Some Religious History from 651-1184
Some observations:
1.  The history of religions in a history of warfare, also the
history of mankind is a history of warfare.
2,  Islam originated in warfare and Mohammed was primarily a
leader of warfare.
3.  Mohammed did not write the Koran as it was compiled by a
committee 30 years after his death.

{Following is selected items of interest from
"MACROHISTORY WORLDHISTORY"  online at http://www.}

651  Almost thirty years have passed since Muhammad's death.
The third caliph since Muhammad tries to put an end to
quarreling over Muhammad's legacy and orders a committee to
collect Muhammad's messages into a standard word, to be
called the Koran, drawing from the memories and the tradition of
passing history on orally. The result produces the wrath of
various people and communities across Arabia who had
become wedded to these rival interpretations.
661  An assassination attempt has been made on Ali, the son-in-
law of Muhammad, and he dies of his wounds, aggravating a
split between his supporters, called Shia Muslims. Their rivals,
Sunni Muslims, are establishing a new caliphate at Damascus, in
664  The civil war among the Muslims ends. Led by caliph
Mu'awiyah in Damascus, Islam renews military expansion
680  A rebellion against another Umayyad caliph supports the
son of Ali, Hussein. He is hopelessly outnumbered at the battle
of Karbala, but he wants to die fighting, and does. He becomes
the martyr for whom Shi’a Muslims will annually thrash
700  Non-Arab Muslims outnumber Arab Muslims. Despite
resistance from Arab leaders, integration between Arabs and
non-Arab Muslims is rising. An Islamic empire by Arabs is on its
way toward being swallowed by its conquests.
711  A Muslim army crosses the Strait of Gibraltar and begins a
conquest of Spain. Jews welcome them as liberators. An Arab
ship is plundered by pirates near the mouth of the Indus River,
and the Arab governor in Mesopotamia retaliates, sending an
expedition, said to include 6,000 horses and 6,000 camels, to
conquer the rajas of Sind.
717  Arabs have conquered eastward across land to the western
border of China. They have conquered Lisbon and in the
Caucasus, including Armenia. Caliph Omar II grants tax
exemption to all believers. Wealth has been gathered from
looting the wealthy during conquests and by taxing non-Muslims.
718  Constantinople, ably led by a general called Leo the
Isaurian, has held off Muslim attacks by land and sea for more
than a year. Leo is now Emperor Leo III. South-Central Europe
is to remain Christian.
722  Emperor Leo III forces conversion of Constantinople's
726  Emperor Leo III issues an edict against the worship of
icons, seeing it as the main reason Jews and Muslims cannot be
won to Christ. The cross is to be maintained as the symbol for
Christianity, but worship with other images, including those of
Jesus, are not permitted.
731  English historian and theologian, Bede, writes his
Ecclesiastical History. He beings numbering the years from the
time of Christ rather than from the reign of kings – his numbering
to be divided between BC and AD (or BCE and CE).
750  The Umayyad caliphs have lost people willing to fight for
them. They have been overthrown by an army of mixed
nationalities from Khurasan (east of Persia). The last Umayyad,
Marwan II, is beheaded and his relatives are murdered. The new
caliph is Abu-Abbas al-Sarah. Rule by the Abbasid caliphs has
begun. The Abbasids begin ruling with a show of Islamic piety,
and they talk of reforms. They give prominence in state affairs
to Islamic theologians and experts in Islamic law.
750  Arabian mathematicians begin using numbers that
originated in India, are an advance of Roman numerals and that
Muslims will pass to Europeans.
751  An Islamic army in Central Asia defeats the Chinese (at the
Battle of Atlakh). Muslims replace the Chinese as the dominant
influence along the Silk Road.
755  Alliances and trade between Mayan city-states have begun
to break down. Malnutrition is on the rise. A diminishing food
supply might be creating social upheaval and war.
