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China and the Silk Road - Earliest Development of Civilization and Overland Trade with the West
A Chronology of the Silk Road
Estimated 500 BC - 14Th Century Emergence Maritime Trading Routes
This page was last updated on: June 22, 2019
This page was last updated on: June 22, 2019
AD 660-705: The Silk Road of the Tang Dynasty - Wu Zetian and the (2nd) Zhou Dynasty interbellum.
Silk Road (5a) The T’ang Dynasty (618 AD - 660 AD): Early Flourishing Period o/t Tang Dynasty
-----> History of the Silk Road :
630 AD : In about 630 AD Hsüan-tsang (Xuan Zhang) travels through Lanzhou on the Yellow River and JiaYuGuan & Pass to Dunhuang , where he leaves the Jade Gate to travel along the Silk Road to India. The Journey is a dangerous, adventurous, interesting and perilous one. Among countries and sites visted: The Bedal Pass (Iron Gate), Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan , Bamian in Afghanistan , The Khyber Pass, then parts of today's Karakoram Highway and finally the Kashmir Region.
In India Xuanzang's Travels were also extensive. In pilgrimage he visited several of the places where important events in the Life of the (Sakayamuni) Buddha took place.
Many Years later and much the wiser on the religion of Buddhism he returned through Kashgar , Khotan and Dunhuang to arrive in 645 AD at Chang'An and meet a Heroes welcome. Xuanzang was to translate his Buddhist Scripture collection and become a Master of Buddhism, the founding Father, Professor and head Master of the Da Cien Si Temple and Sect of the Tang Capital. His Life, work and Legacy leave a unique and continuing impression on Chinese Culture and Civilisation
In Xi'An Xuanzhang wrote the Hsi Yu Chi. In the aftermath of Xuanzang's Journey to the West the Tang Dynasty saw a popular rise of Buddhism and much political intrigue, all favoring Buddhism in Tang China. The Caves of the Thousand Buddhas are heavily utilized by Buddhist monks, nuns, and worshippers, with considerable T’ang art work added.
Route Map of Xuanzang's "Journey to The West" (India).
June 18, 618 AD: The Sui Dynasty (581 AD - 618 AD)(Chinese: 隋朝) ends: The rebel leader Li Yuan captures Luoyang, and has Emperor Yángdi (隋炀帝), who after having received threats to his life has fled Chang'An ( Xi'An) and is in the secondary Capital, murdered. He proclaims himself Emperor Gao Zu and establishes the Tang Dynasty, one of the most notable dynasties in Chinese history, which will last for almost 300 years. Although the Sui Dynasty was relatively short-lived as opposed to there Chinese Dynasties, it left a lasting legacy upon which the Emperors and leadership of the Tang Dynasty could build what was to become a large Empire. The most noted accomplishment of the Sui Dynasty was the elongation and improvements of the Grand Canal, which was to serve its purposes for centuries to become a mainstay of the Ming Dynasty (1268 AD - 1644 AD), and would serve throughout the Manchu Qing Dynasty (1644 AD - 1911 AD). Other far less noted accomplishment were in the field of Law and the organisation of Government.
Map of the Modern Silk Road, connecting Istanbul in Turkey via highways, roads and railways to Beijing in the Far East. Travel beyond that point is possible to Vladivostok, Dalian and Dandong in Liaoning Province, or Pyongyang in North Korea, DPRK.
On the Western side, Istanbul connects via former Yugoslavia to the European Railway network.
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636 A.D. Completion of The Book of Sui (Suí Shū ; Simplified Chinese: 隋书), the official history of the Sui Dynasty (581 AD - 618 AD) , as compiled by its successor Dynasty the Tang Dynasty (618 A.D. - 907 A.D.) . Officially recognised as the first authorative history of the Sui Dynasty this book also includes a mass of names, dates and information regarding the history and development of the Silk Road in Central Asia in this era. It ranks among the official Twenty-Four Histories of imperial China. It was commissioned by Emperor Taizong (Life: 28 January 598 AD - 10 July 649 ; Reign: 4 September 626 - 10 July 649) of the Tang Dynasty, and written by a team of prominent scholars, including Yan Shigu, Kong Yingda, and Zhangsun Wuji, with Wei Zheng as the lead author. Because it could not yet include the information gained through the extensive travels and adventures of the Monk Xuanzang on his journey through the Silk Road to India and vice versa, the book represent the situation and views as directly prior to the monumental work done by Xuanzang after his return to Chang'An (Xi'An) in 645 AD. The Book of Sui contains; Annals, Treatises and Biographies.
646 AD: One year after his return from India delivering to Chinese Civilization some 657 complete volumes of Buddhist Scriptures, the Monk Xuanzang completes the compilation of all information gained on his travels through what were at the time 125 countries and territories during a period of some 17 years. All is published for the Tang Emperor and his court in the book: "Record of the Great Western Regions of the Tang Dynasty" (Great Tang Records on the Western Regions ; simplified Chinese: 大唐西域记 ; Traditional Chinese: 大唐西域記), which today remains recognised as an invaluable early source of information on the history, cultures, habits and geography of Central Asian regions as well as parts of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the period of the 7th century AD. The book contains more than 120,000 Chinese characters and is divided into twelve volumes, which describe the geography, land and maritime transportation, climate, local products, people, language, history, politics, economic life, religion, culture, and customs in 110 countries, regions and city-states from Xinjiang to Persia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, among other regions
In 630, the same year that the Monk Xuanzang illegally crosses the last Gate of the Silk Road and the borders of China which are closed due to ongoing hostilities in regions extending to the north and west, Emperor Taizong sent his general Li Jing against the Göktürk Khanate (also known as: Eastern Turks; Göktürks, Celestial Turks, Blue Turks or Kok Turks (Old Turkic: Kök Türük Chinese: 突厥/تُكِئ; pinyin: Tūjué, Khotanese Saka Ttūrka, Ttrūka, Old Tibetan Drugu), defeating and capturing its Jiali Khan Ashina Duobi while nearly annihilating Göktürk military power. This important and succesful military campaign against united opposition from the nomadic Turkish peoples occupying Central Asian crossroads east of the Caspian Sea made Tang Dynasty the dominant power in East and Central Asia, and also cleared the way for the re-founding of the Silk Road as an active conduit between China and ultimately far western Asia , the Mediterranean Sea and Europe. Having thus gained a new level of confidence, power and wealth, the Emperor Taizong subsequently took the title of Tengeri Qaghan ("Tenger Khan" or the God like Emperor).
Subsequently, having been victorious further westward, Emperor Taizong then launched a series of campaigns against the oasis states of the Tarim Basin in effort to widen his control over the important Tarim River Basin which holds the Taklamakan Desert as well as the routes of the silk road in (current day) western China (Xinjiang).
