Summary: Pepin becomes the Holy Roman emperor, the Omayyads save their asses in Egypt, Chinese power shattered in Central Asia, Western Byzantium prey to a succession war; failed Eastern Byzantine "rentrée" in Italy
751 The Egyptian Omayyad forces rallied by Marwan II and led by his distant relative Abd ar-Rahman defeat the Abbasid army at Aqabade ad Aqaba and retake the holy cities of Jerusalem, Mecca and Medina. The T’ang Chinese army led by Gao Xianzhi conquers Chach/Tashkent and kills the local Qarluq ruler, Baghatur Tudun; thereafter the Chinese suffer a crushing and decisive defeat against Abbasid forces and rising Qarluqs at the Talas river (on that occasion, captured Chinese soldiers spread the knowledge of paper into the Muslim world). Western Göktürks, Turgesh/T’u-ch’ueh and Tibetans take advantage to rise in rebellion and attack the Chinese rearguards; Khagan Bayanchur’s Uygur replace the Chinese as overklords of the Tarim basin (eastern Turkestan). Pepin the Short dethrones Childeric III, the last weak Merovingian king of the Franks, and is hailed as the new king; his accession to the throne marks the beginning of the use of having the sovereign anointed with blessed oil at the hands of high prelates. This year is the date for the most ancient printed book known in the world, a Korean copy of a Buddhist “sutra”
752 Marwan II adopts Abd ar-Rahman as his heir and successor despite his defeat at Quneitra against the Abassids; Abbasid forces take over Oman by killing Al-Julanda, the local Ibadi-Zaydi imam, but the interior of the country remains firmly in the hands of the Shi'ite rebels. Premature death of the Western Roman/Byzantine emperor Leontius II in Syracuse; empress Theodota acts as regent for the infant Maurice II. The Spoletan Lombards, led by Duke Anspert, take advantage to invade southern Italy, seizing parts of Puglia and Campania and reclaiming back upper Lazio from the Papacy
753 King Dantidurga Rashtrakuta of Kannada overthrows the ruling Western Chalukyas of Vatapi/Badami, establishing the Rashtrakutas as the new regional power. After a lengthy siege the Austrasian Lombards conquer Ravenna from the Exarchate of Adria, then their king Lupus dies from malaria. After vainly trying to appease the Spoletan Lombards, marauding southern Italy and threatening Rome itself, Pope Stephen II departs to France to call Pepin the Short for help. Then Constantine V of Byzantium plunges in Puglia with a strong fleet, taking Taranto, Gallipoli, Brindisi and defeats the Spoletan Lombards at Murgia Basilica (*not existing OTL, inner central Puglia). The Abbasid general Abu Muslim retakes Hijaz with Mecca and Medina from the Omayyads
753-775 Open, harsh struggle between basileus Constantine V and the “idolatric” Byzantine monks adverse to iconoclasm
754 Also the second Chinese invasion of Nanzhao/Yunnan fares very badly. Young Maurice II dies in Syracuse, thus extinguishing the Leontidian dynasty; a long civil war for the imperial crown of the West ensues, because whilst in Syracuse empress Theodota rules, outside no less then seven pretenders spring up with one thing in mind: forcibly marry her and reign. (Eastern) Byzantium takes further advantage of the chaos imposing anew its rule in Dalmatia and conquering almost all of southern Italy save Naples, held by Duke Totilian, a pretender to to the Syracusan crown; Constantine V also subjects the church of southern Italy to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, enforcing unpopular Iconoclasm. Pepin the Shot meantime enters Italy, trounces the Spoletans at Pistoia with Neustrian Lombard help and enters Rome with Pope Stephen II; Tuscany reverts to Neustrian Lombardy, the Papacy has back its land in Lazio and gains the Perugia strip in western Umbria under Frankish protection. The archbishop of Mainz, The Anglo-Saxon Boniface, after evangelizing Germany for decades is martyred by hetahen Frisians at Dokkum; despite this setback, the Frisian archbishopric of Utrecht is to become a strong center of ecclesiatic power. The T’ang Chinese lose Kashgar at the hands of the Uygurs
754-756 Constantine V has Iconoclasm reaffirmed and confirmed as Byzantium’s state confession, despite heavy and often violent opposition from the clergy and people, especially in Europe
