: Count William I of Aquitaine in France establishes the Abbey of Cluny. Later, by 1000AD, "Cluniac views" tend to be seen as the reforming conscience of Christendom, well-regarded by the Papacy, and also by the rival Anjou and De Conteville dynasties in Northern France. Cluniac views promoted pilgrimages, firstly the shrines in Spain, later to Jerusalem. In 997 the Count of Verdun made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

911AD-912: Successful Danish/Viking incursions in what is to become the Duchy of Normandy, France. In Normandy, a major Viking player is Rollo (Gongu-Hrolf), probable leader, an ex-exile to the Hebrides, is the son of the Earl of More, of a noble Norwegian house. (Lyon, Vikings in Britain, p. 69.) By 911, Charles the Simple King France recognises the influence of the Vikings in his region (does he assume that these Vikings will fend off later Viking raiders?). The Viking leader Rollo (Rolf the Ganger), who had led an attack on Chartres, accepts a grant of land he already controlled in fact. By 924-933 the Vikings control the area about Rouen and later the Duchy of Normandy (province of the Northmen Normenn). This was the birth of the Normans, who had used to build with wood, but now build with stone. Soon they have fortified bridges to block the river routes used by the Vikings. By the Treaty with King Charles of St Clair-sur-Epte, the Normans would have Rouen, Lisieux, Evereux and all lands between the Bresle and the Epte - and become Christians. Rollo also grasped the difference between the Frankish feudal system, and Norse systems of organisation.

912AD: Islam: Spain, Death of Abdallah. His son succeeds, Abd ar-Rahman III, the greatest of the Spanish caliphs. He encourages the African Moslems to hold out against the Fatimites. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)

914AD: Vikings: possibly as an outcome of their settlement of Normandy, a Viking squad from Brittany led by two earls, Ohter and Hroald, ravages the Welsh coast and into the Rye Valley. They capture Bishop of Llandaff, Cyfeiliog.

915AD: Pope John X cooperates with a court at Constantinople to drive Moslems from a castle at Garigliano. In 941 the Byzantines join forces with Hugh of Provence to attack a Moslem stronghold. (Moslems had sacked Rome in 846.)

916AD: Islam: Spain, Ordono II of Leon defeats Moslem army sent to avenge a raid he made two years before. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)

916AD: Islam: Fatimite (of Egypt) and Aglabite factions in Sicily enable Latins and Italians in alliance with Byzantines, drive Saracens out of Italy. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, p. 43.)

917AD: Islam: Akhmed, Aglabite emir of Sicily, is defeated at sea. Egyptian Fatimites control Sicily. They attack Liguria and take Genoa. Attack Omayyads by sea, also confront them on land. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, p. 46.)

918AD: Islam, Spain: Brilliant victory of Abd ar-Rahman over Ordono II and Sancho I of Navarre. Abd ar-Rahman penetrates as far as Pamplona. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)

917-918AD: Vikings: More conflict between Vikings and English, at Derby. An English victory at Tempsford.

921AD: Islam, Spain: Ordono invades the Moslem territory as far as Cordova. Defeat of Ordono at battle of Val de Junquera. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)

926AD: England: Athelstan gives one of his sisters in marriage to Viking Sygtrygg, successor as ruler of York to Rognvald. Sygtrygg however dies in 927, when his son by an earlier marriage, Olaf Sigtrygsson, supported by his uncle Guthfrith, the Norse king of Dublin, tries to claim his inheritance by force. Athelstan promptly razes York and ranges his own influence north to Scotland.


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927AD: Vikings: Expulsion from York of Guthfrith, whose son Olaf Guthfrithsson later leads a Scandinavian coalition against England. This Olaf has a brother Raegnald Guthfrithsson and a cousin Olaf Sihtricson (949-952).

930AD: By now, the Viking population of Iceland and their slaves is about 3000-4000 families. Most of the Icelanders are from the western fjords of Norway. Celts were about 15 per cent of Iceland's population.

930AD: Islam: Caliph Muktadir is deposed and his brother Kahir is made caliph, but Muktadir regains the throne. Revolt of Mosul and foundation of the Hamdanite dynasty in Mesopotamia. The Karmathians seize Mecca and carry off the holy Black Stone of the Kaaba, the square shrine.

By 930AD: The army of the Byzantine Emperors can include Scandinavians/Vikings. Later arose "a special Norse regiment", The Varangian Guard. Some such soldiers visited Jerusalem as a kind of Christian pilgrimage. Most famous of the Varangians was Harald Hardrada. Some pilgrims from Scandinavia itself made a round trip, by sea in through the Straits of Gibraltar, returning home from the Holy Land through Russia.

932AD: Islam: Death of Muktadir in battle with his rebellious minister, Munis. His brother, Kahir, succeeds.

933AD: Islam: Foundation in Persia of the Buyid Dynasty. The Caliphate is reduced to a province of Baghdad.

934AD: Vikings, England: Olaf Guthfrithsson, son of Guthfrit expelled from York in 927, succeeds to leadership of the Dublin Vikings. He raises an army against Athelstan and is joined by King Constantine of the Scots. Battle of Brunanburh follows, Athelstan winning. Out of the chaos strides Icelandic warrior-poet, Egil Skallagrimsson, and outlaw from a Norwegian point of view, subject of Egil's Saga by Snorri Sturluson. Egil is an enemy of Eric Bloodaxe.

934AD: Islam, Spain: Ramiro II of Spain restores peace to his kingdom, resumes war on Moors and wins at Simancas.

934AD: Islam: Kahir deposed and blinded. His nephew Radhi succeeds. He creates an office, emir of the emirs, corresponding to the Mayor of the Palace. He is the last caliph to wield considerable spiritual or temporal power.

939AD: Islam: Capture of Mosul.

939AD: Islam, Spain: Great defeat of Moors at Alhandega, but Ramiro is compelled to abandon moves against the Moors due to his conflict with the Count of Castile.

940AD: Islam: Death of Radhi, succeeded by his brother Mutakki. Al-Baridi, head of a Chaldean principality, besieges Baghdad but is repulsed.

942AD: Possibly the reason that Wales suffers less from Viking raids is due to defence by Welsh king Hywel Dda, Hywel The Good. From 920, in Pembrokeshire.

944AD: Islam: Turun seizes Muttaki and blinds him. Mustafki, son of Muktafi, is chosen by Turun to succeed. Owing to the unpopularity of Zirak, the emir of the emirs, the people call on Akhmed, the Buyid ruler, who becomes vizier to the Caliph with title Muiz ad-Daula. He and his successors under the title of emir of the emirs, absorb all political power.

