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history:h_mid1

The Middle ("medieval") Ages

  • 775 and 994AD - two of the most intense solar flares ever detected (the previous one was 660BC)

early middle ages ('Dark ages')

  • Europe:
    • Rise of the Byzantine empire (476-1453 AD)
      • the eastern part of the Roman Empire that survived the break up of the Western Roman Empire
      • based in Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey), which became capital of the Roman empire in 330AD after Constantine the Great, the 1st Christian emperor re-founded the city Byzantium and named it after himself
      • at the time it was regarded as being Roman and its subjects were “Roman” but spoke Greek
        • ⇒ East Orthodox church
      • 863 - under a vigorous Macedonian dynasty, took back from the Arabs several great Roman cities - Antioch, Alexandria, Beirut & Caeserea
      • Basil II:
        • 976 - drives Muslims back to the gates of Jerusalem
        • defeats the Bulgarians, then the Georgians, Armenians, & Normans
      • encompassed SE Europe, SW Asia, NE Africa including the Balkan peninsula, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Egypt
    • Western Roman Empire (476AD)
    • gothic tribes (Christian Aryan sects) had split into 2 tribes:
      • Visigoths migrated west to Spain
      • Ostrogoths migrated east to Austria then to Italy
    • 460AD: the Burgonds (an old Germanic people) settle in French city of Lyon
    • Ostrogothic empire - Austria to Italy:
    • 504AD Franks drive Visigoths (the Vandals) from France to Spain where the settle esp. around Toledo to form a Visigothic kingdom which would last for 2 centuries (Visigoths had been forced to France from the Danube by the Huns)
    • 556AD Franks conquer Bavaria 
    • 558-9 Huns invade Thrace, Macedonia & Greece
    • 561 civil war breaks out amongst the Merovingians in France
    • 565 Christianity reaches the Fezzan
    • 675 Bulgars settle south of Danube, founding their 1st empire
    • Britain:
      • 535AD global climate change leads to failed crops, which combined with the Britons on England's western parts being weakened by bubonic plaque brought by trade with Romans, leads to England becoming dominated by the Anglo-Saxons from the east of England.
      • 600AD, Britain dominated by a dozen warlords who battled each other and also created the feudal system which would dominate Europe for next 1000yrs.
      • Vikings invade Britain, bringing their carbonised “hard” iron swords in 6thC AD perhaps fuelling the legend of 'magic swords' such as Excalibur
      • 633 - the Mercians under Penda defeat the Northumbrians
      • 664 - King Oswy of Northumbria abandons Celtic Christian Church, accepting Roman Christianity, thus unifying dates of Easter and replacing John by Peter as the main apostle.
    • 719AD: Visigoths in Spain overtaken by the recently converted Islamic people of Morocco resulting in an Islamic Spain for the next 500 years.
    • 725AD: Saracens rampage the Rhone Valley looting Lyons, reaching Pointiers before stopped by Charles Martel.
    • Charlemagne's empire:
      • crowned emperor of the so-called Holy Roman Empire by a grateful Pope, thereby strengthening the alliance between the Franks & the Roman Church & dividing further from the Byzantine Empire
      • in agreement with Arabian rulers & traders, set a standard of measurement based on Arabian cubit:
        • Arabian cubit = 25.56in = 649mm = 2 Frankish feet = 24 pouces or inches
        • this lasted in France until superseded by the metric system in 1795
    • Otto the Great
    • 889 - Germany invaded by Hungarians
    • 935 - Lyon attacked by Hungarians
    • 950 - Lapps enter Norway
  • Middle East:
    • Arab empire:
      • 530AD chess introduced into Persia from India
      • 535AD global climate change leads to problems with Yemen's dam, leading to fall of Yemen & the rise of the cities of Medina & Mecca
      • 551AD Beirut destroyed by earthquake killing 250,000
      • 589AD Arabs, Khazars & Turks invade Persia but they are defeated
      • 610AD Mohammed (570-632) sees a vision and forms the Islam religion
      • 629 - 1st Islam mosque built
      • 630-40 Arab pirates active in Red Sea
      • 645 - Byzantine forces recapture Alexandria
      • 649 - Arabs conquer Cyprus
      • 655 - Arabs defeat Byzantine fleet near Alexandria
      • 673 - Arabs start an unsuccessful 5yr siege of Constantinople
      • 674 - occupy Crete
      • 700-750:
        • paper becomes utilised; Baghdad the centre of Islam & scientific centre; cataracts removed; 
        • Arabic numerals (derived from Nagari numerals in India)
        • translate ancient books especially ancient Greek texts such as Aristotle into Arabic
      • 10thC:  Sth Spanish city of Cordoba becomes 2nd most important Muslim city which was lit by light & running water & the biggest city in Europe; Inspires the Gothic architecture in next few centuries in Europe;
      • 935 - found Algiers
  • Asia:
    • India:
      • Foreign military reverses, notably at the hands of the Turks about 565, finally undermined the Hunnish power in India.
      • Among the contemporary descendants of the Huns who remained on the subcontinent are certain tribal groups of modern Rajasthan.
      • Another powerful kingdom was founded in northern India, in 606, by Harsha (590?-647), the last Hindu monarch of consequence in Indian national history.
      • in early 7thC, the Gupta numerals evolve into Nagari numerals - an immediate precursor of out Arabic numerals - these symbols continued to evolve esp. in 11thC.
      • After Harsha died, political upheaval & anarchy resulted which remained until 11th century.
    • China:
      • 623AD - all China united under Tang dynasty
      • 630AD - knowledge of arithmetic & medicine reaches Tibet from China
      • 634AD - oldest known observatory in East Asia built - Chomsongdae in Sth Korea
      • 639 - China conquers Turkestan & Korea
      • 645AD - Buddhism reaches Tibet
      • 661 - China at war with Korea & withdraw in 682
  • Oceania
    • Polynesians based in Samoa, migrate from the Cook Islands to:
      • Tahiti (AD700)
      • Hawaii (AD900)
      • Easter Islands (AD900)
  • Americas:
    • 535AD global climate change leads to 30yrs drought causing fall of the Teotichuan civilisation
    • Toltec civilisation (900-1200)

