Monday, April 30, 2007

1300 to 1399 Notable Events, People and Literary Works

Notable Events and People: 1300 to 1399
Anti-Semitism/ The Papacy at Avignon/ Famine/ Paper/ Mexico City and the Aztecs/ The Black Death/ Hundred Years' War: England and France/ Tamerlane/ Richard II/ Wat Tyler's Rebellion/ First English Translation of the Bible/ Playing Cards/ Henry IV.
List of Notable Literary Works: 1300 to 1399
Guy of Warwick. Anon. 1300.
The Divine Comedy. Dante. 1321.
Il Filocolo ("Love's Labor"). Boccaccio. 1340?
Il Filostrato ("A Man Overwhelmed by Love"). Boccaccio. 1340?
Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Anon. 1350?
The Decameron. Boccaccio. 1351/53.
Piers Plowman. Langland. 1362/87.
The Golden Lotus. Anon. 1368?
The Book of the Duchess. Chaucer. 1369.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Pearl Poet. 1370.
The travels of Sir John Mandeville. 1371.
The Bruce. Barbour. 1375.
Speculum Meditantis. Gower. 1378.
The House of Fame. Chaucer. 1379.
The Parliament of Fowls. Chaucer. 1282.
Vox Clamantis. Gower. 1382/84.
Troilus and Criseyde. Chaucer. 1385.
The Legend of Good Women. Chaucer. 1386.
The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer. 1387-1400.
"Knight's Tale"; "Miller's Tale"; "Reeve's Tale"; "Cook's Tale"; "Man of Law's Tale"; "Wife of Bath's Tale"; "Friar's Tale"; "Summoner's Tale"; "Clerk's Tale"; "Merchant's Tale"; "Squire's Tale"; "Franklin's Tale"; "Physician's Tale"; "Pardoner's Tale"; "Shipman's Tale"; "Prioress's Tale"; "Tale of Sir Thopas"; "Tale of the Melibee"; "Monk's Tale"; "Nun's Priest's Tale"; "Second Nun's Tale"; "Canon's Yeoman's Tale"; "Manciple's Tale"; "Parson's Tale."

Sunday, April 29, 2007

1290 to 1298

1290. England's Edward I exiles the country's Jews at behest of Italians who seek to handle English banking and commerce.

The New Life. Dante. Italian. 1293. Poetry. Autobiographical narrative of his love for Beatrice, which inspired this collection of poems. Meets her only twice, but adores her from afar. Dedicates himself to her after her death. Love for a woman is the first step in the soul's spiritual progression toward divine love.

1294. China's Kublai Khan dies at age 78 after a 35-year reign that has established the Mongol dynasty, subdued Korea and Burma, and founded the city that will become Beijing.

1295. Marco Polo returns to Venice after having traveled 17 years in the service of the late Kublai Khan.

1298. The Battle of Falkirk, July 22, gives English archers a victory over Scotsmen. The longbow scores its first great triumph in pitched battle.

1298. The invention of the spinning wheel revolutionizes textile production.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

1235 - 1285

1235. Frederick II employs Michael Scot to translate the writings of Aristotle from Greek into Latin.

1236. Anesthesia is pioneered by the Dominican friar Theodoric of Lucca, who teaches at Bologna.

1237. Mongol forces use gunpowder and possibly firearms to conquer much of eastern Europe.

1247. Headstone in Yorkshire commemorates the life of Robert, Earl of Huntington, known as Robin Hood.

1249. Roger Bacon fights to make science part of the curriculum at Oxford.

1252. The Inquisition uses instruments of torture for the first time.

1258. A flagellant movement arises in Europe following widespread famine and disease.

Gulistan. Sa'Di. Persian. 1258. Poem. Collection of lyrics; moral reflections; witty, sweet; kings, dervishes, contentment, love, youth, old age, social duties. Stories and philosophical sayings. "Rose Garden."