945AD: England: King Edmund of England cedes all of Cumbria to King Malcolm I of Scotland, a great-great-grandson of Kenneth McAlpin, in return for assistance and support by land and by sea.

946AD: Islam: Mustafki conspires against Akhmed, who seizes and blinds him. Muktadir's son Muti is chosen to succeed. Constant war with the Byzantines.

950AD: Islam, Spain: Death of Ramiro enables Abd ar-Rahman to make many victories. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)

950AD: In C10th generally. The rise in Ghana Empire of trade in salt and gold. Rise in Tunisia of Fatamid Islamic Dynasty. Sofala is founded by Arab merchants. Writer Buzurgh ibn Shahriyar writers on The Wonders of India. Baghdad historian Al-Mas'udi mentions how merchants begin to stop at Sri Lanka or Malaysia for Chinese goods. Bananas are transplanted to Africa from India.

954AD: Vikings: End of the Viking attempt to keep the north of England as a Scandinavian/Irish political orbit. Eclipse of the Scandinavian control of York, leaving Vikings to Ireland, or not, depending on Irish resistance versus the Irish tendency to inter-tribal warfare.

By 954AD: There have been some intermarriages between the sons of Wilfrid I (Borell), Count Barcelona, and daughters of the Counts of Toulouse, Southern France, a tradition which continues. Gradually, the Borrells (from Provence) also intermarry with the ruling families of Portugal and Spain, as by 1035.

954AD: Vikings: Eric Bloodaxe is expelled, again, from York. He is ambushed as he leaves and killed at Stainmore in Yorkshire.

958AD: Islam: The Fatimite Caliph, Muiz ad-Din, subdues all Africa and Egypt and is acknowledged by Arabia.


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960AD: Islam, Spain: The Caliph restores the deposed Sancho I to the throne of Leon.

961AD: Arabs are removed from Crete and the strength of the Byzantine Navy suggests a revival for more pirate-free Mediterranean trade. In 961, foundation of the Islamic principality of Ghazni.

961AD: Islam, Spain: Death of Abd ar-Rahman, his son Al-Hakam II succeeds, a patron of literature. There follows the rise of Muhammed Ibn abi Amir.

962AD: Germany: Otto the Great son of Henry (The Fowler) is crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope (a true successor to Charlemagne?)

968AD: Vikings are bothering Portugal in 968AD.

By 968AD to 1000-1100AD, before and after William the Conqueror moves into England, ruling families had already set up a remarkably "quilting" over the European countrysides. The Hohenstaufers of Germany had linked with Guelf (Welf) plus Tuscany and "Italy", also Poland. The French Capetians had intermarried with the Pamplonas of Spain, and the Normans, De Conteville, plus the House of Anjou (Angevines). Also with the notable houses of France, Flanders, Hainault, Aquitaine, Burgundy, Vermandoise, and via links with Hohenstaufers, with Kievian and Swedish rulers. Capets also had links with Guelf and the Wessex kings of England. The name Anjou later helped provide the English Plantagenets. To the east of Germany, to the north of the Byzantines at Constantinople, were troublesome people not yet Christianized, who moved each other about, producing instability.

968AD: Islam: Byzantine Nicephorus takes Antioch from the Byzantines.

974AD: Islam: Riots in Baghdad force the Caliph to declare a jihad (holy war). 974, Islam: Abdication of Muti, succeeded by his son Tai. The Buyid princes contend furiously for the office of Emir.

975AD: The rulers of Hungary are converted to Christianity. This allows the development of a pilgrim's route down the Danube River and through the Balkans to Constantinople, then the Holy Land.

976AD: Islam: Spain, Death of Al-Hakam, his ten-year-old son Hisham II succeeds, after some opposition. Real power is in hands of Ibn abi Amir, who reorganises the army. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)

978AD: England: Accession to throne of Aethelred the Unready (The Ill-advised), only ten-years-old. England will have forty more years of harassment from Vikings till the time of Knut (Canute), King of Denmark. Earlier, the murder in Dorset of Aethelred's older half-brother, Edward, son of King Edgar (died 975). It is thought by some that Queen Aelfthryth had instigated Edward's murder for reasons of dynastic succession.

979AD: Settlement of Isle of Man: 5 July, allegedly. Settlement seems to have been quite earlier. Olaf Cuaran (945-980AD) of Dublin and his sons and a Scandinavian dynasty are part responsible for settlement. The island perhaps becomes a base for raiding Viking ships.

980AD: Vikings: Viking raids on England on shorter, sharper, more aggressive, better-organised, and made mainly for booty, not settlement. In 980, Southampton is ravaged, the Isle of Thanet sacked and Cheshire is overrun. The earlier raids may have been conducted by men made restless by the rule of Harald Blue-Tooth in Denmark.

980AD: Vikings, Ireland: Olaf Cuaran of Dublin finds his sons defeated in Battle of Tara. He dies on the Isle of Iona and is succeeded by his son Iron Knee, Gluniarainn. Another son of Olaf is Sihtric of the Silken Beard, who is Viking king in time of the Irish Brian Boru (who is born 941).

981AD: The Moslem leader, Mahomet ibn Abi Amir, al-Mansur (d.1002), The Victorious, takes Zamora, in the south of Spain in the Kingdom of Leon. Spaniards called al-Mansur, Almanzor. In 996, al-Mansur sacked Leon and in 997 he burned the city of St James at Compostella, a noted place of Christian pilgrimage, though he did not harm the shrine. In 981, Al-Mansur defeats Ramiro III of Leon. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)


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982AD: Islam: Spain, Ramiro's successor, Bermudo II, pays tribute to Moorish Cordova.

982AD: Vikings: In England, Dorset and Portland suffer from Viking raids. London is burned down.

983AD: Otto III is King of Germany.

985AD: Conversion to Christianity of Stephen of Hungary. (He becomes King of Hungary in 996AD.)

985-986AD: al-Mansur conquers and sacks Barcelona, a port of eastern Spain.

987AD: Hugh Capet is King of the Franks.


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987AD: Islam, Spain: Bermudo tries to free himself from Moorish sovereignty, Al-Mansur razes Coimbra and in 988 invades to the heart of Leon. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)

987AD: Russia, Vladimir, Grand Duke of Kiev, becomes a Christian in a context of Viking influence on his area. He is regarded as a saint when he dies in 1015AD.

989AD: France: The Papacy: Beginning of the Movement for The Peace of God.

