7th century

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From the sands of North Africa to the mountains of Persia, the hills are alive with the sound of Arab armies.

The 7th century includes the years 601 to 700, but only if you are using the Julian or Gregorian calendars.

Mohammed begins Islam in this century, writing the Qu'ran. As soon as it is established, its followers do what any good religion tries to do and try to take over the world. They would do a pretty good job of that, with Muslim armies controlling lands in North Africa all the way to Persia and beyond by the year 700. The Byzantine emperor Heraclius would do his bit to try and take over the world, more for himself than Christianity, though. Pagans, despite having more gods on their side, do a lot of losing during this period. Everyone is relieved that they still get to blame the Jews for everything.

Chronicle of events[edit]

601 to 610: Years of warfare[edit]

Without fashion consultants, many 7th century monarchs are in danger of being murdered just for their bad taste.
  • 601 - Pope Gregory's Gregorian Rap isn't as big a hit compared to his chant.
  • 602 – Emperor Maurice loses focus by losing Phocas, a centurion in the Byzantine army who leads their revolt over low wages and continual warfare. A focused Phocus leads the army back to Constantinople and focuses on installing himself as emperor. Then focusing only on his immediate enemies, Phocus fails to redeploy his armies, losing territory to the more focused Avars and Persians.
  • 602 – Augustine of Canterbury is shocked when he shows up for an Easter egg hunt and finds nothing happening, as Chepstow residents still use the old dating system for determining Easter. He baptizes several by drowning and Chepstow comes around to his way of thinking.
  • 603 – The Roman senate is no longer heard from as all laws are created and passed by using pantomime.
  • 604 – Æthelfrith of Northumbria kills the king of Deira, Æthelric, as he decides one king with Æ in his name is enough. Deira's prince quickly changes his name to Eric and flees.
  • 605Chinese emperor Yangdi starts the imperial civil service examination to insure the best and the brightest gain government jobs. However, since #2 pencils are a great luxury, the poor are excluded.
  • 608 - The Roman Forum receives its last Willy Waving Column. It's dedicated to Emperor Phocas for cancelling his official trip to Rome.
  • 609 – Nicetas nicely begins an invasion of Egypt, defeating Byzantine general Bonus as a bonus. You just can't make these things up.
  • 610 – The Visigoth King of Spain Witteric is murdered by nobles during a banquet for using his salad fork for the main course.
  • 610 – Phocus (or Phocas) f-stop is closed right down. The emperor loses his depth of field when executed upside down.

611 to 620: Years of conflict[edit]

Brunhilda's final scene.
  • 611Mohammed has lunch with the archangel Gabriel and receives one of his first revelations: archangels are not check grabbers nor particularly generous tippers. Mohammed briefly considers taking up the trumpet but eventually goes back to the trombone.
  • 612 – Austrasian King Theudebert II is deposed and sent to a monastery by his grandmother. Once again, all those years of Whitman Samplers given to her come back to haunt him and she has him murdered.
  • 613Constantine III is crowned co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire at 8 months. Dying 4 months later, his reign is considered the best of any emperor in the century.
  • 613 – Queen Brunhilda is accused of being a serial killer of 10 previous Frankish kings. She is condemned to a particularly gory, if mob pleasing death by being torn apart by horses pulling in opposite directions.
  • 614 – Heribert Illig, Genius, declares in 1991 that the years 614 to 911 do not exist due to the principle of Intense Stupidity. He cites the lack of substantial changes in architectural styles during the period and states that the changeover from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian one was royally screwed up by calendar makers.
Emperor Heraclius meticulously plans his campaigns so that he could attend the maximum number of country and town fairs.
  • 615 – The True Cross is looted from Jerusalem while the True Hexagon is ignored.
  • 617 – Non-Christians revolt in Kent after King Ealdbald converts from heathenism after a bad dream. This is why Kentish people worship hedgehogs to this day.
  • 618 – Pope Aeodatus dies from lead poisoning. He had invented Papal bulls to send out messages under his stamped name but just couldn't resist licking them before posting them. Aeodatus dies a saint for his invention.

621 to 630: Years of battles[edit]

  • 621 – Mohammed ascends to heaven with the first complementary bag of peanuts and beverage served during the flight.
  • 622 – The Prophet makes the first hijra, being the first to add to his frequent traveler miles.
  • c.625 – Mohammed shows his progress on the Qu'ran to all his friends. They go out and contact other archangels in order to transcribe their words. All would fail to write very much at all, except for the one artist working with the Archangel Phanuel, who would together create the first Batman comic (Detective Comics #1).
  • c.628 – Followers of Islam adopt Jewish dietary laws after a particularly good lunch at a Jewish deli in Medina.
  • 629 – Emperor Heraclius returns to Constantinople after defeating the Persians. His army is thought be just another attempting to besiege the city so he is left outside its walls until he guesses the password, "swordfish".
  • 630 – Heraclius declares that all Jews must become Christian or die while Mohammed declares that all Jews must convert to Islam or die. Jews begin to regret laying down the foundations for both religions and start to move to more tolerant places like Spain and Germany.

