World History 900-700 BC - History

World History 900-700 BC - History

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900 BC Etruria- It is most likely that the Etruscans arrived in Italy from Asia Minor as a consequence of the break-up of the Hittite Empire. The Etruscans came to the area north of the Tiber River, taking control, and forming a loosely connected league of cities.
995 BC King David Captures Jerusalem- King David captured the Jebusite city of Jerusalem. Since Jerusalem did not belong to any single tribe, David wisely made the city his national capital. Under David's rule, the Kingdom of Israel reached its maximum size absorbing many of its neighbors.
945- 730 BC Libyans Rule Egypt- In about 945 B.C., Libyan settlers in Egypt managed to seize control under the leadership of Shishak, who founded the Twenty-Second Dynasty. During Shishak's reign, the Egyptians attacked the Kingdom of Israel, and sacked Jerusalem. In spite of this triumph, the dynasty was racked by dissension.
922 BC King Solomon - King Solomon reigned from 961- 922 B.C. During his reign, he consolidated the Kingdom of his father, David. Solomon instituted new methods of government and entered into a series of alliances to ensure that his Kingdom would remain at peace.

Upon the death of Solomon, his son Rehoboam came to the throne. He was not accepted by many of the tribes of Israel, and they split off naming Jerboam King of Israel. Rehoboam remained King of Judah, the area to the south.

840 BC Vannic Kingdom - The Vannic Kingdom was founded by Sardur I . The Kingdom included parts of what are Turkey, Russian and Iran today. It was able to develop in the shadow of the Assyrian Empire.
814 BC Cathrage Founded- In 814 B.C., Phoenicians founded a colony at Carthage. The colony would soon overshadow the homeland and become an important world power in its own right.
780 - 560 BC Greek Colonies Established- During this period, the Greeks established a series of colonies on Asia Minor. Colonies served as an important safety valve' since there was not enough arable land in Greece proper to supply food for an expanding population.
771 BC Chou Capital At Hao Destroyed- The Chou capital at Hao was destroyed by barbarians who came from the north. Their king, Yu, was murdered. The Chous moved their capital to Loyang. The power of the Chou monarchy was limited however. Anarchy was frequently more the rule than the exception.
753 BC Rome Founded- According to legend, Rome was founded in 753 B.C. Its traditional founder was Romulus, said to be the son of a princess of Alba Longa. In truth, we know little about the actual founding of the city. The first settlement in Rome most likely took place on Palatine Hill near the Tiber River.
736 - 716 BC First Messenian War- One of the first acts of the Eighteenth Dynasty under Ahmose was the subjugation of Nubia. The Egyptians quickly subdued the Nubians and assimilated them into the Empire.
730 BC Egyptian Dynasty XXV Founded- In 730 B.C., the Kushite ruler Piankhi sailed down the Nile and took control of Egypt. Piankhi established the 25th Dynasty. During this time, many of the old temples of Egypt were renewed.
722 BC Samaria Falls- After a three-year siege, Samaria (the capital of Israel) fell to the Assyrians. It is said that the Assyrian took 20,000 Israelites into slavery. Thus ended the Kingdom of Israel.

World History 900-700 BC - History

Near East Egypt Persia Europe Greece Rome India Far East

800 Etruscans arrive in Italy by way of the Sea

800 Zapotec hieroglyphs developed

800 Traditional date for the Iliad and Odyssey written by Homer

800 Greek alphabet first used

800 Phoenicians settle in Cyprus

800 Earliest Iron Age societies develop in Germany and Austria

750 Greek migrants settle on the Spanish coast, Sicily and southern Italy

776 First recorded Olympic Games held at the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, Greece

774 Assyrian incursions of Phoenicia begin

770 Eastern Zhou dynasty in China, capital moved from Hao to Luoyang

753 Legendary date for the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus

750 Kushites occupy Egypt

750 iron working in Egypt

750 Scythians are driven westward toward the Black Sea

750 Athens and Sparta become a major power druing the Archaic period

745 Tiglath-Pileser III reigns over Assyria

743 Sparta initiates the first Messenian War.

738 Assyria invades Phoenicia

734 Tyre falls to Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria

733 Syracuse is founded on Sicily by the Greeks

729 Tiglath-Pileser captures Babylon and reigns as king

725 King Midas rules over Phrygia

722 Sargon II of Assyria captures Samaria, the capital of Israel

722 The northern kingdom of Israel comes to an end.

722 Sargon II of Assyria deports 28,000 Israelites who become the "Ten Lost Tribes"

721 Chaldaeans enter Babylonia and compete for the Babylonian throne

721 Sargon II defeats the Urartians

720 Egypt reunited under Nubian rule (XXVth Dynasty)

709 Phrygia becomes a tributary to Assyria

706 Tarentum is established in southern Italy by Sparta

701 Sennacherib, king of Assyria begins his campaign on the west to Phoenicia

Ancient Greece

Greece is a country in southeastern Europe, known in Greek as Hellas or Ellada, and consisting of a mainland and an archipelago of islands. Ancient Greece is the birthplace of Western philosophy (Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle), literature (Homer and Hesiod), mathematics (Pythagoras and Euclid), history (Herodotus), drama (Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes), the Olympic Games, and democracy.

The concept of an atomic universe was first posited in Greece through the work of Democritus and Leucippus. The process of today's scientific method was first introduced through the work of Thales of Miletus and those who followed him. The Latin alphabet also comes from ancient Greece, having been introduced to the region during the Phoenician colonization in the 8th century BCE, and early work in physics and engineering was pioneered by Archimedes, of the Greek colony of Syracuse, among others.


Mainland Greece is a large peninsula surrounded on three sides by the Mediterranean Sea (branching into the Ionian Sea in the west and the Aegean Sea in the east) which also comprises the islands known as the Cyclades and the Dodecanese (including Rhodes), the Ionian islands (including Corcyra), the isle of Crete, and the southern peninsula known as the Peloponnese.