988AD: Vikings raid parts of Wales. Wales suffers variously in 968, 971, 972, 980, 987, with Anglesey often the target.

989AD: At The Council of Charroux, the bishops of Aquitaine (the more southern maritime areas of France on the Atlantic coast) suggest that the Church should be able to guarantee "that the poor can live in peace". (Runciman, The First Crusade.) Might such a suggestion later involve the Church in military adventurism? By 1000AD, William "the Great", Duke of Guienne, expanded on this idea at The Council of Poitiers, which he had convened. It was no accident that church properties were also not safe from military action. By 1016, the French nobility had subscribed to a peace movement wanting a guarantee that peasants and clerics, their crops and animals, would not be interfered with. The other side of the coin here was demonstrated when it began to be promoted that arms could be taken up legitimately against anyone breaking such a peace code. From notions of The Peace of God reigning in Western society, which was supported by William the Conqueror by 1042, arose an idea that "he who slays a Christian sheds the blood of Christ". In sum, the later response of the Papacy was to direct the obviously aggressive tendencies of Christians into warfare against the Heathen, when Moslem power could spring into France from Spain, when Moslem civilisation was often seen as superior to Western ways, when Arabic shipping or piracy made Western trade insecure in the Mediterranean. In short, the Westerners were less well-organised than Arabic/Moslem societies.

991AD: Vikings: Treaty of Amity between Aethelred of England and Viking Duke Richard II De Conteville of Normandy. In 1000, in defiance of this treaty, Normandy houses the Danish army in 1000AD.

991AD: Islam: The emir, Baha ad-Daula, compels Tai to abdicate, and appoints Kadir, grandson of Muktadir, to the caliphate.


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991AD: Vikings: England: A major warfleet of 93 Viking ships arrives in Thames estuary commanded by Olaf Tryggvason (Anlaf), earlier a "Baltic pirate" who aspires to the throne of Norway. Folkestone is attacked. Ipswich is overrun. A battle at Ipswich/Maldon in Essex. Defeat of Essexman Byrhtnoth. Olaf is King of Norway (995-1000). The Danes take a danegeld payment from King Aethelred but do not leave England. Aethelred set a naval trap for them in 992, but was betrayed by an earldorman of East Anglia, Aelfric. Later, Aethelred had Aelfric's son blinded, in revenge.

992AD: Vikings: Ethelred assembles all English ships at London and tries to trap Vikings at sea. The plan is betrayed by Aelfric, an earldorman from East Anglia. (HR Lyon, Vikings in Britain, p. 84)

993AD: Vikings: The Danes sack Bamborough and ravage both sides of the Humber River.

994AD: Vikings: Forcible conversion of the Vikings-ruled Orkneys to Christianity. In 994, the crowned king of Denmark, Svein Forkbeard, usurping son of Harald Blue-Tooth, arrives in England with a raiding fleet of 94 ships. London is attacked, but wins. The Vikings ravage the south-east coast. By now, the Vikings are far more professionally organised.

995AD: Islam: Aleppo is taken from Mohammedans by emperor Basil.

996AD: Otto III becomes Emperor. Robert II Capet (The Pious) is (associate) King of France.

996AD: Islam: Spain, Moorish capture of city of Leon. Al-Masnur now takes Compostella. In Africa, Al-Mansur's generals have victories in Mauretania. (Item from Historians' History of the World. 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)

997AD: Vikings: The English West Country is raided, notably Tavistock. Later in Dorset and Hampshire. The Danes use a useful base on Isle of Wight.

997AD: Islam: Mahmud, of Ghazni, comes to the throne. He reigns till 1028.

999AD: Vikings, Ireland: Irish hero Brian Boru takes Dublin from the Vikings (from Sihtric). Boru by 1005 is regarded as "Emperor of the Irish".

1000AD: Vikings raid England for tribute. Ravaging areas. Families might sell themselves into slavery, or be sold into slavery. Some English views were that such raids were the outcome of predictions in the Book of Revelation, or the result of the wrath of God. The end of the world might be nigh. Some views were that the world would end anyway 1000 years after either the birth or death of Jesus.

1000AD: Kiev is now the Viking capital of Russia.

From 1000AD: Turkey transforms Islamic Society and carries Islam into India and Europe.

1000AD: Venice shares the slave trade with the rather piratical Dalmations, and the Narentans.

From 1000AD: The rise of Venice, maritime republic, built on water, commerce, and freedom. From about 550AD, the Venetians are "a separate people", mainly boatmen and bargemen, working on lagoons, rivers and canals of the mainland of northern Italy. From about 10000AD they became sea-going, trading and fighting in various parts of the Mediterranean, and sailing from the English Channel to the rivers of Southern Russia. With assistance to the Crusading Movement, Venice benefited enormously, more so once Constantinople was regained. While other notable Italian city-states fell victim to royal jealousy, and/or family jealousies, Venice remained a free republic, self-governing, led by The Doge.

1000AD: The Middle Ages: Which Middle Ages do you mean? Those of the period C5th (Fall of the Roman Empire) to 999AD, also called The Dark Ages, a period of indigence, hunger and insecurity (as seen by Umberto Eco) or those from 1000AD to the Fifteenth Century?

1000AD: Leif Ericsson's Norse/Viking fleet reaches North America.

1000AD: For reference on cities: Lewis Mumford in The City in History. 1961.
Mumford died in 1990 and believed that modern cities (worth living in) had been created by the civilising of technology in the name of society.
Mumford defined a city as, "a structure specially equipped to store and transmit the goods of civilisation, sufficiently condensed to afford the maximum amount of facilities in a minimum of space, but also capable of structural enlargement to enable it to find a place for the changing needs and the more complex forms of a growing society and its cumulative social heritage".
1000AD: Few cities anywhere have populations nearing one million, but see three cities in south-eastern coast of China, Hangzhou, Chenzhou and Quangzhou near three major rivers, Yangtze, Yellow and Pearl rivers.


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New urban communities began from 1000AD: in Northern Europe, this coincided with Christianization and building in stone, not wood. See career of De Contevilles / William the Conqueror, etc. It is unusual by now for a medieval town to extend more than a kilometre from its centre.

Died circa 1000AD: Explorer Thorvald Ericsson. Vikings had sailed west and settled Newfoundland, including Thorvald Ericsson, brother of Lief.

Between 968AD-1000AD: Vikings in Spain and Portugal find Moors fierce enemies, as the Moors use "Greek fire" (naptha) against them, via catapults from small ships. Half-naked Viking oarsmen have little means of fending off Greek fire, and go home beaten.