771  Charles becomes king of all of his father's empire. He is a
devout Christian and to have four wives and children by five
772  Charles, eventually to be known as Charles the Great
(Charlemagne in French), begins thirty years of conquest and
rebuilding the empire of the Franks, with an infantry carrying
axes, spears and shields of wood and leather.
774  Charlemagne overruns the Lombards in northern Italy. He
divides Lombard territory with the Pope, creating the Papal
775  Charlemagne begins his war against the Saxons in
Germany, with slaughter and forced conversions to Christianity.
787  Empress Irene convenes the 7th Ecumenical Council, which
refutes the iconoclasm begun by Constantinople's Emperor Leo
III in 726. Among the masses and many clerics the worship of
relics has persisted. The torturing, blinding and banishment of
relic worshippers has ended. It is widely believed that the
previously outlawed images work miraculous cures.
787  Charlemagne, king of the Franks, is learning to read, and he
reproaches ecclesiastics for their uncouth language and
"unlettered tongues." In hope of creating an educated clergy he
orders every cathedral and monastery to establish a school
where clergy and laity can learn to read. His rule includes land for
nobles who provide him with military service. He depends on the
allegiance of distant counts, dukes and bishops within his realm,
men with some independence because of the distance and
slowness of communications.
788  Indian philosopher Shankara develops a philosophical
system that equates soul with God.
789  A Shia kingdom is established in Morocco independent of
the caliph in Baghdad.
791  Buddhism becomes Tiber's official religion
793  By boat, Scandinavians reach the island of Lindisfarne,
Scotland. They kill monks and loot the monastery there. It is the
first recorded raid by those to be called Vikings.
807  The Abbasid caliph, Harun al Rashid, decress that Baghdad
Jews are wear a yellow badge and Christians are to wear a blue
825  The kingdom of Wessex  wins in war and becomes the
dominate power in England.
841  In Scandinavia and increase in population has inspired
people called Vikings or Norsemen to venture out in longboats.
This year, give or take a year or so, Vikings land and build a
settlement on the south bank of the River Liffey, founding what
will eventually be the city of Dublin.
843  Buddhism, imported from India, has grown in China.
Wuzong is an ardent Taoist, and he begins a campaign that will
close Buddhist shrines and temples, return Buddhist monks and
nuns to lay life and confiscate millions of acres of Buddhist land.
Buddhism in China is to survive but never fully recover, while its
rival, Confucianism, enjoys a renewed intellectual life.
845  Vikings journeying up the Seine River and arriving at Paris
in search of loot are bribed not to attack.
850  A Muslim scholar in Baghdad, al Kindi, is using translations
of Aristotle – unavailable in Western Europe – to create a
neoplatonic school of Islamic thought.
858  Christian missionaries develop the Cyrillic alphabet from
written Greek – an alphabet that in modern times is used in
Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian and other languages.
870  A Sufi, Tayfur Abu Yazid al-Bistami (Bayazid), has been
spreading his wisdom. A change has been taking place in Islam,
as religion had when the Roman Empire was disintegrating.
Muslims are no longer looking with hope to a god that is a
glorious conqueror. Instead they are looking for a sense of well-
being through a personal relationship with Allah. The Sufi
movement is bringing Allah down from his heights and sees Him
as a loving friend – the way Christians saw Jesus.
904  Recent emperors in China have been incompetent and the
puppets of palace eunuchs. Many in China believe that these
emperors have lost the Mandate of Heaven.
Rollo and his Vikings (mostly Danes) are to defend his part of
the coast of France from attacks by other Vikings.
912  Rollo and his Vikings become Christian.
970  Córdoba, on the Iberian Peninsula, is Europe's intellectual
center and the world's most populous city. Constantinople is the
only other European city in the top ten of the world's most
populous cities. Córdoba is a Muslim city. Caliph al Hakam II
has been in power since 961 and is contributing to the building of
Cordoba's libraries. Córdoba has Europe's best university, with
a spirit of free inquiry. It has medical schools. Work is being
done also in math and astronomy. The city is tolerant toward its
Jewish and Christian minority.
