|Eastern Roman Empire||Anastasius I Dicorus (431-518)||4Apr. 11, 91||July 9, 518|
|Papacy||Pope St. Symmachus (-514)||Nov. 22, 498||July 19, 514|
500 Theodoric the Great, Ostrogoth king of Italy promulgates an Edict of 154 Articles in Latin, establishing that Goths alone can bear arms (Romans can only have a small knife for domestic use), but that Goths and Romans are to be united into a single civil law system, and a Roman jurisconsult will act as lawyer for Romans in front of the Comes Gothorum; Italy becomes the only German kingdom to attempt such a fusion; too bad that Theodoric wasn't much of a lawgiver or else he might have united the Goths and Romans and saved Europe from the fast-approaching Darth Vaders? Anahl nathrach, utvas bethyad, dothyel dyenve? One bright spot for Celts in a corner of the German-infested British Isles? Too bad it later gets appropriated by the Anglo-Saxon English monarchs, who use the King Arthur fable to declare themselves a super-race, and use it as an excuse for their White-Is-Right British World Empire? Early in this cent. the Celtic Britons of W England win a V over the marauding German Saxon invaders at the Battle of Badon Hill (Mount Badon) (Mons Badonicus) under King Arthur (Athurius) (Artorus) (-537) (Gael. "rock"), who is later legendized as mixed Gaelic-Latin Arthur Pendragon (Lat. "standard-bearer", "head leader"); this is his 12th "messy battle" with them, during which 960 Saxons die in a single charge, after traitor Vortigern invites the Saxons in; Saxon expansion into W England is delayed for 50 years, and the halcyon Days of Camelot begin in Arthur's lot called Camelot near the town of Queen Camel in Somersetshire or Camelford in Cornwall or Winchester in Hampshire, with a lawn (really an island) called Avalon (Gael. "apples"), where funky druid Mervyn (Myrddin) (Merlin) and bad druidess Fata Morgana (Morgan le Fay) (Gael. "edge of the sea") (fairy half-sister of Arthur) romp with dragons?; Glastonbury Tor, a conical hill in SW Britain surrounded by swamps and marshes (now by meadows) is thought by some to be the Isle of Avalon, the Celtic Isle of the Blessed, where Arthur and his wife Guinevere (Gael. "Gwenhwyfar" = "white and soft or smooth") are allegedly buried (come here, Guinevere, and I'll put my rock in your soft and white?); King Arthur's Round Table is finally located in 2010, and seats 1K? Cadwallon ap Einion Lawhir ("long hand") (460-534) becomes king of Gwynedd in Wales, going on to expel pesky Irish settlers from Anglesey. About this time after the victory over the Alamanni, Hohenaspberg (originally Ascicberg) near modern-day Stuttgart, Germany becomes home of the Frankish lord and Franking Thing (legislative assembly). The Golden Age of Irish Monastic Scholarship begins in this cent. (ends 800) as Prince Eudo of Oriel (450-540) founds a school in Aranmore Island, which draws scholars from all over Europe - free towels and bars of Irish Spring? The Carthaginians give Spain its name in this cent., from "Spania", meaning "land of rabbits" - the habits in the land of rabbits fall mainly on the laps of abbots? In this cent. Ravenna, once the city of the Roman emperors suffers from the gradual retreat of the Adriatic Sea, and the harbor turns into a pine grove; by modern times the town is connected with the Adriatic by a 6-mi. canal; meanwhile the mosaic-filled the Church of San Vitale, the Church of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo, and the Church of Sant' Apollinare in Classe are built - filled with rabbits? In this cent. Roman Catholic abbots and bishops in Spain and France revive the Roman-Byzantine tradition of the Precarium ("prayer"), an arrangement allowing laymen to use excess church lands in return for payment of rent subject to eviction sans notice, which evolves into the feudal fief, while the word precarious evolves in parallel. In this decade the chief branch of the Gupta Dynasty begins ruling as kings of Magadha (until the 8th cent.). In this cent. Gothic and Byzantine writers begin calling the Slavs the Sclaveni, who split into three main divisions, W, S, and E; Slavonic tribes from the N begin crowding into the Greek Peninsula (until 800), and are assimilated by the ancient Hellenic peoples, ending any resemblance to ancient Greece. By this time Nubia is predominantly Christian, and remains so until the Muslims come to power in the 14th cent. About this time Austronesian seafarers engaged in the Indian Ocean trade network settle Madagascar. Bu this time South Africa is settled by Iron Age farmers. By this time Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico covers 8 sq. mi. About this time the Zapotecs ("people of the place of sapote"), AKA the Cloud People in the Oaxaca Valley of SE Mexico, known for cotton armor, worship of the rain god Cocijo and Sun god Coquihani, plus a bat-jaguar god (believing that when they die they will return to the clouds, burying the dead with their valuables) develop a syllabic writing system. White-skinned, blue-eyed people arrive in Tiahuanaco about this time, led by Kon-Tiki, whom the Indians deify as their creator-god; the newcomers teach the Indians architecture and agriculture, and erect stone statues; within 200 years the new civilization spreads to Ecuador, Peru, and N Argentina? - the reason that Montezuma kissed Cortes' butt? The Nasca Civilization in S coastal Peru suddenly disappears after clear-cutting of huge swaths of huarango forest for cultivation causes a famine and bloody resource war. Am. Indians settle on Mesa Verde, living in semi-buried pit houses. About this time the three islands of Aran in Galway Bay, Ireland are inhabited by Christian monks (until 800). In this cent. Puranic Hinduism, a development of Hinduism based on the Puranas (verse scriptures) and the Tantras (Sans. "looms", "weavings") (dialogues between god Siva and his wife Durga) is founded, which is later supplanted by the Advaita Vedanta, which teaches that the phenomenal world is an illusion (maya) rooted in beginningless ignorance (avidya), with the only true reality being absolute being (Brahman), attained by purifying the soul - we need to talk, you see, I wanna be free? In this cent. the tradition of the Assumption of the Virgin, with and without a dormition ("falling asleep") and bodily assumption flowers in Catholicism. In this cent. the Byzantines learn the art of Cloisonne Enamel from the Persians. Sports: In this cent. the game of Chaturanga (Chatrang), a predecessor of chess begins to spread in India. Architecture: In this cent. the Abbey of St. Remi in Reims, France is founded, going on to house the relics of St. Remi (the bishop who converted King Clovis I) in 553. Early in this cent. Tintagel Monastery in Cornwall becomes the first Celtic Christian monastery. In this cent. Kuelap Fortress in the Peruvian Andes at 9.8K ft. alt. is built, becoming the largest stone structure in South Am. Inventions: In this cent. algebra and the decimal system are developed in India and Mesopotamia. In this cent. the Japanese begin to practice tea drinking after priests bring it back from China. In this cent. the Heavy Plow comes into use in Slavic lands. In this cent. the Breast Strap for horses comes into use in Germany. In this cent. Arab physicians regularly prescribe cannabis for all sorts of maladies. In this cent. the Babylonian or Eastern system of Hebrew vowel pointing (above the line) is developed. Nonfiction: About this time a burnt scroll is written and stored in Ein Gedi Synagogue on the W shore of the Dead Sea; discovered in 1970, and deciphered in July 2015, becoming the oldest Bible text to survive to modern times since the Dead Sea Scrolls. In this cent. the Gospel of the Lots of Mary is written in Coptic, containing 37 oracles, few mentioning Jesus. Early in this cent. Latin grammarian Priscian (Priscianus Caesariensis) (born in Caesarea) flourishes in Constantinople, teaching Latin and writing his 18-vol. Institutiones Grammaticae, which becomes a hit in the Middle Ages. Early in this cent. Stephanus Byzantinus writes Ethnika, the first geographical dictionary? In this cent. Chinese critic Xie He writes Guhua Pinlu (Classification of Ancient Painters), incl. his Six Laws of Art. Poetry: Early in this cent. Laidcenn mac Barichedo et al. in Ireland compose the Leinster Genealogical Poems. In this cent. the Paitanim Neo-Hebraic poets begin composing piyyutim (Jewish sacred poems). Births: Byzantine empress (527-48) and actress (St.) Theodora (d. 548) in Crete (Daman, Syria?) (Paphlagonia?); of Greek Cypriot descent; wife of Justinian I (482-565). Frankish Merovingian (Austrasian) king (533-48) Theudebert I (d. 548); son of Theuderic I; father of Theudebald (535-55). Welsh bishop (patron saint of Wales) (St.) David (Dewi) (Degui) (d. 589) in Pembrokeshire; born a bastard after his daddy King Ceredig of Ceredigion (Cardigan) rapes nun Non, daughter of Lord Cynyr of Caer Goch on a cliff during a storm; pupil of St. Paulinus of Wales; feast day: Mar. 1 (Daffodil Day); known for living on bread and wild leeks, causing his followers to wear leeks and/or daffodils on St. David's Day (Mar. 1), although the claim it commemorates the 653 Battle of Hatfield Moor?
501 On Mar. 25 Pope St. Symmachus celebrates Easter, following the old Roman cycle, while the Byzantines observe it on Apr. 22, causing the movement to depose him in favor of Laurentius to gain momentum (until 506). Qi Xiao Baojuan (b. 483) is overthrown and killed by gen. Xiao Yan, marquess of Donghun, who puts his younger brother Xiao Baorong on the throne as Qi He Di (Zhizhao) (488-502), Song (Southern) Qi emperor #7 (last) of China (until 502). Merovingian king of the Salian Franks (since 481) Clovis I (466-511) moves his capital from Soissons to Paris after founding the Church of the Holy Apostles (St. Genevieve) there; Paris goes on to become the true capital of Europe, supplanting Rome; ironically the Gallic clergy are recruited almost totally from the Gallo-Roman pop.; "The converted Franks knelt at the feet of those whom they had conquered, and gave back in pious donations what they had stolen in war" (Will Durant, The Age of Faith, Ch. 21). Burgundian king Gundobald breaks his promise of tribute to Clovis I and sieges his last brother and rival Godegisel in Vienne, causing a famine, then lets the pop. out and recruits one of them, an artisan to sneak back in via the aqueduct and murder him in an Arian church along with his bishop; Gundobald then covers his tracks by legalizing dueling (Lat. "duellem" = combat between two) as a judicial method of deciding controveries such as guilt for crimes and ownership of disputed land, and it becomes popular, spreading among the Teutonic countries and France. Architecture: Skellig Michael Monastery 7.2 mi. W of the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland is founded in this cent. (7th cent.?); it is abandoned in the late 12th cent. Births: Irish bishop (of Ossory) (first saint born in Ireland) (St.) Ciaran mac Luaigne (the Elder) of Saigir (Kieran) (d. 530) in Cape Clear Island; feast day: Mar. 5.
502 On Oct. 23 the Synodus Palmaris, called by Theodoric the Great absolves Pope St. Symmachus of all charges. After Emperor Anatasius I fails to support Shah Kavad I, the Anastasian War begins (ends 506), with the Persians taking Theodosiopolis, and sieges Amida in fall-winter, and it holds out for 3 mo. before falling. Qi He Di (b. 488) is overthrown and killed by Xiao Yan, ending the Song (Southern) Qi Dynasty (founded 479); Xiao Yan becomes Liang Wu Di (Shuda) (Lian'er) (464-549), emperor #1 (until 549) of the Song (Southern) Liang Dynasty (ends 587), becoming the most stable and prosperous of the southern dynasties; Liang Wu Di becomes known as "the Bodhisattva Emperor", founding univs., patronizing the arts, and embracing both Confucianism and Buddhism, while extending the Confucian civil service; he also bans animal sacrifice and executions. (St.) Cesarius of Arles (Chalon) (468-542) becomes bishop of Arles in Gaul, becoming the top Western bishop after Pope Gregory the Great and Gregory of Tours.
503 Aeonius dies, and Chalons-born (St.) Caesarius of Arles (470-543) becomes Roman Catholic bishop of Arles, going on to plot against Arian Visigoth king Alaric II with the Burgundians, causing him to be exiled for a year in Bordeaux. The Gaelic-speaking Trinitarian Catholic Irish tribe of Scots (Scotti) leave the Irish Kingdom of Dalriada (Dalriata) (Dal Riata) in E Ulster, N Ireland (founded by semi-mythical king Fergus Mor Mac Erc, who has three sons who found three cenela or kinship groups, Gabrain, Oengusa, and Loairn, with the Gabrain ending up as boss) and land on the W coast of Scotland at the Mull of Kintyre, Jura Island, and Islay Island; the fort of Dunadd is settled in Argyll (Gael. "coast of the Gaels"), becoming the capital of the Scottish Kingdom of Dalriada (Dalriata) (Dal Riata), the first Scottish kingdom, in the islands and peninsulas of the SW Highlands; Goranus (Conramus) (-535) becomes the first real king (#47 if you go with the legendary line) of the Dalriada Scots in Scotland, being crowned on the ugly-but-sacred Stone of Scone (Destiny) (pr. SKOON), which allegedly traces back to ancient Egyptian warrior Gaythelos, who fell in love with Scota, daughter of Pharaoh Chencres, causing his men to call themselves Scots in her honour, after which they wandered across North Africa, where one of their number, Jacob, rested his head upon a stone, and dreamed of the angels ascending to heaven, after which they carried Jacob's Pillow (Stone of Jacob) with them through the Strait of Gibraltar to Ireland, believing that wherever it rested, from there the Scots would be ruled; others claim that the stone is the Jacob's Pillow in Genesis Ch. 32, and that the Scots are one or more of the Lost Tribes of the Jews; the Loairn occupy Lorn in N Argyll, the Oengusa occupy the islands, and the Gabrain occupy Kintyre and the Cowal Peninsula - the original mean Simon Cowell?
504 Theodoric the Great drives his former allies the Gepids out of the E Carpathians from fear of having a loose cannon on his deck, and they end up on the W side; Singidunum is back in Ostrogoth hands.
505 Clovis I launches a war against the Alemanni (ends 507). The Heruli state in upper Hungary is smashed by the Longobards (long beards). Births: Byzantine Gen. Belisarius (d. 565) in Germania, Illyria. Syriac Monophysite bishop Jacob (Jacobus) (James) Baradaeus ("old saddle blankets") (d. 578) in Tela Mauzalat; ordained in 541 by the Monophysite bishop of Edessa. Syriac non-Chalcedonian historian John of Ephesus (Asia) (d. 585) in Amida (modern-day Diyarbakir), S Turkey.
506 The Visigoths under Alaric II capture Dertosa in the Ebro River Valley, and capture and behead Roman usurper Peter, sending his head as a trophy to Zaragoza; meanwhile Arian king Alaric II relaxes and permits the Synod (Council) of Agde of Trinitarian bishops, which convenes on Sept. 11 in Agde (Agatha) in Languedoc (90 mi. W of Marseille). Fearing Byzantine influence, Theodoric the Great deposes Antipope Laurentius and expels him from Rome; meanwhile, seeing the balance of power in the West threatened, he goes to war with Clovis I and the Franks as they are attempting to subdue the Alamanni, protecting the latter from annihilation but not stopping them from having to retreat to Raetia (Rhaetia) (modern Bohemia, E Switzerland, N Tirol). The First Byzantine-Persian War (begun 502) ends, and Persian conquests Amida, et al. are ceded. The Arab kingdom of the Kinda occupies parts of Mesopotamia (until 528). Unrest in Iberia leads to the sending of a Persian garrison. At the Armenian Council of Dvin, the ruling of Chalcedon on the nature of Christ is rejected, certifying the Armenian church as Monophysite not Nestorian in Christology. The Breviary of Alaric (Lex Romana Visigothorum), a codification of Roman law for Visigoths is issued by Alaric II, attempting to keep his Roman and Roman Catholic Visigoth subjects from rebelling.
507 On Jan. 7 emperor (since 498) Buretsu (b. ?) dies without an heir, and Keitai (450-535), great-great-great-grandson of emperor #15 Hondawake (Ojin) becomes Japanese Yamato emperor #26 (until 534). After jealous Arian Visigoth King Alaric II meets with Athanasian Frankish King Clovis I on a small island in the Loire near Amboise to settle their boundary, and they separate with kisses and hugs, then get on with the real business of fox and hare, Clovis I holds an assembly of his princes at his capital in Paris, where he gives a speech, with the soundbyte: "It grieves me to see that the Arians still possess the fairest portion of Gaul. Let us march against them with the aid of God, and having vanquished the heretics, we will possess and divide their fertile provinces", causing his hearers to vow not to shave their beards till they kick Visigoth butt; after his wife Clothilde suggests that he build a church to give some mojo to the expedition, he tosses his Francisca (battle axe), and orders the Church of the Holy Apostles (later the Abbey of St. Genevieve) built where it lands, making him the new Joshua and Gideon put together to his fans?; Ostrogoth king Theodoric of Italy tries to mediate, then sends troops to aid his rash kinsman Alaric II, whose troops, which incl. armed slaves outnumber those of up-and-comer Clovis I and his Franks, but are soft from a long period of peace, while the Franks are supported by the orthodox Gallo-Roman pop. and clergy, who are whipped up by exiled bishop of Rodez (since 506) (St.) Quintianus (Quinctianus) (-525), and after Clovis I visits the Shrine of St. Martin and gets a favorable omen from a Psalm being read mentioning the champions of heaven, and being led to the White Hart Ford over the Loire 40 mi. from Poitiers by a white hart (locals?), and receiving yet another divine omen in a flaming meteor suspended over the Cathedral of Poitiers, the Franks surprise and defeat the Visigoths at the Battle of Vouille (Vouillé) (10 mi. from Poitiers), and King David, er, Sampson, er, Clovis I kills Alaric II in single combat, then fights off two mad Goths trying to avenge him; the victorious Franks capture Toulouse and Aquitania, and turn it into the semiautonomous Duchy of Aquitaine (ends 768), then take Angouleme after the walls supposedly fall to the ground like Jericho in the Bible, and take control of SW Gaul, then siege Arles before the Ostrogoths finally arrive and rescue their Visigoth brothers with the loss of 30K German Franks and Burgundian allies, causing Clovis I to sign a peace treaty, allowing the Visigoths to permanently withdraw over the Pyrenees, retaining only Septimania around modern-day Narbonne, a narrow coastal area in W Gallia Narbonensis from the Rhone River to the Pyrenees, with capital at Rhedae (Rhédae) (modern-day Rennes-le-Chateau) S of Carcassone in the Razes (Razés) that has a large Jewish pop. that has many mixed marriages with the Arian Goths, causing later writers to use the terms Jew and Goth interchangeably; Byzantine emperor Anastasius grants Clovis I an honorary (pro) consulship, legitimizing his Roman Catholic rulership of France, and causing him to stage a big coronation at the Church of St. Martin complete with the diadem and purple, and call himself Augustus, later causing some to claim that the French monarchy is of Roman origin; Theodoric becomes regent of Alaric II's son Amalaric (until 526), making him king of the united splendid-noble Ostro-Visigoths; too bad, the blonde-blue Norse-German Arian Visigoths are a small minority of the pop. in Spain, and are rapidly Romanized, converted to Roman Catholicism, contained, isolated, and finally crushed and absorbed by the invading Muslims by 713. Ennodius (d. 521) gives an fawning oration to Theodoric the Great of Italy about what a great thing it was for him to foil the conspiracy by bad king Odovacar and kill the bum, and how it was all Odovacar's fault, etc. - kissee kissee kissee? Deaths: Japanese Yamato emperor #25 (498-507) Buretsu (b. ?) on Jan. 7.
508 According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, German Saxon king Cerdic (-534) and his son Cynric kill British Celtic King Natanleod (Tewdrig) along with 5K of his subjects near modern-day Southampton, Hampshire, England, and found West Saxony (Wessex), with capital at Winchester. Emperor Anastasius declares war on the Huns, and Theodoric the Great of Italy, who had a protection deal with the Hun leader comes to their aid, defeating an army of 10K Byzantines under Gen. Sabinian at the Battle of Margus, but prevents his troops from taking spoils since he didn't really have anything against the Buzzybees; ungrateful Constantinople then sends 200 ships with 8K men to plunder the coasts of Calabria and Apulia and siege Tarentum, which causes Theodoric to build a thousand light ships to chase them out and achieve peace again.
