• 570

    Muhammeds Birth

    Born in Mecca in 570, Muhammad grew up an orphan in the house of his uncle.
  • Jan 1, 610

    The Vision

    Around 610 Muhammed began meditating at night in the mountains around Mecca. One night the angel Gabriel spoke to him.
  • Jan 1, 622

    Muhammad Fled

    Muhammad and his followers fled to Mecca in 622 to take up residence in the agricultural community of Medina
  • Jan 1, 624

    Alternating Views

    Muhammads followers considered his relevation more perfect then the bible because it had not been edited.
  • Jan 1, 632


    Muhammads died after a brief illness
  • Jan 1, 650


    Hitherto written haphazardly on pieces ofleather or bone, the verses of revelation became a single document gathered into chapthers. This resulting book, the year 650, was called the Quran.
  • Dec 31, 650

    Arab Armies

    Between 634 and 650, Arab armies destroyed the Sasanid Empire and captured Byzantine Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia. Islam posed a religious as well as a political challenge. By the end of the twelfth century, some twothirds of the Christians in these former Byzantine territories had adopted the Muslim faith
  • Jan 1, 656


    When Ali accepted the nomination to be caliph, two of Muhammads close companions and favorite wife A'isha challenged him. Ali defeated the in the Battle of the Camel.
  • Jan 1, 661

    New Caliph

    Mu'awiya then offered Ali's son Hasan a dignified retirement and thus emerged as caliph.
  • Jan 1, 680


    Mu'awiya chose his own son to succeed him, the Umayyad Caliphate. When Hasans brother Husyan revolted in 680 to reestablish the right of Alis family to rule, Yazid ordered Husayn and his family killed
  • Dec 31, 711

    Raiding party

    In 711 a frontier raiding party of Arabs and Berbers, acting under the authority of the Umayyad caliph in Syria, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and overturned the kingdom of the Visigoths in Spain.
  • Dec 31, 732


    The disunited Europeans could iiot stop them from consolidating their hold on the Iberian Peninsula. After pushing the remaining Christian chieftains into the northern mountains, the Muslims moved on to France. They occupied much of the southern coast and penetrated as far north as Tours, less than 150 miles from the English Channel, before Charlemagne's grandfather, Charles Martel, stopped their most advanced raiding party in 732.
  • Jan 1, 740


    Most of Berber-speaking North Africa rebelled and freed itself of direct chaliphal rule after 740
  • Jan 1, 740

    Berber revolts

    In the west, the Berber revolts against Arab rule led to the appearance after 740 of the citystates of Sijilmasa and Tahert on the northern fringe of the Sahara. The Kharijite beliefs of these states' rulers interfered with their eastwest overland trade and led them to develop the first regular trade across the Sahara desert. Once traders looked to the desert, they discovered that Berber speakers in the southern Sahara were already carrying salt from the desert into the Sahel region.
  • Jan 1, 740

    Cut off

    Cut of from the rest of the Islamic world by the Strait of Gibraltar and, from 740 onward, by independent citystates in Morocco and Algeria, Umayyad Spain developed a distinctive Islamic culture blending Roman, Germanic, and Jewish traditions with those of the Arabs and Berbers
  • Jan 1, 750

    Umayyad Dynasty Fell

    The Umayyad Dynasty fell in 750 after a decade of growing unrest. One such rebellion, in the region of Khurasan in what is today notheastern Iran, overthrew the last Umayyad caliph, though one family member escaped to Spain and founded an Umayyad principality there in 755
  • Jan 1, 850

    The Targets

    By the middle of the ninth century, revolts targeting Arab or Muslim domination gave way to movements of territory and formation of principalities. None of the states carved out of the Abbasid Caliphate after 850 repudiated or even threatened Islam.
  • Jan 1, 875