755 The Abbasid Caliph al-Mansur order the murder of Abu Muslim, one of the paramount leaders of the Abbasid revolution from their beginnings in Khorasan. Constantine V’s Byzantines and Peipn the Shorts Franco-Lombards clash in the epic battle of Tuscolo, south of Rome, where the Byzantines are narrowly defeated; thereafter the basileus abandons Italy for Constantinople, leaving his generals there to deal with the Frankish menace
755-756 Khorasan again hosts an uprising, this time a Zoroastrian one led by a Sindbad. General John Vivariotes conquers Syracuse after a long siege and forcibly maries empress Theodota, having himself styled Roman Emperor of the West, but gaining no recognition by both his rivals and the Papacy; he cannot even rule over western Sicily, where the pretender Jannakes has his own strongholds
755-763 General An Lushan rises in rebellion in the T’ang Chinese empire; despite his violent death in 757, his revolt triggers mass uprisings and upsets the empire
756 Abd Ar-Rahman I succeeds Marwan II as Caliph in al-Fustat (Egypt); the division of the Muslim world in two rival Caliphates is confirmed. The strategos (governor) of Byzacena (eastern central Ifrigia, *OTL Tunisia) and pretender to the Syracusan throne Marcianus Bulla crushes the Kharijite Arabs of Libya (paying lip service to Omayyad Egypt) and his local rival Facundus in the battle of Midnatha; the Arabs, however, are able to retake the island of Djirva (*OTL Djerba) and stage devastating pirate raids in the Mediterranean. Pepin the Short, while reducing Byzantine strongholds in Puglia, hurries back to northern Italy to confront the Austrasian Lombard invasion led by king Anscarius, who is decisively defeated and killed at Brescello on the Po river with help from the Venetic fleet of the Exarch of Adria, Galla (who falls in battle); Ravenna is thereafter reverted to the Exarchate, while Lombard Austrasia becomes another Frankish client, thus completing Frankish overlordship upon the Lombard states. The North African Berbers of the Kahinid Exarchate invade Visigothic Spain but are completely routed by King Reccared III at the Rio Grande (*OTL Guadalquivir)
757 The first official feudal oath in Europa is taken by Duke Tassilo of Bavaria, who swears loyalty to king Pepin the Short. Pope Stephen II then invites Pepin in Rome and crowns him as Holy Roman Catholic Emperor of the West, a precise choice against the Western Byzantine still locked in endless civil war. Constantine V takes Melitene (*OTL Malatya) and Theodosiopolis (*OTL Erzurum) from the Abbasids. The defeated Western Chalukyas, now vassals to the Rashtrakutas of SW India, move their capital from Badami/Vatapi to Pattadakal
758 An Abbasid fleet sacks Canton/Guangzhou, China, after a bewildering trip following the monsoon from the Persian Gulf to the Southern China Sea. Costantine V deports the Slavs from Thrace to Anatolia as soldier-peasants. Arabs and local Islamicized Berbers, led by Abu-l-Khattab Abd al-A'la ibn Assamh al-Ma'afiri, found a theocratic Kharijite state in the Djebel Nefusah, south of Tripoli (Libya). The Slavic Duchy of Pannonia is established between the Danube and Drava rivers after a successful Franco-Lombard expedition against the Avars led by emperor Pepin; a reduced Avar Khaganate is confined east of the Danube
758-759 A new Eastern Byzantine offensive in southern Italy conquers Lucania/Basilicata and Calabria; Duke Stephen II of Naples is able to hold his own in Campania
759 Emperor Pepin Magnus (the Great) ousts the Visigoths from Septimania (the region around Narbonne), then tames the rebellious northern Basques, reaching the Pyrenees. Costantine V defeats the Bulgarians at Markellai (Thrace)
760 The T’ang Chinese, who are suffering most grave internal disturbances, are completely ousted from Eastern Turkestan
ca. 760 Tat-Ugek’s White Onoguro-Bulgars, vassals to Khazaria, migrate from their lands in the Don river region onto the middle Volga, where they establish a strong khanate under only nominal Khazar suzerainty; their arrival finally separates the Finnic peoples from the Ugric ones; the latter, the Magyars, dwelling across the Uralic range, clash and intermingle with the Onoguro-Bulgars starting a migration towards the Ukraine.