1000-1500AD:

high middle ages:

  • Britain:
    • England:
      • Norman conquest of Britain 1066
        • 1067 - begin to build Tower of London to impress the defeated English
      • Henry II (1154) - 1st of the Angeuin kings
        • 1170 - orders the murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury
        • 1176 - work starts on London Bridge, completed in 1209
      • Richard I the Lionheart
        • 1189-93 goes to 3rd Crusade & in 1191 takes Cyprus
        •  
      • 1195 - famine
      • 1209 - treaty signed with Scotland
      • 1215 - King John seals the Magna Carta then approached Pope to have it annulled later that year
      • Edward I:
        • 1282 conquers Wales
        • in 1305 declared standards for measurements:
          • 1 inch = 3 grains of barley round and dry
          • 12 inch = 1 foot
          • 3 foot = 1 ulna (yard)
          • 5.5 ulna = 1 rod
          • 40 rods x 4 rods = 1 acre
    • Scotland:
      • Macbeth (1040-1057)
      • 1297 - William Wallace leading the Scots rebel against & defeat the English at Stirling
  • Islamic regions:
    • 1009: Egyptian ruler of Jerusalem Al Hakim? an insane ruler destroys Christian buildings which for 200yrs the Muslims had respected & thus sparked anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe & the Christian crusades led by Pope Urban II. in 1095 at a time when the Arab Empire was weak & fragmented.
    • 1035-85: Islamic Toledo in Spain dominate the astronomic world of Western Europe developing new astronomic tables & planetary plotting devices.
    • 1099: massacre of Muslims and even Christians in Jerusalem by the Crusaders who built magnificent defensive castles.
    • 12thC: Islam continued to spread as unlike the Christians, their mosques welcomed traders, housed the sick, learning more from the traders such as:
      • from Persians and how to fold steel to make the best swords.
      • silk, damasc, taffeta textiles, pepper, cinnamon & other oriental spices; soap;
    • 1187: Salaadin leads Muslim soldiers against the Crusaders & retakes Jerusalem but does not persecute the Christians, thus becoming the most famous Muslim of all time and establishing a Golden Age of Islam.. Islamic influences infiltrates Europe & even Aquinas used Avicenna's philosophy.
    • 1248: Christian rulers take most of the now fragmented Islamic Spain except for Grenada.
    • 1258: the 'Golden Age of Muslim' ends with the Mongol invasion, torching Baghdad, destroying libraries & killing tens of thousands, but in the end opened the world to Islam by becoming Muslims themselves within a decade! The Mongols transformed Islam by allowing non-Arabs to become Muslim leaders resulting in the 'gunpowder' Muslim empire of the Ottoman Turks.
  • Holy Roman Empire:
    • crusades:
      • Christian invasion into Islamic regions
      • 1204 - Christian crusaders take Constantinople
    • Arabic numerals began to be slowly adopted by Western European mathematicians (including Fibonacci) in 11thC after translations of their texts, although 1st translations were by Spanish monks in late 10thC and full adoption not until after 15thC.
    • Spanish Inquisition - insincere converted Jews & Muslims, heretics, non-believers, “witches” burnt at the stake
    • Italy:
      • 1252 - Florence strikes 1st gold coins (florins) to be issued in the West since the fall of Rome
      • Marco Polo (1271-1292)
        • Italian traveller and author, whose writings gave Europeans the first authoritative view of life in the Far East (China).
      • Dante (1265-1321)
        • Italian poet, wrote his epic masterpiece The Divine Comedy in 1307
    • France:
      • 1162-82 Notre Dame in Paris built
  • Vikings in Nth America
  • Asia:
    • the Mongols:
      • Jenghiz Khan (Genghis) rules Nth Asia despite a small army of max. 110,000 men (r.1206-1227):
        • avenged his father's death by defeating the Tatars who had poisoned him
        • defeated the kingdom of Xi Xia in China & when the Xi Xia refused to help him in a later campaign, he virtually exterminated them
        • when the Shah at Samarkand killed his envoys sent to negotiate, he avenged the insult by defeating the Shah's forces even though he was outnumbered
        • over-ran central Asia, Afghanistan, Persia & parts of Russia
      • Ogodei, the 3rd son of Jenghiz, became the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire
        • completed the overpowering of the Chin dynasty in Nth China
      • Batu, Ogodei's son, invaded Europe:
        • Nth Russia principalities were defeated in a lightning Winter raid in 1237-8, the only successful winter campaign against Russia in history
        • Kiev fell in 1240
        • a German-Polish army was annihilated in 1241
        • Batu's forces may have reached the Atlantic had his father not died back in the Mongol capital of Karakoum which made Batu go back to claim his position in the line of succession 
    • India:
      • Muslim invasions:
        • Mahmud, a Korasan Islamic warrior, in 1000AD launched the first of 17 consecutive expeditions across the Afghan frontier into India.
        • The most successful of the Muslim rulers after Mahmud was Muhammad of Ghur (fl. 1174-1206), whose reign began in 1173. Regarded by most historians as the real founder of Muslim power in India, he initiated his campaigns of conquest in 1175 and, in the course of the next three decades, subjugated all of the Indo-Gangetic plain west of Benares (now Varanasi).
        • Before the end of Ala-ud-Din's reign in 1316, the Mongols had begun to infiltrate the northern frontiers of the Muslim dominions in India. Muhammad Tughluq, the last Delhi sultan of importance, completely alienated both the Muslims and the subject Hindus by his extreme cruelty and his religious fanaticism. As the empire was torn by revolutionary turmoil, some provinces, notably Bengal, seceded.
      • Mongol invasion:
        • in 1398, when the Mongol conqueror Tamerlane led his armies into India, he met little organized resistance.
    • Cambodia:
      • temples at Angkor Wot built early 12thC, urban civilisation surrounding it existed from c500AD-1500AD until it apparently declined due to effects of deforestation & over-development.
    • New Zealand and Oceania
      • Māori arrived in New Zealand at different times, from several points in East Polynesia, in the late 13th century
      • Chatham Island Moriori, like Māori, were descendants of the original Polynesian settlers of New Zealand. Moriori had migrated to the Chatham Islands some time after 1300 AD, possibly around 1500.