During the reign of the Taizong Emperor, Tang armies annexed Karakhoja (near current day Turpan in Xinjiang ) in 640, Karasahr (Tocharian Ārśi (or Arshi), and; Sanskrit अग्निदेश Agnideśa ; Chinese: 焉耆; pinyin: Yānqí)(Today: the capital of Yanqi Hui Autonomous County in the Bayin'gholin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang) in 644 and its neighboring state of Kucha (Kuçar, Kuchar; Uyghur: كۇچار , Куча, simplified Chinese: 龟兹; traditional Chinese: 龜茲; pinyin: Qiūcí)(Today: Kucha County Town of Kucha County in Aksu Prefecture in Xinjiang) in 648.
Military Campaigns were also directed against the main allies of the humiliated Gokturks, the Western Turks ( Western Turkic Khaganate or Onoq Khaganate (Chinese: 西突厥)(581 A.D –657 A.D) which (at its highpoint) occupied what is now Kazakhstan , Uzbekistan and parts of Kyrgyzstan , Tajikistan , Turkmenistan and Russia.
647 AD: Less than two years after the return of the Monk and Buddhist Master Xuanzang to the Tang Era Capital of China, on order of Emperor Tang Gaozong, the Da Cien Temple and Sect (also Dayan Ta (大雁塔)) is founded at the (Imperial) Temple of Great Benefaction in Chang'An. The Da Cien Temple, to the world better known as the Great Goose Pagoda of Xi'An, becomes the center of studies of Buddhist knowledge as gained by Master Xuanzang who is appointed Abbot of the Temple, Library and study center. With this it is also the home Temple (and Pagoda) of the Da Cien Buddhist Sect, which will grow to become one of the leading Mahayana Buddhist (Great Vehicle) sects in all of China. In the future it will have great influence on the development of Buddhism in Chinese society.
July 10, 649 AD: Death of Emperor Tang Gaozong, through conquests in Central Asia up to the shores of the Caspian Sea, the Tenger Khan or God Like Emperor. Coronation of Emperor Tang Taizong (Li Zhi)(Reign: 649 AD - 683 AD).
January 665 AD: Although some historians hold events as to have been an effectively engineered Coup D'Etat, officially all State matters in Tang Dynasty China fall into the hands of Empress Wu Zetian (武則天), after her husband the Emperor Tang Taizong suffers a series of strokes. Signing all matters of State over to the Empress laid the foundations for a fresh new intermediate period in the Tang Dynasty history, as for the first time the entire Chinese State was effectively ruled by a woman. Positioning herself as a great Matriarch of Buddhism as opposing the earlier Confucian paternalist style, in this period of myriad of new Buddhist wonders of the Silk Road are created. As a result of her reign all of Chinese society will see a period of revelation, until, after her death she is thoroughly vilified and the order of the ancient Confucian patriarchal system throughly restored within the common minds of the people. For the first time in living memory Chinese women are able to go abouts on the streets without male escorts and within elite circles women may be held equal to men in all affairs of State and even the military (although as one may deduce from archeological finds, in earliest Chinese history women generals and warlords had already taken high positions within society in the Shang Dynasty (1766 BC - 1121 BC)).
View of the iconic 7 storey brick pagoda raised to 7 stories height near the end of the reign of Empress regnant Wu Zetian on a quiet day in the year 2003. Since, the Temple and surrounding grounds have been transformed into a tourist zone celebrating the historic Tang Dynasty heritage of city, region and Chinese people.
July 636 A.D.: The death of Empress Zhangsun (長孫皇后, personal name unknown)(Life: 601 AD – 28 July 636 AD) inaugurates the Zhaoling Mausoleum (also Zhao Mausoleum (昭陵; pinyin: Zhāolíng; "Zhao" means the light of the sun)(situated in current day Xiangyang City Prefecture , north west of Xi'An ) which will go on in history to become the largest of all 18 mausolea of the Tang Dynasty, an important Chinese historical monument and archeological depository of art and treasures related to the Silk Road in the Tang Dynasty Era (618 AD - 907 AD). Construction of the Zhaoling Mausoleum lasted 107 years beginning with burial of Empress Wende in 636 until completion in 741 AD. Later on it will become the burial place of Emperor Tang Gaozong (Life: 21 July 628 AD - 27 December 683 AD) and a large retinue of important officials and military men. When (partially) excavated in the 2nd half of the 20th century the 190 tombs (37 of which have been excavated so far) of the mausoleum covering an area of 87.5 square miles yield priceless archeological objects, murals, paintings, statues and documents all of which are today regarded as National Cultural Treasures of the Peoples' Republic of China .
October 6, 618 AD: Having led his troops out of the blocked city of Luoyang, Wang Shichong decisively defeats Li Mi at the Battle of Yanshi (偃師之戰), east of Luoyang, during the transition from Sui to Tang civil war .
618 AD: Tong Yabghu Qaghan becomes the new ruler (Khagan) of the Western Turkic Khaganate (or Onoq Khaganate (Chinese: 西突厥; pinyin: Xi tūjué)), founding the Khazar Khaganate (Xəzər Xaqanlığı)(650 AD - 969 AD). After assuming power he maintains close relations with the neighbouring Chinese Tang Dynasty, and possibly marries into the imperial family.
November 29, 618 AD: At the Battle of Qianshuiyuan (浅水原之战), northwest of present-day Changwu in Shaanxi Province, The Tang Dynasty scores a decisive victory over their rival Xue Rengao (薛仁杲)(also Xue Renguo (薛仁果)), leader and Emperor of the short-lived State of Qin (秦) which had been established during the last few years of the Sui Dynasty and had it's Capital at Tianshui (in the Wei River Valley, in the east of current day Gansu Province). Xue Rengao is forced to surrender to Tang Dynasty General Li Shimin (later Emperor Tang Taizong) and is executed.
618 AD: Songtsän Gampo (Tibetan: སྲོང་བཙན་སྒམ་པོ, Wylie: srong btsan sgam po)(Life: 569/605 AD - 649 AD) becomes 33rd Tibetan King and the first Emperor of the Tibetan Empire, after his father Namri Songtsen is poisoned. During his reign he expands Tibet's power beyond Lhasa (Tibetan Plateau) and the Yarlung Valley. Being the first to be traditionally credited with bringing Buddhism into Tibet in Tibetan history he will become legendary as the first of the Three Dharma Kings (Chokgyal).
618 AD: The Persians besiege Alexandria (harbor city at the mouth of the Nile River on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt); the defence of the city is led by Nicetas (cousin of Emperor Heraclius (Latin: Flavius Heracles Augustus; Greek: Φλάβιος Ἡράκλειος, translit. Flavios Iraklios)(Life: Ca. 575 AD - February 11, 641 AD). The Byzantine resistance is undermined by a blockade of the harbor; the usual grain supplies are cut off from Egypt to Constantinople (current day Istanbul).
618 AD: Byzantine–Sasanian War: A Persian expeditionary force under Shahrbaraz invades Egypt, and occupies the province. After defeating the Byzantine garrisons in the Nile Valley, the Persians march across the Libyan Desert as far as Cyrene.
