In the 7th century, China (unified under the Sui Dynasty) controls East Asia, while Indian confederacies span from the Silk Road to Java.
The consolidated superpowers of Europe and Asia establish closer connections among themselves. Especially the two most powerful blocs - Sui Cháo and the Roman Republic - separated by great geographical distance, do not yet perceive each other as rivals or enemies. Diplomacy, exchange and co-operation often still prevail over rivalry. The periphery, which has absorbed much civilizational influence, attempts to pursue its own policies more than ever before, but with even less success than in previous centuries: Turkic peoples are played against each other, Sui prevents power concentrations among its Dai, Tibetan, Korean, and Malay neighbours; Northern European actants experience manifold subtle Celtic manipulations; Arabia and the Caucasus are pacified between Romans and Sabaeans;
Science and technology blossom. With China participating in this global dialogue, too, mutual learning brings great progress for all sides. Social philosophy and economic theory make great leaps, too. Improved economic productivity and a wider availability of everything needed in daily life lead to rising population levels. In the growing cities, new professional classes increasingly develop self-confidence around the world. The political circumstances under which this happens differ greatly between, for example, Sui China and the Roman Republic, though, and so do the first outcomes of this process of social transformation. While all empires share the tendency towards dwindling powers of the aristocracy, at the periphery, aristocratic structures are just about to emerge and consolidate.
Significant differences from OTL begin to reach the Chinese, Malayan, West African, Korean etc. space. One of them is the early collapse of Islam in this timeline.
In the Yamato Kingdom, Regent Shotoku copies the ministerial and administrational structures of the Sui reforms, builds roads across the kingdom and numerous Buddhist monasteries.
The bubonic plague devastates Arabia, East Africa, Eranshahr, Choresmia and the Southern end of the Silk Road. Across the Mediterranean, the quarantine is lifted.
Ostrogoths: The Pangothikon discusses tax raises and even confiscations to meet the tributary demands of the Göktürks. Several very important and wealthy syndicates and associations are leaving Tauris and moving their bases to the Roman Empire, in many cases to Malta. They are accompanied by another wave of refugees, this time mostly skilled craftsmen who see better working and earning opportunities in Roman civitates. As a result of this capital drain, the Pangothikon is unable to collect the required tribute. They ask for a delay. The Göktürks reply with a destructive siege of Phanagoria and Gorgippia. The irrigation system and aquaeducts are still not entirely restored. The situation on Tauris worsens every day.
More than 30,000 Ostrogoths have arrived on the Nesoi Porphyroi. A polis forms on each of the two islands. The Ostrogoths recreate their political institutions in the new environment (ekklesiai and demiurgoi). They also aim at restoring their economic network, sending messengers to Tauris and Malta to communicate who has moved here. It turns out that the Nesoi Porphyroi are full of forests with excellent ship-building wood - a lucky circumstance for a seafaring nation. In the deforested areas, the thinner twigs and low shrubbery are set alight to fertilise the soil with the ashes. The first harvest yields good results in a great variety of crops, and the terrible hunger among the new colonists finds an end.
Alliance of Five Nations / Corvatia: A large alliance of Slavic tribes (among them e.g. the Wislans, the Berziti and the Dulebes) has gathered behind Muhlo, the Corvat knyaz of Peremyshl (OTL Przemysl). They oppose the continuous transgressions of Vandals and other members of the Germanic Alliance of the Five Nations, who attack Slavic clans and tribes simply to gain war captives as slaves, and who cut down their woods (wood has become an expensive, but important good in the developed South of Europe), which the Slavs need for their slash-and-burn agriculture. Muhlo`s armies invade and plunder Vandilian lands. They defeat an ad hoc Vandilian force. The Vandals call on their allies.
The bubonic plague kills hundreds of thousands in Balochistan, Sindh, Sogdia, among the Turks, and in India. Amidst social chaos, various aristocratic dynasties, urban guilds, religious and popular movements fight for power.
Western Göktürks / Ostrogoths: After another devastating Göktürk sabotage of the reconstruction works at Taphros, and an ensuing famine on Tauris, the Pangothikon and the Conventum Romanum negotiate and organise the evacuation of Tauris. The largest commercial fleet of the world, whose ships had not returned to their home ports at Chersonesos, Kerkinitis, Theodosia or Nymphaion for several years now, gathers in the ports of Tauris, accompanied by several dozen Roman battleships. More than 600,000 people leave Tauris and the surrounding areas - some even leave the poleis on the Borysthenes (OTL Dnieper) like Chortitia and Severopolis - and resettle in the Roman Empire or elsewhere. According to rumours, many tons of gold are transported from cave vaults on Tauris to similar locations on Malta.
The Pangothikon relocates to Byzantion at the invitation of this civitas. De iure, it is the parliament of the Taurean margo in exile; de facto, it becomes a lobbying group for Ostrogothic interests within the Roman Republic, the political institution backing the Ostrogothic central bank and mint, and a supreme arbiter among various groups and associations of Ostrogothic background. Similarly, Tauris is de iure still a self-governed and autonomous margo, whereas de facto it has become a military protectorate of the Roman Republic.
About a third of the Taurean population remains on the island. They are joined by roughly 20,000 soldiers of the Classis Romana and elite cavalry, who are being prepared for the Roman offensive against the Göktürks. The irrigation of the Northern two-thirds of Tauris is abandoned; agriculture only continues in the Southern mountains, which receive sufficient precipitation. The Isthmus of Taphros is heavily guarded nonetheless, since it is the only land passage to the island (or, more correctly: peninsula).
Alliance of the Five Nations / Corvatia: A confederal Germanic force, which has pursued the Slavs far onto their territories, is led into swamps by Muhno and massacred there.
China: A large Sui invasion army marches on Vạn Xuân. Lý Nam Đế II abdicates. Sui establishes suzerainty over OTL Northern Vietnam, as in OTL.
Celtic Empire: A group of explorers stops over at the Insulae Petraeae, then heads further North into uncharted waters. They discover a larger island (OTL Iceland), half covered in glaciers, half full of fertile meadows, and completely uninhabited. They name it Glaciana and hoist a Celtic flag, and return to the Insulae Petraeae for the winter, intending to come back next spring.
Alliance of Five Nations: Muhno demands reparation for captured Slavic slaves and transgressive deforestations from the Council of the Alliance of the Five Nations. The Five Nations must oblige.
(Western) Göktürks / China: Tardush Khagan throws the huge Western Göktürk army, including Uygurs and Tiele tribes formerly affiliated to the Eastern Göktürks, against Sui China (proclaiming to revenge the Eastern Göktürks; more realistically attempting to prevent rivalling tribes and shads from turning against each other or him). China's new Western ally, the Tuyuhun, manage to poison water wells on the passageways of the Tarim Basin and Dzungaria which Tardush's armies have to pass. Tardush must delay, regroup, endure heavy losses, then abandon his campaign without having fought a battle against the armies of Sui.
Celtic Empire: Throughout the warmer months, two explorer missions venture along the Western and the Eastern coast of Glaciana respectively. They bring sheep from the Insulae Petraeae with them to the island.
Eran: Puran dies. The Mazdakite congregation elects Khanabarin as the new shah. He is a stark contrast to Puran: although a reformist and a Mazdakist, he comes from one of the ancient aristocratic families. His promise is to consolidate Eranshahr so that it can maintain its safety and its unique Mazdakist path, which he seems to interpret less vigorously than Puran.
Alliance of Five Nations: The alliance is deeply divided about a possible strategy against Muhno`s Corvatian confederacy. The towns in the South seek Roman protection, while Northern members (especially Burgundy) push for military reform and a build-up that would allow a victorious war against Muhno.
(Western) Göktürks: Tardush Khagan is killed by a group of influential conspirators. Ashina Daman is proclaimed the new khagan, bearing the title Heshana Khagan. He does not manage to establish control and command fealty from the Kyrgyz in the North, though, and neither that of the Uygurs and Eastern Tiele, who had only followed Tardush into the battle for revenge, and by the end of the year, it appears as though other tribes are following the Kyrgyz path out of the Ashina domination.
China: Emperor Wen returns healthily from his summer vacation at Renshou (instead of dying, as in OTL). He reforms taxation and orders the construction of new, greater reserve granaries and the planting of the extremely productive Funanese rice (which the Chinese, following their new Viet vassals, falsely attribute to the Cham, calling it "Champa rice"). He also has a great number of local magistrates replaced, condemning their arbitariness and wastefulness, and reforms the recruitment of magistrates, installing the Imperial Examinations.
Norway: Harald, the petty king of Agder, curbs the practical independence of the powerful and wealthy city of Sørstad, which has become the centre of a large alliance of city states along the Baltic Sea coasts. With a considerable army behind him and Sørstad being weakened by recurring bubonic plague epidemics, Harald manages to impose taxes and tariffs on the city and limit the city's police forces to dealing with matters only within the city's walls as well as to coerce the city to provide soldiers. (Sørstad continued to have its own mercenary military force, too, which is mostly focused on naval security.)
Alliance of Five Nations: The alliance breaks apart. Burgundy pursues its own policy, followed by a few Vandal groups at the Northern fringe, while Quadi, Markomanni, most Vandals and the mixed towns on the Danube attempt to forge alliances with the Roman civitates of Noricum and Pannonia. The latter are not so interested, though, because they don`t see a threat in Muhno.
Ostrogoths / Eastern Slavs: The predominantly Ostrogothic polis of Chortitia finishes its massive stone fortification of the entire island (Chornesos in Greek, Zaporizhiya in the Slavic language of the Polyans) against a potential Göktürk attack. The new fortress provides protection for 300,000 people - more than the total number of inhabitants of the entire region, at least after the recent emigrations to the safer West.
