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Copyright 1996,1997,1998,1999,2000,2001,2002,2003 by Magic Dragon Multimedia.
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We examine both works of fiction and important contemporaneous works on non-fiction which set the context for early Science Fiction and Fantasy.
There are 66 hotlinks here to authors, magazines, films, or television items elsewhere in the Ultimate Science Fiction Web Guide or beyond. Most recently updated: 16 May 2000 [from 72 to 93 kilobytes].
This web page draws heavily on FACTS as listed in "The Timetables of Science", by Alexander Hellemans and Bryan Bunch [New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988]. It does not copy the TEXT of that fine and recommended reference, and has value added in correlating the scientific and literary production of the century, and in hotlinking to additional resources.
Facts were also checked against "The 1979 Hammond Almanac" [ed. Martin A. Bacheller et al., Maplewood, New Jersey, 1978], p.795. It also utilizes facts from Volume I of D.E. Smith's "History of Mathematics" [(c) 1921 by David Eugene Smith; (c) 1951 by May Luse Smith; New York: Dover, 1958]. Additional facts are from: The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle : Sixth Century, This is part of the wonderful translations in Avalon Project at Yale Law School, and facts from it are cited as "[ASC]". Facts are also drawn from the 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica, and the Wikipedia. Executive Summary of the 6th Century Mathematical/Scientific/Philosophical/Literary People of the Century Isidorus of Seville The Venerable Bede Bishop Severus Sebokht of Mesopotamia Wang Hs'iao-t'ung of China Prince Shotoku Taishi of Japan Brahmagupta of India Fiction About the 6th Century Non-Fiction About the 6th Century Major Books and Events of the Decade 500-510 Major Books and Events of the Decade 510-520 Major Books and Events of the Decade 520-530 Major Books and Events of the Decade 530-540 Major Books and Events of the Decade 540-550 Major Books and Events of the Decade 550-560 Major Books and Events of the Decade 560-570 Major Books and Events of the Decade 570-580 Major Books and Events of the Decade 580-590 Major Books and Events of the Decade 590-600 Other Key Dates and Stories of this 6th Century Major Writers Born this Sixth Century Major Writers Died this Sixth Century Decade by Decade Sixth Century Science Background Decade by Decade Sixth Century Mundane Background Hotlinks to other Timeline pages of SF Chronology

Executive Summary of the 6th Century

Europe The 6th Century marked the greatest-ever decline of Science; a scenario of falling into Dark Ages that has reverberated ever since in Science Fiction that warns against such decline in a dystopian future. Isaac Asimov, in the monumental Foundation novels (since continued by Gregory Benford, Greg Bear, and David Brin), fictionalized [Gibbons'] Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, but write larger, on a Galaxy-wide scale of the human far future. The Decline of Science in Europe lasted through the period of roughly 530-1000 AD. European culture was far more derivative of Roman (pragmatic, non-experimental) than Greek (theoretical Science) culture, and then the underlying Roman civilization collapsed, large cities vanished, aqueducts and roads crumbled, merchant trade became more local and less continental or inter-continental. Science, Literature, and scholarship in general became almost impossible in a Europe without adequate infrastructure. There were exceptions to this rule of declining Science -- in particular, Medicine and Physiology continued development, due to the ongoing study of Classical physician/authors Hippocrates and Galen, and due to the Christian emphasis on healing the sick. This development was centered in Monasteries, and later flourished in 9th Century Salerno (Italy) in a precursor to the re-establishment of Science later in the Middle Ages (roughly 1000-1200 AD). Boethius was the great Mathematician of 6th Century Europe, the way Fibonacci was to the 13th century. Between roughly 500 and 530 were the lives of the historical antecedents of Beowulf, Hrothgar, Hrolf Kraki, major figures in later Fantasy Literature. The Welsh poet Taliesin writes his works; a high-point in poetry of the country. In Mecca, in 571, the Prophet Mohammed was born. In the 7th century, it was clear that this was to have a major impact on the Christian world, and beyond. More and more of the web pages for succeeding centuries have significant Islamic History and persons. The Falling Roman World "The second turning point [in the fall of Rome] comes in the 500s. This is the great century of loss and devastation, in many parts of the Roman world. During this century, Arianism was almost completely conquered by Catholicism in the West, bringing about religious unity. This is the century of Justinian, the devastation of Italy and the ruin of the city of Rome itself (conquered five times during a thirty-year span and losing most of its population). Clovis founded the Kingdom of the Franks in Gaul. The Avars and the Slavs both invaded the eastern Empire. Terrible earthquakes, Persian invasions, and the Black Death ravaged the wealthiest provinces and cities of the East. The Lombards conquered northern Italy. Latin all but died out in the eastern Empire, while Greek faded to a memory in the West.... The population of Rome dropped below 100,000 (it had once exceeded one million). In the sixth century we lose track of the Senate, which had met regularly since the 8th century BC. The last known public games in the Colosseum were held in 549. Emperor Justinian invaded Italy and after a long struggle drove out or destroyed the Goths. Italy was back within the rule of the Empire, but the peninsula paid a heavy price with 20 years of war. In 542 bubonic plague ravaged Italy. In 568 the Lombards invaded, a people even more wantonly destructive than the Vandals. Rome had entered long centuries of decline and neglect. " Why Rome Fell... and why it doesn't matter Copyright 1999, Ellis L. Knox This file may be copied on the condition that the entire contents, including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact. The contents of ORB are copyright 1995-1999 Laura V. Blanchard and Carolyn Schriber. The Byzantine Empire By the reign of Justinian, though, in the early sixth century, modern historians begin speaking of the Byzantine Empire instead of the Roman Empire. For the world had changed, and the surviving empire had new boundaries. Greece and Asia were under the rule of Constantinople, as were Egypt and Syria. Other provinces were won and lost over the course of years, as they ever had been. The Byzantine Empire had Greek for its official language, not Latin..." Why Rome Fell... and why it doesn't matter Arab World When Science, Literature, and Philosophy waned in Europe, the Arab World carried the torch, most notably during the Islamic culture of roughly 700-1300 AD. Islam was the bridge between Greek intellectual culture and the later European Renaissance. This was due, in part, to these factors: * Arabic as a unifying language (as was Latin in Christian Europe) * Arab culture in vigorous global contact with Persian, Indian, Chinese, Turkish, Syrian, and other cultures * Growth of empire meant growth of infrastructure to support scholarship, such as libraries and schools. The Orient China and Japan continued their advanced development of mathematics, science, technology, and literature. It took some time for these ideas and inventions to spread to India, then Persia, the Arab World, and finally Europe. India In the 6th Century, Chess emerges in India. Brahmagupta (598-668) was the closest to being the great Mathematician of the 7th Century, the way Fibonacci was to the 13th century. But he lived in India, and had little immediate impact on China, Japan, the Arab world, or Europe. more {to be done} The 6th Century, according to D.E. Smith, "{to be done}"

Mathematical/Scientific/Philosophical/Literary People of the Sixth Century

  1. Boethius
  2. (480-524): the great Mathematician of 6th Century Europe
  3. Brahmagupta
  4. (598-668) see: Executive Summary, [598], [628], [660-669]
  5. Isadorus of Seville
  6. (c.570-636) see: [570] Executive Summary, [610], [636]
  7. Joannes Philoponus
  8. see: 640
  9. Severus Sebokht
  10. (???-667), see: Executive Summary, [650], [662]
  11. Prince Shotoku Taishi
  12. see: Executive Summary, 600
  13. Taliesin
  14. : Welsh poet
  15. Stephen of Alexandria
  16. (550-620) see: [610]
  17. Wang Hs'iao-t'ung
  18. see: Executive Summary, 625
  19. Zu Chong-Zhi and Zu Geng-Shi
  20. see: 600-609
Jump Straight to the alphabetical list of Politico-Military Names
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Brahmagupta of India

