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The 660s decade ran from January 1, 660, to December 31, 669.
- 1 Events
- 1.1 660
- 1.2 661
- 1.3 662
- 1.4 663
- 1.5 664
- 1.6 665
- 1.7 666
- 1.8 667
- 1.9 668
- 1.10 669
- 2 Significant people
- 3 Births
- 4 Deaths
- 5 References
- Emperor Constans II is paranoid about the ambitions of his younger brother, Theodosius, and has him murdered. Having attracted the hatred of the citizens of Constantinople, Constans decides to leave the Byzantine capital and moves to Syracuse (Sicily).
- The March of the Slavs, centred north of modern Klagenfurt, preserves independence and is first mentioned in historical sources, known as Carantania (Austria).
- Felix, patrician of Toulouse, assumes the titles of Duke of Vasconia and Aquitaine. He is formally a vassal of the Franks, but rules "de facto" independently.
- King Cenwalh of Wessex becomes dissatisfied with his local bishop, Agilbert of Dorchester, as he does not speak West-Saxon. Cenwalh splits the episcopal see of Wessex in two. Wine becomes the first bishop of Winchester, by the Saxons called Wintancestir. Agilbert resigns in protest and travels north to Northumbria.
- King Sigeberht II of Essex is murdered by his brothers, Swithelm and Swithfrith, and other kinsmen for being "too ready to pardon his enemies"; that is to say, the Christians. Swithelm becomes king of Essex, with Swithfrith as joint-monarch for a period (approximate date).
- King Conall Crandomna of Dál Riata (modern Scotland) dies, and is succeeded by his nephew Domangart mac Domnaill.
- July 9 – Battle of Hwangsanbeol: Sillan forces (50,000 men) led by general Kim Yu-shin defeat the army of Baekje at Nonsan. During the fighting general Gyebaek dies at the hand of the Sillan invaders.
- Baekje in southwestern Korea is conquered by an alliance of the Tang Dynasty and Silla, led by general Su Dingfang and King Munmu of Silla. The Japanese envoys detained in Chang'an are paroled.
- Emperor Gao Zong suffers from an illness (possibly slow-poisoning). His wife Wu Zetian starts to rule the Chinese Empire.
- Prince Naka no Ōe no Ōji of Japan makes for the first time a clepsydra at Asuka, by which he causes the people to know the hours.
- King Chlothar III of Neustria and queen regent Balthild found Corbie Abbey in Picardy (northern France), giving it immunity from taxation, and visits from local bishops in exchange for prayer.
- Perctarit and Godepert become co-rulers of the Lombards, following the death of their father Aripert I. They split the kingdom, and establish their capitals in Milan and Pavia (northern Italy).
- Battle of Posbury: King Cenwalh of Wessex invades Dumnonia (south-west England). He is victorious over the native Briton tribes near Crediton in Devon, and drives them to the coast.
- King Wulfhere of Mercia and his army harry the Berkshire Downs (south of Thame) and move south to conquer the Meonwara and the Isle of Wight.
- Wulfhere appoints Æthelwealh as king of Sussex, and Æthelwealh is baptized in Mercia. He receives the recently-conquered territories in modern-day Hampshire.
- January 27 – Assassination of Ali: Ali ibn Abi Talib, first Shia imam and fourth caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate, is struck on the head with a poisoned sword by the Khawarij Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam while at prayer at a shrine at Kufa (modern-day Iraq), dying two days later. According to Shia Islam, his son Hasan ibn Ali succeeds him as the second imam. According to [Umayyads], he is succeeded by Muawiyah I, age 59, who moves his seat of government to Damascus, and founds the Umayyad Caliphate, ending the Rashidun Caliphate.
- Approximate date – Muawiyah I imprisons patriarch Giwargis I, after his refusal to pay tribute. Christians are persecuted and their churches are destroyed.
- Approximate date – The imperial fleet of Japan invades Kyūshū by the order of Empress Kōgyoku. On its way, princess Nukata composes a famous poem at Nikitatsu in Iyo Province.