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In Portugal, Ramiro III Leon (ruling 968-985), King Castile, was accepted by the Barons as King in the time of the power of the Counts of Castile. About the time he succeeded to his throne, the Vikings led by Gundered in 968 appeared in Galicia. (He succeeded at age 5 after his father Sancho Abarca retained his throne with the aid of Moslems.) (Livermore, p. 37). Sancho's wife, Ramiro's mother was Urraca, of the influential line of the Pamplonas of Spain. Urraca (Pamplona) here is a grand-daughter of Queen Toda of Navarre. Then came Alfonso V "The Noble", died 1027, who tried to expand central Portugal. Further influence of Pamplonas. Lines crossed, and Alfonso V married daughter, Sancia/Sancha, heiress of Leon, who married to Ferdinand (died 1065), Fernando I, of the Pamplona line.

By 1000AD: The Byzantine Emperors, (Comnena/Comnenus) are coping badly with Arabs and Turks. From Venice, Doge Pietro I Orseolo travels on his triumphal Dalmation cruise.

1002AD: Henry II is King of Germany.

1002AD: Islam: Spain, Death of Al-Mansur. His brother Abdul-Malik succeeds to his office of hajib. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)

1002AD: Vikings: Goaded beyond endurance by Danes/Vikings and by paying danegeld, English King Aethelred who has married Emma De Conteville , sister of Duke of Normandy, orders a massacre of Danes in November, on St Brice's Day, a Saturday, when Danes customarily bathed. Some women had their breasts cut off, others were buried alive in the ground. Children were dashed to pieces against posts and stones. King Svein Forkbeard suspects that his own sister had been victim of massacre and plans more attacks.

1002AD: From France, Count Fulk Nerra, Fulk Anjou "The Terrible", known for his crimes of violence as he expanded his territory, makes a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to expiate his sins. He later made two more pilgrimages.

Vikings and a Massacre: Ireland and Dublin, Discovery in Kilkenny, Southern Ireland, of Viking artefacts circa 1000AD, of coins and jewellery, particularly, button made of fine-woven silver wire. Artefacts found at site of a massacre and to be displayed in Dublin. (As reported in Australia on 15 January 2000)

1002-1005AD: Conquest of Burgundy by Robert (The Pious) of France.

1003AD-1013: Danes under King Sweyn I (Forkbeard), and his son Canute-Knut , (Cnut) conquer England.

1003AD: Antibes is sacked from pirates from Africa, who attack Pisa in Italy in 1005 and 1016, and attacked Narbonne, north of Barcelona, in 1020.

1004AD: Vikings: Svein is probably behind the Vikings who burn Norwich and Thetford in England.

1007AD: Vikings: The Danes again raise the price of danegeld in England. Fierce raids in 1006-1007.

1008AD: Islam: Spain: Death of Abul-Malik. His brother Abd ar-Rahman (Sanchol) succeeds to chief ministry, and he conducts a campaign in Leon.

1009AD: Islam: Spain, Muhammed, cousin of Hisham, revolts. Sanchol is put to death. Muhammed Al-Mahdi imprisons Hisham and assumes caliphate. Revolt of the Berbers, who occupy Cordova. Hisham abdicates in favour of Suleiman, a relative. Muhammed escapes to Toledo, but recovers Cordova with the help of the Catalonians. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)

1009AD: Jerusalem: Holy Sepulchre destroyed by Al Hakim. Christians capture Cordova in Spain from the Moors.

1010AD: Vikings: Another would-be king of Norway, Olaf Haraldsson, Olaf the Stout, later St. Olaf, attacks London and pulls down London Bridge. Hence the nursery rhyme, "London Bridge is falling down".


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1010AD: Islam: Hakim destroys Christian Churches in Syria. Founds sect of Druses. He ends murdered by his sister, in regard of her son's interests, and she becomes regent for Hakim's son, Dhahir. Dahir makes treaty with Byzantine emperor Romanus Argyrus, permitting him to rebuild church in Jerusalem. From Dahir's reign dates decline of Fatimite power in Syria. (Item from Historians' History of the World. 1907, Vol. 8, p. 43.) In Islamic Spain in 1010, Defeat of Muhammed, the Slavs and Berbers desert him. Hisham recovers the throne. Murder of Muhammed.

1011AD: Vikings: The Vikings with aid from Swedish mercenaries take Canterbury and ransomed the archbishop Aelfheah. Despite a large payment, the Vikings had him killed during a drunken orgy. Some 45 Danish ships under Thorkel the Tall thought this was too much and go to the English side.

1013AD: Vikings: Danish King Svein Forkbeard and his son Knut (Canute) sail with a large invasion fleet for England. Svein cannot take London, but he does take Wessex, Mercia and Northumbria. Svein Forkbeard is effectively king of England, as Aethelred and family flee to Normandy, but Svein dies on 3 February 1014. Cnut returns to Denmark.

1013AD: Islam: First Islamic treatise on surgery, by Al-Zahwari. In Islamic Spain, Suleiman takes Cordova and Hisham disappears, fate still unknown.

1014AD: Henry II is Emperor.

1014AD: Vikings: Vikings from the Orkneys are fighting at Clontarf in Ireland. In Norway, King Olaf is Christianizing Norway, with great violence. Those resisting might be killed on the spot, maimed or mutilated, or blinded. Or driven from homes with land confiscated, families taken hostage. In Ireland on 23 April, 1014 is Battle of Clontarf, in which men's motives are swirling and difficult to discern; Vikings are involved. Brian Boru, his son and grandson are killed.

1015AD: Vikings: Cnut sails again for England with 200 ships and a large army, to be unsuccessfully resisted by son of Aethelred, Edmund Ironside who died on 30 November 1016, leaving Cnut king of England. The West Saxons are forced into submission.

1016AD-1090AD: In Southern Italy, loose groups of Normans from France operate in bands, sometimes as banditti, with a mind to oust Moslems settlers from the peninsula. Finally there are Norman raids on Byzantine territory from Italy. (See career of De Hautevilles). In Spain, overthrow of Suleiman by the Slavonic element headed by Khairan and Ali of Hammud. Ali is made Caliph.

1016AD: Vikings, France: Norman pilgrims from France, returning from Jerusalem, aid the Prince of Salerno in Italy and the Duke of Apulia against the Saracens. (As one view, see above, also that the movements of the Vikings were "the last great folk movement of Europe".)