Summary: Western Byzantium finds its strongman, the Papacy proves a bunch of liars and turncoats, Constantine V covers himself with both glory and infamy, the Franks suffer a harsh civil war
761 In Rome the Papal Chancery writes the “Donation of Constantine”, a forgery to “prove” Papal rights over Rome and central Italy since a long time; it will take up to the 15th century to prove it a fake. In Bulgaria Teletz murder his predecessor Vinekh and his family, usurping the Khanate. Marcianus Bulla gathers his forces and lands in western Sicily, where he crushes Jannakes’ army in the battle of Monreale. Eastern Byzantine forces take Salerno
762 The Abbasid Caliphate and Omayyad Egypt (where Abd ar-Rahman I has gained the strong support of the Kharijite movement) have to recognize the status quo after the huge and inconclusive battle of Gaza; however Egypt has to cede Jerusalem and Palestine. The Abbasid Caliph Al-Mansur founds Baghdad, soon to become one of the most fabled capitals in the world. The second Uygur khanate accepts Manichaeism and Nestorian Christianity as state religions. Marcianus Bulla kills John Vivariotes in the battle of Lentini and enforces his rule as co-emperor of the widow empress Theodota (Marcianus already has a wife, Alexandra); he rules from Syracuse as the sole Western Byzantine emperor, but Papal recognition is already on the more reliable Frankish Carolingian (from Charles Martel, Pepin the Great’s father) Empire. Pope Paul I excommunicates the Eastern Byzantine basileus Constantine V on the Iconoclastic issue. Khazars ed Alans invade Transcaucasia (the lands south of the Caucasus range). The Vikings, pirates coming from Norway and Denmark and already infamous for their isolated but fierce assaults from Alba (*OTL Scottish Highlands) to Ireland and Celtic Gallastria (*Spanish Galicia), for the first time appear in the Mediterranean with the horrible sack of the Maurian (*OTL Moroccan) town of Temsamana near the Ruel (*OTL Rif)
762-763 The Shi'ites, disappointed at their hopes of having their Imam installed as the new Caliph, stage a new unsuccessful revolt in Arabia and Iraq under Muhammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyya (the Pure Soul) ibn Abdallah and his brother Ibrahim. Luoyang is sacked by Chinese rebels and by a Tibetan invading army, thereafter ousted by the Uygurs, intervened to help the T’ang rulers of China
763 The Tibetans conquer the Tarim basin (Eastern Turkestan), inflict hash defeats upon the Turgesh/T’u-Ch’ueh and sack the Chinese capital, Ch’ang-an/Xian. Constantine V routes the Bulgarians in the great battle of Ankialos; Khan Teletz is deposed and killed by his own men after this defeat. The Uygur Khagan, Bögü Eltekin, converts to Manichaeism
763-775 Basileus Constantine V of Byzantium repeatedly routes the Bulgarians; the Iconoclastic controversy reaches its climax
764 The Khazars wrest for a while Tbilisi (Iberia/Georgia) from the Abassid Caliphate and free the esatern Georgian region of Khakheti from Baghdad’s rule
764-766 Marcianus Bulla, with Berber Kahinid re-inforcements, smashes Eastern Byzantine positions in southern Italy, ousting Constantinopolitan forces from the peninsula; Sisinnios, the appointed Constantinopolitan strategos of the Apulia and Calabria theme (Puglia), is beheaded after capture in Otranto. The Duke of Naples, Stephen III, submits and is appointed as the Exarch of Salerno; Marcianus also carves another Exarchate in Taranto for his son and heir Maximus.