- c. May – Empress Kōgyoku builds the palace of Asakura in Kyūshū, from trees cut down from the shrines. Two months later she dies. People say it is because the gods are angry with her for destroying the shrines.
- July 24 – Emperor Tenji ascends to the throne of Japan after his mother Empress Kōgyoku's death. He sends an expeditionary force under Abe no Hirafu to Korea, to help the allied kingdom of Baekje.
- Maximus the Confessor, Christian monk, is recalled from exile in Thrace. He is tried, and sentenced to mutilation. His tongue and his right hand are cut off to prevent his further opposition to the Monothelites.
- Approximate date – In Gaul all Roman bishops are replaced with Frankish bishops. They become increasingly common, as Frankish leaders control the episcopate.
- King Godepert makes war against his brother Perctarit. He seeks the aid of Grimoald I, duke of Benevento, who has him assassinated; his son Raginpert escapes. Grimoald usurps the throne and becomes ruler of the Lombard Kingdom. Perctarit is exiled, and seeks refuge in Gaul and Britain.
- The Franks take advantage of the Lombard civil war and invade Northern Italy, but are defeated by Grimoald I. King Chlothar III gives Austrasia to his youngest brother Childeric II. He is raised on the shield of his warriors and proclaimed king of Austrasia.
- King Swithelm of Essex is converted to Christianity and baptised by Cedd, at the court of King Æthelwald of East Anglia, who acts as his sponsor. East Anglia may have held some sort of overlordship over Essex at this time (approximate date).
- Muslim Conquest: Arab forces of the Umayyad Caliphate resume the push to capture Persian lands, and begin to move towards the lands east and north of the plateau, towards Greater Khorasan (Iran) and the Silk Road along Transoxiana.
- Ziyad ibn Abi Sufyan, Muslim general and a member of the Umayyad clan, is appointed governor of Iraq (Basra) and the former Persian provinces (approximate date).
- August 13 – Maximus the Confessor, Byzantine monk and theologian, dies in exile in Lazica (modern Georgia), on the southeastern shore of the Black Sea.
- Emperor Constans II launches an assault against the Duchy of Benevento (Southern Italy). Taking advantage of the fact that Lombard king Grimoald I is engaged against Frankish forces from Neustria, Constans disembarks at Taranto and besieges Lucera and Benevento.
- Constans II visits Rome for twelve days—the only emperor to set foot in Rome for two centuries—and is received with great honor by Pope Vitalian. Constans gives the order to strip buildings, including the Pantheon, of their ornaments, which will be carried back to Constantinople.
- Constans II moves the imperial court from Constantinople to Syracuse. He tries to stop the Arab conquest of Sicily, and restores Rome as seat of the Byzantine Empire. Constans strips sacred altar vessels from churches all over Rome.
- May 8 – Battle of Forino: The Byzantine army, led by Constans II, is defeated by the Lombards under Romuald I. He seizes Taranto and Brindisi, receiving military aid from the Bulgar Alcek horde, who are settled in the area of Ravenna.
- King Oswiu of Northumbria invades Pictland (modern Scotland). He establishes overlordship of, at least, the Southern Pictish sub-kingdoms of Fortriu and Fib (and possibly Circinn).
- A brief outbreak of plague hits Britain (approximate date).
- June 5 – In China, the Daming Palace becomes the government seat and royal residence of Emperor Gao Zong of the Tang Dynasty.
- Battle of Baekgang: Korean Baekje forces and their Japanese allies are defeated in a naval battle, by a joint Silla–Tang coalition.
North America & Europe
- 1 May – a solar eclipse affects areas along a line from Central America, through eastern North America, the North Atlantic, Ireland, Britain and Germany.
Britain & Ireland
- Plague of 664
- According to Bede, a Northumbrian monk and historian, the plague began shortly after the eclipse of 1 May.
- Adomnan of Iona, a contemporary Irish abbot and saint, wrote that the epidemic affected everywhere in Ireland and Britain, except for Dál Riata and Pictland.
- The epidemic significantly depopulated southern coastal areas of England.
