10th century

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Eastern Hemisphere at the beginning of the 10th century
Millennium: 1st millennium
Decades: 900s 910s 920s 930s 940s
950s 960s 970s 980s 990s
Categories: BirthsDeaths

The 10th century is the period from 901 to 1000 in accordance with the Julian calendar, and the last century of the 1st millennium.

In China the Song dynasty was established. The Muslim World, experienced a cultural zenith, especially in Spain under the Caliphate of Córdoba. Additionally, the 10th century was the zenith for the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires.

Medievalist and historian of technology Lynn White said that "to the modern eye, it is very nearly the darkest of the Dark Ages", but concluded that ". . . if it was dark, it was the darkness of the womb."[1] Similarly, Helen Waddell wrote that the 10th century was that which "in the textbooks disputes with the seventh the bad eminence, the nadir of the human intellect."[2] In the 15th century, Lorenzo Valla described it as the Century of Lead and Iron and later Cardinal Baronius as the Leaden Century or Iron Century.

One estimate said that the tenth century saw fewer deaths in war (as a percentage of the total population) than any other century since 3000 BC.[3]


This statue of a yogini goddess was created in Kaveripakkam in Tamil Nadu, India, during the 10th century.





Divided China, 923


The Bulgarian victory at Anchialos.
Painting of Mieszko I of Poland (by Jan Matejko).
Painting of Volodymyr I of Kiev and Rohnida (by Anton Losenko).


Significant people[edit]

Half-section of the Night Revels of Han Xizai, by Chinese artist Gu Hongzhong, 10th century. A woman is seen entertaining guests with a pipa on the right-hand side.



Topiltzin Ce Acatl Quetzalcoatl, known as Kukulkan in Yucatán.

Eurasia and Eastern Roman Empire[edit]


The HIndu god Ganesha, made of sandstone, and discovered in Cambodia. Birmingham Museum of Art.



Inventions, discoveries, introductions[edit]

Earliest known representation of a gun (a fire lance) and a grenade (upper right), from the cave murals of Dunhuang, China, 10th century.

Decades and years[edit]

{{Decades and year



  1. ^ Quoted in The Tenth Century: How Dark the Dark Ages?, edited by Robert Sabatino Lopez. Holt, Rinehart and Winston: 1959.
  2. ^ The Wandering Scholars. Constable and Co: London, 1927.
  3. ^ democraticpeace.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/why-the-20th-century-was-the-bloodiest-of-all/
  4. ^ Soekmono, R, Drs., Pengantar Sejarah Kebudayaan Indonesia 2, 2nd ed. Penerbit Kanisius, Yogyakarta, 1973, 5th reprint edition in 1988 p.52
  5. ^ Spuler, Bertold; F.R.C Bagley. The Muslim world : a historical survey, Part 4. Brill Archive. p. 252. ISBN 978-90-04-06196-5. 
  6. ^ Soekmono, R, Drs., Pengantar Sejarah Kebudayaan Indonesia 2, 2nd ed. Penerbit Kanisius, Yogyakarta, 1973, 5th reprint edition in 1988 p.51
  7. ^ "Avicenna", in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Version 2006". Iranica.com. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  8. ^ Corbin, Henry; Nasr, Hossein; Yahya, Utman (2001). History of Islamic Philosophy. Kegan Paul. ISBN 978-0-7103-0416-2. 

Further reading[edit]