1016AD: Italy: The Pisans of Italy begin to try to conquer the Moors of Sardinia at behest of Pope Benedict VIII.

1018AD: Pope Benedict VII makes decrees against clerical marriage and concubinage.

1019AD: India: Moslem conquest of Punjab in India.

1019AD: Vikings, Denmark: King Harald dies and Cnut returns from England to Denmark to claim the throne of his brother.

1014-1020AD: The King of Navarre, Sancho III The Great, begins to plan a counter-attack against Moslem power in Spain. A league of Christian princes is coordinated. Nobles of Leon and Castile are interested, as is Sancho-William, Duke of Gascony. In 1018, when Moslems threatened Countess Erselinde of Barcelona, Roger of Tosni, from Normandy, went to her assistance. The anti-Moslem tendency here melded with Cluniac influences. Raymond-Berengar I of Barcelona begins to try to push the Moors southward.

1017AD: Islam, Spain: Revolt of Khairan, who sets up Abd ar-Rahman (IV) Mortada, great-grandson of Abd ar-Rahman as anti-caliph, Murder of Ali, who is succeeded by his brother Kasim. Fierce civil war results. (Item from Historians' History of the World. 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)

1020AD: Islam: Firdusi, the Persian Homer flourishes. Power of the Seljuk Turks increases.

1022AD: Christian heretical uprising at Orleans, France.

1023AD: Meeting between Robert the Pious and Henry II.

1023AD: Aleppo is taken by Salih ben Mardas, and Ramla is taken by Hassan of the tribe of Tai. (Item from Historians' History of the World. 1907, Vol. 8, p. 46.) In Spain, Mortada falls in battle, and Abd ar-Rahman V, brother of Muhammed Ali-Mahdi, succeeds, shortly to be murdered. Muhammed Ben Abd ar-Rahman succeeds.

1024AD: Conrad II becomes King of Germany.

1025AD: Islam, Spain: Muhammed is driven from Cordova. Yahya b. Ali is in power, but slain at Seville. Hisham III, brother of Mortada, is raised to the throne. (Item from Historians' History of the World. 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.) The caliphate is so disorganised that Hisham abdicates the empty title in 1031AD.

1026-1027AD: About 700 Christian pilgrims visit Jerusalem. One of them is Richard, Abbot of St Vannes of Verdun. (Item from Jean Richard)

1027AD: Conrad II becomes Emperor.

1028AD: Vikings: King Cnut of Denmark drives King Olaf Haraldsson of Norway from his throne, and then is King of England, Denmark and Norway when he dies in 1035AD.

1030AD: Vikings: Death of Olaf Haraldsson, who becomes a saint after his death in battle at Stiklestad. St. Olaf's half-brother is the wealthy Harald Hardrada, who has benefited from his service as captain of the Viking Varangian Guard at Constantinople.

1030AD: Islam: Mohammedan victory of Byzantines at Azaz.


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From 1031AD: Islam, Spain: in Moorish Spain, the Caliphate is so disorganised that independent states or emirates arise. The fall of the Omayyad dynasty breaks the last link of unity, and emirates arise at Saragossa, Toledo, Valencia, Badajoz, Cordova, Seville and Granada. Christian states seized opportunities to reconquer Spain, aided by the hero, El Cid. (Item from Historians' History of the World. 1907, Vol. 8, pp. 38ff.)

1031AD: Islam: Death of Kadir, and his son Kaim succeeds.

1031AD: Henry I becomes King of Franks. Council of Limoges.

1035AD: Fulk Count of Anjou, (Fulk Nerra), makes a second pilgrimage to Jerusalem. (Item from Jean Richard) Fulk makes another pilgrimage in 1039. In 1035, due to death of his father, William the Bastard, later William the Conqueror of England, inherits the Duchy of Normandy. In time he later had to fend off attacks on his life due to his claims to inheritance

1035AD: Appears in France the family Lusignan, destined to provide notable Crusaders in the Holy Land and also to do well in Norman England and with descendants in England. Also about 1035AD, (See Runciman on The First Crusade), Duke Richard III of Normandy leads a large pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

1035AD: Vikings: Death of King Knut (Canute) of England, Emperor of England and Denmark, Norway. He is buried at Winchester. His empire begins to fall apart. By 1042, England is ruled by Edward the Confessor.

1036 circa: At a time when Kiev in Russia now is subject to Viking influences, Anna of Kiev (1036-1076AD) marries Henry I Capet (1031-1108), King of France. (Item from Jean Richard)

1038AD: Islam: Mohammedans regain Edessa.

1038AD: Turkish invasion: The Ghuzz are a nomadic tribe from the steppe of the Aral Sea, and recent converts to Islam. Recently, a condittiere led by the Turk, Mahmud of Ghazna, help destroy the Samanid Empire. The Ghuzz' dominant tribe are the Seljuks, who in 1038 settle in Khorassan and Khorezm. Seljuks later raid as far as Armenia. (Item from Jean Richard)

1039AD: Henry III becomes King of Germany.

1039AD: An aristocrat with a troubled conscience, who has killed an archbishop, Count Thierry III of Holland, goes on pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

1040AD: Macbeth kills King Duncan and takes Scottish throne.

1040AD: The sons of Tancred De Hauteville, a petty Norman baron from Normandy, France, seize the town of Melfi in the Apulian Hills, Italy, to found a principality. The Byzantine authorities paid little attention to this, but the western Emperor, Henry III, supported the De Hautevilles as he was eager to gain influence in the area. By 1052AD, the De Hautevilles had won the Lombard areas, forcing the Byzantines to the Apulian coast and the tip of Calabria, influencing the western Italian cities and striking northward to Rome. A nervous Pope organised an attack on the Normans, and was beaten. The De Hautevilles, had arrived, with the eldest Robert Guiscard, ("The Crafty, The Weasel") recognised in 1059 as Duke of Apulia and Calabria. Robert's younger brother Roger then begins to oust the Arabs from Sicily. In general, the De Hautevilles, supremos of the Normans in Southern Italy, seem to have had a surprisingly good grasp of using maritime power. Italian ships begin to do better as trade transports, and there also arises ecclesiastical rivalry between Rome and Constantinople. Meantime, Turkish peoples are becoming restive, and expansive.

1044AD: Recipe for gunpowder published.

1040AD: Chinese army has 1.3 million men.

1044AD: Touraine becomes held by Count of Anjou.

1046AD: Imperial Coronation of Henry III and Agnes, daughter of William V of Aquitaine. Norman conquests in Italy are recognised as valid by Henry III.