China: To end Cham raids into the newly established province of Lin Yi, where the Viet live, as well as Cham piracy on the Southern Sea, a Sui army under general Liu Fang marches on Lâm Ấp and defeats the Cham. A vassal prince is installed in Lâm Ấp.
In the preparation for the big national census, Emperor Wen codifies the Four Occupations; his administration is instructed to sort everyone into one of them:
- The category of "shi", where hereditary titles are explicitly abolished (the end of traditional aristocracy), access to this category depends on passing the imperial examinations and becoming a magistrate, or being nobilitated by the Emperor; a long list of contraventions leads to the exclusion from this category. Military leaders belong in this category, too, and are thus also either chosen by examination or appointed by the Emperor. Civil magistrates are paid handsomely and exempt from military service, but also forbidden to engage in commercial activities.
- The category of "nong" (farmers), who are all entitled to the same amount of (non-inheritable, non-sellable, non-rentable) land, which is checked and if needs be redistributed every six years. Male nong must serve in the army, when necessary, between the age of 21 and the age of 45. Enlistment in the army, along with the allotment of a portion of land, is also the only chance to enter this category, be it for Chinese of other occupations who seek to become nong, be it for immigrants or newly subjected people. Only severe crimes (among them desertion) lead to the exclusion from this category. Nong are moderately taxed depending on their harvests.
- The category of "gong" (artisans and craftsmen). Under Wen of Sui, access to this category was still mostly unregulated and open, and only extreme malpractice could lead to an exclusion, enacted by a magistrate. This category is not allowed to own land, but it is exempt from military service (unless a gong wants to enlist and become a nong, or passes an examination and becomes a military shi).
- The category of "shang" (merchants, traders). Access to this category was unregulated and open, too, and mostly the same rules as for gong applied.
Religious people (priests, monks etc.) must apply for a personal exception - the first step towards Sui state control over the religious communities.
Wen's definitions contain several other breaks with Confucian tradition (including military shi). Most importantly, though, the codification subjects otherwise unwritten (and very conservative) traditions to discussion and modification. It is considered the most important factor in the construction of later Sui absolutism.
Anji Bridge is finished.
(Western) Göktürks: The Western Göktürks fall apart. Two new federations - the Nǔshībì in Bactria and the Six Oghuz, in which Chigils and Yagma have leading roles, emerge. The Kyrgyz on the Yenissei and the Kimek on the Irtysh go their own separate ways again. Only Türgesh, Karluks and Basmils and a few remaining clans of the former Eastern Göktürk leadership circle remain loyal to Heshana Khagan.
In the Far West, Tamgan Shad governs over the only stable part of the former Göktürk Empire.
Roman Empire: Quadic, Markomannic and Vandal emissaries arrive in Rome to appeal directly to the Consuls and start negotiations for an adherence to the Republic.
Ostrogoths / Eastern Slavs: Organised and aided by Roman soldiers, Severopolis (OTL Kiew) is turned into a massive stone fortress with reserve granaries on an island in the Borysthenes (OTL Trukhaniv Island), providing Ostrogothic, Severian Slavic and other inhabitants of the region with safety in case of a Göktürk / Chasar attack.
China: The First Great Sui Census is conducted. To standardise the procedure, a recently invented machinery is used for the first time on a large scale: The required categories of information are printed with wooden blocks on papers which the Ministry of Revenue distributed to the civil servants carrying out the census. This is the first major use of letterpress printing in history.
The census stirred some unrest, but produced valuable data and insights. Sui has roughly 56,000,000 subjects.
Central Asia: In fights between the (Western) Six Oghuz (Chigils, Yagma et al.) and the tribes loyal to Heshana Khagan (Türgesh, Karluks, Basmils, et al.), thousands are killed. Several tribes flee from the devastation Westwards, the largest among them being the Pechenegs. No side manages to gain the upper hand, and no major territorial shifts are achieved by either confederacy.
Silk Road trade volumes are at a new low, what with the plague and increased unsafety due to the Turks.
Western Göktürks / Roman Empire: Tamgan Shad attempts another raid of Sindica. This time, though, the massive Roman military presence in the region reacts fast and confronts the raiders, killing most of them.
In the ensuing punitive campaign, the Göktürks lose thousands of warriors and the control over the Antic-Slavic lands. After this defeat, the old Tamgan Shad is killed by those surrounding him. Bagha succeeds him.
India: The 16 year-old Harshavardhana begins a legal apprenticeship and matriculates at the University of Sthanisvara at the same time. He will go on to become - not an emperor over all of Northern India, as in OTL, but the most important political leader of Northern India's city republics, who forges the Kannauj Alliance.
China: After the plague has subsided worldwide, a large number of envoys from non-tributary states - the Roman Republic, the Kingdom of Sheba, Eranshahr, the Gupta Empires and the Pandya Kingdom, the Yamato Kingdom, the Sogdian Federation, the Shaihr Jaari and the Xiyu city states of Kashgar, Kucha, Karanshahr and Turfan - arrives at the Sui court in Chang'an. (Vassals like the Tuyuhun, the Ashina of Dali, the Viet, the Cham, Funan and many others had a regular presence in Chang'an anyway.) The establishment of so much foreign contact changes not only Chinese history for ever. The simultaneous presence of representatives from so many different states from all across the huge continent, on which at least the Roman representatives, who are accustomed to having the ambassadors of the Celts, the Sabaeans, Armenians, Aksumite, Western and Eastern Imaziyen and Franks in Rome, know how to draw, also sows the seeds for future multilateral international co-operation, which begins to develop in this century, mostly focusing on the subject of keeping Eurasian trade routes open and safe.
Western Göktürks: Bagha Shad pursues a policy of independence from the other Turkic tribes - and he stops the aggressive policies of his predecessor, acknowledging the superior Roman power. To prevent the Romans from tearing down the Göktürk fortifications watching over the Tanais-Ra passage, he offers his son Böri as hostage.
Kingdom of the Antes: The Romans reinstitute an Antic King independent of the Göktürks, by the name of Ardagast. A detachment from Kallipolis helps with the rebuilding of Voronezh.
China / Tuyuhun: The Tuyuhun King Murong Fuyun visits Chang'an. Emperor Wen promises to support his kingdom, which had been badly affected by the famines of the last decades, too, with technical help in the construction of greater and more complex irrigation systems. Constructions are begun. Murong Fuyun, who in OTL is attacked by Yang Guang of Sui and has his land conquered, declares Emperor Wen of Sui "the brightest star of our age, lighting the path for all peoples."
Roman Republic: Envoys returning from Sui China report to a flabbergasted Conventum about the enormous power and wealth of the empire in the East, about its omnipotent emperor and his huge army, its reserve granaries, its educated magistrates, its writing system with a myriad of symbols, its favourite energising drink made by pouring hot water over green leaves, about wheelbarrows and suspension bridges, horse collars and fire matches and Cuyu football.
Rome's elites need some time to digest this intelligence. The exchange of permanent ambassadors is planned.
Western Göktürks: Bagha Shad begins the construction of Atil as the new permanent capital of his shrunk polity. He appoints tuduns for the remaining provinces and sets moderate tributes and taxes.
China: In the new Chang'an, comfortable quarters are reserved for the newly established embassies of foreign countries. In exchange, Sui ambassadors are given representative homes in Rome, Ma'rib, Ctesiphon and Pataliputra.
Sheba: Sheba's navy has managed to copy fire siphons. The design is slightly different from the Roman one. Also, it is rumoured that Sabaean or Persian military chemists have come across a liquid "inextinguishable flame" in the research process.
Atlantic Ostrogoths: The two ekklesiai on the Nesoi Porphyroi acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Pangothikon and send one representative each to Byzantion, along with annual contributions / taxes, a precondition for the continued equal membership of Atlantic Ostrogoths in the diverse Ostrogothic associations and guilds. At the same time, they do not join the Roman Republic or even become a margo, and no Roman soldiers are stationed on either island. The Pangothikon acquires the complicated hybrid role of a federation within the Roman Republic which also represents non-Romans.
Western Göktürks: Bagha Shad's daughter is married to a Lasikan prince, strengthening the alliance between those Turks who are about to become the "Chasars", and the Gregorian Christian kingdoms and chiefdoms of the Caucasus.
The three Western Turkic federations, who have escaped from Heshana Khagan's domination, develop in separate ways:
- In the Far West, the Turks under Bagha's leadership become known as the "Chasars". They build a new capital on the Ra (OTL Volga) named Atil (the Turkic name for this river) and begin to settle down. Their new polity includes a few Slavic clans, the non-Turkic Magyars and Mari, too - but its main focus shifts more and more towards the Northern Caucasus and its groups like the Lezgians, the Dargwa, the Lakians, the Alani and the Nakh.
- In Bactria, the Nǔshībì confederacy falls apart. The Turkic overlords convert to the Buddhist religion of their subjects and assimilate to the Indo-Iranian culture of the region. The two towns of Merw and Balkh, which the leaders of different tribes have chosen as capitals for their respective states, struggle against each other for hegemony in the region.
- In Sogdia, Suyab (formerly a small North-Easternly Sogdian town) becomes the capital of the Six Oghuz. This new polity experiences strong Sogdian influence (politically and linguistically, but not religiously), and the different tribes of the Six Oghuz increasingly establish themselves in Sogdian towns - as well as controlling the countryside surrounding them.
Roman Empire / China: The Conventum Romanum's diplomatic convoys to China are accompanied by hundreds of missionaries for all sorts of religions, and with members of various collegia, who are conducting economic espionage. They find out the secrets of complicated waterclocks and report about simple, practical and easy-to-copy inventions like wheelbarrows, but they also notice that the Chinese are producing steel with excellent properties. Because they are not allowed to visit the government-owned blast furnaces, though, they are unable to find out and report about the puddling technique and neither about the recent Sui innovation of forging cast iron under a cold blast (OTL Bessemer technique).