619 AD: Byzantine–Sasanian War: The besieged city of Alexandria is captured by the Persians. Nicetas, cousin of Emperor Heraclius, and Chalcedonian patriarch, John V, flee to Cyprus. King Khosrow II extends his rule southwards along the Nile.
619 AD: Byzantine Emperor Heraclius prepares to leave Constantinople (current day Istanbul) in order to move the Byzantine capital to Carthage (Latin: Carthago; Punic: 𐤒𐤓𐤕•𐤇𐤃𐤔𐤕, Qart-ḥadašt, "New City")(in current day Tunisia), but is convinced to stay by Sergius I, patriarch of Constantinople. He begins to rebuild the Byzantine army with the aid of funds from church treasures.
Around 619 AD: The Avars (also known as the Obri in chronicles of Rus, the Abaroi or Varchonitai (Varchonites) or Pseudo-Avars in Byzantine sources), an alliance of several groups of Eurasian nomads of various origins, attack the outskirts of Constantinople. Numerous Slavic tribes rebel against Avar overlordship; they carve out their own sovereign territory in Moravia and Lower Austria.
Around 619 AD: The calculation of the Chinese calendar begins to use true motions of the sun and moon, modeled using two offset opposing parabolas.
November 22, 619 AD: The Prophet of Islam Muhammad's first wife, Khadija (Khadījah bint Khuwaylid (Arabic: خديجة بنت خويلد) or Khadījah al-Kubra (Khadijah the Great))(Life: 555 AD - 22 November 619 AD), dies after 24 years of marriage in the "Year of Sorrow". She was buried in Jannat al-Mu'alla cemetery, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Muhammad later called this year, the tenth year after his becoming the Prophet of Islam, "the Year of Sorrow", as his uncle and protector Abu Talib also died at this time.
619 AD: Kubrat (Greek: Κοβρāτος, Kούβρατος; Bulgarian: Кубрат)(also Kurt (Коуртъ)) of the Dulo Clan, ruler of the Bulgars, is baptised in Constantinople where he has been a resident at Court. It solidifies a pre-planned alliance between the Bulgars and Byzantines against the Sasanian–Avar alliance.
November 2, 619 AD: The Tang of China open what will become a long war against Tujue Tribes by launching a series of military campaigns westward directed against the domination of the Western Turks in these regions (Today part of the Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region, China (P.R.C.)); A Khagan of the Western Turkic Khaganate is assassinated in a Chinese palace by Eastern Turkic rivals, with the approval of Emperor Gaozu of Tang. Later, the lengthy military campaign will be duly remembered as the first steps to re-open the Silk Road connecting China through central Asia to the western world.
619 AD: The Second Perso-Turkic War is fought and ends with a decisive Persian victory.
619 AD: The Meccan boycott of the Hashemites and Muhammad ends.
September 14, 619 AD: Yang You (楊侑)(Life: 605 AD - 14 September 619 AD), Formerly Emperor Gong of Sui (隋恭帝), considered to have been the last Emperor of the Sui Dynasty dies at age 14. It is presumed that he was murdered on orders of Emperor Tang Gaozu.
619 AD: Yang Tong (楊侗)(Life: 604 AD - 619 AD), briefly declared as Emperor of the Sui Dynasty in late 618 AD, is murdered on orders of Sui Dynasty General Wang Shichong (王世充)(Life: 567 AD - 621 AD).
620 AD: Byzantine–Sassanid War: King Khosrau II captures Ancyra (current day Ankara, Capital of Turkey), an important Byzantine military base in central Anatolia. After the conquest of Egypt and Palestine, he restores the Persian Empire as it existed in 490 BC under Darius I.
620 AD (or 621 AD): According to traditional Islamic beliefs, the Prophet Muhammad undertakes the Journey to "the farthest Mosque" (taken to have been the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. This is known as the event of Isra. He leads the Islamic Faithful there in prayers before ascending to the Heavens (God). This second event is known as Mi'raj (the ascension to heaven to meet God).
620 AD: The Slavs invade the area around Thessaloniki (Greece), which is unsuccessfully besieged. The city becomes a Byzantine enclave surrounded by Slavic territory. Urban life disappears and many towns in the Balkan Peninsula become villages.
620 AD: Death of the Chuluo Khan (Turkic: Çuluk Han, simplified Chinese: 处罗; traditional Chinese: 處羅; pinyin: Chùluo Kěhàn, Middle Chinese: (Guangyun) [tɕʰi̯o˥lɑ˩ kʰɑ˥ɣɑn˩˥])(Life: unknown - 620 AD), ruler of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate (Chinese: 東突厥; pinyin: Dōng tūjué), after having ruled for only 18 months. He is said to have died from illness but was possibly poisoned by his Minister of Ceremonies.
621 AD: Chinese Tang Dynasty Emperor Gaozu delegates control of his military and civil administration in the east to his second son, Li Shimin. He concentrates on reforming coinage and taxation.
May 28, 621 AD: Battle of Hulao (虎牢之戰): Li Shimin defeats the numerically superior Chinese rebel army of Dou Jiande (竇建德)(Life: 573 AD - August 3, 621 AD) near the Hulao Pass (虎牢關, meaning "Tiger Cage Pass") in Henan near Luoyang. Although You Jiande is defeated, captured and not much later executed on orders of Emperor Gaozu, the peasant rebellion soon re-arises in the eastern provinces under leadership of Dou's general Liu Heita.
June 4, 621 AD: Wang Shichong, who in 619 had murdered Sui Dynasty "Emperor" Yang Tong ( 楊侗)(Life: 604 AD - 619 AD) and subsequently declared himself Emperor, surrenders to Li Shimin at Luoyang following Dou Jiande's defeat. Gaozu spares his life, but has him degraded to the rank of commoner and exiled to Sichuan Province. He is later assassinated by Dugu Xiude, the son of Dugu Ji.
621 AD: According to the tradition, Muhammad, Islamic prophet, is said to have visited heaven aboard the steed/unicorn with wings or Buraq, in the Isra wal-Miraj, (the Night Journey), from Mecca and then to heaven from Jerusalem's Baytul Majilis, then back to Mecca.
621 AD: Byzantine Emperor Heraclius concludes a peace agreement (in exchange for an annual tribute) with the Avars on the Balkan Peninsula, giving him free hand to assemble Byzantine forces in Asia Minor for a non-military expenditure against the Persian Empire.
621 AD: Death of Xiao Xian (蕭銑)(Life: 583 AD - 621 AD), last ruler of the rebel Liang Dynasty which had arisen in the last decade of the Sui Dynasty with its Capital at Wuwei but had been driven southward after the fall of Wuwei and capture of Liang Emperor Li Gui (李軌). Xiao Xian was a descendant of the imperial house of the Chinese Liang Dynasty. After the fall of Wuwei, he tried to revive Liang, and for several years appeared to be successful in doing so, as he, with his capital at Jiangling (Chinese: 江陵; pinyin: Jiānglíng)(Today a county of Jingzhou City Prefecture, Hubei Province), ruled over a state that included most of modern Hubei, Hunan, Guangxi, and northern Vietnam. In 621, however, under an attack by the Tang Dynasty general Li Xiaogong, he, not realizing that relief forces were approaching Jiangling, surrendered. He was subsequently taken to the Tang capital Chang'an ( Xi'An), where Emperor Gaozu of Tang executed him.