Brahmagupta (598-668) was the closest to being the great Mathematician of the 7th Century, the way Fibonacci was to the 13th century. But he lived in India, and had little immediate impact on China, Japan, the Arab world, or Europe. The son of Jishnu, from the town of Bhillamala, he moved to and worked at the center of Indian astronomy and science: Ujjain (Ujjayini) in the Central Indian state of Gwalior. This was reputeduly the vice-regal seat of Prince Asoka when his father, the King, reigned at Patna. Great scientists working at the observatory included Varamihira. At a mere 30 years of age, Brahmagupta wrote a 21-chapter work on Astronomy called Brahmasiddhanta. It has two particularly interesting chapters: * Ganitad'haya, which defines addition, the 20 logistics, and the 8 determinaions, including measurement by shadow, which define a mathematical astronomer of the day * Kutakhadyaka, literally "sweetmeat", on algebra of linear equations He could find at least one root of many quadratic equations, dealt with negative numbers, understood something of the areas of triangles and cyclic quadrilaterals. wrestled with what we call the Pell Equation (not solved in India until Bhaskara in the 12th century), Diophantine Equations, and sets of solutions to Pythagorean triangles. His mathematical research shows a distinctly Greek influence. [D.E. Smith, pp.157-160]

Isidorus of Seville

Isidorus of Seville [born in Seville c.570, died 4 April 636] was one of the more remarkable statesmen of the Middle Ages. At his funeral, the oration by St.Martin pictures this bishop, grammarian, historian, orator, scholar, and theologian as "generous in his giving, affable in his entertaining, sober in his affections, free in his sentiments, equitable in his judgments, indefatigable in his ministrations," and celebrated for his integrity. [D.E. Smith, p.183] Isidorus was born into a fortunate and well-connected family, which gave him a jump-start to his great career, in which he became the best-educated man in Christian Europe, in some ways similar in result (although opposite in birth-advantage) to Gerbert (Pope Sylvester II) of the 10th Century. Not long after he died, Isidorus was praised by the Council of Toledo [653] as "the extraordinary doctor, the latest ornament of the Catholic Church, the most learned man of the latter ages, always to be named with reverence." Isidorus wrote an encyclopedia on the Trivium and the Quadrivium [the seven liberal arts] which he named the Origines but is better known as the Etymologies, in 20 volumes. Volume 3 is on mathematics: "the treatment, however, is trivial, the arithmetic being simply a brief condensation of Boethius, and the rest of the work being of as little scientific value." [D.E. Smith, p.183] His encyclopedia has been described as "a first attempt at a general synthesis of pre-Christian learning; drawing heavily on Pliny the Elder; it is filled with legends; it is immensely popular in its time and about 1000 manuscripts survive.... Isidore of Seville [was a] scholar who was influential in preserving some Greek writings and in keeping astrology popular despite prohibitions of astrology in the bible." [Hellemans, p.64] For the above reasons (legends, the stars, general synthesis) I consider it an early precursor to the modern best-selling works of Isaac Asimov, in combining fiction, science, a comprehensive view of the cosmos, awareness of history, and profound scholarship disguised as merely popular writing.

Stephen of Alexandria

610 Stephen of Alexandria writes on Astronomy and general mathematics. [D.E. Smith, p.555]


{to be done}

Fiction About the 6th Century

As usual, all book reviews on this page are by Your Humble Webmaster, and included in my copyright notice. 6 Novels listed below, in alphabetical order by author, include those by these 4 authors: * Basil Eleftheriou * George Gissing * Mary Reed and Eric Mayer Basil Eleftheriou, "Justinian", The Roman Empire is decaying in the East, when the greatest of all Emperors of Byzantium takes control: Justinian. He re-organizes, plots, and rebuilds. He marries a former prostitute, and makes her Empress. We vividly see decay and growth, delicacy and filth, culture and barbarism in this turbulent novel. George Gissing, "Veranilda", This last of George Gissing, published in 1904, is set during the invasion of Byzantine Rome by by the Ostrogoth king Totila. In the midst of chaos and ruin, a Roman noble and a Gothic princess find a reason to live, and fall in love. Mary Reed and Eric Mayer, the John the Eunuch series of Historical Mysteries: * "One for Sorrow", The dead body in the alley is identified as Leukos, Keeper on the Imperial Plate. His old friend John the Eunuch is compelled to unravel the mystery. This setshim in motion between a Stylite, a brothel-keeper, and one of King Arthur's Knights. * "Two for Joy", How can it be? In a pouring rainstorm, three monks praying atop pillars have burned to death. John the Eunuch sets about solving this baffling event. * "Three for a Letter", John the Eunuch is nearly stymied by the puzzling disappearance of the favorite dwarf of the Emperor. Can this be linked to the equally inexplicable death of a prince of the ostrogoths? * "Four for a Boy" [February 2003], In this Mystery novel, we see the start of the private detective career of John the Eunuch. His first case opens with Hypatius, a phianthopist, who is murdered in the Great Church of Constantinople.

Non-Fiction About the 6th Century

See Where to Go for More: Useful Reference Books and Websites near the botom of this web page, for a listing of 6th Century Historians and references.

Major Books and Events of the Decade 500-510

481 Crowning of Clovis as King of the Franks He unites the Franks on both sides of the Rhine. After his conversion to orthodox Christianity, he defeats the Arian Burgundians (after 500) and Visigoths (507), aided by his alliance with Papacy and clergy 493 Founding of the East-Gothic Empire. [Hellemans, p.56] 493-526 Ostrogoth King Theodoric the Great, later a prominent hero in Germanic tales, rules in Rome until his death. [Hellemans, p.56] 498-514 The 51st Pope, St.Symmachus, held the throne for 16 years Born in Sardinia. He opposed and excommunicated the emperor Anastasius because he treated him arrogantly and even offended him. Attributed to Symmachus is the first nucleus of what was to become the Vatican Palace. 6th Century: 14 Popes c.500-530 Lives of the historical antecedents of Beowulf, Hrothgar, Hrolf Kraki [figures in major Fantasy Literature] 500-509 European use of the Abacus. Roughly 1,000 years the "counting boards" related to the Abacus were used in Greek and Roman culture [Hellemans, p.57] 500 Arithmetical Epigrams in the Greek Anthology of Metrodorus. [D.E. Smith, p.554] 501 "...Porta and his two sons, Beda and Mela, came into Britain, with two ships, at a place called Portsmouth. They soonlanded, and slew on the spot a young Briton of very high rank." [ASC] 505 Hindu Astronomy book by Varahamihira. [D.E. Smith, p.554] 506 Breviary of Alaric continues Roman administration and law in Visigothic Spain. 506 At the Armenian council of Dvin, that church rejected the ruling of Chalcedon on the nature of Christ. From that point on, the Armenian church was Monophysite in Christology. There were Monophysite bodies in Egypt (the Copts), Ethiopia and Syria (later known as the Jacobites - see 578) also. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 506-7 The first Monophysite Syriac Bible (known as the Philoxeniana) was commisioned by Bishop Philoxenus of Mabbug. Google's cache of The Sixth Century c.507 End of Visigothic rule over France. 508 "...Cerdic and Cynric slew a British king, whose name was Natanleod, and five thousand men with him. After this was the land named Netley, from him, as far as Charford." [ASC] 509 "... St. Benedict, the abbot, father of all the monks, ascended to heaven." [ASC]