631 to 640: Years of fighting[edit]

This trading card of Shenoute of Atripe was so disliked that it took 40 of them to trade for a single Slowbro Pokémon card.
  • 631 – Chinese Emperor Tai Zong ransoms some 80,000 captives taken during earlier conflicts. They all return to find themselves greeted by tax collectors with bills for back taxes.
  • 632 – Mohammed dies with two major claimants for the leadership of Muslims. Christians, Zoroastrians and polytheists all hope for a civil war, but no such.
  • 633 – King Edwin of Northumbria is killed by Penda of Mercia or a panda with no mercy; historical records differ.
  • 634 – The Persian army routs the Muslim Arab army using elephants. The huge animals would never be used again, as their weight broke catapults after only a few tosses.
  • 636Battle of Yarmouk. Muslim forces defeat Byzantine armies, nearly completely conquering Syria. All hamsters are now theirs for the taking.
  • 639 – Muslims invade Egypt and Armenia to obtain secret family halva recipes.
  • 639 – After serving the Tang emperor faithfully for many years, General Li Shiji promptly accepts a huge demotion to an outpost in Tibet. He does this knowing that the emperor knows that he knows that the emperor knows that he knows that it is a test, even though the emperor knows that Li knows that that the emperor knows that Li knows.

641 to 650: Years of clashes with a short truce to allow pizza delivery[edit]

  • 641 – Another Constantinople psycho-drama. Emperor Heraclius dies and his immediate successor Heraclius-Constantine succumbs to a bad cough. H-C's half brother Heraklonas becomes emperor but is in turn deposed and has his nose cut off for 'sticking his hooter in where it wasn't wanted'. Heracleonas's mother Martina has her tongue cut off whilst other Byzantine princes who backed the wrong emperor lose a variety of other limbs and organs.
  • 642 – Visigoth King Tulga is deposed and tonsured, meaning he gets a monk's haircut, and is sent to a monastery. This haircut would insure he would so embarrassed that he would never be heard from again.
  • 642 – Chinese Emperor Taizong decrees severe penalties for those injuring themselves to avoid military service. Papercuts become a thing of the past, though army rolls become bloated by zombie conscripts.
  • 644 – General Valentinus attempts to take the Byzantine crown by making a lot of noise but is defeated by neighbors trying to get some sleep. He earns a lovely rope necktie for his efforts.
  • 647 – Mayan King Pakal of Palenque builds the Forgotten Temple which was built where again?
  • 648 – Pope Theodore I excommunicates his predecessor, Pyrrhus, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Paul II, and two-thirds of the Vienna Boys Choir. Co-Popes Alvin and Simon can only watch in horror.
Constantinople's walls are a key to its defense, as is the large dog chained up outside.
  • 650 – The Khazar kingdom converts to Judaism, finding Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism and devil duck worship lacking somehow.

651 to 660: Years of combat[edit]

  • 651 – Œthelwald of Deira becomes king despite being unable to untangle the letters of his name.
  • 651 – Chinese Emperor Gao Zong allows a mosque to built across from the Nestorian church already established so that both could make faces at each other at a convenient distance.
  • 653Japan's Prince Tenji decides to move the capital once again. Courtiers and vassals would roam lost in the countryside for many years afterwards.
  • 654 – Muslim Arab armies sweep eastward toward Uzbek lands using improvised brooms and dustpans.
  • 654Constantine IV is appointed co-emperor, or Augustus, at age 2. He is immediately put in charge of the defenses of Constantinople. This proves effective as piles of his dirty diapers foil any attack.
  • 656 – Revolts begin to break out in Arab lands as the major armies are far away. This slows the progress of Arab expansion with relieved Mayan kingdoms leaving their sea defenses to go back fighting each other. Uthmar is assassinated and Ali becomes the fourth caliph, which causes the Missouri Synod to break away from the main church.
  • 660 – Byzantine Emperor Constans II goes wackadola and murders his younger brother for no good reason. He moves away from Constantinople for good reason. King Sigeberht II of Essex then kills his brothers and is accused of being a big copycat.

661 to 670: Years of armed struggle[edit]