Around 621 AD: The Chinese establish an imperial bureau for the manufacture of porcelain. Their technology will advance further under the Tang Dynasty.
622 AD: The Western Turks (Chinese: Xi Tujue) conquer the Oxus valley and cooperate with Byzantine Emperor Heraclius against Persia, taking Khorasan (modern Afghanistan).
622 AD: Byzantine–Sasanian War: Byzantine Emperor Heraclius sails from Constantinople with an expeditionary force (probably 50,000 men), and starts a counter-offensive against the Persian Empire (his young son, Constantine III, is left behind as regent under the charge of Sergius I, patriarch of Constantinople, and patrician Bonus). He lands a few days later at the junction of Cilicia and Syria, near Alexandretta and ancient Issus (Phoenician: Sissu, Ancient Greek: Ἱσσός or Ἱσσοί).
622 AD: Battle of Issus: Heraclius defeats the Persian forces under Shahrbaraz in Cappadocia. He recaptures Anatolia, but returns to Constantinople to deal with the threat posed to his Balkan domains by the Avars, and puts the Byzantine army into winter quarters in Pontus (Greek: Πόντος, translit. Póntos, "Sea")(a historical region on the souther coast of the Black Sea in current day Turkey).
September 9 or June 17, 622 AD: The Islamic prophet Muhammad, after being warned of a plot to assassinate him, secretly leaves his home in Mecca to make the Hegira (emigrate) to Yathrib (later renamed by him Medina (In Hejaz Region, Saudi Arabia )), along with his companion Abu Bakr (Abū Bakr aṣ-Ṣiddīq ‘Abdallāh bin Abī Quḥāfah (Arabic: أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن أبي قحافة;)(Life: Ca. 573 AD - 23 August 634 AD). They take refuge in the Cave of Thawr south of Mecca for three days, departing on September 13 or June 21.
October 4 or July 13, 622 AD: After a fourteen days' stay in Quba, Muhammad finally moves from Quba to Yathrib, and is greeted cordially by its people. Here he drafts the Constitution of Medina, an agreement between the various Muslim, Jewish, Christian and pagan tribal communities in the city, forming the basis of a multi-religious Islamic state, and begins construction of the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi Mosque (Classical Arabic: ٱلْـمَـسْـجِـدُ ٱلـنَّـبَـوِيّ, Al-Masjidun-Nabawiyy; Modern Standard Arabic: ٱلْـمَـسْـجِـدْ اَلـنَّـبَـوِي, Al-Masjid An-Nabawī). Later during the caliphate of Umar in 638, the lunar year during which the emigration to Medina occurred (Friday 16 July 622 - 4 July 623) is designated "Year One" of the new Hijri year (Anno Hegirae – AH).
623 AD: Byzantine–Sasanid War: Emperor Heraclius invades Armenia, leaving his son Constantine (age 11) and co-regent Bonus to defend Constantinople against the Persians still at Chalcedon (modern Turkey). He sails with 5,000 reinforcements to join the Byzantine army at Trapezus (Today: Trebizond, Trabzon Province, Turkey). Raising additional forces in Pontus, Heraclius strikes through the mountains of Armenia and the northern sub-Caucasian principalities. He plunders Media ( Azerbaijan), and avoids the Persian armies who attempt to trap him.
623 AD: Tuyuhun invasion of Gansu: Tang forces under Chai Shao defeat the Tuyuhun (Chinese: 吐谷渾 ; Tibetan: ‘A-zha)(A Kingdom of nomadic peoples holding Sway over parts of the Qilian (Heavenly) Mountains and northern parts of the Yellow River valley thus blocking the crucial Hexi Corridor, the "neck of China" leading the Silk Road westwards), and prevent further incursions in Gansu (Today, Gansu Province, China (P.R.C.)). Hostilities between the Tuyuhun and Tang continued after the battle with the Tuyuhun still occupying regions around the Koko Nor (Today renamed Qinghai Lake by the Peoples' Republic of China) high on the north-eastern Tibetan plateau and within striking distance of the Hexi Corridor and the middle sections of the Yellow River (Huang He).
623 AD: The "multi-religious" State founded by Muhammad on the principles of his own beliefs fails. The Jewish community in Medina (Previously: Yathrib)( Saudi Arabia ) rejects the idea of Muhammad being a leader of Judaism. He and his followers stop bowing toward Jerusalem and start bowing toward Ka'ba (Kaaba (Arabic: ٱلْـكَـعْـبَـة al-kaʿbah IPA: [alˈkaʕba], "The Cube")). Muhammad abandons Saturday as the Sabbath.
March 13, 624 AD: Battle of Badr: Muhammad and some 300 of his followers from Medina surprise a reinforced Meccan caravan at Badr (Arabic: بَـدْر, full name: Badr Hunayn, Arabic: بدر حنین)(modern-day Badr, Al Madinah Province, Al-Hijaz Region, Saudi Arabia) returning from Syria, and defeat about 1,000 Quraysh (the most powerful tribe of pre-Islamic Arabia) from Mecca. After having heard that Quraysh clan leader Abu Sufyan (Sakhr ibn Harb (Arabic: صخر بن حرب))(Life: 560 AD - 650 AD) is escorting a rich trade caravan, Muhammad has filled the wells along its route (southwest of Medina) with sand in order to lure him into battle.
624 AD: The Yiwen Leiju encyclopedia is completed during the Tang Dynasty (618 AD - 907 AD), by the Chinese calligrapher Ouyang Xun (Life: 557 AD - 641 AD)(Its other contributors included Linghu Defen and Chen Shuda). The encyclopedia is divided into 47 sections and many subsections. It covers all subjects and contains many quotations from older works, which are well cited. Today many are long lost, and it is one of the sources many centuries later used by Ming (1368 AD - 1644 AD) and Qing (1644 AD - 1911 AD) scholars to reconstruct the lost Record of the Seasons of Jingchu. (Jingchu Suishiji ; simplified Chinese: 荆楚岁时记 ; traditional Chinese: 荊楚歲時記 ; Japanese: 荊楚歲時記 (Kanji)).