The geography of Greece greatly influenced the culture in that, with few natural resources and surrounded by water, the people eventually took to the sea for their livelihood. Mountains cover 80 percent of Greece and only small rivers run through a rocky landscape which, for the most part, provides little encouragement for agriculture. Consequently, the early ancient Greeks colonized neighboring islands and founded settlements along the coast of Anatolia (also known as Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey). The Greeks became skilled seafaring people and traders who, possessing an abundance of raw materials for construction in stone, and great skill, built some of the most impressive structures in antiquity.


Etymology of Hellas

The designation Hellas derives from Hellen, the son of Deucalion and Pyrrha who feature prominently in Ovid's tale of the Great Flood in his Metamorphoses. The mythical Deucalion (son of the fire-bringing titan Prometheus) was the savior of the human race from the Great Flood, in the same way Noah is presented in the biblical version or Utnapishtim in the Mesopotamian one. Deucalion and Pyrrha repopulate the land once the floodwaters have receded by casting stones which become people, the first being Hellen. Contrary to popular opinion, Hellas and Ellada have nothing to do with Helen of Troy from Homer's Iliad. Ovid, however, did not coin the designation. Thucydides writes, in Book I of his Histories:

I am inclined to think that the very name was not as yet given to the whole country, and in fact did not exist at all before the time of Hellen, the son of Deucalion the different tribes, of which the Pelasgian was the most widely spread, gave their own names to different districts. But when Hellen and his sons became powerful in Phthiotis, their aid was invoked by other cities, and those who associated with them gradually began to be called Hellenes, though a long time elapsed before the name was prevalent over the whole country. Of this, Homer affords the best evidence for he, although he lived long after the Trojan War, nowhere uses this name collectively, but confines it to the followers of Achilles from Phthiotis, who were the original Hellenes when speaking of the entire host, he calls them Danäans, or Argives, or Achaeans.

Early History of Ancient Greece

Ancient Greek history is most easily understood by dividing it into time periods. The region was already settled, and agriculture initiated, during the Paleolithic era as evidenced by finds at Petralona and Franchthi caves (two of the oldest human habitations in the world). The Neolithic Age (c. 6000 - c. 2900 BCE) is characterized by permanent settlements (primarily in northern Greece), domestication of animals, and the further development of agriculture. Archaeological finds in northern Greece (Thessaly, Macedonia, and Sesklo, among others) suggest a migration from Anatolia in that the ceramic cups and bowls and figures found there share qualities distinctive to Neolithic finds in Anatolia. These inland settlers were primarily farmers, as northern Greece was more conducive to agriculture than elsewhere in the region, and lived in one-room stone houses with a roof of timber and clay daubing.

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The Cycladic Civilization (c. 3200-1100 BCE) flourished in the islands of the Aegean Sea (including Delos, Naxos, and Paros) and provides the earliest evidence of continual human habitation in that region. During the Cycladic Period, houses and temples were built of finished stone and the people made their living through fishing and trade. This period is usually divided into three phases: Early Cycladic, Middle Cycladic, and Late Cycladic with a steady development in art and architecture. The latter two phases overlap and finally merge with the Minoan Civilization, and differences between the periods become indistinguishable.

The Minoan Civilization (2700-1500 BCE) developed on the island of Crete, and rapidly became the dominant sea power in the region. The term 'Minoan' was coined by the archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, who uncovered the Minoan palace of Knossos in 1900 CE and named the culture for the ancient Cretan king Minos. The name by which the people knew themselves is not known. The Minoan Civilization was thriving, as the Cycladic Civilization seems to have been, long before the accepted modern dates which mark its existence and probably earlier than 6000 BCE.


The Minoans developed a writing system known as Linear A (which has not yet been deciphered) and made advances in shipbuilding, construction, ceramics, the arts and sciences, and warfare. King Minos was credited by ancient historians (Thucydides among them) as being the first person to establish a navy with which he colonized, or conquered, the Cyclades. Archaeological and geological evidence on Crete suggests this civilization fell due to an overuse of the land causing deforestation though, traditionally, it is accepted that they were conquered by the Mycenaeans. The eruption of the volcano on the nearby island of Thera (modern-day Santorini) between 1650 and 1550 BCE and the resulting tsunami is acknowledged as the final cause for the fall of the Minoans. The isle of Crete was deluged and the cities and villages destroyed. This event has been frequently cited as Plato's inspiration in creating his myth of Atlantis in his dialogues of the Critias and Timaeus.

The Mycenaeans & Their Gods

The Mycenaean Civilization (approximately 1900-1100 BCE) is commonly acknowledged as the beginning of Greek culture, even though we know almost nothing about the Mycenaeans save what can be determined through archaeological finds and through Homer's account of their war with Troy as recorded in the Iliad. They are credited with establishing the culture owing primarily to their architectural advances, their development of a writing system (known as Linear B, an early form of Greek descended from the Minoan Linear A), and the establishment, or enhancement of, religious rites. The Mycenaeans appear to have been greatly influenced by the Minoans of Crete in their worship of earth goddesses and sky gods, which, in time, become the classical Greek pantheon.

Greek mythology provided a solid paradigm of the creation of the universe, the world, and human beings. An early myth relates how, in the beginning, there was nothing but chaos in the form of unending waters. From this chaos came the goddess Eurynome who separated the water from the air and began her dance of creation with the serpent Ophion. From their dance, all of creation sprang and Eurynome was, originally, the Great Mother Goddess and Creator of All Things.


By the time Hesiod and Homer were writing (8th century BCE), this story had changed into the more familiar myth concerning the titans, Zeus' war against them, and the birth of the Olympian Gods with Zeus as their chief. This shift indicates a movement from a matriarchal religion to a patriarchal paradigm. Whichever model was followed, however, the gods clearly interacted regularly with the humans who worshipped them and were a large part of daily life in ancient Greece. Prior to the coming of the Romans, the only road in mainland Greece that was not a cow path was the Sacred Way which ran between the city of Athens and the holy city of Eleusis, the birthplace of the Eleusinian Mysteries celebrating the goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone.