One of the 'Jimmy Wig' monks at Whitby.
Persian heavy cavalry would always try to keep neat and clean during dusty battles.
  • 661Sunni Bono stabs Caliph Ali Shia Sarkisian (the Prophet Muhammad's transgender son-in-law) with a poisoned mic stand in Kufa, Iraq. This marks the start of the long running 'Sunni and Shia' Wars. The Battle Goes On.
  • 662 – King Godepert of Lombardy declares war against his brother Perctarit for making fun of his name. Duke Grimoald gets involved and takes the throne after mocking Godepert's son, Raginpert, for having an equally funny name. So your mother naming you “Frodo” isn't so bad, in relative terms.
  • 663 – Emperor Constans II visits Rome while just happening to be in the area with his army and goes souvenir mad, taking everything decorative back to Constantinople.
  • 663Battle of Forino. Lombards defeat the forces of Constans II. His Byzantine army is able to escape behind a barricade of statues and bric-a-brac looted from Rome.
  • 664The Plague of 664 strikes the British Isles and Ireland. Door-to-door salesmen appear in huge numbers, disrupting dinnertimes and naps.
  • 664 – The Synod of Whitby votes that (A) the Irish and Scottish way of calculating the date of Easter is all wrong and (B) the correct monastic haircut for monks is a short back and sides with a bald spot on top and not what's called a 'Jimmy wig'. The celtic monks stage a walk out and blame England for changing the rules of the game.
  • 666 – Muslim armies are temporarily stymied as they find themselves conquering vast deserts instead of people, even though captured lizards convert readily to Islam.
  • 668 – Emperor Constans II is found dead in the bath under mysterious circumstances, apparently stabbed to death by a sponge.
  • 670 – An Arab fleet begins the encirclement of Constantinople though Muslim armies find it difficult to scale the city walls in ships.
  • 670 – Arab armies continue to capture Byzantine cities in North Africa. All their dates are belong to them.

671 to 680: Years of hostility[edit]

During the Tang dynasty, people could be arrested for wearing hats that didn’t look like pumpkins.
  • c.671 – Greek fire is invented to cook pizzas and invaders.
  • 672 – Historian and future monk Bede is born. His mother, kept awake at all hours by his cries for more parchment and ink, soon sends him off on a nearby monastery that had plenty of both.
  • 674 – A new coat of paint is applied to Constantinople in time for the latest siege, this time by the Arabs.
  • 676 – Vast quantities of fermenting kimchi force occupying Chinese troops in Korea to cross back over the border.
  • 677 – The Arab fleet is nearly totally destroyed by Greek Fire from a pizza delivery gone wrong.
  • 678Henry Kissinger starts his first job working for the Imperial Roman Diplomatic Service.
  • 679 – Emperor Constantine IV signs a peace treaty with Muslim forces besieging Constantinople, allowing each to pick fights with other neighbors.
  • 680 – Pope Honorius I declared a heretic by the Council of Constantinople (680 edition) for supporting the wrong type of Christians in a theological dispute. Pope Honorius refuses to defend his reputation as he died back in 638.

681 to 690: Years of bloodshed[edit]

  • 681 – Pointy-toed shoes become all the rage. These are called winklepickers in England and are used to put out burning cigarettes left in corners. The actual shellfish are quite relieved to hear this.
  • 681 – King Erwig of Hispania (Spain), finding himself in a precarious position on the throne, decides to use the time-honored excuse of "blame the Jews", enacting dozens of laws against them including one allowing them to breathe out but not in.
  • 684 – A brief timeout is called in the Muslim world to sort out exactly who was rebelling against who. Attacking whoever was next door to you seems to be a safe bet otherwise.
  • 685 – Chinese Empress Wu Zetian sends a pair of pandas to the Japanese emperor. They get loose on the ship carrying them and sail to Easter Island to erect giant monoliths.
Parthian cavalry lose another battle as, this time, they realize at the last minute that they forgot to bring bowstrings.
  • 687 – Construction on the Dome of the Rock begins after the Souvenir Stand of the Rock and the McDonald's of the Rock fail to catch the interest of Muslim pilgrims to Jerusalem.
  • 687 – Byzantine Emperor Justinian II continues to happily beat up Bulgarians while he ignores greater threats.
  • 690 – Empress Wu Zetian promotes peaceful Buddhism by murdering all her enemies and pretenders to the throne.

691 to 700: Years of carnage with a break to go back for more weapons[edit]

  • 691 – Buddhism becomes a big thing in China. However, it would take several years before China starts persecuting other religions.
  • 692 – 87% of cats now believe in the prophet Mohammed but none identify as being religious.
  • 695 – Emperor Justinian II loses his throne and his nose. While in exile, he plots his return with moonwalking and other dance moves added to his repertoire. He goes by the stage name Justinian Spearmint Rhinohooterius.
  • 695 – The Mayan kingdom of Tikal defeats rival Calakmul after centuries of warfare. Getting overconfident, Tikal continues fighting whoever they happen to encounter but is saddened when outed as being a bully.
  • 695 – Theophilus of Edessa shows off his astrology skills by predicting his own birth.
  • 697Venice starts its rise as a power as nobody else wants the constantly flooding islands. Massive flocks of pigeons would also smother any invading armies backed by armies of souvenir sellers guarding approaches to the city.
Justinian II after his advanced rhinoplasty treatment
  • 698 – Arabs capture Carthage from the Byzantine Empire. Romans are disappointed to find there was something left to capture.
  • 698 – China finally catches up with the rest of the world and starts persecuting Jews.
  • 698 – Berbers are defeated in North Africa by invading Arab armies, as their isolation prevented then from acquiring the better Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon cards needed.
  • 698 – St. Cuthbert is solemnly buried behind the altar at Lindisfarne despite his loud protests.
  • 700 – The Moche culture in Peru collapses after its last member executes himself in ritual sacrifice.
  • 700 – The Mt. Edziza volcano complex in North America erupts when it receives its rent increase notice.

See also[edit]