    Dynamic growth

    Dynamic growth in outlying provinces paralleled the caliphate's gradual loss of temporal power. In the east in 875, the dynasty of the Samanids", one of several Iranian families to achieve independence, established a glittering court in Bukhara, a major city on the Silk Road
  • Jan 1, 892


    The Turks dominated Samarra without interference from an unruly Baghdad populace that regarded them as rude and hughhanded. However, the money and effort that went into the huge city, which was occupied only from 835 to 892, futher sapped the caliphs' financial strength and deflected labor from more productive pursuits.
  • Dec 31, 900

    Orthodox Christian

    Though Latin and Orthodox Christendom followed different paths in later centuries, which had a more promising future was not apparent in 900. The Poles and other Slavic peoples living in the north eventually accepted the Christianity of Rome as taught by German priests and missionaries.
  • Jan 1, 909


    The North African citystates lost their independence after the Fatimid dynasty, whose members claimed to be Shisite Imams descended from Ali, established itself in Tunisia in 909.
  • Dec 31, 910


    Founded in 910 by William the Pious, the first duke of Aquitaine, who completely freed it of lay authority, Cluny gained similar freedom from the local bishop a century later. Its abbots pursued a vigorous campaign, eventually in alliance with reforming popes like Gregory VII, to improve monastic discipline and administration.
  • Dec 31, 929

    The rulers

    The rulers of al-Andalus took the title caliph only in 929, when Abd al-Rahman III did so in response to a similar declaration by the newly established Fatimid ruler in Tunisia
  • Jan 1, 945


    In 945, after several attempts to find a strongman to reform government administration and restore military power, the Abbasid Caliphate fell under the control of rude mountian warriors from the province of Daylam in northern Iran.
  • Jan 1, 969


    After consolidating their hold on northwest Africa, the Fatimids culnainated their rise to power by conquering Egypt in 969. Claiming the title of caliph in a direct challenge to the Abbasids, the Fatimid rulers governed from a palace complex outside the old conquestera garrison city of Fustat
  • Dec 31, 988


    After choosing a reluctant bride from the Byzantine imperial family, Vladimir converted to Orthodox Christianity, probably in 988, and opened his lands to whodox clerics and missionaries. The patriarch of Constow mople appointed a metropolitan at Kiev to govern ecclesiastical affairs.
  • Dec 31, 1000


    Although many Viking raiders sought booty and slaves, in the 800s and 900s Viking captains organized the settlement of Iceland, Greenland, and, around the year 1000, Vinland on the northern tip of Newfoundland.
  • Jan 1, 1030


    The role played by Turkish mamluks in the decline of Ab- basid power established an enduring stereotype of the Turk as a ferocious, unsophisticated warrior. This image gained strength in the 1030s when the Seljuk family established a Turkish Muslim state based on nomadic power.
  • Dec 31, 1066


    A noblewoman sometimes administered her husband's estates when he was away at war. Nonnoble women usually worked alongside their menfolk, performing agricultural tasks such as raking and stacking hay, shearing sheep, and picking vegetables. As artisans, women spun, wove, and sewed clothing. The Bayeux' lapestry, a piece of embroidery 230 feet long and 20 inches wide depicting William the Conqueror's invasion of England in 1066, was designed and executed entirely by women. though historians do no
  • Dec 31, 1066


    The horse collar, which moves the point of traction from the animal's throat to its shoulders, first appeared around 800 in a miniature painting, and it is shown clearly as a harness for plow horses in the Bayeux Tapestry, embroidered after 1066. The breaststrap harness, which is not as well adapted for the heaviest work but was preferred in southern Europe, seems to have appeared around 500.
  • Dec 31, 1071

    Seljuk army

    But after 1071, when a Seljuk army defeated the Byzantine emperor at the Battle of Manzikert, Turkish nomads spread throughout the region, and security along the pilgrimage route through Anatolia, already none too good, deteriorated further.
  • Dec 31, 1073

