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|Centuries:||6th century – 7th century – 8th century|
|Decades:||650s 660s 670s – 680s – 690s 700s 710s|
|Years:||680 681 682 683 684 685 686 687 688 689|
|Categories:||Births – Deaths
Establishments – Disestablishments
This is a list of events occurring in the 680s, ordered by year.
- Byzantine–Bulgarian War: The Bulgars under Asparukh subjugate the country of current-day Bulgaria north of the Balkan Mountains. Emperor Constantine IV leads a combined land and sea operation against the invaders and besieges their fortified camp in Dobruja.
- Battle of Ongal: The Byzantine army (25,000 men) under Constantine IV is defeated by the Bulgars and Slavic allies in the Danube Delta. Bulgar cavalry force the Byzantines into a rout while Constantine (suffering from leg pain) travels to Nesebar to seek treatment.
- King Wamba is deposed after an 8-year reign and forced to retire to a monastery. He is succeeded by Erwig who becomes ruler of the Visigothic Kingdom.
- King Perctarit makes his son Cunipert co-ruler of the Lombard Kingdom. He signs a formal peace treaty with Constantine IV.
- Pippin of Herstal becomes Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia.
- King Cædwalla of Wessex becomes overly ambitious in a power-struggle with his rival, king Centwine, for Wessex overlordship. He is banished into the forests of Chiltern and Andred.
- Caliph Muawiyah I, founder of the Umayyad Dynasty, dies.
- Yazid I, son of Muawiyah I, becomes the sixth caliph (second Umayyad caliph) but Kufans in Mesopotamia rebel and invite Hussein ibn Ali (grandson of Muhammad) to take the throne.
- October 10 – Battle of Karbala: Muslim forces under Yazid I kill Hussein ibn Ali and his closest supporters. The battle is the definitive break between the Shi'a and Sunni sects of Islam.
- In Japan, princess Uno Sarara is unwell and emperor Tenmu begins the erection of the Temple of Yakushi-ji (Nara Prefecture). He makes 100 persons enter religion as priests, wishing her to recover her health.
- Imam Hussein ibn Ali enters martyrdom. He is killed and beheaded at Karbala (modern Iraq) by Shimr ibn Dhi 'l-Jawshan, along with most of his family and companions.
- Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, convenes a synod at Hatfield that clears the English Church from any association with the heresy of Monothelitism.
- Wilfrid returns to Northumbria, with papal support, but is imprisoned by king Ecgfrith and again exiled. He travels to Sussex to evangelise the people.
- King Merewalh of Magonsæte founds the monastery of Wenlock Priory (Shropshire). He appoints his daughter Milburga to Benedictine abbess.
- Boniface educated at a Celtic Christian monastery in Exeter that has been one of many monasteriola built by local landowners and churchmen.
- Book of Durrow is created, probably in Northumbria or on the island of Iona in the Scottish Inner Hebrides (approximate date).
- November 12 – The Sixth Ecumenical Council opens in Constantinople and ends September 16, 681.
- Byzantine–Bulgarian War: Emperor Constantine IV is forced to acknowledge the Bulgar state in Moesia and to pay protection money to avoid further inroads into Byzantine Thrace. Consequently, Constantine creates the Theme of Thrace of the Byzantine Empire (located in the south-eastern Balkans).
- Constantine IV has his brothers Heraclius and Tiberius mutilated so they are unable to rule. He orders that their images no longer appear on any coinage, and that their names are removed from official documentation. Constantine raises his son Justinian II to the throne as joint emperor (Augustus).
- Autumn – A military revolt breaks out in the Anatolic Theme (modern Turkey). The Byzantine army marched to Chrysopolis, and sent a delegation across the straits of the Hellespont to Constantinople, demanding that the two brothers should remain co-emperors alongside Constantine IV.
- Constantine IV agrees to a compromise and persuades the army to return to their barracks in Anatolia. He invites the leaders of the rebellion to come to Constantinople and consults with the Senate to accept the terms. On their arrival, he arrests the leaders and have them hung at Sycae.
- January 9 – Twelfth Council of Toledo: King Erwig of the Visigoths initiates a council in which he implements diverse measures against the Jews. Laws against violence to slaves are suppressed.
- King Æthelwalh of Sussex gives Wilfrid, exiled bishop of York, lands in Selsey to found a cathedral, named Selsey Abbey.
- King Ecgfrith of Northumbria requests that the monks of Monkwearmouth found a new monastery at Jarrow (or 682).
- A Muslim Arab army led by Uqba ibn Nafi reaches Morocco before being forced back into Cyrene by the Berbers.
- Armenians, Albanians, and Iberians rise in rebellion against the Umayyad Caliphate (approximate date).
- In Japan the Asuka Kiyomihara Code is commenced under emperor Tenmu.
- Kutluk Khan revolts and reestablishes the Turkic Khaganate.
- Kusakabe, second son of Tenmu, is made crown prince.
