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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: November 12, 2018
This page was last updated on: November 12, 2018
AD 705-907: The Silk Road of the later Tang Dynasty.
December 16, 705 AD: The death of Empress Wu Zetian leads to a restoration of the Tang Dynasty through the son of Wu Zetian, Emperor Zhongzong. The Tang Dynasty then rules until its final collapse in the year 907 AD.
Silk Road (5b) The T’ang Dynasty (665 AD - 705 AD): Empress Wu Zetian and the (2nd) Zhou Dynasty Interbellum
701 - 704 AD: On orders of the female Empress Wu Zetian, additional floors are added to the Great Wild Goose Pagoda at the Temple of Great Benefaction in Chang'An ( Xi'An), first built in 652 A.D. by Tang Gaozong upon a received request from the Monk Master Xuanzang. Instead of having five layers (floors) the Pagoda is reshaped in to a tower like square and seven stories high brick pagoda altogether standing some 64 meters tall.
-----> History of the Silk Road :
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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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)).
671 AD: The Monk Yi Jing (義淨)(Life: 635 AD - 713 AD), an admirer of both renowned Chinese Silk Road travelers, the Monk Fa Xian and the Monk Xuanzang, leaves China through the southern port of Guangzhou , taking to the maritime trade routes on a quest for knowledge in some 30 odd countries in South Eastern and Southern Asia, including India. On the first leg of his journey Yi Jing visits the capital of the partly Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya in Palembang (Indonesia). He stays for 6 months to study Sanskrit grammar and the Malay language.
676 AD: Passing of a comet today identified scientically as X/676 P1. Its appearance first logged by Chinese Astronomers of the Tang Dynasty in the Book Hsin T and Shu, the object at first appeared alike a normal comet passing (as happened earlier that same year) however quickly grew while passing through the Ursa Major constellation to create a spectacular 30 cubits arc. Subsequently visible for but an additional month, the object, probably a sun grazing comet, disappeared from view.
YouTube Video: Wu Zetian - the secret history of China's female Emperor; spectacular and revealing finds about an unusual Era in Chinese history.
December 27, 683 AD: The death of the Emperor Taizong at the secondary Capital city of Luoyang in northern Henan Province, leaves the widow Empress Wu Zetian the first (and only) Empress regnant in all of Chinese history. In the same year, ritually, 100 days after the death of Tang Taizong, his original residence was converted into a Temple Complex. Thus was created the Jianfu Temple on the 20th day of the 3rd lunar month in AD 684 in order to dedicate postmortem fortune to the deceased emperor. Thus it was named as "Xianfu Temple" (献福寺)(In 690 AD changed to Jianfu on orders of Empress Wu Zetian).
September 684 AD: The appearance of a bright comet, in Chinese records report it as the "broom star" (of that year). According to traditional beliefs and customs it is taken as a heavenly omen, in case the on earth visible representation of the deitification (joining with heaven) of the great Emperor Tang Taizong. (Today: the comet apparition is identified as to have been a passing of Halley's Comet.). The appearance of the comet is also recorded in Japan starting on September 7 creating the first ever recording of the passing of Halley's Comet in Japanese history.
695 AD: Having completed early translations of scriptures gained on his quest in Maritime South East Asia and India, the Monk Yi Jing (義淨) returns to the Tang Court, which at the time is situated at Luoyang, to receive a heroes welcome from the Empress Regnant Wu Zetian.
660 AD: Tang Dynasty Emperor Gao Zong suffers from an illness (possibly slow-poisoning). His wife Wu Zetian (武則天)(624 AD - December 16, 705 AD) starts to rule the Chinese Empire.
January 27, 661 AD: Assassination of Ali: Ali ibn Abi Talib (Life: 15 September 601 AD - 29 January 661 AD), first Shia imam and fourth caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate, is struck on the head with a poisoned sword by the Khawarij Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam (Arabic: عبدالرحمن بن ملجم المرادي) while at prayer at a shrine at Kufa (modern-day Iraq), dying two days later. According to the Shia Islam (and the Khawarij), his son Hasan ibn Ali succeeds him as the second imam. According to the Sunni Islam, he is succeeded by Muawiyah I (Arabic: معاوية بن أبي سفيان, translit. Muʿāwiyah ibn Abī Sufyān)(Life: 602 AD - 26 April 680 AD), at age 59, who moves his seat of government to Damascus (Current day Capital of Syria), and founds the Umayyad Caliphate, ending the Rashidun Caliphate.
Around 661 AD: The new Caliph Muawiyah I imprisons patriarch of the east (Christian Orthodox) Giwargis I, after his refusal to pay tribute. Christians are persecuted and their churches are destroyed.
661 AD: Maximus the Confessor (Greek: Μάξιμος ὁ Ὁμολογητής) also known as Maximus the Theologian and Maximus of Constantinople (Life: ca. 580 AD - 13 August 662 AD), Christian monk, is recalled from exile in Thrace. In 662 he is once again tried as a heretic and also as traitor supporting the Muslim Conquest of part of the Byzantine Empire. aOnce connected he is sentenced to mutilation. His tongue and his right hand are cut off in order to prevent him speaking and writing long letters, thus attempting to prevent his further opposition to the Monothelites.
662 AD: Muslim Conquest: Under its new leadership Arab forces of the Umayyad Caliphate resume the push to capture Persian lands, and begin to move towards the lands east and north of the plateau, towards Greater Khorasan (Iran) and the Silk Road along Transoxiana.
Around 662 AD: Ziyad ibn Abi Sufyan (Arabic: زياد بن أبيه)(Life: 622 AD - 673 AD), Muslim general and a member of the Umayyad clan, is appointed governor of Iraq (Basra) and the former Persian provinces.
August 13, 662 AD: Maximus the Confessor, Byzantine monk and theologian, connected of heresy and multilated, dies in exile in Lazica (Georgian: ეგრისის სამეფო, Egrisis samepo; Laz: ლაზიკა, Laziǩa; Greek: Λαζική, Lazikí; Persian: لازستان, Lâzestân; Armenian: Եգեր, Yeger)(in modern day Georgia), on the southeastern shore of the Black Sea.
662 AD: Death of Qais Abdur Rashīd or Qais Abdul Rasheed (Pashto: قيس عبد الرشيد) said to be, in post-Islamic lore, the legendary founding father of the Pashtun people. .
663 AD: Byzantine Emperor Constans II launches an assault against the Duchy of Benevento (Southern Italy). Taking advantage of the fact that Lombard king Grimoald I is engaged against Frankish forces from Neustria, Constans disembarks at Taranto and besieges Lucera and Benevento.
663 AD: Byzantine Emperor Constans II visits Rome for twelve days—the only Byzantine Emperor to set foot in Rome for two centuries - and is received with great honor by Pope Vitalian. Constans gives the order to strip buildings, including the Pantheon, of their ornaments, which will be carried back to Constantinople.
663 AD: Constans II moves the imperial court from Constantinople to Syracuse. He tries to stop the Arab conquest of Sicily, and restores Rome as seat of the Byzantine Empire (Sicilian: Sarausa/Seragusa; Latin: Syrācūsae; Ancient Greek: Συράκουσαι, Syrakousai; Medieval Greek: Συρακοῦσαι). Constans strips sacred altar vessels from churches all over Rome.
May 8, 663 AD: Battle of Forino (Today a town and comune in the province of Avellino, Campania, southern Italy): The Byzantine army, led by Constans II, is defeated by the Lombards under Romuald I. He seizes Taranto and Brindisi, receiving military aid from the Bulgar Alcek horde, who are settled in the area of Ravenna. According to legend, St. Michael made an apparition in this battle on the side of the Lombards. After this crushing defeat, Constans retired to Naples and gave up his attempts to expel the Lombards from south Italy.
June 5, 663 AD: In China, the (later legendary) Daming Palace in Chang'An (Xi'An) becomes the government seat and royal residence of Emperor Gao Zong of the Tang Dynasty.
664 AD: Muslim Conquest: Arab forces under Al-Muhallab ibn Abi Suffrah (Arabic: أبو سعيد, المهلّب بن أبي صفرة الأزدي), also known as Abu Sa'id (Life: ca. 632 AD - February 702 AD, Khorasan) begin launching raids from Persia, striking at Multan in the southern Punjab (modern Pakistan). Muslims conquer the city of Kabul, invading from eastern Afghanistan.
664 AD: Death of the Buddhist Monk Xuanzang, pre-eminent silk road explorer, traveler, Buddhist master of the scriptures, founder and first abbott of the Da Cien Temple in the Chinese Capital of Chang'An. Upon his death he is granted a state burial upon the orders of Emperor Tang Tai Zong and his Empress Wu Zetian. His lasting legacy includes the writing of the book Great Tang Records on the Western Regions (大唐西域記)(completed in 646 AD). His version of the Heart Sutra is the basis for all Chinese commentaries on the sutra, and recitations throughout China, Korea and Japan.
Map of China and Bordering Nations of Asia - Detailed Topographical View
671 AD: An annular solar eclipse is visible from Tibet to the Maghreb (North West Africa).
674 AD: Siege of Constantinople: The Umayyad Arab fleet enters the Sea of Marmara and appears before the southern walls of Constantinople, in an attempt to blockade the Byzantine capital.