1259. China's Song armies make the first known use of firearms that propel bullets.

1259. France's Chartres Cathedral is consecrated after 66 years of construction.

The Circle of Chalk. Anonymous. Chinese. 1259/1368. Play. Concubine's lover is murdered by his wife. She blames the murder on the concubine. Whose child? King decrees that baby be placed in circle. Concubine and wife contest for the baby. However, the concubine will not pull on the baby. Therefore, the king awards the baby to the concubine, the real mother.

Summa theologica. Thomas Aquinas. Middle Ages. 1265/74. Philosophy. "Summary of All Theology." Uses the methodology of Aristotelian logic. Systematizes and quotes from works of classical and early Christian thinkers. Evidence for the nature of God and the universe, moral philosophy, and the role of Jesus and the Sacraments. Uses logical arguments in matters of reason. Uses revelation through scripture and Church pronouncement.

1267. Roger Bacon, the first truly modern scientist, describes the magnetic needle and reading glasses.

Romance of the Rose, Part 2. Jean DeMeun. 1275. Poem. Part two is a series of satires against friars, superstitions and glorifying women in courtly love.

Gesta Romanorum (Deeds of the Romans). Anonymous. Latin collection of tales. Possibly composed in England. 1275? Popular in the Middle Ages. 100 to 200 tales. Episodes assigned to the reign of a Roman emperor. Little real history. "Moral" or application after each tale, but not a religious work. Chaucer and Shakespeare drew on it.

1277. Roger Bacon is imprisoned for heresy.

1280. Marco Polo visits Hangchow and finds it an eastern Venice.

1284. Rats are so prevalent in Europe that a story appears about a piper who leads children into a hollow because townspeople have refused to pay him for piping their rats into the river.

1285. A smog problem develops as Londoners burn soft coal for heat and cooking.

Friday, April 27, 2007

1200 to 1231

Parzival. Wolframm VonEschenbach. German. 1200. Epic poem. Knight in search of the Grail.

Aucassin and Nicolette. Anonymous. French. 1200? Prose and Verse. Alternating prose and verse. Son of a count falls in love with a slave who turns out to be a king's daughter.

Dies Irae ("Day of Wrath"). Thomas of celano. Italian. 1200? Hymn. On the Last Judgment. Joel 2:31. Mass for the dead. Plainsong (Gregorian chant).

1202. Italian mathematician Leonardo da Pesa introduces Europe to Arabic numerals and the zero.

1202. Court jesters make their first appearance in European courts.

The Brut. Wace. British. 1205. Poetry. Middle English. Alliteration. Rhyme. First appearance of the story of Arthur. Britain from its founding by Brut in 689. Brut descendant of Aeneas. Stories of Lear, Cymbeline and other legendary kings of Britain.

Gudrun. Anonymous. German. 1210. Epic poem. Sea settings are unusual. Three parts. Gudrun's is the third part. Engaged, abducted, servant's work, rescued by her lover.

Tristan and Isolde. Gottfried Von Strasburg. German. 1210. Illicit love of a knight and the Queen.

1212. A Children's Crusade sets out for the Holy Land. Some 50,000 children are lost.

An Account of My Hut. Kamo no Chomei. Japanese. 1212. Autobiography. Natural disasters in Kyoto. Life led by the author in hermitage. Impermanence of life. Buddhist tone.

1215. The Magna Carta signed at Runnymede in mid-June limits the power of the English monarchy.

Magna Carta. Anonymous. British. 1215. Charter. Permanently guaranteed that the king's power must be limited by law. King could not levy taxes without consent of the realm. He could not imprison or deprive of property unless by judgment of peers and the law.

1215. Genghis Khan invades the Near East with 60,000 Mongol horsemen; destroy everything in their path.

1218. Newgate Prison is completed in London. It will be a debtors' prison for more than 560 years.

1222. The Mongols make their first appearance in Europe as Genghis Khan invades Russian territories.

1227. Genghis Khan dies at age 65.

Romance of the Rose, Part I. Guillaume de Lorris. French. 1230. Poem. Part one is an allegory of love.