- The Kingdom of Gwynedd is also devastated by the plague; King Cadafael Cadomedd dies and is succeeded by Cadwaladr, who reasserts himself in his kingdom by sending his son Ivor from Brittany to be regent.
- King Ealdwulf succeeds Æthelwald as king of East Anglia. He becomes the last ruler recorded known to Bede. During Ealdwulf's reign the plague sweeps across the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
- July 14 – the plague claims King Eorcenberht of Kent who dies after a 24-year reign, and is succeeded by his son Ecgberht. Queen Seaxburh becomes regent, ruling Kent until Ecgberht comes of age.
- King Swithelm of Essex dies after a four-year reign. He is succeeded by his cousins Sighere and Sæbbi (approximate date).
- 26 October – the plague claims Cedd, Bishop of London.
- Muslim Conquest: Arab forces under Al-Muhallab ibn Abi Suffrah begin launching raids from Persia, striking at Multan in the southern Punjab (modern Pakistan). Muslims conquer the city of Kabul, invading from eastern Afghanistan.
- Synod of Whitby: King Oswiu of Northumbria calls for a meeting at Whitby Abbey to settle the church practices in his kingdom—those of the Celtic Church (of Wales, Scotland and the north of England - preached by Irish missionaries) or the Roman Church (of the south of England). The matters discussed include how to calculate the date of Easter. It is decided to follow the practice of Rome. As a result, many Irish clergy leave Northumbria and return to Ireland.
- Kubrat, ruler (khagan) of Great Bulgaria, dies after a 33-year reign. He is succeeded by his son Batbayan, who rules from Poltava (modern Ukraine) the lands north of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
- Conflict erupts between King Sighere of Essex and his brother Sæbbi, as they struggle for overlordship between Mercia and Wessex.
- Muslim Conquest: An Arab army (40,000 men) advances through the desert and captures the Byzantine city of Barca (Libya).
- Wilfrid, Anglo-Saxon abbot, refuses to be consecrated in Northumbria as bishop, and travels to Compiègne (France) to be consecrated by Agilbert, archbishop of Paris.
- Jaruman, bishop of Mercia, is dispatched with Christian missionaries to reconvert Saxon tribes, which have returned to paganism.
- According to the Annales Cambriae, the Anglo-Saxons convert to Christianity after the Second Battle of Badon.
- Sighere encourages his subjects to reject Christianity and return to their indigenous religion (approximate date).
- Emperor Constans II grants the request of Maurus, bishop of Ravenna, allowing the city to consecrate its bishop without approval from Rome (approximate date).
- Duke Lupus of Friuli revolts against King Grimoald I, with allied Avars. Grimoald takes and devastates Friuli, tracks down Lupus's son Arnefrit (allied with the Slavs), and kills him in battle at the castle of Nimis. Grimoald appoints Wechtar as the new duke of Friuli.
- Chinese Buddhist monks Zhi Yu and Zhi Yu craft more south-pointing chariot vehicles (a non-magnetic, mechanical-driven directional-compass vehicle that incorporates the use of a differential gear) for Emperor Tenji of Japan, as recorded in the Nihon Shoki.
- Arab–Byzantine War: Caliph Muawiyah I launches a series of attacks against Byzantine holdings in Africa, Sicily and the East.
- The Lombards, under King Grimoald I, destroy Oderzo (Northern Italy). Much of its population flees to the nearby city of Heraclea.
- King Javanshir of Caucasian Albania (modern Azerbaijan) revolts against the Muslim-Arabs, but is defeated (approximate date).
- Wighard, archbishop of Canterbury, dies of the bubonic plague while returning from his consecration in Rome.
- The Abbey of St. Vaast in Arras (France) is founded.
- September 15 – Emperor Constans II is killed under mysterious circumstances in his bath, during a mutiny at Syracuse. The Byzantine court returns to Constantinople after an absence of 5 years, in which the Muslim-Arabs have made annual invasions and devastations of Anatolia. Probably assassinated by his chamberlain after a 27-year reign, Constans is succeeded by his son Constantine IV (the "Bearded"), alongside his brothers Heraclius and Tiberius as co-emperors.