April, 674 AD: A Muslim expeditionary force disembarks on the Thracian shore (near Hebdomon (Today: Bakırköy is a neighbourhood, municipality (belediye) and district on the European side of Istanbul (Former Constantinople)), and lays siege to the massive Theodosian Walls of the Byzantine, on the landward side to the west.
Summer, 674 AD: Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (born Khalid bin Zayd bin Kulayb in Yathrib), companion and standard-bearer of Muhammad, is killed during the first attempt of the siege of the city of Constantinople.
Winter, 674 AD: Having failed in a full blockade and siege of Constantinople Arab forces under Yazid (son of caliph Muawiyah I) retire to Cyzicus (Turkey). For the next 4 years the Arab fleet installs a loose blockade around Constantinople.
Around 674 AD: The Muslim-Arabs attack Crete, killing or enslaving much of the populace during the Muslim conquests.
May 25, 675 AD: Death of Li Hong the fifth son of Emperor Gaozong and the oldest son of his second wife Empress Wu (later known as Wu Zetian), who he was made the crown prince in 656 AD. Li Hong (Chinese: 李弘) (652 AD - 25 May 675 AD), formally Emperor Xiaojing (孝敬皇帝, literally, "the filial and respectful emperor") with the temple name of Yizong (義宗), was a crown prince (not emperor, despite his formal title) of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. Li Hong, while visiting Hebi Palace (合璧宮), near Luoyang, with his parents, died suddenly. Most traditional historians believed that Empress Wu poisoned him to death. Emperor Gaozong was greatly saddened by his son's death, and he, in an unprecedented move, posthumously honored Li Hong the title of Emperor Xiaojing, and ordered that he be buried with honors due an emperor. (However, when an imperial tomb was to be built for Li Hong, it was said that the conscripted laborers were so displeased at the labor that they simply threw the construction material they had and deserted.)
Summer, 676 AD: Siege of Constantinople: Caliph Muawiyah I again sends his son Yazid with Muslim reinforcements to Constantinople. At the same time, the Byzantines have to face a Slavic attack on Thessaloniki and Lombard attacks in Italy.
677 AD: The Onogur Bulgars (Όνόγουροι, Οὒρωγοι; Onογurs, Ογurs; "ten tribes", "tribes") are scattered by the Khazars (Xəzər Xaqanlığı), who then establish a great Steppe empire (Khazar Khaganate)(c. 650 AD - 969 AD), centered on the Lower Volga. For some three centuries the Khazars dominated the vast area extending from the Volga-Don steppes to the eastern Crimea and the northern Caucasus. The Onogurs depart to the Pannonian Plain. This event ends Old Great Bulgaria in which the legendary Kubrat organised the Onogurs under his Empire in the Mid 7th century.
677 AD: Death of Constantine I, patriarch of Constantinople between 655 AD and 677 AD.
June 27, 678 AD: Siege of Thessalonica (676–678) ends when Sclaveni withdraw. The events of the siege are described in the second book of the Miracles of Saint Demetrius.
Autumn, 678 AD: Siege of Constantinople: Emperor Constantine IV confronts the Arab besiegers in a head-on engagement. The Byzantine fleet, equipped with Greek fire, destroys the Muslim fleet at Sillyon (Greek: Σίλλυον), also Sylleion (Σύλλειον), in Byzantine times Syllaeum or Syllaion (Συλλαῖον)(Today: Fortress and ancient City near Attaleia, Antalya Province, Pamphylia Region, Turkey), ending the Umayyad Arab threat to Europe, and forcing Yazid (a son of caliph Muawiyah I) to lift the siege on land and sea. The victory also frees up forces that are sent to raise the two-year siege of Thessalonica by the local Slavic tribes.
April 11, 678 AD: Pope Donus dies at Rome, after a reign of 1 year and 160 days. He is succeeded by Agatho I, who becomes the 79th pope. He is the first pope to stop paying tribute to Emperor Constantine IV upon election.
13 July, 678 AD: Death of Aisha (Arabic: عائشة بنت أبي بكر or عائشة, transliteration: ‘Ā’ishah also transcribed as A'ishah, Aisyah, Ayesha, A'isha, Aishat, Aishah, or Aisha)(Life: 613/614 AD - 678 AD), wife of Muhammad Prophet of Islam.
679 AD: Byzantine Emperor Constantine IV signs a peace treaty, of a nominal 30-year duration, with caliph Muawiyah I of the Umayyad Caliphate. Muawiyah pays an annual tribute of 3,000 (nomismata) pounds of gold, 50 horses and 50 slaves. The Arab garrisons are withdrawn from their bases on the Byzantine coastlands, including the islands of Cyprus and Rhodes.
679 AD: Birth of Sima Zhen (Chinese: 司馬貞; Wade–Giles: Ssu-ma Chen)(Life: 679 AD - 732 AD), courtesy name Zizheng (Tzu-cheng; 子正), in life a Tang dynasty Chinese historian born in what is now Jiaozuo, Henan Province. Sima Zhen was one of the most important commentators on the Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian) written by Sima Qian. His commentary is known as the Shiji Suoyin (史記索隱), which means "Seeking the Obscure in the Records of the Grand Historian".
26 April, 680 AD: Death of Muawiyah I, founder of the Umayyad Caliphate. Yazid Ianatullah, son of Muawiyah I, becomes the sixth caliph (second Umayyad caliph) but Kufans in Mesopotamia rebel and invite Hussein ibn Ali (grandson of Muhammad) to take the throne.
October 10, 680 AD: Battle of Karbala: Forces under Yazid I kill Hussein ibn Ali (Arabic: الحسين ابن علي ابن أبي طالب)(Life: 10 October, 625 AD - 10 October, 680 AD), grandson of Muhammad, Prophet of Islam, and his closest supporters clash at Karbala (today in Iraq) . On their way to Khufa Al-Ḥusayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib and a small army encounter an army from the city of Khufa sent by Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad, the Umayyad Governor of Basra. In the day long battle Hussein ibn Ali and all his followers are killed. This event leads to the civil war known as the Second Fitna.
November 12, 680 AD: The Sixth Ecumenical Council opens in Constantinople, and ends September 16, 681 AD.
680 AD: Byzantine–Bulgarian War: The Bulgars under leadership of Asparukh (also Ispor; Bulgarian: Аспарух, translit. Asparuh or (rarely) Bulgarian: Исперих, translit. Isperih) subjugate the country of current-day Bulgaria, north of the Balkan Mountains. Emperor Constantine IV leads a combined land and sea operation against the invaders and besieges their fortified camp in Dobruja Dobruja or Dobrudja (Bulgarian: Добруджа, transliterated: Dobrudzha or Dobrudža; Romanian: Dobrogea or Turkish: Dobruca)(a historical region on the west coast of the Black Sea currently divided between Romania and Bulgaria).
680 AD: Battle of Ongal (in Tulcea County, Romania): The Byzantine army (25,000 men) under Constantine IV is defeated by the Bulgars and their Slavic allies in the Danube Delta. Bulgar cavalry force the Byzantines into a rout, while Constantine (suffering from leg pain) travels to Nesebar on the Black Sea coast to seek treatment. In the aftermath the Bulgars go on to create the First Bulgarian Empire.
681 AD: Byzantine–Bulgarian War: Emperor Constantine IV is forced to acknowledge the Bulgar state in Moesia, and to pay protection money to avoid further inroads into Byzantine Thrace. Consequently, Constantine creates the Theme of Thrace of the Byzantine Empire (located in the south-eastern Balkans).
681 AD: Constantine IV has his brothers Heraclius and Tiberius mutilated, so they will be unable to rule. He orders that their images no longer appear on any coinage, and that their names be removed from official documentation. Constantine raises his son Justinian II to the throne as joint emperor (Augustus).
Autumn, 681 AD: A military revolt breaks out in the Anatolic Theme (modern Turkey). The Byzantine army marches to Chrysopolis (current day Üsküdar District of Istanbul (traditionally known in Italian and English as Scutari (Scutàrion, Σκουτάριον in Greek)), and sends a delegation across the straits of the Hellespont to Constantinople, demanding that the two brothers should remain co-emperors alongside Constantine IV.
Autumn, 681 AD: Constantine IV agrees to a compromise, and persuades the army to return to their barracks in Anatolia. He invites the leaders of the rebellion to come to Constantinople, and consults with the Senate to accept the terms. On their arrival, he arrests the leaders and has them hung at Sycae (present day Galata (in Greek was known as Galatas (Γαλατᾶς, Galatás) neighbourhood opposite Constantinople (today's Istanbul, Turkey), located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn).
Around 681 AD: Armenians, Albanians, and Iberians rise in rebellion against the Umayyad Caliphate.
September 16, 681 AD: The Sixth Ecumenical Council (started November 12, 680 AD) ends at Constantinople. The council reaffirms the Orthodox doctrines of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD, and condemns monothelitism.
January 10, 681 AD: Pope Agatho dies at Rome of plague after a 2½ -year reign, in which he has persuaded Byzantine Emperor Constantine IV to abolish the tax heretofore levied at the consecration of a newly elected pope.