1231. A medical school is founded at Salerno by Frederick II.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

1200 to 1299

Notable Events and People

Arabic numerals/ Court jesters/ Children's Crusade/ Magna Carta/ Genghis Khan/ Frederick II/ Robin Hood/ Roger Bacon/ The Inquisition/ Firearms/ Chartres Cathedral/ Marco Polo/ The Pied Piper/ Kubla Khan/ The longbow/ Spinning wheel


Parzival. Wolframm VonEschenbach. 1200.
Aucassin and Nicolette. Anon. 1200 (?)
Dies Irae ("Day of Wrath"). Thomas of Celano. 1200 (?)
The Brut. Wace. 1205.
Tristan and Isolde. Von Strassburg. 1210.
An Account of My Hut. Kamo no Chomei. 1212.
Magna Carta. 1215.
Romance of the Rose. Part 1. Guillaume de Lorris. 1230.
Gulistan. Sa 'Di. 1258.
The Circle of Chalk. Anon. 1259/1368.
Summa Theologica. Thomas Aquinas. 1265/74
Romance of the rose. Part 2. Jean DeMeun. 1275.
Gesta Romanorum (Deeds of the Romans.). Anon. 1257?
The New Life. Dante. 1293.

Monday, April 23, 2007

1150 to 1199

Volsunga Saga. Anonymous. Scandinavia. 1150(?) Saga. Main source of Wagner's opera cycle. Volsunga is grandson of god Odin. He is the father of Sigmund who is the father of Siegfried. Love interests are Siegfried, Brunhild, Gudrin and Sigurd. Brunhild loves Siegfried. Magic potion makes Siegfried forget Brunhild. Magic ring of fire. Suitor must cross. Sigurd does and Brunhild marries him. Siegfried marries Gudrun. Deception is revealed. Battle and everyone dies, leaving undiscovered the treasure, sunk in the Rhine.

The Russian Primary Chronicle. Nestor (?) Russian. 1150 (?) Historical annals of medieval Russia with Kiev the center of the Russian nation.

1151. Geoffrey of Anjou dies; called "Plantagenet" for habit of wearing a sprig of broom (genet) in his cap.

Roman de Brut. Wace. French. 1155. Poetry. In french. Introduces the Round Table motif.

1162. England's Henry II has Thomas a Becket elected Archbishop of Canterbury. Becket immediately becomes ardent champion of Church rights; quarrels incessantly with the king over these rights.

1170. Overzealous knights murder Becket in the cathedral at Canterbury December 29.

1174. England's Henry II does penance at Canterbury for the murder of Thomas a Becket.

1176. Egyptian sultan Saladin mounts campaign to drive the Christians from the kingdom of Jerusalem.

Heimskringel. Anonymous. Norse. 1177 (?) Sagas. Sixteen sagas of Norwegian history through 1177. Combination of biography, mythology and poetry.

1180. Glass windows appear in private English homes.

1188. "Saladin Tithe" imposed by Philip III to raise money for a Third Crusade is first tax in France.

1189. England's Henry II dies. Succeeded by his son Richard I, the Lion Heart.

1189. Third Crusade begins in May as Frederick Barbarossa leaves at the head of a splendid army.

1189. The first paper mill in Christian Europe is established in France.

The Nibelungenlied. Anonymous. German. 1190. Epic Poetry. Based on Scandinavian legends. Adventures of Siegfried, Kriemhild, Brunhild, Hagen, and Hildebrand.

The Song of Igor's Campaign. Anonymous. Russian. 1190 (?) Poetry. Mixture of epic, lyric, and oratorical styles; ill-fated campaign of a Russian prince against Polovsty tribes in 1185. One of the greatest literary masterpieces in Russian until Pushkin.

1191. Richard the Lion Heart embarks on the Third Crusade; gains brilliant victory over Saladin.

1192. The third Crusade follows treacherous guide into the desert beyond Antioch where famine, plague and desertion reduce its number from 100,000 to 5000.

