Vikings versus Britain, Normandy, Russia, Spain, Morocco and Italy.
The Vikings establish settlements on English soil, notably at York.
With better food and more stable government, the population of Europe recovers from a
series of plagues.
English monarch, king of Wessex.
The House of Wessex; 802 to 1016.
The Witan, an Anglo-Saxon council, precursor to parliament.
Charlemagne conquers Saxony thus ruling a vast empire bounded by the North Sea, the
Elbe, Bavaria, Carinthia, Lombardy, the Mediterranean, the Pyrenees and the Atlantic.
Fez is made capital of Morocco.
Death of the caliph Harun al-Rashid; the Arab empire at its apogee.
Defeat of Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus the First by Bulgars.
Work begins on the Palazzo Ducale in what will become St Mark’s Square, Venice.
Byzantine Emperor Michael recognizes Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor.
Period of serious Arab naval Raids on shores of Tyrrhenian and Adriatic seas.
Louis the Pious succeeds Charlemagne as emperor.
Collaborating with Louis the Pious, son of Charlemagne and namesake for future kings of
France, Benedict of Aniane leads the first monastic reform and imposes rigid rules of
regulating religious life documented at the Council of Aachen.
The Rule of Benedict.
Second wave of iconoclasm in Byzantium.
Baghdad, capital of the Islamic caliphs, is the world’s largest city.
An Abbasid governor founds the Ziyadid dynasty in the extreme south of Arabia.
Establishment of independent kingdom of Pamplona.
The first King of England to unite independent and divisive kingdoms and tribes under one
rule. Egbert of Wessex ends Mercian dominance at the Battle of Ellendun, establishing the
West Saxon Dynasty for the next two hundred years
A library is established in Baghdad by the Abbasids.
Muslim pirates from Spain use Crete as their base.
Ziyadast Allah, Aghlabid ruler of Ifriqiyah (North Africa), conquers Sicily.
It was the covert actions of Venice which would catapult this huddled mass of humanity into
a formidable maritime power based on salt, glass and slaves. Slaves were captured from
neighboring lands by the Venetians and sold on the Roman, Byzantine and Egyptian markets.
Two enterprising Venetian merchants, Bono and Rustico, sailed to Egypt with the intention of
stealing the bones of the Apostle Mark. At Alexandria they “liberate” the skeletal remains of the
Saint. Desecration of a holy site and grave robbing were just two of the crimes which carried
the death sentence. Getting them was tough enough but the likelihood of whisking the bones
out of the country under the close scrutiny of the vizier was daunting.
The weapon they used to beguile the Egyptians was the edict “For you shall refuse the
meat of the beast of cloven foot.” The bones of Saint Mark were placed in a basket covered
with the flesh of pork, anathema to Muslims. Such a ruse worked to spirit the relics out of
Alexandria and the merchants sailed to Venice.
The dream of St Mark was conceived in order to justify the furt pius.
English monarch. Also ruled 856 to 858
The first Basilica of St Mark is completed to house the relics of Saint Mark.
By 834 the ancient civilization of the Irish is virtually destroyed by Vikings. The countryside
of Scotland, Northern England and Ireland has been almost completely despoiled of its
The Arabs employ carrier pigeons using “bird’s paper”.
Major Arab invasion of Anatolia leading to sack of the city of Amorium.
English monarch. Abdicated.
Vikings establish a settlement at Dublin on the eastern coast of Ireland.
Vikings have raided the towns of Noirmoutier, Rhe, Duurstede (sacked no fewer than four
times), Utrecht and Antwerp in the Low Countries.
The Treaty of Verdun divides the Carolingian Empire among three grandsons of
Charlemagne into the kingdoms of Eastern and Western Franks and the Middle Kingdom:
German Franks and French Franks.
Vikings capture Nantes and threaten the Muslim cities of Lisbon and Cadiz.
Icons are returned to Hagia Sophia on a day now commemorated as the Feast of
Kenneth MacAlpin rules the Picts and Scots as the first king of a united Scotland.
A large Viking force of more than 120 ships sails up the Seine and attacks and sacks Paris.
Arab pirates sack St Peter’s in Rome.
The Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals (False Discretals) were forged documents of papal canon
law decrees to show the rights of bishops against secular powers to give Pope Leo claim to
primacy over the whole church. Greek Christians call Rome “the home of forgeries”.