509 Ennodius (d. 521) is promoted to the bishopric of Pavia. After searching for an ideal Roman front man, Theodoric the Great appoints Roman scion Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator (479-595) as questor in his court, which also has a praetorian prefect, Roman prefect, master of the offices, public treasurer, and patrominial treasurer; the 15 regions of Italy are governed by seven consuls, three correctors, and five presidents; Cassiodorus coins the regime slogan "civilitas", which is stamped on royal coins, and is tasked to write an official history of the Goths that makes Theodoric appear a hero to the Roman people, claiming that the Goths are the Scythians of Greek mythology, and therefore "almost equal" to the Greeks in culture; next year Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (480-524), who, along with Cassiodorus Senator is a wise and learned Roman (an increasingly rare commodity) (although Boethius is a pagan and Cassiodorus is a Roman Catholic) becomes a consul (510?), while the Roman city people still live largely as before, retaining their language, dress, civil laws, and customs, with the Goths helping them maintain their buildings, statues, aqueducts and sewers; the free bread and meat (from Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily) are still distributed, and the public games (circus) allowed to continue with Theodoric's approval and even delight, complete with wild beasts from Africa, and the ultimate prof. fans, the Blue and Green Factions of the circus (the original Broncos and Raiders fans?); too bad for the Romans, they now are in the position of the Greeks after the Romans had conquered them, all window dressing with no army underneath, so that they will be the first to go when the going gets tough?; luckily for them, Theodoric is a tolerant Arian heretic ruling over intolerant Italian Nicene Creed Roman Catholics and their sinless pope; "It had been the object of Augustus to conceal the introduction of monarchy; it was the policy of Theodoric to disguise the reign of a barbarian" Gibbon, Ch. 39; meanwhile, the Jews are hunkered down in Naples, Rome, Milan, Ravenna, and Genoa, and the Roman Catholics whomp on them with impunity, twisting any attempt by the Arian Goth govt. to punish them for it into persecution of the Roman Catholic Church itself. Births: Japanese Yamato emperor #29 (539-71) Kimmei (Amehara) (d. 571); son of Keitai (450-534).
510 Theodoric the Great defeats the Burgundians, and conquers Arles and Marseille, opening a communication path with the Visigoths, then restores the Pretorian prefecture in Gaul, reforms the civil govt. in Spain, and obtains an annual tribute as their nat. protector. A peace treaty between the Byzantines and Ostrogoths gives the swinging hinge city of Singidunum back to the Byzantines. The Salic Law of the Franks undergoes its first rescension, first mentioning Trial by Ordeal, in this case by plunging the right hand into a boiling cauldron and pulling out a ring to prove innocence. Young Arthur the squire removes the Sword Excalibur (Lat. "chalybs" = steel) from the stone, proving his right to rule :)
511 On Nov. 27 Clovis I (b. 466) dies after presiding over the First Council of Orleans (proving he's PC with the Church), leaving the male-supremacist Salic Law as his legacy; being a good daddy, although it is just what France doesn't need right now, his Merovingian Frankish kingdom is split between his four sons; Theodoric (Theuderic) (Thierry) I (484-534) gets Metz, Rheims, and Austrasia, lying to the auster (east) (actually to the NE), and composed of mainly Teutonic peoples; Chlodomer (495-524) gets Orleans; Childebert I (497-558) gets Paris, making Rueil (named for the large number of crisscrossing rues or streets?) his favorite residence; Lothair (Chlotar) (Clotaire) I (the Old) (497-561) gets Soissons; too bad, the nobles resent a monarchy, and the ever-fratricidal Merovingians respond by granting them offices with benefices (property), which backfires when they turn them into private inheritable possessions and titles, incl. duke (originally the king's military rep) and count (originally the king's legal rep), robbing the monarchy blind by the early 7th cent., causing 7th cent. rulers to consist mainly of women, children, or mental incompetents; in the all-new Roman Catholic France it's a three shilling fine for calling another person a fox or a hare? - how about a hotdog? Deaths: Frankish king Clovis I (b. 466) on Nov. 27 in Orleans.
512 On June 29 there is a solar eclipse in Ireland, according to the Chronicle of Ireland. Mt. Vesuvius erupts, and Theodoric the Great suspends taxes for the victims - living or dead? Theodoric the Great sieges Arles; Bishop Caesarius is imprisoned but released next year. After Monophysite Byzantine emperor (491-518) Anastasius I Dicorus official adopts the Miaphysite (Henophysite) (Gk. "mia" = single) dogma, which claims that Jesus unites divinity and humanity in himself without separation, confusion, or alteration, changing the form of the Trisagion prayer, pissing-off the Chalcedonians, Gothic orthodox Catholic pretender Vitalian (-520), cmdr. of the Bulgarian federati leads a revolt with an army of 50K-60K men, who are doubly pissed-off at the frugal emperor's refusal to supply their provisions (annonae), marching on Constantinople and encamping in the suburb of Hebdomon, sending his senior officers into the city to negotiate with the emperor, who promises them the Moon, causing Vitalian to break camp after eight days and return to Moesia. Deaths: French St. Genevieve of Paris (b. 422); buried beneath the St. Genevieve Church in Mont-les-Paris, which up till then had been called the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul.
513 Emperor Anastasius I sends an army under Gen. Cyril to attack Vitalian, who bribes the guards of his camp in Odessus and sneaks in at night, capturing him in his residence and killing him, pissing-off Anastasius I, who declares him a public enemy and sends an 80K-man army under Gen. Hypatius and Alathar the Hun, which wins a minor V before being pushed back towards Odessus by fall, and surprised-attacked and defeated at night at Acris on the Black Sea, with both cmdrs. taken POW and held for ransom. Births: Greek patriarch (552-82) Eutychius I (d. 582) in Phyrigia.
514 On July 19 Pope (since 498) St. Symmachus dies, and on July 20 Pope (#52) (St.) Hormisdas (-523) is elected, decreeing that a bishopric should not be bestowed in privilege. Vitalian attacks Constantinople by land and sea, with 200 ships from Black Sea ports, causing a riot in the streets, causing Anastasius I to fold and pay a ransom of 5K lbs of gold for the release of Hypatius, and appoint Vitalian as magister militium of Thrace, then restore the Trisagion, allow the restoration of the deposed Chalcedonian bishops, and order a gen. church council next July 1, which never happens, and after the emperor reneges about the bishops, Vitalian plans another attack. The subjects of King Cerdic arrive at his new island digs of Wessex.
515 In Nov. Vitalian again marches toward Constantinople, capturing the suburb of Sycae (modern-day Galata) across the Golden Horn, and encamping there, allowing a Byzantine fleet under praetorian prefect Marinus to defeat them at the entrance to the Golden Horn using Greek fire then land and dfeat the army on the shore, causing the rebels to flee at night, after which Anastasius I leads a procession in Vitalian's old HQ of Sosthenion; Vitalian goes into hiding. Xuan Wu Di dies, and 5-y.-o. Xiao Ming Di (510-28) becomes emperor #9 of the Northern Wei in China (until 528), with his mother dowager empress Hu (Ling) ("unattentive empress") (-528) as regent. Italian prelate (St.) Benedict of Nursia (480-544), after becoming disgusted with Roman vice and retiring at age 14 to the lonely rocks of Subiaco (Sublaqueum) Lake to lead a hermit's life for three years, causing his fame to spread and multitudes to flock to see him, then founding 12 monasteries near Subiaco, composes the Regula Monachorum (Regula Sancti Benedicti), the Benedictine Rule, earning him the title of "Founder of Western Monasticism"; Pope Horn, er, St. Hormisdas authorizes the Benedictine Order and Benedict's Abbey of Monte Cassino, which he founds in 529 on the site of an old temple of Apollo on a hill enclosed by a fortifying wall over the small town of Cassino (Casinum) (halfway between Rome and Naples), then rededicates to John the Baptist, going on to live in it for life and leave a famous sepulcher - before I knew it I was helping people?
516 Oisc dies, and his (Hengist's?) son Octa (Octha) (-543) becomes king of pagan Kent, with capital at Canterbury. Gundobald dies after making peace with the Franks and converting to orthodox Christianity, leaving the Lex Gundobalda, a codification of Burgundian laws, and his orthodox Catholic son (St.) Sigismund (OG "sigu" + "munt" = victory + hand or protection) (-524) (converted from Arianism by St. Avitus of Vienne) becomes king of still mainly Arian Burgundy (until 524), killing his son next year for insulting his new wife after his stepmother puts him up to it, then retreating to his Monastery of St. Maurice (Agaunum) in Aquaune, Vallais (name in honor of the Theban Legion) (founded 515), and turning it into a pilgrimage center, later discovering immoral practices going on and er, straightening them out; not believing that doing penance and having "a full chorus of perpetual psalmody" (Gibbon, Ch. 38) sung is enough punishment, he earns saint status by curing fevers, then prays for God to punish him more - write it on my forehead? The Gaels wrest the Plain of Mide from the Laighin of the Ulaid tribe, completing their conquest of the midlands of Ireland. Births: Irish bishop-monk (St.) Ciaran of Clonmacnoise (d. 546) in County Roscommon, Connacht; feast day: Sept. 9; tutor of St. Carthage the Elder. Frankish Merovingian king (561-7) Charibert I (d. 567); son of Lothar I and 3rd wife Ingund. British historian-monk-priest (St.) Gildas the Wise (Badonicus) (d. 570) in Dumbarton, Scotland; feast day: Jan. 29; born into a noble British family.
517 In Sept. the Synod (Council) of Epaone (Epao), presided over by St. Avitus and St. Viventiolus is held in Burgundy, France, passing edicts forbidding clergy to hunt, prohibiting attendance at Jewish banquets, and limiting consecration with chrism (oil and spices) to stone pillars and altars.
518 On July 9 Monophysite emperor (since Apr. 11, 491) Anastasius I Dicorus (b. 431) dies after a reign of 27 years, during which he reformed the tax system and coinage, leaving a substantial surplus in the treasury (160 tons of gold?), and after palace eunuch Amantius makes the mistake of bribing the cmdr. of the imperial bodyguards to help his puppet onto the throne, 68-y.-o. humble Illyrian Justin (Justinus) I (Flavius Iustinus) (the Elder) (450-527), a feeble and illiterate old man (husband of Euphemia) who started out as a boy shepherd and worked his way up the military ladder starting with Emperor Leo I to gen., senator, and cmdr. of the guards becomes Byzantine emperor #104 (until Aug. 1, 527), founding the Justinian Dynasty (ends 602), going on to enact laws de-emphasizing the influence of the old Roman nobility; he makes the literate Proclus his questor; within days of the elevation, numbnuts Amantius is framed on conspiracy and heresy charges and beheaded, and his intended emperor candidate is murdered in a dungeon and thrown into the sea. The Patriarchate of Antioch is forced to move. The city of Skupi (Skopje) (Scopje) in Macedonia is destroyed by an earthquake, and Justin I founds the new settlement of Justiniana Prima N of the site. Nonfiction: About this time pagan Byzantine historian Count Zosimus Historicus of Constantinople finishes his 6-vol. Historia Nova, a history of Roman emperors from Augustus to Diocletian, then from Constantius Chlorus and Galerius to the death of Theodosius, then from 395 to the desposition of Priscus Attalus in 409, breaking off in summer 410 C.E., blaming Rome's fall on the principate after the Christian conversion of Constantine the Great; "You, O accursed and totally defiled one, say that the fortunes of the Romans wasted away and were altogether ruined from the time when Christianity was made known." (Evagrius Scholasticus) Births: Japanese emperor #31 (585-87) Yomei (d. 587); half-brother of Bidatsu. Deaths: Roman emperor #103 (491-518) Anastasius I Dicorus (b. 431) on July 9 in Constantinople.
519 Cerdic is crowned king #1 of Wessex. Justin I makes peace with Rome, repudiating the Monophysite-friendly Henoticon of 482, ending the Acacian Schism with Rome (begun 484).
520 In July after Justin I and Justinian I trick him into coming into Constantinople, where he is acclaimed a hero and given the titles of consul and general (sucker!)?, in the 7th mo. of his consulship Chalcedonian orthodoxy champion Vitalian is stabbed to death at a royal banquet in the Great Palace along with his secy. Paulus and aide Celerianus, and Justinian I takes over his spoil, being promoted by his uncle (without any prior military service) to master-gen. of the Eastern armies, in line for the throne, which he doesn't just sit around and wait for, but actively plots to make a sure thing? - by hiring a PR firm, taking acting lessons and making contributions to all the right PACs? Clonard Monastery in Cluain-Eraird (Eraird's Meadow) (modern-day Clonard near Belfast, Ireland) is founded by St. Finian (470-547) under Welsh inspiration, and 3K students live in wattled huts and receive open air instruction, eventually sending out the Twelve Apostles of Ireland (Erin) to found schools in Ireland and later the Continent. About this year (516?) Hygelac dies in battle, and his son (by Queen Hygd) Heardred (-530) becomes king of the Geats (Weders) in SW Sweden; his nephew Beowulf ("bee wolf" = bear?) becomes king when Heardred is killed in a feud, ruling for 50 years; prior to the death of Hygelac, Beowulf distinguishes himself in Denmark in King Hrothgar's mead hall of Heorot by killing the ogre Grendel, pulling out his claw with his super (30-men strong) grip, then tracking his mama to her mere (lake) and slaying her in her underground den using a magical sword, which melts to the hilt; at the end of his life he kills a dragon but gets mortally wounded, giving his kingdom to Wiglaf; immortalized in the 8th cent. Anglo-Saxon epic scop poem Beowulf (which survives only in Old English form). In this decade (St.) Brendan the Navigator of Clonfert (484-578) allegedly takes 14-60 pilgrims on a voyage in a leather-clad boat into the Atlantic Ocean, where he discovers the Faeroe Islands, then sees a blessed vegetation-covered island (Iceland?) (N America?), and encounters a sea monster called Jasconius (Jascon); Columbus relies on him to bolster his arguments? Births: Roman Byzantine emperor #106 (565-74) Justin II (Flavius Justinus Junior) (d. 578); son of Vigilantia (sister of Justinian I) and Dulcidio (Dulcissimus) (brother-in-law of Justinian I); brother of Marcellus and Praejecta; husband of Sophia, nephew of Justinian I and Theodora. Roman Byzantine emperor #107 (574-82) Tiberius II Constantine (d. 582) in Thrace; husband of Ino Anastasia; father of Constantina (560-605). Deaths: Greek philosopher Ammonius Hermiae (b. 440) in Athens. Welsh abbot-bishop St. Congar (b. 470) en route to Jerusalem.
521 On Feb. 22 (Feast of the Chair of St. Peter) Welsh-born St. Samson of Dol (485-565) is ordained bishop by Bishop Dubricius, after which he travels to Cornwall, the Scilly Isles, and Guernsey, founding the monastery of Dol and becoming the patron saint of Brittany. 39-y.-o. Justinian I (b. 482) becomes consul, with the sole right to host games in the Hippodrome, where the Blues, Greens, Reds, and Whites vie for glory while their vast crowds of supporters control Constantinople, and, after getting Roman code provisions of 336 and 454 prohibiting a senator from marrying a slave or "actress" annulled, marries 21-y.-o. worn-out ex-ho Theodora (500-48), daughter of Acacius of Cyprus, Master of the Bears for the Green Faction in Constantinople; when Acacius died, Theodora and her two sisters Comito and Anastasia were young girls, and when the widow's new husband was passed over as the new Bearmaster, she sent them into the circus to beg for sympathy, and the Greens booed them while the Blues were sympathetic, causing Theodora to be forever out to 'get' the *!?!* Greens; she grew up to be a burlesque queen and prostitute, becoming concubine to Ecebolus of Tyre, gov. of the African Pentapolis, who soon dumped her in Alexandria, leaving her to fend for herself, eventually having a male bastard child in Arabia (whom she later murdered to keep the secret), then returning to Constantinople, where she realized she won't be a sweet young thing forever and got religion, began the chaste life, moved into a small house, and began spinning wool until she attracted the up-and-coming patrician JJ Cool, and he moves Heaven and Earth to make an honest woman of this wily and definitely dishonest woman who has him hoplessly pussy-whipped (gives a good beejay too?); she later turns the little ole spinning house into a magnificent temple? The Sedia Gestatoria (portable throne) for popes is first mentioned by Bishop Ennodius of Pavia; as time goes by it gets richly adorned and covered with silk, with two golden rings on each side through which long rods pass, carried on their shoulders by 12 red-uniformed footmen; at a papal coronation three bundles of tow are burned before him as he sits in it while the MC chants "Sancte Pater sic transit gloria mundi" (Holy Father, so passes the glory of the world). Births: Irish Arian Celtic Christian monk St. Columba (Colmcille) (Columcille) (Columbkille) of Iona (d. 597) on Dec. 7 in Donegal, Ireland; a prince of the Ui Neill. Deaths: Syrian bishop of Batnae (519-) James of Sarug (b. 451) on Nov 29 in Batnan (Batnae), Sarug.
522 An epidemic of Bubonic plague, caused by Yersinia pestis, a mutated form of the relatively mild gut pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis kills half the 200M pop. of the Mediterranean region, causing Justinian I to kiss and make up and end the 34-year schism between the Christian churches of Constantinople and Rome, professing to accept the Roman pope and putting Roman Catholic bishops onto Byzantine thrones, then taking the praise personally and teaching the people to pray to him as their future sovereign who is now a strict intolerant orthodox Roman Catholic thru-and-thru; after hearing of the blasphemies of gamblers, he prohibits gambling, and orders castration of homosexuals, causing several to die - all of which causes the pop. down at the S end of the Red Sea to see their chance to create a new world order? The two sons of erudite eloquent last-of-the-Mohicans Roman Sen. Boethius are made consuls, despite the agreement to have one appointed by the East and one by the West, and they are inaugurated to public acclaim while their proud daddy distributes baksheesh to the circus. So, it was the Jews, not the Muslims or Christians who first came up with the idea of convert-or-die, and the Heinrich Himmlerite Jews boast the first Hitler? Sometime before this year the last Yemenite king of Himyar (Homer) visits the oasis in Yathrib (Medina), and they kill his son, pissing him off and causing him to threaten to massacre the pop. and worse, cut down their palms, until two rabbis from the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe come out and warn him that the town will one day be the home of prophet of the Arab Quraysh tribe, converting him to Judaism, after which the rabbis do miracles in front of the Yemenis, converting them too; for some strange reason the rabbis recognize the Qaaba as built by Abraham, advising the Yemenis to circle it with shaved heads; this year the Jewish Himyarites of the Kingdom of Saba (Himyar) in S Arabia (Yemen) (founded 110 B.C.E.) (who live in a land swarming with Arab polytheist pagans, but at least were fairly safe from the horrible Jewish-persecuting Byzantine and Roman Christians) under king (518-25) Yusuf Dhu Nuwas (Nawas) (-525) (a converted Arab) begin a campaign to convert Coptic Christians to Judaism by force to get even with them for persecuting Jews, massacring the Christian pop. of the Himyarite capital of Zafar (Arab. "victory") in the Yemeni highlands 80 mi. SSE of Sana'a, and burning their churches, destroying the other fortresses in the highlands, then going after the Arab Christian oasis of Najran in SW Arabia near the Yemeni frontier and massacring its 20K pop., then writing letters to the kings of Iraq and Persia encouraging them to do ditto, which Byzantine emperor Justin I finds out about, causing him to help Coptic Christian king Kaleb (Ella Atbeha) (Hellestheaeus) of Axum on the other side of the Red Sea in Abyssinia (Ethiopia) to come to their aid. Greek Nestorian monk Cosmas Indicopleustes ("he who sailed to India") begins travelling this year from one end of the habitable world to the other, and ends up in Alexandria in 535, writing the narrative Christian Topography (535-47), claiming that he has personally proved that the Earth is not a globe, but has one oblong temperate zone of 400 days journey in length and 200 days in breadth, encompassed by the ocean and covered by the solid crystal firmament; his work becomes the state of the art of Dark Ages geography, holding back exploration for a millennium? Births: French monk (St.) Cloud (Clodoald) (d. 560); son of King Cholodomer; grandson of St. Clotilde; feast day: Sept. 7.
523 On Aug. 6 Pope (since 514) Hormisdas dies, and on Aug. 13 Pope (#53) (St.) John I (-526) is elected, becoming the first Roman pope to visit rival city Constantinople. Thrasamund the Arian Vandal king of North Africa dies, and is succeeded by Hilderic (460-533) as the next-to-last king of the Vandals; severe persecution of orthodox Catholics in that region ceases. After Clothilde puts the sons of Clovis I up to it to 'get' Gundobald's family for what he did to her father, the Franks under Childebert I, Clotaire I and Theodebert I invade Burgundy, causing King Sigismund to hide out in the desert near his abbey dressed as a monk until he is turned in by his own subjects, then taken along with his wife and two children to Orleans and buried alive in a deep well next year; the Burgundians are allowed to keep their Lex Gundobalda but have to pay tribute and serve in the Frank military (until 613). Sometimes I look at you when I think of the tragedy? Emperor Justin I issues the severe Edict of 523 against the Arians, puzzling King Theodoric the Great of Italy, who can't understand why these narrow-minded intolerant so-and-sos don't practice lofty toleration of the other side like he does. The Mazdakites in Persia are massacred. After defeating the Christian Coptic Ethiopians from Axum who had invaded Arabia to help their brother Christians of Najran, Dhu Nawas orders them to give up that Christ crap and become Jews, and after they refuse, he has them thrown alive into a burning ditch, causing the Quran to later refer to "The cursed people of the ditch" (Sura 85:4); the news pisses off the Byzantine emperor, who declares war on the Jewish Kingdom of Saba and sends a fleet to help the Axumites. Deaths: Irish abbess (St.) Bridget (b. 451).