Burgundy / Corvatia: A protracted war has broken out between the rests of the Alliance of Five Nations under the leadership of the Burgundian King Gunthar II. and a Slavic confederation under the leadership of the Corvatian Knyaz Muhno. Muhno`s Slavs gain control over North-Eastern Vandilian lands, but are expelled from Serbia (OTL Lusatia). Both sides weakened. Even small settlements must be fortified across the entire region. Many flee from the conflict.
Norway: Harald, King of Agder, uses the money gained by the taxation of Sørstad, to modernise his kingdom. Dams with watermill-powered manufactures as well as windmills are built.
China: The woodblock printing of regular government bulletins for the provincial, district and county magistrates becomes standard.
China: Emperor Wen of Sui dies. After a long nation-wide mourning, Wen's oldest son, Yang Yong, becomes the new Emperor Yang of Sui.
Yang redistributes the agricultural land in accordance with the census provisions. He faces massive opposition from the former aristocracy. Yang has far-reaching plans, with which he aims at continuing his father's legacy of modernising the empire, but he knows he will only be able to implement them if he achieves the same popularity and immunity against criticism that his father enjoyed, based on his military successes.
Celtic Empire: Within the Celtic Church, a new order order develops, the Peregrini. Beside being hardcore Pelagianists in a time when more and more simple Celtic Christians adopt the "divine grace" view, the Peregrini also stress proselytisation. They cause the establishment of hundreds of monasteries outside the Celtic Empire, mostly in Norway, Frisia, Glaciana, Western Africa and the Roman Empire.
China: Emperor Yang sends an army of more than a million soldiers against Gorguryeo. In contrast to his brother's campaign in OTL, Yang Yong trusts his generals, especially Yu Zhongwen, and the campaign proceeds successfully. Goguryeo's fortresses are stormed and the supply lines through OTL Manchuria are maintained. King Yeongyang appeals to Baekje for help, but Baekje fails him, fearing the evident superiority of Sui forces. After an initial defeat of the naval expedition corps of Lai Huni, Sui's army successfully conquers Goguryeo's capital, Pyongyang, and subsequently the rest of the country. King Yeongyang is led to Chang'an as a captive, and more than 250,000 inhabitants of Goguryeo are deported to Sui as captives, too, among them most of the military leadership. Only a handful of Goguryeo aristocrats manages to escape to Silla.
Aksum: Emperor Gersem dies. His succession becomes, for the first time in centuries, a subject of heated dispute. Instead of accepting the modus operandi of nominating an heir from Gersem's Tigray clan as emperor, the Nobatian King Tokiltoeton calls for an electoral convent, similar to the ones held with the purpose of choosing a Patriarch.
Roman Empire / Tauris: The Roman army begins rebuilding the aquaeduct of Taphros.
China: Emperor Yang distributes fertile land in the new provinces of Xuantu, Lelang, Daifang, Zhenfan and Lintun (the names of ancient Han commanderies were taken to designate the land formerly controlled by Goguryeo) to landless workers and peasants from among the Han. Using the Goguryeo prisoner work force, he begins the construction of the Grand Canal.
Aksum: The proceedings for an electoral convent must yet be negotiated. In the heated debate, Sheba does whatever it can to support a dynasty from Adulis, the "Solomonites", whose members are related to the Sabaean royal family; while Rome does the same to supports a female Makurian pretender who had grown up and attended school and university in Roman Alexandria. Tokiltoeton and the Tigray heir vie for the support of the Patriarch.
China: Emperor Yang orders the compilation of a "complete" encyclopedia of (medical, astrological, historical, geographical, philosophical and engineering) knowledge. He prepares to reform state exams on this basis.
Thousands of Goguryeo slaves die in the construction of the Grand Canal, while Han Chinese soldier-peasants and a well-organised administration (like everywhere else in Sui Chao) stabilise and consolidate Sui rule and settlements in the former Goguryeo lands. Provisional roads and bridges constructed for troop transportation during the war are transformed into permanent, stable ones. The peasant population of Goguryeo puts up little resistance to their integration into the Sui Empire.
But in Silla, escaped Goguryeo leaders are preparing the counter-attack.
Aksum: The electoral convent chooses Tokiltoeton as the new (and the first Cushitic, non-Habesha) Emperor of Aksum.
Roman Empire / Tauris: Rome's Consuls declare Tauris in the Conventum Romanum as "officially safe". They invite the Ostrogoths to return to their lands, against the payment of a reconstruction tax per heredium of irrigable land.
But many Ostrogoths who have migrated into the Roman Empire have become integrated citizens. Craftsmen have invested in new workshops and admissions into Roman collegia. Those who have migrated beyond the Roman realm, e.g. to the Nesoi Porphyroi, see no reason to abandon their safe and fertile paradise in order to return to a place whose safety they still do not trust. The owners of large irrigated estates had often impoverished during the decade in the Roman Republic and shy at the cost of the reconstruction tax. Only every fourth Ostrogothic peasant returns in the next few years.
Roman Empire / Arabia: A group of refugees of a new religious movement, calling themselves "Muslims", flee from persecution in their home town Mecca, across the Red Sea and into the liberal Roman port town of Myos Hormos, where they are considered just another monotheistic, reformist or revolutionary sect. Meccan enovys appeal to the Vigintiviri of Myos Hormos to extradite the Muslims. The citizens of Myos Hormos decide in a Comitium to allow the Meccans to chase after the Muslims, but they do not allow them to wear arms in their civitas. The majority of the Muslim refugees escapes or hides successfully, but is prevented from public proselytisation for the next years.
Aksum / Sheba: Angered at Sheba's and Rome's interventions for his rivals, Tokiltoeton decides to close the Bab el-Mandeb passage for Sabaean and Roman ships. The blockade ends with a major naval defeat for Aksum, though, because Roman and Sabaean ships have fire siphons, while Aksumite ones don't.
Frisia / Celtic Empire: Merchants from all across Frisia form a powerful association for the common pursuit of their interests, vis-a-vis their Celtic allies as well as their Saxon neighbours and their Baltic trading partners and Scandinavian rivals. It is called the Frisian "Hanse".
Venedia: The Sørstad-founded port town of Vineta fears for its independence in the face of a weakened mother town and increasingly strong Saxon and Prussian presence to its West resp. East. Town councillors invite a large confederation of smaller Slavic tribes, some of whon flee from the devastation of the Corvatian-Burgundian War, to settle in Vineta`s immediate hinterland (and provide a buffer against Saxon and/or Prussian hegemony). The Slavic confederation, whose migration is led by Knyaz Dragovit, will be known throughout this century as the "Veleti". They comprise Obodrites, Linones, Bytenci, Sorbs, Hevellians, Ranians, Circipanians, Kessines and many more, and speak Lechitic Slavic dialects. They settle in the Eastern half of OTL Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, in OTL Brandenburg and in OTL Western Pommerania and OTL Lubus.
Roman Empire: The island of Canaria (OTL Gran Canaria), where agricultural production and trade with the Roman Empire have increased greatly since the Ostrogoths have settled the Nesoi Porphyroi (OTL Madeira), joins the Roman Republic as the Civitas Canaria.
Aksum: As a conciliatory gesture to Adulis, the fief of the Solomonites, Tokiltoeton orders the construction of a magnificent, high cathedral in Adulis. Its windows are adorned, for the first time in history, with lead lights.
Sogdia / Tuyuhun: Sogdian merchants are frequently robbed by Türgesh, Karluk or Basmil nomads when travelling to and from Sui China along the Northern route of the Tarim Basin. These attacks have increased since the disintegration of the Göktürk Empire, and they are presently the most serious threat to the reviving Silk Road trade and thus to Sogdian wealth and well-being. The city states of Kucha and Karashahr, ruled by wealthy Tokharian clans, are employing frequent "Uygur" immigrants (more and more Eastern Tiele tribes come to be called or define themselves as "Uygurs") as guards, who efficiently guarantee safety within the oases' walls, but are quite powerless against attackers in the open desert. Emissaries of Sogdian merchant associations contact Murong Fuyun, King of the Tuyuhun, who guarantee a safe passage along the (drier and more drudgesome) Southern rim of the Tarim Basin through their vassal cities of Khotan and Shanshan. Against a good payment from the Sogdian merchant associations, Murong Fuyun engages in regular patrols and punitive campaigns against Karluk, Basmil and Türgesh clans. He negotiates with some success with Kucha and Karanshahr because his troops must rely on access to their oases for supplies. The city of Kashgar denies the Tuyuhun access, though, coercing them to always take the more difficult Eastern passage.
China: Against advice from high-ranking officials, who stress the danger of the nomadic people in the North and West and the importance of Chinese control over the Silk Road, Emperor Yang defines, for the first time, an explicit strategy for Chinese expansion. Based on the Fubing structure of the army, Sui must only expand into fertile regions where the empire's border can be defended by local yeomen soldiers, and only when Sui control over the border region is firmly established and a developed infrastructure allows unhindered military movement.
The new Grand Canal is finished. It links the Yellow River with the Yangtse at Yangzhou. The surviving Goguryeo captives are freed and allotted land all across the Empire if they enlist in the army. A considerable part of the Goguryeans move into the growing cities instead, though, where they find work as contract labourers. They are not allowed to move back into Goguryeo, though - not for another two decades at least. Eventually, they all assimilate into the multicultural, but Han-dominated Sui society (sometimes categorised as a new tribe).
Aksum: Tokiltoeton begins to build up a professional administration, after the Roman model. It takes over many duties hitherto exerted by local chiefs, urban guilds, tribal associations like the Gadaa in the South, vassal kings and representatives of the clergy. The move towards a centralised monarchy increases the tensions in Aksum.