    Pope decrees

    Hildebrand, an Italian monk, capped a career of reorganizing church finances when the cardinals meeting in Rome selected him to be Pope Gregory VII in 1073. His personal notion of the papacy represented an extreme position, stating seven claims or rules
  • Dec 31, 1076


    Historians apply the term investiture controversy to the medieval struggle between the church and the lay lords to control ecclesiastical appointments: the term also refers to the broader conflict of popes versus emperors and kings. When Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV defied Gregory's reforms, Gregory excommunicated him in 1076 thereby cutting him off from church rituals.
  • Dec 31, 1078


    Stung by the resulting decline in his influence, I lenry stood barefoot in the snow for three days outside a castle in northern Italy waiting for Gregory, a guest there, to receive him. Henry's formal act of penance induced Gregory to forgive him and restore him to the church: but the reconciliation, an apparent victory for the pope, did not last. In 1078 Gregory declared Henry deposed. The emperor then forced Gregory to flee from Rome to Salerno, where he died two years later
  • Dec 31, 1095

    Holy lands

    Despite the theoiogical differences between the Orthodox and Roman churches, the Byzantine emperot Alexius Comnenus asked the pope and westrm pean rulers to help him confront the Muslim thmAt and reconquer what the Christians termed the Holy Land. the early centers of Christianity in Palestine atht Syria. Pope Urban II responded at the Council of Clermont in 1095. He addressed a huge crowd of peopk gathered in a field and called on them, as Christiam stop fighting one another and go to the Holy
  • Jan 1, 1099

    The Seljuk Empire

    The Seljuk Empire was beset by internal quarrels when the first crusading armies of Christians reached the Holy Land. The First Crusade captured Jerusalem in 1099. Though charged with the stuff of romance, the Crusades had little lasting impact on the Islamic lands. The four crusader principalities of Edessa, Antioch, Tripoli, and Jerusalem simply became pawns in the shifting pattern of politics already in place.
  • Dec 31, 1099

    First Crusades

    The First Crusade captured Jerusalem in 1099 and established four crusader principalities, the most important being the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. The next two expeditions strove with diminishing success to protect these gains.
  • Dec 31, 1122


    The struggle between the popes and the emperors continued until 1122, when a compromise was reached at Worms, a town in Germany. In the Concordat of Worms, Emperor Henry V renounced his right to choose bishops and abbots or bestow spiritual symbols upon them.
  • Dec 31, 1154

    Henry II

    Though barely twenty when he became king of England in 1154, Henry II, a greatgrandson of William the Conqueror, instituted reforms designed to strengthen the power of the Crown and weaken the nobility. He appointed traveling justices to enforce his laws. He made juries, a holdover from traditional Germanic law, into powerful legal instruments. He established the principle that criminal acts violated the "king's peace" and should be tried and punished in accordance with charges brought by the Cr
  • Dec 31, 1156


    Cities in Italy that had shrunk within walls btilit by the Romans now pressed against those walk, lin eing the construction of new ones. Pisa built a new wall in 1000 and expanded it in 1156. Other twelfihcentiny cities that built new walls include Florence, Brescia". Pavia, and Siena'.
  • Dec 31, 1162

    Powers of persuasion.

    In 1162 Henry persuaded Becket to become a priest and assume the position of archbishop of Canterbury, the highest church office in England. Becket agreed hut cautioned that from then on he would act solely in the interest of the church if it came into conflict with the Crown. When Henry sought to try clerics accused of crimes in royal instead of ecclesiastical courts, Archbishop Thomas, now leading an austere and pious life, resisted.
  • Dec 31, 1170

    Henry's knights

    In 1170 four of Henry's knights, knowing that the king desired Becket's death, murdered the archbishop in Canterbury Cathedral. Their crime backfired, and an outpouring of sympathy caused Canterbury to become a major pilgrimage center.
  • Jan 1, 1171