524 Roman scholar-statesman Boethius (b. 480) gets too proud and falls after he defends Sen. Albinus (who is convicted of treason for merely saying that he hopes Rome will one day be free of the Goths), giving a speech in which he says, "If Albinus be criminal, the senate and myself are all guilty of the same crime; if we are innocent, Albinus is equally entitled to the protection of the laws"; not knowing when to shut up, he adds that, if he had known of a conspiracy, he would not have told the king; soon he is framed on treason charges based on his alleged signature on a letter inviting the emperor of the East to deliver Italy from the Goths, and accused of being a magician, then locked up in the tower (baptistery) of Pavia while the Roman Senate is pressured into convicting him of treason, causing him to reply that after him none of them will be found guilty of the same offence; he uses his tower time to write "Consolation of Philosophy" which, though written by a pagan contains elements of Christian ethics and becomes a hit in Medieval circles; he then is murdered by order of Count Eusebius of Pavia (Ticinum) (transmitting orders of Theodoric) by having a cord tightened around his head until his eyes pop from their sockets, then beaten to death with clubs (the tower survives until 1584); he leaves treatises on logic which set the terminology for Medieval logicians, and stunted translations of texts by Euclid, Pythagoras, Nicomachus, Archimedes, Ptolemy, Plato, Aristotle, and Porphyry that are used in Europe for cents. and are trans. by Alfred the Great of England and Chaucer, incl. writings on the "Boethian Wheel" (AKA Wheel of Fortune); he is later framed on being a Christian, and becomes a Roman Catholic martyr, with miracles attributed to him, incl. dragging his head in his hands; Cassiodorus' old slogan of civilitas is kaput. Persian Monophysite priest Symeon of Beth Arsham, attends a summit in N Arabia incl. reps from the Sassanian and Byzantine empires, and their Arab clients incl. the sheikhs of the Jafnid and Nasrid clans, and delegates of different Christian sects; they are interrupted by an envoy from Himyar in Yemen, who boasts of the massacre of Christians in Najran, causing the Monophysites to form a coalition to crush the Himyarites. Deaths: Roman Christian philosopher Boethius (b. 480) in Pavia (executed for treason); leaves Consolation of Philosophy (De Consolatione Philosophiae); teaches readers to look beyond worldly inequalities to divine Providence, becoming the #1 philosophical work of the Christian Middle Ages ("a work written by a Platonist who is also a Christian, but is not a Christian work" - Henry Chadwick); "Ah why, my friends,/ Why did you boast so often of my happiness?/ How faltering even then the step / Of one now fallen" (opening); after Philosophy appears in the form of a woman: "Her look filled me with awe; her burning eyes penetrated more deeply than those of ordinary men; her complexion was fresh with an ever-lively bloom, yet she seemed so ancient that none would think her of our time"; "There remains also as an observer from on high foreknowing all things, God, and the always present eternity of his sight runs along with the future quality of our actions, dispensing rewards for the good and punishments for the wicked." Burgundian king (516-24) Sigismund (b. ?) in Orleans (murdered); son of Gundobald (-516).
525 Theodoric the Great sends an embassy consisting of Pope John I and four leading Roman senators to Emperor Justin I seeking annulment of the Edict of 523, but Justin I refuses them, criminalizing mere veneration of the Roman pope by his Byzantine subjects, causing Theodoric to retaliate both ways, arresting the pope on his return from Constantinople, and prohibiting the exercise of non-Arian (Roman) Catholicism in his domain; the pope and emperor struck a secret deal for fear of Theodoric's Arian anti-Roman Catholic kinsmen, and several Roman aristocrats joined the conspiracy, which Theodoric discovers?; Boethius' father-in-law Sen. Symmachus is dragged in chains from Rome to the palace of Ravenna, accused of plotting against Theodoric, and murdered, becoming a Roman Catholic martyr. After coming to avenge the Coptic Christians of Najran burned alive in a pit for refusing to convert to Judaism, the Jewish Kingdom of Saba (Sheba) in Yemen in S Arabia (founded 110 B.C.E.) is conquered by 70K Christian Abyssinians (Ethiopians) under Eriat, and the Himyarites are assimilated into the N Arabian tribes; Eriat becomes ruler of Yemen (until ?) - so the idea of convert-or-die started with the Jews, not the Muslims or Christians, it's the halfway sale at Toys'R Us? Births: Visigoth Arian king of Spain (569-86) Liuvigild (Leuvigild) (Leovigild) (Leogild) (Lowenheld) (d. 586). Syrian monk (St.) John Climacus (d. 606).
526 On May 18 Pope (since 523) John I dies in prison in Ravenna, and on July 12 ailing Theodoric the Great, Arian king of the Ostrogoths throws out the choice of the Romans and gets Felix of Samnium (SC Italy), son of Castorius elected Pope (#54) (St.) Felix IV (III) (-530). On Aug. 30 in the 33rd year of his reign Ostrogoth king (since 474) and Italian king (since 493) Theodoric the Great (b. 454) dies in his palace in Ravenna of dysentery (three days after being served a large fish in which he sees the face of Symmachus, and takes ill, telling his physician Elpidus how sorry he is for the murders of him and Boethius?), and is succeeded by his 10-y.-o. grandson Altharic (516-34) (last male offspring of the Amali line), with his mother Amalasvintha (Amalasuntha) (-534) (daughter of Theodoric) as regent, who marries royal fugitive Eutharic (498-535), grandson of Berimund (a great-grandson of Ostrogoth king Hermanric); Amalaric (-531) is restored to the throne of the Visigoths in Spain; Theodoric's other grandson is given the lands on the far side of the Rhone River; Amalasvintha builds a chapel commemorating Theodoric in Ravenna, containing his remains, but later an Italian hermit has a vision of Theodoric's damnation, causing his remains to be thrown into the volcano of Lipari; with Theodoric gone, the unity of Romans and Goths collapses into violence, and the Romans' asses are grass and the Goths have the lawnmower? The Cicilian town of Anazarbus is renamed Justinopolis in honor of Emperor Justin I. Deaths: Ostrogoth king (474-526) and Italian king (493-526) Theodoric the Great (b. 454) on Aug. 30 in Ravenna (dysentery).
527 The Second Byzantine-Persian War begins (ends 531), with Persian Vs in the Caucasus, Iberia, and Mesopotamia this year and next. On Aug. 1 Byzantine emperor (since July 518) Justin I (b. 450) dies from an old war wound in the foot or thigh, and is succeeded by his previously (Apr.) crowned co-emperor, his nephew (St.) Justinian I (the Great) (Flavius Petrus Sabbatius) (Flavius Ancius) (482-565), who becomes Roman Byzantine emperor #105 (until Nov. 14/15, 565), ruling a good long 38 years, 7 mo., 13 days; he immediately seats his well-bathed ex-ho wife Theodora (500-48) on the throne as his equal; "Let greatness own her, and she's mean no more" (Warburton); together they rule 64 provinces and 935 cities, increasing the schism with the Roman Christians while sending missionaries to the pagans in Ethiopia and elsewhere, and immediately begin spending the treasury left by Anastasius like water on lavish living, building projects (countless churches and cloisters, whole towns to public baths, and hundreds of forts along the frontiers with a system of limitanei or frontier forces) and wars, ending up with army veterans having to beg for food, while taxing the wealthy heavily for the first time in the history of the empire, ultimately turning them against him; he promotes young Belisarius (505-65) to active command on the Persian front, alienating many slower-rising generals who are passed over. Paganism has now had it in both halves of the Roman Empire, and becomes dangerous or lethal to practice openly without an army, not to mention Catholicism of the wrong flavor of the month - maybe this is why "pagan" Islam starts out so militant? A 5-year Hatfield-McCoy-like feud between the Blues and Greens (political factions of chariot-racing team fans) breaks out in Constantinople when the short-haired Greens conceal weapons and stones under their fruit baskets and massacre 3K long-haired Blues in the circus, causing the Blues to retaliate on the streets, and gain the upper hand as the legal system breaks down and Emperor Justinian I (a Blues fan) and his wife Theodora (a Green-hater) play favorites; eventually they almost lay Constantinople in ashes, but temporarily reconcile in 531. Nestorian leader Jacob Bardaeus arrives in Constantinople. Scythian monk Dionysius Exiguus (470-544), a member of the Vatican Cura who had lived in Rome since 500 proposes the Anno Domini system of numbering the calendar from the birth of Christ instead of from the founding of Rome; too bad, he has trouble calculating when that was - couldn't have come at a better time? Monk Damo comes to Guangdong from India. Our house is always good to the last drop? By this year the Visigoths control Spain except for the NW corner, which is controlled by the Suevi; the Franks control Gaul, Holland, and the Rhineland, except for the Rhone Valley, which is controlled by the Burgundians (an East Germanic tribe originally from mainland Scandinavia and Bornholm Island); the East Germanic slash Slavic Vandals control N Africa, Sardinia and Corsica; the Ostrogoths control Italy, Pannonia, Dalmatia and Serbia; the Byzantines rule to the E of the Ostrogoths; the East Germanic the Gepids rule the Carpathians N of the Danube (Dacia); the Lombards still control the lands SE of the Elbe and Oder, with their eyes on Pannonia; the Bavarians control the region W of the Lombards; the Thuringians are W of the Bavarians; the (Alamanni) (Alemanni) (Alemannians) control a pocket between the Ostrogoths of Italy, the Franks and the Thuringians. Architecture: Justinian I erects the Basilica of St. John in Ephesus and St. Catherine's Monastery on Mt. Sinai during his reign (527-65). Deaths: Roman emperor #104 (518-27) Justin I (b. 450) on Aug. 1.
528 Pop. of Alexandria: 50K-125K; Antioch: 50K-125K; Constantinople: 50K-125K; Rome: 50K-125K; Carthage: 25K-49K; Ctesiphon: 25K-49K; Ephesus: 25K-49K; Salonica: 25K-49K. On June 20 after being hit on the head with a crowbar in a bar, 19th cent. Am. factory mechanic Hank Morgan wakes up in King Arthur's England, and uses his knowledge that a solar eclipse will occur on June 21 at 3 min. after noon to save himself from being burned at the stake by the Knights of the Round Table at the urging of his rival Merlin the magician; instead, he is hailed as a greater magician than Merlin, and gets the latter thrown in prison along with a job as perpetual minister and chief executive of the kingdom, with a percentage share of all increased revenues - Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court, 1889. Xiao Ming Di is poisoned by his mommy Empress Hu for trying to have her lover Zheng Yan executed, causing gen. Erzhu Rong (Tinbao) (493-530) (AKA Prince Wu of Jin) to capture the capital Luoyang and throw her into the Yellow River, then install Xiao Zhuang Di (Yuan Ziyou) (507-30) as emperor #10 of the Northern Wei in China (until 530) while retaining actual power for himself, going on to rebuild the country. Hephthalite (White Hun) chief ("the Attila of India") Mihiragula (510-40) is overthrown by his Indian tributary princes.
529 On Apr. 7 the commission headed by jurist Tribonianus to collate all the laws promulgated since Hadrian pub. the Latin Justinian Code (Codex Justinianus) (Codex Vetus), based on the 5th cent. Theodosian Code, the 6th cent. Gregorian Code, and the Hermogenian Codes, which become the basis of Napleon's Civil Code; children of mixed marriages (free/unfree) follow the mother's condition; uncultivated land is subject to confiscation. On July 3 the Second Council of Orange (first 441), presided over by Bishop Caesarius of Arles condemns the freewill doctrines of the Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians, and confirms the doctrine of Original Sin of Augustine of Hippo, which claims that the only free men are those who live in accordance with divine will after God chooses them for salvation, with there being no way that men can earn salvation, which made it hard to make new converts until Pope St. Gregory I watered it down, saying that in receiving the Church's sacraments and following its moral teaching, believers demonstrate that God's grace has come to them. Pagan school = porno shop, so let's close them all? Emperor Justinian I issues an edict shutting down any remaining pagan and Samaritan teachers, with the soundbyte: "We wish to widen the law once made by us and by our father of blessed memory against all remaining heresies (we call heresies those faiths which hold and believe things otherwise than the catholic and apostolic orthodox church), so that it ought to apply not only to them but also to Samaritans [Jews] and pagans. Thus, since they have had such an ill effect, they should have no influence nor enjoy any dignity, nor acting as teachers of any subjects, should they drag the minds of the simple to their errors and, in this way, turn the more ignorant of them against the pure and true orthodox faith; so we permit only those who are of the orthodox faith to teach and accept a public stipend", sending it to the Neo-Platonic Academy of Athens (founded -387), which closes, with its Damascus-born leader (scholarch) Damascius (458-540) ("last of the Neoplatonists") moving the school (six colleagues) and its precious scrolls in 532 to Ctesiphon under the protection of Khosrau I, who gets their security guaranteed in a 533 treaty with the Byzantines, allowing them to move to Alexandria; Damascius' pupil Simplicius of Cilicia (490-560) goes on to become the last great pagan philosopher, leaving commentaries on Aristotle. Justinian I passes a law ordering the synagogues of the Samaritans centered in Neapolis (modern-day Nablus), Palestine destroyed, and takes away their rights to bequeath property, causing them to revolt in the summer, only to be summarily crushed, after which their leader Julian's head is sent to the emperor, and the 20K remaining Samaritan rebels are sold into slavery - I vote best day ever for Battle Christ? The Second Council of Vaison first uses the kyrie eleison ("Lord, have mercy") in its 3rd canon.
530 In June the Byzantines under Gen. Belisarius score a major V over the vastly numerically-superior Persians at the Battle of Dara (Daras). On Sept. 22 Pope (since 526) St. Felix IV dies, and on Sept. 22 Pope (#55) Boniface II (-532) (a German Ostrogoth) is elected under the influence of Arian king Altharic, becoming the first Germanic pope, but no surprise, on Sept. 22 the Roman priests elect Antipope Discorus (Dioscoro) (-530), and both are consecrated on Sept. 22 (7th antipapal schism); Discorus dies 22 days later on Oct. 14. King Hilderic of the Vandal kingdom in Africa is deposed by his cousin Gelimer, and Hilderic appeals to the Byzantines for help from prison. Xiao Zhuang Di ambushes and kills gen. Erzhu Rong in the royal palace, after which Rong's cousin Erzhu Rong (Rongzong) (500-32) and nephew Ezhu Zhao (Wanren) (-533) defeat and kill him, installing the prince of Guangling as Jie Min (Jiemin) Di (Qianfei) (498-532), emperor #11 of the Northern Wei in China (until 532). After king Kaleb of Axum, aided by a Byzantine fleet sends two armies led by gens. Abraha ('Abraha) (Abreha) al-Ashram (-554) and Eriat to crush him, Dhu Nawas commits suicide, after which Kaleb sets up Christian Himyarite viceroy Esimiphaeus (Sumuafa' Ashawa'); Abraha then goes renegade, using his 100K-man army to seize power and declare himself king of Saba in Sana'a, pissing off Kaleb, who orders the other army under gen. Eriat to oust him, but Abraha tricks him into settling it with a personal duel, which he wins, killing Eriat and getting his army to switch to his side while earning the nickname "al-Asram" (scarface); Kaleb sends a 3rd army, which is also defeated, causing Kaleb to recognize him as ruler of Bad Girl Saba in exchange for a nominal tribute; Abraha goes on to repair the main irrigation dam in the Sabaean capital of Ma'rib in SW Yemen and fight off the pesky local Jews and pagans. In this decade Nestorian missionaries teach the Hephthalite Huns to read and write. The bishopric of Carcassonne is founded to compensate the Visigoths for the loss of Lodeve and Uzes. Births: Chinese scholar (Buddhist) Yan Zhitui (d. 591). Irish Christian poet (St.) Dallan Forgaill (Gael. "blind") (d. 598) in Magh Slecht, County Cavan, Connaught; studies himself blind? Italian Latin poet (in Gaul) Fortunatus (d. 600). Irish abbot (St.) Deicolus (d. 625) in Leinster; one of the 12 disciples of St. Columbanus on his missionary journey to the Continent; feast day: Jan 18. Deaths: Persian king (488-96, 598-531) Kavad I in Sept. Irish bishop St. Ciaran the Elder (b. 501). Irish monk (St.) Enda of Aran (b. ?); feast day: Mar. 21. Roman-born Byzantine physician-priest Sampson the Hospitable (b. ?) in Constantinople; his hospital, built with aid from Emperor Justinian I the Great becomes the largest free clinic in the Byzantine Empire, lasting for 6 cents.
531 There is a great comet seen in the sky this year, and a great epidemic of bubonic plague begins at the same time, along with serious and frequent earthquakes; "Many cities of the east were left vacant, and in several districts of Italy the harvest and the vintage withered on the ground." - Gibbon, Ch. 40 On Feb. 7 emperor (since 507) Keitai (b. 450) abdicates in favor of his 66-y.-o. eldest son Ankan (469-535), who becomes Japanese Yamato emperor #27 (until 535), going on to construct large numbers of state granaries throughout Japan. Feliz Navidad, prospero año y felizidad NOT? Under Justinian I pagans are now treated like demon worshipers, and arrested, tortured, killed or improverished; he closes the pagan Athenian Academy and confiscates its endowment, setting up a rival Christian one in Constantinople, causing the pagan philosophers to flee, finding refuge in Persia under Khusrau I - if only Xena the Warrior Princess could come back and kick butt? Gen. Belisarius tries to defeat the fleeing Persians at the Battle of Callinicum on the Euphrates River, but the Persians trap his army against the river, and both sides escape, with Belisarius gettting the worse of it; the death of Persian Shah Kavad I ends the Second Byzantine-Persian War (begun 527), and on Sept. 13 he is succeeded by his favorite son (not the eldest), crown prince Khosrau (Khusrau) (Khosrow) (Khusru) (Khusro) (Chosroes) I Anushirvan ("of the deathless or immortal soul") (501-79) as shah of the Sassanian Empire of Persia, who engineers the execution of Mazdak and his followers as heretics before taking the throne; he begins increasing irrigation and land under cultivation, makes the land tax more efficient, extends the poll tax to all adults age 20-50, restructures the army, and divides the empire into four admin. districts under a military gov. (spahbad); he grants toleration to Christians and pagans fleeing from the Christian crazies, patronizing learning; during his reign the game of Chess is introduced from India. Amalaric dies, ending the Balti Dynasty, and Theudis (-548) is elected Visigoth king #1 of Spain (until 548), moving the capital from Narbonne to Barcelona.