- January 10 – Pope Agatho dies at Rome of plague after a 2½ -year reign in which he has persuaded Constantine IV to abolish the tax heretofore levied at the consecration of a newly elected pope.
- September 16 – The Sixth Ecumenical Council (see 680) ends at Constantinople. The council reaffirm the Orthodox doctrines of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and condemn monothelitism.
- King Erwig of the Visigoths continues oppression of the Jews in Spain. He makes it illegal to practice any Jewish rites (brit milah) and presses for the conversion or emigration of the remaining Jews.
- Ghislemar becomes mayor of the palace in Neustria and Burgundy after he deposes his father Waratton. He reverses the peace treaty with Austrasia, signed with Pepin of Herstal at Namur.
- King Ecgfrith requests Benedict Biscop to build a second monastery at Jarrow (Northumbria). Benedict leaves Monkwearmouth with 20 monks (including his protégé the young Bede).
- The West Saxons, led by king Centwine, drive the Britons of Dumnonia (West Country) to the sea (possibly around Bideford).
- The wandering ex-Wessex sub-king, Cædwalla, seeks St. Wilfrid as his spiritual father but does not convert to Christianity.
- Muslim forces led by Uqba ibn Nafi overrun the south coast of the Mediterranean Sea. He occupies the cities Tripoli and Carthage last Byzantine bases in Africa (approximate date).
- Due to a culmination of major droughts, floods, locust plagues, and epidemics, a widespread famine breaks out in the dual Chinese capital cities of Chang'an (primary capital) and Luoyang (secondary capital). The scarcity of food drives the price of grain to unprecedented heights, ending a once prosperous era under emperors Tai Zong and Gao Zong on a sad note.
- Emperor Tenmu issues a decree forbidding the Japanese-style cap of ranks and garments, and changing them into Chinese ones. He also makes a decree forbidding men to wear leggings and women to let down their hair on their backs. It is from this time that the practice begins of women riding on horseback like men. He issues an edict prescribing the character of ceremonies and language to be used on occasions of ceremony. Ceremonial kneeling and crawling are both abolished, and the ceremonial custom of standing of the Tang court is practiced.
- August 17 – Pope Leo II succeeds Agatho as the 80th pope after a periode of sede vacante ("vacant seat") of a year and 7 months.
- King Sighere of Essex dies after a 19-year joint reign. His brother Sæbbi becomes the sole ruler of Essex until his death in 694.
- Siege of Mecca: The Umayyad army led by Husayn ibn Numayr al-Sakuni besiege Mecca, during which the Kaaba ("Sacred House") catches fire and is burned down.
- Uqba ibn Nafi, Arab general, is ambushed and killed near Biskra (modern Algeria). His Muslim army evacuate the city of Kairouan in Tunesia and withdraw to Barca.
- November 14 – Caliph Yazid I dies at Damascus after a 3-year reign marked by civil war. He is succeeded by his son Muawiya II as ruler of the Umayyad Caliphate.
- December 27 – Emperor Gao Zong dies at Luoyang, age 55, after a 34-year reign in which he expanded the Chinese Empire by acquiring Korea as a vassal state.
- Emperor Tenmu decrees a reform in Japan; copper coins must be used instead of silver coins. Three days later he issued to allow the continued use of silver.
- Prince Ōtsu, son of Tenmu, attends to matters of State for the first time (approximate date).
- Pacal the Great, ruler (ajaw) of the Maya state of Palenque (Mexico), dies after a 68-year reign. He is buried in the Temple of the Inscriptions.
- Seaxwulf, bishop of Mercia, founds All Saints' Church at Brixworth (approximate date).
- June 28 – Pope Leo II dies at Rome 10 months after being consecrated.
- Ghislemar, mayor of the palace in Neustria and Burgundy, dies after a 2-year reign and is succeeded by his father Waratton. He makes peace between the three Frankish kingdoms.
- King Ecgfrith of Northumbria sends an punitive expedition to Ireland under his ealdorman Berht. Laying waste to the territory of Meath, ruled by high king Fínsnechta Fledach.
- Caliph Muawiya II dies at Damascus after a brief reign that ends Sufyanid rule. A new caliph is proclaimed in Syria amidst tribal wars, but Marwan I will reign until next year.
- August 18 – Battle of Marj Rahit: Muslim partisans under Marwan I defeat the supporters of Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr near Damascus and cement Umayyad control of Syria.
- January 3 – Zhong Zong succeeds his father Gao Zong and becomes emperor of the Tang Dynasty. His mother Wu Zetian remains the power behind the throne in China.
- February 27 – Wu Zetian replaces Zhong Zong in favor of his younger brother Rui Zong. He becomes a puppet ruler and Zhong Zong is placed under house arrest.
- Summer – The Pallava Empire (modern India) invades the kingdom of Ceylon. A Pallavan naval expedition employing Tamil mercenaries ends the Moriya Dynasty.
- September 7 – A large comet is observed in Japan (it's Japan's oldest observation record of the Halley's Comet).