765 A new rift opens in the Shi’a community about the succession of Ja’afar as Sadiq, the sixth Imam, between the majoritary supporters of his son Musa al-Kazim and those of his other sob Isma’il, who’ll be known as the Ismailis. In Constantinople Constantine V’s struggle against the power of monasteries and monks reaches its climax when the basileus has Stephen the Younger from Mt. Auxentios abbey, a staunch Iconophile, tortured to death
766 Emperor Pepin I the Great dies suddenly in Lucca while on his route to Rome to keep an eye on Marcianus Bulla’s intentions. He divides the Holy Roman Catholic Western Empire (from now onwards: HRCWE) between his two sons, Charles and Carloman, who eye each other with great suspicion: Charles gets Burgundy, Provence, Frankish Germany and the imperial title and capital in Aquisgrana/Aachen, Carloman most of France as co-emperor with his capital at Orléans. Incessant Muslim raiding finally disrupts the Maitraka kingdom of Gujarat: the region is taken over by the Hindu kingdom of Zabulistan/Kabul, a vassal to the Abbasid Caliphate. The Turkic-Uygur tribal compact of the Qarluqs finally destroys the Turgesh/T’u-Ch’ueh Khanate and creates an own State between Kazakhstan and Zungaria; the defeated Turgesh/T’u-Ch’ueh migrate to the Western Kazakh steppe, where they’ll take the name of Oghuz/Ouzoi
767 Charles narrowly manages to escape from Italy with his life when the Neustrian Lombard king Cleph is killed by his cousin Charispert, who rises in rebellion against Frankish overlordship; Marcianus Bulla takes advantage to enter Rome unopposed (the Spoletan Lombards turn a blind eye) and forcibly enthrone as a successor to Pope Paul I the Sicilian candidate Stephen IV, who crowns him in St. Peter as the “only and perpetual Roman Catholic emperor of the West”. Afterward his wife Alexandra has former empress Theodota strangled and thrown in the sea in Syracuse. Mauretania (*OTL Morocco) secedes from the Kahinid Exarchate under Samuel I the Ulilite (from his placebirth and capital, Ulili [*OTL Volubilis, not abandoned in TTL]), a Christian scion of a Jewish family expelled from Spain by the Visigoths; the secession is supported by the Berghawata army. Lazica (Nw Iberia/Georgia) frees from Abassid rule; the kingdom of Abasgia/Abkhasia is establihed as an Eastern Byzantine protectorate
767-770 Harsh civil war in the Frankish Empire, Bavaria and the Lombards take advantage to claim back independence
768 Emperor Charles stages a successful defence against Saxons and Frisians, called upon for help by his brother Carloman. Marcianus Bulla crushes ruthlessly the rebellious Idalskans in Sicily, then, back in Africa, campaigns against the marauding Djebel Nefusah Kharijite Arabs, wresting back Djirva (*OTL Djerba) from them. The DalRiada Scots regain independence from the Picts
769 Carloman advances into Burgundy, then is routed by Charles’s forces at Saverne (Alsace) and withdraws. A new Synod held in Carthage issues another firm condemnation of Iconoclasm and launches anathema against basileus Constantine V of Byzantium. Slavic pirates from the Peloponnese and Macedonia plunder Lesbos
770 After a last stand ends in disaster in the battle of Melun, Carloman flees to safety in Brittany, then in Cornwall, where he’ll die the following year; Charles thus reunifies the Frankish empire. In the kingdom of Khotan (Eastern Turkestan) a new Vijaya (Buddhist) dynasty takes over replacing the Sinicized Wei-Ch’ih rulers
ca. 770 Emperor Charles begins to set the rules of feudalism, a system that will dominate Europe for a millennium, appointing military commanders and powerful abbeys to rule on provinces and fortresses in exchange for a loyal service to the person of the sovereign.
Summary: Charles is back!
771 The Visigothic king of Spain Fafila massacres and expels the Jews, who flee in the dozens of thousands to Mauria and to Frankish Septimania; in the latter they’ll prove such a loyal border guard that emperor Charles will entrust them of the local rule.