Major Books and Events of the Decade 510-520

510 Major writings by Boethius on Geometry and Number Theory. [D.E. Smith, p.554] 510 Major writings by Aryabhata the Elder on General Mathematics, giving Pi the value of 3.1416. [D.E. Smith, p.554] 510 Minor writings by Damascius on Geometry. [D.E. Smith, p.554] 510-529 Designs (not known to have been built) for paddle-wheel boats in Europe. [Hellemans, p.57] 511 End of Clovis as King of the Franks 514 "...the West-Saxons [came] into Britain, with three ships, at the place that is called Cerdic's-ore. And Stuff and Wihtgar fought with the Britons, and put them to flight." [ASC] 514-523 The 52nd Pope, St.Hormisdas reigned 9 years. Born at Frosinone. During his pontificate the definitive reconciliation between Eastern and Western Churches took place. He established that bishops must not be ordained in exchange for privileges and donations. 6th Century: 14 Popes 518 Chinese Buddhist Hui-sing visits India. [D.E. Smith, p.554] 518 Justin I [518-527] became Byzantine emperor. Justin, under the influence of his nephew Justinian, pursued a reconciliation along Chalcedonian lines. The schism over the Henoticon ended. In order to appease Hormisdas, the bishop of Rome, Justin had the Eastern Patriarchs sign the following statement (drafted by Hormisdas). "The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers. For it is impossible that the words our Lord Jesus Christ who said, 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church' (Matt. 16:18), should not be verified. And their truth has been proved by the course of history, for in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been kept unsullied... And so I hope I may deserve to be associated with you in the one communion which the Apostolic See proclaims, in which the whole, true, and perfect security of the Christian religion resides. I promise from now on those who are separated from the communion of the Catholic Church, that is, who are not in agreement with the Apostolic See, will not have their names read during the sacred mysteries. But if I attempt even the least deviation from my profession, I admit that, according to my own declaration, I am an accomplice to those whom I have condemned. I have signed this my profession with my own hand and have directed it to you, Hormisdas, the holy and venerable pope of Rome." Google's cache of The Sixth Century 519 Severus, Monophysite bishop of Antioch, was deposed. He removed to Alexandria where he became the leader of a Monophysite faction. Severus died there between 538 and 542. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 519 "... Cerdic and Cynric undertook the government of the West-Saxons; the same year they fought with the Britons at a place now called Charford. From that day have reigned the children of the West-Saxon kings." [ASC]

Major Books and Events of the Decade 520-530

520 Cassiodorus writes an Encyclopedia and a Computus. [D.E. Smith, p.554] [see 2nd paragraph of Boethius, 524 below] c.521-597 Founding of monasteries in Europe by missionary Columba. 522-552 Buddhism is introduced into Japan. [D.E. Smith, p.554] 523-526 The 53rd Pope, St.John I, reigned for 3 years. Born in Tuscany. His was a very stormy pontificate due to the hostility of emperor Theodoric. John died in Ravenna where he was kept a prisoner. 6th Century: 14 Popes 524 Death of the Philosopher Boethius [Anicius Manlius Severinus, born in Rome 480], the leading European philosopher of his Century, known best for On the Consolation of Philosophy and for his Latin translations of Aristotle, which made Aristotle the absolutely primary (and virtually only) basis for Greek intellectual culture in the Middle Ages of Christian Europe. [Hellemans, p.56] "Boethius furnished the scholastic basis for philosophy, translating Aristotle's and others' works on rhetoric and logic, but he was executed before he treated Poetics, if he ever intended to. Cassiodorus, his successor as Master of Offices under Theodoric, founded a monastic school in southern Italy and wrote a syllabus for it (Institutiones)." ["Medieval Poetics", in the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, Enlarged Edition, ed. Alex Preminger et al., Princeton University Press, 1965.] 525 A calendar based on the life of Jesus Christ is introduced by Dionysius Exiguis. The Chronology you are reading right now uses his "A.D. [Anno Domini]" system. [Hellemans, p.56]; [D.E. Smith, p.554] The Pascal Tables of Dionysius Exiguus settled the question of the date of Easter for both East and West. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 525 Anthemius writes on Architecture and Conics. [D.E. Smith, p.554] 525 Kosmas, a merchant from Greece, travels into India and Ceylon (today's Sri Lanka). [Hellemans, p.56] 526-548 Byzantine mosaics at St.Vitale, Ravenna. These (and similar stylized late classical artworks were keys to the development of European medieval art. 526-530 The 54th Pope, St.Felix IV, reigned for 4 years. He was certainly a choice imposed by Theodoric who died a few weeks later. During his pontificate, monasticism spread throughout Italy, and the Abbey of Montecassino was built. 6th Century: 14 Popes 527 Start of the reign of Eastern Emperor Justinian. [D.E. Smith, p.554] 527 Justinian [527-565] Roman emperor. In one of his edicts, Justinian referred to the patriarch of Constantinople as "the head of all other churches." Apparently, the title "patriarch" began to be used of the bishops of the larger cities during Justinian's reign - though these bishops had enjoyed a certain influence over broad areas surrounding their cities since before the Council of Nicea. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 527 "...Cerdic and Cynric fought with the Britons in the place that is called Cerdic's-ley." [ASC] 529 Codex Justinianus completed, the primary source of Law in medieval Europe, based on Roman law. 529 Founding of the Monastery at Monte Cassino. [Hellemans, p.56] This is led by St.Benedict. [D.E. Smith, p.554] Benedict of Nursia founded the monastery at Monte Cassino in Central Italy. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 529 In Athens, Greece, Emperor Justinian shuts down the Academy (founded by Plato) and the Lyceum (founded by Aristotle). [Hellemans, p.56] 529 Council of Orange (Auriculum). Taught that: (a) as a result of Adam's transgression both death and sin have passed to all his descendants; (b) man's free will is so weakened that he cannot believe in or love God without the assistance of grace; (c) the Old Testament saints owed their merits to grace, not any natural good; (d) the grace of baptism enables all Christians to accomplish all that's needed for salvation; (e) predestination to evil is to be anathematized; and (f) in every good action the first impulse comes from God, and it is this impulse that causes us to seek baptism and, with God's help, fulfill our duties. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 529 Note on the "Glory Be." St.John Cassian had mentioned in his Institutes (Book II), on the subject of nocturnal prayers, that the custom in Gaul was to repeat the Glory Be at the end of each Psalm. In the East, it was sung once, at the end of all of the Psalms. The Greek form of this doxology translates as, "Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages, amen." In this year, the words "as it was in the beginning, is" were added just before "now" by the Council of Vaison, "after the example of the apostolic see." Google's cache of The Sixth Century

