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|Centuries:||6th century – 7th century – 8th century|
|Decades:||620s 630s 640s – 650s – 660s 670s 680s|
|Years:||650 651 652 653 654 655 656 657 658 659|
|Categories:||Births – Deaths – Architecture
Establishments – Disestablishments
This is a list of events occurring in the 650s, ordered by year.
- The Khazar Khaganate extend from the Dnieper to the Caspian Sea, and establish the city, Itil, as capital on the shore of the Caspian. Northward they extend to the headwaters of the Volga. Their rulers accept the Jewish religion, apparently to assert their independence from both Muslims and Christians (approximate date).
- An Rashidun army under Abd ar-Rahman ibn Rabiah is annihilated by the Khazars near the city of Balanjar (Northern Caucasus). During the battle both sides use catapults against the other (approximate date).
- The Mercians under king Penda move on East Anglia, destroy the monastery at Burgh Castle and expel king Anna who probably flees to Magonsæte (approximate date).
- King Oswiu of Bernicia seeks Irish support against the forces of Penda. While in Ireland he has a liaison with Fín, the (grand) daughter of king Colmán Rímid Ui Neill (approximate date).
- King Cloten of Dyfed (Southern Wales) marries princess Ceindrech of Brycheiniog and unites the two kingdoms (approximate date).
- The first Chinese paper money is issued, yet these banknotes will not become government-issued until the Song Dynasty era Sichuan province issues them in the year 1024, with the central government of China following suit in the 12th century.
- Emperor Kōtoku is presented a white pheasant, who is pleased and begins a new Japanese era name (nengo) to be called Hakuchi, meaning the white pheasant.
Art and science
- The panel of the Tamamushi Shrine, the so called "Hungry Tigress Jataka" is made during the Asuka period (Japan). It is now kept at Horyu-ji Treasure House (approximate date).
- King Clovis II of Neustria and Burgundy marries Balthild, an Anglo-Saxon aristocrat sold into slavery in Gaul. She has been owned by Clovis' mayor of the palace, Erchinoald, who gives her to him to garner royal favour (approximate date).
- King Oswiu of Bernicia declares war on his rival king Oswine of Deira but refuses to engage him in battle, and retreats to Gilling (North Yorkshire). He is betrayed by a friend and murdered by Oswiu's soldiers.
- Œthelwald succeeds his uncle Oswine as king of Deira and allies himself with Oswiu's enemy, king Penda of Mercia. Queen Eanflæd of Bernicia donates the estate of Gilling for the foundation of a monastery.
- King Yazdegerd III of Persia is murdered in a miller's hut near Merv by his followers, ending both Persian resistance to Arab conquest, and the Sassanid Empire.
- The Rashidun army under Abdullah ibn Aamir invade Afghanistan, and capture the main forts in Khorasan (modern Iran). The Muslim Arabs occupy the city of Herat, which surrender peacefully.
- An embassy led by Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas arrive in the capital Chang'an via an oversea route. They are greeted by emperor Gao Zong who orders the establishment of the first Chinese mosque.
- The Qur'an is compiled by caliph Uthman ibn Affan in its present form. The text become the model from which copies are made and promulgate throughout the urban centers of the Arab world.
- The Hôtel-Dieu de Paris is founded by bishop Landry (Landericus). It becomes the first major hospital in Paris.
- King Rothari dies after a 16-year reign and is succeeded by his son Rodoald as king of the Lombards.
- Arab–Byzantine War: An Arab fleet under Abdullah ibn Sa'ad defeat the Byzantine fleet (500 ships) off the coast of Alexandria.
- Siege of Dongola: An Rashidun army (5,000 men) under Abdullah ibn Sa'ad defeat the Kingdom of Makuria (modern Sudan).
- Uthman ibn Affan establishes a treaty (the Baqt) between the Christian Nubians and the Muslims in Egypt that last for six centuries.
- Abdel al Rahman ibn Awf, companion (sahabah) of Muhammad, frees 30,000 slaves at his death (approximate date).
- The registers of population are prepared in Japan. Fifty houses are made a township, and for each township there is appointed an elder. The houses are all associated in groups of five for mutual protection, with one elder to supervise them one with another. This system prevails until the era of World War II.