Roman Empire: Canaria's neighbouring island Ninguaria (OTL Tenerife) joins the Republic as a new civitas, too.
Norway: Harald marches his troops against Borre, but is defeated by an alliance led by the petty king Vigurd.
The faltering of Sørstad's economic dominance leaves a trade and power vacuum filled by the rising Frisian Hanse.
More than a thousand settlers, mostly from the Celtic Empire, but also some Norwegians, Cattae and Frisians, along with dozens of Celtic researchers, have arrived in Glaciana. The Celtic Council declares the island a margo (thus claiming it without establishing structures). To secure the seas between Glaciana and the Empire, a naval base is established on the Insulae Cattae.
In Norway, the petty kings of Borre (Vigurd, later Eric) unite all of Viken.
Roman Empire: Germanic-Roman negotiations were protracted. Rome demanded and enforced the emancipation of (mostly Slavic) slaves and fully democratic structures in all civitates; the Consuls also insisted on Germanic efforts in the construction of the new, continued Limes Carpathicus, which would join with the Limes Dacicus in the East and end at the Marus (OTL Morava) in the West. The imperial administration sent technical advisors, but it would only staton a small number of border troops on the Limes Carpathicus (just like at the Limes Dacicus) and keep the empire`s main federal defense line along the Danube because Roman federal troops consisted of navy and cavalry only, and there were not enough means for the massive cavalry presence required to protect the new Limes Carpathicus AND maintain sufficient presence in the dangerous Pontic space, too. In case of attacks, though, Rome would move its quick professional forces into the region, and even if they were too late to prevent potential Slavic raids, the threat of Rome`s retaliation was known to Slavs and other barbarians now.
Finally, the civitates of Liisbaurg / Lisaburgus, Klemanz / Calamantia, Konterflorenz / Contraflorentiam, Partiscum, Mortisena, Tissenbaurg / Tissiburgus, Molae / Mühlland, Cornus / Horn, Thaya, Neutra, Marburgus, Senica, Galanta and 20 others join the Roman Empire, whose Northern border thus moves from the Danube to the Thaya, the Marus (OTL Morava) and the Carpathian Mountains.
Beside Latin, Suebic remains an official language in all these civitates, who maintain a close alliance within the Roman Republic by forming the Bundathing (a smaller equivalent to the Panhellenion).
Aksum: Tokiltoeton's troops invade OTL Somalia, defeat the Kingdom of the Rahaweyn and Biyomaal and conquer the city of Merca. Aksum annexes the sparsely populated OTL Somalia, but stops short of attacking Sheba's colony at Barawa and the Roman outposts at Mosylon and Opone.
India: Harshavardhana becomes head of the Lawyers' Shreni in Sthanisvara and thus occupies a seat in the city's council.
Roman Empire / Tauris: With more than half of the irrigable Taurean land left fallow, the Conventum Romanum decides to auction off the land of Ostrogothic emigrants. Roman citizens from all across the Republic move to Tauris, changing the ethnic, cultural and linguistic nature of the island's population thoroughly.
The Pangothikon protests against this measure, and refuses to return to Chersonesos. It decides it needs allies for strengthening the Ostrogothic position within the Roman Republic, and endows a Judaist theological school in Jerusalem with a generous foundation asset.
East Africa: The port town of Tanga is attacked and thoroughly plundered by unknown tribes from the hinterland.
Arabia: Muhammad Ibn abd'Allah and his followers escape from persecution in Mecca to Yathrib, where they manage to pacify the town, which has been plagued for decades by conflicts between Jews, Simonists and polytheists. The Muslims are expropriated in Mecca. Arrived in Yathrib, they must rely on plundering caravans - and they specialise on those led by Meccan Quraish.
Chasars / Lasika / Iberia / Armenia: Bagha Shad leads an alliance of the Gregorian Christian states of the Caucasus against Paulician Armenia. They invade the country. A five year-long war ensues.
Aksum: Tokiltoeton begins major infrastructural construction projects: especially roads linking the coast and the cities, which decrease Aksum's dependence on rivers for transportation. Aksum's coastal infrastructure is also improved, with new naval bases, civil ports and lighthouses along the Horn of Africa.
India: Harshavardhana brings together the heads of law-related shrenis from all over Northern India. Common professional and educational standards are contractually defined, as well as a Mediator's Office to settle disputes. This lays the foundation of India's private legal system.
East Africa: The Shambaa of Tanga rebuild their city, with much stronger walls and fortifications.
Frisia: Frisian shipbuilders invent a vessel suited for shallow water as well as high seas - the cog. Members of the Hanse will buy hundreds of them over the next years, which allow them to multiply their trading volume with the Slavic and Baltic tribes living on the shallow Southern coastline of the Baltic Sea.
Xiyu traders from Kashgar, who have seen the Chinese government issue printed bulletins to its magistrates, invent the first printed information paper distribution system for news important to traders - the first newspaper worldwide.
Aksum: Tokiltoeton's troops proceed downriver along the Juba and defeat the Bajuni state, conquering Kismayu.
India: As one of the most outspoken members of Sthanisvara's city council, Harshavardhana organises a summit of the city councils of thirteen Northern Indian city republics. The summit's first results are the definition of common standards for the security of trade and the setting up of market rules.
Tuyuhun Kingdom: Murong Fuyun establishes a regular postal service (Örtöö), which reaches from the Zhangzhung to Karanshahr and from Kucha almost to Lhasa. It is a highly profitable enterprise because many Sogdian merchants rely on this method of communication, which is quicker than sending messengers along with caravans.
Aksum / Roman Empire: Tokiltoeton signs a contract with the half-private, half-public Roman construction trust "ENERGEIA". ENERGEIA will build a dam on the Black Nile and reap a small share of the annual profits of the mills powered by it.
Roman Empire: Among Christian communities in the Roman Republic, mutual credit networks like those of the Ostrogoths have become widespread. The Bishop of Rome, who is also custodian of the Roman Catholic synod's treasury, supports and institutionalises this by offering to integrate any Catholic mutual credit network into a meta-network backed by the considerable financial resources of the Church. Backed by the successful experiences within these strong social ties, Christians begin to toughen their anti-usury stance.
China: The Encyclopaedic Commission of Scholars reports that their task cannot be completed presently, since there is so much new knowledge from other countries which reaches them and needs to be processed. Emperor Yang nevertheless orders the printing of the Sui Encyclopaedia and agrees to have it rewritten in twelve years. He orders his ministery to reform the imperial examinations in accordance with the encyclopaedia, thus remvoing arbitrary criteria like appearance, calligraphy etc. Branches of the Imperial Academy will open in seventeen Chinese cities. The scholars are at once tasked with compiling new knowledge for the encyclopaedia, and teaching the current state of the art to the students who want to take the examinations. These state-run Chinese universities pay their scholars, who are examined magistrates themselves, much better than Roman academiae, Persian, Indian or Sogdian universities. Linguistic difficulties are the only barrier that prevents a global brain-drain towards China over the next centuries.
Aksum: Tokiltoeton dies without a legitimate heir. This time, Sheba is much better prepared and has long since launched a campaign to bring the Solomonite pretender to the throne, Qedma, into the pole position. But Tokiltoeton's illegitimate son, Urapyolo, gathers Nubian knights. A civil war breaks out.
Norway: Through marriages, charisma, good relations with the Celts and a couple of violent acts, petty king Augvald of Karmøy has united all of Sogn, Rogaland and Hordaland under his leadership. The capital of his kingdom is named Avaldsnes after him.
Roman Empire: Violence breaks out between the new settlers on Canaria and Ninguaria and the indigenous population, whose herding, hunting and gathering grounds are encroached upon by the expansion of new agriculture. The new civitates prevail militarily without any interference from the Republican government. Several hundred indigenous persons are deported to the nearby island of Iunonia (OTL Lanzarote and Fuerteventura).
Aksum: Urapyolo appears to gain the upper hand in the Aksumite Civil War, although pockets of resistance hold out in Matara and Adulis. To maintain Habesha support for him, he decides to tax the port towns heavily and fund the construction of a new cathedral and a university in Aksum with this money.
India: At another summit of the 13 city republics, which have become known as the "Kannauj Alliance" after their largest member and the meeting place of 623, the councillors of 13 republics and more than 200 shrenis (many local, but some of them already inter-urban) sign a contract concerning rules for armed convoys within city walls and outside of them, and another Mediator's Office for the settlement of disputes arising out of caravan-related troubles.
Sheba / Arabia: Quraish clans appeal to Sharabil, King of Sheba, for help against the troublemaker Muhammad ibn abd'Allah and his Muslim followers, who have undermined the safety of inner-Arabian trade. Sharabil agrees to help because the disturbance of trade between Sheba and the Mediterranean has affected Sabaean economy gravely. He sends not only 3,000 soldiers to join the Confederate troops, but also his capable general Wahib - and incendiary bombs with inextinguishable fire (developed by Romans).
The Muslim defenders of Yathrib have dug a trench to stop the Quraish and Sabaean cavalry. But they are not prepared for Sheba's incendiary bombs. Yathrib burns to the ground - and inside it, almost all of its defenders, including the prophet and religious leader Muhammad ibn abd'Allah. Some men and women try to escape the inextinguishable flames and are caught in the trench they had dug earlier, where they are slain by the Confederate soldiers. Only very few people manage to escape into a wood thicket and thence, as night falls, into the desert.
The fire of Yathrib does not only extinguish Islam on the Arabian peninsula and restores the safety of Quraish trade across the desert. It also becomes a symbol of the might of Sheba. Yathrib is resettled and rebuilt by the (confederate) Jewish tribes of Banu Qaynupa and Banu Nadir and becomes a part of the Kingdom of Sheba. Mecca's independence, as the last Arabs outside Sheba's realm, becomes mere façade, as Sheba joins the Hilf al-Fudul economic alliance and the military dependence of the Quraish on Sheba has become evident for everyone.