1048AD: Election of Pope Leo IX.

1049AD: Council of Rheims. Hugh I is Abbot of Cluny (he dies 1109AD).

1050AD: The Islamic World has the use of geared calendars. (Source: James/Thorpe).


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1052AD: Ireland: Vikings are made to flee from Dublin. They later return.

1053AD: Italy: Defeat of Papal forces by the Normans at Civitatem, Italy.

1054AD: Peace Council at Narbonne. Split between Rome and Constantinople. ("The Emperors of Constantinople were the first sovereigns [including, the Popes] who regarded slavery as a disgrace to mankind and a misfortune to the state in which it existed... Justinian I, in the Sixth Century, proclaimed it to be the glory of the Emperor to accelerate the emancipation of slaves...".)
(Finlay, History of the Greeks, pp. 55-56)

1054AD: Since 1047, the later William the Conqueror of England has had seven years of strife, fending off rebellious barons, fending off external attacks, before he can establish his own authority.

1054AD: Schism between the Western and Eastern Christian churches. In 1054, 300 Christian pilgrims are expelled from Jerusalem by Saracens. (Item from Jean Richard)

1055AD: Islam: Oppressed by the emir, the caliph calls for aid from the Seljuk Turk, Toghril Beg (Toghrul), who enters Baghdad, overthrows the Buyids, and takes their place. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.) In 1055, Toghril becomes Sultan. The Seljuks are Sunni Moslems.

1056AD: Henry IV is King of Germany.

1057AD: There appear in Southern Italy, the petty-baron, Norman-Viking family the De Hautevilles, led by Tancred. The family decides to oust Moslems from the peninsula, in kind of crusade before the Crusades that comes to the attention of the Papacy in Rome.

1058AD: Islam: Fatimite caliph publicly recognised as caliph in Baghdad by Buyids. About this time, occurs persecution of Christians in Alexandria. (Item from Historians' History of the World. 1907, Vol. 8, p. 43.)

1060AD: Normans fight the Arabs 1060 to 1090 in Italy. In 1063 the Normans had some success against Arabs under a papal banner. In 1060 is beginning of Norman conquest of Moslems in Sicily. (Item from Historians' History of the World. 1907, Vol. 8, p. 43.)

1060AD: Count Conrad of Luxemburg goes on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, "an aristocrat with a troubled conscience". (Item from Jean Richard)

1060AD: Philip I is King of Franks.

1061AD: Commencement of struggle between blacks and Turks in Egypt. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, p. 43.)

1063AD: Pope Alexander II gives a blessing to Knights of Aquitaine to fight in Aragon (Spain) against the Moors. Later, of the leaders of Crusade I, Bohemond had fought in Sicily, and Raymond IV of Toulouse had fought in Spain, so in a sense, Raymond of St. Gilles was involved in "crusades before the Crusades".

1063AD: The King of Aragon, Ramiro I, is murdered by a Moslem as his forces are gathering for a great anti-Moslem offensive. "His death stirred the imagination of Europe." (Runciman, The First Crusade, p. 90) Pope Alexander II began to rally military assistance for Ramiro's plans. French knights began to move south across the Pyrenees for such purposes, which were still alive by 1073.

1063AD: Italy: Beginning of building of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

1063AD: Islam: Death of Seljuk Turk Toghril, leaving power to his nephew Alp Arslan. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., Vol. 8, pp. 32ff.)

1063AD: Seizure of Maine by William of Normandy.

1064-1065AD: A large band of 7000 Germans makes a noted pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Pilgrims were becoming increasingly interested in The Holy Relics of Christ's Passion.

1064AD: Up to 7000 Christian pilgrims go to Jerusalem, including four German bishops. (The total figure may be exaggerated.) About 1064, some pilgrims included a count of Barcelona, a Count Luxemburg, Count Flanders, Berenger-Raymond of Barcelona and William IV of Toulouse. (Item from Jean Richard)

1064AD: Capture of Barbastro by the Duke of Aquitaine. Ferdinand I of Castile advances to Coimbra.

C1065AD: After the departure of Fernando I (died 1065), Alfonso VI (died 1109) married to Constance Capet, daughter of Robert Duke of Burgundy, and nearby in time was William Capet, his children notable as Crusaders; Count Burgundy, who married Adelaide de Conteville, sister of William the Conqueror.

1065AD: Earldom in Scotland of Thorfinn the Mighty died 1065. (Thorfinn also the earlier family name of the De Contevilles of Normandy).

1066AD, 5 January: Death of Edward the Confessor, King of England. There has earlier been apparent amity (not well understood) since 1064 between William the Norman (later the Conqueror) and the powerful Earl Harold Godwinsson, whose brother Tostig is Earl of Northumbria, where a rebellion against Tostig breaks out. On hearing of Edward's death, Harald Hardrada in Norway "secretly" prepares an invasion fleet of 200 ships. Tostig offers to help him. In April, England is alarmed by the passing of Halley's comet. In May, Tostig appears off the Isle of Wight with an invasion fleet. By September, the English defenders on land and sea thought the threat had lapsed. An English fleet is damaged by a storm. Then Harald Hardrada arrived from Norway with Tostig and reinforcements from the Scotland, a fleet of 300 ships and 9000 men. Harald aims for the Humber River and York, takes it, but is killed at Stamford Bridge on 20 September. William the Conqueror set sail to invade on 22 September, with 700 ships of various size and 10,00 men, from the River Dives. On 28 September he landed at Pevensey Beach, 16km from Hastings. England's King Harold reached London by 5 October. The Battle of Hastings was won at 6pm by William on Saturday 14 October. Ironically, as Magnus Magnusson has it, Harold Godwinsson, the grandson of a Viking, had staved off the threat of the Viking Harald Hardrada, only to lose to ex-Vikings from Normandy.

1066AD: William the Conqueror successfully invades England. Battle of Hastings. The noted Viking Harald Hardrada (Harald Godwinsoon) is killed at Stamford Bridge in September 1066. The date of conquest is given as 6pm, Saturday 14 October 1066 - the Viking Age is "effectively over". In 1066, Viking reinforcements from the Orkneys are used to enlarge the invasion fleet to England of Harold Hardrada.

1066AD: Release of a Website that replicates the 1066 Domesday Book compiled by William the Conqueror of England. From The Millennium Mapping Company. (Reported 1 January 2000)

1066AD: Conquest of England by William of Normandy. His fleet was 700 invasion craft, an army of 10,000 men. Gathered at the mouth of the River Dives, harassed by contrary winds. William landed at Pevensey Beach, 16km west of Hastings.