624 AD: Byzantine–Sasanian War: Emperor Heraclius advances with an expeditionary force (40,000 men) along the Araxes (also Aras, Arax ; Greek: Ἀράξης ; Armenian: Արաքս) River, destroying the fortress city of Dvin (Classical Armenian: Դուին, reformed: Դվին; Greek: Δούβιος, Doύbios or Τίβιον, Tίbion; Arabic: دبيل, translit. Dabīl or Doubil; also Duin or Dwin in ancient sources), capital of medieval Armenia, and Nakhchivan (Azerbaijani: Naxçıvan, Armenian: Նախիջևան)(Today: Capital of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan). At Ganzak (Persian: گنزک Ganzak, Greek: Gazaca, Latin: Gaza, Ganzaga, Arabic: Janza, Jaznaq)(Today a lost city located somewhere south of Lake Urmia in northern Iran), Heraclius defeats the Persian army and destroys the famous fire temple at Takht-e Soleymān (Takht-e Soleymān (Persian: تخت سلیمان), also known as Azar Goshnasp (Persian: آتشکده آذرگشنسپ), literally "the Fire of the Warriors" ; today an archaeological site in West Azarbaijan, Iran), an important Zoroastrian shrine. He winters his army in Caucasian Albania to gather forces for the next year.
Winter, 624 AD: Sasanid Persian King Khosrow II (Chosroes II in classical sources; Middle Persian: Husrō(y)), entitled "Aparvēz" ("The Victorious"), also Khusraw Parvēz (New Persian: خسرو پرویز) withdraws most of his troops from Chalcedon (Anatolia); he assembles three armies to trap and destroy Heraclius' Byzantine forces. The Persians go into winter quarters nearby, but Heraclius attacks them at Tigranakerta (Greek: Τιγρανόκερτα, Tigranόkerta; Tigranakert (Armenian: Տիգրանակերտ))(Western Armenia), routing the forces of the generals Shahin Vahmanzadegan and Shahraplakan. The Byzantines destroy their baggage train.
March 19, 625 AD: Battle of Uhud (Arabic: غزوة أحد Ġhazwat 'Uḥud): Muhammad retreats against the Quraish inhabitants of Mecca ( Saudi Arabia ), which they consider a victory.
625 AD: Byzantine–Sasanid War: Byzantine Emperor Heraclius marches with his forces westward, through the mountains of Corduene. In less than seven days, he bypasses Mount Ararat and captures the strategic fortresses of Amidaalong the Arsanias River, and Martyropolis on the upper Tigris (Sumerian: 𒁇𒄘𒃼 Idigna or Idigina; Akkadian: 𒁇𒄘𒃼 Idiqlat; Arabic: دجلة Dijlah [didʒlah]; Syriac: ܕܹܩܠܵܬ D (Murat River or Eastern Euphrates (Turkish: Murat Nehri, Armenian: Արածանի Aratsani)eqlaṯ; Armenian: Տիգրիս Tigris; Դգլաթ Dglatʿ; Hebrew: חידקל Ḥîddeqel, biblical Hiddekel; Turkish: Dicle; Kurdish: Dîcle, Dîjla دیجلە) in Mesopotamia. The Persian army in northern Mesopotamia withdraws westward across the Euphrates (Sumerian: 𒌓𒄒𒉣 Buranuna; Akkadian: 𒌓𒄒𒉣 Purattu; Arabic: الفرات al-Furāt; Syriac: ̇ܦܪܬ Pǝrāt; Armenian: Եփրատ: Yeprat; Hebrew: פרת Perat; Turkish: Fırat; Kurdish: Firat). Heraclius pursues into Cilicia, accompanied by a great train of booty.
625 AD: Byzantine-Sasanid War: Battle of Sarus: Heraclius is victorious in a Byzantine assault river crossing. The reinforced Persians under Shahrbaraz are defeated along the Sarus River, near Adana (modern Turkey). Heraclius recaptures Cappadocia (also Capadocia; Greek: Καππαδοκία, Kappadokía, from Old Persian: Katpatuka, Turkish: Kapadokya)(Historical region in Central Anatolia, Turkey) and Pontus, and returns to Trapezus to spend the winter. Shahrbaraz (later briefly King of the Sasanid Persian Empire in 630 AD) retreats in good order, and is able to continue his advance through Asia Minor towards Constantinople.
626 AD: Siege of Constantinople: A horde of Avars, consisting of about 80,000 men (including large contingents of Slavs, Bulgars, and other "barbarians"), attack the walls of Constantinople. A small Persian army arrives on the Bosphorus, on the Asiatic side. The Theodosian Walls are stormed with the most up-to-date siege equipment, in the form of traction trebuchets. The Avars have also mobile armoured shelters (medieval 'sows') and siege towers; the latter are covered in hides for fire protection. The defense of the capital (12,000 well-trained Byzantine troops) is in the hands of Patriarch Sergius I and Bonus (magister militum).
July 31, 626 AD: The Avars and Persian allies under Shahrbaraz launch an attack along the entire length of the Theodosian Walls (about 5.7 kilometre); the main effort is concentrated against the central section, particurarly the low-lying mesoteichion. After a fierce infantry battle on the walls, the Byzantine army holds off many assaults on the city. Emperor Heraclius makes arrangements for a new army under his brother Theodore to operate against the Persians in western Anatolia, while he returns to his own army in Pontus.
August 7, 626 AD: In the waters of the Golden Horn (southern inlet of the Bosporus Strait), the Persian fleet is destroyed while ferrying reinforcements. The Avars, having suffer terrible losses, running short of food and supplies, burn their siege engines. They abandon the siege and retreat to the Balkan Peninsula. The Byzantines achieve a decisive victory at Blachernae, under the protection of the Church of the Virgin Mary.
626 AD: Byzantine-Persian War: Heraclius, his army reduced by campaigning to less than 30,000 men, is on the defensive in Pontus. Apparently he leaves a strong Byzantine garrison in Trapezus, and withdraws north-eastward along the Black Sea into Colchis (Georgian: კოლხეთი K'olkheti; Greek Κολχίς Kolkhís)(current day Western Georgia), where he halts the Persians by aggressive defensive-offensive operations along the Phasis River. By attracting the Persian army under Shahin Vahmanzadegan in Anatolia, he provides Theodore with the opportunity to defeat them. By the end of the summer he threatens the communication of the Persians at Chalcedon (modern Turkey).
626 AD: Heraclius invites the Croats, a Slavic tribe living in Galicia, Silesia, and Bohemia, to settle in Illyricum. They are given the land between the Drava River and the Adriatic Sea for ridding of Avars. The Serbs are allowed to move from their homeland north of the Carpathians to a territory east of the Croats. Heraclius asks Pope Honorius I to send missionaries to both groups.
Winter, 626 AD: Heraclius makes an alliance with Tong Yabghu Qaghan (also known as T'ung Yabghu, Ton Yabghu, Tong Yabghu Khagan, Tun Yabghu, and Tong Yabğu, Traditional Chinese 統葉護可汗, Simplified Chinese: 统叶护可汗, pinyinTǒngyèhù Kěhán, Wade-Giles: t'ung-yeh-hu k'o-han), ruler (Khagan) of the Western Turkic Khaganate (Onoq Khaganate (Chinese: 西突厥; pinyin: Xi tūjué)), for a joint invasion of the Persian Empire the following spring. He promises his daughter Eudoxia Epiphania, age 15, in marriage to Tong Yabghu and sends her under escort with wondrous gifts.
