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7th Century Overview (The Fires of God)

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The 7th century is the period from 601 to 700 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Common Era. The Muslim conquests began with the unification of Arabia by Muhammad starting in 622. After Muhammad's death in 632, Islam expanded beyond the Arabian Peninsula under the Rashidun Caliphate (632–661) and the Umayyad Caliphate (661–750). The Islamic conquest of Aksum in the 7th century led to the downfall of the Aksumite Empire.

The Roman Empire continued suffering setbacks during a period of renewed expansion by the Persian Empire.

In the Iberian Peninsula, the 7th century was the Siglo de Concilios, that is, century of councils, referring to the Councils of Toledo.

Harsha united Northern India, which had reverted to small republics and states after the fall of the Gupta Empire in the 6th century.

In China, the Sui dynasty was replaced by the Tang dynasty, which set up its military bases from Korea to Central Asia. China began to reach its height. Silla allied itself with the Tang Dynasty, subjugating Baekje and defeating Goguryeo to unite the Korean Peninsula under one ruler. The Asuka period persisted in Japan throughout the 7th century.

Events

  • Islam begins in Arabia, the Qur'an is documented.
  • The world's population shrinks to about 208 million people.
  • The Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy emerges at the beginning of this century or the last in England.
  • Xuanzang (aka Hsuan-Tsang) travels from China to India, before returning to Chang'an in China to translate Buddhist scriptures.
  • End of sporadic Buddhist rule in the Sindh.
  • Croats enter their present territory early in the 7th century AD, settling in six distinct tribal delimitations.
  • Teotihuacan is sacked. The political and religious buildings are burned.
  • The religion of Shugendo evolves from Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto and other influences in the mountains of Japan.
  • The Bulgars arrive in the Balkans; establishment of the powerful Bulgarian Empire.
  • Arab traders penetrate the area of Lake Chad.
  • Earliest attested English poetry.
  • Side panels, Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, are made.
  • Main compound, Horyu-ji, Nara Prefecture, is built. Asuka period.
  • 7th and 9th century – Mosaics above apse, Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, are made.
  • 600: Smallpox spreads from India into Europe.
  • 603: Last mention of the Roman Senate in Gregorian Register. It mentions that the senate acclaimed the statues of emperor Phocas and empress Leontia.
  • 606: Boniface elected papal successor on the death of Pope Sabinian. He obtains a decree from Roman Emperor Phocas which states 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.
  • 607: Hōryū-ji temple believed to have been completed by 607 in Ikaruga, Japan.
  • 610: Heraclius arrives by ship from Africa at Constantinople, overthrows East Roman Emperor Phocas and becomes Emperor. His first major act is to change the official language of the East Roman Empire from Latin to Greek (already the language of the vast majority of the population).
  • 616: Khosrau II invades Egypt.
  • 622: Year one of the Islamic calendar begins, during which the Hijra occurs—Muhammad and his followers emigrate from Mecca to Medina in September.
  • 623: The Frankish merchant Samo, supporting the Slavs fighting their Avar rulers, becomes the ruler of the first known Slav state in Central Europe.
  • 626: The Avars and the Persians jointly besiege but fail to capture Constantinople.
  • 628-629: POD. The Brothers' War, which sees the armies of Khosrau II and his son Mardanshah pitted against the armies of Mardanshah's brother Kavadh. Khosrau and Mardanshah ultimately prevail.
  • 635-649: Alopen, a Persian Christian priest introduces Nestorian Christianity into China.
  • 638: Emperor Taizong (627-649) issues an edict of universal toleration of religions; Nestorian Christians build a church in Chang'an.
  • 649-683: Chinese Emperor Gaozong permits establishment of Christian monasteries in each of 358 prefectures.
  • 651: Emperor Mardanshah is murdered by a conspiracy of nobles. A civil war breaks out.
  • 658: Two Chinese monks, Zhi Yu and Zhi You, reconstruct the 3rd century south-pointing chariot mechanical compass-vehicle for Emperor Tenji of Japan.
  • 661: Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib is assassinated. His successor Hasan ibn Ali abdicated the Caliphate to Muawiyah I, marking the beginning of the Umayyad caliphate.
  • 664: A Tang dynasty Chinese source written by I-tsing, mentioned about Holing (Kalingga) kingdom, located somewhere in the northern coast of Central Java.
  • 668: The end of the Goguryeo-Tang Wars, as Goguryeo fell to a joint attack by Tang China and Unified Silla of Korea, the latter of which held the former Goguryeo domains.
  • 670: Arab conquest of the city of Aksum.
  • 670: Persian conquest of north Africa begins.
  • 671: I-tsing visits Srivijaya and Malayu in Sumatra and Kedah in Malay peninsula on his way to Nalanda, India.
  • 680: Decisive victory of the Bulgars over the Romans in the Battle of Ongal.
  • 681: Arab conquest of east Africa completed.
  • 687: I-tsing returned to Srivijaya in on his way back from India to China. In his record he reports that the Melayu kingdom was captured by Srivijaya.
  • 690: Pro-Buddhist imperial consort Wu Zetian seizes power and rules as Empress of China.
  • 691: Buddhism is made the state religion of China.
  • 692: Persian conquest of north Africa completed.
  • 692: Persian invasion of Iberia begins.
  • 694: Visigothic king Egica accuses the Jews of aiding the Persians, and sentences all Jews to slavery.
  • 698: The Arabs invade modern Tanzania.
  • 698: Active but unofficial anti-Christian persecution begins in China.
  • 700: The Sumatra-based Srivijaya naval kingdom flourishes and declines. (to 1500)
  • 700: Wet-field rice cultivation, small towns and kingdoms flourish. Trade links are established with China and India.
  • 700: The Sojomerto inscription, possibly dated around late 7th century, is discovered in Batang, Central Java. It mentions Dapunta Selendra, possibly the ancestor of Sailendra dynasty. The inscription was written in Old Malay, suggesting a Srivijayan link to this family.

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