Armenia: The war ends with the re-establishment of an Armenian kingdom and the restoration of the Gregorian church. Thousands of Gregorians return to Armenia from Lasika, Iberia and other Caucasian countries in the next years. Paulicians will be tolerated in their religious practice, but politically marginalised. Assyria, where almost 75 % of the population identifies as Paulicians now, is restored as an independent, secular republic. The Chasars withdraw with heavy losses, but also with loot. The war has driven tens of thousands of mostly Paulician Armenians into exile, many of whom do not return. They bring Paulicianism to Sheba and the Roman Republic.
Tuyuhun Kingdom: Murong Fuyun establishes five ministeries to organise the growing administrative business of his quickly developing kingdom and has administrative palaces built for them in the capital city of Fuqi, where more and more Tuyuhun settle down, giving up their nomadic lives for profitable employment in new crafts and public services. Although Murong Fuyun copies many Sui measures, his half-nomadic state still has a comparatively slender government and its citizens of different tribes enjoy greater liberties in pursuing the ways of life they prefer.
Aksum: All the major port towns, from Adulis in the North to Kismayu in the South, rise in rebellion against Urapyolo. They are supported by Sheba. A second civil war haunts Aksum.
China: Yang Yong dies. He is succeeded by his son, Yang Zhuang, who becomes Emperor Zhuang of Sui.
Celtic Empire: A natural philosopher from Eboriacum discovers that derivatives of sulphuric acid, sprinkled on the soil, greatly improves its productivity. It takes him almost a decade to build up production capacities and convince farmers to buy his chemical fertilisers - but in the second half of the century, his invention spreads across the entire Celtic Empire and dissipates into the Roman Republic and beyond. The production of artificial fertilisers provides ample financial opportunities not only for the inventor, but also for other chemists across Europe, whose exclusive and complex knowledge turn them from meagerly paid civil servant scholars to a very well-earning, powerful and influential professional group.
Prussia: A council of Prussian chiefs negotiates with the city council of Truso: Truso will henceforth be protected by the Prussians and pay taxes for this protection, but it will be free to govern itself, give itself its own laws and judge its citizens by them. Truso's merchants have free access to operate in the Prussian lands.
Roman Empire: In Antiochia, the first Paulician church on Roman soil is built.
Frisia / Celtic Empire: After negotiations have been pushed by the Frisian Hanse, who seeks Celtic military support for their trading ventures, the treaty with which Frisia becomes the first margo of the Celtic Empire is ratified in a Frisian Thing and by the Celtic Imperial Council.
Aksum: Urapyolo is killed as Qedma's troops march into Aksum. The Solomonic dynasty begins its rule. Kismayu and Merca are rewarded for their support for Qedma with de facto independence. Qedma guarantees the safety of Barawa and the Roman emporia. Under his rule, the development of a centralised administration comes to a halt, but the university of Aksum is established nonetheless. Qedma's long reign sees improved relations with both Sheba and Rome and a relative return to the old system of decentralised rule, as well as an economic restoration and development, with modern agriculture using fertilisers and new crops reaching the South and glass production reaching new heights of craftsmanship.
India: The city republics of the Kannauj Alliance decide on a common military defense through mercenaries hired co-operatively by all members of the alliance, after the model of the Shaihr Jaari.
The maritime republics of East Africa experience their first economic crisis, caused by sinking demand and dropping prices for coffee, which are in turn caused by the partial substitution of coffee by the recent fad from China, tea, among Roman and Persian consumers.
China: After repeated Khitan raids on the new (former Goguryeo) provinces, Emperor Zhuang conducts a brutal campaign against the Khitan and allied Kumo Xi and Mohe tribes. All through the summer, tens of thousands are slaughtered, while during winter, even more nomads died of starvation as the Sui troops had killed much of their livestock. Before the end of the year, the leaders of nine tribes give themselves in to Sui commanders.
Chasars: Bagha Shad, the founder of Atil and architect of the Chasars` Caucasian strategy, dies. He is succeeded by his son Böri, who has been educated in Rome.
Tuyuhun Kingdom: Murong Fuyun founds and generously endows a large Buddhist monastery near Koko Nor. Some of the monks are Chinese from the Shaolin monastery.
China: Emperor Zhuang orders the deportation of the defeated Khitan, Kumo Xi and Mohe, and their employment as forced labourers in the construction of a continuation of the Grand Canal, which would connect Beizhou with the Yellow River and the Bohai Sea, allowing the transportation of goods from China's economic centre in the South to its new provinces in the North-East. Members of those Mohe tribes who had cooperated with Sui are invited to the Imperial Academy (and many, after passing the imperial examinations, would return to govern their former home lands later). Three more provinces are established.
Roman Empire: While hundreds of "inventors" across the Republic claim to have made original inventions, which are in fact copies of Chinese innovations, and craftsmen with more talent in sales than technical skills sell their ordinary products as imported Chinese quality products, a glass artisan from Narona makes a genuine invention which makes him and a dozen people who first copy his design rich beyond measure: eyeglasses.
Norway: King Augvald invites Celtic monks and endows a monastery on the Lysefjord.
Ostrogothic syndicates are lobbying among Rome`s political leaders of both factions with the aim of having Consuls elected who would pursue an even greater naval implication of the Republic in protecting the growing sea trade with China. This is particularly important for Ostrogothic syndicates, since the strengthened positions of Bharikucha and Dantapura mean higher customs and toll payments for their ships, who must rely on these Indian providers of security in travelling further to the East. China: The magistrate-scholar Li Qichao publishes his opus magnum of political philosophy, "On Peace and Justice". His theory is mainly a theory of the state - and a theory of "balance through power", instead of a balance of power. Its main emphasis is that, to survive and ensure the well-being of all of its citizens, the state must prevent some individuals from becoming too powerful. To do this, the idealised centre of the state (read: the emperor) must be so powerful as to keep everyone else from gaining too much power. Practically, Li Qichao provides the ideological foundation for absolutist monarchy, which is developing in Sui Chao. His philosophy is embraced by Emperor Zhuang and quickly overshadows Confucianism. Confucianists become a politically marginalised, but socially still important conservative-libertarian opposition.
Chasars: Böri calls together a Kurultai of the Chasars with the task of laying down the rules of the land, which are engraved in marble in Turkish words written in the Greek alphabet with a few additional symbols. He officially sheds the title "shad" and takes on the title of "khagan".
India: The Kannauj Alliance members sign a confederal contract, which establishes a permanent council. The council meets regularly, but it can only take decisions on a consensus basis. Individual members are not restrained from institutionalising further co-operation, but everything is binding only for those who have signed the agreement. Harshavardhana is elected the first spokesman of the Alliance Council.
Norway: At the invitation of King Eric of Viken, a Celtic monastery is built in Oslo.
Kingdom of the Antes: The restoration of the Kingdom of the Antes as a large buffer state in the Pontic stteppe has mostly failed. He can neither subdue the Moksha, nor the Ventichi. Voronezh controls merely a small region on the East bank of the upper Tanais (OTL Don). The situation on the Tanais begins to resemble that on the Borysthenes (OTL Dnieper), where almost a dozen small principalities and republics centered around main river castles rival for power (Slavic: "gorod"; see "Garðaríki" in Norse).
China: Emperor Zhuang decrees a new comprehensive penal and civil law code, containing lighter penalties for many crimes, and clear procedural rules for trials. The most groundbreaking innovation is the abolition of private slavery, though. Zhuang also replaces dozens of old magistrates, who are deemed corrupt.
Roman Empire: A scale-maker in the service of the Cursus Publicus Romanus builds the first spring scale.
Eran: A medical doctor at Gundishapur is the first to use (or document the use of) syringes to remove cataracts from the eyes of his patients.
China / Roman Empire / Kannauj Alliance / Persian Republic / Sheba: In Chang'an, a treaty is signed by the aforementioned states (resp. alliances) concerning the "mutual allowance to send armed naval convoys protecting merchant ships into each other's waters and ports".
Tuyuhun Kingdom: Murong Fuyun dies. He leaves behind a quickly developing state, which has acquired a lot of power and wealth in the shadow of their Sui overlords. His son and heir, Muron Shun, titled Gandou Khan, continues the overt submisson and loyalty and good relations to Sui as well as the modernisation of his kingdom and the extension of its power sphere.
China: The Northern extension of the Grand Canal is finished, too. The surviving Khitans, Kumo Xi and Mohe are scattered across the empire, similar to the Goguryeans a few years earlier, but although they will Sinicise thoroughly, too, they remain a distinct ethnic group (presently called "Nu-Zhen").
India: The Kannauj Alliance Council decides to send common diplomatic missions to Chang'an, Ctesiphon, Ma'rib, Aksum and Rome.
Tuyuhun Kingdom: The TIbetan Yarlung, led by their King Songtsän Gampo, attack Tuyuhun. They reach Fuqi before the Tuyuhun have gathered their troops, many of which had been deployed to Kucha and Karanshahr. Although the Yarlung invaders cause serious devastation, Gandou Khan and his well-trained cavalry defeat them at the Battle of Koko Nor. Weakened, the Yarlung retreat.
Roman Empire: In the Egyptian Roman civitas of Antinopolis, to where the largest group of Muslims - approximately 200 - have fled, the eldest of the Muslim community, Ga`far, writes down his account of the life and prophecies of Muhammad.
Norway: To protect the two dozen village communities of Trøndelag against slave-hunters from Karmøy, "settlers" from the Celtic Empire and other enemies, the yarls of Lade build a strong castle where the sons of karls are trained for armed combat, and which provides protection in times of attacks.
Roman Empire: In Tyraspolis, the first open spandrel stone segment arch bridge in Europe is built.