July 2, 626 AD: Li Shimin (李世民)(Prince Qin)(Life: 28 January 598 AD - 10 July 649 AD) travels to the Tang capital Chang'an (Xi'An) to bid farewell his younger brother Li Yuanji, who has been given command of a Chinese expedition against the Eastern Turkic Khaganate. Hearing of a plot to murder him, he and a few supporters seize the northern entrance to the Emperor's palace. Li Shimin ambushes and eliminates his rival brothers Li Yuanji and Li Jiancheng, in the Xuanwu Gate Incident.
September 4, 626 AD: Founding Emperor Tang Gao Zu (Reign: 18 June 618 AD - 4 September 626 AD) abdicates in favor of his son Li Shimin after an 8-year reign. He passes the throne to him and Li Shimin becomes Emperor Tai Zong (Reign: 4 September 626 AD - 10 July 649 AD) of the Tang Dynasty.
626 AD: The Persian King Khosrau II plans an all-out effort against Constantinople. He returns to Anatolia with two armies of unknown size, presumably more than 50,000 men each. One of these (possibly commanded by Khosrau himself) is to contain Heraclius in Pontus; another under Shahin Vahmanzadegan is defeated by Theodore.
Spring, 627 AD: Byzantine-Sasanian War: Emperor Heraclius sweeps through southern Armenia with a 50,000-man expeditionary force, recapturing most of the Byzantine fortresses lost to the Persians ten and fifteen years earlier. The army of Shahrbaraz, still in Anatolia, is now cut off completely. Hearing from Byzantine agents (showing him letters) that King Khosrau II, dissatisfied with his failure to capture Constantinople, is planning to have him executed, he surrenders to Heraclius, refusing to join the Byzantine army against his ungrateful sovereign.
March 31, 627 AD: Battle of the Trench: Muhammad successfully withstands a siege for 27 days at Medina, by Quraish forces (10,000 men) from Mecca led by Abu Sufyan (Sakhr ibn Harb (Arabic: صخر بن حرب))(Life: 560 AD - 650 AD), whose allies, the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza, ultimately surrender to Muhammad.
627 AD: As agreed with the Byzantines in the previous year, the Western Turkic Khanate opens a second front against the Persians. The Third Perso-Turkic War erupts: The Göktürks (Old Turkic: 𐰜𐰇𐰛:𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰰, Kök Türük; Chinese: 突厥/تُكِئ; pinyin: Tūjué, Middle Chinese: *duət̚-kʉɐt̚, Dungan: Тўҗүә; Khotanese Saka: Ttūrka, Ttrūka; Old Tibetan: Drugu) and their Khazar allies (40,000 men) approach the Caspian Gates (The Gates of Alexander was a legendary barrier supposedly built by Alexander the Great in the Caucasus to keep the uncivilized barbarians of the north (typically through the Quran associated with Gog and Magog) from invading the land to the south. It is not certain they were built by Alexander, this was later inferred), and capture the Persian fortress at Derbent (modern Dagestan Republic of the Russian Federation). Heraclius marches to the upper Tigris and invades the Persian heartland, leaving the Khazars under Tong Yabghu Qaghan to continue the siege of Tbilisi (current day Capital of Georgia).
December 12, 627 AD: Battle of Nineveh: Byzantine Emperor Heraclius crosses the Great Zab River and defeats, in a feigned retreat, the Persian army (12,000 men) under Rhahzadh, near the ruins of Nineveh (Iraq). Although wounded, Heraclius refuses to leave the battlefield, and in a final cavalry charge personally kills the Persian general. In the following winter months of 627 & 628 Heraclius plunders the city palace of Dastgird ((Persian: دستگرد, also Romanized as Dastgird and Dastjerd))(in Isfahan Province, Iran) and gains tremendous riches (also recovering 300 captured Byzantine flags). He turns north-eastward to Caucasian Albania to rest his army. Khosrau II flees to the mountains of Susiana, to rally support for the defense of the Persian capital Ctesiphon (Greek: Κτησιφῶν; from Parthian or Middle Persian: tyspwn or tysfwn)(an ancient city located on the eastern bank of the Tigris, and about 35 kilometres (22 mi) southeast of present-day Baghdad).
February 25, 628 AD: Khosrow II, the last great king of the Sasanian Empire, is overthrown by his son Kavadh II (Middle Persian: kwʾt' Kawād; New Persian: قباد Qobād or Qabād)(also known as Shērōē (also spelled Shīrūya, شیرویه in New Persian))(Life: 590 AD - 6 September 628 AD).
Spring, 628 AD: Byzantine-Sasanid War: Byzantine Emperor Heraclius issues an ultimatum for peace to King Khosrow II, but he refuses his generous terms. The war-weary Persians revolt against Khosrow's regime at Ctesiphon, and install his son Kavadh II on the throne on February 25. He puts his father to death and begins negotiations with Heraclius. Kavadh is forced to return all the territories conquered during the war. The Persians must give up all of the trophies they have captured, including the relic of the True Cross. Evidently there is also a large financial indemnity. Having accepted a peace agreement on his own terms, Heraclius returns in triumph to Constantinople.
Spring, 628 AD: Third Perso-Turkic War: The Western Göktürks, under their leader Tong Yabghu Qaghan, plunder Tbilisi (modern Georgia). The Persian defenders are executed or mutilated; Tong Yabghu appoints governors (tuduns) to manage various tribes under his overlordship.
628 AD: Muhammad, Islamic prophet, leads about 1,400 men on a pilgrimage to Mecca, where their passage is blocked by the members of the Quraysh Tribe. The Quraysh tribe and the Muslim community in Medina sign a 10-year truce (Treaty of Hudaybiyyah).
628 AD: Muhammad's letters to world leaders explain the principles of the new monotheistic Muslim faith, as they will be contained in his book, the Quran. His Quranic Law, The Sharia enjoins women as well as men to obtain secular and religious educations. It forbids eating pork, domesticated donkey, and other flesh denied to Jews by Mosaic law.
628 AD: Indian astronomer Brahmagupta writes the Brāhmasphuṭasiddhānta, an early, yet very advanced, mathematics book, including rules for computing with zero.
September 28, 628 AD: Ardashir III, age 7, succeeds his father Kavadh II as the twenty-fourth king of the Sasanian Empire, on the latter's death from plague.
Summer, 629 AD: Muhammad, Islamic prophet, succeeds in unifying all of the nomadic tribes of the Arabian Peninsula. He converts them to Islam and prepares an expedition against the Jews. In May / June the evolving Islamic Campaign sees the Battle of Khaybar: Muhammad and his followers defeat the Jews living in the fortified oasis at Khaybar, located 150 kilometers from Medina. Later, in September, the Battle of Mu'tah takes place: Muhammad fails to take the lands east of the Jordan River (also River Jordan; Hebrew: נְהַר הַיַּרְדֵּן Nahar ha-Yarden, Classical Syriac: ܢܗܪܐ ܕܝܘܪܕܢܢ, Arabic: نَهْر الْأُرْدُنّ Nahr al-Urdunn, Ancient Greek: Ιορδάνης, Iordànes), and is pushed back near Mu'tah by forces of the Ghassanid Arab Kingdom (Arabic: الغساسنة; al-Ghasāsinah, also Banū Ghassān "Sons of Ghassān").