532 On Jan. 11 (Tues.) former Macedonian peasant Emperor Justinian I (who now is Thrice August, the Anointed of the Lord, the Vicar of God on Earth, and Equal of the Apostles, living in the Sacred Palace, and issuing Celestial Commands under the "providence of the Holy Trinity", and before whom officials must lie face down on the floor and kiss his feet and hands) attends the festival of the Ides of January in the Hippodrome in his royal purple (wearing a cross rising from a circle representing the Earth on his right shoulder) before a crowd of 40K subjects (whom he thinks have "dumbass" written on their foreheads?); when the Greens interrupt the 22nd race the emperor gives a speech to the crowd, turning the Greens against him and causing them to renounce allegiance, which causes the Blues to attack them, and the Nika Revolt (Riots) spreads to the streets; the govt. decides to hang a mixed group of seven Blues and Greens, and the ropes of two of them (one Blue, one Green) break, and the monks of St. Conon give them sanctuary at the St. Lawrence Church; the emperor gives another speech in the Hippodrome apologizing on the Bible, but they don't buy it, and when he refuses to release "the two who were condemned by your prefect and yet spared by God", referring the matter to his minister Eudaemon, both sides feel outraged and vindicated at the same time, and after killing the soldiers guarding the church and saving the prisoners they begin burning Constantinople and fighting the army, burning and looting the Hagia Sophia, the Baths of Zeuxippus, and part of the royal palace, along with many churches and buildings for five days while shouting "Nika!" (victory!); the emperor beats a hasty retreat to the palace, and to appease the mobs the hated ministers Tribonian and praetorian prefect (head tax collector) (a bear of a man?) John of Cappadocia are removed from office; the revolt escalates again as it becomes Arian (Green) vs. Orthodox (Blue), and Hypatius and Pompey, two rich nephews of former emperor Anastasius I fund the Greens, and on day 6 Hypatius is crowned by the Greens as new emperor, and Justinian is about to give up and flee when his ballsy wife stops him, telling him to make a last stand, saying, "I adhere to the maxim of antiquity, that the throne is a glorious sepulchre"; with the aid of Gen. Belisarius and eunuch Gen. Narses (478-573) and 3K veteran troops of the imperial lifeguards, who block the Blues and Greens in the Hippodrome and massacre them in a bloodbath which kills 30K (too late the Blues flip-flop and claim to be loyal to the emperor again?); the lead conspirators Hypatius and Pompey are executed with 18 high ranking accomplices, and the hippodrome closed for several years; Justinian orders a new Church of Hagia Sophia (pr. "ah-YEE-ah so-FEE-ah") to be built, designed by architects Anthemius of Tralles (474-534) and Isidore of Miletus (finished 537). On Oct. 17 Pope (since 530) Boniface II dies, becoming the first pope not to be sainted - his bonny face obscured by his German nose? The Nike Revolt out of the way, Justianian I signs the Endless (Perpetual) Peace with Chosroes I of Persia, freeing the Byzantine armies for crowd control, as well as kicking pagan and other butt in the West. Gen. Gao Huan defeats and kills Erzhu Rong and his clan and imprisons and kills Jie Min Di, installing Xiao Wu Di (Xiaoze) (Chu) ("the emperor who fled") (510-535) as emperor #12 of the Northern Wei in China (until 535), with Gao Huan wielding actual power. Scythian monk Dionysius Exiguus is commissioned in Rome to coordinate the festival calendar of the Church; he dates the incarnation of Christ to Mar. 25 of the Roman year 754, and sets this is up as January 1 of the year 1 A.D.; unfortunately Matthew 2:1 dates the birth of Jesus to the days of King Herod, who many scholars think died four years earlier, based on the accounts of Josephus (Ant. 14:14.385, 17.18.191, War 1.33.665). Silla conquers Geumgwan Gaya (Bon-Gaya) ("Crown Gaya") (Garakguk), the ruling city-state of the Gaya Confederacy in SE Korea (modern-day Kimhae) at the mouth of the Nakdong River. Births: Frankish Merovingian king (561-92) (St.) Guntram (d. 592); son of Lothair I and 3rd wife Ingunda. Swiss bishop of Aventicum (574-) Marius Aventicensis (Aventicum) (d. 596); feast day: Feb. 9/12. Deaths: Greek abbot St. Sabbas the Sanctified (b. 439) on Dec. 5 in Jerusalem.
533 After the Nike Revolt and its put-down sinks in, the Byzantine emperor attains the status of not quite God but God's regent on Earth, with church and state becoming one, and the govt. owning the land and controlling industry as well as thought; until the early 13th cent. the emperors have a fantastic ambition to restore the Roman Empire with the entire Mediterranean as their lake, the pesky Muslims making it impossible, as if the Romans wanted this either without an end to the religious schism. On Jan. 2 after Mercurius is elected Pope (#56) John II (-535), he is consecrated, becoming the first pope to change his name upon election - if his name had been Freddie he'd be a queen? In June the Vandalic War of Justinian (ends Mar. 534) begins when Gen. Belisarius sails to Africa and lands near the city of Lepcis Magna, 10 mi. from Carthage; Vandal usurper Gelimer executes Hilderic, then meets Gen. Belisarius on Sept. 13 in the Battle of Ad Decimium (Tenth Milestone), which is a V for the Byzantines, followed by a 2nd V on Dec. 15 at the Battle of Tricamarum (Tricameron), ending the power of the Vandals permanently and completing the Byzantine reconquest of North Africa. On Nov. 16 the Latin Institutes (a gen. law textbook) are pub., followed on Dec. 16 by the Latin Pandects (Digesta), a collection of Roman juridical opinions; with the Justinian Code (529), and the Novels (514-65), they comprise the Corpus Juris Civilis (529-34); the law is pretty much set in concrete for the Middle Ages, regarding the law of the state as a reflection of natural law and rationality of the Universe, with power to enforce it residing originally in the people, which they allegedly surrendered to the wise and beneficent ruler via lex regia; courts are judge-centered, with judges questioning witnesses and gathering evidence, and they can alter or suspend statutes and decide cases via abstract ethical principles, which works great for ordinary criminal matters but is subject to despotism for cases of conscience and crimes against the state; Italian and N European states groan under the barbaric German legal system until the Corpus Juris Civilis is accidentally discovered and studied in the 1070s, causing the rise of the faceless magistri or civil lawyer slash bureaucrat class. Bologna in Italy is annexed to the Byzantine Empire. Births: Arab Muhammad's wife ("Mother of the Believers") (first Muslim convert) Khadija (Khadija) bint Khuwaylid (d. 620) ("early baby", related to the Greek word Asia, meaning East or sunrise). Deaths: French Catholic bishop (of Rheims) St. Remigius (b. 435). African Catholic bishop St. Fulgentius (b. 468).
534 In Mar. Gelimer surrenders at Mt. Papua, and the lost Roman provinces (the whole of) of North Africa (in Vandal hands since 439) are restored to the Byzantines, ending the Vandalic War (begun June 533); a triumph is held in Rome for Gen. Belisarius, who brings Gelimer as his POW to Constantinople, where he is allowed to retire to an estate in Galatia (founded cents. earlier by his kin the Gauls); the Berbers, who had been revolting against the hated Arian Vandals continue to revolt against the Byzantines. On Oct. 2 Ostrogoth King Altharic dies after issuing an edict declaring the bishop of Rome to be the head of the bishops of the whole world, and his mother Amalasvintha succeeds him as queen, but Theodoric's nephew Theodahad (-536) assassinates her and succeeds to the throne (until 536), causing Justinian I to vow to avenge her and declare war. On Nov. 16 a new ed. of the Codex Vetus is pub. Theodoric I (b. 484) dies, and his son Theudebert I (-548) becomes Merovingian king of Metz (until 548). Cerdic dies, and is succeeded by his son Cynric (-560) as king #2 of Wessex. Xiao Wu Di rebels against gen. Gao Huan and allies with Gen. Yuwen Tai (Heita), Duke of Anding (507-56), and is chased S into Yuwen's territory, splitting Northern Wei in two, leaving the old Xi (Western) Wei, and the new Dong (Eastern) Wei Dynasty (ends 550), with Xiao Jing Di (Yuan Shanjian) (524-52) (son of Wen's cousin Yuan Dan) as emperor #1 (last). The seaport of Bizerte (Bizerta) in Tunisia on the Mediterranean coast is taken from the Vandals by the Byzantines. Births: Welsh poet Taliesin (Taliessin) (d. 599); tied to the House of Rheged; bard in the courts of three British kings, where he becomes chief bard of Britain? Spanish Roman Catholic archbishop (St.) Leander of Seville (d. 601) in Cartagena; of Italian aristocratic descent; brother of St. Isidore (560-636). Deaths: French Merovingian king Theodoric I (b. 484).
535 Krakatoa Volcano in Malaysia (at 105 deg. E, 5 deg. S) explodes, splitting the island of Sumatra asunder and creating the islands of Java and Sumatra separated by the Sunda Strait, reducing daylight to four hours and affecting crop growth for 10 years; did this accelerate the coming of the Dark Ages by encouraging fleas in Africa to multiply, bringing the plague? On Feb. 3 Xiao Wu Di is poisoned to death by Xanbei gen. Yuwen Tai, and his son Wen Di (Yuan Baoju) (507-51) becomes emperor #1 (until 551) of the Xi (Western) Wei in N China (ends 556). On May 8 Pope (since 533) John II dies, and on May 13 Pope (#57) (St.) Agapetus (Agapitus) I (-536) is elected. After persecution of Romans goes too far for them, the Byzantines declare war against the Ostrogoths, seeking to crush them once and for all and take over Italy, beginning the Byzantine-Ostrogoth War (ends 555); Justinian sends Gen. Belisarius, who starts by taking Palermo, Sicily for the Byzantines (until 831), then crosses into the Italian mainland heading for Rome; meanwhile Justinian rebuilds Singidunum, restoring its fortress and city to decent levels (until 584). Goranus dies, and Eugenius III (-558) becomes king #2 of Dalriada; Goranus is buried at Iona Abbey in Argyll, starting a tradition for Scottish royals (ends 1107). Emperor (since 531) Ankan (b. 469) dies without an heir, and his younger brother Senka (-539) becomes Japanese Yamato emperor #28 (until 539). The Council of Clermont forbids Jews from holding public positions in which they could impose penalties on Christians. Low's, let's build something together? About this time the Postclassical Period of the Latin language (begun 180) ends, and the Medieval (Low) Latin Period begins (ends 1400), where the Romance Languages (Italian, Spanish, French, et al.) develop from the Sermo Plebeius, the corrupted Latin speech of the uneducated classes, who chuck good Latin words like equus (horse) for caballus (nag, pack horse), and testa (head) for caput (pot) - how about that Frog talk French, where it takes three vowels to spell "o" (eau)? Births: Frankish Merovingian king Sigebert I (d. 573); son of Lothair I and 3rd wife Ingund. Deaths: Japanese Yamato emperor #26 (507-31) Keitai (b. 450) on Feb. 7. Japanese Yamato emperor #27 (531-5) Ankan (b. 469).
536 A piece of Halley's Comet slams into Earth, cooling it and leading to Justinian's Plague of 541-2? There is a famine in Britain. You are now free to roam about the country? Ostrogoth king (since 534) Theodahad (-536) sends Pope (since 535) Agapetus I to Constantinople, where he stands up to Emperor Justinian I and Empress Theodora ("whose threats, however, terrify me not"), and deposes Theodora's pro-Monothelite puppet Anthimus from the Byzantine See, then personally consecrates his successor (until 552) Mennas (-552), earning sainthood in the Orthodox Church; on Apr. 22 Agapetus I is poisoned by Theodora, and on June 8 with Theodahad's support subdeacon Silverius is elected Pope (#58) (St.) Silverius (-537); meanwhile in the spring the Byzantines, led by Gen. Belisarius sack Naples and massacre the pop.; Theodahad is deposed in favor of Witigis (Witiches) (Witiges) (Vitiges) (-540), who becomes king of the Ostroths (until 540); Theodahad flees to Ravenna, where he is killed; Witigis buys off the Franks to free him to fight the Byzantines, who recapture Rome on Dec. 9, forcing the pope into exile in Ponza. The Alamanni come under Frankish rule. Architecture: About this time the Pumapunku (Pumapuncu) (Pumapumku) ("door of the puma") temple complex near modern-day Tiwanaku, Bolivia is built by the Tiwanaku. Births: Greek Byzantine historian (pagan) Agathias Scholasticus (d. 582) in Myrina (Mysia). Syrian Chalcedonian Christian historian Evagrius Scholasticus (d. 594) (in Epiphania.
537 On Nov. 11 after being forced to renounce the papacy, Pope (since 536) Silverius is assassinated in exile in Ponza. The Ostrogoths under Totila (-552) siege Rome. The Gepids settle around Sirmium in the Danube Valley. King Arthur of Britain is killed in the Battle of Camlan (Camlann) on Hadrian's Wall, after which there is a plague in Britain and Ireland? Well, that finalizes it? Justinian I ends the largely ceremonial Roman consulship, used to give a date to the year and an annual festival, which in the past has gone hog wild, once costing 80K English pounds and ruining Roman families, and causing Justinian I first to limit the number of processions or spectacles to seven, and to substitute small pieces of silver for gold medals; Basilius is the last consul; the Fasti Consulares (consular record), which has been recorded from the beginning of the Roman Republic comes to an end in the West; dating is now done by the regnal year of the emperor, not the birth of Christ; the next emperor by popular acclaim restores the annual consulship, and it is not abolished by law for three more cents. The 4th cent. B.C.E. Temple of Isis on the Egyptian Island of Philae (Egyptian "P'aaleq" = remote place) is destroyed by Gen. Narses, who sends expeditions to depaganize the Berbers. Architecture: The New Church of Hagia Sophia (Gr. Holy Wisdom) in Constantinople (begun 532) is finished after 5 years 10 mo. 4 days; it has three naves, is 265-ft. long, with a 185-ft. dome that lets in mucho sunlight, and uses 12 varieties of marble. Deaths: Syrian bishop-historian Zacharias Scholasticus (Rhetor) of Mytilene (b. 465); leaves Ecclesiastical History; covers from 451-91.
538 On Mar. 29 the son of Pope #52 Hormisdas is elected Pope (#59) Vigilius (-555). The Ostrogoths, under king Vitiges lift the siege of Rome, then lay siege to Rimini S of Ravenna. The Second Council of Orleans orders Jews to stay indoors during Holy Week for their own protection, and prohibits them from holding public office. Births: Japanese Yamato emperor #30 (572-85) Bidatsu (d. 585); 2nd son of Kimmei (509-71). Frankish dwarf (under 3.5'-tall) historian and Catholic bishop (St.) Gregory (Gr. "watchful, vigilant") of Tours (Georgius Florentius) (d. 594) on Nov. 30 in Arverni (Auvergne), Gaul (modern-day Clermont-Ferrand); takes the name Gregory from a great-grandfather who had been bishop of Langres. Deaths: Syriac patriarch Mor Severius in exile.
539 On Mar. 15 emperor (since Jan. 26, 536) Senka (b. 467) dies, and on Dec. 5 his younger brother (3rd son of emperor Keitai) Kimmei (509-71) becomes Japanese Yamato emperor #29 (until Apr. 15, 571). The Byzantines under Gen. Belisarius siege and take the fortified Ostrogoth town of Fiesole (3 mi. NE of Florence), then raze the fortifications; the Ostrogoths capture Milan, and urge Khusrau I of Persia to end the Endless Peace and attack the Byzantines. The Chronicles and Epistles of Cassiodorus Senator, his literary efforts as Italian quaestor, master of the offices, and Pretorian prefect (dating from 509) end this year; one of the few lights in this dark cent. Births: Frankish Merovingian king Chilperic I (d. 584); son of Lothair I (497-561) and 5th wife Chunsina. Roman Byzantine emperor #108 (582-602) Maurice (Flavius Mauricious Tiberius Augustus) (d. 602) in Arabissus, Cappadocia; husband (582-) of Constantina (560-605). English princess (St.) Bertha (d. 612) in France; daughter of Charibert I and Ingoberga; wife (565-) of Aethelbert of Kent; mother of Edbald (-640), Ethelburga (-647) and Edburga (-650). Deaths: Japanese Yamato emperor #28 (535-9) Senka (b. ?).
540 A global environmental downturn begins, as attested in tree-ring chronologies et al.; there are no written references to it; caused by comets?; ushers in the Dark Ages of Europe? Gen. Belisarius conquers Ravenna and arrests the leaders of the Goths after they offer him their crown, along with king Vitiges, which angers Justinian I, who wanted to offer them peace in exchange for acting as his buffer (bun?) against the Franks; Hildibad (Ildabad) (Theodobald) becomes king of the Ostrogoths (until 541). The Visigoths capture the seaport of Portus Cale (modern-day Oporto) in NW Portugal on the right bank of the Douro River 2 mi. from its mouth (until 716). Disturbed by Jusinian's policies, Persia under Khusrau I terminates the Endless Peace and begins the Third Byzantine-Persian War (ends 562), attacking the Byzantine empire, invading Syria and sacking Antioch; a treaty is struck but voided when Khusrau I extorts money from Byzantine cities. A rebellion against Abraha in Christian Saba by a son of deposed ruler Esimiphaeus is crushed, after which Abraha receives envoys from the Negus, Byzantium, Persia et al. The Huns, Bulgars and other barbarian tribes pick this year to cross the Danube River and raid the Balkans as far S as the Isthmus of Corinth. The Gupta Period in India (begun 280) ends. Vietnam begins a revolt against the Chinese, which is quashed by the end of the cent., causing the Chinese to begin calling it Annam ("pacified south"). Mar Aba I (-552) becomes Nestorian Christian patriarch in Persia. About this time Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator (479-575) gives up his career as first minister to the Italian king, and begins the monastic life, turning his private estates in Squillace at Beneventum into a monastery, and attempting to preserve ancient mss. and literacy as the Dark Ages close in daily; the problem is that to preserve literacy all they have are Latin mss. of the Greek and Roman pagan classics, so it must have been a case of tough love? Nonfiction: St. Gildas the Wise (516-70), De Exicido Conquestu Britanniae (On the Ruin of Britain). Births: Roman pope (590-604) (St.) Gregory (Gr. "watchful, vigilant") I the Great (d. 604); follower of St. Benedict, and first monk to become pope - the first pope to get nun? Deaths: Irish Prince Eudo of Oriel (b. 450). Greek pagan philosopher Damascius (b. 458) in Alexandria, Egypt.
541 The Plague of Justinian (bubonic plague) strikes the Byzantine Empire (ends 542); it returns regularly with each generation throughout the Mediterranean basin until about 750, keeping the Byzantines down just when they need to be healthy to fight the pesky Muslims. The Franks under Chlothar I and Childebert I invade Visigoth Spain as far as Pamplona, and siege Zaragoza for 45 days before Theudis drives them out. Armenian-born officer Artabazes (-542) leads a 100-man Byzantine army of Persian troops into the Gothic capital of Verona for a single day, after which a night-long fight over booty slows the arrival of the remaining 12K men (mostly Persian troops), allowing the Goths to regroup and take the gate, causing the Byzantines to have to escape by jumping from the wall, killing several. King Ildabad of the Ostrogoths is assassinated, and is succeeded by his nephew Totila (Baduila) (-552). Khusrau I makes Lazica (ancient Colchis) (SW of Iberia) a Persian province; meanwhile Gen. Belisarius campaigns against him (until 542). Al-Harith, sheikh of the Ghassanid tribe of Arabs of S Syria asks Theodora for Monophysite bishops for his tribe. Syriac Monophysite priest Jacob Baradaeus (505-78) is ordained as bishop with the help of Empress Theodora, and begins reviving the Syriac church. The consular record comes to an end in the Eastern Roman Empire. Births: Chinese Sui emperor #1 (580-604) Sui Wen Di (Puliuru Jian) (Yang Jian) (Naluoyan) (d. 604) on July 21 in Chang'an; father of Sui Yang Di (569-618); father-in-law of Xuan Di (559-80).
542 The bubonic plague appears for the first time in Constantinople (ends 546), killing up to 10K a day, and spreads throughout Europe for the rest of the cent., then recurs periodically for the next 2-3 cents.; Constantinople also suffers an earthquake. Totila gains a V in the valley of Mugello, then leaves Tuscany to capture Naples, Lucania, Apulia and Calabria; having been counseled by St. Benedict, Totila protects the captured women and treats the captured soldiers with humanity, which makes him better than the Byzantines. The Vascones (Basques) tribe of Spain crosses the Pyrenees to the Roman district of Novempopulana (Aquitania Tertia) in SW France, and is conquered by the Merovingians after fierce resistance, but remains and establishes the duchy of Vasconia (Gascony) (Fr. "devastated or abandoned area") after paying tribute. Christian nutcase, er, historian John of Ephesus (Asia) (505-85) begins a campaign of forced conversion of pagans backed by the Roman govt. The Byzantines siege Ceuta by land and sea, and Visigoth king Theudis fails to come to its defense. Jacob Bardaeus begins a preaching tour in Syria, consecrating Monophysite clergy (until 578). Deaths: French Catholic bishop of Arles (502-42) St. Caesarius (b. 470) on Aug. 27 in Arles.
543 The plague continues to devastate Europe - how long does the Roman Empire got left? The Byzantines under Gen. Martin invade Persian-controlled Armenia, but are defeated. Emperor Justinian I issues an edict condemning the Three Chapters; Pope Vigilius refuses to sign it, and is ordered to Constantinople. St. Benedict receives Ostrogoth king Totila in Monte Cassino. Architecture: The Sant'Apollinare Basilica in Classe, the port of Ravenna, Italy is begun by Julian the Silversmith. Births: Irish Celtic Christian missionary (St.) Columbanus (Columban) of Leinster (d. 615) in Bangor.