By 1100 BCE, around the time of the Bronze Age Collapse, the great Mycenaean cities of southwest Greece were abandoned and, some claim, their civilization destroyed by an invasion of Doric Greeks. Archaeological evidence is inconclusive as to what led to the fall of the Mycenaeans. As no written records of this period survive (or have yet to be unearthed) one may only speculate on causes. The tablets of Linear B script found thus far contain only lists of goods bartered in trade or kept in stock. It seems clear, however, that after what is known as the Greek Dark Ages (approximately 1100-800 BCE, so named because of the absence of written documentation) Greek colonization was ongoing in much of Asia Minor, and the islands surrounding mainland Greece and began to make significant cultural advances. Beginning in c. 585 BCE the first Greek philosopher, Thales of Miletus, was engaged in what, today, would be recognized as scientific inquiry on the Asia Minor coast, and this region of Ionian colonies would make significant breakthroughs in Greek philosophy and mathematics.

From the Archaic to the Classical Periods

The Archaic Period (800-500 BCE) is characterized by the introduction of republics instead of monarchies (which, in Athens, moved toward democratic rule) organized as a single city-state or polis, the institution of laws (Draco's reforms in Athens), the great Panathenaic Festival was established, distinctive Greek pottery and Greek sculpture were born, and the first coins minted on the island kingdom of Aegina. This, then, set the stage for the flourishing of the Classical Period of ancient Greece given as 500-400 BCE or, more precisely, as 480-323 BCE, from the Greek victory at the Battle of Salamis to the death of Alexander the Great. This was the Golden Age of Athens, when Pericles initiated the building of the Acropolis and spoke his famous eulogy for the men who died defending Greece at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BCE. Greece reached the heights in almost every area of human learning during this time and the great thinkers and artists of antiquity (Phidias, Plato, Aristophanes, to mention only three) flourished. Leonidas and his 300 Spartans fell at Thermopylae and, the same year (480 BCE), Themistocles won victory over the superior Persian naval fleet at Salamis leading to the final defeat of the Persians at the Battle of Plataea in 479 BCE.


Democracy (literally Demos = people and Kratos = power, so power of the people) was established in Athens allowing all male citizens over the age of twenty a voice in the Greek government. The Pre-Socratic philosophers, following Thales' lead, initiated what would become the scientific method in exploring natural phenomena. Men like Anaximander, Anaximenes, Pythagoras, Democritus, Xenophanes, and Heraclitus abandoned the theistic model of the universe and strove to uncover the underlying, first cause of life and the universe.

Their successors, among whom were Euclid and Archimedes, continued to advance Greek science and philosophical inquiry and further established mathematics as a serious discipline. The example of Socrates and the writings of Plato and Aristotle after him have influenced western culture and society for over two thousand years. This period also saw advances in architecture and art with a movement away from the ideal to the realistic. Famous works of Greek sculpture such as the Parthenon Marbles and Discobolos (the discus thrower) date from this time and epitomize the artist's interest in depicting human emotion, beauty, and accomplishment realistically, even if those qualities are presented in works featuring immortals.

All of these developments in culture were made possible by the ascent of Athens following the victory over the Persians in 480 BCE. The peace and prosperity which followed the Persian defeat provided the finances and stability for culture to flourish. Athens became the superpower of the day and, with the most powerful navy, was able to demand tribute from other city-states and enforce its wishes. Athens formed the Delian League, a defensive alliance whose stated purpose was to deter the Persians from further hostilities.

The city-state of Sparta, however, doubted Athenian sincerity and formed their own association for protection against their enemies, the Peloponnesian League (so named for the Peloponnese region where Sparta and the others were located). The city-states which sided with Sparta increasingly perceived Athens as a bully and a tyrant, while those cities which sided with Athens viewed Sparta and its allies with growing distrust. The tension between these two parties eventually erupted in what has become known as the Peloponnesian Wars. The first conflict (c. 460-445 BCE) ended in a truce and continued prosperity for both parties while the second (431-404 BCE) left Athens in ruins and Sparta, the victor, bankrupt after her protracted war with Thebes.

This time is generally referred to as the Late Classical Period (c. 400-330 BCE). The power vacuum left by the fall of these two cities was filled by Philip II of Macedon (382-336 BCE) after his victory over the Athenian forces and their allies at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BCE. Philip united the Greek city-states under Macedonian rule and, upon his assassination in 336 BCE, his son Alexander assumed the throne.

Alexander the Great & the Coming of Rome

Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE) carried on his father's plans for a full scale invasion of Persia in retaliation for their invasion of Greece in 480 BCE. As he had almost the whole of Greece under his command, a standing army of considerable size and strength, and a full treasury, Alexander did not need to bother with allies nor with consulting anyone regarding his plan for invasion and so led his army into Egypt, across Asia Minor, through Persia, and finally to India. Tutored in his youth by Plato's great student Aristotle, Alexander would spread the ideals of Greek civilization through his conquests and, in so doing, transmitted Greek art, philosophy, culture, and language to every region he came in contact with.

In 323 BCE Alexander died and his vast empire was divided between four of his generals. This initiated what has come to be known to historians as the Hellenistic Period (323-31 BCE) during which Greek thought and culture became dominant in the various regions under these generals' influence. After the wars of the Diadochi ('the successors' as Alexander's generals came to be known), Antigonus I established the Antigonid Dynasty in Greece which he then lost. It was regained by his grandson, Antigonus II Gonatas, by 276 BCE who ruled the country from his palace at Macedon.

The Roman Republic became increasingly involved in the affairs of Greece during this time and, in 168 BCE, defeated Macedon at the Battle of Pydna. After this date, Greece steadily came under the influence of Rome. In 146 BCE, the region was designated a Protectorate of Rome and Romans began to emulate Greek fashion, philosophy and, to a certain extent, sensibilities. In 31 BCE Octavian Caesar annexed the country as a province of Rome following his victory over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium. Octavian became Augustus Caesar and Greece a part of the Roman Empire.