1192. Richard the Lion Heart makes a truce with Saladin, leaves for home, is captured at Vienna where Leopold of Austria imprisons him.

1193. Richard the Lion Heart is surrendered to the Holy Roman Emperor who demands a ransom.

1194. Richard the Lion Heart returns to England following payment of the first installment of the ransom.

1199. Richard the Lion Heart is wounded by a crossbow bolt while directing a siege of a castle in France. He dies and is succeeded by his brother John Lackland.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

1100 to 1147

"The Lady of the Fountain." Anonymous. Welsh. 1100. Tale. Includes King Arthur and his court. Remarkable parallel in story of Yvain by Chretien de Troyes.

Sir Launfal. Marie de France. 1100. Poetry. Knight of King Arthur's Court. Falls in love with beautiful fairy. Receives rich gifts from her but cannot reveal the source. Guinevere challenges him to reveal. She says he has insulted her. Finally, he breaks oath to save himself. In spite of his action, the fairy rescues him.

The Tales of the Heike. Anonymous. Chinese. 1100. Epic. Rise of the Taira family, the hubristic rule and crushing defeat by a rival clan. Buddhist theme of the transience of human endeavor. Fills the place of the Homeric epic of the West.

Kulwch and Olwen. Anonymous. Welsh. 1100. Narrative. In Welsh Mabinogion. Prose. Earliest full-fledged Arthurian romance. Hero gets help from Arthur to complete tasks set by giant whose daughter, Olwen, he seeks to win.

Sic et Non. Abelard. 1100 (?) Nonfiction. Unprejudiced arguments pro and con on doctrinal questions of the Middle Ages. No attempt to draw conclusions.

Erec et Enide. Chretien de Troyes. French. 1100-1200? Romance. Earliest Arthurian romance in French. Erec retires from adventures to enjoy domestic life. His wife bemoans loss of his reputation. He sets out and takes her with him, treating her harshly. She is abducted while he is in an apparent state of death. He revives in time to save her and they are reconciled. [The gunslinger can never retire.]

1101. Gothic architecture will appear in Europe beginning in this century.

1121. The Concordat at Worms condemns French theologian-philosopher Abelard, 42, for his teachings; he is castrated by the hirelings of Fulbert, whose niece Heloise he has secretly married.

1136. The French church of St. Denis includes some pointed arches and high window that mark the beginning of Gothic architecture.

The History of the Kings of Britain. Geoffrey of Monmouth. British. 1137. Chronicle. Latin prose chronicle. Account of events in founding of the English nation. Mix of fact and fantasy. Built up the legend of Arthur. People believed it as history. Also included Hengist, Horsa, Vortigern, Ferrex, Porrex, Cybeline, Gorboduc. Introduced Merlin and Uther Pendragon.

Poema del Cid. Anonymous. Spanish. 1140. Poetry. Based on the exploits of Rodrigo, Ruy Diaz de Bivar, 1043-1099. El Cid = "Lord." Fought for and against Moors. Three parts: exile, captures Valencia and reconciles with the king, revenges the outrageous conduct of his sons-in-law.

1147. A Second Crusade assembles 500,000 men who achieve nothing; most are lost to starvation, disease, and battle wounds.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

AD 1100 to AD 1199

Notable Events and People, 1109 to 1199
Gothic architecture/ Abelard/ Second Crusade/ Henry II and Thomas A Becket/ Saladin/ Richard I, the Lion Heart/ Third Crusade.
Literary Works, 1109 - 1199
"The Lady of the Fountain." Anon. 1100.
Sir Launfal. Marie de France. 1100.
The Tales of the Heike. Anon. 1100.
Kulwch and Olwen. Anon. 1100.
Sic et Non. Abelard. 1100?
The History of the Kings of Britain. Geoffrey of Monmouth. 1137.
Poema del Cid. Anon. 1140.
Volsunga Saga. Anon. 1150?
The Russian Primary Chronicle. Nestor? 1150?
Roman de Brut. Wace. 1155.
Heimskringl. Anon. 1177?
The Nibelungenlied. Anon. 1190.
The song of Igor's Campaign. Anon. 1190?