544 The first mention of bubonic (blefed) plague in Ireland. The Persians siege Edessa, but the pop. successfully defend themselves; the walls of the city are opened by a flood, and the Shroud of Edessa (Christ) is discovered, and taken to Constantinople and placed in the Hagia Sophia for 260 years, causing the formerly variable portraits of a usually short-haired clean-shaven savior to be replaced by monotonously exact copies of the long-haired bearded figure as seen in the Shroud of Turin? - Hippie Christ got game? The old Roman seaside resort city of Cumae in Campania (S Italy) becomes the center of military operations by Byzantine gen. Belisarius against the Goths (until 548), and he recaptures Rome from the Ostrogoths - prepare yourself for battle? The Nestorian Sixth Gen. Synod of the Persian Church (Synod of Mar Alba I) adopts the results of the 451 anti-Monophysite Council of Chalcedon. Art: The Bamiyan Buddhas begin to be carved (ends 644); they are placed on the Silk Road until the 10th cent., then moved to the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan until the Taliban blows them up in 2001; they have red-blue colored clay robes. Deaths: Christian master dater Dionysius Exiguus (b. 470). Italian monasticism founder St. Benedict (b. 480) - after bending it like Beckham?
545 Emperor Justinian I pays the Persians 2.5 tons of gold as baksheesh for a 5-year truce. In Dec. Ostrogoth Italian King Totila lays siege to Rome, causing famine; defending Gen. Bessas sells out his own people to get rich off the misery? A big persecution of pagans occurs in Rome. Births: Muhammad's father Abdullah (Abdullah) (d. 570)in Mecca; of the Quraysh tribe and the clan of Hashim; dies almost 6 mo. before his birth.
546 The plague finally ends in Constantinople, after having killed 300K; with recurrences, the pop. of the city is severely reduced by the end of the cent., messing up all the emperor's dreams of restoring the Roman empire in the west? The Visigoths cross the Strait of Gibraltar and attack Septem, but are repulsed by the Romans while at Sunday church service. The Lombards under Audoin drive the Gepids E out of the Danube Valley, and migrate to the region N of the bend of the Danube River then into Pannonia. Pope Vigilius reaches Constantinople. A relief army led by Gen. Belisarius fails, and retreats, leaving Rome defenseless; the Arian clergy are driven from Rome after Pelagius tries unsuccessfully to convert the Goths; four Isaurian sentinels let the Goths in while the Roman defenders, led by Bessas make a hasty retreat; in Dec. Totila captures Rome, empties its pop., and leaves, after sacking Rome of its treasures, demolishing one-third of its walls, and giving and then withdrawing an order to change the city into a cattle pasture (Gen. Belisarius talks him out of it?). In Nov. Theudis codifies the Visigoth law in Spain, complete with numerous crowd-pleasing spicy-Italian Roman quotations. Deaths: Irish bishop-monk St. Ciaran of Clonmacnoise (b. 546).
547 Totila marches into Lucania and Apulia, to one of Hannibal's old camps on Mt. Garganus; 40 days later Belisarius recaptures Rome, and 25 days after that Totila returns to recapture it again, but is repulsed. Welsh Christian king Maelgwyn (Maglocunus) ("prince of the hounds of war") Gwynedd ad Cadwallon Hir ("the Tall"), son of Cadwallon dies of a "great mortality" (yellow plague?), and his son Rhun ap Maelgwyn Gwynedd (-586) becomes king of Gwynedd in Wales (until 586). Births: Roman Byzantine emperor #109 (602-10) Phocas (Phokas) (Gr. "a seal") (Flavius Phocas Augustus) (d. 610) in Thrace;son of Domentzia; brother of Comentiolus and Domentziolus. Deaths: Italian Roman Catholic nun St. Scholastica (b. 480) on Feb. 10 near Monte Cassino.
548 The Byzantines under Gen. John Troglita defeat the Berbers in Africa, ending their revolt. Gen. Belisarius repopulates Rome; meanwhile his rival Gen. Narses gets appointed to his command. Theudis is assassinated in Barcelona by pretender Theudisclus (Theudigisel) (-559), who becomes king #2 of the Visigoths in Spain. Theudebert I (b. 500) dies, and his 13-y.-o. sickly son Theudebald (535-55) becomes Merovingian king of Metz (until 555). The Agilolfing Dynasty (ends 788) of dukes begins ruling Bavaria on behalf of Frankish overlords, beginning with duke Garibald (Gariwald I) (540-591). Births: Arab pagan Muhammad's father Abdallah (Abdullah) ibn Abdul-Muttalib (d. 570); son of Shaybah ibn Hashim (Abdul-Muttalib); husband of Aminah bint Wahb; father of Muhammad (570-632). The Madonna of the Byzantines smokes too much? Deaths: Frankish Merovingian king (533-48) Theudebert I (b. 500). Byzantine empress (527-48) Theodora (b. 500) on June 28 in Constantinople (cancer); dies in the 24th year of her marriage and the 22nd year of her reign. Ostrogoth king Theudis (b. ?).
549 The plague returns to Ireland. Gen. Belisarius is recalled to Constantinople, leaving Totila the chance to recapture Rome, again with the help of Isaurian traitors; the last known public games in the Circus Maximus in Rome are presided over by Totila. The Byzantines break their truce with the Persians and invade Lazica (Lazistan) in the Transcaucasus region (549-555). Ceowulf (d. 611) becomes king of the Britons. Agila I (-554) becomes king of the Visigoths in Spain (until 554). A Nestorian bishop is consecrated for the Hephthalite Huns. Liang Wu Di (b. 464) is deposed by gen. Hou Jing (Wanjing) (-552), who captures the capital of Jiankang and holds him and his son Jianwen under house arrest, then starves Liang Wu Di to death and places Jianwen on the throne as Liang Jianwen Di (503-51), Song (Southern) Liang emperor #2, then after 10 weeks has him strangled, and his grandnephew the prince of Yuzhang installed as Liang Xiao Dong (Yuanji) (-552), Song (Southern) Liang emperor #3 of China (until 552). Births: Arab Muslim Bani Hashem leader Imran (Arab. "prosperity") Abu Talib ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib (d. 619); uncle of Prophet Muhammad; husband of Fatima bint Asad (-626); father of Ali ibn Abi Talib (599-661). Deaths: Irish monk St. Finian (b. 470) on Dec. 12 in Clonard.
550 World pop.: 250M. The Yellow Plague in Ireland kills two-thirds of the pop.?; next in 664. Totila conquers Rhegium and Tarentum, then conquers and strips Sicily, followed by Sardinia and Corsica; 300 galleys harass the coast of Greece, land in Corcyra and Epirus, then advance to Nicopolis and Dodona; Pope Vigilius persuades indolent Emperor Justinian I to send a relief army to Sicily under Gen. Liberius, who is replaced by Gen. Artaban, and again by Gen. Germanus, who dies of a malady near Sardica; Artaban's navy defeats the Gothic navy off the Adriatic coast. About this time St. David (Dewi Sant) (d. 589) converts Celtic Wales from Druidism to Christianity; meanwhile St. Petroc arrives in Cornwall from Ireland. The Persians regain control of Afghanistan (Aryana). The Turko-Finnish Magyars (AKA Ugri or Igurs) (source of the name ogre) from the W borders of China are settled on the Volga River by this time. The mass German migration to Britain of Angles (from Anglia, the part of NW Europe that angles out?), Jutes (from Jutland, the part N of Anglia that juts out?) and Saxons (from Saxony, the sack beneath the other two, like a penis and scrotum?) is on, the Angles taking the N, the Saxons the midsection, and the Jutes the SE, driving the native Celtic Britons to the W; by the end of the cent. the island is being contested by the kingdoms which later grow into Mercia (OE "border people") (in the English Midlands centered on the Trent River Valley) and Northumbria (in N England and SE Scotland). About this time St. Columba of Iona founds an abbey in NW Ireland on the Foyle River near the head of Lough Foyle (95 mi. NW of Belfast), which grows into the seaport of Londonderry (Derry). In this half-cent. St. Germain becomes bishop of Paris, becoming known for raising funds incl. his own to emancipate slaves. Inventions: About this time Bells are introduced into France. The Water Mill is invented about this time in Greece. Nonfiction: About this time the Fables of Pilpay are translated into Pahlavi from the Sanskrit "Panchatantra" for Khosrau I, mentioning the new game; it is later trans. into Arabic, spreading throughout Europe. About this time Finnian of Clonard (-549) or Finnian of Moville (-579) writes Finnian's Penitential. The Chronicle of Edessa is written. Births: Syrian Byzantine monk John Moschus (d. 619) in Damascus. Irish abbot (St.) Gall (Gallen) (Gallus) (d. 646); one of the 12 disciples of St. Columbanus on his missionary journey to the Continent; brother of St. Deicolus (530-625); feast day: Oct. 16. Deaths: Hindu astronomer-mathematician Aryabhata (b. 476).
551 Justinian I makes his eunuch chamberlain-treasurer Narses his new CIC, and sends him to defeat the pesky Ostrogoths, opening his public treasury to raise a large army, which incl. Lombards, Heruli (under Philemuth), Huns (under Dagistheus), and Persians (under Kobad). Justinian I restores to Samaritans the right to bequeath property to Samaritan heirs. Athanagild (-567), rival to Visigoth king Agila in Spain plots with Justinian I to send an army from Gaul to S Spain, which he does in 554 - hey, it's okay, my dad tried to kill her and she pulled through? Wen Di dies, and his son Fei Di (Yuan Qin) (-554) becomes emperor #2 of the Xi (Western) Wei in N China (until 554), struggling under the bootheel of gen. Yuwen Tai. An earthquake levels what is left of the ancient city of Petra. The Greek pagan cult site of Olympia is destroyed by an earthquake; it is later covered in sand and silt by tsunamis? St. Cloud (Clodoald) (522-60), son of King Chlodomer of Orleans, who escaped an assassination attempt and became a hermit and disciple of St. Severinus of Noricum is ordained a priest by Bishop Eusebius of Paris. Nonfiction: Jordanes, Romana (2 vols.); History of the Goths (Getica); claims that his people originally came from Sweden. Births: Assyrian Nestorian monk Babai the Great (d. 628) in Beth Ainata, Beth Zabdai (near modern-day Jeziret ibn Omar, Turkey); student of Abraham the Great of Kashkhar.
552 On July 1 the Byzantines under Gen. Narses defeat the Ostrogoths at the Battle of Busta Gallorum (Taginae) (Tagina) (Tadinae) in the Apennines; 6K Goths are killed; Totila is killed by Asbad of the Gepids, and his bloody hat and robe are sent to Justinian I; Teja (Teia) (Teias) succeeds him as chief of the Ostrogoths, and soon slays 300 noble Roman youths who had been sent as hostages; Merovingian Frankish king Theudebald avoids a direct confrontation with the Byzantine army, giving up his father's conquests in N Italy; after the Byzantines unsuccessfully siege Verona, in late Oct. they win again at the Battle of Mons Lactarius and retake Rome, which has now been taken and recovered 5x in Justinian I's reign (536, 546, 547, 549, 552); a last attempt to return exiled Roman senators is foiled by the Goths, and the Roman Senate is no more? In Aug. Mennus (b. ?) dies, and Eutychius I (512-82) becomes patriarch of Constantinople (until 582). The Gepids in the Carpathians gets their asses kicked all over the field at the Battle of Asfeld. Emperor Justinian I sends an army to Visigoth Spain to help a rebellion against the king. The West Saxons under Cynric kick the Britons out of the old Roman fort of Sarum. The great Mongolian Juan-juan Empire is destroyed by a revolt of its Turkish vassals; the Turkish (Turkic) Empire (Khaganate) is established, eventually dividing into Eastern and Western Khanates, controlling the silk trade; the vanquished Altaic people, known to the Chinese as the Juan-juan, and to the West as the Avars move to the Russian steppes, becoming the new Huns, complete with the stirrup (invented in China), which they introduce to Europe by the end of the cent. after being pushed W by the Turks; meanwhile the Turks ally with the Persians to destroy the former White Hun Hephthalites. Chinese gen. Wang Sengbian (Juncai) (-555), working for Xiao Dong's granduncle (youngest son of Liang Wu Di) Xiao Yi captures Jiankang and has gen. Zhu Maichen throw Liang Xai Dong into the Yangtze River, and Xiao Dong becomes Liang Xiao Ji (Shixun) (Taotie Ji) (508-53), Song (Southern) Liang emperor #4 of China (until 553). Buddhism is officially introduced to Japan from Korea as emperor Kimmei receives a bronze statue of guess-who Buddha from Paekche king Song Myong along with an envoy of monks and artisans; too bad, the Monomobe clan wants to stick with Japan's traditional deities, beginning a war with the Soga clan, and after a plague breaks out, Mononobe no Okoshi and his men say "See, I toldya so", and throw the statue into a river in Naniwa and burn the pesky Buddhist temple. Inventions: These boots are made for walking? The Byzantines gain the secrets of Sericulture (silk production) via the smuggling of silkworm eggs from China by Persian monks (from Nanking?) in a hollow cane after going to Constantinople first to get some encouragement and baksheesh from Emperor Justinian I. Births: Kentish king (560-616) Ethelbert (Aethelbert) (Aedilberct) (OE "noble bright") (d. 616). Deaths: Ostrogoth king Totila (b. ?)
553 The Ostrogoths are defeated at their mountain stronghold at the Battle of Mt. Vesuvius (Mons Lactarius) E of Naples after a siege by Gen. Narses' troops (aided by the Lombards), in which Teja's brother Aligern marches to his relief but is driven off; Teja then takes his Gothic army on a last-ditch power drive on foot down the slopes, and is killed by a dart as he tries to exchange his shield (which is weighed down by 12 javelins) for a fresh one; his men fight on, reposing on their arms, and finally submit on the evening of day 2; they sign a treaty and are allowed to reside in Italy with some of their loot; about 1K Goths break the treaty and hole up in Pavia; Aligern holds out for a year at Cumae, then surrenders and accepts a truce. An army of Franks under Theodebald (grandson of Clovis), and Alamanni under brother-dukes Lothair and Buccelin descend from the Alps to the plain of Milan in the autumn, defeat rash Roman Gen. Fulcaris at Parma, and then ravish the Italian coastline. Byzantine gen. Narses sieges Lucca in Tuscany for several mo. The Second Council of Constantinople (Fifth Ecumenical Council), called by Emperor Justinian I and presided over by the patriarch of Constantinople, and attended by 165 bishops over protests by Pope Vigilius condemns the doctrine of Origen that Hell is purgatorial only, and that all, even devils will eventually be purified and restored to happiness, and makes Hell a place of eternal punishment only for mortal sins, with Purgatory reserved for venial sins; Nestorian Theodore of Mopsuestia is also condemned - one out of how many heretics will break a bone due to osteoporosis during their lifetime? Liang Xiao Ji (b. 508) is sandwiched between Xiao Ji in the front and Xi (Western) Wei forces in the rear, then defeated and killed, and Liang Yuan Di (Xiao Yi) (Shicheng) (Qifu) (508-555) becomes Song (Southern) Liang emperor #5 of China (until 555). Naples becomes a duchy ruled by an imperial duke (until the 8th cent.). Pope Vigilius finally signs off on the matter of the Three Chapters. The Nestorian Church (Assyrian Church of the East) rescinds the permission for priests and bishops to marry, although those who are already married are grandfather-claused? Book 8 of Procopius's Anekdota (Anecdota) (Unpub. Notes) (Secret History) ends in the spring of this year, and is continued to 559 by Mysia-born historian Agathias Scholasticus (530-82); too bad, the whole work is considered porno by the West, and a Latin trans. doesn't come out until the 17th cent.; it's actually a repudiation of Procopius' "Wars of Justinian" and "Buildings of Justinian", exposing Justinian as evil incarnate?; "It was not possible, as long as the actors were still alive, for these things to be recorded in the way they should have been. Nay, more, in the case of many of the events described in the previous narrative I was compelled to conceal the causes which led up to them", even though "such things... will seem neither credible nor probable to men of a later generation."
554 In the spring the Byzantines under Gen. Narses defeat 30K invading Franks and Alamanni at the Battle of Capua; Buccelin is KIA; only five Alamanni remain, although only 80 Romans are killed?; not satsified with Italy, Gen. Belisarius invades Spain to kick Visigoth butt and hopefully restore the province to the Roman (albeit Byzantine) Empire, with fifth column support by local Hispano-Romans and Visigoth pretender Athanagild, who defeats and kills Agila near Seville then becomes the new Visigoth king of Spain (until 567), withdrawing support and halting their advance after they conquer Hispanica Baetica (Andalusia and Granada) in the SE corner, and make Cordoba the capital of a new Byzantine province (ends 614) under Byzantine gov. Liberius, which incl. the major cities of Nova Carthagena and Assionia straddling the Straits of Gades; Athanagild then tries to survive in a squeeze play by the Byzantines, Franks, Suevi, and Basques, causing him to relax persecution of the Roman Catholics, while founding the new capital of Toledo, which becomes famous for its splendor, becoming the first time the center of a culture moves inland from the Mediterranean coast. Fei Di is deposed and killed by gen. Yuwen Tai, and his younger brother Gong Di (Tuoba Kuo) (537-557) becomes emperor #3 of the Xi (Western) Wei in N China (until 556), a puppet of gen. Yuwen Tai. The Seventh Gen. Synod of the Persian Church (Synod of Yusuf) appoints metropolitans for Merva nd Rewardashir. Distemper is first called smallpox (smathrose) in Britain. Births: Japanese Yamato emperor #33 (592-628) Suiko (d. 628) (AKA Princess Nukatabe); first woman to sit on the Chrysanthemum Throne; 3rd daughter of Kimmei (509-71); younger sister of Yomei (-587); wife and half-sister of Bidatsu (538-85).
555 On June 7 Pope (since 538) Vigilius dies in Syracuse en route to Rome. Sickly Theudebald (b. 535) dies, and his great-uncle Clotaire (Clotar) (Chlothar) (Lothair) I (the Old) (497-561) annexes his territorities, becoming Merovingian king of Metz, with a plan of uniting the whole Frank, er all the Franks, starting by marrying Theudebald's widow Waldrada (531-72), daughter of Lombard king Wacho, which his bishops object to, causing him to give her to Duke Garibald I of Bavaria next year, creating permanent ties between the Bavarians and Lombards. The last Ostrogoth fortress falls, and the Ostrogoths disappear from history, what's left of them being absorbed into the Alani, Vandals, Burgundians, Franks and other tribes; the Byzantine-Ostrogoth War (begun 535) ends, with the Byzantines controlling all of Italy; the Romans revert to their eating and drinking ways, and the Franks leave Italy with their tails dragging; Italy, now depopulated, is ruled by Gen. Narses for the next 15 years; Italian cities are now ruled by dukes, and Ravenna is ruled by exarchs (reps. of the Byzantine emperor), all prospering while sick man Rome is reduced to 2nd rank. The Byzantines retake Lazica after six years of trying (549). About the time Bridei Mac Maelchu becomes king of the Druid Picts (until about 584), ruling from Argyll to Orkney, and gaining the title of "rex potentissimus" a cent. later from Abbot Adamnan of Iona; his main adviser is the Druid Broichan. Liang Yuan Di (b. 508) is captured and executed by the Xi (Western) Wei after offending their gen. Duke Yuwen Tai (Heita) (507-56) of Anding, who installs his nephew Xiao Chao as Liang Xuan Di (Lisun) (519-62), Song (Southern) Liang emperor #6 of China (until 562). Art: In this half cent. the Byzantines decorate the Church of San Vitale in Goth-free Ravenna with religious mosaics, containing some of the first Byzantine Christian images in Italy, along with portraits of Justinian I and Theodora - showing his Christ and his soldiers wearing Beatles haircuts? Deaths: Frankish Merovingian king Theudebald (b. 535).
556 On Apr. 16 Pope (#60) Pelagius I (-561) is elected, his election influenced by Justinian I since Rome is now a province of the Byzantine Empire. In midsummer the Samaritans revolt against the Byzantines again in Caesarea, and are crushed again. The West Saxons under Cynric and his son Ceawlin fight the Celtic Britons at the Battle of Beranbury. After his son Chramm revolts, Lothair I sends his sons Guntram and Charibert I to attack him in his hideout on Black Mountain in Limousin, but a thunderstorm prevents their battle, after which Chramm the Sham sends fake letters to his bro's claiming daddy's death, causing them to rush back to Burgundy to secure their positions. Gong Di is deposed by Yuwen Tai's nephew Yuwen Hu (Sabao) (515-78) (AKA Duke Dang of Jin), ending the Xi (Western) Wei Dynasty (founded 535); Yuwen Hu then installs Yuwen Tai's son Xiao Min Di (Yuwen Jue) (Tuoluoni) (542-57) as emperor #1 (until 557) of the Northern (Bei) Zhou Dynasty (ends 580); Gong Di is disposed of next year. Deaths: Greek hymnodist St. Romanus the Melodist (b. 490) in Constantinople.