The Hebrew Timeline

Yes. The two timelines place creation 244 years apart.

The Hebrew Timeline known as Seder Olam Rabba places creation at 3760 BC. It was calculated on a literal reading of the book of Genesis by Tanna Yose ben Halafta in the second century BC. The Tannaim (Hebrew: תנאים, singular תנא, Tanna) were the Rabbinic sages whose views are recorded in the Mishnah, from approximately 70-200 CE – from

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The Hebrew Timeline and the King James Biblical timeline based on Ussher’s chronology, places creation at 4004 BC. The 244-year difference is due to differences in calculations during the period when dates have to be determined by relationship to other events as exact time frames and relative dates are not given. (see our article: The Three Bible Timelines: Why and How They Differ )

Here are some of the dates on the Jewish Timeline:

Creation of Adam and Eve 3760 BC

First Temple construction begins 832 BC

The first temple destroyed 586 BC

The second temple built 516 BC

Esther to Achashverosh 431 BC

The second temple destroyed 70 AD

For a comparison list of dates see our article comparing the Catholic, King James and Hebrew Timelines.

9th Century, 801 to 900

803 The war against the Ainu ends. The emperor, Kammu, has left court-appointed aristocrats as leaders of his army, and an aristocrat, Sakanoue Tamuramaro, has emerged as a war hero and the first person with the title of Shogun.

807 The Abbasid caliph, Harun al Rashid, decress that Baghdad Jews are wear a yellow badge and Christians are to wear a blue badge.

813 The new Abbasid caliph in Baghdad, son of al Rashid, Abdallah al-Mamun, sends people to Constantinople's empire to collect scientific works by ancient Greeks.

825 The kingdom of Wessex wins in war and becomes the dominate power in England.

826 In China, the Tang Dynasty limps along politically. A reckless teenager, Jingzong, has inherited the throne &ndash the second emperor in five years. In the eyes of court eunuchs he has filled the court with incompetent persons, and they have him assassinated.

834 In Norway, two women are buried in a Viking ship. In the year 2008 it will be called the Oseberg ship. One of the women will be described as "upper class" and her skeleton indicating that she had led a hard life. The older woman, in her 70s and perhaps over 80, has cancerous tumors in her bones, perhaps having spread there from breast or uterine cancer.

840 Eunichs in China have chosen Wuzong (age 36) as emperor, and while doing so they murder two rivals to the throne and the mothers of these contenders.

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 &ndash unavailable in Western Europe &ndash to create a neoplatonic school of Islamic thought.

850 Gunpowder is described in a Taoist book of alchemy, the "Classified Essentials of the Mysterious Dao of the True Origin of Things."

858 In Japan, the Nakatomi family has changed its name to Fujiwara. Fujiwara women have married into the royal Yamato family and they have given birth to Yamato emperors. The Fujiwara family runs the government and their taking power is described as having begun &ndash a power that the Fujiwara family is to keep for three centuries.

858 Christian missionaries develop the Cyrillic alphabet from written Greek &ndash an alphabet that in modern times is used in Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian and other languages.

860 Vikings have attacked at Constantinople. A new phase in Scandinavian (Viking) aggression has begun. Encouraged by former successes, the Scandinavians are beginning to attack in greater number.

861 Vikings voyage up the river Seine and attack at Paris, up the Rhine to Cologne, and they attack at Aix-la-Chapelle.

862 Vikings have reported that land is more available abroad. Their growth in population has eliminated the availability of land at home. Moving from more densely populated areas, Scandinavians have begun moving to less densely populated areas and settling down. Rurik of Scandinavia has established a dynasty at Novgorod.

865 In England, an Army of Danes has overthrown the kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia.

868 Someone in China produces a book of pages and paper.

869 The last writing on a stele in the major Maya city of Tikal is dated as 869.

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 &ndash the way Christians saw Jesus.

874 Vikings settle in Iceland.

899 The Maya city Tikal is abandoned. Other Mayan cities in the surrounding lowland area are collapsed while some cities in the northern Yucatan Peninsula continue to thrive. (map)

899 King Alfred the Great of Wessex has rallied England against Viking attacks. Vikings are settled and remain in Northumbria and East Anglia while a Viking army has sailed back to the continent.

900 For sometime the horse collar has been spreading in Europe, invented more than 1000 years earlier in China. The collar prevents choking a horse, ignored by Roman farmers. The collar allows a horse to pull heavier loads, needed for pulling plows in Europe's heavy soils.

900 By now a Muslim trading settlement has been established on the coast at Zeila, on the northern Somali coast, about 150 miles south of the mouth of the Red Sea.

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Middle East 1000 BCE

Invasions have devastated the old centers of civilization, but important new developments, such as the use of iron, the appearance of the alphabet and the rise of Israel, with its monotheistic religion, have taken place.

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What is happening in Middle East in 1000BCE


Over the past 500 years, great changes have wracked the Middle East. The old powers of the region – Egypt, the Hittites, Assyria and Babylon – have all been devastated by invaders from outside their borders: the “Sea Peoples” from Europe, the Aramaeans from the Syrian desert and the Kuldu (Chaldeans) and other groups from the southern desert.

The eclipse of these states has allowed new peoples, particularly the Phoenicians and Israelites, to come to the fore. Their achievements will have an enduring impact on world history.


Several major advances in civilization have taken place in region in recent centuries. Firstly, iron has come into widespread use, probably starting somewhere in Asia Minor. Secondly, the alphabet has been developed, again probably in Asia Minor but soon to be spread by Phoenician merchants around the Mediterranean and Middle East. A third occurrence of world significance is the appearance of the monotheism, carried into history by the Israelite tribes. Finally, the camel has been domesticated recently. This tough animal is helping new trade routes across the Arabian desert to come into use.

The King of Ethiopia, 700 BC

Taharqa was the King of Ethiopia (also known as the land of Cush or Kush). He reigned during the 7th century BC and is listed on the Biblical Timeline Chart during that time period.