Monday, April 16, 2007

AD 975 to AD 1099

AD. 975. Arabs introduce modern arithmetical notation, originally from India, into Europe.

"Battle of Maldon." Anonymous. British. AD 991 or later. Poetry. Old English alliterative poem. English fail to withstand Viking invasion. Fragment.

AD 1000. Norseman Lief Ericcson discovers the Western hemisphere.

Kathasaritsagara. (Ocean of the Stream of Story). Somadeva. India. AD 1000. Poetry and Tales. Written in Sanskrit. 22,000 verses. 124 chapters. Series of romantic adventure-tales featuring King Udayana.

The Mobinogion. Anonymous. Welsh. AD 1000 (?) Tales. Collection of medieval Welsh tales, first translated into English by Lady Charlotte Guest from 1838-1849. Eleven prose tales. Three divisions. Concerned with Celtic mythological subjects and folk themes.

"The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam." Arabic. AD 1000 (?) Poetry. Epigrammatic quatrains ("rubai"). Edward Fitzgerald's translation into English. With no knowledge of afterlife, we must enjoy full sensory appreciation of life on earth.

AD 1009. Egypt's Caliph al-Hakim destroys Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The act stirs demands in Europe for a Christina crusade to recover the Holy Land.

AD 1013. The Danes conquer England.

AD 1027. Normandy's Duke Richard the Good dies; he has brought Normandy to the height of her power.

AD 1030. Canon of Medicine by the Arab physician Avicenna will influence medical thinking for centuries.

AD 1041. Movable type for printing will be used in the next eight years by the Chinese printer Pi Sheng.

Chanson de Roland. Anonymous. French. AD 1050. Poetry. Roland = Orlando who is too trusting, unsuspicious and impetuous. He is frank and straightforward and loses his life defending Charlemagne's rear guard against the treacherous heathen Saracens.

AD 1066. The Battle of Hastings, Oct. 4, seals the Norman conquest of England.

AD 1066. A comet appears in the skies that will later be called "Halley's Comet."

AD 1066. The Normans will introduce many French words into the language of England.

AD 1086. The Domesday Book, compiled on orders from England's William I; lists more than 25,000 slaves and 110,000 villeins or serfs among the properties and assets of English landowners.

Domesday Book. William the Conqueror. Norman/British. AD 1086. Census. Latin record of the census, including property, inhabitants, domestic animals. Final authority for litigation. Served as basis for tax assessments until 1522.

AD 1094. Valencia falls to El Cid, June 15, after a siege of nine months.

AD 1095. Pope Urban II preaches a crusade against the infidel.

AD 1096. The First Crusade raises more than 30,000 men and converges on Constantinople in three groups. A leading figure is the Norman knight Trancred, 18 years of age.

AD 1099. Jerusalem falls to the Crusaders, July 15, after a siege of just over one month.

AD 1099. Middle English begins to supersede Old English.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

AD 529 to AD 750

AD 529. The Benedictine order of monks inaugurates monasticism in Western Europe.

AD 537. King Arthur of the Britons is killed in the Battle of Camlan, according to legend.

AD 590. Gregory I becomes the 64th Pope--the first monk to be elected to the papacy.

AD 597. Pope Gregory sends the monk Augustine to convert the Jutes in the British Isles to Christianity.

AD 600. During this century royal power declines and strong feudal lords rise in power.

AD. 602. The archiepiscopal See of Canterbury is established by Augustine of Canterbury.

AD 610. The prophet Mohammed at Mecca begins secretly to preach a new religion, to be called Islam.

AD 622. Mecca's city leaders oppose Mohammed's teaching and force the prophet to flee July 16.