- Construction of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda in Chang'an (modern Xi'an), during the Tang Dynasty (China). It is completed in the same year during the reign of emperor Gao Zong.
- Emperor Constans II voluntarily surrenders Armenia to the Arabs following a truce with Muawiyah, governor of Syria. He grants the Armenians virtual autonomy and appoints the nakharar Theodor Rshtuni as ruler of Armenia.
- Muawiyah leads a raid against Rhodes, taking the scattered pieces of the Colossus of Rhodes (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) and shipping it back to Syria where he destroys the bronze scrap to make coins.
- King Rodoald is murdered after a six-month reign and is succeeded by Aripert I who is elected as king of the Lombards. He spreads Catholicism over the Lombard realm and builds many new churches through the kingdom.
- Atto succeeds Theodelap as duke of Spoleto in Central Italy (approximate date).
- King Penda of Mercia secures dominance over the area of Middle Anglia, where he establishes his son Peada as ruler.
- Peada marries Alchflaed, daughter of king Oswiu of Bernicia, and is baptised at Ad Murum—in the region of Hadrian's Wall—by bishop Finan.
- King Œthelwald of Deira rejects Oswiu's overlordship and turns to Penda instead. Penda mounts another attack of Bernicia (approximate date).
- Talorgan I, nephew of Oswiu, is crowned king of the Picts. He probably accepts Northumbrian overlordship and pays tribute.
- King Sigeberht I of Essex dies after a 36-year reign and is succeeded by his relative Sigeberht II.
- Sigeberht II is persuaded by Oswiu to adopt Christianity as part of a mobilization against Penda.
- Emperor Kōtoku sends an embassy to the court of the Tang Dynasty in China. Japanese ambassadors, priests and students sail for the capital Chang'an, but some of the ships are lost en route.
- Prince Tenji of Japan changes his residence to Asuka (Nara Prefecture) with other imperial family members and ministers. Only emperor Kōtoku stays in the Naniwa Palace (approximate date).
- June 17 – Pope Martin I is arrested in the Lateren in Rome along with Maximus the Confessor on orders of emperor Constans II and taken to imprisonment in Constantinople.
- Northumbrian missionaries under St. Cedd are despatched to Essex to found the monastery at Bradwell-on-Sea.
- The Temple of Sinheungsa in Gangwon Province (South Korea) is constructed by the Buddhist monk Jajang.
- Emperor Constans II appoints his son Constantine IV, age 2, co-emperor (Augustus). He is to young to rule as monarch of the Byzantine Empire, and his title remains a given name.
- King Recceswinth at Toledo draws up the Liber Judiciorum, a Visigothic code based on Roman law that establishes equality between Goths and Hispano-Romans without regard to racial or cultural differences.
- King Penda of Mercia defeats the East Anglians at Bulcamp near Blythburgh (Suffolk). King Anna of East Anglia and his son Jurmin are killed.
- Æthelhere succeeds his brother Anna as king of East Anglia and accepts Mercian overlordship (approximate date).
- Muawiyah, governor of Syria, stations a large garrison on Cyprus. He conquers the Greek island of Kos in the Dodecanese.
- Arab invaders cross the Oxus River in what later will be Uzbekistan. Nomadic Turkic tribes continue to control Central Asia.
- November 24 – Emperor Kōtoku dies after a 9-year reign, Kōgyoku (his elder sister) is restored on the throne under the name Saimei.
- Takamuko no Kuromaro, Japanese diplomat, is sent to the Tang Dynasty again but dies upon his arrival in Chang'an.
- Nakatomi no Kamatari, inner minister (naidaijin) of Japan, is granted the Shikwan (the Purple Cap).
- September 17 – Pope Martin I is taken to Constantinople and publicly humiliated for having condemned the Byzantine emperor Constans II (see 649). He is eventually deposed and succeeded by Eugene I as the 75th pope of the Catholic Church.
- Philibert, Frankish abbot, receives a gift from king Clovis II of Neustria and founds Jumièges Abbey in Normandy.