Major Books and Events of the Decade 530-540

530-539 First written record of water-powered flour sifting/ flour shaking machine (water wheel turns linear movement of water into rotary motion of machine, which then turns that into periodic back-and-forth linear motion), in China. [Hellemans, p.63] 530-532 The 55th Pope, Boniface II, reigned for 2 years Born in Rome, but of German descent. His image was weakened because of his attitude towards the Senate. He is the first pope not to be declared a saint. 6th Century: 14 Popes 530 "... Cerdic and Cynric took the isle of Wight, and slew many men in Carisbrook." [ASC] 532 Justinian, Eastern Emperor, orders the creation of Santa Sophia, the greatest domed building of its era: 37-meter diameter (120 feet) and 14 meter height (46 feet). The architect/designer was Isidore of Miletus, from Turkey. [Hellemans, p.63] It is also known as the Hagia Sophia. 532 Construction began on Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. The project took five years [532-537] to complete, and on December 27, 537, Patriarch Menas consecrated the magnificent church. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 532 Earliest known reference to the works of the Pseudo-Dionysius. In a meeting between orthodox and Monophysite theologians, the Monophysites (also called Severians) quoted many fathers and "Dionysius the Areopagite, all of whom assert that there is one nature of God the Logos after the union." Google's cache of The Sixth Century 533 Justinian's general Belisarius defeated the Vandals in North Africa at Tricameron. The Vandal kingdom was destroyed. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 533-535 The 56th pope, John II, reigned for 2 years. Born in Rome. He was against the practice of simony in the election of bishops as it negatively influenced the election of the pope himself. 6th Century: 14 Popes 534 Chinese mathematics introduced into Japan by Koreans. [Hellemans, p.63] 534 Death of "... Cerdic, the first king of the West-Saxons. Cynric his son succeeded to the government, and reigned afterwards twenty-six winters. And they gave to their two nephews, Stuff and Wihtgar, the whole of the Isle of Wight." 535 Wu-king Suan-shu written by Ch'on Luan. [D.E. Smith, p.554] 535 A large volcanic eruption caused temperatures to remain colder than normal through 550. 535-536 was one unceasing winter. The volcano responsible for this temporary change in climate may have been Krakatau. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 535 A drought began in Mongolia. Defeated by the Turks, the Avars began their trek toward Europe in 552, arriving around 560. Their migration resulted in the movement of more people into what remained of the Empire. There is some speculation that the Avar humiliation at the hands of the Turks was due to the drought, brought on by the volcanic eruption 535: the Avar economy was based on horses, which have less efficient digestive systems and are more susceptible to changes in climate than cattle, raised by the Turks. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 535-536 The 57th pope, St.Agapitus I, reigned for 1 year. Born in Rome in the noble Anica family. He committed himself totally to carrying out his ministry. He died at Constantinople where he went on request of Theodahad, the king of the Goths. 6th Century: 14 Popes 536 Byzantines recaptured southern Italy and Sicily, including Rome. The exarchate of Ravenna was established in 568. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 536 The church historian Evagrius [536-600]. In his Church History, he attested to the practice of communion among the very young: "when there remained a good quantity of the holy portions of the undefiled body of Christ our God, for uncorrupted boys from among those who attended the school of the undermaster to be sent for to consume them." Google's cache of The Sixth Century 536-537 The 58th pope, St.Silverius, reigned for 1 year. He had a troubled relationship with Belisarius, who had entered Italy in order to reconquer it on behalf of the Eastern Empire, and with empress Theodora. Silverius was arrested and sent to the island of Ponza. 6th Century: 14 Popes 27 December 537 Patriarch Menas consecrated the magnificent church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 537-555 The 59th pope, Virgilius, reigned for 18 years. Born in Rome in a noble family. His ascent to the papal throne was accomplished through simony and calumny and with the complicity of Theodora. Due to his weakness he was blackmailed by her and by emperor Justinian. 6th Century: 14 Popes 538 "...the sun was eclipsed, fourteen days before the calends of March, from before morning until nine." [ASC]

Major Books and Events of the Decade 540-550

541-544 Bubonic Plague pandemic in Europe and Justinian's empire, killing (at its wors) 10,000 people daily in Constantinople. [Hellemans, p.62] 540-549 The Book of the Golden Hall Master, published under the aegis of Liang Emperor of China Luan shows multiple applications of wind power, including: * wheelbarrows with sails * manned wind-carriages for up to 30 passengers, capable of travelling over 100 miles in a day (when the winds were right). [Hellemans, p.63] 540 "...the sun was eclipsed on the twelfth day before the calends of July; and the stars showed themselves full nigh half an hour over nine." [ASC] 544 Death of "... Wihtgar; and men buried him at Carisbrook." [ASC] 541 Dionysius Exiguus, or the Little, invented the Anno Domini system for counting the years. Dionysius was a monk, Scythian by birth, who lived in Rome. According to modern scholarship, his system is in error the birth of Jesus being fixed variously from 2 to 8 B.C. [see 525 for a different date for this invention] [See year 731] Google's cache of The Sixth Century 542 A Monophysite Syrian monk named John, after gaining the favor of the empress Theodora, became bishop of Ephesus. John wrote an ecclesiastical history in three volumes and baptized 70,000 pagans in Asia Minor. 542 Justinian published a condemnation of Origenism and the mystical speculations of Evagrius [see 375]. This to quell a controversy in Palestine.He adopted a strategy to appease the Monophysites: condemn the Three Chapters (the Letter of lbas of Edessa to Maris, praising Theodore of Mopsuestia; the works of Theodore himself, and the writings of Theodoret of Cyrrhus against Cyril), and assert that the Chalcedonian definition should be interpreted in this light. This was tricky, since the West would think this irrational: Theodoret and Ibas had been restored to their sees by the council of Chalcedon. The theological effect of the condemnations was to emphasize the unity of Christ's nature(s). Justinian's anathemas against Origen: "(1) Whoever says or thinks that human souls pre-existed, i.e., that they had previously been spirits and holy powers, but that, satiated with the vision of God, they had turned to evil, and in this way the divine love in them had died out and they had therefore become souls and had been condemned to punishment in bodies, shall be anathema; (2) If anyone says or thinks that the soul of the Lord pre-existed and was united with God the Word before the Incarnation and Conception of the Virgin, let him be anathema; (3) If anyone says or thinks that the body of our Lord Jesus Christ was first formed in the womb of the holy Virgin and that afterwards there was united with it God the Word and the pre-existing soul, let him be anathema; (4) If anyone says or thinks that the Word of God has become like to all heavenly orders, so that for the cherubim he was a cherub, for the seraphim a seraph: in short, like all the superior powers, let him be anathema; (5) If anyone says or thinks that, at the resurrection, human bodies will rise spherical in form and unlike our present form, let him be anathema; (6) If anyone says that the heaven, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the waters that are above heavens, have souls, and are reasonable beings, let him be anathema; (6) If anyone says or thinks that Christ the Lord in a future time will be crucified for demons as he was for men, let him be anathema; (8) If anyone says or thinks that the power of God is limited, and that he created as much as he was able to compass, let him be anathema; (9) If anyone says or thinks that the punishment of demons and of impious men is only temporary, and will one day have an end, and that a restoration will take place of demons and of impious men, let him be anathema. Anathema to Origen and to that Adamantius, who set forth these opinions together with his nefarious and execrable and wicked doctrine and to whomsoever there is who thinks thus, or defends these opinions, or in any way hereafter at any time shall presume to protect them." Google's cache of The Sixth Century 542 The bubonic plague hit Constantinople. Apparently, cooler temperatures due to the volcanic eruption in 535 allowed the plague to become active in fleas in Africa. These were carried north with the ivory trade. Google's cache of The Sixth Century c.543-615 Founding of monasteries in Europe by missionary Columban. 545: Birth of Abdullah, the Holy Prophet's father. Islamic History of the 7th Century 547 "... Ida began his reign; from whom first arose the royal kindred of the Northumbrians. Ida was the son of Eoppa, Eoppa ofEsa, Esa of Ingwy, Ingwy of Angenwit, Angenwit of Alloc, Alloc of Bennoc, Bennoc of Brand, Brand of Balday, Balday of Woden. Woden of Fritholaf, Fritholaf of Frithowulf, Frithowulf of Finn, Finn of Godolph, Godolph of Geata. Ida reigned twelve years. He built Bamburgh-Castle, which was first surrounded with a hedge, and afterwards with a wall." [ASC] 548 Vigilius, patriarch of Rome [537-55], was brought to Constantinople where he signed a condemnation of Theodore personally as a heretic and the Three Chapters. In 551 Vigilius withdrew this condemnation. For his condemnation of Theodore and the Three Chapters, Vigilius himself was condemned by the bishops of Milan, Ravenna, and Aquileja. Google's cache of The Sixth Century