682 AD: Due to a culmination of major droughts, floods, locust plagues, and epidemics, a widespread famine breaks out in the dual Chinese capital cities of Chang'An (primary capital) and Luoyang (secondary capital). The scarcity of food drives the price of grain to unprecedented heights, ending a once prosperous era under emperors Tai Zong and Gao Zong on a sad note.
August 17, 682 AD: Pope Leo II succeeds Agatho as the 80th pope, after a periode of sede vacante ("vacant seat") of a year and 7 months.
682 AD: Death of Buyeo Yung (Hangul: 부여융 ; Hanja: 扶餘隆) (Life: 615 AD - 682 AD), prince of Baekje in exile in Luoyang.
683 AD: Siege of Mecca: The Umayyad army led by Husayn ibn Numayr al-Sakuni besieges Mecca, during which the Kaaba ("Sacred House") catches fire and is burned down.
June 28, 683 AD: Pope Leo II (Life: 611 AD - 28 June 683), one of the Popes of the Byzantine (dominated) Papacy (when popes required the approval of the Byzantine Emperor for episcopal consecration, and many popes were chosen from the apocrisiarii (liaisons from the pope to the emperor) or the inhabitants of Byzantine Greece, Byzantine Syria, or Byzantine Sicily), dies at Rome 10 months after being consecrated.
November 11, 683 AD: Caliph Yazid (Arabic: يزيد بن معاوية بن أبي سفيانI), the second caliph of the Umayyad caliphate (and the first one through inheritance), aged 36, dies at Damascus, after a 3-year reign marked by civil war. He is succeeded by his son Muawiya II or Muawiya ibn Yazid (Arabic: معاوية بن يزيد, translit. Mu‘āwiyah ibn Yazīd)(Life: 664AD - 684 AD) as ruler of the Sufyanid line of the Umayyad Caliphate.
683 AD: Birth of Yi Xing (Chinese: 一行; pinyin: Yī Xíng; Wade–Giles: I-Hsing)(Life: 683 AD - 727 AD), in life Buddhist Monk, Chinese astronomer, mathematician and mechanical engineer.His best known achievement will be the construction of his astronomical celestial globe which featured a clockwork escapement mechanism, the first such mechanism in a long tradition of Chinese astronomical clockworks.
683 AD: Birth of Bilge Khan (Old Turkic: 𐰋𐰃𐰠𐰏𐰀 𐰴𐰍𐰣, Bilge qaγan)(Life: 683 (or 684) AD - 25 November 734), in life ruler (khagan) of the Turkic Khaganate. His accomplishments were described in the Orkhon inscriptions.
684 AD: Caliph Muawiya II dies at Damascus, after a brief reign that ends Sufyanid rule. A new Caliph is proclaimed in Syria amidst tribal wars, but Marwan I (Marwān ibn Al-Hakam ibn Abi al-'As ibn Umayya ibn Abd Shams)(Arabic: مروان بن الحكم بن أبي العاص بن أمية) will reign until next year as the fourth Caliph of the Umayyad Dynasty.
January 3, 684 AD: Zhong Zong (中宗)(Life: 26 November 656 AD - 3 July 710 AD) succeeds his father Gao Zong, and becomes Emperor of the Tang Dynasty. His mother Wu Zetian remains the power behind the throne in China as Empress Dowager and Regent.
January 27, 684 AD: Wu Zetian replaces Zhong Zong in favor of his younger brother Rui Zong (睿宗)(Life: 22 June 662 AD - 13 July 716 AD). He becomes a puppet ruler, and Zhong Zong, who has been too independent, is placed under house arrest.
August 18, 684 AD: Second Islamic Civil War - Battle of Marj Rahit (Arabic: معركة/يوم مرج راهط, Yawm Marj Rāhiṭ): Muslim partisans under leadership of proclaimed Caliph Marwan I defeat the supporters of Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr near Damascus, and cement Umayyad control of Syria.
684 AD: Death of Li Xian (Chinese: 李賢; pinyin: Lǐ Xián; Wade–Giles: Li Hsien) (653–684), courtesy name Mingyun (Chinese: 明允; pinyin: Míngyǔn), formally Crown Prince Zhanghuai (Chinese: 章懷太子; pinyin: Zhānghuái Tàizǐ), named Li De (Chinese: 李德; pinyin: Lǐ Dé) from 672 to 674, was a crown prince of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. He was the sixth son of Emperor Gaozong, and the second son of his second wife Empress Wu (later known as Wu Zetian). He was known for writing commentaries for the Book of Later Han (History of the Later Han and by its Chinese name Hou Hanshu, 後漢書), the official history of the Eastern Han Dynasty. He became crown prince in 675 after his older brother Li Hong's death (which traditional historians believed to be a poisoning by Empress Wu), but soon fell out of favor with Empress Wu herself. In 680, Empress Wu had her associates accuse Li Xian of treason, and he was demoted to commoner rank and exiled. In 684, after Emperor Gaozong's death, Empress Wu, then empress dowager, had her associate Qiu Shenji (丘神勣) visit Li Xian to force him to commit suicide.
January, 685 AD: Battle of 'Ayn al-Warda (Arabic: معركة عين الوردة): An Umayyad army (20,000 men) under Husayn ibn Numayr defeats the pro-Alid Kufans at Ras al-'Ayn (Syria).
May 7, 685 AD: Caliph Marwan I dies at Damascus, and is succeeded by his son Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (Arabic: عبد الملك ابن مروان ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwān)(Life: 646AD - 8 October 705 AD).
May 8, 685 AD: Pope Benedict II dies at Rome after a reign of less than 11 months. He is succeeded by John V as the 82nd pope.
685 AD: Empress Dowager Wu Zetian exiles her son Zhong Zong, former Emperor of the Tang Dynasty, and his family to the island of Fang Zhou.
685 AD: Death of Anania Shirakatsi (Anania Širakac'i, Armenian: Անանիա Շիրակացի)(Life: 610 AD - 685 AD), Armenian philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, geographer and alchemist. His most famous works are "Ashkharatsuyts" ((Աշխարհացոյց (traditional); Աշխարհացույց (reformed); often translated as Geography), which is about the geography of Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, and other locations and "Cosmography and the Calendar". Prominent historians describe him as "Armenia's First Scientist"
September, 685 AD: Byzantine Emperor Constantine IV dies of dysentery at Constantinople after a 17-year reign, and is succeeded by his 16-year-old son Justinian II (Greek: Ἰουστινιανός Β΄, Ioustinianos II; Latin: Flavius Iustinianus Augustus)(Life: 668 AD -11 December 711 AD)(also surnamed the Rhinotmetos or Rhinotmetus (ὁ Ῥινότμητος, "the slit-nosed")). Justinian II will be the last Byzantine Emperor of the Heraclian Dynasty, reigning from 685 to 695 and again from 705 to 711.
August 2, 686 AD: Pope John V dies at Rome after a 12-month reign, in which he has made handsome donations to the poor. He is succeeded by Conon I as the 83rd pope of the Catholic Church.
August 6, 686 AD: Battle of Khazir (Battle of Khazir River east of Mosul) in Mosul (current day Iraq): In the second islamic civil war Alid forces of Mukhtar al-Thaqafi defeat those of the Umayyad Caliphate.
August 6, 686 AD: Battle of Khazir (Battle of Khazir River east of Mosul) in Mosul: In the second islamic civil war Alid (The Alids are the dynasties descended from Ali ibn Abi Talib, son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad (see Family tree of Muhammad and Family tree of Husayn ibn Ali). Shia Muslims consider him the First Imam appointed by Muhammad and the first rightful caliph) forces of Mukhtar al-Thaqafi defeat those of the Umayyad Caliphate.
August, 686 AD: Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad (Arabic: عبيد الله بن زياد), former governor of Mesopotamia, tries to regain control of his province, as the various Muslim tribes in the region Kufa (Iraq) are engaged in an Islamic civil war. He is defeated and killed in battle at Khazir.
Around 686 AD: Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan imprisons and tortures Patriarch of the Church of the East (Byzantine, Christian Orthodox) Mar Khnanishu I. He is the first caliph to insist on the collection of the poll tax from the Christians.
687 AD: Emperor Justinian II negotiates a peace treaty with the Umayyad Caliphate (resulting in caliph Abd al-Malik paying tribute). He removes 12,000 Christian Maronites, who continually resist the Arabs, from Lebanon. Justinian reinforces the Byzantine navy on Cyprus, and transfers cavalry troops from Anatolia to the Thracesian Theme (Balkan Peninsula).