- Battle of the Masts: Emperor Constans II personally commands the Byzantine fleet (500 ships) and sets off to challenge the Arab navy. He sails to the province of Lycia (Turkey) in the southern region of Asia Minor. The two forces meet off the coast of Mount Phoenix, near the harbour of Phoenix (modern Finike). The Arabs under Abdullah ibn Sa'ad are victorious in battle, although losses are heavy for both sides. Constans barely escapes to Constantinople.
- November 15 – Battle of the Winwaed: King Oswiu of Bernicia defeats his rival, king Penda of Mercia at Cock Beck, near what later will be Leeds (Yorkshire). Kings Cadafael Cadomedd of Gwynedd and Œthelwald of Deira, allies of Mercia, withdrew their forces before the battle begins. It marks the defeat of the last credible pagan force in England. Also it sowe the seeds which would lead to Anglo-Saxon acceptance of the Catholic Church (approximate date).
- Oswiu becomes overlord (bretwalda) over much of Great Britain. He establishes himself as king of Mercia, setting up his son-in-law, Penda's son Peada as a subject king over Middle Anglia.
- Empress Saimei re-ascends to the throne of Japan, beginning a new reign as Saimei-tennō.
- Arab armies conquer Khurasan (Iran) and the Silk Road along Transoxiana (Central Asia).
- King Vikramaditya I of Chalukya (India) re-unites the kingdom after defeating his brothers.
- May 15 – Pope Martin I is banished to Chersonesos Taurica (Ukraine). He dies later in the Crimean Peninsula after a 6-year reign, leaving Eugene I as the uncontested pope (see 654).
- Peada founds Peterborough Cathedral (Canterbury). It become one of the first centres of Christianity in England. Deusdedit is consecrated to archbishop of Canterbury.
- February 1 – King Sigebert III of Austrasia, age 25, dies after a 22-year reign. His 5-year-old son Dagobert II is kidnapped by the court chancellor, Grimoald the Elder, who makes his own son king; and exiles him to an Irish monastery. Dagobert is placed with Dido, bishop of Poitiers, while Grimoald's son Childebert the Adopted assumes the Austrasian throne.
- King Oswiu of Northumbria invades Pengwern (modern Wales) and kills king Cynddylan in battle, near the River Trent. His brother Morfael and the remains of the royal family flee to Glastening (Wessex).
- King Œthelwald of Deira is removed from office by his uncle Oswiu, because of his desertion at the Battle of the Winwaed, and replaced by the latter's son Alhfrith, as subject king in a united Northumbria.
- First Islamic Civil War: An armed revolt erupt in Egypt, several Muslim sympathisers travel to Medina to rally support, beginning the fitna (literally meaning the 'trail of faith'). The Muslim expansion come to a halt, the martial energies of the Islamic forces are direct inwards.
- June 20 – Uthman ibn Affan is murdered at Medina after an 11-year reign. He is succeeded by Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law Ali ibn Abi-Talib who becomes the fourth caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate. He makes Kufah (Iraq) his capital, but the succession is disputed.
- November 7 – Battle of the Camel: Rebel Arabs under Aisha (widow of Muhammad) begin a revolt against Ali. They are defeated at Basra and Aisha is exiled to Medina. During the battle 10,000 people lost their life, with each party bearing equel loss.
- Abdullah ibn Sa'ad, governor of Upper Egypt, dies after a 12-year regime in which he has defeated neighboring Nubia.
- Empress Saimei of Japan builds a new palace at Asuka (Nara Prefecture), because her former residence took fire. This construction is called the "Mad Canal" by the people of that day, wasting the labor of tens of thousand workers and a large amount of money.
- Li Xiăn, seventh son of the Chinese emperor Gao Zong, is made crown prince. His lavish palatial mansion in Chang'an is converted into a Daoist abbey during the Tang Dynasty (approximate date).
- The Yasaka Shrine is constructed in the Gion district of Kyoto (Japan).
- Grimoald the Elder, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, is deposed by Clovis II, king of Neustria. He captures his son Childebert the Adopted executing them both.
- Clovis II dies and is succeeded by his eldest son Chlothar III, age 5, who becomes king of Neustria and Burgundy under the regency of his mother Balthild.
- Battle of Siffin: Muslim forces under Ali ibn Abi-Taleb fight an inconclusive battle against Muawiyah, on the banks of the Euphrates, near Ar-Raqqah (Syria).