late middle ages:

  • Europe:
    • Britain:
      • 100yr war with France 1337-1453 after Philip VI of France lay claim to Gascony & Edward III of England declared himself king of France
      • 1315: great famine
      • 1348: Black Death of bubonic plague spread out from Mongol hordes across Asia, Europe & to Britain killing as much as 50% (London's pop. 300,000, 300 died each day in the 1st wave) & in 1349 reached Ireland killing 14,000 in Dublin alone. This resulted in labour shortage which allowed labourers to charge more & demand less rent.
      • War of the Roses
      • Chaucer (1343?-1400)
        • one of the greatest English poets, whose masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales, was one of the most important influences on the development of English literature.
      • Henry VII:
        • in 1497 set weight & distance standards
      •  
    • France:
      • Joan of Arc (1412-31)
        • called the Maid of Orléans, national heroine and patron saint of France, who united the nation at a critical hour and decisively turned the Hundred Years' War in France's favour.
      • chandeliers become a status symbol due to craftsmanship and cost with hand-cut glass being introduced.
    • Spain:
      • controlled by the Moors & not a united kingdom until 1479 with the Moors being expelled by 1492.
    • Germany was in pieces 
    • the Swiss rebelled against Austrian overlords
    • the Byzantine empire overwhelmed by the Turks
    • plague wipes out 25% of European population
    • Hapsburg dynasty of Austria (1273 - 1918)
    • Ottoman empire in Turkey (1288-1918)
    • 1348 - Persecution of Jews in Germany after the Black Death causes many survivors to migrate to Poland
    • Gothic period (1350-1480)
    • discovery of Cape of Good Hope & sea route to the Orient to dominate the spice trade:
      • Portugese explorers:
        • da Gama sails to: Madeira (1418), Azores (1431), rounds Cape Bojeador (1434), mouth of Senegal (1444), sights Sierra Leone (1460), Calicut in India (1498)
        • Diaz discovers & sails around Cape of Good Hope (1487)
        • Albuquerque sails from the southern end of the Red Sea to Indonesia (1509-15)
        • Mota reaches Japan (1542)
    • discovery of the “New World” - the great land mass to the west of Europe:
      • Spanish-funded explorers:
        • the Genoan, Christopher Columbus sails to: Bahamas which he thought was an Asiatic archipelago (1492)
        • the Florentine, Vespucci sails along Nth coast of Sth America & Brazil (1454-1512) 
        • the Portugese, Magellan sailed to Sth America in 1519, & by passing through the Magellan Strait becomes the 1st European to sail across the Pacific Ocean & was killed in 1521 when he was helping the islanders of Cebu in the Phillipines, fight against the islanders of Mactan.
      • British explorers:
        • John Cabot sails along northeast coast of America (1450-1500)
  • Asia:
    •  
  • Americas:
    • Incas empire (1200-1583)
      •  
    • Aztec empire (1325-1521)
      • the Aztecs, sweeping in from the north during the 13thC, dominate the Mexican region from their island stronghold of Tenochtitlan, in Lake Texcoco, subjugating the Indians, until defeated by Cortez in 1521, aided by Indians.
history/h_mid1.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/13 09:11 by gary1