Major Books and Events of the Decade 550-560

550 Suan-king written by Hsia-hou. [D.E. Smith, p.554] c.550 Probable date of writing of Codex Arcenerianus, on surveying. [D.E. Smith, p.554], see also Executive Summary of 7th Century 552 Silk worms introduced from China [to Byzantium?]. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 552 Justinian gave command of his forces in Italy to his chamberlain, the eunuch Narses. Narses destroyed the Ostrogoth kingdom in the Battle of Taginae. The Goths charged the Byzantine's pikemen, while Byzantine archers attacked from the flanks. The battle for Italy had left the countryside barren and depopulated. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 552 "... Cynric fought with the Britons on the spot that is called Sarum, and put them to flight. Cerdic was the father of Cynric, Cerdic was the son of Elesa, Elesa of Esla, Esla of Gewis, Gewis of Wye, Wye of Frewin, Frewin of Frithgar, Frithgar of Brand, Brand of Balday, Balday of Woden. In this year Ethelbert, the son of Ermenric, was born, who on the two and thirtieth year of his reign received the rite of baptism, the first of all the kings in Britain." [ASC] 553 Fifth Ecumenical Council held at Constantinople. Eutychius, patriarch of Constantinople, presided. 164 bishops attended, including 14 from Africa.Justinian, with Vigilius still captive, succeeded in having the council condemn Origen and the Three Chapters, and Vigilius eventually was forced to assent to this. He was subsequently excommunicated by the African clergy for his betrayal (as it was interpreted) of Chalcedon. Vigilius died on his way back to Rome. From Session VII of the Acts of the Council, addressed to Vigilius: "If your blessedness is willing to meet together with us and the most holy Patriarchs, and the most religious bishops, and to treat of the Three Chapters and to give, in unison with us all, a suitable form of the orthodox faith, as the Holy Apostles and the holy Fathers and the four Councils have done, we will hold thee as our head and primate... if you have condemned them [the Three Chapters], in accordance with those things which you did before, we have already many such statements and need no more; but if you have written now something contrary to these things which were done by you before, you have condemned yourself by your own writing, since you have departed from orthodox doctrine and have defended impiety. And how can you expect us to receive such a document from you?" According to Norwich, Justinian sent a decree to the council that Vigilius' name should be struck from the diptychs, though he was careful to stress that he was not severing communion with Rome itself. To reinterpret Chalcedon in a way pleasing to the Alexandrians, the council gave approval to the hypostatic union (Cyril's natural union?). It also endorsed (in the Tenth Anathema) the controversial liturgical formula, "that our Lord Jesus Christ who was crucified in the flesh is True God." From the Fourth Anathema: As the word "union" has many meanings, the followers of the impiety of Apollinarius and Eutyches, assuming the disappearance of the natures, affirm a union by confusion. On the other hand the followers of Theodore and of Nestorius, rejoicing in the division of the natures, introduce only a union of relation. But the holy Church of God, rejecting equally the impiety of both heresies, recognizes the union of God the Word with the flesh according to synthesis, that is, according to hypostasis. For in the mystery of Christ the union according to synthesis preserves the two natures which have combined without confusion and without separation. From the Sixth Anathema: ...if anyone shall call her [the virgin Mary] manbearer or Christbearer, as if Christ were not God, and shall not confess she is truly Godbearer [theotokos]... let him be anathema. From the Eighth Anathema: If anyone confesses that the union took place out of two natures and speaks of the one incarnate nature of God the Word and does not understand ... that out of the divine and human natures, when union by hypostasis took place, one Christ was formed; but from these expressions tries to introduce one nature or essence of the Godhead and manhood of Christ; let him be anathema. The Twelfth Anathema explicitly condemns two interpretations of scripture. The first condemned interpretation is that Christ, when he said "Receive the Holy Spirit," merely made a sign. The second is that Thomas was not referring to Christ when he said, "My Lord and my God," but that he was simply making an exclamation, expressing his wonder at the resurrection. Unfortunately for Justinian, the Monophysites were not appeased. (The Monophysites were associated with asceticism, in that they believed in only one nature in Christ, and that nature was divine. Because human nature is evil, as is all creation, it could not be Christ's nature, even in synthesis in one hypostasis.) Origen was condemned at the Fifth Ecumenical Council, and many of his doctrines were explicitly listed as cause for anathema: (1) the pre-existence of souls; (2) that created beings were originally only rational souls, who later took bodies to themselves because they tired of the sight of God; (3) that celestial bodies are rational beings become material through love of evil; (4) that men are such rational souls in whom the love of God had grown cold, and so taken bodies, and that demons are like men in this, but more evil; (5) that humans may become angels or demons; (6) that demons are either fallen angels or fallen human souls, and that the world was created not by the Trinity but by a spirit who became Christ through unfailing devotion to God; (7) that this Christ clothed himself with the form of all classes of fallen rational beings, including man, to restore them; (8) that Christ is an intelligence (nous) united to God the Word, and only called God because he is united with the Logos, and the Logos is only called Christ because he is united with the intelligence; (9) that the intelligence was incarnate, descended into hell and ascended into heaven, and not the Logos; (10) that Christ's resurrection body was ethereal and shaped like a sphere, and the bodies of all those resurrected will be as well; (11) that at the future judgment all matter will be destroyed, leaving only spirit; (12) that all rational beings are united with God in the same was as the intelligence is, and that the kingdom of Christ shall have an end; (13) that the Christ is not different from other rational beings and that all will be placed at God's right hand as they were in their pre-existence; (14) that hypostases and numbers and bodies will disappear and all things will be united into one; and (15) that, all things will be spirit, and the life of the spirits in the end will be as in the beginning. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 554 Chinese mathematics introduced into Japan by Koreans. [D.E. Smith, p.554] 556-561 The 60th pope, Pelagius I, reigned for 5 years. He was elected one year after the death of Virgilius. He accepted the decisions of the council of Constantinople, in favour of the heresy of Eutyche. This about-face was never forgotten and was a burden to him for the rest of his life. 6th Century: 14 Popes 556 Pelagius became patriarch of Rome. Served through 561. Pelagius was strongly opposed to the condemnation of the Three Chapters, but Justinian appointed him patriarch anyway, judging, rightly, that he would change his mind. Pelagius supported the decisions of the Constantinople (553). From the time of Pelagius until 741, the name of the person elected bishop of Rome was sent to the emperor in Constantinople or to his exarch in Ravenna for confirmation. The church in Rome accompanied this name with a large payment, effectively tribute. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 556 "... Cynric and Ceawlin fought with the Britons at Beranbury." [ASC]