- Mezezius, Byzantine general and patrikios ("first patrician"), is proclaimed emperor by the army in Syracuse. Constantine IV organizes an expedition to suppress the military revolt in Sicily.
- Ebroin, mayor of the palace, becomes de facto ruler of Neustria and (in theory) "of the Franks". According to Bede, he runs the nation's foreign policy and internal security.
- Kotrag, ruler (khagan) of Great Bulgaria, leads the Khazars in overthrowing his brother Batbayan of the Onogurs, and moves south into the Caucasus Mountains.
- Asparukh, leader of the Utigurs, leaves the Ongal area to Kotrag, and leads his people into Moesia in Northern Bulgaria (approximate date).
- Caliph Muawiyah I receives an invitation from Saborios, Byzantine commander of the troops in Armenia, to help overthrow Constantine IV in Constantinople. He sends a Muslim army under his son Yazid, against the Byzantine Empire.
- Yazid reaches Chalcedon in Bithynia, and takes the important Byzantine center Amorium (modern Turkey).
- Arab forces conquer the Garamantes in the Sahara desert (Libya).
- Chinese troops sent by the Tang Dynasty emperor Gao Zong complete their conquest of the Korean Peninsula, making Korea a vassal state. Leaders of the expedition have been selected by the emperor's powerful concubine Wu Zetian. The kingdom of Goguryeo is overthrown; the Unified Silla period starts.
- Emperor Tenji of Japan hunts on the Moor of Ōmi-Gamōno. The letters exchanged between prince Ōama and princess Nukata are recorded in Man'yōshū.
- The monk Gyōki, one of the founders of Japanese Buddhism, is born in the Ōtori District of Kawachi Province.
- Theodore of Tarsus is made archbishop of Canterbury. He introduces a strict Roman parochial system that becomes the model for the secular state.
- Colman of Lindisfarne, accompanied by 30 disciples, sails for Ireland, settling down at Inishbofin and founds a monastery.
- Spring – Arab forces that have taken Chalcedon, on the Asian shore of the Bosporus, threaten the Byzantine capital Constantinople. The Muslim-Arabs are decimated by famine and disease. Yazid, Arab commander, retreats to the island of Cyzicus (modern Turkey).
- King Ecgberht of Kent loses the overlordship of Surrey to King Wulfhere of Mercia. Ecgberht then grants the old Saxon Shore Fort at Reculver (south-east England) to a priest named Bassa, in order to establish a monastery dedicated to St. Mary (approximate date).
- November 14 – Kamatari, Japanese statesman and reformer, receives the surname Fujiwara from Emperor Tenji as a reward for his services, but dies in Yamato prefecture (modern-day Sakurai City).
- Lewis, Miracula, p. 388
- Bede, Book III, chapter 7
- Roberts, J. M. (1994). History of the World. Penguin.
- Patrick J. Geary, "Before France & Germany, the Creation & Transformation of the Merovingian World". (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), p. 180
- Fryde, et al. "Handbook of British Chronology", p. 223
- NASA, 2015, Total Solar Eclipse of 664 May 01 (access: 10 November 2016).
- Josiah Cox Russell, 1976, "The earlier medieval plague in the British Isles", Viator vol. 7, pp. 65–78.
- Yorke, "King of Kingdoms", p. 63.
- Roberts, J: "History of the World.". Penguin, 1994.
- Mayr-Harting, Henry (1991). The "Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England". Pennsylvania State University Press, p.129–147. ISBN 0-271-00769-9
- Mayr-Harting, Henry (1991). The "Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England". Pennsylvania State University Press, p. 117. ISBN 0-271-00769-9
- Thomas F. Glick, Steven Livesey, Faith Wallis, eds. (2014). Medieval Science, Technology, and Medicine: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 464. ISBN 1135459398.
- Treadgold (1997), pp. 318–324
- Hindley, "A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons", p. 47
- Bury, p. 306
- Bury, p. 307
- Kashiwahara Y., Sonoda K. "Shapers of Japanese Buddhism", Kosei (1994)
- Walsh, "A New Dictionary of Saints", p. 127