AD 629. Mohammed returns to Mecca with the Koran.

AD 633. Muslim forces attack Persia.

AD 642. Alexandria capitulates to the Arabs, who complete their conquest of Egypt.

"The Seafarer." Anonymous. British. AD 700. Poetry. Alliterative. The joys and sorrows of life at sea and the pleasures of earth compared to those of Heaven.

"The Wanderer." Anonymous. British. AD 700 (?). Poetry. Alliterative. Dramatic monologue of warrior, now homeless and kinless. He laments the passing of former glories and companions; elegy of times gone by.

Beowulf. Anonymous. British. AD 700 (?) Poetry. Anglo-Saxon, Old English epic. 3200 lines. Alliterative. Combines Norse legends, historical events and Christianity. Colorful picture of life at that time. Unferth's insult and the swimming contest. Finn and Hildeburh. Beowulf and 14 warriors vs. Grendel and Grendel's mother. Final fight is with a fire-breathing dragon after all have deserted Beowulf except Wiglaf. They kill the dragon, but Beowulf receives his death wound and a stately burial.

The Fight at Finnsburg. Anonymous. British. AD 700 (?) Poetry. Old English. 50-line fragment. King Finn of the Frisians marries Hildeburh of the Danes. Finn kills her brother Hnaef and his followers while they are his guests. The following spring the Danes kill Finn and take Hildeburh back to Denmark.

"The Dream of the Rood." Anonymous. British. AD 700 (?) Poetry. Old English. 156 lines. Alliterative. Dreams that True Cross talks to him, urging a cult. Dream changes his life.

AD 731. The Mayan Empire in the central Western Hemisphere begins its greatest period.

Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Bede. English. AD 731. History. From the Roman invasion of England to AD 731. Contains both historical and legendary information.

The Fables of Bidpai. Anonymous. Arabian and Indian. AD 750. Fables. Arabic version of Indian fables. Bidpai was a court scholar. Allegorical animal stories told as a wise man's advice to a young Indian prince.

Man'yoshu (Collection of Myriad Leaves). Anonymous. Japan. AD 750. Poetry Anthology. Japan before the importation of Chinese thought and culture.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

AD 313 to AD 524

AD 313. The Roman emperor Constantine accepts Christianity.

Nicene Creed. Council of Nicea. Catholic Church. AD 325. Asserts the divinity of Christ and faith in the Trinity vs. Arianism, the belief that Christ, the Son, is not equal to the Father. Filioque clause: Holy Ghost proceeds from Son and Father. Cause of the schism between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.

AD 330. Constantinople is dedicated May 11, as the new capital of the Roman world.

AD 333. The Romans begin pulling troops out of Britain.

AD 360. The Huns invade Europe.

AD 383. Christianity has become the dominant religion in the Roman Empire.

AD 391. Alexandria's library, a wonder of the ancient world, is destroyed by fire.

AD 395. The Roman Empire splits into eastern and western empires.

The Confessions of Saint Augustine. St. Augustine. Roman. AD 397-401. Autobiography. Introspective analysis of the author's own spiritual experiences. First in literature. Shows the details of the soul's progress from the enjoyment of the beauties outside itself to the study of its own nature, finally to the joy in knowledge of God. Focuses on his mother, his concubine, Manicheanism, neo-Platonism, and his conversion.

Panchatantra (Book of Five Chapters). Bidpai. India. AD. 400. Fables. Fables in Sanscrit for the edification of the Indian king's sons.

Mudraraksas (The Minister's Signet Ring). AD 400. Play. Absence of any central female character. Clash between wily and loyal ministers in the government.

AD 401. Visigoths penetrate the northern defenses of Italy and begin to ravage the countryside.

AD 407. Britain is evacuated by Roman legions who are needed closer to home.

AD 408. Visigoths besiege Rome.

AD 410. Invading Huns ravage the Roman Empire and exhort tribute.

The City of God. Augustine. Roman. AD. 413/426. Treatise. Apology for Christianity against the accusation that the Church was responsible for the decline of the Roman Empire.