1066AD: April, England: Halley's Comet crosses the sky and is viewed ominously as a harmful portent.

1067AD: Homage of Count of Anjou to the Pope.

1068AD: France: Acquisition of the Gatinais by Philip I.

1069AD: Islam: Great famine in Fatimite Egypt, followed by pestilence. The Turk Nasir ad-Daulah conquers caliph, who is only nominal ruler thereafter till death of Nasir in 1072. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, p. 46.)

1069AD: Revolt at Le Mans.

1071AD: Islam: A Turkish adventurer, Atsiz ibn Abaq, captures Jerusalem after little struggle and soon occupies much of Palestine.

1071AD: Islam: Seljuk Turks capture Jerusalem in 1071 under Atsiz, who also takes Ramla; they are "ruder in manners" in the management of holy places than their predecessors. In 1071, a new sultan, Alp Arslan, routs the emperor at Manikert, and in the trouble later, a little-known Norman solder of fortune, Roussel of Bailleul, carved out a principality for himself. (Item from Jean Richard)


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1071AD: Crusaders: Parts of the Byzantine Empire now need to be protected by the De Hauteville-led Normans of Southern Italy. Robert De Hauteville captures Bari and Amalfi in 1071, then Salerno in 1076. He plans to conquer Greece and perhaps even the Byzantine Imperial Crown. It may be no accident he plans this as the Seljuk Turks are overrunning or disturbing the maritime provinces of the Byzantine Empire. To meet this crisis, Emperor Alexius I Comnena appeals to Venice for support.

1071AD: Crusaders: Byzantine defeat of Manzikert, capture of Jerusalem by Atsiz.

1071AD: Islam: Moslems take Baghdad by 1055-1071. In 1071, Usurpation of Flanders by Robert of Frisia.

1073AD: In Leon-Castile, Spain, a new anti-Moslem expedition is organised by Ebles of Roucy. Pope Gregory VII suggests other princes join him, adding that it is permissible if knights keep lands taken from Moslems. In 1073, Gregory VII becomes Pope.

1074AD: Pope Gregory VII assembled an army but disagreed with Robert Guiscard De Hauteville and then broke out disagreement about lay investitures.

1074AD: Islam: Suleiman, the Seljuk, conquers Asia Minor and founds kingdom of Rum or Iconium.

1075AD: Islam: Death of Kaim. His grandson Muktadi succeeds.

1076AD: Islam: Fatimite Egypt is invaded by Turkomans, Kurds and Arabs, under Aksis; routed in second battle by Gemali. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, p. 37, p. 43.) The Seljuk Turns conquer Syria from the Fatimiates and take Jerusalem. Deposition of Gregory VII at Synod of Worms; retaliatory excommunication of Henry IV.

1077AD: Recapture of Jerusalem by Atsiz. Submission to Pope of Henry IV at Canossa. Philip I inherits the Vexin area of France.

1078AD: Spain: Spanish expedition of Hugh, Duke of Burgundy.

1079AD: On Byzantine orders, the last Armenian prince of the old Bagratid Dynasty (supposedly descended from Biblical figures David and Bathsheba), is killed, after he had murdered the Archbishop of Caesarea. The Byzantines had dispossessed the Armenians. Shortly, one of this prince's relatives, Roupen, rebelled and set himself up in the hills of north-west Cilicia, establishing the Roupenians. Somewhat west, another rival Armenian stronghold was established by Oshin, son of Hethoum (The Hethoumians). When Crusaders settled in the Holy Land, it was almost inevitable they would begin to intermarry with Roupenians or Hethoumians, so embedding themselves in well-established rivalries.

1079AD: The Albanian or Skipetar people appear in Byzantine/Greek history via a rebellion. Rebel Nicephorus Visilakes assumes title of Emperor.

1080AD: Armenia, Roupen (Rhupen), a relative of Kagig II, the last Bagatrid Dynasty king of Armenia, founds the kingdom of Lesser Armenia, which becomes allied with Crusaders. A later king of this line is Hayton I. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, p. 46.)

962-1080AD: Armenia, The Bagatrids of Armenia found a dynasty in Armenia that rules in Kars. (From 962AD, the Bagatrids found a dynasty in Georgia, Russia, which continued until Georgia is absorbed by Russia in 1801.) (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, p. 46.)

1081AD: Robert De Hauteville and his son Bohemond are in Albania attacking Durazzo, from where an old Roman road runs straight through the Balkans to Constantinople. Venice attacks these Normans in the first formal successful Venetian naval battle, a battle personally led by the Doge. Anna Comnena, daughter of Emperor Alexius, wrote a report. Later, Bohemond De Hauteville is as willing to take land from Byzantines as from Moslems. Finlay (History of Greece, p. 64) records that Robert Guiscard sailed in June 1081 from Brindisi with 30,000 men and 150 ships. Corfu surrendered to him. He landed in Epirus without resistance.

1081AD: Venice at Durazzo confronts the military of the De Hautevilles, the Normans of Southern Italy for the first time, an entirely new enemy in the region, with ambitions of influencing Greece, just as the Seljuk Turks are on the move. In 1081, The Count of Provence does homage to the Pope and becomes a papal vassal.

1081AD: Alexius Comnenus/Comnena seizes Constantinople, which his troops loot. He then turns his attention to the Normans in Italy and also the Pechenegs.

1081-1085AD: Bohemond De Hauteville invades the Balkan Provinces of the Byzantine Emperor. The De Hautevilles act at times as mercenaries for the Byzantines.

1082AD: Italy, Venice: Golden Bull of the Byzantine Emperor grants commercial privileges in return for naval aid against the Normans (De Hautevilles).

1084AD: Foundation of Chartreuse.

1084AD: Antioch falls to the Seljuk Turks.


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1085AD: England: Death of Lady Godiva, who legendarily rode naked through the streets of Coventry to protest excessive taxes. In Denmark, a large invasion of England is planned, but not carried out.

1085AD: Castilians in Spain recapture Toledo from Moslem forces. Later however is a strengthening and revival of Moslem military resolve in Spain. Anti-Moslem adventures in Spain became a kind of sport for Christian knights-in-training, who were already land-hungry and would only be otherwise fighting amongst themselves for scarce resources in a baron-ridden-and-riddled France. The attitudinal bases of what became the Crusades are already laid down, especially amongst the Normans, who only a few generations earlier had been pagan, free-booting Vikings.