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Taharqa was also the Pharaoh of Egypt, and a king of its Twenty-Fifth Dynasty, later to be known as the only Nubian dynasty of that ancient kingdom. His crown as Pharaoh bore two snakes to show that he was the king of both lands.

Taharqa lived during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah, a time when the Assyrians, under King Sennacherib, attacked Jerusalem.

The Bible says in 2 Kings 19:9 that King Sennacherib received news that “Tirhaka”, the King of Cush, was marching out against him. Both the Bible and nonbiblical records show that the Assyrian army withdrew because of this and Jerusalem was saved from destruction.

It was an important triumph in both Hebrew and world history because Judaism, a fledgling religion during this time, was protected and allowed to evolve by this victory.

He was said to be about twenty years old when he marched out to Jerusalem to fight the Assyrians in 701 BC. However, his reign is traced from 690 – 664 BC. It would seem that he was not yet king when he saved Jerusalem. This difference in the dates may be explained by the suggestion that the “title of king in the Biblical text refers to his future
royal title, when at the time of this account he was likely only a military commander.”

Tirhaka, Tarkakah, also Tarakos, Tearkos, Tharsikes and Tarku are some of the variations of this Ethiopian ruler’s name, whose existence has been confirmed by accounts from other ancient historians such as Herodotus, Manetho, Strabo, and Josephus.

Taharqa was the son of Piye, Nubian King of Napata, who conquered Egypt and established what was to become its TwentyFifth Dynasty. His mother was Abar.

Taharqa was the successor to his brother Shebitku. Under his rule, Egypt
and Kush enjoyed peace and prosperity. The military campaigns of Piye and Shabaka before him led to both lands flourishing under Taharqa’s reign. During this time of wealth, he “restored existing temples, built new ones, and constructed the largest pyramid in the Napatan region. His additions to the Temple at Karnak,
the new temple at Kawa, and the temple at Jebel Barkalwere particularly impressive.

It was also during his reign, that Assyria, under Sennacherib’s son and successor Esarhaddon began invading Egypt in 677 BC.
By the year 671 BC, Esarhaddon had conquered Memphis and captured several members of Taharqa’s family. Taharqa escaped to Nubia but continued to incite rebellion against the Assyrians.

Finally, in 664 BC, he was defeated by Esarhaddon’s
son Ashurbanipal and fled to Thebes where he died and was buried in Nuri, North Sudan. He was then succeeded by Tantamani.

8th Century, 701 to 800

702 Drawing from the Chinese and Confucianism, the Japanese have established new laws &ndash the Taiho Code. The emperor is seen as having supreme moral authority and as a benevolent ruler. His ministers and bureaucrats are viewed as agents of morality. It is believed that without this moral authority the immorality of feuding local lords would reign. Local lords, it is believed, should submit to the emperor's rule for the sake of peace. Accompanying this centralized authority, a national tax system is devised.

705 Empress Wu has proclaimed a new dynasty of her own family line. She has lowered taxes for farmers, and agricultural production has risen. She has strengthened public works. But by 705 she is in her old age and has lost control at court. Officials at court force her to resign in favor of a member of the Tang family &ndash the return of the Tang Dynasty.

708 In China, boiled water is safer to drink than untreated water, and tea becomes popular accompanied by the belief that tea has medicinal properties.

710 Japan's emperor moves the capital from Osaka to the city of Nara in order to avoid the pollution of his predecessor's death.

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.

712 The new Tang emperor, Zhongzong, has died and his wife, Empress Wei, is suspected of having poisoned him. She has tried to rule as had Empress Wu. She has sold offices and Buddhist monkhoods. She has created enemies whom she has failed to exterminate, and they oust her from power.

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 Jews.

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 &ndash his numbering to be divided between BC and AD (or BCE and CE).

732 Muslims were making piratical raids from Spain northward across the Pyrenees into territory of the Franks. Charles Martel leads an army that defeats a Muslim army led by Abd-er-Rahman &ndash who was not on a mission to conquer all of Christendom.

737 For two years Japan has been suffering from a small pox epidemic. Perhaps as much as one-third of the population has perished.

745 China has accomplishments in poetry, painting, printing and is a vast empire, but its monarchical system tends toward failure. The Tang emperor since 712, Xuanzong, has fallen under the spell of his son's wife, Yang Guifei, a Taoist priestess. Emperor Xuanzong is ignoring the economy and China is again declining.

750 Sometime around this year Mexico's great city of Teotihuacan (Teotihuacán) is among those cities destroyed and left in ruins, its great palaces burned to the ground. The city's population is reduced to a few people living in hovels in a few sections of the city.

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.

751 The last Merovingian king of the Franks, Childeric III, is deposed. The Merovingians had ruled as they pleased, including enforcing what they thought was their right to deflower a commoner's bride before he was allowed to consummate his marriage. A new dynasty, the Carolingians, is begun by Pepin the Short, the son of Charles Martel.

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.

756 Abd Ar-Rahman, an Umayyad prince, has escaped slaughter by the Abbasids and establishes himself as emir at Cordoba, Spain.

763 Mansur moves the Abbasid capital to Baghdad.

767 In Persia, Muqanna leads thousands against the Abbasids, robbing caravans and destroying Mosques.

768 Charles, eldest son of Pepin III (Pepin the Short), inherits half of his father's Frankish empire.

770 The Fujiwara family removes Empress Shotoku from power. She had fallen in love with a Buddhist monk, Kokyo, whom she had promoted as her chief minister. Nara Society was shocked. Henceforth women are exempted from imperial succession.

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 mistresses.

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 States.

775 Charlemagne begins his war against the Saxons in Germany, with slaughter and forced conversions to Christianity.

780 At Constantinople, Byzantium's Emperor Leo IV dies, and his wife, Irene, becomes regent for his son, who is ten. Leo's brothers, called Caesars, begin to plot for power, but Irene has them whipped, their heads shaved and banished.