Around 687 AD: Construction of the Dome of the Rock (Arabic: قب ة الصخرة Qubbat al-Sakhrah, Hebrew: כיפת הסלע Kippat ha-Sela) the Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, is started at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik (Arabic: عبد الملك ابن مروان). The Dome and Monumental building were constructed on the site which according to Jewish tradition bears great significance as the Foundation Stone, the place from which the world expanded into its present form and the place where God gathered the dust (adamah (earth)) used to create the first human, Adam (See Book of Genesis and in the Quran, although according to the Quran the dust or earth used to create humanity was gathered from across the world giving rise to the differences of appearances of humanity across it). In Jewish tradition the foundation stone is also believed to have been the stone upon which Adam made his first sacrifice to God. In the book of Genesis (Judaism and Christianity), it is further held that after him the first sons of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel (Qayin (קין) and Hevel (הבל)), also attributed their sacrifices to God in this location. Some also believe that Noah, having survived the flood, also made his tribute to God on the location of the Foundation Stone. In addition, according to the Jewish Faith and Christian beliefs, the rock is also the exact site on Mount Moriah where Abraham attempted to sacrifice his son. Thus, among Jews and Christians the rock is identified as the place where God's divine presence is manifested more than in any other place and is hence the location towards which Jews turn during prayer. The Dome of the Rock is situated in the center of the (so called) Temple Mount, the site of the Temple of Solomon and the Jewish Second Temple, which had been greatly expanded under King Herod the Great in the 1st century BC. Herod's Temple was destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans, and after the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 AD, a Roman temple to Jupiter Capitolinus was built at the site. Later, the site has been claimed by Islamic believers as the location from which the Islamic Prophet Muhhamad ascended to Heaven accompanied by the Angel Gabriel in order to receive his instructions from God directly (Although other Islamic scholars believe that the Prophet ascended to Heaven from the Al-Aqsa Mosque or also (Shia) an altogether different Mosque in another city as there were no Mosques in Jerusalem during the life of Muhammad). In this line of Islamic belief it is also held Muhammad was taken to the location of the rock (foundation stone) by Gabriel in order to pray with Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Although destroyed and rebuilt several times, the Dome of the Rock is in its core one of the oldest extant works of Islamic architecture.
Today one can only speculate about the true reasons for the Islamic Caliph to order the construction of his domed Mosque in this location. Although the religious context seems to be clear as the rock is directly related to the arch father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam Abraham, and also to the life of Muhammad as told by the Quran and other Islamic scriptures, the possible political context for the claiming of this site is usually less clearly discussed. Clearly, in the life and career of Muhammad as prophet of Islam there are identifiable antagonisms with the Jewish Faith. In addition, in the historic period prior to the construction of the Dome of the Rock there were antagonisms with the Christian Faith as well. In addition there is the issue of Muhammad having claimed to have been the last of all Prophets sent by God, naming Jesus as an earlier Prophet, and the coinciding claim of Muhammad that his proclamations and the faith based on it represent the final message from God, and represent islam as the final and ultimate belief.
Although little evidence of political thoughts of the time is available, one might take into account the words of the Muslim scholar al-Wasiti who reports the event of the construction as order by Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan as follows: "When Abd al-Malik intended to construct the Dome of the Rock, he came from Damascus to Jerusalem. He wrote, "Abd al-Malik intends to build a dome (qubba) over the Rock to house the Muslims from cold and heat, and to construct the mosque (masjid). But before he starts he wants to know his subjects' opinion." With their approval, the deputies wrote back, "May Allah permit the completion of this enterprise, and may He count the building of the dome and the masjid a good deed for Abd al-Malik and his predecessors." He then gathered craftsmen from all his dominions and asked them to provide him with the description and form of the planned dome before he engaged in its construction. So, it was marked for him in the sahn of the masjid. He then ordered the building of the treasury (bayt al-mal) to the east of the Rock, which is on the edge of the Rock, and filled it with money. He then appointed Raja' ibn Hayweh and Yazid ibn Salam to supervise the construction and ordered them to spend generously on its construction. He then returned to Damascus. When the two men satisfactorily completed the house, they wrote to Abd al-Malik to inform him that they had completed the construction of the dome and al-Masjid al-Aqsa. They said to him "There is nothing in the building that leaves room for criticism." They wrote him that a hundred thousand dinars was left from the budget he allocated. He offered the money to them as a reward, but they declined, indicating that they had already been generously compensated. Abd al-Malik ordered the gold coins to be melted and cast on the Dome's exterior, which at the time had such a strong glitter that no eye could look straight at it."
Although this is the clearest record of the process of construction of the dome, not much can be deduced from this. Clearly it was a process of importance and prestige, for which considerable financial means were mobilised. The construction of the dome was to reflect upon the Caliph Abd al-Malik as an honourable deed towards God, but it is written that it should also bring donor to his predecessors, meaning bring donor to the Islamic Caliphate.
Possibly more enlightening is the text of the "Book of the Geography", written by Al-Muqaddasi (Life: ca. 945/946 AD - 991 AD) roughly 3 centuries after the construction of the Dome of the Rock, in which he reported that seven times the revenue of Egypt was used to build the Dome. During a discussion with his uncle on why the Caliph spent lavishly on building the mosques in Jerusalem and Damascus, al-Maqdisi writes: "O, my little son, thou hast no understanding. Verily he was right, and he was prompted to a worthy work. For he beheld Syria to be a country that had long been occupied by the Christians, and he noted there are beautiful churches still belonging to them, so enchantingly fair, and so renowned for their splendour, as are the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the churches of Lydda and Edessa. So he sought to build for the Muslims a mosque that should be unique and a wonder to the world. And in like manner is it not evident that Caliph Abd al-Malik, seeing the greatness of the martyrium of the Holy Sepulchre and its magnificence was moved lest it should dazzle the minds of Muslims and hence erected above the Rock the dome which is now seen there."
September 21, 687 AD: Pope Conon I dies at Rome after a 1-year reign, and is succeeded by Sergius I (Life: ca. 650 AD - 8 September 701 AD) as the 84th pope of the Catholic Church.
688 AD: Byzantine-Bulgarian War: Emperor Justinian II carries out a Balkan campaign and marches through Thrace, where he restores Byzantine rule. He establishes a theme administration, and migrates many Bulgars and Slavs to the Opsician Theme (Asia Minor).
From this text we can deduce that the dome of the rock was intended to compete in greatness with the already existent Christian monuments of the locale (region), specifically the Church of the martyrdom of Jesus Christ (Church of the Holy Sepulchre). This is clearly a political motive. Not only would it enhance the pride of Muslims, it would also reduce the pride of Christians, and although not mentioned, other faiths as well. The appearance of the Dome of the Rock, in a religious sense, also serves to diminish the significance of Jesus as Prophet offering competing narrative that only places him as one in a line of multiple prophets leading up to the life and message of Muhammad. Taking into account the fact that the Islamic faith was the last faith to arrive, and also that Muhammad clearly stated that he was the final messenger of God, coming in a longer line of prophets, we can also translate the building of the dome of the rock as enhancing these claims. By means of building the dome of the rock, the earlier claims to the site would be made to align with the story
YouTube Video: Religious and World significance of the Dome of the Rock (Arabic: قب ة الصخرة Qubbat al-Sakhrah, Hebrew: כיפת הסלע Kippat ha-Sela).
as told by Islam and the claims of Muhammad as their Prophet. Furthermore, it also establishes in physical form the overriding authority of Islam over other faiths and prior religious claims, thus reinforcing the message of Muhammad as final messenger of God. In addition one might note that the location of the dome of the rock on the larger site known as the "Temple Mount" was historically the location of the "first Jewish Temple". According to the Christian Faith, this temple will one day be rebuilt, which in turn will announce or allow for the return of Jesus to earth, after which among things he will reign on earth in the name of his father doing away with all suffering and evil men. Clearly, as long as the dome of the rock is in place upon the "Temple Mount", the Jewish Temple cannot be rebuilt and therefor Jesus could not return to earth to rule, as is prophecied he will. Thus, ever since its construction, the dome of the rock has been the instrument of considerable friction between Islamic believers on the one hand, and Christian and Jewish believers on the other hand.
688 AD: Justinian II reestablishes Byzantine settlement on Cyprus, signing a treaty (and paying an annual tribute) with Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik, for joint occupation of the island.
688 AD: Death of Abu al-Aswad al-Du'ali (Arabic: أبو الأسود الدؤلي)(Full name: Abū al-Aswad Ẓālim ibn ʿAmr ibn Sufyān ibn Jandal ibn Yamar ibn Hīls ibn Nufātha ibn Adi ibn al-Dīl ibn Bakr)(Life: 603 AD - 688 or 689 AD). He is credited with the creation of a modern day Arabic script which allowed the new flock of Islamic subjects across the Nations to read Arabic script (and therefor the Quran holy book) without misinterpretations of tones and meanings. (Although later a less complicated system of achieving this was created by his followers, traditionally Abu al-Aswad al-Du'ali is credited with this achievement.)
689 AD: Byzantine-Bulgarian War: Emperor Justinian II defeats the Bulgars of Macedonia and recaptures Thessalonica, the second most important Byzantine city in Europe. He resettles the subdued Slavs in Anatolia (modern Turkey), where they are required to provide 30,000 men to the Byzantine army.
October 16, 690 AD: Empress-Dowager Wu Zetian ascends to the throne of the Tang Dynasty becoming Empress Regnant, and proclaims herself ruler of the Chinese Empire as "Holy and Divine Emperor". She becomes the first and only female "Emperor" in 5,000 years of Chinese history. In her newfound authority Empress Wu Zetian changes the dynasty's name to the Zhou Dynasty, and begins to murder throne pretendants and ministers who try to oppose her. During her reign she elevates the status of Buddhism above Taoism.