Venedia: The first written document on Slavic religious practice in the Baltic space is composed. It is an instruction text for novices in the priest circle of Rethra, written in Swedish runes, with three additional runes created for the "sh", "ch" and "ts" sounds. Presumably, the transmission of the runic alphabet occurred through the trading port of Vineta.
Roman Empire / Slavonia: As Rome needs more ships to honour the Chang`an Protocol and guarantee the safety of its growing East Asian commercial fleet, Roman diplomats are looking for solutions that could pacify and secure the Pontic space and allow the MCM to reduce its presence on the Borysthenes and the Tanais (especially the latter had been massively increased after the advent of the Göktürks). Since the "Antic solution" has not worked, Rome now tries to forge river-based confederations. It begins with the Borysthenes (OTL Dnieper), where two polyethnic city republics (Chortitia and Severopolis, OTL Zaporyzhia and Kiew) already maintain good relations with Rome, Taurean civitates and each other.
Chasars / Eran: Encouraged by Böri Khagan, Albanian mountain clans, who have not been as Iranicised as the people in Qabala or at the coastline of the former Arran Satrapy, and who have retained their Lezgic-Albanian languages and religion, refuse to participate in the common labour projects with the Mazdakist communes of Iranicised Albanians. An initially local conflict begins to escalate all along Eranshahr's mountainous Western periphery.
Denmark / Geatland: Hygelac, prince and heir to the Geatic throne, marries Hygd, a Danish princess and heir to the throne of the petty kings of Lejre.
Roman Empire: In Memphis, a female figure of authority among the small local Muslim community, whose name Greek sources give us as "Sadia", writes down another description of the life, prophesies and laws of Muhammad, thus creating a different tradition of Islam from that in the Antinopolis community without knowing about it.
For the first time, a Roman naval convoy is forced to fend off Malay pirates in the Sunda Strait with fire siphons.
China: Crime rates have gone through the roof across China, perhaps caused by the new wealth generated and held by a few people, or perhaps caused by tens of thousands of uprooted people from the Khitan Empire being on the move across Sui Chao, looking for employment. In a campaign against prostitution, robbery and vaganbondry, Emperor Zhuang toughens censorial rules concerning the Four Occupations and their supervision: Those who do not fall into either category and are not officially exempt (like monks or priests) must hold themselves available for corvee labour service to the Imperial Government, in which case they are housed, clothed and fed by the government for the time of their service. Although the imperial administration is faced with difficulties when having to determine whether someone really is a Gong or Shang, thus very few people are affected by this measure, the long-term effects are massive. It would only take the Sui state a way to find out for sure who is really a craftsman, artisan or merchant, and who isn't, and then everyone in the grey areas of society (prostitutes, cameys, day-talers and many more) would run the risk of becoming a state slave.
Chasars / Eran: Violent conflict between the Mazdakist communes of the valleys in the Westernmost regions of Eranshahr and the rebellious mountain tribes supported by the Chasars continues. Three times, the important cities of Qabala and Ganzak are raided. Shah Siyavaksh prepares an army for a Mazdakist crusade against the Chasars.
China: The Sui government builds a state manufacture for exporting porcelain.
In Guangzhou, the first Chinese stools and chairs are produced and used.
In Norway, the first schools teaching the children of aristocrats and wealthy merchants and craftsmen about the seven arts in the Latin language are founded in Oslo, Sørstad and Stavanger.
Roman Empire / Tauris: In a referendum, a (non-Ostrogothic) majority of the Taureans decides to join the Roman Republic. The new civitates are named Kerkinitis, Chersonesos, Theodosia, Kimmerikon, Nymphaion te Pantikapaeon, Phanagoria and Gorgippia. The soldiers stationed on the island remain grouped in their existing collegia militum. Castra at Taphros, Olbia and Tanais are expanded.
Chasars / Eran: The beginning of a three-year war in the Caucasus.
Atlantic Ostrogoths from the Nesoi Porphyroi lose their course on the high sea and strand on an island belonging to yet another uninhabited archipelago in the ocean towards their West. They survive by eating berries, fishing and hunting birds and manage to return home. Rather uncreatively, they name the archipelago they discovered "Nesoi Atlantikoi" (OTL Azores). Since they cannot exactly specify where these islands where, several missions in the next years fail to find the islands.
Roman Empire / Slavonia: Roman diplomacy has achieved a major success: In a round table of several hundred knyazes and voivods of a dozen Slavic tribes, and representatives of all major groups from the city republics of Chortitia and Severopolis, a "Potamian Koinon of the Borysthenes" (=river federation of the Dnieper) is forged. An assembly of over a thousand representatives ratifies and celebrates the treaty, which brings the entire river and its tributaries under the control of a confederal council, which is styled after the Conventum Romanum, but has significantly less powers. The Borysthenes River Union unites:
- the city republic of Neapolis Borysthenea (mainly Roman population; naval base dissolved in 643)
- the city republic of Nikopolis (mainly Roman and Ostrogothic population; naval base dissolved in 643)
- the city republic of Chortitia (mainly Ostrogoths and Polyans; large Roman naval base will be reduced in size)
- the city republic of Severopolis (mainly Ostrogoths and Severians; large Roman naval base will be reduced in size) with its castle towns of Liubech and Czernichiw
- the Principate of the Drevlans with its main town of Iskorosten
- the Principate of the Dregovichs with its main town of Turau
- the three counties of the Radimichs with the towns of Homel, Starodub and Kritchau
- and the Principate of the Krivitchs with its main town of Smolensk (OTL Gnezdovo).
In the Sao city of Zilum, Agonists seize power. They are mostly local Sao, whose families have been converted by Tubu, Kanuri or Bagirmi decades or even a century ago, and who finally rise against the Mai (king).
Tuyuhun Kingdom / Yarlung Kingdom / Zhangzhung: Songtsän Gampo starts another attempt to invade one of his Northern neighbours, this time Zhangzhung. Since local defenses are much too weak, Zhangzhung calls the Tuyuhun for help. Gandou Khan's army defeats the Yarlung once again. Zhangzhung accepts Tuyuhun suzerainty. Gandou Khan visits Chang'an and officially receives the title "prince of Zhangzhung" from Emperor Zhuang of Sui.
Chasars / Iberia / Lasika / Armenia / Eran: In a coup, Böri Khagan converts himself and his followers to Gregorian Christianity. Lasika, Iberia and Armenia, who have all been unsettled by Eran`s support for the Paulician state in Armenia, join the Chasars´ side in their war against Eran.
China: In an anti-fraud-and-slack campaign, Emperor Zhuang calls together representatives from all gong and shang professions and occupations in Chang'an. They must all form official imperial guilds and give themselves professional codes, hold examinations for admission, supervise their codes and remove malpractitioners from among their ranks, announcing each individual change of status to the Imperial Census.
Chasars / Eran: The war ends with a Chasar-Gregorian victory. Albania is split. Its Western, mountainous part becomes the independent Kingdom of Albania. Because the old provincial capital of Qabala has been destroyed in the war, Partav becomes the new Albanian capital. Although Albania continues to be polytheistic, they maintain friendly relations with the Gregorian kingdoms to their West, who, in turn, view them as a buffer state against Mazdakite Eran.
Eran retains only the Eastern part of Albania, along the coast of the Caspian Sea. Here, they build a new provincial capital, Shirvan.
Ostrogoths establish permanent trade contacts with the Edo Kingdom of Benin. They bring all sorts of advanced products from the Mediterranean (not the least among them brandy) and buy cotton and later also yams here.
Roman Empire: The Pangothikon moves back to Chersonesos, but the bulk of Ostrogothic treasures and the seats of most associations remain scattered elsewhere around the Republic. The Pangothikon has officially changed its nature to a voluntary confederal association, which represents mostly Roman citizens, but also Ostrogoths in the Atlantic Ocean and in the poleis of Chortitia, Severopolis, Castra Luhana and Kallipolis.
Nihon: In the Yamato Kingdom, the Taika reforms centralise power, systematise the penal and civil law (ritsu-ryo) and improve public administration after the Sui model.
Sogdia: A war among different tribes of the Six Oghuz begins.
The Celtic Empire joins the Chang'an Naval Safety Protocol.
The Armenian mathematician and astronomer Anania Shirakatsi argues that the Earth is oval-shaped and the Milky Way is a region in space filled with stars/suns.
Sheba: After religious unrests, the King of Sheba forbids the Paulician confession and sets the Paulicians an ultimatum of 30 days to convert or leave his kingdom, or else be stoned to death. Many flee to Assyria.
Chasars: A Gregorian Christian cathedral is built in Atil, financed by the reparation payments Böri Khagan has obtained from Eran.
The decrease in Silk Road trade caused by the warfare in Sogdia has caused an economic depression in the West and East, aggravated by the bankruptcy of important Roman corporations and something that amounts to a financial crisis. Celts, Romans, Sabaeans, Sui China and the Kannauj Alliance begin talks aimed at restoring the safety of the Silk Road - and measures which would rekindle global trade and end the depression.
India: The Shaihr Jaari establish a permanent confederal office in Shrinagari, too.
Roman Empire: Chemists at the time-honored University of Athens, who try to improve fertilisers even further, experiment with mixtures of sulphuric acid and alcohol. They are the first ones to experience the anaesthetic qualities of diethyl ether - and document it, after they've awakened again.
Sogdia: The Six Oghuz wars end. International talks for co-operation for the safety of the Silk Road peter out without results.
Violent religious and social conflicts in Jenno-Jeno and Dalla are decided through the intervention from Zilum in favour of the Agonistici. Although the Sao are converted now, their polities do not merge into the Eastern Imaziyen.
Celtic Empire: The Insulae Cattae, where Celts have outnumbered Cattae and Norse, join the Celtic Empire as a new province.