- Tang campaigns against the Western Turks: Emperor Gao Zong dispatches a military campaign led by Su Dingfang. He annexes the Western Turkic Khaganate.
- Gao Zong commissions the pharmacology publication of an official materia medica documenting the use of 833 different substances for medicinal purposes.
- June 1 – Pope Eugene I dies at Rome after a reign of nearly 2½ years. He is succeeded by Vitalian as the 76th pope.
- Hilda, Anglo-Saxon abbess, founds a monastery at Streaneshalch on the Yorkshire coast at Whitby (England).
- Emperor Constans II undertakes an expedition to the Balkan Peninsula and defeats the Avars in Macedonia. He temporarily reasserts Byzantine rule and resettles some of them in Anatolia to fight against the Rashidun Caliphate (approximate date).
- The confederation of Slavic tribes falls apart after the death of king Samo. A Slav principality is formed from the kingdom's remnants in Carinthia (modern Austria) and the Avars capture most of its territory in Hungary (approximate date).
- Battle of Peonnum: King Cenwalh and the Wessex Saxons make a push against Dumnonia (South West England). They are victorious at Penselwood in Somerset and the Dumnonia-Wessex border is set at the River Parrett (approximate date).
- A revolt led by three Mercian noblemen—Immin, Eata, and Eadberht—install Wulfhere (son of king Penda) as ruler of Mercia and drive out the supporters of king Oswiu of Northumbria.
- The Chinese Buddhist monks Zhi Yu and Zhi You recreate several south-pointing chariots for the Japanese prince Tenji. This is a 3rd-century device made by Ma Jun and acts as a mechanical-driven directional-compass vehicle (according to the Nihon Shoki).
- Chinese forces defeat the Western Turkic Kaganate (Central Asia). The West kaganate becomes a vassal of the Tang Dynasty. During the power vacuum, Turgesh tribes emerge as the leading power (approximate date).
- Arab–Byzantine War: Emperor Constans II signs a peace treaty with the Rashidun Caliphate. He uses the pause to strengthen his defences and consolidates Byzantine control over Armenia. Constans establishes the themata; dividing territorial command in Anatolia.
- Constans II elevates his son Heraclius to the rank of co-emperor (Augustus), alongside his brother Tiberius.
- An Japanese embassy is sent to the Chinese Empire and received in a audience by emperor Gao Zong. The Tang Dynasty is determined in the next year to take administrative measures in regard to Japan. The envoys are detained.
- March 17 – Gertrude of Nivelles, daughter of Pepin of Landen (mayor of the palace of Austrasia), requests on her deathbed a burial wearing a plain linen shroud. This is the traditional (pagan) practice of a 'furnished' grave.
- Leodegar, an opponent of Ebroin (mayor of the palace), is appointed bishop of Autun in Burgundy.
- Roberts, J: "History of the World.". Penguin, 1994.
- The Caliphate Its Rise, Decline and Fall by William Muir. Chapter XXVIII, Caliphate of Othman, p. 206
- Jennings, p. 26
- For the terms of this treaty see Kaegi, Walter (1992). "Byzantium and the Early Islamic Conquests". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 196–197. ISBN 05214-8455-3
- Kirby, Earliest English Kings, chapter 5, "The northern Anglian hegemony", section 'The reign of Oswald'
- Kirby Earliest English Kings, page 78
- Bede, H. E., book II, chapter 5
- Kazhdan, p. 500
- Warner, "The Origins of Suffolk", pp. 110–113
- Nussbaum, "Takamuko no Kuromaro (No Genri)", p. 935
- Probably Mount Olympos south of Antalya, see "Olympus Phoinikous Mons" in Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, map 65, D4
- Warren Treadgold, A history of the Byzantine State and Society, Stanford University Press 1997, p. 314. ISBN 0-8047-2630-2
- Roberts, J: "History of the World". Penguin, 1994
- The Great Islamic Conquests AD 632–750, David Nicolle (2009), p. 62. ISBN 978-1-84603-273-8
- The Caliphate Its Rise, Decline and Fall by William Muir. Chapter XXXV, Battle of the Camel, p. 250
- Bede, "Ecclesiastical History", Book II, Chapter 24
- Winkelmann & Lilie, pp. 125–127