557 Haven't I read this in the Gospels about a zillion times? In Dec. a great earthquake shakes Constantinople; the dome of the new Hagia Sophia collapses and has to be replaced. Allied with the Turks of Tansoxiana, Khusrau I of Persia finally brings an end to Hephthalite power. Liang Jin Di dies, and Chen Wu Di (-560) becomes Song king of China. Xiao Min Di is deposed and killed by Xianbei gen. Yuwen Hu, who installs his brother Ming Di (Yuwen Yu) (Tongwantu) (534-60) as emperor #2 of the Northern (Bei) Zhou Dynasty in N China (until 560). The town of Aquileia (destroyed by Attila the Hun in 452) is rebuilt, becoming the seat of a Christian patriarchate that refuses allegiance to the Roman see (until 1749). Deaths: Greek Christian monk St. Cyriacus the Anchorite (b. 448) in the Cave of St. Chariton, Palestine.
558 The bubonic plague returns to Constantinople. On Dec. 13 King Childebert I (b. 496) of Paris dies, and his younger brother Lothair I (497-561) (king of Soissons) becomes Merovingian king of all the Franks, ruling over most of Germany and making expeditions into Saxony, extracting an annual tribute of 500 cows - yummy all-beef franks? Eugenius III dies, and Congallus (Conall Mac Comgaill) (Kinnatellus) II (d. 574) becomes king #2 of Dalriada in W Scotland. John of Ephesus becomes bishop of Ephesus and forces 70K pagans to convert by making them choose between being baptised or eat dirt - I am a friend of God he calls me friend? Deaths: Frankish king (511-58) Childebert I (b. 496) on Dec. 13.
559 Kurtigur (Bulgarian) Huns (a Mongolian tribe of horseback nomads) led by Zabergan and aided by Sclavonians (Slavs) cross the Danube and invade the Balkans; aging Gen. Belisarius emerges from retirement to drive them from the gates of Constantinople, and they return over the Danube, but the emperor gives him a cold reception; by the end of the cent. the Bulgars dominate the Volga region. Pictish king Bridei Mac Maelchu crushingly defeats the Dalriada Scots. Nonfiction: About this time the Irish paschal forgery Liber Anatoli is composed.
560 There is a great outbreak of bubonic plague towards the end of Justinian I's reign, which does much to soften Italy up for the Lombards - I hear you got a Zorkon problem? Cynric dies, and his son Ceawlin (d. 593) becomes king #3 of Wessex. Aella (Ella) (Ille) (-588) becomes king #1 of the Anglian Kingdom of Deira in N England S of Bernicia, extending from the Humber River to the Tees River. The king of the Suevi in Spain flops from Arianism to swell the ranks of Trinitarian Roman Catholicism, causing the Visigoths to become the last Arians in the Iberian Peninsula. Ming Di is poisoned to death by gen. Yuwen Hu, and his brother (Yuwen Hu's cousin) Wu Di (Yuwen Yong) (Miluotu) (534-72) becomes emperor #3 of the Northern (Bei) Zhou in China (until 572). A Christian mob burns down the Jewish synagogue in Orleans, France, causing the Jews to petition King Gunthram to rebuild it at public cost like Theodoric had done; when he refuses, Bishop Gregory of Tours issues the soundbyte: "O King glorious for wonderful wisdom." Glasgow in Scotland (modern pop. 700K) on the N bank of the Clyde River is founded as a small church built by St. Kentigern (Mungo) (-603), apostle to the Scots, spreading to both banks, and eventually connected by 11 bridges - pronounce it glass-guh? The Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Evroul in Ouche Forest, Normandy is founded; rebuilt about 1050 by abbot Robert (II) de Grantmesnil (Grandmesnil) (-1082). Births: Byzantine empress Constantina (d. 605); daughter of Tiberius II Constantine (520-82) and Ino Anasasia; wife of Maurice. French abbot (St.) Eustace (Eustasius) of Luxeuil (d. 629) in Burgundy; feast day: Mar. 29. Spanish #1 scholar and Roman Catholic archbishop (St.) Isidore (Gr. "gift of Isis") of Seville (Isidorus Hispalensis) (d. 636) in Cartagena; of Italian aristocratic descent; brother of St. Leander (534-601). Arabian Quraysh tribe leader Abu Sufyan (Sakhr ibn Harb) (d. 650) on Sept. 1 in Mecca. Deaths: Cilician-born Greek pagan philosopher Simplicius (b. 490). French monk St. Cloud (b. 522).
561 On Mar. 3 Pope (since 556) Pelagius I dies, and on July 17 Pope (#61) John III (-574) is elected. Lothair I (b. 497) dies after burning his rebellious son (by his 5th wife Chunsina) Chram along with his wife and children in a weenie roast in a cottage in Brittany, after which he is plagued with remorse and dies of grief at the tome of St. Martin in Tours; after Chilperic I, the son from his 4th marriage to Aregund seizes the royal treasure in Berny and enters Paris, trying to take over the whole hot dog, his half-brothers (by 3rd wife Ingund) persuade him to split the Merovingian kingdom of the Franks again, into quarters; (St.) Guntram (532-92) becomes king of Burgundy, with capital at Orleans, which gets taken over by the king of Austrasia on his death; Charibert I (517-67) is given nutritious Neustria ("new land") in W France (the region between the Somme and Loire Rivers), along with Aquitaine, and Novempopulana, with Paris as capital, incl. Albi, Bourdeaux, Cahors, Limoges, Poitiers, Rouen, Tolouse, and Tours; Sigebert (Sigibert) I (535-75) becomes king of Austrasia, with capital at Rheims; Chilperic I (539-84) becomes king of the smallish former kingdom of Soissons (capital) (home of the Celtic Suessiones), composed of Gallo-Romans, incl. Amiens, Arras, Cambrai, Therouanne, Tournai and Boulogne. The original Holy Blood, Holy Grail authors vs. Dan Brown? The Battle of Cooldrumman results when St. Columba of Iona copies a ms. without permission, and Ard Ri (Irish high king) Diarmuid of "the Hill of Tara" rules "To each cow its calf, to each book its copies"; Columba's supporters don't agree, and fight it out, and after 3K are killed, Columba loses and is banished from Ireland, swearing off fighting and looking for the first livable piece of land to settle on. Deaths: Frankish Merovingian king (511-61) Lothair I (b. 497) on Nov. 29 in Compiegne.
562 Alternate possible date for the birth of Muhammad (570). In spring Liang Xuan Di (b. 519) dies, and his son Liang Ming Di (Renyuan) (542-85) becomes Song (Southern) Liang emperor #7 (last) of China (until 585). The Avars attack Austrasia, and are repelled at Regensburg, causing Siegebert I to move his capital from Rheims to Metz. The Persians and Byzantines end the Third Byzantine-Persian War (begun 540), and agree to the 50-year Peace of 562, in which Lazica (Lazistan) in modern-day Georgia is ceded to the Byzantines in exchange for an annual payment of gold. Dalriada is defeated by the Picts, and Congallus II becomes subject to Pictish overlordship. Welsh prince Madoc ap Meurig sails for America, eventually reaching the Am. Midwest and leaving grave mounds in Bat Creek, Tenn.? An assassination plot against Justinian I by Marcellus and Sergius is foiled, but Sergius implicates two members of the household of Gen. Belisarius, and this gets him convicted on trumped-up charges of corruption and plotting to assassinate the emperor; Belisarius is pardoned by Justinian I, but his wealth is sequestered, and he is kept under house arrest from Dec. to July, 563 - that's gratitude for saving his royal ass a baker's dozen times? Architecture: On Dec. 23 after its dome is rebuilt, Justinian I reconsecrates Hagia Sophia. Poetry: Paul Silentiarius, Ekphrasis; epic poem commissioned by Justinian I praising the Hagia Sophia, describing it as a meadow of multicolored marbles. Deaths: Palestine-born Greek Byzantine historian Procopius of Caesarea (b. 490), former secy. and bitter enemy to Gen. Belisarius, who likes to dish out the dirt dies after probably having had something to do with getting him convicted, becoming the last major historian of the ancient Western world, leaving The Wars of Justinian, Of the Buildings of Justinian, and Anekdota (Secret History), or, Eight Books on the History of the Byzantine Empire and its Wars: Persian (vols. 1-2), Vandalic (3-4), Gothic (5-7), Misc. Wars (8); they are continued in the Five Books on the History of the Byzantine Empire by historian Agathias (536-82).
563 On May 12 (St.) Columba (Colmcille) (521-97) runs into and settles on the 5-sq.-mi. island of Iona, going on to found the Mother Church of Scotland, which becomes a monastic center of learning, and later produces St. Aidan, apostle of Northumbria and St. Finian, apostle of Wales. In July Gen. Narses is released, and hires good lawyers to get his name and fortune back. (St.) Gregory of Tours (538-94) finishes studying classic lit. and religious principles (no theology) with his uncle, and is ordained as a deacon.
564 Octa dies, and his son Eormenric (-580) becomes king of pagan Kent in SE England. Gregory of Tours visits the tomb of St. Martin in Tours, becoming a protege of Bishop Euphronius (d. 573). A "great wind" is recorded in Britain. Births: Spanish Catholic martyr (Arian convert) (St.) Hermenegild (Ermengild) (d. 585) (Gothic "immense tribute); eldest son of King Leovigild (525-86); brother of Reccared I (559-601); husband of Ingund (Ingundis) (Ingunthis) (daughter of Sigebert I of Austrasia); feast day: Apr. 13.
565 In Mar. Belisarius is finally found innocent and restored to his freedoms. On Nov. 14/15 emperor (since 527) Justinian I (b. 482) dies at age 83 after 38 years on the throne, leaving Greek Novellae Constitutiones Post Codicem (The Novels) (begun 514), a collection of 168 of his own "novel" decrees on social and private life, and after sacred bedchamber provost Callinicus claims he named him on his deathbed (rather than Germanus' son Justin) his nephew (son of his sister Vigilantia by her husband Dulcissimus) Justin II (Flavius Justinus Junior) (520-78) seizes the throne with the aid of Tiberius, cmdr. of the guard, and becomes emperor #106 of the East (until 574); Gen. Belisarius dies within a few weeks of Justinian; the later rumors that he died blind and penniless are bunk, although his war treasures were confiscated?; his wife Antonina receives a portion of his wealth, which she uses to start a convent; Justin II reacts to his uncle's profligacy and begins to tighten the purse strings, but otherwise stays the course? John II (Scholasticus) (-577) becomes patriarch of Constantinople. Charibert I, king of Paris marries his Roman Catholic daughter (St.) Bertha (565-612) to pagan king Ethelbert of Kent across the Channel; she arrives in England with her chaplain and personal confessor Bishop Liudhard (d. 600?), and is allowed to practice her religion in an abandoned Christian mausoleum left over from late Roman times, and Luidhard dedicates it to St. Martin of Tours, becoming the first Christian Saxon church in England; meanwhile she begins pussy-whipping her hubby to convert. The central camp of the Ephthalites (White Huns) on the Oxus River is destroyed by the Turks allied with the Persians, and they disintegrate; some of the Rajput clans of Rajputana in N India descend from them. They may be Christians by day, but at night they sneak out and worship the trees? St. Columba leaves Iona and arrives at the court of Pictish king Bridei Mac Maelchu in Inverness on the Ness River in N Scotland, and attempts to convert him, his Druid Broichan having the king meet him out in the open because "wizard" Columba's magic is thought to work less well in open sunlight than in a closed chamber; eventually he succeeds in converting the Picts to the Christian Celtic Arian faith, giving Pictland its first cultural contact with the Roman-Byzantine world. Architecture: Boukoleon (Gk. "bull and lion") Palace in Constantinople S of the Hippodrome on the shore of the Sea of Marmara, originally built by Theodosius II has a small harbor built in front, complete with a statue of a bull and lion. St. Catherine (Santa Katarina) Monastery (Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai) at the foothills of Mt. Sinai in Egypt, dedicated to 4th cent. saint St. Catherine of Alexandria is built by Christian monks on the site where her remains are allegedly found. Deaths: Byzantine emperor #105 (527-65) Justinian I (b. 482) on Nov. 13/14 in Constantinople. Welsh-born Christian saint Samson of Dol (b. 485) in Dol, France. Byzantine Gen. Belisarius (b. 505) in Nov./Dec.
566 Plague sweeps the Roman Empire again, followed by famine in 569. About this time St. Columba reports seeing and exorcising a strange creature in Loch Ness - funny how the rumors of Nessie are started by a copyright pirate? The Eighth (8th) Gen. Synod of the Persian Church begins (ends 567). Births: Chinse Tang emperor #1 (618-26) Tang Gao Zu (Gaozu) ("high founder") (Li Yuan) (d. 635) on Apr. 8 in Chang'an; father of Tang Tai Zong (599-649). Arab Muslim leader (ancester of the founder of the Abbasids) Abbas (Al-Abbas ibn Abd-al-Muttalib) (d. 652); paternal uncle of Muhammad; great-grandfather of Muhammad bin Ali; ancestor of Abu al-Abbas (721-54).
567 Lombard king (since 560) Alboin (-572) allies with the Avars to defeat the Gepids and occupy their territory; too bad, pressure from neighbors causes him to leave Pannonia for Italy, and they cross the Julian Alps next year; Pannonia loses its Germanic dominance. In Dec. Charibert I (b. 517) dies in Brittany (Armorica) (of alcoholism?) after being excommunicated (a first for a Merovingian king) for fathering several sons with concubines Merofleda (wool carder's daughter), Marcovefa (Merofleda's sister), Berteflda (nun in Tours), Clothilde (nun in St. Croix, Poitiers), and Theudechild (Theodogilda) (cowherd's daughter), and his brothers divide his realm, holding his main prize Paris in common; one of his hos Theudechild (who had his only son, who died in infancy) proposes a marriage with her ex-hubby's brother St. Guntram, but he obeys a council held in Paris in 557 outlawing such marriages as incestuous and sends her to a nunnery at Arles instead. Visigoth king Athanagild (b. ?) dies peacefully in bed, and after a short period of anarchy he is succeeded by his Arian brothers (sons of Amalric and Clovis I's daughter Clothilda) Liuvigild (Leovigild) (525-86) and Liuva (Leova) I (-572), who become the last Arian Visigoth kings in Spain (until 586), with Leovigild marrying Athanagild's widow Goisvintha and ruling the part S of the Pyrenees (AKA Hispania), while Liuva (favorite of the nobles) rules the part N of the Pyrenees; they work together to kick the pesky Byzantines out of the S, while the Basques, Cantabrians, and Asturians in the N hold out against them; by now the Visigoths no longer speak good ole German but the emerging Latin-derived dialects of Spanish, Catalan, and Portuguese. Justinian I being dead, the Avars and Lombards join together and destroy the Gepids, and the Lombards in Pannonia now get brave enough to descend S into Italy - like the Huns in 451-2? Inventions: Emperor Wu Di of the Northern (Bei) Zhou invents Chinese Chess. Deaths: Frankish Merovingian king Charibert I (b. 517) in Dec. in Brittany.
568 The Arian Lombards, along with some Saxons and Slavs migrate to depopulated Italy, taking it from the indifferent Byzantines by 571; too bad, there aren't enough Lombards to occupy the whole peninsula, leaving the Byzantines with Ravenna (after a short occupation), Rome, S Italy (Naples), and N Africa; they also fail to control the coast, and are officially snubbed by the Byzantines, with the native Latins hating their guts? The Avars attack Austrasia again, and are repelled again. The Avars invade Dalmatia on the Adriatic coast (modern Croatia), and Emperor Justin II buys peace for 80K pieces of silver; the Avars go on to found the town of Spalato. Wessex king Ceawlin and his brother Cuthwin (Cutha) fight King Ethelbert of Kent - if only it were called Winston? Nonfiction: The earliest known text of the Quran is written on sheepskin dated to between 568-645, indicating that it may have been written before Muhammad was born.
569 Alboin takes Verona along with N Italy, setting up a capital at Pavia (until 774); meanwhile the town of Milan, whose bishops are orthodox Catholic becomes the center of opposition to the Arian Lombards, and they go on to aggregate civil and military powers and appoint viscounts. Births: Chinese Sui emperor #2 (604-18) Sui Yang Di (Yang Guang) (Yang Ying) (Amo) (d. 618); 2nd son of Sui Wen Di (541-604).
570 The first holy UFO cult begins in the desert planet of Tatooine without the droids? The holy trading town of Mecca (Makkah) (Becca) in Arabia near the Red Sea (pop. 25K), ruled by the Quraysh (Quraish) (Koreish) (Arab. "shark") Tribe since early in this cent., home of the Qaaba (Kaaba) (Ka'aba) (Ka'bah) (Arab. "stone"), a sacred black cube with a meteorite cornerstone and all four corners aligned with the compass points, which is a repository of 360 idols and tribal gods, esp. #1 Moon god Hubal (who later became Allah?), with the Black Stone (al-Hajaru i-Aswad) (allegedly set there by Muhammad in 605 C.E.), located in the E corner, and encased in a vulva-like projection, which believers like to cunni, er, kiss after the local tribes gather once each year under truce to circle the Qaaba 7x counterclockwise and also drink from the bitter-tasting Well of Zamzam (Ishmail) 66 ft. E of it, and which Muslims later claim was founded around 2000 B.C.E. by Father Abraham of Ur in Babylonia, who allegedly set up the Qaaba with the help of his favorite son Isaac, er, Ishmael (Ishmail) (Heb. "God listens"), while teaching the local rubes monotheism, which was later turned into polytheism by the bad Amalekites (although there is no archeological evidence for an ancient city of Mecca before Ptolemy mentions Macoraba in the 2nd cent. C.E.?) is invaded by viceroy Abraha (Abreha) ('Abraha al-Ashram) (Abraha bin as-Saba'h) of Yemen (-554), who built the Al-Qulays (al-Qalis) Cathedral (Arabic for ecclesia or church) in San'a' to rival the Kaaba, which he now wants to destroy, arriving with a train of elephants and an African Ethiopian Christian army; too bad, he is repulsed from the walls after allegedly being pelted by showers of stones dropped by birds (really smallpox?); shazam, 55 days later (12th day of Raby' I) (Apr. 26?) the world is dis, er, graced by the birth of Kutam (Khatam) (Kid Tommy?), later known as Muhammad (Mohammad) (Mohammed) (Mahomet) (Arab. "Praiseworthy One") (d. 632), son of Abdallah (Abdullah) (who dies almost 6 mo. before his birth), renamed by his grandfather Abdul Motalleb, the defender of Mecca, whose father Amr (Arab. "ruler") Hashim (Arab. "pulverizer") ibn Abd al-Manaf (Hashem Ben Abd Manaf) (-497) (nicknamed Hashim because he gives pilgrims to Mecca free broth with pulverized bread in it) was founder of the Banu Hashim clan, and the first to equip camel trade caravans and make the town a trade center, with a special edict from the Ethiopian and Byzantine emperors exempting them from duties or taxes; "[Muhammad,] the only son of Abdallah and Amina, was born at Mecca, four years after the death of Justinian, and two months after the defeat of the Abyssinians, whose victory would have introduced into the Caaba the religion of the Christians" - (Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Ch. 50); born into a prosperous merchant clan, he is of the tribe of Quraysh (Koreish) and the clan of Hashem, which claims lineal descent from Abraham's son Ishmail (Ishmael) by Abraham's wife Sarah's Egyptian slave girl Hagar (Heb. "forsaken"); "He will be a wild ass of a man, his hand against every man and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen" (Gen. 16:12); Muhammad's pagan great-great-great-grandfather Qusayy married Hubba, daughter of Hulayl, ruler of Mecca, then took over the Kaaba by force, which the Muslims later tried to coverup by claiming he purchased it for a skin of wine and a lute; another coverrup attempt is the Muslim claim that Qusayy's enemies suddenly were plagued by an outbreak of pustules and ran for it; either way, Qusayy became the lord of the pagan Kaabah, controlling access and raking in all the moolah from the concessions, and passing it on to his sons; Muhammad's mother Amina (Aminah) (Arab. "faithful") bint Wahb (-577) (Amina is Arabic for Mary?) was pregnant with the little devil for four years?; his father dies almost 6 mo. before his birth, his mother dies in his 7th year, and his grandfather in his 9th year, so he is raised by his uncles, and his orphan's inheritance is a house, five camels, a flock of sheep and an Ethiopian maidservant - all his close relatives dying around him proves he's Damien the Antichrist? Irish monk St. Brendan discovers America about this time? - you don't feel the cold when you're drunk? Greek Neopolatonist philosopher Olympiodorus the Younger (b. 495) (who lived to see Plato's Academy in Athens closed in 529 and survived persecution) dies, after which the Alexandrian School passes into the hands of Christian Aristotelians, who move to Constantinople. An anon. Italian pilgrim visits Acre and writes about its beautiful Christian monasteries. The 34 in. x 21 in. Sudarium (Lat. "sweat cloth"), the alleged face cloth of Christ in the tomb is first mentioned by Antoninus of Piacenza, who claims it is being cared for in a cave near the monastery of St. Mark near Jerusalem. A variant of chess using dice is played in China. Births: Frankish Merovingian king (575-95) Childebert II (d. 595); eldest son of Sigebert I (535-75). Arab Muhammad companion Ammar ibn Yasir ibn Malik Abu al-Yaqzan (d. 657) in Mecca. Deaths: Greek Neoplatonist philosopher Olympiodorus the Younger (b. 495); leaves Biography of Plato; Commentaries on Plato and Aristotle; Intro. to Aristotelian Philosophy. British monk-writer St. Gildas the Wise (b. 516) in Houat, Brittany. Arab Muhammad's father Abdallah ibn Abdul-Muttalib (b. 548).
