Historical Overview for the Hijra timeline. S==Europe==

Seventh Century

The Seventh Century shows consolidation of power among the various tribes and minor kingdoms of Europe.

On the British Isles, the Anglo-Saxons established seven kingdoms during this period, beginning the period that would be known as the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. The Welsh defeat Aethelfrith of Northumbria at the Battle of Chester, which both opens Northumbria to conversion to Christianity after the death of the staunchly pagan king but gives immense prestige to the King of Powys, who would later go on to found the largest Welsh state until the Welsh unification in the Ninth Century.

In Northern Europe, the various tribes of the Danes manage to conquer and subdue both the Jutes and the Angles, ending the last non-danish states in Denmark. Charles Martel, king of the Franks, completes his war in Neustria and Austrasia, and unites the two kingdoms into the Kingdom of Francia in 717, laying the groundwork for the later Carolingian dynasty.

In Southern Europe, the Visigoths engage in a war with Vasconia and lose, which nearly doubles the size of the small country. Also troubling the Visigoths is a revolt of the Suebi, who succeed in establishing an independent Kingdom of Galicia. The Serbs migrate to their traditional homeland in the Balkans during this century.

Early into the century, smallpox arrives in Europe from India, and begins to reduce local population. For this reason, in the 7th century the worlds population will in fact shrink.

Pope Boniface II, elected pope in 606, sought and received a decree from the Byzantine emperor that stated that "the See of Blessed Peter the Apostle should be the head of all the Churches". This ensured that the title of "Universal Bishop" belonged exclusively to the Bishop of Rome. This sets the stage for the church-dominated European politics that will preside for nearly the next Millennia.

Eighth Century

In Britain, Christianization of the island is complete, with only a few tenets of Paganism remaining in the Northern regions of what was then called Scotia Minor. The process of Gaelicization continues in Pictland unabated. The Pictish kingdom of Dal Raita becomes the major power in Scotia Minor at this time. Danish raids begin to reach the British isles during the later parts of this century. This results in the founding of cities and fortresses in Socia Major, or Hibernia, but the Danes do not seem able to gain a definite foothold.

The Burgundians, led by their king Chilperic III crush the Lombards in Northern Italy. They grant some lands back to the Pope, and in return receive his blessing. The Lombards in Southern Italy found the Kingdom of Beneveto, and actively begin to push the Byzantines from the Peninsula. The Aquitaine are invaded by both the Franks and the Vasconians in 745, managed to defeat the Franks and push them from their territory, but suffer minor loses in territory to the Vasconians in the south.

As most of Europe is Christian by this point, the Pope Boniface III issues the Dux Christi decree. This allows the papacy to grant the title of King or Emperor to the various European powers, and establishes the church as a firm authority in theory if not in practice over the rest of Europe. The Franks remain a Kingdom, as do the Visigoths and the Burgundians, but the pope declares most other states to be Duchies and their leaders to be dukes. Most states ignore this decree for the moment, and continue to call their leaders whatever title pleases them. However, by the end of the century, this decree will have become tradition within Europe.

Middle East

7th Century

The Sixth Century in the Middle East was characterized by religious and political maneuvering by the regions two

Political map of the Middle East at the end of the Seventh Century.

most powerful states, the Byzantine and Sassanid empires. Both of these nations had been unable to gain a definite advantage over the other, and both Anatolia and Mesopotamia, the respective heartlands of both empires, were devastated by the 602-628 Byzantine-Sassanid War. As a result, both sides began to suffer political instability as various officials vied for control over the Empire, and as a result of decreased military strength began to search for allies against the other.

In the Arabian peninsula, a brief Abrahamic sect known as Islam established itself in Mecca, but after the death of Muhammad, who some sources still consider to be a Christian saint, the last traces of the sect disappeared in 632. In 682, Ali ibn Habar conquered the various tribes of Mecca, and converted to Christianity, allying himself with the Byzantine Empire and the various Christian states across the red sea. In 691 the Jewish Himyar reconquered Kindah from the Christian Lakhmids and defeated an attempt by the Axumites to reconquer their homeland of Yemen.

In the Caucasus, the 6th century was a time of relative peace and stability, and saw economic growth. The Khazars first became established in the

Religious map of the Middle East at the end of the Seventh century.

Caucasus in 650, and brought the Sabirs and the Bulgars under their jurisdiction. This forces some Bulgars to flee north of the Volga.

Eighth Century

The Eighth Century saw political consolidation within the Middle East and the emergence of several buffer states between the Persians and the Byzantines.

From 732-748, the Byzantines, aided by Armenian and the Lakhmids, went to war again with the Sassanids. However, neither side was able to gain much headway, and the war ended in uneasy peace in 748. The economies and militaries of the Byzantines and the Sassanids having recovered, this set the stage for another century of Byzantine-Sassanid emnity. The Byzantine province of Syria, however, became much more disloyal to the Byzantines due to their failure to prevent Persian invasion. The province of Aegyptus began similar feelings, but due to heavy Byzantine taxes. Minor revolts in these provinces were crushed in the late eight century.

The Arab peninsula saw the Ghassanids conquered by Hedjaz in 625. Kindah was utterly destroyed, with Lakhmids and the Himyar dividing it after fighting a war over its remains from 740-752. Axum and Himyar once again went to war in 781, which resulted in a brief occupation of Yemen by the Axumites before Yemen reconquered it in 782.

In the Caucasus, the Khazars expanded multiple times. Crimea fell to them in 701, and in 734 the Khazars captured Albania and the Persian Caucasus from the Sassanids. In 764, seeking to embrace a monotheistic religion like their more prestigious neighbors to the south but wishing to maintain a semblance of Neutrality, the Khazars converted to Judaism. In addition to this, the Abasgians also saw large expansion. Following the Sassanid-Byzantine of 732-748, the Abasgians were granted the Byzantine provinces in the Caucasus to govern in exchange for military alliance and favourable trading conditions. Lazica was conquered by the Abasgians in 784, forming what would later be known as Georgia.



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