784 The Japanese begin a war against the Ainu &ndash in the north on the main island of Honshu. The new emperor, Kammu, wishes to be free of influence from the Buddhist monasteries around Nara, and he moves his court thirty-five miles from Nara, to Nagaoka,

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.

794 In Japan, disease and death of an heir to the throne are perceived as bad omens. They royal family believes that the spirit of the dead needs to be placated. The emperor, Kammu, moves his family from a palace considered contaminated to a new capital, Heian-kyo, to be renamed Kyoto.

797 At Constantinople, the Mother Empress, Irene (now between 42 and 47), and her emperor son, Constantine IV (now 27), have been competing for power. Irene has won. She has her son blinded and exiled.

800 In central Mexico around this time, give or take a couple of decades or so, at Teotihuacan, structures belonging to the elites of the city are burned to the ground.

800 Charlemagne is crowned by Pope Leo III, who hails him as "Augustus, crowned of God …emperor of the Romans."

Main Article

Age of United Caliphate

ca. 650-900 Summary of the Islamic Middle East
ca. 650-900
(age of the Caliphate)
Islamic world united as Caliphate
ca. 900-present
(fractured Islamic world)
ca. 900-1300 Turkic invasion > Seljuq Empire > Mongol Empire
ca. 1300-WWI Ottoman Empire (superpower of the Middle East)
ca. WWI-present no single dominant Middle East power

Throughout antiquity, the land of Arabia was relatively quiet and isolated. Its inhabitants, the Arabs , spoke the language of Arabic . Though civilization did emerge here (having diffused southward from Mesopotamia), urbanization was light, with much of the Arabian population retaining a nomadic lifestyle of herding and trading. K174-75

While vast empires rose and fell to the north, Arabia remained a patchwork of small kingdoms, whose economies were based largely on the trade of spices and resins produced in southern Arabia. A161 (Resin is a sticky substance secreted by plants certain resins were extremely valuable as ingredients for perfume and incense.)

In the early seventh century, Muhammad , a merchant who lived in the city of Mecca , founded the religion of Islam . Though he gained many followers, he also met with violent resistance, forcing him to flee to Medina. Seizing this city as his capital, Muhammad founded a theocratic Islamic state and led its expansion across the Arabian peninsula. 22

All rulers of this state after Muhammad are called caliphs ("successors") consequently, the state itself is known as the Caliphate. Thus did Islam have profound political impact, as it united the Arabs (hitherto divided into warring tribes and petty states) into a single empire. A163

The history of the Caliphate can be divided into three parts: Rashidun period, Umayyad dynasty, and Abbasid dynasty.

Phases of the United Caliphate
ca. 650-900
Rashidun Umayyad Abbasid

The Rashidun period consists of the first four caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali), who were elected by elders of the Muslim community. This period witnessed the rapid expansion of the Caliphate beyond Arabia, across Southwest Asia and into North Africa. The defeat of the Second Persian Empire (ca. 650) marks the rise of the Caliphate as the new superpower of Southwest Asia. 17 The Persians gradually embraced Islam, such that Persia became part of the Islamic world.

The Rashidun caliphs were succeeded by two long hereditary dynasties.

The expansionary phase of the Caliphate was completed by the Umayyad dynasty , which moved the Islamic capital from Medina to Damascus. 17 Under the Umayyads, the Caliphate expanded both westward (across North Africa and into Iberia) and eastward (across southern Central Asia and Pakistan). Heavy Arab settlement ensued across North Africa, causing much of the region's indigenous people (Berbers in the Maghreb, Egyptians in Egypt) to convert to Islam, adopt the Arabic language, and intermarry. Christianity in North Africa (which had been firmly established by the Roman Empire) was extinguished everywhere except Egypt, where a Christian minority (the Coptic Church) persisted. A258

Following a Caliphate civil war, the Umayyads were supplanted by the Abbasid dynasty , which ruled from Baghdad. Officially, the Abbasids ruled the Caliphate for the period ca. 750-1250. This period is also known as the Islamic golden age , during which art and scholarship flourished with exceptional brilliance throughout Muslim lands (see Islamic Art).

In reality, however, the Caliphate fractured into smaller states long before 1250. The period during which the Caliphate existed as a united empire may be approximated as ca. 650-900. 48 The period ca. 900-present may therefore be described as the fractured Islamic world .

Fractured Islamic World

ca. 900-present Summary of the Islamic Middle East
ca. 650-900
(age of the Caliphate)
Islamic world united as Caliphate
ca. 900-present
(fractured Islamic world)
ca. 900-1300 Turkic invasion > Seljuq Empire > Mongol Empire
ca. 1300-WWI Ottoman Empire (superpower of the Middle East)
ca. WWI-present no single dominant Middle East power

The Islamic world can be divided into two main cultural branches: Arabian and Persianate. The Arabian branch (the original type of Islamic civilization) spread from its homeland of Arabia across much of Southwest Asia and northern Africa. The Persianate branch, which resulted from the melding of Islamic and Persian culture, emerged in Iran and radiated to the west, north, and east.

As illustrated in the above map, Arabian branch carried Islamic civilization further into the African continent than it did the Arabic language while most nations of the Arabian branch are Arabic-speaking (plain red), many are not (red with white dots). Likewise, while the core nations of the Persianate branch are Persian-speaking (plain dark green), others are Turkic-speaking (dark green with white dots). When Persianate culture spread beyond the Middle East (light green), it merged with preexisting civilizations (especially Indian civilization, in South and Southeast Asia), such that these regions belong less firmly to the Persianate world.

The Turkic peoples originated in the Eurasian Steppe (see History of the Steppe). They were a minor presence until the Turkic age of the Steppe (ca. 500-1200), when a patchwork of Turkic empires emerged and dominated the region. This period also witnessed a great migration of Turkic peoples into Central Asia.