    Unified, finally

    The Muslims finally unified to face the European enemy in the midtwelfth century. Nur alDin ibn Zangi' established a strong state based in Damascus and sent an army to terminate the Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt. A nephew of the Kurdish commander of that expedition, Salahal-Din, known in the West as Saladin, took advantage of Nur alDin's timely death to seize power and unify Egypt and Syria. The Fatimid dynasty fell in 1171.
  • Dec 31, 1173

    Pope declares

    In 1173 the pope declared the martyred Becket a saint. Henry allowed himself to be publicly whipped twice in penance for the crime, but his authority had been badly damaged.
  • Jan 1, 1187


    In 1187 Saladin recaptured Jerusalem from the Europeans.
  • Dec 31, 1187

    Muslims retook

    Muslim forces retook Jerusalem in 1187.
  • Dec 31, 1200


    A lack of concrete evidence confirming the spread of technological innovations frustrates efforts to relate the exact course of Europe's revival to technological change. Nevertheless, most historians agree that technology played a significant role in the near doubling of the population of western Europe between 1000 and 1200. The population of England seems to have risen from 1.1 million in 1086 to 1.9 million in 1200, and the population of the territory of modern France seems to have risen from
  • Dec 31, 1200

    Italian cities

    Ghent, Bruges, and Ypres in Flanders rivaled the Italian cities in prosperity, trade, and industry. Enjoying comparable independence based on privileges granted by the counts of Flanders, these cities centralized the fishing and wool trades of the North Sea region. Around 1200 raw wool from England began to be voven into woolen cloth for a very large market.
  • Dec 31, 1204

    Western European

    Western European revival coincided with and contributed to the Crusades, a series of religiously inspired Christian military campaigns against Muslims in the eastern Mediterranean that dominated the politics of Europe from 1095 to 1204.
  • Dec 31, 1204

    Fourth Crusade

    By the time of the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the original religious ardor had so diminished that the commanders agreed, at the urging of the Venetians, to sack Constantinople first to help pay the cost of transporting the army by ship.
  • Dec 31, 1237


    Christianity eventually triumphed, and its success led to increasing church engagement in political and economic affairs. In the twelfth century, Christian clergy became involved in government administration, some of them collecting fees and taxes related to trade. Direct and indirect revenue from trade provided the rulers with the money they needed to pay their soldiers. The rule of law also spread as Kievan Russia experienced its peak of culture and prosperity in the century before the Mongol
  • Jan 1, 1250

    Saladin's descendants

    Saladin's descendants fought off subsequent Crusades. After one such battle, however, in 1250, Turkish manila troops seized control of the government in Cairo, ending Saladin's dynasty.
  • Jan 1, 1258

    The Mongol invasions

    The Mongol invasions, especially their destruction of the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad in 1258, shocked the world of Islam. The Mamluk sultan placed a relative of the last Baghdad caliph on a caliphal throne in Cairo but the Egyptian Abbasids were never more than puppets serving Mamluk interests. In the Muslim lands from Iraq eastward, non-Muslim rule lasted for much of the thirteenth century.
  • Jan 1, 1260


    In 1260 these mamluks rode east to confront a new invading force. At the Battle of Ain Jalut in Syria, they met and defeated an army of Mongols from Central Asia, thus stemming an invasion that had begun several decades before and legitimizing their claim to dominion over Egypt and Syria.
  • Dec 31, 1453


    Though Crusaders from western Europe established shortlived Christian principalitiwl at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea in the eleventh century, the Byzantines found them almost as hostile as the Muslims. Eventually the empire succumbed to Muslim conquest in 1453.
  • Dec 31, 1492

    Caliphate in al-Andalus

    Caliphate in al-Andalus had broken up in the eleventh century, leaving its smaller successor states prey to Christian attacks from the north. This was the beginning of a movement of reconquest that culminated in 1492 with the surrender of the last Muslim kingdom.
  • Jan 1, 1517


    A succession of Mamluk sultans ruled Egypt and Syria until 1517