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.

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