10th Century, 901 to 1000

901  In middle Mexico, the Toltecs have established themselves at Tula. (map)

904  Recent emperors in China have been incompetent and the puppets of palace eunuchs. Many in China believe that these emperors have lost the Mandate of Heaven.

905  China's emperor loses control over Annam (northern Vietnam). There a village notable, Khuc Thua Du, has led a rebellion. The Chinese garrison at Tong Binh (Hanoi) is vanquished. Khuc Thua Du declares Annam autonomous.

911  The King of France, Charles III, gives Normandy to Vikings in return for the Viking leader, Rollo, a Norwegian, pledging his allegiance to him – the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte. Rollo and his Vikings (mostly Danes) are to defend his part of the coast of France from attacks by other Vikings.

912  Rollo and his Vikings become Christian.

924  Bulgarians overrun the lands of Prince Caslav Klonimirovic in what today is Serbia.

927  Prince Caslov drives away the Bulgarians and expands his kingdom, uniting what today is Serbia, Montenegro, East Herzegovina (Hercegovina) and Bosnia, then called Raska, Duklja, Travunija and Bosnia. This is said by Serbians to be the founding of Serbia. Orthodox Christianity is the state religion.

929  At Cordoba Spain, Abd-ar-Rahman, of the Umayyad dynasty, elevates himself from an emir to caliph, putting himself in rivalry with the Abbasid caliph at Baghdad.

950  Women in a Chinese harem invent playing cards.

960  In China, palace guards surround their commander and demand that he become emperor. The commander agrees but only if they vow to obey him and not plunder, not harm citizens and not harm the ruling family they are overthrowing. The troops agree. The new emperor is Taizu, who will begin the Song Dynasty.

970  Córdoba, on the Iberian Peninsula, is Europe's intellectual center and the world's most populous city. Constantinople is the only other European city in the top ten of the world's most populous cities. Córdoba is a Muslim city. Caliph al Hakam II has been in power since 961 and is contributing to the building of Cordoba's libraries. Córdoba has Europe's best university, with a spirit of free inquiry. It has medical schools. Work is being done also in math and astronomy. The city is tolerant toward its Jewish and Christian minority.

970  In China, paper money, invented there around 100 C.E., now dominates as the monatery unit.

970  Around this year in China, a ruler's consort who has bound her feet with strips of silk cloth performs a dance that impresses the aristocrat artsy crowd. Other court females adopt the practice. The binding of feet becomes a part of aristocratic culture for women expected to be playthings and entertainers rather than having the mobility needed for labor among common women.

975  Europeans begin to use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, et cetera), which are more convenient in arithmetic than Roman numerals.

980  Wealthy landowners in Japan have freed themselves from paying taxes. The government has little in revenues and has stopped supporting a national army. The wealthy landowners have been consolidating their various lands into single administrative units and creating their own armies. The men hired for these armies are to be known as samurai (men who serve), or bushi (warriors). 

982  Erik the Red has been expelled from Iceland. He leads a group in the exploration of Greenland. 

985  Erik the Red has returned to Iceland. With 25 ships filled with people and their belongings he heads back to Greenland. Many are lost at sea. With the 350 persons who arrive in Greenland, he establishes a settlement.

988  In Kiev, Prince Vladimir I adopts the religion of the Byzantine Empire as the state religion.

990  Between Timbuktu and the Atlantic coast, authoritarian kings have enriched themselves by forcing tradesmen to give them a cut in the gold that has been passing through their territory from mines to their south on their way northward. Their kingdom is called Ghana. Ghana extends its empire by conquering the Berber-dominated town of Awdaghost, to the northwest of Ghana, and Ghana is now at the peak of its power.

1000  Northern Maya cities begin to be abandoned. The Toltecs have arrived from central Mexico, and at what had been a Maya city, Chichen Itza, they build their own monuments.

1000  A few Turks are in Iran employed as soldiers. Now tribes of Turks start moving into Iran.  

1000  Muslims looking forward to the future are expanding southward along the Somali coast in eastern Africa. The town of Mogadishu is founded, where Muslim merchants are to trade in gold dust from the south.  

1000  For centuries Christians have been expecting the Second Coming of Jesus – the Day of Judgment. Giving importance to a round figure such as 1000, and assuming that Jesus was born exactly one thousand years earlier, many believe this is the year that it will happen. The passing of the year leaves believers thanking God for the postponement of Armageddon.

1000  Per capita world Gross Domestic Product (according to today's economic historian Angus Maddison) is $435, measured in 1990 dollars. This (according to Maddison) is down from $444 in the year 1. And (according to Maddison) income levels in Europe are below those of Asia and North Africa.

9th Century (801 to 900 CE) | 11th Century (1001 to 1100 CE)

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