8 th Century, 701 to 800
Drawing from the Chinese and Confucianism, the Japanese have
established new laws - the Taiho Code. The emperor is seen as having
supreme moral authority and as a benevolent ruler. His ministers and
bureaucrats are viewed as agents of morality. It is believed that
without this moral authority the immorality of feuding local lords
would reign. Local lords, it is believed, should submit to the
emperor's rule for the sake of peace. Accompanying this centralized
authority, a national tax system is devised.
Empress Wu has proclaimed a new dynasty of her own family line. She has
lowered taxes for farmers, and agricultural production has risen. She
has strengthened public works. But by 705 she is in her old age and has
lost control at court. Officials at court force her to resign in favor
of a member of the Tang family - the return of the Tang Dynasty.
In China, boiled water is safer to drink than untreated water, and tea
becomes popular accompanied by the belief that tea has medicinal
Japan's emperor moves the capital from Osaka to the city of Nara in
order to avoid the pollution of his predecessor's death.
A Muslim army crosses the Strait of Gibraltar and begins a conquest of
Spain. Jews welcome them as liberators. An Arab ship is plundered by
pirates near the mouth of the Indus River, and the Arab governor in
Mesopotamia retaliates, sending an expedition, said to include 6,000
horses and 6,000 camels, to conquer the rajas of Sind.
The new Tang emperor, Zhongzong, has died and his wife, Empress Wei, is
suspected of having poisoned him. She has tried to rule as had Empress
Wu. She has sold offices and Buddhist monkhoods. She has created
enemies whom she has failed to exterminate, and they oust her from
Arabs have conquered eastward across land to the western border of
China. They have conquered Lisbon and in the Caucasus, including
Armenia. Caliph Omar II grants tax exemption to all believers. Wealth
has been gathered from looting the wealthy during conquests and by
Constantinople, ably led by a general called Leo the Isaurian, has held
off Muslim attacks by land and sea for more than a year. Leo is now
Emperor Leo III. South-Central Europe is to remain Christian.
Emperor Leo III forces conversion of Constantinople's Jews.
Emperor Leo III issues an edict against the worship of icons, seeing it
as the main reason Jews and Muslims cannot be won to Christ. The cross
is to be maintained as the symbol for Christianity, but worship with
other images, including those of Jesus, are not permitted.
English historian and theologian, Bede, writes his Ecclesiastical
History. He beings numbering the years from the time of Christ rather
than from the reign of kings - his numbering to be divided between BC
and AD (or BCE and CE).
Muslims were making piratical raids from Spain northward across the
Pyrenees into territory of the Franks. Charles Martel leads an army
that defeats a Muslim army led by Abd-er-Rahman - who was not on a
mission to conquer all of Christendom.
For two years Japan has been suffering from a small pox epidemic.
Perhaps as much as one-third of the population has perished.
China has accomplishments in poetry, painting, printing and is a vast
empire, but its monarchical system tends toward failure. The Tang
emperor since 712, Xuanzong, has fallen under the spell of his son's
wife, Yang Guifei, a Taoist priestess. Emperor Xuanzong is ignoring the
economy and China is again declining.
Sometime around this year Mexico's great city of Teotihuacan
(Teotihuacán) is among those cities destroyed and left in ruins, its
great palaces burned to the ground. The city's population is reduced to
a few people living in hovels in a few sections of the city.
The Umayyad caliphs have lost people willing to fight for them. They
have been overthrown by an army of mixed nationalities from Khurasan
(east of Persia). The last Umayyad, Marwan II, is beheaded and his
relatives are murdered. The new caliph is Abu-Abbas al-Sarah. Rule by
the Abbasid caliphs has begun. The Abbasids begin ruling with a show of
Islamic piety, and they talk of reforms. They give prominence in state
affairs to Islamic theologians and experts in Islamic law.
Arabian mathematicians begin using numbers that originated in India,
are an advance of Roman numerals and that Muslims will pass to
An Islamic army in Central Asia defeats the Chinese (at the Battle of
Atlakh). Muslims replace the Chinese as the dominant influence along
the Silk Road.
