803 The war against the Ainu ends. The emperor, Kammu, has left court-appointed aristocrats as leaders of his army, and an aristocrat, Sakanoue Tamuramaro, has emerged as a war hero and the first person with the title of Shogun.
807 The Abbasid caliph, Harun al Rashid, decress that Baghdad Jews are wear a yellow badge and Christians are to wear a blue badge.
813 The new Abbasid caliph in Baghdad, son of al Rashid, Abdallah al-Mamun, sends people to Constantinople's empire to collect scientific works by ancient Greeks.
825 The kingdom of Wessex wins in war and becomes the dominate power in England.
826 In China, the Tang Dynasty limps along politically. A reckless teenager, Jingzong, has inherited the throne – the second emperor in five years. In the eyes of court eunuchs he has filled the court with incompetent persons, and they have him assassinated.
834 In Norway, two women are buried in a Viking ship. In the year 2008 it will be called the Oseberg ship. One of the women will be described as "upper class" and her skeleton indicating that she had led a hard life. The older woman, in her 70s and perhaps over 80, has cancerous tumors in her bones, perhaps having spread there from breast or uterine cancer.
840 Eunichs in China have chosen Wuzong (age 36) as emperor, and while doing so they murder two rivals to the throne and the mothers of these contenders.
841 In Scandinavia and increase in population has inspired people called Vikings or Norsemen to venture out in longboats. This year, give or take a year or so, Vikings land and build a settlement on the south bank of the River Liffey, founding what will eventually be the city of Dublin.
843 Buddhism, imported from India, has grown in China. Wuzong is an ardent Taoist, and he begins a campaign that will close Buddhist shrines and temples, return Buddhist monks and nuns to lay life and confiscate millions of acres of Buddhist land. Buddhism in China is to survive but never fully recover, while its rival, Confucianism, enjoys a renewed intellectual life.
845 Vikings journeying up the Seine River and arriving at Paris in search of loot are bribed not to attack.
850 A Muslim scholar in Baghdad, al Kindi, is using translations of Aristotle – unavailable in Western Europe – to create a neoplatonic school of Islamic thought.
850 Gunpowder is described in a Taoist book of alchemy, the "Classified Essentials of the Mysterious Dao of the True Origin of Things."
858 In Japan, the Nakatomi family has changed its name to Fujiwara. Fujiwara women have married into the royal Yamato family and they have given birth to Yamato emperors. The Fujiwara family runs the government and their taking power is described as having begun – a power that the Fujiwara family is to keep for three centuries.
858 Christian missionaries develop the Cyrillic alphabet from written Greek – an alphabet that in modern times is used in Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian and other languages.
860 Vikings have attacked at Constantinople. A new phase in Scandinavian (Viking) aggression has begun. Encouraged by former successes, the Scandinavians are beginning to attack in greater number.
861 Vikings voyage up the river Seine and attack at Paris, up the Rhine to Cologne, and they attack at Aix-la-Chapelle.
862 Vikings have reported that land is more available abroad. Their growth in population has eliminated the availability of land at home. Moving from more densely populated areas, Scandinavians have begun moving to less densely populated areas and settling down. Rurik of Scandinavia has established a dynasty at Novgorod.
865 In England, an Army of Danes has overthrown the kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia.
868 Someone in China produces a book of pages and paper.
869 The last writing on a stele in the major Maya city of Tikal is dated as 869.
870 A Sufi, Tayfur Abu Yazid al-Bistami (Bayazid), has been spreading his wisdom. A change has been taking place in Islam, as religion had when the Roman Empire was disintegrating. Muslims are no longer looking with hope to a god that is a glorious conqueror. Instead they are looking for a sense of well-being through a personal relationship with Allah. The Sufi movement is bringing Allah down from his heights and sees Him as a loving friend – the way Christians saw Jesus.
874 Vikings settle in Iceland.
899 The Maya city Tikal is abandoned. Other Mayan cities in the surrounding lowland area are collapsed while some cities in the northern Yucatan Peninsula continue to thrive. (map)
899 King Alfred the Great of Wessex has rallied England against Viking attacks. Vikings are settled and remain in Northumbria and East Anglia while a Viking army has sailed back to the continent.
900 For sometime the horse collar has been spreading in Europe, invented more than 1000 years earlier in China. The collar prevents choking a horse, ignored by Roman farmers. The collar allows a horse to pull heavier loads, needed for pulling plows in Europe's heavy soils.
900 By now a Muslim trading settlement has been established on the coast at Zeila, on the northern Somali coast, about 150 miles south of the mouth of the Red Sea.
Copyright © 2003-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.