Splitting up of Lombard principality of Benevento.
Caliph al-Mu’tasim builds another capital at Samarra to accommodate a new army.
The Umayyad naval squadron is formed to patrol the Atlantic coast.
Persian mathematician al-Khwarizmi writes Kitab al-Jabr wa al-muqabalah from which the
West gets the term algebra.
Viking forces begin to take land and settle in northern England and Yorkshire.
‘Martyr movement’ in Cordoba.
Vikings sack Orleans.
Vikings enter the Mediterranean and attack southern France and Italy.
First attack on Constantinople by Kiev Vikings (Rus). The Vikings use two hundred ships to
raid the city.
English monarch. Under King of Kent 858 - 860.
The Vikings reach Iceland.
Viking chieftain Rurik founds a dynasty in Russia.
Abbasid General Omar’s campaigns in Anatolia are stopped by the Byzantines.
Byzantine missionaries begin conversion of the Slavs to Christianity.
Cyril and Methodius missionaries to the Slavs invent the Cyrillic and Glagolithic alphabets
and convert the Bulgars to Christianity.
Period of schism between Eastern and Western Churches.
Bulgar Khan Boris converts to orthodox Christianity.
The Viking ‘Great Army’ moves from France to south-east England.
Photius, the patriarch of Constantinople, separates the Eastern Church from the Western
Beginning of Macedonian dynasty in Byzantium.
Emperor Basil begins the Macedonian dynasty that reestablishes much of the Byzantine
Empire’s former power.
Ahmad ibn Tulun, sent to govern Egypt by the Caliph of Baghdad makes Egypt
independent, founding the Tulunid Dynasty. Later controls Palestine and Syria.
Edmund, King of East Anglia, captured after a battle with invading Danes. Canonized after
he was killed for refusing to submit to the pagan invaders.
Viking defeats at Englefield and Ashdown.
Alfred the Great rules Wessex and stops the Danes from advancing farther west into
Grandson of Egbert, Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, routed the Viking forces.
In 886, King Alfred concluded a treaty with the Viking king Guthrum. This formalizes the
partition of England with the Vikings, whose realm in the East Midlands, East Anglia and
Yorkshire become known as the ‘Danelaw’.
The only English king to be called ‘Great’. Alfred retook London and restored its ancient
Able to read and write, Alfred supported the translation of important Latin works into Anglo-
Saxon and introduces a legal code administered by the local reeves of the shires.
Thus shire-reeve transmutes to “sheriff”.
Muslims dominate sea trade; Islam spreads to southeast Asia.
Byzantine power is re-established in Italy with the conquest of Benevento and Bari, initiating
a period of Byzantine ascendency.
Hunayn ibn Ishaq dies.
Political fragmentation of kingdom of Italy following death of Louis the Second.
Beginning of Byzantine re-conquest of southern Italy.
Battle of Edington. King Alfred the Great of Wessex defeats Viking forces.
Arab capture of Syracuse, Byzantine capital of Sicily.
The Tulunids take Jerusalem.
The Viking Oleg the Wise takes Kiev and makes it the capital of Russia.
University of Salerno established.
Macedonian Renaissance in Byzantium.
The miracle of Clavijo features St James bursting from a cloud to slay thousands of
Muslims in Spain.
Charles the Third, the Fat, is deposed and Carolingian power begins to crumble.
Odo, count of Paris becomes king of West Francia.
Smaller kingdoms begin to form throughout the empire. Emergence of independent kings
in Burgundy and Provence.
King Arnulf of the East Franks defeats the Viking forces at the Dyle.
Invasion of Byzantine territory by Tsar Symeon of Bulgaria.
Vikings lay siege to Paris but fail to take it.
Vikings settle at the mouth of the river Siene founding Normandy.
The Magyars move westward pressured by invading Pechenegs to occupy modern day
A Shi’a Muslim dynasty, the Zaydi Imams is established in the Arabian highlands.
October 26, death of King Alfred of Wessex. Buried at Winchester.
The Huns begin their raids on Christendom in Italy.
Viking Harald Finehair unites Norway into one kingdom.
The Abbasid caliphate dominates trade in the Old World.
Arab tribes unite under the Shi’a Qarmatians and rebel against Abbasid rule.
Resurgence of Byzantine power in Balkans and Anatolia.