571 On Apr. 15 Japanese Yamato emperor (since Dec. 5, 539) Kimmei (b. 509) dies, and next Apr. 30 his 2nd son Bidatsu (538-585) becomes Japanese Yamato emperor #30 (until Sept. 14, 585). Pope John III retires to the Roman catacombs to protect eunuch Byzantine gen. Narses (478-573), who is fighting trumped-up treason charges. After the permission for Nestorian priests and bishops to marry leads to apostasy, (St.) Abraham the Great of Kaskhar (491-586) founds the Monastery of Mt. Izla above Nisibis to revive the strict celibate monastic movement; meanwhile Henana of Adiabene (-610) becomes head of the Nestorian school of Nisibis, going on to deviate from Nestorian orthodoxy and follow the teaching of Origen, which causes almost all of his students to walk out, even though the Persian court protects him. Deaths: Japanese Yamato emperor #29 (539-71) Kimmei (b. 509) on Apr. 15.
572 The Persian attempt to impose Zoroastrianism on the Armenians causes them to revolt, giving Byzantine emperor Justin II an excuse to attack, beginning the Fourth Byzantine-Persian War (ends 591); the Turks ally with the Byzantines against the Persians. The Lombards (Arians?) under King Alboin (-573) continue their conquests in Italy going S, creating the duchies of Spoleto and Benevento; the Byzantines retain control of a corridor between Ravenna and Rome (which later becomes the Papal States), splitting the northern Lombard kingdom from its southern duchies; the European clergy find themselves battling a resurgence of pagan beliefs, often artfully combined with Roman Christianity, foiling Justinian's dream of reuniting the Roman Empire under one Christian faith; however, the Lombards now have to face the popes, who consider themselves the true heirs of the Roman Empire of the West, and forever plot to gain supreme power with their voodoo-zombie mind-control org.? Liuva I dies, and his brother Liuvigild becomes sole king of the Visigoths in Spain, going on to expel the Byzantine invaders from Cordova, but the Byzantines maintain a foothold in Hispania Baetica, and Liuvigild goes on to ape their pomp and ceremony, becoming the first Visigoth king to wear kingly attire (the purple?), also imitating their coinage. Didey didey didey didey? Justin II renews Justinian's anti-Samaritan polices, causing the Samaritans to revolt, and this time get effectively exterminated. Wu Di is ambushed and captured by gen. Yuwen Hu (-578), who rules as emperor #4 of the Northern (Bei) Zhou in China (until 578).
573 After Chilperic I murders his wife Galswintha, sister of his wife Brunhilda (daughters of Visigoth king Athanagild, who they married because they're high class and not slave women like the local yokels, although they had to convert them out of that Arian heresy first), Siegebert I gets pissed-off and starts a war with him, taking Poitiers, Touraine, and most of his kingdom, causing Chilperic I to hide in Tournai. Gen. Narses (b. 478) dies, and Pope John III returns to the Lateran Palace; Gregory (later Pope Gregory I the Great), from a rich Roman senatorial family becomes prefect of Rome (until 574). Persia invades and devastates Syria and captures Dara on the Tigris River; among the 292K captives taken are 2K beautiful Christian virgins intended to be presented by Khusrau I to the Turkish Khan; at a river, the Christian virgins separate from their captors to bathe, then drown themselves rather than enter the Khan's harem, causing imaginative Emperor Justin II to suffer a mental breakdown - who with a full pair wouldn't? The Lombards have a loose federation of 36 dukes but no king, causing a period of anarchy and private wars (until 584); Pavia (Ligurian town of Ticinum) becomes the capital of the Lombards; until 774 Italy has three capitals, Rome (papal capital), Ravenna (Byzantine capital), and Pavia, and the Italian peninsula is a mosaic of jurisdictions, with the Lombards controlling inland Liguria, Tuscany, and Venetia, and the duchies of Spoleto and Benevento, the Byzantines controlling Venice and the peninsula from N of Ravenna to S of Ancona, incl. the duchies of Rome and Naples, along with Italy's toe and heel; the Byzantines revive hospitalitas, giving one-third of the produce of the land to the lucky Lombards, who also take the lands of the dead and exiled, and gradually become Romanized with Roman titles and names, and finally go Roman Catholic after that Arian crap is forked out of them? The Visigoths under Liuvigild expel the pesky Germanic Roman Catholic Suevi from Leon and Zamora, enlarging their domain to the N and W. Euphronius dies, and Gregory of Tours is elected bishop of Tours. Two Mon princesses from Thaton allegedly found the Buddhist city-kingdom of Pegu in Burma (modern-day Bago); the earliest knowm mention of the city is by Arab geographer Ibn Khudadhbin in 850. Deaths: Byzantine eunuch gen. Narses (b. 478). Lombard king Alboin (conqueror of N Italy) (b. ?) in Verona; killed with his wife.
574 On July 13 Pope (since 561) John III dies. After surrendering his throne to the regency of his wife Sophia last year, Byzantine emperor (since Nov. 15, 565) Justin II (b. 520) goes insane, and the empire is ruled by new regent (until 578) Tiberius II Constantine (520-82) (Justin II's imperial guard and personal friend), negotiates a peace with Persia (ends 575). Congallus II dies, and Aidan (Aidanus) (Gael. "fire") Mac Gabran (Gabrain) (532-605), king of the Celtic British kingdom of Manann (from the Forth River S to Slamanann) (whose mother is from Strathclyde) is crowned king #4 of the Dalriada Scots by his first cousin St. Columba on Iona after he returns from exile with an army and forces the Scots to select him over Congallus' son, with help from Columba, becoming king of the Scots and Britons, leaving Manann to his son Arthur (Arturius) (Gael. "rock, hard") (-582), after which the Britons call Aidan "the treacherous". Architecture: Prefect Gregory of Rome founds St. Andrews Monastery in Rome, plus six monasteries in Sicily, then retires into St. Andrews as a monk. Nonfiction: St. Gregory of Tours (538-94), Historia Francorum (History of the Franks) (10 vols.) (574-94); history of the Merovingian era to 591, becoming the #1 history of the era. Births: Japanese politician Prince Shotoku (Umayado) (Kamitsumiya) (d. 622) on Feb. 7.
575 On June 2 Pope (#62) Benedict I (-579) is elected; the Lombards siege Rome. The Persians begin ravaging Syria as far as Cappadocia, but are driven back by Byzantine gen. (future emperor) Maurice - got any more virgins? After being declared king by his brother Chilperic I's subjects in Vitry, Sigibert I of Austrasia is murdered by two assassins working for Chilperic's new local wife Fredegund; in the Nibelungenlied he becomes Siegfried (OG "victory" + "peace"); he is succeeded by his eldest son Childebert II (570-95) as king of Austrasia (until 595) under the regency of his mother Brunhilda; Bishop Gregory of Tours, who opposes him is accused of villifying his wife Fredegond, but is acquitted after a trial. Maadikarib (Ma'dikarib) II bin Saif Dhu Yazin al-Himyari (-577) becomes the 102nd and last ruler of the Himyarite kingdom of Yemen after obtaining Persian assistance to revolt against the Coptic Christian Axumite ruler; too bad, he is assassinated by an Abyssianian in his bodyguard, allowing Persia to take control of Yemen (until 628), giving the Nestorians a chance to convert some of the Christians there. Aidan Mac Gabrain establishes independence from his overlord the king of the Ui Neill in N Ireland, and goes on to expand Scot power with his fleet and army, raiding Orkney, the Isle of Man, and Pictland throughout the 580s. Births: Byzantine emperor #110 (610-41) Heraclius (Heraklius) (Herakleios) I (d. 641) in Cappadocia; son of the exarch of Africa. Deaths: Italian statesman-turned-monk (European monastic movement founder) Cassiodorus Senator (b. 479). Frankish Merovingian king Sigebert I (b. 535) (assassinated).
576 The Nestorian Synod bans the use of tamborines and castanets in funeral ceremonies and liturgical music - too much like superbabe Theodora in the glam days? A great nut crop is recorded in Britain, along with smallpox.
577 Ceawlin and Cuthwin fight the Britons and slay three kings (Commail, Condida and Farinmail) at the Battle of Derham (Dyrham), taking the towns of Gloucester, Cirencester (Corinium), and Bath, and cutting the Britons in Wales off from those in the S. Muhammad's mother dies while he is visiting Medina with her - like Damien the Antichrist, all his close relatives die while he is young? Inventions: Northern (Bei) Zhou Dynasty women in China invent Matches, pyrotechnic chemical-tipped wood sticks ignited by friction. Births: Arab Muslim caliph #2 (634-44) Omar (Umar) (Arab. "long life", "eloquent") ibn Al-Khattab the Great (d. 644) in Mecca; member of the Banu Adi clan of the Quraysh tribe; son of polytheist father Khattab ibn Mufayl. Deaths: Byzantine Constantinople archbishop John II Scholasticus.
578 On Sept. 26, 578 Justin II raises regent (since 574) Tiberius II Constantine to full Augustus before croaking on Oct. 5, becoming Roman Byzantine emperor #107 (until Aug. 14, 582), and giving away 7.2K lbs. of gold a year for the rest of his reign; he goes on to watch the Avars (Slavs) move into Thrace and Greece and ruin the property values in the Balkans? Yuwen Hu (b. 515) dies, and his son Xuan Di (Yuwen Yun) (Qianbo) (559-80) becomes emperor #5 of the Northern (Bei) Zhou Dynasty in China (until 579), becoming known for erratic and wasteful rule, finally going totally insane. Deaths: Irish monk St. Brendan the Navigator (b. 484). Syriac priest Mor Jacob Baradaeus (b. 505) on July 30 on the Egyptian frontier. Roman Byzantine emperor #106 (565-74) Justin II (b. 520) on Oct. 5; dies mad.
579 On July 30 Pope (since 575) Benedict I dies, and on Nov. 26 Pope (#63) Pelagius II (-590) is elected, laboring to promote the celibacy of the clergy; for starters priests must say the Divine Office every day - that'll keep their minds off it, I'll pretend I'm kissing the lips that I'm missing and hope that my dreams come true? Renewed hostilities causes the Fourth Byzantine-Persian War (begun 572) to flare up, but Persian Shah Khusrau I dies, and his son Hormizd (Hormizdas) IV (-590) becomes king of Persia, negotiating an uneasy truce with Armenia, while war with the busy Byzantines continues. Roman monk Gregory is sent by the pope on an embassy to Constantinople (until 586). Nestorian monk Mar Sergius settles in China. (St.) Leander (534-601) becomes bishop of Seville, and preaches against Arianism, causing king Leovigild to exile him to Byzantium (until 582), going from the fanatical world of the Arians to the venal world of the Byzantines. Looney tunes Xuan Di passes the throne to his 6-y.-o. son Jing Di (Yuwen Yan) (Yuwen Chan) (573-80), who becomes emperor #6 (last) of the Northern (Bei) Zhou, then makes his wife Yang Lihua and four concubines empresses, pissing off the nobles, who just wait for him to die - like an Elvis sandwich laced with arsenic? Births: Arab Muslim caliph #3 (644-56) Othman Othman (Uthman) (Osman) ibn Affan (574-656) in Ta'if; of the Banu Umayya clan of the Quraysh tribe.
580 There is a severe earthquake in SW France. Co-emperor Tiberius II begins a campaign to terrorize the pagans of the Bekaa Valley; in Byzantine cities the pagans are subjected to the same tortures in the arena that they used to give Christians? Eormenric dies, and his son Ethelbert (Aethelberht) (552-616) becomes king (until 616) of pagan Kent, with capital at Canterbury. Xuan Di (b. 559) dies after going looney tunes (forbidding women outside the palace from using cosmetics, and ordering that all wheels be made from a single block of wood), and his Buddhist father-in-law Yang Jian seizes power from his boy son Jing Di (Yuwen Yan) (Yuwen Chan) (573-81), becoming emperor Sui Wen Di (Puliuru Jian) (Naluoyan) (541-604), ending the Northern (Bei) Zhou Dynasty (founded 556), and founding the Sui Dynasty in China (ends 618), which spreads Buddhism while also supporting Confucianism, and creates the greatest period of Chinese prosperity since the Han Dynasty, storing a 50-year supply of food - incl. Elvis Presley bacon-banana-peanut butter sandwiches? Nonfiction: The Pentateuch ms. No. 1 Pinner (no vowel points) is corrected this year, becoming one of the oldest Bible mss. to survive to modern times. Births: French mayor of the palace of Austrasia (623-9, 639-40) Pepin (Peppin) (Pippin) (Pipon) I the Elder of Landen (d. 640) in Landen, Belgium; son of Carloman of Landen; father of Begga (615-93). Greek Christian monk-theologian (St.) Maximos (Maximus) Confessor (the Theologian) (d. 662) in Constantinople (Palestine?); defender of Chalcedonian orthodoxy against the Monothelite heresy; born of a noble famly.
581 Byzantine Gen. Mauricius defeats Persian Great King Hormiz IV at the Battle of Constantia after a 4-year campaign; meanwhile some Turkish POWs captured by the Persians are discovered to have Christian crosses tattooed on their foreheads. Byzantine emperor (578-82) Tiberius II Constantine (-582) establishes an elite corps of 15K Norse barbarians, who eventually develop into the Varangian (Norse "oath-sharers") Guards. Tibetan Script is developed, and a constitution is written by the king. Births: Arab Muslim leader Zayd ibn Haritha (d. 629); Muhammad's adopted son, mentioned in Quran 33:37.
582 The 581-2 winter in SW France is so severe that wolves sneak into Bordeaux to eat domestic dogs. On Apr. 5 (Easter) Eutychius I (b. 512) dies, and Emperor Tiberius II makes ascetic Hagia Sophia deacon John IV (the Faster) (Nesteutes) (-595) the patriarch of Constantinople (until 595), becoming the first to use the title "ecumenical patriarch", pissing-off Pope Gregory I, who calls it "diabolical arrogance", adding that anybody using it is the Antichrist, instead opting for "servant of the servants of God". On Aug. 14 emperor (since 574) Tiberius II Constantine (b. 520) dies, and on Aug. 14 Maurice (Flavius Mauricius Tiberius Augustus) (539-602) succeeds him as Roman Byzantine emperor #108 (until Nov. 27, 602) after marrying his daughter Constantina (560-605) on Aug. 5; too bad, his defensive mentality ends up making him unpopular in the capital; John IV the Faster persuades Maurice to have wizard Paulinus burned at the stake. The Avars (Slavs) under Khan Boyan conquer Sirmium, then advance into the Balkan peninsula. The Turkish Khaganate officially breaks up into the Eastern Khanate and the Western Khanate. Arian Visigoth king Liuvigild capures Merida from Catholic Bishop Masona, exiling him for three years. The Battle of Camallan (Manann) sees the Celtic Britons under King Arthur defeated by the Miathi Picts, and Arthur KIA; the legends of Camelot later arise from the nearby Roman fortress of Ad Vallum? Births: Frankish bishop-statesman (St.) Arnulf (Arnold) of Metz (d. 640) in Lay-Saint-Christophe; great-grandfather of Charles Martel (686-741); father of Ansegisel (602-661) (610-678?). Deaths: Greek patriarch Eutychius I (b. 512) on Apr. 5 in Constantinople. Roman Byzantine emperor #107 (574-82) Tiberius II Constantine (b. 520) on Aug. 14. Greek historian Agathias (b. 536) in Constantinople.
583 The bulked-up Avars capture the Byzantine forts along the Danube. Kid Tommy Muhammad (b. 570) goes to Syria in the company of his uncle (head of the Banu Hashim clan) Imran ("prosperity") Abu Talib ("seeker of knowledge") ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib (549-619), and met with the Christian (Syriac?) (Nestorian?) (Arian?) Bahira (Buhayra) ("shining", "bright") AKA Sergius the Monk in Basra, who allegedly predicted that he would grow up to be a great prophet - maybe after a little sodomy? Chen Xuan Di dies, and Chen Hou Zhu (-589) becomes Song king of China, moving the capital to Changan (Chang'an) (Chin. "perpetual peace") (E terminal of the Silk Road), and dividing China into provinces. Births: Arab Muslim gen. (conqueror of Egypt in 640) Amr bin al-As (al-Aas) (d. 664) in Mecca; converts in 8 A.H. (629).
584 Chilperic I (b. 539) dies, and his bun-in-the-oven son Chlothar (Lothair) II the Great (584-629) is soon born, becoming king of Neustria based in Soissons, with his mother Fredegund(a) (-597) as regent (until 597), who gets in a mean feud with Queen Brunhilda (Brunhilde) of Austrasia; meanwhile overtures of the pope to the Franks scare the Lombards into electing an authentic king, Authari (540-90), who is endowed with half of the baronial lands as his royal domain; his wife Theodolinda is a devout Roman Catholic who solemnly places the Lombard nation under the patronage of St. John the Baptist. Visigoth king Liuvigild suddenly orders his Roman Catholic subjects to convert to Arianism, replacing Catholic bishops with Arian ones, causing a revolt in Baetica led by his own son (St.) Hermenegild (b. 564), who was converted to orthodox Trinitarian Catholicism by Metropolitan Leander of Seville with the help of his Frankish wife Queen Ingundis (daughter of Sigebert I); too bad, after the Byzantines refuse to aid him, he is captured in Cordoba and banished to Valencia, and his revolt crushed, freeing Liuvigild to subdue the pesky Basques, then defeat the infighting Suevis in Galicia and add it to his domains, leaving only the Basques and Byzantines a foothold in Arian (not not for long) Spain. Ceawlin and his brother Cuthwin fight the Britons at Fretherne in Gloucester, and Cuthwin is slain. The Avars sack and burn Singidunum to the ground. Monte Cassino is sacked by the Lombards under Duke Zotone of Beneventum, causing its monks under abbot Bonitus to flee to the Lateran Hill in Rome for the next cent.; it is not rebuilt until 718. The Turks pay tribute to China. Leander returns from exile and becomes archbishop of Seville, continuing to hammer against pesky Arianism. Pagan king Kubrat (Kurt) (d. 642) of the Dulo tribe founds the First Bulgarian Empire in the Balkans, extending his domain from the Don River to the Caucasus (ends 642). A comet destroys two islands off the coast of Gaul in a fireball, according to Gregory of Tours. Births: Frankish king (613-29) Lothair (Lothar) (Chlothar) (Chlotar) (Clothar) (Clotaire) (Chlotochar) (Hlothar) II (the Great) (the Young) (d. 629); son of Chilperic I (539-84) and Fredegund. Deaths: Frankish Merovingian king Chilperic I (b. 539).
585 On Apr. 13 St. Hermenegild (b. 564) is executed in Seville by orders of his Arian father king Liuvigild, and his widow delivered to emperor Tiberius II Constantine; in the 16th cent. he canonized by Pope Sixtus V at the request of Philip II of Spain; too bad, Liuvigild never goes in for the kill, preferring to be tolerant of Roman Catholics and form a detente with their bishops in order to keep the Byzantines in check, and the downhill slide of the nobles from Arianism to 3-leaf clover Roman Catholicism is unstoppable? On Sept. 14 emperor (since 572) Bidatsu (b. 538) dies, and on Oct. 3 his younger brother Yomei (518-87) becomes Japanese Yamato emperor #31 (until May 21, 587). Liang Ming Di (b. 542) dies, and his son Liang Jing Di (Xiao Cong) (Wenwen) becomes Song (Southern) Liang emperor #8 (last) of China (until 587). The 43-bishop Council of Macon in Burgundy is held, decreeing that women don't have a soul - not (a later frameup); bishop (since 574) Marius Aventicensis (Aventicum) (532-96) of Aventicum in Switzerland moves his see to Lausanne, writing the Chronicle of Marius Aventicensis, covering the years 455-581 and describing the pesky Arian Burgundians. The Ninth (9th) Gen. Synod of the Persian Church (Synod of Yeshuyab I) disapproves of the teachings of Henana, but doesn't completely condemn them yet (until 596). Births: Arab Muslim Rashidun gen. (companion of Muhammad) Khalid ibn al-Walid (Abu Sulayman Khalid ibn al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah al-Makhzumi) (d. 642) (b. 592?) in Mecca. Deaths: Syriac historian John of Ephesus (b. 505); leaves Ecclesiastical History (6 vols.), covering from Julius Caesar to the year 588. Japanese Yamato emperor #30 (571-85) Bidatsu (b. 538) on Sept. 14. Spanish Orthodox martyr St. Hermenegild (b. 564) on Apr. 13 in Seville (murdered).