772 A dynastical marriage brings about the unification of Khazaria and Alania (northern Caucasus). Foundation of the Berber Jewish kingdom of Sijilmasa (SW Mauria), holding sway over the western Zenete Desert (*OTL Sahara) and Mauretania Ultima (*OTL Mauritania). Emperor Charles subdues rebellious Aquitaine gaining recognition from duke Lupus II
773 Constantine V gains a new great victory over the Bulgarians at Lithosoria; the Bulgarian Khan Toktu, who usurped the throne eliminated his predecessor Umor, is captured and slain by the Byzantines
773-774 In two swift campaigns emperor Charles I crushes and annexes Bavaria and defeats the ever rebellious and stubbornly heathen Saxons. Duke Tassilo III of Bavaria, a first cousin of Charles, is quartered for treason in Mainz, extinguishing the Bavarian Agilolfingian dynasty. Marcianus Bulla’s Western Byzantines occupy Dalmatia, in revolt against the imposition of Iconoclasm; they also enforce formal recognition from the Venetic Adria Exarchate
775 The Eastern Byzantine basileus Constantine V dies from fever during one of his incessant campaigns against the Bulgarians, succeeded by his elder son, Leo IV nicknamed the Khazar (actually his mother was a Khazar princess, daughter of the Khagan). Liupert, a nephew of the usurper of Lombard Neustria Charispert, flees to Charles’s court in Aquisgrana/Aachen. Extinction of the “Arthurian” dynasty of Celtic Gallastria (Galicia and Asturias) with Alan V; the Visigoths, taking advantage of the succession struggles, overrun the country, which will prove a most rebellious area. The surviving western Chalukyas of the Deccan repel Rashtrakuta aggression and set up a new reduced kingdom in Kalyani (Mysore). The Itzà Confederation is established in the Yucatàn
ca. 775 The Welsh kingdom of Ceredigion/Cardigan rejects Gwynedd’s supremacy under king Seisyll, who’ll give a new name to the kingdom (Seisyllwg)
Ca. 775-844 The Judeo-Christian Duchy of Septimania (Maritime Languedoc, around Narbonne), under Frankish suzerainty. The Septimanian Jews, a majority after their mass escape from the rabid Visigothic persecution, elect as Duke with the name of Theodoric I Makhir Natrionai ben Habibi, the former Resh Galuta (Exiliarch of the Jews in Baghdad, one the foremost figures of the Jewry), exiled after being ousted by a cousin from his high appointment in the Abbasid capital. He took refuge first in Omayyad Egypt, then in Numidia and finally in the new Jewish “homeland” of Septimania
776 The Frankish emperor Charles plunges in Italy through Bavaria and the Alps: Lombard Austrasia is crushed in the battle of the Berici Hills (Veneto), while Charispert of Neustria, badly defeated at Brescia, flees to Romancia (*OTL eastern Switzerland and Valtellina), whose Duke Ursicinus trades his corpse to Charles in sign of friendship. Liutpert is enthroned in Pavia as the ruler of all Lombards in northern Italy, but the local Lombard dukes are mostly replaced with Franks and Alamanni. Then Charles heads south through the Apennines, receiving the immediate submission of Duke Adelchis of Spoleto, and enters Rome, well received by Pope Adrian I. The decisive clash with Western Byzantine forces happens at Campo Imperatore on the Gran Sasso massif, where the Exarch of Taranto Maximus Bulla, Marcianus’ elder son and heir, is defeated and killed; afterwards Pope Adrian I crowns Charles as the Holy Roman Catholic emperor of the West
776-779 Khorasan erupts in the great equalitarian revolution led by Hashim ibn Hakim al-Muqanna, the Veiled Prophet, whose teachings trace back to the Mazdakist creed: he gains a wide following among both Muslims and Zoroastrians and military support from the heathen Oghuz Turks, but in the end is defeated and commits suicide
778 The Franks are defeated by the Basques of the Sobrarbre kingdom at Roncesvalles; Roland, a nephew and Paladin (personal ward) of emperor Charles, is killed in the battle, and his valor will be remembered in the Chanson de Roland, the first milestone of French popular literature. The Byzantines defeat the Abbasids at Germanicea and wipe them from Anatolia. Groups of Lazes/Lesghians converted to Islam secede from Avaristan under Shahbaal ibn Abdallah, founding the Ghazi-Ghumuq kingdom (inner Daghestan)
780 The HRCEW (Holy Roman Catholic Emperor of the West) Charles moves against the Bretons, vassalizing them and deposing Duke Arecstan; he also disinherits his first son, Pepin the Hunchback, in favor of the children born from his new marriage, Charles, Theodoric/Pepin, Lothar and Chlovis/Louis. In Constantinople Leo IV dies prematurely, leaving empress Irene (an Iconophile from Athens) as regent for the infant Constantine VI; a plot by Caesar Nicephorus, Constantine’s uncle, is crushed and the people involved forcibly tonsured and made monks (thus not eligible for state charges). An era of growing turmoil in Korea, marked by uprisings and banditry, culminates in the murder of king Hyegong of Silla, whose State begins to decline
Summary: eastern Byzantum declines under the ineffective rule of Irene, who reimposes icon-worship; Western Byzantium is bashed and reduced; a third Caliphate springs up!