April 27, 629 AD: (General) Shahrbaraz usurps the throne of the Sasanian Empire from Ardashir III, but is himself deposed forty days later by nobility in favour of Borandukht. Khosrow III briefly rules Khorasan in the confusion, until he is assassinated by the governor of the province.
Summer, 629 AD: Xuanzang, Chinese Buddhist monk, sets out for India from the Tang Dynasty capital Chang'An ( Xi'An) on a legendary pilgrimage .
September 14, 629 AD: Byzantine Emperor Heraclius enters Constantinople in triumph. In a ceremonial parade, accompanied by the relic of the True Cross, he is welcomed by the citizens and his son Heraclius Constantine .
September, 629 AD: After 15 years of occupation by the Sasanid Persians Jerusalem, the "Holy City", is reconquered by the Byzantines from the Persian Empire. The Byzantine-Sasanid war ends and a new "Golden Age" begins for the Byzantine Empire. Heraclius styles himself as Basileus, Greek word for "sovereign", and takes the ancient title of "King of Kings", after his victory over Persia .
March 21, 630 AD: Emperor Heraclius returns the True Cross, one of the holiest Christian relics, to Jerusalem. He tries to promote Monothelitism ((from Greek μονοθελητισμός "doctrine of one will"), a particular teaching about how the divine and human relate in the person of Jesus), which is rejected by the Christians. Heraclius issues a decree that all Jews must become Christian; a massacre follows around Jerusalem and in Galilee (Israel), some survivors fleeing to the Daraa area.
630 AD: Chorpan Tarkhan, general of the Khazars, invades and devastates Armenia. He defeats a Persian cavalry force (10,000 men) sent by General Shahrbaraz to repel the invasion and kills all of them.
April 27, 630 AD: King Ardashir III, age 9, is murdered after an 18 month reign. He is succeeded by Shahrbaraz who becomes ruler (shah) of the Sasanian Empire.
June 9, 630 AD: Shahrbaraz is killed and succeeded by Borandukht (also Boran (Middle Persian: ; Persian: پوراندخت (Purandokht)(Life: 590 AD - 628 or 631 AD), daughter of former king Khosrow II. She ascends the throne as 26th monarch of Persia. She was the first and one of only two women to rule the Sasanian Empire; the other was her sister and successor, Azarmidokht (Middle Persian: Āzarmīgdukht, Persian: آزرمیدخت)(Reign: 630 AD - 631).
630 AD: Illig Qaghan, ruler (khagan) of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate, is captured by Li Jing during the Tang campaign against the Eastern Turks.
D ecember 11, 629 AD: Conquest of Mecca (Arabic: فتح مكة fatḥ makkah): Abandoning the 10-year truce called the Treaty of Hudaybiyah (628 AD), inspired by Muhammad, the Prophet of the Religion of Peace, a Muslim army (10,000 men) marches on Mecca, which surrenders. Muhammad takes the city from the Quraysh and makes it the spiritual center of Islam (which it remains to this day).
631 AD: Byzantine Emperor Heraclius appoints Cyrus, patriarch of Alexandria, with power to act as viceroy (dioikesis) of Egypt. He begins a 10-year persecution against the non-Chalcedonian Coptic Christians. Benjamin I, Coptic patriarch of Alexandria, escapes during the persecutions of his fellow Christians and hides in the monastery of St. Macarius (Upper Egypt).
January, 630 AD: Battle of Hunayn (Arabic: غَـزوة حُـنـيـن, Ghazwat Hunayn): Muhammad defeats the Bedouin tribe of Hawazin (12,000 men) in a valley, on one of the roads leading to Ta'if (Western Arabia).
February 115, 630 AD: Siege of Ta'if: The armies led by Prophet Muhammad begin to besiege Ta'if and brings battering rams and catapults to suppress the fortress city, but is unable to penetrate it. The siege went on for half a month with little change and soldiers became impatient. Following consultation with advisers and a prophetic dream, Muhammad ended the siege and withdrew his forces.
631 AD: Azarmidokht (daughter of king Khosrau II) succeeds her sister Borandukht, as monarch of the Persian Empire. Azarmidokht is succeeded after a few months reign by the usurper Khosrau IV, who becomes new ruler (shah) of Persia. He is however killed after a few days of reign.
631 AD: Hormizd VI proclaims himself king in Nisibis (Turkey). He seizes the throne and will reign until 632.
631 AD: On his pilgrimage to India, Xuanzang, Chinese Buddhist monk, crosses the Indus River (locally called Sindhū) at Hund (today a small village in Swabi district (Pashto: سوابۍ,Urdu: صوابی) in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (abbreviated as KP or KPK; Urdu: خیبر پختونخوا; Pashto: خیبر پښتونخوا), Pakistan) and travels to Kashmir ("Heaven on Earth") in northwestern India (approximate date).
631 AD: Emperor Tai Zong sends envoys to the Xueyantuo (薛延陀 ; Seyanto, Se-yanto, Se-Yanto) or Syr-Tardush), vassals of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate, bearing gold and silk in order to obtain the release of enslaved Chinese prisoners, who were captured during the transition from the Sui to the Tang Dynasty from the northern frontier. The embassy succeeds in freeing 80,000 men and women, who are safely returned to China.
631 AD: Tang Emperor Tai Zong establishes a new Daoist abbey, out of gratitude for Daoist priests who had apparently cured the crown prince of an illness.
631 AD: Death of Rayhana (Rayhāna bint Zayd (Arabic: ريحانة بنت زيد)), Jewish woman, slave and slave of Muhammad and later after her conversion to Islam his wife. She was buried in Jannat al-Baqi cemetery.
March 19 (estimated), 632 AD: Muhammad makes his final sermon to the Muslims in the Uranah valley of Mount Arafat (Arabic: جبل عرفات transliterated Jabal ‘Arafāt), to the Muslims who has accompanied him for the Hajj (pilgrimage). Shias believe this to be the appointment of Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor.
Ju ne 8, 632 AD: Muhammad dies at Medina at the age of 63, after an illness and fever. According to Shias, he was succeeded by Ali ibn Abi Talib (cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad); according to Sunnis, he was succeeded by his first convert (outside his family), father-in-law and most senior companion Abu Bakr (Abū Bakr aṣ-Ṣiddīq ‘Abdallāh bin Abī Quḥāfah (Arabic: أبو بكر الصديق عبد الله بن أبي قحافة)(Life: ca. 573 AD - 23 August 634 AD). Abu Bakr who becomes the first caliph (viceregent of the messenger of God). He establishes the Rashidun Caliphate until 661.
Ju ne 16, 632 AD: Yazdegerd III (literally meaning "made by God"; New Persian: یزدگرد; Izdegerdes in classical sources), age 8, ascends to the throne as King (Shah) of the Persian Empire. He becomes the 38th and last ruler of the Sasanid Dynasty (modern Iran), ruling from 16 June 632 AD to 651 AD .