East Africa / China: A man from Mombasa named Hinga is the first Kikuyu to travel all the dangerous way to China. He brings back the first tea plants to his African home.
China: The officialisation of guilds and their involvement in the Census allow the Chinese emperors to identify not officially emChinaployed citizens. Tens of thousands of them are drafted for corvee labour in canal-extension projects across the Empire. Interestingly, this measure also threatens the offspring of Shi, Gong and Shang, who haVve finished their education, but not yet taken up jobs. It is one reason for the increased numbers of young Chinese who pursue long studies, trainings or apprenticeships, making the Chinese the best-educated workforce in the world.
Football becomes a popular sport among the masses in Persia and the Roman Republic. In the Roman Republic, decuries (teams of ten) form in many civitates. Often, each professional collegium has its own decury. Cart races are still more popular, but especially in the smaller civitates with their smaller stadiums, football (named cuium, after the Chinese word cuyu) starts to outstrip them.
Eran: The Mazdakite state erects good hospitals for the many wounded and disabled veterans of the war with the Chasars.
Roman Empire / Slavonia: The Borysthenes solution is replicated successfully for the Tanais. The Potamian Koinon of the Tanais is less decentralised, though; it mainly unites Antes, Moksha and Ventichi as well as two predominantly Ostrogothic cities in the South in the vicinity of Roman naval bases (Castra Luhana and Kallipolis). Kallipolis becomes the federal capital. Rome does not immediately reduce its naval presence on the Tanais, but intends to do so in the long run, should the Koinon prove to work smoothly.
The only portion of Slavica Pontica, often referred to as "Slavonia", which has not yet been reshaped and pacified according to Rome´s conceptions, is the region along the River Hypanis (OTL Southern Bug). Here, Rome sorts things out over the next decades with a policy of substantial military and economic support for pro-Roman tribes and forces.
The growing power of (predominantly Slavic) farmers vis-a-vis (predominantly Ostrogothic) landowners becomes apparent when the ekklesia of Chortitia decides to bind land ownership to use, i.e. expropriate absentee landlords. After this land reform, which is harshly criticised by Ostrogoths worldwide, the Pangothikon refuses to accept delegates sent by the Chortitian polis' ekklesia. A number of Ostrogothic associations and guilds based in Chortitia, whose members do not wish to lose their influence on the Pangothikon, nominally relocate to other poleis.
China: The debt crisis has infected China. Here, too, debtors begin to rebel. Emperor Zhuang quickly steps in, puts down the rebellions and, at the same time, expropriates most Buddhist monasteries. In the future, they must rely on tuition fees and donations.
Eran: A medical doctor at Sapahan uses an unwieldy device consisting of copper and zinc sheets, liquids and salt to stimulate the nerves of veteran soldiers who had lain for a long time. He has built the first electric battery.
Arabia: The son of the leader of the most influential Quraish clan of the Banu abd al-Dar, who are responsible for protecting the Kaaba, marries a Sabaean princess. Neither does he convert to Christianity, nor does Mecca become a part of Sheba at once - but miaphysitic Christianity gains influence among the Quraish and Mecca's links with Ma'rib are strengthened once again.
China: Yang Zhuang dies. He is succeeded by his son Yang Taizong, who becomes Emperor Taizong of Sui.
Saxony / Venedia: The Saxon King Alf launches an invasion of Veletian lands and a siege of Vineta. The campaign becomes a gigantic failure and costs the Saxons dearly. King Alf is deposed, with him, Widukind`s dynastic line ends. In Hamburg, the Thing elects Ebo as his successor. Ebo, renowned for his diplomatic genius, strengthens the alliance with Svearike as well as with the Danish Kings of Gudme through marriages.
India: Rural popular revolt, mainly by the Bodo and by Tai peoples, succeeds in Kamarupa and establishes a number of small peasant republics.
Norway: A Latin document mentions the town of Voganum / Vågan on the Lofoten Islands. Here, the Celts buy mainly cod from the Norse and sell them mainly brandy. It is mentioned that the local population considers their island as part of a loose association named Hålogaland (in Latin: Heligolanum).
Chasars / Great Perm: An Ugro-Finnic federation of Magyars, Mari, Meshcherians and Meryans, who had built towns along the Volga and Kama, refuse to pay tribute to the Chasars. In two battles, they defeat them and shake off Chasar overlordship.
China: Emperor Taizong begins to build up the Chinese Navy and formulates sea dominance as one of Sui's most important objectives - both for a firm control over the (formerly Goguryeo) provinces of Xuantu, Lelang, Daifang, Zhenfan and Lintun, and to secure the safety of Chinese trade through the Malay archipelago. While most other empires have professional navies - even those, like Rome, who have a predominantly conscript-based land force -, Taizong adapts the exceptionalist Sui military structure of Fubing and Jun-tian creatively and ingeniously to the naval sector: He decrees that Shang (merchants, traders) must serve three years in the navy to obtain licenses for trade with foreign countries. In exchange, they are granted favourable start-up loans upon completion of these three years. To maintain the license for foreign trade or own or hold a ship larger than a specific size or with more than three sails, they must serve two months of each year before they reach the age of 40 in the navy's department that is responsible for accompanying merchant ships and guaranteeing their safety. This policy does not only make sure that the navy, too, does not represent a power factor independent from the king. It also brings petty traders from remote towns in the continental heartland into contact with the great wide world, and thus greatly facilitates the dissemination of economic innovations and the involvement of Chinese merchants in informal international networks of trust.
Chasars / Great Perm: The Ugro-Finnic alliance breaks through the Chasar defenses at Chrysosydor and establishes naval supremacy on the Volga.
At last, one of the well-equipped Ostrogothic expeditions lands on the Nesoi Atlantikoi again. A small village is built and named Nea Kerkinitis. The first Azoreans have brought goats, axes, saws and plows with them and begin to cultivate typical Mediterranean vegetables, grain and bitter oranges and to cut laurel wood, the latter two mostly for exporting them.
Chasars / Great Perm: A second great battle between Ugro-Finns and Chasars costs thousands of lives and ends inconclusively.
Celtic Empire: Inspired by the Sui Encyclopedia, Carolus Lignaeus, a Celtic monk and natural philosopher, whose monastery has a huge herbarium at its disposal, creates the first system for the categorisation of plant species.
Chasars / Great Perm: Thanks to a very active Gregorian clerical and Roman political diplomacy, the new Ugro-Finnic state of Great Perm and the Chasar Empire define their common border. Chrysosydor becomes an independent city and receives a Roman military presence, which also safeguards free passage for both Chasars and Permians from Chrysosydor to Sarkel and back.
Armed bandits, who have come in longboats downriver on the Borysthenes from the North, raid the suburbs of Severopolis. Presumably, they are from Svearike-Sjonarike.
India: In Pataliputra, the first prototype of an immobile telescope is built.
Roman Empire: Medics at the academic hospital in Athens use diethyl ether as a controlled anaesthetic for surgeries and document necessary levels of dosage.
Funan adapts its administrative structures to those of Sui, modernises its military and begins a Northward expansion along the Mekong, establishing towns / colonies in which the ruling Khmer elite is far outnumbered by Tai, Lao, Shan, and Hmong groups.
Waves of fatal epidemics haunt both Europe (in the beginning of the decade) and Asia (towards its end), claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands. Medical academies are yet unaware that they are caused by new viruses and bacteria brought from one end of Eurasia to the other due to increased trade contacts, bringing them in contact with populations which have no immunity towards them.
Silla / Baekje: Ever since Goguryeo's defeat and disappearance, the Kingdom of Silla is full of skilled, trained and well-equipped warriors: the influx of escaped Goguryeo nobles, the Hwarang movement and King Muyeol's fears of being overwhelmed by the powerful Sui neighbour have all contributed to this. The large army of Silla under the command of General Kim Yosin marches across the Sobaek Mountains into Baekje and defeats the Baekje troops in the battle of the Hwangsan Plains (not unlike in OTL). The siege of Baekje's capital, Sabi, is a much closer fight than in OTL because China does not help either side, but finally, King Ulja of Baekje capitulates. Silla annexes Baekje.
Silla / Baekje / Nihon: General Gwisil Boksin leads a Baekje resistance against Silla. He requests aid from the Yamato Kingdom.
Sheba: The first university in Arabia is founded in Ma'rib.
Venedia: Influenced by the priests of Rethra, the city council of Vineta prohibits the consumption, sale and possession of alcohol.
China: Emperor Taizong dies. Liao Yang follows him as Emperor Liao of Sui.
Silla / Baekje / Nihon: United Baekje restoration forces under general Gwisil Boksin and Yamato forces under commander Abe no Hirafu have gained ground. They confront Silla's troops in the battle of Baekgang. In contrast to OTL, there is no help from China, and Silla suffers a thorough defeat.
India: Suvarnagupta and the Kannauj Alliance sign a treaty concerning the legal status of corporations and other agents on each others` territories.
Slavonia: Heavy fights between different Slavic tribes in the Hypanis region. A pro-Roman alliance of Velziti and Melingoi, led by Knyaz Akamir, fights against an anti-Roman alliance of Branichevci and Smolyani, supported by the Corvatian Confederacy.
Sapmi: Celtic explorers establish outposts along the coast of Sapmi. They are tailed by Norse traders.
The inhabitants of the various small villages and hamlets of Glaciana gather for the first time in an island-wide legislative assembly. The Latin-speaking Celts call it Conventum Glacianum ad Fumisinus, while the settlers of Norse origin call it Reykjavikurþing.
The Khaganate of Balkh conquers Merw and forces the khagan of Merw to submit to Bactrian suzerainty.