691 AD: Battle of Maskin (Arabic: معركة مسكن), also known as Battle of Dayr al-Jathaliq (Arabic: معركة دير الجثاليق): In the second Islamic Civil War, an Umayyad army under caliph Abd al-Malik defeats the rebel forces in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). He reconquers the Arabian Peninsula, taking the holy city of Medina. The outcome of the Battle places the the Meccan anti-Caliph Abdallah ibn al-Zubayr (Arabic: عبد الله بن الزبير ‘Abdallāh ibn az-Zubayr)(Life: 624 AD - 692 AD) in a much weakened position.
691 AD: The "Dome of the Rock" is completed in Jerusalem (under the patronage of Abd al-Malik), becoming the first work of Islamic architecture.
692 AD: Battle of Sebastopolis: The Byzantine army under Leontios is defeated at Sebastopolis, (modern Turkey) by Arab forces led by Muhammad ibn Marwan. During the battle, a "special military corps" (some 20,000 Slavs) under Neboulos deserts the Byzantine lines, and goes over to the Muslim Arabs.
Around 692 AD: Arab-Byzantine War: Muslims conquer Armenia, Iberia and Colchis, the last remaining Byzantine holdings east of the Taurus Mountains (current day Turkey). Emperor Justinian II is forced to agree to joint Byzantine-Arab control of Cyprus, in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
692 AD: The Quinisext Council is held in Constantinople; it lays the foundation for the Orthodox canon law. Justinian II suppresses non-Orthodox religious practices, and orders the arrest of Pope Sergius I; the militias of Rome and the Exarchate of Ravenna refuse, and take the pope's side.
693 AD: Callinicus I becomes the 71st patriarch of Constantinople, after the death of Paul II.
Around 694 AD: The Mardaites raid Muslim-held territories, from their chief stronghold Hagioupolis, in northern Syria.
694 AD: In Central Asia, Qapaghan Khan (Reign: 694 AD - 716 AD) succeeds his brother Illterish Khan, as ruler of the Eastern Turkic Khaganate (also Göktürks, Celestial Turks, Blue Turks or Kok Turks (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).
December 25, 694 AD: Death of Huaiyi (懷義), also known by his birth name as Feng Xiaobao (馮小寶), sometimes referred to as Xue Huaiyi (薛懷義), a Buddhist monk who was known for being the lover of Wu Zetian, the only woman to be commonly recognized as "Emperor" in the history of China. He was battered to death by a group of soldiers inside the Palace grounds on orders of the Empress Wu Zetian after having a prolonged falling out with the Empress and subsequently becoming a possible threat to her.
695 AD: The population of Byzantium revolts under the recently released Leontios (Greek: Λεόντιος, Latin: Leontius Augustus), who had previously been the strategos (military governor) of the Anatolic Theme and after his release was made Strategos of the Hellas Theme in southern Greece. Instead of leading the Byzantine Quest to liberate Carthago from the Umayyad Arabs, he rebelled against the throne. Due to the impopularity of Justinian II as Emperor, the rebellion is a success. With support of Patriarch Kallinikos (Term: 693 to 705 AD) and much of the patriarchy and peasantry, the Rebels have Leontios proclaimed Emperor. Justinian II is deposed and his nose is cut off (leading to his subsequent nickname of "the Slit-nosed"). He is exiled to Cherson (Crimea), and begins to plot an attempt to retake the throne.
695 AD: Birth of Emperor Shang of Tang, personal name Li Chongmao, who was the youngest son of Emperor Zhongzong.
695 AD: Birth of Theophilus of Edessa (Life: 695 AD - 785 AD), also known as Theophilus ibn Tuma and Thawafil. In life Theophilus of Edessa Theophilus was a Maronite Christian and the court astrologer of the Abbasid Muslim Caliph Al-Mahdi (Full Title: Abu Abdallah Muhammad ibn Abdallah al-Mansur ; (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد بن عبد الله المنصور)(Life: 744 or 745 AD - 785 AD); and author of a book on the history of the world, nwhich has since been lost. In addition he translated numerous books from Greek to Syriac.
697 AD: Paolo Lucio Anafesto (Latin: Paulucius Anafestus)(Term: 697 AD- 717 AD) is elected the first Doge of Venice, which begins its rise as a major power in the Mediterranean Sea. Built up from fishing villages settled by fugitives from the Huns (see 452 AD), the city of Veniceoccupies some 60 marshy islands (Venetian Lagoon).
Around 697 AD: Syrian forces under Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf (Full Name: Abū Muhammad al-Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf ibn al-Ḥakam ibn ʿAqīl al-Thaqafī)(Arabic: أبو محمد الحجاج بن يوسف بن الحكم بن عقيل الثقفي)(Life: 681 AD - 714 AD), governor of Iraq, defeat the Persian Kharijites, who have captured the city of Mosul and occupy large parts of Mesopotamia.
698 AD: In Central Asia Qapaghan Qaghan (Old Turkic: 𐰴𐰯𐰍𐰣𐰴𐰍𐰣, Qapağan qağan, simplified Chinese: 迁善; traditional Chinese: 遷善; pinyin: Qiānshàn, Xiao'erjing: ٿِيًا شًا, Dungan: Чяншан, Chinese: 阿史那•默啜; pinyin: Āshǐnà Mòchuò)(Reign: 692 AD - 716 AD) of the Second Turkic Khaganate conquers parts of Transoxiana.
689 AD: Qapaghan Qaghan (Old Turkic: 𐰴𐰯𐰍𐰣𐰴𐰍𐰣, Qapağan qağan, simplified Chinese: 迁善; traditional Chinese: 遷善; pinyin: Qiānshàn, Xiao'erjing: ٿِيًا شًا, Dungan: Чяншан, Chinese: 阿史那•默啜; pinyin: Āshǐnà Mòchuò)(Reign: 692 AD - 716 AD) of the Second Turkic Khaganate. led a raid to frontier areas of the Tang Empire. As reaction, Empress Wu sent the Buddhist Monk turned powerful courtier as her main lover, Huaiyi to fortify and defend the border. He advanced to Zi River (紫河, a tributary of the Yellow River) but did not encounter any of the Turkic Khaganate (Tujue) forces. Huaiyi then erected a monument at Chanyu Tower (單于臺, in modern Hohhot, Inner Mongolia) before withdrawing the Tang Forces under his command.
Spring-Summer, 698 AD: Arab forces under Hasan ibn al-Nu'man capture Carthage, ending Byzantine rule in North Africa. The defeated Byzantine fleet revolts ,murders their Admiral and proclaims one of their naval officers, one Apsimar (Αψίμαρος, Apsímaros) the new Emperor with the Title Tiberios III (Greek: Τιβέριος Γʹ, Tiberios III; Latin: Tiberius Augustus)(Reign: 698 AD - 705 AD). Tiberios III and his naval forces then go on to depose Byzantine Emperor Leontios after a brief siege of Constantinople, Byzantine Emperor. The new Emperor appoints his brother Heraclius as patrikios and commander-in-chief (monostrategos) of the Anatolian themes.
Autumn-Winter, 698 AD: The Byzantine general Heraclius (Greek: Ἡράκλειος, Herakleios), brother of Tiberios III, crosses the mountain passes of the Taurus Mountains into Cilicia with an army. He launches a campaign in Syria, defeats an Arab force from Antioch (on the Orontes)(Ancient Greek: Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου, translit. Antiókheia hē epì Oróntou; also Syrian Antioch)(Today near Antakya in Turkey), and raids as far as Samosata (Armenian: Շամուշատ, Shamushat, Ancient Greek: Σαμόσατα Samósata, Syriac: ܫܡܝܫܛ šmīšaṭ)(an ancient city on the west bank of the Euphrates River in current day Adıyaman Province, Turkey).
July 22, 698 AD: Death of Wu Chengsi (Chinese: 武承嗣; Pinyin: Wǔ Chéngsì), nephew of Chinese sovereign Wu Zetian with the formal title of Prince Xuan of Wei (魏宣王). He participated in her planning in taking the throne and otherwise supported her rise to power. He had wanted to become crown prince after she claimed the throne in 690, but his attempts were repeatedly rebuffed, and after she showed her intent to eventually return the throne to her son Li Zhe by recalling Li Zhe from exile in 698, Wu Chengsi died in disappointment.
688 AD: Wu Chengsi (Chinese: 武承嗣; Pinyin: Wǔ Chéngsì), a helpful nephew of Chinese sovereign Wu Zetian had the words, "The holy mother is on earth, and the imperial sovereignty will forever be magnified" (聖母臨人永昌帝業) carved onto a rock and then had the rock thrown into the Luo River (洛水), near Luoyang. He then bribed the commoner Tang Tongtai (唐同泰) to "discover" the rock and offer it to Empress Dowager Wu as a sign of divine favor. Empress Dowager Wu was very pleased and claimed herself the honorific title, "Holy Mother, the Divine and August One" (聖母神皇) and set a date to offer sacrifices to the god of Luo River, ordering the commandants, prefects, and nobles to be gathered at Luoyang for the sacrifices. In the aftermath of the event, members of the Imperial Li clan , fearing for their lives and positions, rise in rebellion against Empress Wu Zetian and her power clique. The rebellion is quickly defeated and is followed by massive purge of high courtiers. Rebel leader Li Chong was killed in battle, while his counterpart Li Zhen, brother of late Emperor Gaozong, committed suicide. Empress Wu took this opportunity to have her trusted secret police official Zhou Xing arrest Li Yuanjia, Li Lingkui, Li Yuanjia's son Li Zhuan (李譔) the Duke of Huang, Emperor Gaozong's aunt Princess Changle, and Princess Changle's husband Zhao Gui (趙瓌) and force them to commit suicide. Subsequently, another uncle of Emperor Gaozong, Li Yuangui (李元軌) the Prince of Huo, was exiled, and died on the way to exile; his son Li Xu (李緒) the Prince of Jiangdu and a cousin of Emperor Gaozong's, Li Rong (李融) the Duke off Dongwan, were executed.