AD 430. Bishop Patrick is sent as a missionary to Ireland.

AD 431. The cult of the Virgin begins to spread westward from Byzantium following a decree of the Council of Ephesus recognizing Mary as the Mother of God.

AD 433. Attila becomes leader of the Huns.

AD 436. The last Roman legions leave Britain.

AD 449. Britain is conquered by Angles and Saxons.

AD 450. The Hawaiian Islands are discovered by Polynesian chief Hawaii-Loa.

AD 455. Rome is sacked by the Vandals.

AD 476. The Western Roman Empire founded by Augustus Caesar (Octavian) in 27 BC ends formally.

AD 508. Paris is established as the Frankish capital by Clovis.

AD 513. Mount Vesuvius erupts as it did in AD. 79, burying Pompeii once more under lava, mud and ashes.

The Consolation of Philosophy. Boethius. Roman. AD. 524. Nonfiction. Written while in prison awaiting execution. Dialogue in alternating prose and verse. Neo-Plaonism, stoicism. Unreality of earthly fortunes. Highest good is the happiest in God. Reconciles apparent contradiction between the existence of evil if God is all good and powerful and the existence of man's free will if God has foreknowledge of everything.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

AD 60 to AD 300

Thyestes. Seneca. Roman. AD 60. Play. Thyestes, who had seduced Atresus' wife and stolen power before being defeated by Atreus, is exiled, but then urged by Atreus to return to Argos. Atreus gets his revenge by killing Thyestes' sons and feeding them to their father at a banquet. Most fiendish play in history. Senecan tragedy influenced Elizabethan and Jacobean revenge plays. The play embodies the tastes of the times in which it was written.

AD 64. Persecution of Christians begins at Rome.

AD 70. The Romans sack Jerusalem and destroy most of the Third Temple.

AD. 79. Mount Vesuvius on the Bay of Naples erupts August 24. Tons of lava, mud and ash bury the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii, killing thousands.

AD. 80. Three months of celebration mark the opening of the Coliseum. The Emperor Titus has 500 wild beasts and many gladiators slain to amuse the populace.

The Golden Ass. Apuleius, Lucius. Roman. AD 100. Romance; satire. Takes a magic potion expecting to be turned into an owl; becomes an ass instead and wanders through Greece. He passes through the hands of owners who mistreat him. Interspersed are stories of intrigue, witchcraft, love. Most famous story is that of Cupid and Psyche.

The Elegies of Ch'u. Ch'u Yuan. Chinese. AD 100 (?). Poetry. Sings of his misfortunes at court. Lush, ecstatic imagery; emotionalism. Shamanistic religious practices.

AD 167. The first full-scale barbarian attack on Rome destroys aqueducts and irrigation conduits.

The Meditations. Marcus Aurelius. Roman. AD 171-180. Emperor of Rome from 161-180 AD. At 50, began composing notes for his own benefit. Aimed at moral improvement. Paganism's last moral pronouncements.

AD 200. Roman public roads are so good that travelers can average 100 miles per day.

Raghuvamsa. Kalidasa. India. AD 200. Narrative poem. Life of Rama, hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana.

The Little Clay Cart. King Shudraka. India. AD 200-900. Play. Sanskrit. Villain smothers heroine, accuses hero. Heroine recovers to save hero from execution.

AD 222. Gunpowder will be invented in the next half-century by Chinese alchemists.

Mahabharata. Anonymous. India. AD 300. Epic poem. Famous interpolation is the Bhagavadgita. Encyclopedia of Hindu life, legend and thought.

Ethiopica. Heliodoros. Greek. AD 300 (?). Romance. Love between Theagenes. Chariclea; earliest extant Greek romance. Ten volumes. Frequently borrowed from.

Daphnis and Chloe. Longus. Greek. AD 300-400 (?). Poetry. Pastoral. Love between the children of a goatherd and shepherd.