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Timeline 600-700:

This page is under construction!


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Temple Pyramids are begun by Mayans in Tikal, Palenque, and Copán.

Circa 600-800 Irish saga literature written down for the first time.


China begins work on the Grand Canal.


Harsha rules as Emperor in northern India.




China finishes work on the Grand Canal.

Muhammad's first vision.


T'ang Dynasty in China begins when Yang Ti, "The Shadowy," last of the Sui Emperors, is murdered and T'ai Tsu comes to power.


Vikings begin invasions of Ireland.


Muhammad flees from Mecca to Yathrib (now Medina). This period becomes famous in Islam as the Hegira.

Muhammad marries Aisha, the favorite of his four wives.

Buddhism becomes the established religion of Japan.


Persia attacks Constantinople, but unable to breach the walls.

Muhammad begins dictation of the Koran.


Emperor Heraclius I of Byzantium expels drives out Persians from Egypt.


Heraclius and his armies win the battle of Ninevah, defeating the Persians.

Emperor T'ai Tsung in China embarks on ambitious period of military conquests and begins extensive patronage of arts and letters.


Muhammad captures Mecca; he sets out the principles of Islam.

c. 630 King Sigeberht founds monastery at Bedericesworth.

632 Death of Muhammad. His father-in-law, Abu Bekr, becomes the first Caliph or successor as leader of Islam--maintaining his position until 634.

Mercians under Penda defeat the Northumbrians in early battles.

c. 633 The Koran's early textual versions recorded. Canonical versions will appear circa 651-52.

634 Caliph Omar I begins Islamic Holy War against Persians.
635 Muslims begin conquest of Syria and Persia. Syria will fall in 641 and Persia in 642.
638 Muslims capture Jerusalem.


Muslims begin conquest of Egypt. Egypt falls in 642.


c. 640-709 Aldhelm flourishes as scholar of the Canterbury school--his Latin works survive to the modern era, but English poems (probably ballads) do not.




Mercians under Penda defeat Northumbrian forces in later battles.


Caliph Omar of Mecca assassinated. Othman becomes Caliph until 655.


Byzantine forces recapture Alexandria from the Arabs and local inhabitants rise up to support the Byzantine forces.

The Taikwa Edict of reform in Japan. This edict--designed to imitate Chinese customs--nationalizes all land in Japan and reorganizes the government in imitation of the Chinese.


Arabs recapture Alexandria.


Emperor T'ai Tsung the Great dies in China.

The Arabs conquer Cyprus.

651-52 Canonical versions of the Koran finalized


Arabs defeat Byzantine fleet decisively for the first time at The Battle of the Masts off the shores of Alexandria, marking the rise of Arabic sea-power in the Mediterranean.

Oswy, the king of Northumbria, defeats and kills Penda of Mercia.


Ali becomes the high potentate of Islam (the Caliph) following the assassination of Othman. He rules until 661.
c. 658-680? Caedmon's Hymn written, earliest poem recorded in English with an actual author attributed by name.
661 Caliph Ali dies. Musawiya becomes new Caliph and rules until 680. Musawiya is the first member of the Omayyad Dynasty, which will last until 750.
663 Japanese finally withdraw from Korea.


Synod of Whitby. Oswy abandons the Celtic Christian Church and accepts the faith of Rome. This marks a major decline in the influence of the Celtic Church and rising influence of Roman orthodox Catholicism in Britain.


The Silia Period begins in Korea as the country is reunited--a period lasting until 935.
669 Theodore of Tarsus, a Greek monk, travelst o England where he will take over the role of Archbishop of Canterbury and reorganize the Church in England.



Arabs begin siege of Constantinople, which continues until 678.


Arab conquest continues eastward until it reaches the river Indus in modern Pakistan.


Bulgars begin settling in modern day Bulgaria, just south of the river Danube.
678 Arabs terminate their siege of Constantinople without success.


Civil war among the Arabs.




Abdalmalik, Caliph of Islam, sets up new administration in the Arab empire.
687 Pepin the Younger unites the Frankish kingdom by a victory at Tertry, marking the increase in the powers of the Mayors of the Palace.




c. 690, Adamnan writes the Life of Saint Columba (in Latin)--first biography written in Britain.






The Arabs conquer Tunis. Coptic Christianity is nearly wiped out.
First surviving samples of Porcelain from the T'ang Dynasty in China.
Chinese invent ships with stern-post rudder.

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These timelines are intended as a rough guide for students seeking historical context rather than an authoritative research source. I consulted the following works while preparing this list. When sources differed on estimated dates, I used my best judgment to select an accurate date, but I will bow to the correction of professional historians.


  • Baugh, A. C. and Thomas Cable. A History of the English Language. 3rd edition. NJ: Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1978. [Now superseded by a sixth edition]
  • Cooke, Jean et al. History's Timeline: A 40,000 Year Chronology of Civilization. Ed. Fay Franklin. NY: Barnes and Noble, 1981. Updated 1996.
  • Crow, Martin and Virginia E. Leland. "A Chronology of Chaucer's Life and Times." As condensed and reproduced in Larry Benson's The Canterbury Tales, Complete. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000. xxiii-xxv.
  • Englebert, Omer. The Lives of the Saints. Trans. Christopher and Anne Fremantle. NY: Barnes and Noble, 1994.
  • Haywood, John. The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings. London: Penguin Books, 1995.
  • Lau, D. C., ed. "Chronological Table." Tao Te Ching. London: Penguin Books, 1963.
  • McEvedy, Colin. The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History. London: Penguin Books, n. d.
  • Schafer, Edward H. Ancient China. Ed. Russelll Bourne, et al. Great Ages of Man Series. NY: Time-Life Books, 1967. Reprint 1976.
  • Urban, Linwood. A Short History of Christian Thought. Revised edition. NY: Oxford University Press, 1995.



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Copyright Dr. L. Kip Wheeler 1998-2017. Permission is granted for non-profit, educational, and student reproduction. Last updated January 5, 2017. Contact: kwheeler@cn.edu Please e-mail corrections, suggestions, or comments to help me improve this site. Click here for credits, thanks, and additional copyright information.