699 AD: Umayyad troops invade Armenia, and secure the submission of Prince Smbat VI Bagratuni (Life: ca. 670 –AD - 726 AD). The South Caucasus becomes a viceroyalty called al-Arminiya',' and is divided into four regions: Caucasian Albania, Caucasian Iberia, the area around the Aras River, and Taron (modern Turkey).
Around 700 AD: Avar and Slavic tribes conquer Byzantine territories in the Balkans, occupying lands as far south as the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece.
700 AD: Mohammad ibn al-Ash'ath (Arabic: عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن الأشعث) revolts against Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan in the Sistan and Balochistan regions (Iran). The rebellion lasts for 3 years but is ultimately defeated.
700 AD: In retaliation for the attacks by Byzantine General and brother of the Byzantine Emperor Tiberios III, Heraclius, the Umayyad prince Abdallah ibn Abd al-Malik (in Greek sources Ἀβδελᾶς, Abdelas), son of Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, leads his first military expedition and captures the Byzantine stronghold of Theodosiopolis in Armenia (current day Erzurum (Armenian: Կարին, Karin), Erzurum Province, in Eastern Anatolia Region, Turkey).
Around 700 AD: Musa ibn Nusayr defeats the Berber forces in Algeria, ending resistance against the Arabs in those regions.
August 15, 700 AD: Death of Di Renjie (Traditional Chinese: 狄仁傑 ; simplified Chinese: 狄仁杰)(Life: 630 AD - August 15, 700 AD), courtesy name Huaiying (懷英), formally Duke Wenhui of Liang (梁文惠公). Di Renjie was the most highly respected chancellors of Empress Wu Zetian of the Zhou Dynasty and had previously been chancellor under her husband Emperor Tang Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty.
Most notably, in 688, in the aftermath of a failed rebellion by Emperor Gaozong's brother Li Zhen (the Prince of Yue), who had up to then been the prefect of Yu Prefecture (豫州, roughly modern Zhumadian, Henan Province), against Empress Dowager Wu, she made Di Renjie, who was at that time Wenchang Zuo Cheng (文昌左丞), a secretary general at the executive bureau (which by that point had been renamed Wenchang Tai (文昌臺)), the prefect of Yu Prefecture to succeed Li Zhen. As the prefect of Yu, Di showed himself righteous and honourable in his decision even though many of them opposed the purging of the Prefecture of suspected rebels and therefor might have offended the Empress Wu Zetian. Empress Dowager Wu demoted Di to be the prefect of Fu Prefecture (復州, in modern Hanzhong, Shaanxi). (This was considered a demotion as, while Di remained a prefect, Fu Prefecture was smaller and less important than Yu Prefecture.) but did not relive him of his functions.
In 700 AD, Wu Zetian made Di Neishi (內史), the head of the legislative bureau (鳳閣, Fengge) and a post also considered one for a chancellor. By this point, she was said to have respected him so greatly that she often just referred to him as Guolao (國老, "the State Elder") without referring to him by name. It was said that, on account of his old age, he often offered to retire, and she repeatedly declined. Further, she stopped him from kneeling and bowing to her, stating, "When I see you kneeling, I feel the pain." She also ordered that he not be required to rotate with other chancellors for night duty, warning the other chancellors not to bother Di unless there was something important. Di died in fall 700, and it was said that she wept bitterly, stating, "The Southern Palace [(i.e., the imperial administration)] is now empty."Prior to his death, Di had recommended many capable officials, including Zhang Jianzhi, Yao Yuanchong, Huan Yanfan, and Jing Hui. Since these officials were later instrumental in overthrowing Wu Zetian in 705 and returning Li Xian to the throne (as Emperor Zhongzong), Di was
The 35 meter (115 ft) tall Qiyun Pagoda originally built in 1175 AD (fifteenth year of the Dading reign of the Jurchen Jin Dynasty), which stands to the east of the main complex of the Temple of the White Horse (Bai Ma Si), regarded as the oldest Buddhist Temple in China (PRC). The Qiyun Pagoda was supposedly built on the prior location of the Sakya Tathagata sarira stupa, which was lost in a huge fire which consumed the White Horse Temple some 5 centuries earlier.
often credited as having restored Tang by proxy. Di Renjie's tomb is located at the east end of the White Horse Temple (Bai Ma Si, simplified Chinese: 白马寺; traditional Chinese: 白馬寺 ) in Luoyang, near the Qiyun Pagoda, on the tombstone engraved the inscription "The tomb of Lord Di Renjie, famous chancellor of the Great Tang dynasty".
701 AD: Khan Asparukh, founder of the First Bulgarian Empire, dies after a 20-year reign. He is succeeded by his son Tervel (Bulgarian: Тервел)(also called Tarvel, or Terval, or Terbelis in some Byzantine sources)(Reign: 700 AD - 721 AD), who becomes ruler (Khan) of the Bulgarians.
Late T’ang Dynasty and aftermath:
8th century AD: Islamic conversions begin to spread in Central Asia.
April, 701 AD: Battle of Dayr al-Jamajim ("Battle of the monastery of Skulls" after a nearby Nestorian monastery): Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan sends Syrian troops to reinforce the Muslim army of the ruthless Umayyad viceroy of the east, Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf (Full name: Abū Muhammad al-Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf ibn al-Ḥakam ibn ʿAqīl al-Thaqafī (Arabic: أبو محمد الحجاج بن يوسف بن الحكم بن عقيل الثقفي)(Life: 661 AD - 714 AD), which has been sent to deal with a rebellion in Mesopotamia (Iraq). Ultimately, in April he faces a 200,000-man army under Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn al-Ash'ath (Arabic: عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن الأشعث) near Kufa (modern Iraq). The rebel army lead by Al-Ash'ath is defeated, and his rebellion against the Umayyad Caliphate fails.
701 AD: Arab conquest of Armenia: Umayyad prince Muhammad ibn Marwan, son of the Caliph, invades the Byzantine Armenian provinces east of the Euphrates; local commander Baanes surrenders before a large Arab army, and the population accepts a Muslim governor.
Around 701 AD: Muslims from the Arabian Peninsula destroy the then-Axum-controlled port of Adulis (or Aduli (Αδουλίς in Ancient Greek))(today an archeological site on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea), thus causing the decline of Ethiopian Christianity on the African Red Sea coast.
Around 701 AD: Arab merchants introduce Oriental spices into Mediterranean markets. Muslim merchant vessels visit the Maluku Islands (South East Asia) for the first time.
September 8, 701 AD: Pope Sergius I dies a natural death at Rome after a 14-year reign. He is succeeded by John VI as the 85th pope of the Catholic Church. His papacy was dominated by his response to the Quinisext Council (of 692 AD), whose canons he refused to accept. Thereupon the Byzantine Emperor Justinian II ordered Sergius' abduction (as his predecessor Constans II had done with Pope Martin I), but the Roman people and the Italian militia of the Exarch of Ravenna refused to allow the exarch to remove Sergius to Constantinople
October 8, 701 AD: Death of Li Chongrun (Chinese: 李重潤; pinyin: Lǐ Chóngrùn)(Life: 682 AD - October 8, 701 AD), birth name Li Chongzhao (Chinese: 李重照; pinyin: Lǐ Chóngzhào), formally Crown Prince Yide (Chinese: 懿德太子; pinyin: Yìdé Tàizǐ ). He was the only son of Emperor Zhongzong (Li Zhe/Li Xian) and Emperor Zhongzong's second wife Empress Wei. In 701, he offended his grandmother and Empress regnant Wu Zetian by discussing Wu Zetian's lovers Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong with his sister Li Xianhui the Lady Yongtai and her husband Wu Yanji (武延基) the Prince of Wei, and he, along with Li Xianhui and Wu Yanji, were forced to commit suicide (Thereby avoiding the shame of public punishment and execution). He was posthumously honored as crown prince after his father Emperor Zhongzong was restored to the throne in 705 and the following year, in 706, Emperor Zhongzong provided Li Chongrun with an honorable burial by interring his remains at the Qianling Mausoleum.
October 9, 701 AD: Death of Princess Yongtai (Chinese: 永泰公主; Wade–Giles: Yung-t'ai), birth name Li Xianhui (Chinese: 李仙蕙; pinyin: Lǐ Xiānhuì)(Life: 685 AD - October 9, 701 AD). Li was the seventh daughter of Emperor Zhongzong of Tang and the second daughter of Empress Wei. She married Wu Yanji (武延基), a grandnephew of Wu Zetian. The cause of Li's death is widely disputed. One report states that Wu Zetian, who had deposed Zhongzong after a brief reign, heard of remarks that Li supposedly made in discussion with Prince Li Chongrun (who died the previous day, having been forced to commit suicide) and had her flogged to death, or alternatively she was made to hang herself. Her husband and elder brother were also executed. In contrast, the epitaph from her tomb states that she died in childbirth. After Wu Zetian's death, when her father again came to the throne, she and her brother were reburied in grand tombs in the Qianling Mausoleum in 705 AD.