So long as the Caliphate remained united, the Turkic tribes were halted at its borders, and thus could not advance into southern Central Asia. In the meantime, they absorbed Persianate culture, including the Islamic religion. With the crumbling of the Caliphate ca. 900, the tribes could no longer be checked a massive invasion ensued, as they swept across southern Central Asia and Iran (and beyond). A173

During the period ca. 900-1300, the destinies of Southwest Asia and North Africa diverged sharply. While Southwest Asia experienced a massive invasion of Turkic tribes, this invasion did not reach North Africa, which continued to be governed by its post-Caliphate patchwork of Arabic states.

In Southwest Asia, the invasion ultimately gave rise to the first Turkic Islamic state: the Seljuq Empire, which lasted over a century. Based in Iran, this empire stretched eastward across Central Asia and westward to Anatolia indeed, it was the Seljuq Empire that converted Anatolia to Islam. A173 The threat of this empire to the Byzantines was a key factor in sparking the Crusades.

Back at the Steppe, the Turkic age (ca. 500-1200) was succeeded by the Mongol Empire (ca. 1200-1300), which expanded across the entire Steppe and vast regions to the south, including half of the Islamic world. The Seljuq Empire had crumbled by this time, allowing the Mongols to invade Southwest Asia with relative ease. They terminated the tradition of figurehead caliphs, thus bringing the Abbasid dynasty to an official close. The Mongol Empire itself crumbled ca. 1300, leaving behind a patchwork of splinter states.

By this time, the Islamic world had achieved tremendous ethnic diversity. The Arabian branch had witnessed the mingling of Arab invaders with various indigenous peoples, while the turmoil of the Persianate branch gave rise to a rich blend of Iranian, Turkic, and Mongolic peoples. Over the ensuing centuries, kingdoms and empires rose and fell among this tapestry, ultimately yielding the modern nations of the Middle East.

One nation to rise from the ashes of the Mongol Empire was Turkey , formed in Anatolia by a Turkic tribe known as the Ottomans . The expansion of this state resulted in the Ottoman Empire (ca. 1300-WWI), which became the superpower of the early modern Middle East. The other leading early modern Islamic powers were Egypt (which the Ottoman Empire conquered for several centuries), Iran (where the Persian language weathered the Turkic and Mongol conquests), and the Mughal Empire (which governed most of South Asia).

Modern Age

In the Modern age (ca. 1800-present), the politics of the Middle East were dramatically reshaped by the dominant global powers (i.e. the primary European powers and the United States). Most of Central Asia was conquered by Russia, while Britain seized the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. North African territory was taken by Britain, France, and Italy. 4,6

Since World War II, Middle Eastern politics have been dominated by Islamic fundamentalism, Arab-Israeli conflict , and the region's massive oil reserves . The first two of these issues are discussed below. The oil reserves issue has two major consequences: domestic instability (due to the vastly unequal distribution of wealth that tends to emerge in oil-rich nations) and imperial interference (mostly by Western powers). 4

Islamic Fundamentalism

Fundamentalism is the strict application of religious doctrine. Although fundamentalist movements can emerge within any religion, the term usually refers to Christianity or Islam. Such movements have often spurred terrible violence (e.g. the execution of heretics, the waging of "holy" war, terrorism) and given rise to theocracies (states governed by religious figures and institutions, with laws based on religious doctrine).

Fundamentalism has been a common reaction of the modern Islamic world against the global dominance of Western culture. This dominance includes modern technology, popular culture, democracy, and secularism (absence of religion) in government, law, and education. The spread of Western ways across the world is known as Westernization.

Resistance to Westernization is understandable. While the features listed above emerged gradually in the Western world, they have been thrust quite suddenly upon most of humanity, transforming non-Western societies so rapidly that many fear for the survival of their traditional cultures. Moreover, given that these societies have often experienced horrific mistreatment at imperial Western hands, it is unsurprising that Westernization is often perceived as a path to spiritual ruin. K358-59

Two major positions on Westernization emerged in the Islamic world. The moderate view argued that Islam would not be harmed by the separation of religion and state, and thus could coexist with Western ways (including democracy and secularism). K358-59 One of the most influential proponents of this view was the Young Turks, a group of political activists who transformed the crumbling Ottoman Empire into modern Turkey.

The fundamentalist view, on the other hand, argued that Western imperialism (often framed as "Christian imperialism") over Muslim lands had been enabled by insufficiently strict adherence to Islamic doctrine. According to this position, the only path forward is the rigid imposition of fundamentalist society, including theocratic government and Islamic law (aka sharia law). Fundamentalist regimes in the modern Islamic world have typically been oppressive, especially toward women and minority groups. K358-59

As noted earlier, resentment of Westernization often sprang from the violent manner of its arrival. Throughout the modern age, oil-thirsty Western nations (especially the US, Britain, and France) conspired in the overthrow of numerous hostile Islamic governments and the installation of puppet regimes, which were often brutally oppressive. It was therefore politically advantageous for the powerful upper classes of Islamic nations to adopt a modernist, pro-Western stance, which further encouraged fundamentalism among the oppressed lower classes. K442-43

Arab-Israeli Conflict

With the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, several of its former regions were transferred to European control. Specifically, France took control of Syria and Lebanon, while Britain took Iraq and Palestine. Britain was thus responsible for managing the Jewish resettlement of Palestine, which had been ongoing since the late nineteenth century (largely via Jewish emigration from Europe due to persecution). 11

The view that Jews ought to have their own state in Palestine is known as Zionism. British attempts to secure Jewish-Arab agreement on the borders of this proposed state proved unsuccessful, however, as did those of the UN (which eventually intervened). The Jewish state of Israel was finally officially established after the Second World War, without Arab recognition. 4,33

Postwar Conflicts in the Middle East
Palestine 1
Iran 2
Iraq 4 5
Afghanistan 3 6
1 Arab-Israeli conflict
2 Iran-Iraq War (1980-88)
3 Soviet War in Afghanistan (1979-89)
4 Persian Gulf War (1990-91)
5 Iraq War (2003-11)
6 War in Afghanistan (2001-present)

The Arab-Israeli conflict is a fluctuating level of hostilities between Israel and its neighbours, stretching from shortly after WWII up to the present day. The most significant episode of these hostilities (in terms of creating the present situation) is the Six-Day War , fought in the 1960s between Israel and an alliance of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The end result was significant territorial gains for Israel, namely the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip (from Egypt), the West Bank (from Jordan), and the Golan Heights (from Syria). 24

Although the eventual return of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt ended Israeli hostilities with that nation, conflict persists over the other three regions. 4 The Gaza Strip and West Bank, both of which are predominantly Arab, are known as the Palestinian Territories . (As noted earlier, the region of Palestine consists of Israel, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank.)