586 On Apr. 21 Leovigild (b. 525) dies while fighting a war with the Franks in the N, and his Trinitarian-leaning remaining son (youngest son of his 1st wife) Reccared (Recared) I (559-601) becomes king of the Visigoths in Spain (until 601), bringing Bishop Leander back to Toledo, then sending ambassadors to greet Childebert II, grandson of his Arian stepmother Goiswinth; more ambassadors sent to his uncle King Guntram of Burgundy are rebuffed. Rhun ap Maelgwyn dies, and his son Beli ap Rhun (517-99) becomes of Gwynedd in Wales (until 599). A synod meeting in Constantinople ascribes the title "Ecumenical Patriarch" to John IV of Constantinople because it is the capital of the "ecumenical empire"; later the Ottomans and the Repub. of Turkey refuse to recognize the title, instead using "Phanar Patriarch" for the district in Constantinople where he is quartered. Muhammad the Propeller-head Prophet participates in the Hatfield-McCoy tribal Fijar (Sacrilegious) (Immoral) War, but doesn't participate in the fighting, only helping to pick up the arrows afterward. Monk Gregory returns to Rome from Constantinople, and becomes the man wearing shades his future is so bright. Deaths: Persian Nestorian monk St. Abraham of Kaskhar (b. 491). Spanish Visigoth king (569-86) Liuvigild (b. 525) on Apr. 21.
587 In Jan. new Spanish Visigoth king Reccared I is converted to Roman Catholic orthodoxy by Bishop Leander of Seville, and officially renounces Arianism, causing most nobles and ecclesiastics to follow suit, merging with the majority of Hispano-Romans in Spain; meanwhile a group of stiff-necked Arians hold out N of the Pyrenees, with a revolt in Septimania being led by Bishop Athaloc and Counts Granista and Wildigern, who appeal to King Guntram of Burgundy, who sees his chance and sends an army under Duke Desiderius; too bad, Reccard defeats and slaughters them, and kills Desiderius - the Dark Ages version of MySpace? On May 21 emperor (since 585) Yomei (b. ?) dies, and on Sept. 9 after a catfight between the Soga clan (which backs him) and the Mononobe clan, his younger half-brother (12th son of Kimmei) Hatsusebe becomes Sushun (520-93), Japanese Yamato emperor #32 (until 592). The British archbishops of London and York flee to Wales. Mace Windu, er, Sui Wen Di abolishes the Song (Southern) Liang Dynasty (founded 502), and seizes its territory, making Liang Jing Di one of his officials. Deaths: Japanese Yamato emperor #31 (585-7) Yomei (b. 518).
588 A great snow rocks Ireland. John IV of Constantinople assumes the title Ecumenical Patriarch. Another Arian revolt in Spain breaks out in Lusitania, led by bishop Sunna of Merida and Count Seggo; it too is put down by an army under Duke Claudius, who banishes Sunna to Mauritania and Seggo to Gallaecia; a 3rd Arian revolt led by Bishop Uldila and queen dowager Goisvintha fizzles, and Uldila is banished, causing the Arians to give up for the rest of Reccared I's reign. After an arranged marriage between Theodelinda, daughter of Bavarian duke Garibald I and Frankish Merovingian king Childebert II falls through, along with another arranged marriage between Childebert's sister and Lombard king Authari, after which Garibald arranges a marriage of Theodelinda with Authari, the pissed-off Franks invade Bavaria, causing Theodelinda to flee to Italy, where she marries Authari next May, who names Gundoald the duke of Asti, pissing-off the Franks against Authari too - Simon says fetch? King Aella dies, and Aethelfrith of Bernicia invades and conquers Deira, driving Aell's 3-y.-o. son, future king Edwin of Norhtumbria into exile. Births: French goldsmith-builder-priest (St.) Eligius (d. 659) near Limoges; patron saint of goldsmiths, metalworkers and blacksmiths; feast day: Dec. 1.
589 In the spring high rains cause the Tiber River to flood and overflow, destroying the granaries and bringing famine and plague. In May the Third (3rd) Council of Toledo convenes, led by Spanish archbishop (St.) Leander of Seville (534-601, who delivers the closing sermon Homilia de Triumpho Ecclesiae ob Conversionem Gothorum (Triumph of the Church and Conversion of the Goths), with the soundbyte "The peace of Christ has destroyed the wall of discord which the Devil had built up, and the house which division was bringing to ruin is united in and established upon Christ the cornerstone"; Arianism is now declared a heresy, and the repressive laws set out in the Council of Elvira are reinstituted, incl. forced conversion of Jews, who unsuccessfully try bribing Reccard I, causing St. Gregory the Great to praise him and send him gifts consisting of a piece of the True Cross, fragments of the chains of St. Peter, and some hairs of St. John the Baptist (really a chip off his chair, some old jewelry from one of his hos and some short hairs from his crotch?); the council adds the Filioque Clause to the Creed of Constantinople, changing "ex patre procedit" to "ex patre filioque procedit", i.e., the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, pissing off the Greek theologians, who insist that he proceeds not from but through the Son; actually, while the clergy was for using royal power to clamp down on the pesky Jews, the fact that they are rich and well-connected throughout the Mediterranean causes them to be tolerated, with Reccared I eliminating the death penalty for Jews proselytizing among Christians and ignoring a request from St. Gregory to use force to end Jewish trade in Christian slaves in Narbonne, but the prohibition on Jews holding public offices in which they can impose penalties on Christians is retained. The Byzantines take Martyropolis in Mesopotamia from the Persians, and win another V at the Battle of Sisarbanon near Nisibis in SE Anatolia, but the war remains indecisive, weakening both sides; meanwhile the Arabs invade Persia, and the advance of the Turks is stopped by Persian gen. Bahram (later Bahram VI) who then tries to invade Lazica but is met and defeated by the Byzantines at the Battle of the Araxes River; after Persian Gen. Bahram is insulted and replaced by Hormizd IV over his defeat in Lazica, he rebels. Sergius becomes bishop of Carcassone in Gaul. Inventions: The first written record of Toilet Paper in China by Yan Zhitui (531-91); "Paper on which there are quotations or commentaries from Five Classics or the names of sages, I dare not use for toilet purposes"; in 851 an Arab Muslim traveler disses them for using paper instead of water after going to the bathroom - not that kind of record, a written record? Deaths: Welsh bishop St. David (b. 500) on Mar. 1 in Pembrokeshire.
590 Winning is about trusting your instincts On Feb. 7 as the plague rages in Rome, Pope Pelagius II dies it after leading a sevenfold procession in Rome which seemingly ends it, as proved when an angel appears to him from Castel del Sant'Angelo to announce it; on Sept. 3 Benedictine monk Gregory (first monk to become pope) is elected Pope (#64) (St.) Gregory I (the Great) (540-604) (supposedly against his will), becoming the last of the four great Latin fathers, and the first of the medieval male chauvinist Roman Catholic Church prelates, bridging the classical Greco-Roman tradition with the medieval Roman-German one; although he continues to wear a monk's robe, he immediately takes over as an unauthorized secular prince, leading the fight against the Arian Lombards and the claims of the patriarch of Constantinople to be the #1 bishop, citing divine authority; he tightens clerical discipline, stressing celibacy (if not chastity?), divides Church revenue into four shares (bishop, clergy, poor, church bldgs.), continues the ancient imperial grain doles in Rome and elsewhere, repairs aqueducts, reforms the city admin., and allies with the Benedictines at the expense of the bishops, giving them bishop-proof charters and sending them on missionary campaigns in Britain, Gaul, Italy, Sicily, Africa, and Sicily; his men begin codifying the best Church Gregorian Chants, which derive from Jewish services and rely heavily on antiphonal singing of hymns by choirs in unison (no part-singing), and introduces the papal-style Servus Servorum Dei ("Servant of the Servants of God"); a fan of St. Augustine of Hippo, he writes The Book of Pastoral Care, which becomes a std. clerical textbook for cents.; his Dialogues popularize his crypto-pagan ideas about angels, demons, devils, relic worship, miracles, Purgatory, and allegorical interps. of the Bible; a disciple of St. Benedict, he imposes the Benedictine Rule upon all Latin monasticism, and gets nearly all orders to comply; he encourages Christian missionaries to speed up the absorption of pagans by absorbing pagan traditions into Catholic "universal" ritual as needed, saying they should meet the pagans half-way and so bring them into the Church, e.g., by absorbing their pagan festival of Tammuz or Bel or Nimrod on midsummer day (June 24) as the Festival of the Nativity of St. John; each Catholic church is turned into a Disneyland of saints? - get them in any way you can, we'll take it from there, and get them into the music? On Sept. 5 after the pissed-off Franks invade Lombardy with Byzantine help, but are defeated, Lombard king (since 584) Authari (b. 540) dies, and next May his cousin Duke Agilulf the Thuringian of Turin (-616) marries Authari's widow Theodelinda, and becomes the Lombard king (until 616), getting baptised to the Arian Christian faith to please her, and forcing the entire Lombard nation to follow suit (until 603). Persian Gen. Bahram Chobin deposes and murders the bum Hormizd IV; Hormizd's son Khusrau (Chosroes) II Parviz (the Victorious) (d. 628) becomes Sassanid king of Persia, but Bahram seizes the throne despite help from Constantinople, causing K2 to flee to Constantinople, and he rules as Bahram VI (-591) (until 590). Pagan Ethelbert is recognized as ruler of the British (Bretwalda) after winning many battles, and promulgates the first Anglo-Saxon Law Code, based on Roman law. (St.) Columbanus (543-615) of Leinster (from Bangor, Ireland) starts a missionary tour of France with 12 disciples, and founds the Luxueil Abbey in Burgundy, France, spreading Celtic Christianity (half-corona tonsure, different date of Easter and consecration of bishops, and a more austere rule than the Benedictines) on the Continent in competition with Roman; he later founds monasteries at Annegray (in the Vosges Mts.), and Fontaines-les-Luxeuil; his disciple St. Gall (Gallen) (Gallus) (550-646) founds the St. Gallen Monastery in Switzerland, which Charlemagne makes into an imperial abbey and goes on to evolve into one of the world's largest breweries. In this decade Urien of Rheged storms Bamburgh, citadel of the Angles of Bernicia in Northumberland. By this decade Aidan Mac Gabrain of Dalriada becomes the dominant power in the N British Isles, dominating Strathclyde, pushing into Pictish territory, and fighting the Germanic Angles of Bernicia in N Northumbria centered in Bamburgh, Northumberland. About this time Christian Byzantine historian John of Epiphania writes a history of the Byzantine-Persian wars from Khosrau I vs. Justin II to Khosrau II's flight to the Byzantines. Births: Scottish bishop of Lindisfarne (635-51) (St.) Aidan of Lindisfarne (d. 651) in Ireland. Spanish Roman Catholic bishop of Zaragoza (St.) Braulio (Braulius) (d. 651). Deaths: Persian king Hormizd IV (murdered).
591 After the Byzantine emperor takes up his cause and leads a great army to the east, Khusrau II is restored to the Persian throne, causing Bahram VI to flee to the Turks, where he is assassinated; the Fourth Byzantine-Persian War (begun 572) ends, with the Byzantines receiving Dara and most of Armenia, and making a detente with Persia (until 602); under Khusrau II's rule the empire reaches its maximum extent; Zoroastrian high priest Tanar establishes the canon of the Avesta; Khusrau II initially tolerates Christianity and favors the Monophysites over the Nestorians, but by the end of his reign goes back to persecuting them all; the queen and her ladies play Polo with Khusrau II and his courtiers. Taking advantage of the emperor's absence, the Avars raid to the gates of Constantinople - and then find out about them three sets of walls? Garibald I dies, and his son Tassilo I (560-610) becomes duke of Bavaria (until 610). The Celtic Britons are slaughtered at the Battle of Wanborough in modern-day Swindon, Wiltshire; Ceawlin is driven from his kingdom, and next year his nephew Ceol (Ceolric) (Ceola) (d. 597) (son of Cuthwulf, son of Cynric) becomes king #4 of Wessex (until 597). Muhammad becomes an active member of Hilful Fudul (Arab. "virtuous") (Hilf al-Fudul), a league for the relief of the distressed - Helping Hands? (St.) Fulgentius (-633), brother of Leander and Isidore becomes bishop of Ecija (Astigi) in Spain. Pope Gregory I the Great, who introduced the custom of placing ashes on the forehead on Ash Wednesday (first day of Lent), gives his Mary Magdalene Sermon, calling her a whore and equating her with Mary of Bethany (sister of Lazarus in Luke 7:37); it takes until 1969 for the Church to retract the masturbation fantasy, er, false accusation? Deaths: Chinese scholar Yan Zhitui(b. 531).
592 On Dec. 12 emperor (since Sept. 9, 587) Sushun (b. ?) is assassinated by Soga Umako after he stupidly proclaims "I want to kill Soga Umako like this wild boar" during a hunting expedition, tipping him off; to avoid a power struggle, Princess Nukatabe, 3rd daughter of Kimmei (a Buddhist nun) becomes Suiko (554-628), Japanese Yamato emperor #33 (until Mar. 7 628), the first woman to ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne; the Japanese imperial court is moved from Yamato to the Asuka region. Guntram (b. 532), king of Burgundy dies, and his nephew and adopted son Childebert II, king of Austrasia picks up his title of king of Burgundy (until 595); since Guntram had been the peacemaker in Francia, the Franks descend into a civil war, preventing them from uniting against their enemy Lombardy, allowing Agilulf to enjoy a long peaceful reign. The Battle of Woden's Burg. The Second Council of Saragossa in Spain (380, 691), held by Visigothic bishop Maximus of Zaragoza solves the practical problems stemming from the recent conversion of the Visigoths from Arianism to Nicene Christianity. Births: Frankish aristocrat and breed mare Itta of Metz (d. 652) in Metz; sister of St. Modoald, bishop of Trier and St. Severa; wife of Pepin of Landen (580-640); mother of St. Begga of Andenne (615-93) and Gertrude of Nivelles (626-59). Deaths: Frankish Merovingian king St. Guntram (b. 532). Japanese Yamato emperor #32 (587-92) Sushun (b. ?) (assassinated).
593 The Byzantines under Gen. Priscus begin a campaign against the pesky Avars (ends 601). Deposed king Ceawlin and his brother Cwichelm of Wessex die - ceawlin no evil? Ethelfrith (Aethelfrith) ("noble strength") (-616), son of Ethelric becomes king of Bernicia in Northumbria (until 616), later conquering Deira to the S to create the kingdom of Northumbria and become its first king, becoming the first great Anglo-Saxon leader among the northern English.
594 On July 23 solar eclipse is recorded in Britain. 24-y.-o. Prophet Muhammad becomes the business mgr. of 40-y.-o. noble-born wealthy widow Lady Khadijah (Khadija) bint Khuwaylid (553-620), and leads her trade caravan to Syria and back, then marries her (his first wife) next year, turning him into a player - a woman, you're using a woman? Japanese empress Suiko issues the Flourishing Three Treasures Edict, officially recognizing Buddhism, and appoints capable pro-Buddhist Prince Shotoku (572-622) as regent. Births: Japanese Yamato emperor #34 (629-41) Jomei (Tamura) (d. 641); grandson of Bidatsu (538-85); great-nephew of empress Suiko (554-628). Japanese Yamato emperor #35 (642-5) and #37 (654-61) Kogyoku (Saimei) (d. 661); wife of Jomei (594-641); sister of Kotoku (596-654); great-granddaughter of Bidatsu (538-85); mother of Tenji (626-72)) and Temmu (631-86); 2nd woman to sit on the Chrysanthemum Throne. Deaths: Deaths: Syrian historian Evagrius Scholasticus (b. 535); leaves Ecclastical History; from the 431 First Council of Ephesus to the reign of Emperor Maurice in 582-602. Frankish Roman dgfgffghffghCatholic bishop St. Gregory of Tours (b. 538) on Nov. 17 in Tours, Gaul.
595 On Sept. 2 John IV dies. Childebert II (b. 570), king of Austrasia and Burgundy dies, and his sons split things up, with Theudebert II (586-612) becoming king of Austrasia and Theodoric II (-613) becoming king of Burgundy. Births: Arab Muslim leader (founder of the Shiite Fiver Zaydi Sect) Zayd ibn Ali (d. 740) in Medina. Deaths: Frankish Merovingian king Childebert II (b. 570).
596 Cyriacus (d. 606) becomes ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople. Benedictine Pope Gregory I sends Roman Benedictine monk Augustine (d. 604) to Britain with "very many monks" (wearing black robes) to convert them to Roman Catholicism after he sees Angle and Saxon children in the slave markets of Rome and, seeing their blond hair and blue eyes, says they're not angles but angels; he knows that the Anglo-Saxons are the last large group of Germans who are still pagan, but doesn't realize that England already has Celtic clergy owing their allegiance to the Byzantine Church? The Tenth (10th) Gen. Synod of the Persian Church (Synod of Sabaryeshu) condemns Henana's teaching, causing the School of Nisibis to close. Births: Japanese Yamato emperor #36 (645-54) Kotoku (Karu-no-Oji) (d. 654); brother of Kogyoku (594-661); great-grandson of Bidatsu (538-85). Deaths: Swiss bishop Marius Aventicensis (b. 532) on Dec. 31 in Lausanne.
597 Fredegund dies, and 13-y.-o. Lothair II begins ruling for himself as king of Neustria, continuing his mother's feud with Queen Brunhilda of Austrasia. Lateran Great White Hope Augustine arrives in Kent, uses King Ethelbert's Frankish Catholic wife Bertha to convert (pussy-whip?) him, then within a few mo. of arriving baptizes him and a number of his subjects, and begins the Anglican church tradition, founding Canterbury Church and becoming the first archbishop of Canterbury in 601, spreading Christianity to neighboring kingdoms where Ethelbert has influence, although he has trouble converting London; Ethelbert creates episcopal sees, and builds Augustine a basilica, which he names Christ's Church; it is destroyed by fire in 1067. Ceolric dies, and is succeeded by his still-pagan-and-proud brother Ceolwulf (-611) as king #5 of Wessex. Deaths: Irish Arian monk St. Columba (b. 521) on June 9 at Iona; Dallan Forgaill (530-98) composes Elegy for Colmcille (St. Columba).
598 Despite the Ducatum Romanum (Roman duchy of Italy centered in Rome and including the Tiber River Valley, run by the pope) splitting his Italian kingdom in half, Lombard king Agilulf negotiates a truce with Pope Gregory I the Great, ending 30 years of war and terror, allowing him to concentrate on the Byzantine threat in S and NW Italy nipping at his flanks, first extending his dominion by taking Sutri and Perugia in Umbria from the exarchate of Ravenna, then fighting the Avars and Slavs and signing a truce with Byzantine emperor Maurice with the aid of the pope. Births: Hindu mathematician Brahmagupta (d. 670). Deaths: Irish Christian poet St. Dallan Forgaill (b. 530) in Inniskeel, Donegal.
599 Millennium Fever is really bad this year, what with Big Six coming up, and the Roman empire kaput, and rumors of a new Antichrist in Arabia? Lothair II of Neustria wars with his cousins Theuderic II of Burgundy and Theudebert II of Austrasia, who defeat him at the Battle of Dormelles (near Montereau), then begin fighting each other and forget him. Ravenna exarch Callinicus breaks his truce with Lombardy and kidnaps the king's daughter, causing war to break out. Beli ap Rhun (b. 517) dies, and his son Iago ap Beli (560-616) (Jacob son of Beli) becomes king of Gwynedd (until 616). Births: Chinese Tang emperor #2 (626-49) Tang Tai Zong (Li Shimin) (d. 649) on Jan. 23; 2nd son of Tang Gao Zu (566-635); father of Tang Gao Zong (628-83). Deaths: Welsh poet Taliesin (b. 534).