701 AD: Birth of Li Bai (李白)(Life: 701 AD - 762 AD), also known as Li Bo, Li Po and Li Taibai. In life and after death, up to the present day, he was a celebrated and acclaimed poet, hailed as one of the two most influential poets of the Tang Dynasty Era (together with his friend Du Fu). In addition he was a skilled Caligrapher. Even in the present ay Li Bai is commended for his virtuosity in themes, wording , form and content. His name and works remain internationally famous and loved.
Around 702 AD: Birth of Jaʿfar ibn Muḥammad aṡ-Ṣādiq̈ (Arabic: جعفر بن محمد الصادق; 700 or 702–765 C.E.), commonly known as Jaʿfar al-Sadiq or simply al-Sadiq (The Truthful), was the sixth Shia Imam and a major figure in the Hanafi and Maliki schools of Sunni jurisprudence.
702 AD: Arab conquest of Armenia: Large-scale Armenian rebellion against Muslim rule breaks out, with Byzantine support.
702 AD: Ethiopian (Axumite) raiders occupy the port of Jeddah (modern Saudi Arabia).
Around 702 AD: Muslim-Arabs under Musa ibn Nusayr conquer Tangier and Sous, taking control of all Morocco.
703 AD: Arab-Byzantine War: The Umayyad army under Abdallah ibn Abd al-Malik captures Mopsuestia (Greek: Μοψουεστία Mopsou(h)estia; Byzantine: Mamista, Manistra; Arabic: al-Maṣṣīṣah; Armenian: Msis, Mises, Mam(u)estia; Frankish: Mamistra) on the Pyramus River (now Ceyhan River) in Cilicia from the Byzantines, and refortifies it, making it the first major Muslim stronghold in the area that will later become the Thughur ((Al-ʿAwāṣim (Arabic: اَلْـعَـوَاصِـم, The "defences, fortifications"; singular: al-ʿāṣimah (Arabic: اَلْـعَـاصِـمَـة, "protectress")) which was the Muslim side of the frontier zone between the Byzantine Empire and the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates in Cilicia, northern Syria and Upper Mesopotamia).
Around 703 AD: Musa ibn Nusayr, governor of Ifriqiya (western Libya), builds a Muslim fleet to harass the Byzantine navy and conquer the islands of Ibiza, Majorca, and Menorca.
Around 703 AD: Birth of An Lushan, Chinese Tang Dynasty General of Sogdian and Göktürk origin, later rebel leader and instigator of the An Lushan Rebellion, a long civil war (16 December 755 AD - 17 February 763 AD ; 7 years, 2 months and 1 day).
703 AD: Birth of Shi Siming (史思明) (703 AD - 18 April 761 AD), or Shi Sugan (史窣干)(Uyghur سۆيگۈن، سۆيگۈن سانغۇن), was a general of the Chinese Tang Dynasty who followed his childhood friend An Lushan in rebelling against Tang, and who later succeeded An Lushan's son An Qingxu as Emperor of the Yan state that An Lushan established.
704 AD: After spending nearly a decade with the Khazars (a Turkic tribe which controls a Steppe empire), having been deposed and exiled for 9 years the deposed Byzantine Emperor Justinian II flees from his exile in the Greek Colony of Cherson (Χερσών; Old East Slavic: Корсунь, Korsun)(Today, near Sevastopol, Crimea) on the Black Sea. Initially Justinian is helped by the Khazar Khagan Busir (or Bazir (Greek: Ibousiros Gliabanos, Busir Glavan))(Life: 688 AD - 711 AD), ruler (khagan) of the Khazars, who marries him to his sister Theodora. In Autumn of 704, however, instigated by Tiberios III, the same Khazar hatches a murder plot against Justinian II forcing the latter to leave his new place of exile at Phanagoria. Having dealt with the assassins sent to kill him (the Khazar officials, Papatzys and Balgitzin), Justinian II fled Phanagoria (Ancient Greek: Φαναγόρεια, translit. Phanagóreia) by ship. He then seeks aid from Khan Terval of Bulgaria, with whose help he retook Constantinople.
704 AD: Arab-Byzantine War: A Byzantine expeditionary force under Heraclius (brother of Tiberios III) defeats and destroys an Umayyad army (10,000 men) at Sisium (formerly Sis Armenian: Սիս)(in the current day Kozan, Adana Province, Mediterranean Region, Turkey), killing most and leading the rest off in chains to Constantinople.
704 AD: Arab conquest of Armenia: The Muslim-Arabs under Abdallah ibn Abd al-Malik (in Greek sources Ἀβδελᾶς, Abdelas)(a son of caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan) invade Armenia and subdue the anti-Arab revolt along with his uncle Muhammad ibn Marwan.
704 AD: Tibetan Emperor Tridu Songtsen (Tibetan: ཁྲི་འདུས་སྲོང་བཙན་, Wylie: Khri 'dus-srong btsan)(also known as Dusong Mangban)(Life: 670 AD - 704 AD)( Reign: 676 AD - 704 AD) dies in battle in Mywa territory (Today, a Tibetan Area made part of Yunnan Province, China (P.R.C.) after aremed Chinese take over of this area in 1949 - 1951). He is succeeded by his mother Khri ma lod (previously acting as Regent, ruling unofficially 704 AD - 712 AD) who becomes de facto ruler of the Tibetan Empire. She begins a massive expansion into the Tarim Basin and Northern China.
Winter, 704 AD: Abdallah ibn Abd al-Malik is recalled from Armenia to serve as governor of Egypt. In Egypt he requires that government business be done in Arabic instead of Coptic. His tenure is marred by famine and corruption.
June 17, 676 AD: Pope Adeodatus II dies at Rome after a reign of 4 years. He is succeeded by Donus as the 78th pope.
676 AD: The Tibetans made raids on the Chinese Cities of Shanzhou (Shanzhou District, previously known as Shan County or Shanxian, is today an urban district of Sanmenxia in western Henan Province, China (P.R.C.)), Guozhou (modern day Nanchong, Sichuan Province, China (P.R.C.)), Hezhou (now Linxia), Diezhou, Migong and Danling in Gansu. The Chinese counterattacked, defeating the Tibetans at Longzhi.
704 AD: Birth of Ibn Ishaq (Full name Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār (Arabic pronunciation: [ɪsˈħɑːq]; according to some sources, ibn Khabbār, or Kūmān, or Kūtān, Arabic: محمد بن إسحاق بن يسار بن خيار, or simply ibn Isḥaq, ابن إسحاق, meaning "the son of Isaac"))(Life: 704 AD - Ca. 761–770 AD), Arab historian and hagiographer. Ibn Ishaq collected oral traditions that formed the basis of an important biography of the Islamic prophet Holy Prophet of Lord Almighty Allah Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Aalihi Wa Sallam.
694 AD: The Turkish Khagan Ton-ya-bgo (Ch. Ashina Tuizi), chief of the Western Dulu (also Tiele (Chinese: 鐵勒; pinyin: Tiělè, Turkic *Tegreg "[People of the] Carts"), also transliterated Chile (Chinese: 敕勒), Gaoche (Chinese: 高車), or Tele (Chinese: 特勒)) in Dzungaria, visited the Tibetan court in 694. Having come to an agreement, together they attacked and defeated the Chinese at Lengjuan. The following year 'Dus-rong (Tridu Songtsen) successfully attacked Lintao (In ancient times, Lintao was centered on present day Min County, which today is a county of Dingxi City Prefecture, Gansu Province, China (P.R.C.)), and Liangzhou.
Gansu Map 1 - Geographical Overview Map of Gansu Province and Neighboring Regions. Includes Main Cities, Villages of Interest, Main Monuments and Sites and Main Mountains with Heights in Meters.
Satellite Image Overview of Mongolia, Tuva Republic (o/t Russian Federation), Inner Mongolia and parts of Manchuria and Siberia.
Satellite Image overview (Map) of Mongolia and various adjoining territories and regions. Clearly visible in west Mongolia are the Uvs Lake and Khovsgol Lake. The Sangiin Dalay Lake is barely visible in the south-west corner of Khovsgol Province. Most Lakes seen on this image have since reduced further in size, among things due to climatic changes.
696 AD: The Tibetan Empire sends General Gar Trinring Tsendro (Tibetan: མགར་ཁྲིང་འབྲིང་བཙན་བྲོད, Wylie: mgar khri vbring btsan brod)(also known as Lon Trinling (Tibetan: བློན་ཁྲི་འབྲིང) and in Chinese Records as Lùn Qīnlíng (simplified Chinese: 论钦陵; traditional Chinese: 論欽陵) or Qǐzhèng (Chinese: 起政)) to the Chinese Tang Dynasty Capital of Chang'an in order to try to negotiate peace with Empress Wu Zetian on condition that Tang China remove all troops from Central Asia and divide (territories held by) the Western Turks between China and Tibet (or in other words "China wanted Tibet leave 'A-zha (Tuyuhun (Chinese: 吐谷渾[ ; Tibetan: ‘A-zha) was a powerful kingdom established by nomadic peoples related to the Xianbei in the Qilian Mountains and upper Yellow River valley) while Tibet wanted China leave the Tarim Basin"). The Tang Empress refused to negotiate.