781 A strong Abbasid army reinvades Anatolia and defeats the Byzantines at the Mauropotamos, not far from Nicaea
782 Marcianus Bulla dies in Syracuse, leaving the Western Byzantine crown to his second son Leontius III
783 The (Eastern) Byzantine general, the eunuch Staurakios, subdues the Slavs of Macedonia, where a new Byzantine theme (province) is established. In Anatolia Byzantium is instead defeated when the strategos of the Buccellarion theme, Tatzates, defects to the Abassids: the Byzantines have to pay tribute and return the border fortress of Melitene (*OTL Malatya) to Caliph Harun ar-Rashid
784 The Japanese capital is moved to Nagaoka. Offa the Mighty, king of Mercia, builds Offa’s Wall against Welsh encroachments. The Maurians (*OTL Moroccans) take and sack Tlemsen: the Kahinid Exarchate fragments in local Numidian petty principalities, divided between the influence of Mauretania and that of Western Byzantium/Syracuse
785 Saxony is finally conquered and forcibly Christianized by HRCEW Charles I the Great after almost thirty years of bloody campaigns
ca. 785 Foundation of the kingdom of Kanem northeast of Lake Chad under king Dugu, from the mixed-blood black-Berber Kanuris
786 In Constantinople empress regent Irene has a council of bishops held to renegade Iconoclasm, but the army, strongly Iconoclast, forcibly dissolves it. Leo II, prince of Abasgia/Lazica/Abkhazia and a grandson of the Khazar Khagan, expels the Byzantines from western Iberia/Georgia, which passes under Khazar suzerainty. Ashot I Bagratuni the Great puts an end to the civil wars in inner Iberia/Georgia and ascends the royal throne at Tao-Klarjeti
787 The Council of Nicaea, this time held peacefully, condemns Iconoclasm. First large Danish Viking raid upon England. The Khazars subdue the Bishopric of Doros, the last independent Gothic stronghold in the Taurida (*OTL Crimea)
788 A new swift campaign of emperor Charles in southern Italy, with Lombard support, crushes the Western Byzantine Exarchates of Salerno and Taranto at the battle of Conza (Campania); the former is entrusted as appanage to Pepin the Hunchback, Charles’s first disinherited son, as King of Salerno; the latter goes to Anspert, younger brother of king Liutpert of (northern) Lombardy, as Duke of Taranto, while its territories north of the Ofanto river are annexed to Spoleto. Leontius III Bulla, withdrawing south, leads the strong defence of Calabria, gaining a defensive victory at Castroleone (*OTL Campo Tenese), where he builds a strong fortress. The Franks also quash Slovenian unrest in the vassal principality of Koroška/Carantania (Carinthia). Reunification of the Arakan kingdom (western Burma) under the Wethali dynasty
788-790 The (northern) Lombard king Liutpert attacks the Venetic Exarchate of Adria wresting Triest and Histria from it, while the Spoletan Lombards besiege Ravenna; in the end the Venet(ic)ians of Doge (Duke) John Galbaius, seeing their profitable trade with the interior blocked, surrender and accept to pay tribute and recognize a nominal Frankish-Lombard suzerainty in a peace accord brokered by Pope Adrian I: for the intermediation the Papacy gains Ravenna
789-791 Idris ibn Abdallah, a Shi'ite scion of Prophet Muhammad through ‘Alì, exiled with many followers first from Baghdad, then from Egypt, conquers Tripoli and crushes the Kharijite State of Djebel Nefusah, founding the first Shi'ite Caliphate in Libya; now Islam has no more two, but three rival Caliphs!