Slavonia: Final triumph of Akamir`s forces, thanks to massive Roman support. The new unified kingdom`s capital will be Braclavia on the Hypanis (no equivalent OTL settlement, 20 km upriver from Vinnytsia). Its internal structure combines the voivod model of the Corvatian Confederacy with the Vece model of the semi-Romanised Potamian Koina on the Borysthenes and the Tanais. Some of the defeated Branichevci and Smolyani have fled Westwards.
Norway: After violent conflicts between urban militias and soldiers of King Ragnar of Agder, the city of Sørstad regains its fiscal independence.
Doctrinal conflicts arise and escalate between the Muslim communities of Antinopolis and Memphis. In the eyes of their Roman-Egyptian fellow townsfolk, it`s just another theological feud between Christian sects, since the conception of Islam as a different religion has not been established.
Norway: The city council of Sørstad invites Celtic monks to build a monastery in their town.
China / Roman Empire: The Roman navy escorts an unusualy large commercial convoy into the Bay of Tonkin. Sui spies have already observed this from Funan and warn Chang`an. Emperor Liao of Sui is, unfortunately, a person who fires first and asks questions later. Before the Roman ships land, they are intercepted by Sui vessels who demand a withdrawal. The Roman captains refer to the Chang`an Protocol and refuse to retreat. Sui marines enter the Roman ships, fights ensue, in which several dozen seamen are killed on both sides.
As a reaction, the Roman Consuls declare Sui ships exempt from the privileges of the Chang`an Protocol within Roman waters; they are followed by their Sabaean allies. Liao retorts with an analogous ban of armed Roman and Sabaean vessels. The Celts, Iranians and Indians are officially still allowed to enter Chinese waters with armed convoys, but become cautious. Over the next years, the convoy practice becomes factually restricted to Euro-Indian trade, while sea trade with China has sinking volumes and is increasingly done through Malay, Funanese etc. intermediaries again.
Svearike / Slavonia: The first inimical encounter between Swedes and a group of Ostrogoths and Krivitches takes places on the Kasplya River.
Norway / Great Perm: The first Celtic expedition sails Northwards from Voganum all along the coasts of Sapmi and much farther, and returns with tales about a fortified town and marketplace named Bearma (in Common Celtic, the Latinised version is Permia, and the Norse say Bjarma).
Eran: The state hospital at Ctesiphon is the first to use diethyl ether as anaesthetic for surgeries.
Silla / China: Social and ethnic unrest shakes Sui's outer provinces at the border to Silla. King Munmu of Silla uses the pretext of "protecting our brethren" to invade. Emperor Liao of Sui gathers an enormous army, which crushes Silla's troops mercilessly. Sui troops raze Sillan fortresses to the ground and destroy the capital at Gyerim, deporting the entire upper classes of Silla and subject them to forced labour in the improvement of the Great Wall.
The territory formerly controled by Silla becomes the new imperial province Ungjin of Sui Chao, with the seat of its administration at Daegu. Over the next few years, it is thoroughly Sinicised and integrated into the imperial structures. Thus, Baekje on the South-Western coast of the peninsula is the only independent autochtonous Korean polity left - encircled by the much stronger Sui Empire, but supported by its close Nihonian allies of the Yamato Kingdom.
As a result of the new naval situation between Europe and China, the role and influence of Indian marine powers from Bharikucha to Puri and from the Gupta Kingdom to Anuradhapura, as well as of South-East Asian mueang and kedatuan, be they of the Pyu, Dvaravati Mon or Malayans, increase greatly. Sui, on the other hand, attempts to counter this by expanding its naval presence and dominance in the Eastern part of the region, backed by Funan, which orients itself more and more towards Sui.
Because all of this increases the cost of sea trade of Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East and India with China, the Silk Road gains importance and trade volume again. Talks for its co-operative protection are begun again.
China / Tibet: A Yarlung assault on Anrong fails. Sui maintains control over Chengdu.
In the Battle of the Oxus, Merw regains his independence from Balkh.
Roman Empire: Wealthy citizens from manufacturing and commercial backgrounds have rounded up their portfolios with land ownership in the new Suebic territories of the Empire. They are in a position which allows them not only to invest into societates who cut them the largest pieces of the profit, but also in those in civitates which have the lowest tax rates, playing civitas against civitas. Public opinion has become increasingly critical of them. While public budgets are increasingly strained with infrastructural projects, public hospitals, and military expenditure, the new "fortunati" display their wealth in drastic ways. Through major donations, though, they have come to control the political clubs surrounding the Conventum Romanum. It has therefore taken years of heated debates for a tax reform bill pushed by the "communalisti" to pass the Conventum: Imperial taxation is extended onto all kinds of estimated income, based on census information about productive property.
Roman Republic: The largest and best-reputed hospital in the Roman world, the Klinike Techne Galenos in Alexandria, where many technically successful surgeries had been conducted thanks to the availability of the anaesthetic diethyl ether, but the patients had died nonetheless of unknown reasons, experiments with dripping alcohol over surgery wounds. The post-surgery mortality rate sinks significantly.
China: Gunpowder is invented. Its inventor, an alchemist from Chengdu, sells the stuff to showmen who use it as a stage prop.
On a confederate council, the Kannauj Alliance advocates an international treaty for the Silk Road akin to the failed Chang`an Marine Safety Protocol, but based on a supervision of escort contingents by a common institution.
The Kannauj idea for a Silk Road Protocol is backed by the Shaihr Jaari. Arabia: Led by Umar ibn Utman, the wealthy Banu Umayya clan of the Quraish agrees with the Banu Abd al-Dar and both clans convert to Christianity. They had been responsible for the Ka`ba, and Umar ibn Utman propagates the new interpretation that the Ka`ba is the altar on which Ibrahim / Abraham was told to sacrifice Isaac.
Liao of Sui rejects the Indian initiative for Silk Road safety. Iran backs it, though. Roman Empire / Aksum: Outbreak of theRoman-Aksumite War over quarrels concerning the profits from the Nile dam constructed by ENERGEIA. Aksum`s King Sahana II. ceases payments of profit shares and ignores a Roman ultimatum. Two days after the ultimatum expires, Rome closes its borders and confiscates property of Aksumite citizens. Sahana II. reacts by closing the Bab el-Mandeb for Roman ships or ships departing from or destined for the Roman Empire. The MCM sends battleships through the Red Sea and sets Aksumite sea patrol ships on fire.
Knowing that he has no means against Rome's "Greek fire", Sahana II. does not attack the Roman navy, but starts an infantry and cavalry offensive into Rome's Egyptian province instead. Aksum's army breaks through the border defenses, raids Diospolis and hurries home with the loot.
Arabia: Violent conflict among the Quraish between Christian converts and those loyal to the polytheistic cult, which has been bereft of its access to the Ka`ba.
Roman Empire / Aksum: The Exercitus Africanus marches into Aksum, steamrolls through its Northern provinces, lays siege on the capital city Aksum in April and conquers it in May, ending the war.
Sahana II. and his heirs were beheaded. Rome signed a treaty with a handpicked noble family from Aksum, which was pronouncedly more pro-Roman and obedient to the empire's economic interests.
Funan / Dvaravati: Backed by the Sui navy, Funan marches into Sri Gotapura, which has concluded a pact of mutual assistance with Dvaravati. The Dvaravati alliances strikes back, a five-year war ensues.
Arabia: With considerable help from Sheba, the Christian clans prevail among the Quraish. Their victory is celebrated with the building of the second-largest Christian basilica on the Arabian Peninsula in Mecca. All Quraish clans accept Sabaean overlordship now. The Patriarch of Ma`rib sends priests to Mecca.
Funan / China / Dvaravati / Pyu / Nusantara / Chera / Pandya / Dantapura: The Pyu city states join the war against Funan on Dvaravati`s side. Both Funan and Sui on one side, and the Dvaravati-Pyu alliance on the other side mobilise their vassals on the Malay Peninsula and islands. Chera, Pandya and a number of city republics, the strongest among them Dantapura, send naval support to Palembang, which prepares for a defense against Sui`s navy. Sui mobilises various Bai and Tai chiefdoms at its Southern fringe as well as the Yarlung Dynasty to relieve Funan by attacking Pyu and Dvaravati cities.
At the invitation of the University of Samarqand, renowned Chinese, Indian, Persian and Roman medical scientists and natural philosophers discuss the question: "What is health?" The best answer is awarded a considerable quantity of gold. This is perhaps the first large-scale encounter of the different and conflicting theories concerning organs, bodily fluids, forces, miasmata etc. that had previously co-existed in the different cultural spheres without knwoledge of each other. (By the way, an Iranian physician won, and all the experts from farther away denounced the jury for linguistic bias, of course.)
Kumaragupta III. joins the anti-Sui side, too, which has also received massive Roman support.
The First South-East Asian War ends with a "Western" victory: Funan withdraws from Dvaravati in May and agrees on the payment of reparations. The Pyu had successfully fought off the invaders earlier on, too. In August, naval forces of Palembang, Kedah, Dantapura and Pandya with Roman support defeated those of Sui, Funan and Sailendra in the sea battle of the Malaccan Strait.
Funan`s expansion is stopped; the zenith of this empire lies in the past now. The pan-Indian-Pyu-Dvaravati-Malay alliance with Roman support set a precedent for a co-operation of otherwise rivalling power blocs in the Indianised world against their common threat of Sui hegemony.
China: Liao of Sui, whose long reign has brought rather mixed results with regards to the expansion of the empire and its strength, and whose bad foreign relations had rendered his initiatives in the administrative domain futile, dies under uncertain circumstances.
He is succeeded by You Yang, who becomes Emperor Hong of Sui.
Sheba: The Ibrahim Church is finished, and Mecca becomes the seat of a Sabaean bishop. The Ka`ba has been incorporated into the church, which becomes the target of pilgrims from all over Arabia and Northern Africa.
China: Emperor Hong signals readiness to discuss a co-operative solution for Silk Road safety.