699 AD: Over time Tibetan Emperor Tridu Songstsen (Dus-srong) realised that members of the mGar family had become independent warlords and posed a threat to the central authority of the king. So, in 699 he pretended to organise a great hunt and then had his men turn on members of the mGar Clan and their supporters. Then he personally marched north and confronted the most powerful member of the clan General Gar Trinring Tsendro, who surrendered without a fight and, according to the Old Book of Tang (Traditional Chinese舊唐書 ; simplified Chinese: 旧唐书)(complied 941 - 946 in the Song Dynasty), committed suicide. His brother fled to China.
Spring, 705 AD: An army of 15,000 Bulgar and Slav horsemen under command of deposed and exiled Byzantine (former) Emperor Justinian II appear before the walls of Constantinople. After three days, his troops discover an unused water conduit under the walls of the city, and enter through the Valens Aqueduct. Hearing that Justinian has taken control of the Blachernae Palace, Emperor Tiberios III flees to Bithynia (modern Turkey), where he evades capture for several months.
694 AD: Empress Wu Zetian orders the Tang Dynasty armed forces a strategic shift away from the fight against (Svilla, Goguryeo and Baekche (Today: Korea) to the West and North-West where the Tibetan Empire has been expanding its territory, among things taking hold of the Tarim River basin in 668 AD. In 694 ADTang Dynasty forces decisively defeated the Tibetan-Western Turk alliance and succeeded in retaking the Four Garrisons of Anxi (The Four Garrisons of Anxi
were Chinese military garrisons installed by the Tang dynasty between 648 and 658 AD. They were stationed at the Indo-European city-states of Qiuci (Kucha), Yutian (Hotan), Shule (Kashgar) and Yanqi (Karashahr). The Protectorate General to Pacify the West was headquartered in Qiuci.), lost in 668.
Winter, 704 AD: Empress Wu Zetian became seriously ill for a period, and only the Zhang brothers were allowed to see her; the chancellors who had earlier accused the Zhang brothers and clan of corruption and had moved for their dismissal were not. This led to speculation that Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong were plotting to take over the throne, and there were repeated accusations of treason. Once the condition of the Empress improved, Cui Xuanwei advocated that only Li Xian and Li Dan be allowed to attend to her - a suggestion that she did not accept. After further accusations against the Zhang brothers by Huan and Song Jing, Wu Zetian allowed Song to investigate, but before the investigation was completed, she issued a pardon for Zhang Yizhi, derailing Song's investigation.
705 AD: In the Spring Empress Wu Zetian feel seriously again, giving rise for further intrigue and an open power struggle at the Tang Court. Wits the Empress ailing and clearly ailing the court acted swiftlyWith support of the military leading court advisors arrange for a coup d'état to be led by main chancellor Of the Empress, Zhang Jianzhi (張柬之), courtesy name Mengjiang (孟將), formally Prince Wenzhen of Hanyang (漢陽文貞王)(Life: 625 AD - 706 AD). On 20 February the plotters first targeted the two lovers of the Empress, Zhang Yizhi and Zhang Changzong, who had been under suspicion of plotting to usurp the throne, thereby threatening the positions of Emperor Gaozong's sons with Wu Zetian, Li Xian - the Crown Prince (In 684 AD and later again Emperor Zhongzong of Tang) and Li Dan the Prince of Xiang. The Zhang brothers were seized by Imperial Guards and subsequently executed outside of the knowledge of the ailing Empress. The Empress was then presented with a fait accompli.
On 21 February, an edict was issued in name of Empress Wu Zetian that made Li Xian (Li Xian was the younger brother of the former Crown Prince) acting regent. The next day, on 22 February, an edict was issued in the name of Empress Wu Zetian name passing the throne to Li Xian. On 23 February, Li Xian formally retook the throne, and the next day, Wu Zetian, under heavy guard, was moved from the main Palace (Da Ming Palace) to the subsidiary palace, Shangyang Palace (上陽宮), where she was kept under house arrest. Nevertheless,to remain at least nominally in keeping with the court rules of filial piety, afterwards the fallen Empress Wu Zetian was honoured with the title of Empress Regnant Zetian Dasheng (則天大聖皇帝). On 3 March, Tang Dynasty was restored, ending the Zhou Dynasty proclaimed by Wu Zetian.
Spring, 705 AD: Justinian II ascends again to the throne and rewards his ally Tervel, ruler (khagan) of the Bulgarian Empire, for his assistance with the title of kaisar (Caesar), which makes him second only to Justinian and the first foreign ruler in Byzantine history to receive such a title, and a territorial concession in northeastern Thrace, a region called Zagora in modern-day Bulgaria.
705 AD: Arab forces gain power in Central Asia, as Qutayba ibn Muslim (Full name: Abū Ḥafṣ Qutayba ibn Abī Ṣāliḥ Muslim ibn ʿAmr al-Bāhilī (Arabic: أبو حفص قتيبة بن أبي صالح مسلم بن عمرو الباهلي) becomes governor of Khorasan. The region has grown rich from trade with China and Eastern Europe, its merchants dealing in silk, furs, amber, honey, and walrus ivory. During his rule, Qutayba subjugates the mercantile cities of Bukhara and Samarkand (modern Uzbekistan), as well as the Oxus delta area of Khwarezm, south of the Aral Sea.
705 AD: Arab conquest of Armenia: Large-scale Armenian rebellion is suppressed by Muhammad ibn Marwan. He captures and deports Smbat VI Bagratuni (the presiding prince of Armenia from 691 to 711) and other leading princes. Many of the captured nakharar (Armenian nobility ; Armenian: նախարար naxarar, from Parthian naxvadār "holder of the primacy") are gathered into churches and burned alive at Nakhchevan (in the current day Nakchivan (Azerbaijani: Naxçıvan, Armenian: Նախիջևան), Capital of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (Azerbaijani: Naxçıvan Muxtar Respublikası), a landlocked exclave of the Republic of Azerbaijan) and in Goghtn (Armenian: Գողթն; also mentioned in sources as Goght'an, Գողթան, and spelled Gołt'n by modern scholars was a canton (gavaṛ) located in the province of Vaspurakan in historical Armenia) near Nakchivan.
Around 705 AD: Al-Walid I commissions the construction of Al-Aqsa Mosque (Arabic: ٱلْـمَـسْـجِـد الْاَقْـصَى, translit. Al-Masjid al-Aqṣā, which translates as "the Farthest Mosque" referring to the Quran in which Muhammad, prophet of Islam, is said to have travelled to "The farthest Mosque" and then ascended to heaven to on a heavenly creature called al-Burāq ash-Sharīf (Arabic: ٱلْـبُـرَاق الـشَّـرِيْـف) receive his teachings from God. In Sunni Islam the Al-Aqsa Mosque is thus held to occupy the very location where this event took place. In Shia Islam (and other branches) however it is held that there was no Mosque in Jerusalem during the life of Muhammad, and that therefor the location of "the farthest Mosque" must logically refer to another location entirely. Several such locations have been suggested.) located on the "Temple Mount" (Haram esh-Sharif) in the Old City of Jerusalem. It becomes the first and most important Mosque in Jerusalem and today it is generally held to be the third holiest site in (Sunni) Islam (after the "Holy Cities" of Mecca and Medina). Prior to the construction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque there was originally a small prayer house erected by Umar, the second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate (or possibly his later successor Mu'awiyah I (Arabic: معاوية بن أبي سفيان, translit. Muʿāwiyah ibn Abī Sufyān)(Life: 602 AD - 26 April 680 AD)), but this was rebuilt and expanded by the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik and finished by his son al-Walid in 705 AD creating the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Regardless of its destruction in 746 AD by an earthquake and subsequent rebuilding (in 754 and later in 780 AD), it has remained a holy location in (Sunni) Islam throughout the millennia up to the present day.
January 11, 705 AD: Pope John VI (Latin: Ioannes VI)(Life: 655 AD - 11 January 705) AD dies at Rome, after a reign of little more than 3 years (30 October 701 - 11 January 705). During his rule, he protected the Byzantine exarch Theophylactus, when he invaded the Italian mainland from Sicily. He also induced Gisulf I, Lombard duke of Benevento, to withdraw from Byzantine territory, ransomed captives and ordered the restoration of Wilfrid, as deposed bishop of York. He is succeeded by John VII as the 86th pope of the Catholic Church.
October 8, 705 AD: Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan dies in his winter resort at Al-Sinnabra (Palestine)(Today a historic site on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee in modern-day Israel), after a 20-year reign. During his rule, the financial administration of the Umayyad Caliphate has been reorganized. Arab coins have replaced former Byzantine and Sasanian coins, and regular postal service has been established between the Capital Damascus and the provincial capitals. Abd al-Malik is succeeded by his son Al-Walid I.
685 AD: Tang Emperor Xuanzong (also Emperor Ming of Tang or Illustrious August, personal name Li Longji (李隆基))(Reign: 685 AD - 672 AD) sent eunuch Liu Yuanshang as atrade envoy to buy horses in Arabia (685 AD - 762 AD).