Major Books and Events of the Decade 560-570

560-569 European popularization of Greek scientists/mathematicians Archimedes and Appollonius, through the Commentaries of Eutocius. [Hellemans, p.63] 560 Eutocius writes a History of Mathematics. [D.E. Smith, p.554] 560 "... Ceawlin undertook the government of the West-Saxons; and Ella, on the death of Ida, that of the Northumbrians; each of whom reigned thirty winters. Ella was the son of Iff, Iff of Usfrey, Usfrey of Wilgis, Wilgis of Westerfalcon, Westerfalcon of Seafowl, Seafowl of Sebbald, Sebbald of Sigeat, Sigeat of Swaddy, Swaddy of Seagirt, Seagar of Waddy, Waddy of Woden, Woden of Frithowulf. This year Ethelbert came to the kingdom of the Cantuarians, and held it fifty-three winters. In his days the holy Pope Gregory sent us baptism. That was in the two and thirtieth year of his reign. And Columba, the mass-priest, came to the Picts, and converted them to the belief of Christ. They are the dwellers by the northern moors. And their king gave him the island of Hii, consisting of five hides, as they say, where Columba built a monastary. There he was abbot two and thirty winters; and there he died, when he was seventy-seven years old. The place his successors yet have. The Southern Picts were long before baptized by Bishop Ninnia, who was taught at Rome. His church or monastery is at Hwiterne, hallowed in the name of St. Martin, where he resteth with many holy men. Now, therefore, shall there be ever in Hii an abbot, and no bishop; and to him shall be subject all the bishops of the Scots; because Columba was an abbot -- no bishop." [ASC] 561 Julius, bishop of Rome (337-352), had founded a certain church in Rome. In this year, that church was dedicated to St. Philip and St. James. The dedication ceremony is the origin for the feast day for those saints - May 1. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 561-574 The 61st pope, John III, reigned for 13 years. During his pontificate, the Longobards invaded Italy, creating a dramatically desperate situation. 6th Century: 14 Popes 563 The Irish monk Columba founded a monastery on Iona. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 563 A council meeting in Braga decreed against the Priscillianists that Satan was not an uncreated being. It also attacked the notion that he is "the principle and substance" of evil. Instead, the council asserted, he "was originally a good angel created by God." Google's cache of The Sixth Century 565 End of the reign of Emperor Justinian. 568 "... Ceawlin, and Cutha the brother of Ceawlin, fought with Ethelbert, and pursued him into Kent. And they slew two aldermen at Wimbledon, Oslake and Cnebba." [ASC] 568 Avars invade Hungary, culturally diffusing the Chinese inventions of the stirrup and the trace harness. [Hellemans, p.63] 568 The Lombards invaded the Roman Empire, a people even more wantonly destructive than the Vandals. Why Rome Fell... and why it doesn't matter 568 The Lombards took control of northern Italy, thus giving Gregory "the Great," the future bishop of Rome, a small measure of independence from the Byzantine emperor. The Lombard movement into Italy was a result of the Avar migration of the 550s. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 568 The Avars invaded Dalmatia. The Emperor Justin II [565-578] bought peace for 80,000 pieces of silver. Google's cache of The Sixth Century

Major Books and Events of the Decade 570-580

571: Birth of the Holy Prophet in Mecca. Year of the Elephant. Invasion of Makkah by Abraha the Viceroy of Yemen; his retreat. Islamic History of the 7th Century 571 "... Cuthulf fought with the Britons at Bedford, and took four towns, Lenbury, Aylesbury, Benson, and Ensham. And this same year he died." [ASC] 572 The European clergy found themselves battling a resurgence of pagan beliefs, often skilfully combined with orthodox Christianity. Archbishop Martin of Braga, around 572, berated people for worshipping demons who 'expelled from the heavens now preside over the sea or streams or fountains or forests.' Two millennia in 20 weeks 572 The Lombards conquered south-central Italy, creating the duchies of Spolento and Benevento. The Byzantines retained control of a corridor between Ravenna and Rome, splitting the northern Lombard kingdom from its southern duchies. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 572 The Monophysite bishop John of Ephesus was imprisoned by the emperor Justin II. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 573 The Persians invaded the Roman Empire, seizing the city of Dara on the Tigris. Among the 292,000 captives taken were included 2000 beautiful Christian virgins the Persian emperor, Chosroes, intended to present to the Turkish Khan. (This is the first mention of the Turks in the history of the West.) At a river, the Christian virgins separated from their captors to bathe, then drowned themselves rather than enter the Khan's harem. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 575-579 The 62nd pope, Benedict I, reigned 4 years. His pontificate was marked by the Longobard's siege of Rome and the great famine undergone by the population. 6th Century: 14 Popes 575 Book by Ch'ang K'iu-kien on Arithmetic and Mensuration. [D.E. Smith, p.554] He gives Pi the value 3.14. 577 Northern Ch'i women in China invent matches (pyrotechnic chemical-tipped wood sticks ignited by friction) to easily start heating and cooking fires. [Hellemans, p.63] 577: The Holy Prophet visits Madina with his mother. Death of his mother. Islamic History of the 7th Century 577 The West Saxon Ceawlin won a battle at Deorham, cutting the Britons in Wales off from the Britons to the South. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 577 "... Cuthwin and Ceawlin fought with the Britons, and slew three kings, Commail, and Condida, and Farinmail, on the spot that is called Derham, and took from them three cities, Gloucester, Cirencester, and Bath." [ASC] 578 Death of Jacob Baradaeus. Baradaeus was instrumental in organizing those who repudiated the council of Chalcedon. Hence, they came to be termed "Jacobites." These Monophysites had set up their own rival patriarch of Antioch. They called the Chalcedonian Orthodox "Melchites," meaning "Emperor's Men." Google's cache of The Sixth Century 579-590 The 63rd pope, Pelagius II, reigned for 11 years. He devoted himself to alleviating the sufferings of the poor and the old to whom he regularly gave shelter in his palace, He died the victim of a terrible pestilence. 6th Century: 14 Popes

Major Books and Events of the Decade 580-590

580: Death of Abdul Muttalib, the grandfather of the Holy Prophet. Islamic History of the 7th Century 580 Maximus the Confessor [580-662] born. Maximus was the principal theologian opposed to the monothelete heresy. He was the most sophisticated analyst of Chalcedon in antiquity. Maximus taught that the monophysite doctrine implied a pessimistic view of human nature. Chalcedon, on the other hand, safeguarded the autonomy of mankind and granted an independent status and positive value to the creation. The Christ who is known in two natures is able to be a model for our freedom and individuality, and for a mystical union with God in which man's separateness as a creature is respected. In his time, Maximus stated, the Son, for the West, was not the cause of the existence of the Holy Spirit, so that in this sense the Holy Spirit does not proceed from the Father. Centuries later at the Council of Florence, the West would make the claim that the Father and Son are both causes. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 581-618 Brief Sui Dynasty of China, displaced in 618 by the major T'ang Dynasty [618-906]. 581 The emperor Tiberius II Constantine [578-582] established an elite corp of 15,000 barbarians, which eventually developed into the Varangian Guards. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 581 The Avars captured Sirmium by trickery. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 582 Athens was sacked by Slavic invaders. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 583: The Holy Prophet's journey to Syria in the company of his uncle Abu Talib. His meeting with the monk Bahira at Bisra who foretells of his prophethood. Islamic History of the 7th Century 583 "... Mauricius succeeded to the empire of the Romans." [ASC] 584 "... Ceawlin and Cutha fought with the Britons on the spot that is called Fretherne. There Cutha was slain. And Ceawlin took many towns, as well as immense booty and wealth. He then retreated to his own people." [ASC] 586: The Holy Prophet participates in the War of Fijar. Islamic History of the 7th Century 587 The British archbishops of London and York fled to Wales. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 587 A synod meeting in Constantinople ascribed the title "Ecumenical Patriarch" to John VI of Constantinople because it was the capital of the "ecumenical" empire. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 588 Death of "... King Ella; and Ethelric reigned after him five years." [ASC] 589 First written record of toilet paper, in China. [Hellemans, p.63] 589 The Council of Toledo added the filioque clause to the Creed of Constantinople [381]. This addition gradually spread in the West, and was finally incorporated into the liturgy at Rome, probably in 1014 at the coronation of Henry II, with unhappy consequences. This is the first mention in the West of the creed as an element of the liturgy. [See note on Peter the Fuller, 476]. Google's cache of The Sixth Century