790 The (eastern) Byzantine army dictates the end of Irene’s regency at Constantinople, enthroning as the legitimate basileus 20-year-old Constantine VI. The Malay kingdom of Srivijaya, ruled by the Sailendra dynasty (claiming descendance from the Funan empire rulers), conquers lower Chenla and vassalizes the Khmers. Idris ibn Abdallah’s forces retake the island of Djirva (*OTL Djerba) from Western Byzantium/Syracuse
ca. 790 Dhruva Rashtrakuta of Karnataka defeats Vathsaraja of the Gurjara-Pratiharas of central India and Dharmapala of Bengal and extracts tribute from the ruler of Kanauj, enforcing Rashtrakutan paramountry on southern-central India. Daylam (an area of northern Persia/Iran between Rayy and the Caspian Sea), a Zoroastrian stronghold, breaks free from the Abbasid Caliphate under Justan I.
790-791 The Tibetans enforce their rule on Eastern Turkestan by taking or subduing Kashgar, Beytin, Kucha, Aqsu and Khotan.
791 HRCEW Charles I the Great and Liutpert of (northern) Lombardy completely destroy the Avar power base at the Ring, near Vienna.
792 Kardam Khan’s Bulgarians rout basileus Constantine VI at Markellai. The (northern) Lombard king Liutpert bestows temporal power upon the Patriarchate of Aquileia, sharing power with the Frankish-appointed duke of Friul Eric; Aquileia is by now the greatest European diocese.
792-793 The ungrateful Constantine VI reinstates his mother’s clique in power, alienating his former supporters in the Armeniakon theme, who rebel against him and are brutally suppressed.
793 King Offa of Mercia conquers East Anglia. Viking raids harass the Alban Isles (*TTL collective name for Shetlands, Orkneys, Hebrides).
794 HRCEW Charles I the Great exterminates by treason the ever rebellious Saxon nobles at Verden on the Aller river. Leontius III dies in a hunt accident in Ifrigia (*OTL Tunisia), leaving Western Byzantium/Syracuse to his only son, the young Marcianus II Bulla. Japan finally sets its capital at Heian/Kyoto. The Council of Lhasa enforces Buddhism as Tibet’s state religion.
794-795 Tibetans and Western Göktürks rout the Uygurs, but general Khutlugh (an Eastern Göktürk by origin) saves the Uygur Khanate and ascends to the throne.
795 Charles the Great plunges on the Visigoths of Spain on behalf of a pretender to the crown of Spain, Fredegarius; the Franks, heartily supported by the half-Jewish army of Septimania, trounce and kill king Sigisbald’s army in the battle of the Ebro and Fredegarius is enthroned in Toledo as a Frankish vassal, with Frankish-appointed margraves to control the “marches” (border lands) of Barcelona, Gerona and Saragossa. Constantine VI of Byzantium divorces his wife Maria to marry Rotrude, daughter of the HRCEW Charles the Great. Pope Adrian I dies in Rome after an impressive 23 year long pontificate; Charles the Great will call him “father” in the epitaph. In Brittany the Meriadoc dynasty of Dukes goes extinct and is replaced by the Frodaldingians. Irish monks discover Iceland. The T’ang Chinese defeat the Tartars.
796 The common Shi’a menace brings about a peace between two of the three rival Caliphates, the Abbasids of Baghdad and the Omayyads of al-Fustat. The fierce plunder of Lindisfarne Abbey (Northumbria) by the Norsemen marks the beginning of the Viking Era. Khan Kardam’s Bulgarians raid into Avar territory in Pannonia.
796-803 A Jewish religious uprising, led by the messianic figure of Isaac Reba, upsets Numidia. After subduing (or destroying) several town and lands the rebels in the end are crushed by the concerted reaction of the Numidian post-Kahinid states, led by the Tiaret/Tahert principality. The Shi’a Idrisids of Libya mount increasing raids into Ifrigia (*OTL Tunisia), depopulating the south.
797 Basileus Constantine VI of Byzantium is deposed and blinded by his own mother Irene, who thereafter rules by herself; Constantine’s wife Rotrude manages to escape to Italy with her infant son Leo, the legitimate heir to the Eastern Byzantine throne, taking afterwards refuge first in Rome, then in Aquisgrana/Aachen. HRCEW Charles the Great enforces the re-establishment of the Celtic kingdom of Gallastria (Galicia and Asturia) under king Sevan, who takes the name of Tiago I.