The 1960s also witnessed the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), whose original goal was to oust the nation of Israel and unite Palestine as an Islamic state. With the Palestinian Territories as footholds, constant struggle with Israel ensued. Israel and the PLO finally recognized one another as legitimate political powers during the 1990s, following peace talks. These talks, known as the Oslo Accords , succeeded in making the 1990s an era of relative calm in the region. 29

Other Postwar Conflicts

Postwar Conflicts in the Middle East
Palestine 1
Iran 2
Iraq 4 5
Afghanistan 3 6
1 Arab-Israeli conflict
2 Iran-Iraq War (1980-88)
3 Soviet War in Afghanistan (1979-89)
4 Persian Gulf War (1990-91)
5 Iraq War (2003-11)
6 War in Afghanistan (2001-present)

During the Cold War (ca. 1945-91), global politics took place in the shadow of two vast superpowers: America and the USSR. Most Islamic nations became politically aligned with one or the other, though some maintained neutrality. One of the foremost shifts of Cold War politics was the 1979 Iranian Revolution , which toppled the US-backed government and converted the nation to an Islamic theocracy (which it remains today). 4

Another primary Cold War conflict took place in Afghanistan, which had come to feature a Soviet-backed government. An Afghan rebellion spurred the Russians to invade in support of this government, thus initiating the Soviet War in Afghanistan (1979-89). The war became a prolonged and bloody stalemate, as the Soviets (who controlled the cities) battled with various guerrilla forces (who held the mountainous countryside), which were funded by the US and other anti-Soviet allies. 42 Among the guerrillas was the Saudi Osama bin Laden , who later founded the Afghanistan-based international terrorist organization al-Qaeda . 38

When the Soviets finally withdrew, Afghanistan collapsed into years of civil strife between regional warlords. From this chaos emerged the Taliban , which united Afghanistan under its rule in the 1990s. 42 During that same decade, various acts of terrorism attributed to al-Qaeda were executed, including the bombings of two American embassies in Africa. These acts, combined with the Taliban's oppression of the Afghan population, spurred UN sanctions against Afghanistan and American airstrikes on suspected terrorist camps. 43

Following the 9/11 attacks (carried out by al-Qaeda), the US demanded that the Taliban destroy al-Qaeda and extradite bin Laden. 37,43 The Taliban's refusal prompted the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, in which the Taliban was swiftly toppled and driven (along with al-Qaeda) into hiding, although they have continued to fight as guerrillas from the countryside. A slow and difficult transition to democracy is ongoing. 40 Meanwhile, after nearly a decade on the run, bin Laden was discovered hiding in Pakistan in 2011, he was killed by American special forces.

Contemporary with the Soviet War in Afghanistan was a major conflict in Southwest Asia. Iraq, under the rule of Saddam Hussein , leapt upon the disorder of the Iranian Revolution as an opportunity to seize some of its neighbour's oil-rich territory. The resulting Iraq-Iran War (1980-88) amounted to yet another endless, bloody stalemate. Infamously, Saddam used poison gas against both Iranian forces and domestic Kurdish rebels. 35,41

Having failed in Iran, Saddam tried annexing a much smaller neighbour: Kuwait. In the resulting Persian Gulf War (1990-91), a US-led coalition (which included Arab states) assembled in Saudi Arabia and sent airstrikes against the Iraqis. Saddam responded by firing missiles at Arab coalition members, as well as Israel. The war ended with a brief ground operation that drove the Iraqis from Kuwait. 37,41

The Iraqi government, now massively unpopular, remained in power only through extreme brutality. It was also subject to UN embargo, on the grounds that Saddam might be developing weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, and/or nuclear). The embargo was only to be lifted if Iraq ceased any weapons development and cooperated fully with UN inspections on the matter. Since Saddam never complied with the latter condition, the embargo remained in place until the fall of his regime. 37

As the 1990s drew on, increasing lack of Iraqi cooperation with the UN prompted airstrikes against military sites and oil plants. 41 After 9/11, President Bush argued that although Iraq was not directly involved in the attack, the nation posed a major security threat given its suspected weapons programs and support for terrorist networks. While Britain shared the American view, the international community was divided on whether Iraq should be given more time to comply with UN demands. In 2003, the US and UK invaded Iraq and swiftly toppled Saddam's regime. 41,44

World History 900-700 BC - History

While world population growth in a sense transcends the narrative of human history, it has important implications both for the writing of history and prediction of its future course.

First, the space given particular peoples and regions in books of world history should roughly mirror their populations. Together, India and China have consistently had one third to one half of the earth’s population. These nations should have comparable coverage in world history. Since world history is a creation story, that formula is not strictly observed events that have originated important practices and institutions should, of course, be disproportionately represented in the histories. Even so, world history should describe the experience of the bulk of humanity rather than of any particular subgroup.

Second, to take population into consideration in world history’s design helps to restore proportionality to a scheme in which historical epochs become steadily shorter in terms of time. In terms of man-years of human experience, the five epochs would become more comparable in size. World historians tend to neglect modern times.

Finally, with respect to the future course of humanity, population growth is on a collision course with the earth’s finite territory and resources. Continued growth at present rates is physically impossible. We may confidently predict that something will happen to curtail the further growth of human populations on earth even if we cannot say what this will be.

Source: Colin McEvedy and Richard Jones, Atlas of World Population History (Penguin, 1978)

Watch the video: Timeline of World History 50000 to 10000 BC


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