1000  Muslims looking forward to the future are expanding
southward along the Somali coast in eastern Africa. The town of
Mogadishu is founded, where Muslim merchants are to trade in
gold dust from the south.  
1001  Mahmud, an Afghani and militant Muslim, has secured his
rule. He vows to take the word of Allah to the Hindu kingdoms of
India every year, by sword and fire.
1004  China's elite believes that their neighbors should be awed
by China's greatness and by its favor from the heavens. They
base their foreign policy ideas on this and the belief that if the
Chinese nation behaves morally that neighboring kings will give
China the respect it deserves.
1008  Sweden's king, Olof Skötonung, converts to Christianity,
and when a king converts to Christianity, his subjects also
1010  Division has weakened India. Through the Khyber Pass,
Muslims on horseback have been raiding temple towns in
northwest India and carrying back to Ghazni as much booty as
they can – much of its wealth stolen from temples. The raiding
stops after the Indians agree to pay tribute to the Afghani ruler,
Mahmud. The Indians begin sending to Ghazni annual trains of
elephants laden with gifts.
1020  Avicenna, (Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn Abd Allah ibn Sina) the
greatest thinker and person of medicine of this and surrounding
centuries, is forty years-old. He has 17 more years to live, a
lifetime in which he will have composed 276 books on medicine,
physics, astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, economics and
religion. He believes in empiricism and rationalism and thinks
scientifically. He has been accused by fellow Muslims of
"unbelief," to which he replies: "If I have turned from Him who is
blessed by birth, there's no true Muslim left on earth."  His
"Canon on Medicine" will be translated into Latin and begin
influencing Europe in the 12th century – a book of 830 pages. At and Barnes & Noble his work will have a five-star
1022  Putting people to death for heresy has begun in Europe,
fourteen said to have been burned to death at the city of Orleans
on order of the French king, Robert the Pious.
1054  In a doctrinal dispute, the Church in Rome accuses the
Christians in Constantinople of allowing priests to marry, re-
baptizing Roman Christians and deleting "and the Son" from the
Nicene Creed." The last of these accusations was untrue. The
Church in Rome excommunicates the Church in Constantinople,
and the Church of Constantinople excommunicates the Church in
Rome. The schism between Roman Catholicism and Eastern
Orthodoxy has become final.
1060  The Almoravids (al-Murabitun), puritanical Islamic
reformers, have amassed a following and an army fired by
religious fervor and an interest in booty, and they have moved
from their base on the Mauritanian coast and they seize power
in Morocco and western Algeria.
1073  Previously Hildebrand had thwarted attempts to make him
Pope, and he had proposed what became the choosing of
Popes by the College of Cardinals. Now Hildebrand becomes
Pope Gregory VII.  
1077 Pope Gregory VII is pursuing church reform and is in
conflict with the "Roman Emperor" in Germanic lands, Henry IV
(a descendant of Charlemagne's rule). The issue is Gregory's
decree that anyone who accepts a church position offered by a
layman will be deposed and any layman who gives a church
position to anyone would be excommunicated. Gregory
excommunicates and deposes Henry. Nobles relish power taken
from Henry. And, to restore himself, Gregory crosses the Alps
to Canosso, in Italy, where Gregory grants him absolution –
1080  Pope Gregory again excommunicates and deposes
Henry. This time, Henry uses a power that a few kings have in
greater amount than does the pope: Henry goes to Italy with an
army and takes power in Rome.
1085  Christianity has been expanding against Muslims since
Charlemagne took Barcelona in 801. The Christian king of
Castile and Galicia, Alfonso VI, has been inviting Christians in
Islamic Spain to his kingdom. Now he expands militarily to
Toledo, in central Spain. The Christian reconquest of Spain is
1085  Pope Gregory VII dies. The Holy Roman Emperor, Henry
IV, still controls Rome.
1091  Normans were originally hired by Italian principalities as
mercenaries. Then the Normans started conquering in southern
Italy on their own, and they became rulers accepted by the
papacy. Now they conquer Sicily, ending two centuries of
Muslim rule there. Arabs are allowed to continue working in
public administration.