1085AD: After further military successes beyond Italy, Robert De Hauteville dies at Cephalonia and his sons quarrel over inheritances, which distracts them from making further incursions on Byzantine territories. So Byzantine attention turned to "the Turkish problem" (and to Malik Shah).

1085AD: Islam: Spain, Capture of Toledo by Alfonso VI of Castile. In 1085, The Count of Mauguio becomes a papal vassal.

1086AD: Vikings: Assassination of St Cnut of Denmark in Roskilde cathedral. Before his death he had assembled a great fleet at Limfjord for a foray against England.

1086AD: Mahdiya is captured and burned by the Pisans and the Genoese. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, p. 43.)

1086AD: Vikings: Assassination of St. Cnut.

1086AD: In England, production of the Domesday Book, a registration of assets for the new regime of William De Conteville, the Conqueror. In Spain, invasion by the Almoravides at Sagrajas (Zalaca).

1087AD: Publication in England of Domesday Book. Register of national/private assets. In 1087, Death of William De Conteville, the Conqueror.

1088AD: Urban II becomes Pope.

1089AD: French Crusade against the Moors in Spain preached by Pope Urban II.

1090AD: Islam: Hassan b. Sabba, of Nishapur, organizes a deadly band of Karmathians called The Assassins.

1090AD: Approx: The Assassins: (From hashishin, a taker of hashish). At the end of the 11th Century, Hasan-i Sabbah founded the Ismali sect. (He followed the Ismali doctrine of the Fatimid Caliphate in Cairo). The Ismali revival in Persia opposed the Seljuk (Turkish) regime. When the Fatimid caliph Mostansir died in 1094, Hasan and Persian Ismalis refused to recognize the new Caliph of Cairo and gave allegiance to his deposed older brother Nizar. (There are complicated dynastic implications here). The Assassins were said to take hashish to induce ecstatic visions (of paradise?) before they murdered their victims.
Hasan and his followers made changes in Ismali doctrines including the murder of the sect's enemies as a religious duty. Hasan from 1090 became the first "Old Man of the Mountain", and seized the castle of Alamut in a close valley near Kazvin. A network of sect strongholds arose all over Persia and Iraq, with network members in cities of the enemy. Seljuk attempts to get the master of the Assassins failed. Early in the Twelfth Century, the Persian Assassins extended activities to Syria, and later the Assassins attacked Crusaders and Turks alike. The greatest Master of the Assassins was Rashid ud-Din Sinan (died 1192), who twice attempted to kill Saladin.
The Assassins of Alamut were finally destroyed by the Mongols and the deadliest of their own enemies, the Mameluke Sultan Bibars (Baibars). By 1256, the Alamut stronghold was destroyed. In modern times, the vestiges of the Assassins sect answers to the Aga Khan. Crusader Conrad of Montferrat was one victim of Assassins. Dante later adopted the term "assassin" to mean any professional, secret murderer.

1090AD: Last (Moslem) Sicilian town surrenders to the Normans (De Hautevilles). (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, p. 46.)

1090AD: In Byzantine territory, Count Robert I of Flanders fights with the Vangarian (Viking) Guard of the Emperor.

1090AD: In 1090AD, China, a "Cosmic Engine" clock, over thirty feet high, is built by astronomer Su Sung at orders of emperor Ying Zong. An astronomical clock tower. (Source: James/Thorpe.)

By 1091AD: The Crusader Roger De Hauteville (1031-1101, eighth son of a notable Crusader father, Tancred, who has no notable forebears in French history) is trying to evict Arabs from Southern Italy, where they had been since the Ninth Century. In 1091AD is completion of Norman conquest of Sicily.

1092AD: Islam: Death of Malik Sha, successor of Alp Arslan. Decline of Turkish Seljuk power. In 1092, Marriage of Philip I and Bertrada of Montfort (Anjou).

1094AD: Council of Rheims summoned by Philip I. Excommunication of Philip I by Hugh of Die at Council of Autun. Capture of Valencia by El Cid.

1094AD: Islam: Death of Muktadi, his son Mustazhir succeeds. (Item from Historians' History of the World. London, 1907., pp. 32ff.)

1094AD: Death of Mustansir, succeeded by his son Mustali Abul-Kasim. Government is in the hands of Afdal, son of Gemali. In his reign occurs The First Crusade. (Item from Historians' History of the World, 1907, Vol. 8, p. 43.)


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1095AD: Crusaders: March, Council of Piacena, then in November, Council of Clermont. Beginning of The First Crusade to Palestine as preached by Pope Urban II.
The the First Crusade (1095-1099) that set off Godfrey of Bouillon in a blaze of holy hope was called by Pope Urban II at the council at Clermont-Ferrand in France in 1095. The view was that in Jerusalem, Moslem factions had (deliberately?) despoil The Holy Sepulchre, straining relations. The Moslems are also accused of interfering with Christian pilgrims' progress. Pope Urban II may have been influenced by a call for help from the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I, against the Turks. The Pope promises that a Crusade, a holy war, could expiate sins and that the homes of baronial crusaders will be protected by truces. The latter promise is important to notice. France in the time of William the Conqueror - England was not much better - was the setting for feuds, vendettas, squabbles, murders and assassinations, power grabs, rivalries, betrayals and double-crossing. Sons or nephews rose up against their powerful fathers or uncles. Women connived or cowered. Bastard sons were particularly hard to deal with, most notably in the case of William the Conqueror, who survived several attempts to get rid of him in his earlier years, which a historian says "annealed" his character - and taught him the powers of violence.

1095AD: Crusaders: By now, a noted French fighter of Moslem forces in Spain is Raymond of St Gilles, Count of Toulouse, Marquis of Provence, who early becomes an enthusiastic recruit to the spirit of Crusading in the Holy Land. By July 1096 another recruit was Hugh of Vermandois, brother of King Philip of France. Genoa would be asked for maritime support for any Crusade. The Genoese fleet set sail in July 1097.
Reference item: Richard W. Unger, The Ship in the Medieval Economy, 600-1600. Montreal, 1980.*

1095AD-1099AD: The First Crusade.

Dante the poet of Italy, who called Philip IV (The Fair of France), the destroyer of The Templars order, "the new Pilate". See http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/templars.html - page for A History of the Knights Templar and with mention of a naval fleet and Roger de Flor. At some time, the Templars' Atlantic Fleet is based at La Rochelle. See Anne Gilmour-Bryson, The Trial of the Templars in Cyprus. University of Melbourne Press, 2000.
See re important Templar estates in England from http://www.pharo.com/history/templars/articles, - website.

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