The last Merovingian king of the Franks, Childeric III, is deposed. The
Merovingians had ruled as they pleased, including enforcing what they
thought was their right to deflower a commoner's bride before he was
allowed to consummate his marriage. A new dynasty, the Carolingians, is
begun by Pepin the Short, the son of Charles Martel.
Alliances and trade between Mayan city-states have begun to break down.
Malnutrition is on the rise. A diminishing food supply might be
creating social upheaval and war.
Abd Ar-Rahman, an Umayyad prince, has escaped slaughter by the Abbasids
and establishes himself as emir at Cordoba, Spain.
Mansur moves the Abbasid capital to Baghdad.
In Persia, Muqanna leads thousands against the Abbasids, robbing
caravans and destroying Mosques.
Charles, eldest son of Pepin III (Pepin the Short), inherits half of
his father's Frankish empire.
The Fujiwara family removes Empress Shotoku from power. She had fallen
in love with a Buddhist monk, Kokyo, whom she had promoted as her chief
minister. Nara Society was shocked. Henceforth women are exempted from
Charles becomes king of all of his father's empire. He is a devout
Christian and to have four wives and children by five mistresses.
Charles, eventually to be known as Charles the Great (Charlemagne in
French), begins thirty years of conquest and rebuilding the empire of
the Franks, with an infantry carrying axes, spears and shields of wood
Charlemagne overruns the Lombards in northern Italy. He divides Lombard
territory with the Pope, creating the Papal States.
Charlemagne begins his war against the Saxons in Germany, with
slaughter and forced conversions to Christianity.
At Constantinople, Byzantium's Emperor Leo IV dies, and his wife,
Irene, becomes regent for his son, who is ten. Leo's brothers, called
Caesars, begin to plot for power, but Irene has them whipped, their
heads shaved and banished.
The Japanese begin a war against the Ainu - in the north on the main
island of Honshu. The new emperor, Kammu, wishes to be free of
influence from the Buddhist monasteries around Nara, and he moves his
court thirty-five miles from Nara, to Nagaoka,
Empress Irene convenes the 7th Ecumenical Council, which refutes the
iconoclasm begun by Constantinople's Emperor Leo III in 726. Among the
masses and many clerics the worship of relics has persisted. The
torturing, blinding and banishment of relic worshippers has ended. It
is widely believed that the previously outlawed images work miraculous
Charlemagne, king of the Franks, is learning to read, and he reproaches
ecclesiastics for their uncouth language and "unlettered tongues." In
hope of creating an educated clergy he orders every cathedral and
monastery to establish a school where clergy and laity can learn to
read. His rule includes land for nobles who provide him with military
service. He depends on the allegiance of distant counts, dukes and
bishops within his realm, men with some independence because of the
distance and slowness of communications.
Indian philosopher Shankara develops a philosophical system that
equates soul with God.
A Shia kingdom is established in Morocco independent of the caliph in
Buddhism becomes Tiber's official religion.
By boat, Scandinavians reach the island of Lindisfarne, Scotland. They
kill monks and loot the monastery there. It is the first recorded raid
by those to be called Vikings.
In Japan, disease and death of an heir to the throne are perceived as
bad omens. They royal family believes that the spirit of the dead needs
to be placated. The emperor, Kammu, moves his family from a palace
considered contaminated to a new capital, Heian-kyo, to be renamed
At Constantinople, the Mother Empress, Irene (now between 42 and 47),
and her emperor son, Constantine IV (now 27), have been competing for
power. Irene has won. She has her son blinded and exiled.
In central Mexico around this time, give or take a couple of decades or
so, at Teotihuacan, structures belonging to the elites of the city are
burned to the ground.
Charlemagne is crowned by Pope Leo III, who hails him as "Augustus,
crowned of God …emperor of the Romans."
Educational videos offered
Welcome to Our World of
a modern open area for learning
and understanding the mysteries
of the plant world!
Our Herbaceous Plants
Video package is a
2 disc. 3 hour set, packed full of information.
Plants Video package is sold
separately or as part of a
package is a
3 disc. 3 hour explaining the medical
compounds derived from plants
Pharmaceutical Plants Video package is
sold separately or as part of a
The Poisonous Plants
Video package is a
2 disc. 2-hour collection exzaming the
Poisonous compounds in and from plants
Poisonous Plants Video package is
sold separately or as part of a