1095  The first wave of the crusades begins, from Sweden into
Finland, to convert the Finns to Christianity.
1097  Well-trained knights defeat Muslims near Nicaea, and later
in the year the Crusaders reach Antioch.
1099  Jerusalem falls to the Crusaders, who slaughter the city's
Jewish and Muslim inhabitants.
1121  The Roman Catholic Church is more bureaucratically
organized than it was in previous centuries. Centuries before it
had no problem with common people believing in pagan herbal
magic, holy trees and springs, fairies and the like, but now the
Church feels more threatened in its role as arbiter of truth.
Literacy has been rising. Translations of ancient Greeks are
circulating. Ideas are spreading with the increase in the
movement of trade and people within Europe. The Church is
now concerned about heresy. The Concordat of Worms
condemns the popular lecturer and writer, Peter Abelard. And
later this year the uncle of Abelard's wife, Heloise, leads a group
of men who attack and castrate Abelard.
1121  In far northwestern Africa, a religious movement among
the Berber tribes, led by Abdallah ibn Tumart, takes power,
overthrowing the Almoravids, who had been strict interpreters of
the Koran. Tumart founds the Almohad state, proclaiming
himself a promised messianic figure, the Mahdi. An
administrative structure is created to enforce piety. This includes
a keeper of morals, the mizwar, whose duties include punishing
the users of alcohol and destroying musical instruments.
1122  A summit meeting between Holy Roman Emperor Henry
V and and Pope Calixtus II settles the investiture issue between
the two. The Church is to choose who will be a bishop within the
Holy Roman Empire, but the Holy Roman Emperor is to have
veto power over this selection
1128  The Catholic Church sanctions the Knights Templar, of
Jerusalem, to guard the road between the eastern Mediterranean
port of Acre, held by the crusaders, and the holy city of
Jerusalem. The Knights Templar have grown from a few
crusaders reputed to have been fierce warriors. They have taken
vows (promises to God) of poverty and chastity.
1130  Drought in what someday will be called Arizona causes
the Anasazi people to abandon that area.
140  A few people in Europe are finding trials by ordeal as signs
of God's judgment to be inadequate procedures. The alternative
is testimony by human witnesses, and some are interested in
whatever empirical evidence can be obtained. Meanwhile, a
Camaldolese monk in central Italy, Gratian, has been trying to
bring order to Church law. He is a believer in "natural law," as
were the Romans – law he sees as built upon doing to others
what one wants done to oneself. His writings are considered the
best collection on law.
1143  The Church arranges the Treaty of Zamora between
Afonso Henriques and the King of Castile. The treaty places the
lands of Afonso Henriques under the protection of the Church
and secures recognition of his title, King of Portugal.
1144  A Muslim warlord in northern Mesopotamia, Imad al-Din
Zangi, has been trying to extend his power against other
Muslims. Presenting himself as a champion of Islam he captures
the weakest of the Latinized crusader states, Edessa, in northern
Mesopotamia (or southern Asia Minor) – territory occupied by
Christians from the First Crusade.
1150  Most Finns have by now been converted to Christianity. In
Sweden, where Christianity was introduced in 829, paganism is
finally overwhelmed by Roman Catholicism.
1154  The Templars have given up their poverty. With another
Christian-crusader order in Jerusalem, the Hospitallier, they have
become owners of extensive real estate. They are also the
bankers of Jerusalem. They deal in exports and handle the 6,000
or so pilgrims that visit the Holy Land annually and are trusted to
refrain from selling pilgrims into slavery, as have some Italian
1168  The first classes begin at Oxford University.
1184  Pope Lucius III issues a bull against heretics. Anyone who
shields or gives aid to a heretic is to be subject to the same
punishment as the heretic. Unrepentant heretics are to be turned
over to a secular government for punishment, and relapsed
heretics are to receive harsher sentences