Major Books and Events of the Decade 590-600

590 Election of Pope Gregory the Great. [Hellemans, p.62] 590-604 The 64the pope, St.Gregory I (The Great), reigned 14 years. Born in Rome in the noble Anicia family). He was prefect of Rome when he abandoned his career to join the Benedictine order. Gregory definitively detached himself from Constantinople. He paid a tribute to the Longobards to call off the siege. He reinforced the worship, embellishing it with the chants which bear his name. 6th Century: 14 Popes 590 Gregory the Great bishop of Rome [590-604]. Gregory chafed when John, patriarch of Constantinople, termed himself the Ecumenical Patriarch: "It is very difficult to hear patiently that one who is our brother and fellow bishop should alone be called bishop, while all others are despised. But in this pride of his, what else is intimated but that the days of Antichrist are already near? For he is imitating him who, despising the company of angels, attempted to ascend to the pinnacle of greatness." Gregory calls himself the "servant of the servants of God." Google's cache of The Sixth Century 591: The Holy Prophet becomes an active member of "Hilful Fudul", a league for the relief of the distressed. Islamic History of the 7th Century 591 "... a great slaughter of Britons at Wanborough; Ceawlin was driven from his kingdom, and Ceolric reigned six years." [ASC] 593 Deaths of "... Ceawlin, and Cwichelm, and Cryda; and Ethelfrith succeeded to the kingdom of the Northumbrians. He was the son of Ethelric; Ethelric of Ida." [ASC] 594: The Holy Prophet becomes the Manager of the business of Lady Khadija, and leads her trade caravan to Syria and back. Islamic History of the 7th Century 595: The Holy Prophet marries Hadrat Khadija. Islamic History of the 7th Century 595 A Roman Benedictine monk named Augustine was chosen by Gregory the Great to be the apostle to the English. Arrived in England in 597. On diversity in the mass, Gregory wrote to Augustine: "But it pleases me, that if you have found anything, either in the Roman, or the Gallican, or any other church, which may be more acceptable to Almighty God, you carefully make choice of the same, and sedulously teach the church of the English, which as yet is new in the faith, whatsoever you can gather from the several churches." Google's cache of The Sixth Century 591-628 Chosroes II, Shah of Persia, established by Emperor Maurice The Byzantine Empire in the 7th Century 596 "... Pope Gregory sent Augustine to Britain with very many monks, to preach the word of God to the English people." [ASC] 597 "... began Ceolwulf to reign over the West-Saxons; and he constantly fought and conquered, either with the Angles, or the Welsh, or the Picts, or the Scots. He was the son of Cutha, Cutha of Cynric, Cynric of Cerdic, Cerdic of Elesa, Elesa of Gewis, Gewis of Wye, Wye of Frewin, Frewin of Frithgar, Frithgar of Brand, Brand of Balday, and Balday of Woden. This year came Augustine and his companions to England." [ASC] 597 Pope Gregory ordered people to stop exhibiting the heads of sacrificed animals. Two millennia in 20 weeks 597 "Augustine reached Britain. Accompanied by a retinue of chanting priests, and carrying a huge silver cross, he sat down to talk with Ethelbert, King of Kent. Ethelbert wasn't buying, but quite liked the guy. He said he couldn't 'leave the customs I have so long observed', but allowed Augustine to walk and preach freely. Before long, Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury." Two millennia in 20 weeks c.598 Birth of Indian Astronomer/Mathematician Brahmagupta. [Hellemans, p.65] See: Executive Summary, above. 600 Sometime during the 6th century the scratch plough was replaced in northern Europe by a plough with a moldboard, allowing it to cut into thick soil.The new plough first appeared in western Europe in the Rhineland and the Siene basin. Google's cache of The Sixth Century 600s Avars invade Macedonia and Thrace The Byzantine Empire in the 7th Century 600 the Korean priest Kanroku present a set of astrology and calendrical books to the Empress of Japan. Prince Shotoku Taishi became very interested in this, was prodigious in his ability to calculate, and he is traditionally considered the father of arithmetic in Japan. Prince Shotoku Taishi writes on Arithmetic. [D.E. Smith, p.555] 600-609 India has mathematicians using Decimal Notation. [Hellemans, p.63] 600-609 Zu Chong-Zhi and his son, Zu Geng-Shi of China calculate that Pi is greater than 3.1415926 and less than 3.1415927 [Hellemans, p.63] 600-609 Entire pages are printed by woodblock in China, although none from the 7th Century survive today (the earliest we have are from the 8th Century). [Hellemans, p.63] 600-609 The first known windmills are in use in Persia, using horizontal sails, a vertical shaft, and used to grind grain. [Hellemans, p.63] 602 Korean priests bring works on the calendar to Japan. [D.E. Smith, p.555] 602 Military revolt on Danube, troops proclaim Phokas, march on Constantinople and murder Maurice The Byzantine Empire in the 7th Century 602-10 Emperor Phokas The Byzantine Empire in the 7th Century

Other Key Dates and Stories of this 7th Century

{to be done}

Major Writers Born this Sixth Century

550 Stephen of Alexandria (550-620) c.570 Isadorus of Seville (c.570-636) ??? Chen Ch'uan (???-643), see: [643] ??? Severus Sebokht (???-667), see: Executive Summary, [650], [662] 598 Brahmagupta (598-668) see: Executive Summary, [598], [628], [660-669] ??? Hypatia ??? Boethius: the great Mathematician of 6th Century Europe ??? Taliesin: great Welsh poet/bard {to be done} Data is scattered through the main body of text, and more should be added.

Major Writers Died this Sixth Century

524 Boethius [Anicius Manlius Severinus] (480-524) The major European Philosopher of the Fifth to Sixth Centuries. {to be done} Data is scattered through the main body of text, and more should be added.

Decade by Decade 6th Century Science Background

The background of science and mathematics has been promiscuously intermingled with political/military history in the main body of text in this web page. Some later centuries chronologized in this web site break these apart (science/math versus political/military history). Similarly, "literature" as a genre based on the short story and the novel had not yet evolved, with the possible exception of Myths, stories about Christian saints, and poetry of equivalent function.