798 The Abbasids of Caliph Harun-ar Rashid, no more checked by the Byzantine themes’ armies, overrun anew Anatolia up to the Marmara Sea; empress Irene is forced to renewe tribute. A few weeks later, catching the unique opportunity of the moment, Marcianus II Bulla sails from Syracuse with a very powerful fleet. The eastern Byzantine fleet, instead of confronting Marcianus II, hails him as basileus and escorts him through the Dardanelles up to Constantinople, where empress Irene experiences her turn of being blinded and forever confined in a nunnery, while his all-powerful ally, Staurakios, is beheaded: the Byzantine Empire is thus reunified. Pepin the Hunchback, king of Salerno and son of Charles the Great, kills the teenage Desiderius, Duke of Taranto and nephew of Liutpert of (northern) Lombardy, and steals his Duchy. In England the kingdom of Kent is annexed by paramount Mercia.
799 Charles the Great comes back to Italy to reinstall Pope Leo III, who had been almost lynched in Rome by the local anti-Frankish party; but when he is moving against his disinherited son Pepin the Hunchback, he is poisoned in a conspiracy led by Pepin himself, who thereafter marches on Rome (while most of the Frankish army withdraws north) and forces Pope Leo III to crown him as the new Holy Roman Catholic Emperor of the West, to the horror of his surviving half-brothers Charles, Theodoric/Pepin and Louis the Pious. Duke Eric of Friul falls in battle against the Croats near Fiume/Rijeka. The Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad Harun ar-Rashid murders in jail the seventh Shi’a Imam, Musa al-Kazim (not recognized the Ismaili Shi'ites). Yazid I ibn Mazyad al-Shayban founds the emirate of Shirvan, the first Muslim state in Azerbaijan.
800 Pepin the Hunchback’s suzerainty is rejected by the Lombards, who call the three sons of the murdered emperor (none of whom has still claimed the crown for himself) for help, but no avail for the moment; in fact Charles’s three sons are already quarrelling about their respective spheres of influence. Leo II of Abasgia/Abkhasia (NW Iberia/Georgia), vassal to the Khazars, assumes the royal title as Leo I.
ca. 800 The Celtic kingdom of Dumnonia/Devon is incorporated into Wessex. In Norway the local kingdom of Romerike is absorbed into Hedmark; the Norwegian Vikings embark in a string of methodical raids on the British Isles, especially targeting Ireland. Viseslav Trpimirović is the first ban (duke) of Croatia. A new Slavic principality arises at Nitra (Slovacchia), breaking free from Avar overlordship. The Berghawata Maurians develop an own Judeo-Christian apocalyptic heresy based on the wait for a Second Messiah to announce the end of times; it also contemplates the presence of a High Priest and a Temple the Berghawata proceed to build in Warzazata (*OTL Ouarzazate). The Magyars, vast Ugro-Turkic tribal compact coming from the Urals and western Siberia, are pushed towards the southwest by the Volga Bulgarians and become paramount in eastern Ucraina orientale. The Khazars retake Bosporon/Kerč from the Onogurs of Taurida (*OTL Crimea). Conversion of Khorezm (western Central Asia) to Sunni Islam; the Persian Samanids start acting as Abbasid governors in Samarkand. Tripartite struggle for power in central-northern India: Nagabhata II of the Gurjara-Pratiharas takes Kanauj from Chakrayudha, protegé of Dharmapala of Bengal, only to be ousted by Govinda III Rashtrakuta. The Paramara Rajputs, vassal and related to the Rashtrakutas of Karnataka and Deccan, re-establish the kingdom of Malwa (central India). Mazdeism begins to spread in Western Peninsular India. The Songhais, coming from NW Nigeria, found their kingdom at Gao on the middle Niger under king Alyaman. Foundation of the Jewish kingdom of Beta Yisrael in the Ethiopian highlands. B’aakal/Palenque is destroyed, the city abandoned; many other Mayan city-State in the south are suddenly destroyed or abandoned for untold reasons (invasions? famine? mass insanity?).
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Timeline 700-750 AD
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Timeline 800-825 AD