January 27, 632 AD: An annular eclipse of the sun occurs.
632 AD: Xuanzang, Chinese traveler on his pilgrimage and quest for knowledge to India, writes about two huge statues of Buddha carved out of a mountainside in the Bamiyan Valley (current day Hazarajat region, central Afghanistan).
633 AD: Ridda Wars ((Arabic: حروب الردة), also known as the Wars of Apostasy): Abu Bakr, the first Caliph (khalifa) of the Rashidun Caliphate, after the death of Muhammad, launches a military campaign against the Arab tribe of Kindah, which inhabits the region of Najran ( Yemen).
YouTube Video: Byzantine-Sasanian War of 602 to 628 Documentary, by Kings and Generals. See the main events of the conflict played out.
March 18, 633 AD: The Arabian Peninsula is united under the central authority of Abu Bakr. This sets the stage for the Islamic conquest of Persia and the fall of the Sasanid Dynasty (224 AD - 651 AD).
April, 633 AD: A Muslim army (18,000 men) led by Khalid ibn al-Walid (according to Shia muslims the appointed successor of Muhammad) invades Mesopotamia. He wins decisive victories in the Battle of Chains (also Battle of Sallasil (Arabic: معركة ذات السلاسل Dhat al-Salasil)) in Kazima (Today Kuwait) and Battle of River (also Battle of Al Madhar)( Iraq).
May, 633 AD: Battle of Walaja (Arabic: معركة الولجة): The Rashidun Caliphate army under Khalid defeats the Persians and their Arab Christian allies. The Persian army is at least three times the size.
May, 633 AD: Battle of Ullais (Arabic: معركة أليس): Forces of the Rashidun Caliphate under Khalid defeat an entire Persian army (reportedly 70,000 men) near the river Euphrates. Khalid besieges the city of Hira (Arabic: الحيرة al-Ḥīrah, Syriac: ܚܝܪܬܐ Ḥīrtā)(Today an ancient lost city situated south of what is now Kufa in south-central Iraq).
May, 633 AD: In the Siege of Hira: The Muslim Arabs (15,000 men) under Khalid ibn al-Walid attack the fortress city of Hira. After a brief fight the citizens surrender, and bring gifts to Khalid.
July, 633 AD: Siege of Anbar (Arabic: معركة الأنبار): A Muslim Arab army under Khalid besieges the fortress city of Anbar (Arabic: الأنبار ; Middle Persian word for "granaries")(approx. 80 miles from ancient Babylon) on the east bank of the Euphrates River. The Persian governor surrenders and is allowed to retire. Subsequently, there follows the Battle of Ein ut Tamr (Arabic: معركة عين التمر): at which time the Muslim army attacks a Persian frontier post located west of Anbar. The Arab Christian auxiliaries are overrun and surrender.
August, 633 AD: Battle of Dumat Al-Jandal (Arabic: دومة الجندل): A Muslim army (10,000 men) under Khalid ibn al-Walid defeats the rebel Arab Christians at Dumat Al-Jandal (in current day Al Jawf Province, north-western Saudi Arabia).
November, 633 AD: Khalid coordinates successful night attacks against the Arab Christians in the Battle of Muzayyah (Arabic: معركة المصيخ), Battle of Saniyy (Arabic: معركة الثني), and Battle of Zumail (Arabic: معركة الزميل).
Around 633 AD: In Tang Dynasty China, Feng Shui scholar, astronomer, mathematician and historian Li Chung Feng (Traditional Chinese: 李淳風; Simplified Chinese: 李淳风; also Li Chunfeng) builds a first (known) celestial globe in East Asia. In the west, the sphericity of the Earth was established by Greek astronomy in the 3rd century BC, and the earliest terrestrial globe appeared from that period. The earliest known example is the one constructed by Crates of Mallus in Cilicia (now Çukurova in modern-day Turkey), in the mid-2nd century BC.
634 AD: The Tuyuhun Kingdom is invaded by Chinese forces under Li Jing ( Tang Dynasty) during Emperor Taizong's campaign against Tuyuhun, resulting in the murder of their leader (Khan) Murong Fuyun (Chinese:慕容伏允 , formal title Busabo Khan (步薩鉢可汗)(Reign: 597 AD - 635 AD) in 635.
634 AD: Tang Emperor Tai Zong orders the construction of the Daming Palace (Simplified Chinese: 大明宫 ; Traditional Chinese: 大明宮 ; "Palace of Great Brilliance" ) in Chang'An (Xi'An) on the Longshou Plateau in the north of the city. The Palace will serve as the Imperial Palace of the Tang Emperors of China for 220 successive years. He builds the summer palace for his retired father, Emperor Gao Zu, as an act of filial piety.
YouTube Video: Documentary - History of the Daming Imperial Palace of the Tang Dynasty in Chang'An (Xi'An).
February 4, 634 AD: Battle of Dathin (Arabic: داثن): Rashidun forces led by Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan (Arabic: يزيد بن أبي سفيان, translit. Yazīd bin Abī Sufyān)(earlier a companion of Muhammad) defeat the Christian Arabs around Gaza. The Muslim victory is celebrated by the
local Jews, who have been a persecuted minority within the Byzantine Empire.
634 AD: The Rashidun Caliphate starts the Islamic conquest of the Byzantine Empire, when Muslim forces under Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah (Abū ‘Ubaydah ‘Āmir ibn ‘Abdillāh ibn al-Jarāḥ (Arabic: أبو عبيدة عامر بن عبدالله بن الجراح)(Life: 583 AD - 639 AD) invade the Levant. Khalid sets out for Syria from Al-Hirah (Arabic: الحيرة al-Ḥīrah, Syriac: ܚܝܪܬܐ Ḥīrtā)(Ancient city situated south of Kufa in central Iraq), taking with him half his army, about 8,000 strong.
June, 634 AD: Having conquered Tadmur in Syria, the Rashidun Caliphate army sets out for the Al-Qaryatayn (Arabic: القريتين, also spelled Karyatayn, Qaratin or Cariatein) in central Syria. Battle of al-Qaryatayn: The Muslim Arabs under Khalid defeat the Ghassanids (Ghassanid (Arab) Kingdom (Arabic: الغساسنة; al-Ghasāsinah, also Banū Ghassān "Sons of Ghassān")) at Al-Qaryatayn, after the inhabitants resist his proposals. His army conquers and plunders the city, before proceeding to capture other towns in the area.
June, 634 AD: Emperor Heraclius, ill, infirm, and unpopular with the Eastern Orthodox Church, is unable to personally lead the Byzantine army to resist the Muslim conquest of the Levant. He sends his brother Theodore (Latin: Theodorus, Greek: Θεόδωρος)(Life: Ca. 610 AD - 636 AD) to assemble forces to retake the newly won Muslim territories. Monophysites and Jews throughout Syria welcome the Arab invaders, as they are discontent with Byzantine rule.