Decade by Decade Sixth Century Mundane Background

See the political/military history in the main body of text, and the index of Politico-Military People of the Century, below. The biggest names in Mundane History of the Seventh century included: * Mohammed

Hotlinks to other Timeline pages of SF Chronology

|Introduction: Overview and Summary |Prehistory: Ancient Literary Precursors |Cosmic History: 13,000,000,000 - 3000 BC |6th Millennium BC: 6000-5000 B.C. |5th Millennium BC: 5000-4000 B.C. |4th Millennium BC: 4000-3000 B.C. |3rd Millennium BC: Gilgamesh and Cheops |2nd Millennium BC: Abraham to David |1st Millennium BC: 1000 BC-1 BC |1st Century: 1 AD-100 AD |2nd Century: 100 AD-200 AD |3rd Century: 200 AD-300 AD |4th Century: 300-400 |5th Century: 400-500 |6th Century: 500-600 [you are here] |7th Century: 600-700 |8th Century: Beowulf, Charlemagne, 1001 Arabian Nights [you are here] |9th Century: Gunpowder and the first printed book |10th Century: Arabs, Byzantium, China |11th Century: Kyahham, Gerbert, Alhazen |12th Century: Age of Translations |13th Century: Fibonacci and final flowering of Chivalry |14th Century: Dante, Marco Polo, and Clocks |15th Century: Dawn of Scientific Revolution |16th Century: Ariosto and Cyrano on the Moon |17th Century: Literary Dawn |18th Century: Literary Expansion |19th Century: Victorian Explosion |1890-1910: Into Our Century |1910-1920: The Silver Age |1920-1930: The Golden Age |1930-1940: The Aluminum Age |1940-1950: The Plutonium Age |1950-1960: The Threshold of Space |1960-1970: The New Wave |1970-1980: The Seventies |1980-1990: The Eighties |1990-2000: End of Millennium |2000-2010: Future Prizewinners

Where to Go for More

Useful Reference Books and Websites Beyond the World Wide Web... there is the library of old-fashioned books printed on paper. I strongly recommend that you start or follow-up your explorations of this web site by consulting any or all of these outstanding sources: Zosimus (early 6th century AD) "The Greek historian Zosimus served as a senior official of the eastern Empire, rising to the rank of comes (count). Early in the sixth century he wrote a History in Greek of the Roman emperors from the time of Augustus until the early 5th century. Books I-V and part of Book VI are extant, and contain Zosimus' description of the the troubled times between Julian the Apostate and Honorius, mainly constructed from contemporary sources. Like Ammianus before him, Zosimus mentions that Julian brought grain levies from Britain to Gaul": 'Julian had timber gathered from the forests around the river and 800 boats larger than galleys built. These he sent to Britain and had them convey grain.' (III,5,2) Zosimus also describes a Saxon incursion and a subsequent British revolt in AD 408-9: 'The barbarians beyond the Rhine, attacking in force, reduced the inhabitants of Britain and some of the Celtic tribes to the point where they were obliged to throw off Roman rule and live independently, no longer subject to Roman laws. The Britons therefore took up arms and, braving the danger on their own behalf, freed their cities from the barbarians threatening them. And all Amorica [Brittany] and the other Gallic provinces followed their example, freed themselves in the same way, expelled the Roman rulers, and set up their own governments as far as lay within their own power." (VI, 5, 2-3) "Zosimus later mentions a letter from Honorius to the Britons, apparently a response to a petition for military aid: 'Honorius wrote letters to the cities in Britain, bidding them to take precautions on their own behalf.' (VI,10,2) The seeming disparity of the province revolting in AD 409 and then appealing to Rome for military aid in AD 410 is explained by Frere (1987) as the result of a change in emperors. The pretender Constantine III was declared emperor by the legions in Britain in AD 407; the rebellion seems to have been against his officials, while the appeal to Rome was sent to the legitimate emperor, Honorius (AD 393-423)." Late Roman and Dark Age Historians of Britain [Athena Review Vol.1, no.2] Gildas (ca. 497-570) Gildas, a monk, was eventually sainted. He founded a monastery in Brittany, St. Gildas de Rhuys, and is considered to be a founding father of English monasticism. His history, De excidio et conquestu Britanniae (The Ruin and Conquest of Britain), written in about AD 550, spurred the development of the monastic system in Britain, which had little following before 500 AD. It is also important as the only extant narrative account of Britain in the 6th century. Gildas had first hand experience of Britain in transition from late Roman to Saxon times, and reports on events close to him": '...the siege of Bath-Hill, when took place also the last almost, though not the least slaughter of our cruel foes, which was (as I am sure) forty-four years and one month after the landing of the Saxons, and also the time of my own nativity.' (II,26) "Gildas's history is in part an attempt to demonstrate that the invasions of Britain by the Scots, Picts, and Saxons were punishment from God for faithlessness, disobedience, moral failings, and (not least) for the Britons being short-sighted enough to hire Saxon mercenaries. Gildas, like the later historian Nennius, attributes the fall of Britain to the 'proud tyrant' (probably a reference to the Welsh king Vortigern) who invited the Saxons to Britain as mercenaries after an appeal to Rome for military help in AD 383 went unanswered. In return for helping to guard the borders, these Saxons were given lands in the east. Some modern historians have suggested that Gildas may have villainized Vortigern because the king was a Pelagian. Gildas also narrates the efforts of the British king Ambrosius Aurelianus (later identified with King Arthur) to repel the Saxons, who ultimately defeated him at Mons Badonicus." Gildas' sources are a combination of biblical scriptures and oral accounts cited from memory by those who had been told in their childhood of the events that shaped 5th-6th century Britain. Gildas sums up his difficulties as a historian (and those of the modern student of Dark Age history) as follows": 'I shall not follow the writings and records of my own country, which (if there were ever any of them) have been consumed in the fires of the enemy, or have accompanied my exiled countrymen into distant lands, but be guided by the relations of foreign writers, which, being broken and interrupted in many places, are therefore by no means clear.' (II,4) Late Roman and Dark Age Historians of Britain [Athena Review Vol.1, no.2] Gregory of Tours (AD 538-595) Also known as Georgius Florentius, Gregory was the bishop of Tours from AD 573 until his death. His Historia Francorum (History of the Franks) is a basic source on the 6th century Franco-Roman kingdom and on the life of Clovis (ca. AD 466-511), who conquered northern Gaul in 494 and became a Christian in 498. While not directly about Britain, Gregory's writings help place the early Dark Ages in historical context. Late Roman and Dark Age Historians of Britain [Athena Review Vol.1, no.2] Procopius (6th century AD) Procopius, born in Caesarea, was the private secretary to Belisarius, Justinian's chief general. He is considered the leading authority on Justinian's reign (AD 527-565), and wrote histories of the Goths, Persians, and the Vandals. In The Gothic Histories (IV, 20), he divides the invaders of Britain into two groups, the Angles and the Frisians, and may well have gained this information from a group of Angles sent to Constantinople as part of a Frankish diplomatic mission. Late Roman and Dark Age Historians of Britain [Athena Review Vol.1, no.2] This timeline web page draws heavily on FACTS as listed in "The Timetables of Science", by Alexander Hellemans and Bryan Bunch [New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988]. It does not copy the TEXT of that fine and recommended reference, and has value added in correlating the scientific and literary production of the century, and in hotlinking to additional resources.
Facts were also checked against "The 1979 Hammond Almanac" [ed. Martin A. Bacheller et al., Maplewood, New Jersey, 1978], p.795. It also utilizes facts from Volume I of D.E. Smith's "History of Mathematics" [(c) 1921 by David Eugene Smith; (c) 1951 by May Luse Smith; New York: Dover, 1958]. "Medieval Poetics", in the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, Enlarged Edition, ed. Alex Preminger et al., Princeton University Press, 1965.] More {to be done}
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