- November 13 – Emperor Tenmu institutes eight titles of eight classes (Yakusa-no-kabane) in Japan.
- November 26 – A great earthquake strikes Japan. The people, houses, temples, shrines and domestic animals are greatly damaged.
- February 10 – K'inich Kan B'alam II accedes to the rulership of the Maya polity of Palenque (modern Mexico).
- Cuthbert is elected Bishop of Hexham and receives a visit from a large group under Ecgfrith. He agrees to return to Lindisfarne (Northumbria) to take up duties.
- June 26 – Pope Benedict II succeeds Leo II as the 81st pope of Rome after a periode of sede vacante ("vacant seat") of 1 year.
- September – Emperor Constantine IV dies of dysentery at Constantinople after a 17-year reign and is succeeded by his 16-year-old son Justinian II.
- Kuber, brother of Asparukh of Bulgaria, defeats the Avars in Syrmia (Pannonia). He leads his followers of around 70,000 people to Macedonia (modern Republic of Macedonia).
- May 20 – Battle of Dun Nechtain: The Picts under king Bridei III revolt against their Northumbrian overlords. Cuthbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, advises king Ecgfrith not to invade Pictland (modern Scotland). Undeterred, Ecgfrith marches his army north to engage the enemy near Dunnichen. The Picts, possibly with Scottish and Strathclyde Briton help, defeat the Saxon guard. Ecgfrith is killed after a 15-year reign, routing his army and forcing the Anglo-Saxons to withdraw south of the River Forth.
- King Centwine of Wessex dies after a 9-year reign and is succeeded by his distant cousin, Cædwalla, who manages to fully re-unite the sub-kingdoms of Wessex. He attacks with a large army Sussex and kills king Æthelwealh in battle in the South Downs (Hampshire). He is expelled by Æthelwealh's ealdorman, Berthun and Andhun, who are jointly rule the South Saxons. Cædwalla invades Kent, lays it waste, and carries of an immense booty.
- Aldfrith, illegitimate half-brother of Ecgfrith, becomes possibly with Irish and Scottish help king of Northumbria. He is brought from Iona (Inner Hebrides), where he is studying for a career in the church.
- King Eadric revolts against his uncle Hlothhere and defeats him in battle. He becomes sole ruler of Kent until his death in 686.
- Battle of 'Ayn al-Warda: A Umayyad army (20,000 men) under Husayn ibn Numayr defeat the pro-Alid Kufans at Ras al-'Ayn (Syria).
- May 7 – Caliph Marwan I dies at Damascus and is succeeded by his son Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan.
- Empress Wu Zetian sends a pair of giant pandas to the Japanese court of emperor Tenmu as a diplomatic gift (approximate date).
- Wu Zetian exiles her son Zhong Zong, former emperor of the Tang Dynasty, and his family to the island of Fang Zhou.
- May 8 – Pope Benedict II dies at Rome after a reign of less than 11 months. He is succeeded by John V as the 82nd pope.
- John Maron is elected as the first patriarch in the Maronite Church (approximate date).
- Waratton, mayor of the palace of Neustria and Burgundy, dies and is succeeded by his son-in-law Berthar. He advises king Theuderic III to break the peace treaty with Pepin of Heristal and declares war on Austrasia.
- King Cædwalla of Wessex establishes overlordship of Essex and invades during a second invasion Kent. King Eadric is expelled and Cædwalla's brother Mul is installed in his place. The sub-kings Berthun and Andhun are killed, and Sussex is subjugated by the West Saxons.
- Cædwalla conquers Surrey and exterminates the Jutes of the Isle of Wight. He executes king Arwald and his two brothers. Cædwalla probably also overruns the Meonware, a Jutish people who live in the Meon Valley (Hampshire).
- Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad, former governor of Mesopotamia, tries to regain control of his province as the various Muslim tribes in the region Kufa (Iraq) are engaged in an Islamic civil war.
- Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan imprisons and tortures patriarch Mar Khnanishu I. He is the first caliph to instist on the collection of the poll tax from the Christians (approximate date).
- October 1 – Emperor Tenmu of Japan dies after a 13-year reign and is succeeded by his widow (and niece), empress Jitō. She will reign until 697.
- October 25 – Prince Ōtsu, son of Tenmu, is falsely accused of treason by Jito and forced to commit suicide along with his wife Yamanobe.
- August 2 – Pope John V dies at Rome after a 12-month reign in which he has made handsome donations to the poor. He is succeeded by Conon I as the 83rd pope of the Catholic Church.
- Plague kills almost all the Benedictine monks in the monastery of Monkwearmouth–Jarrow Abbey (Northumbria), aside from the abbot Ceolfrith and one small boy — future scholar Bede.
- Wilfrid, bishop of York, becomes a advisor of Cædwalla and is send to the Isle of Wight to evangelise the inhabitants.
- Emperor Justinian II negotiates a peace treaty with the Umayyad Caliphate (resulting in caliph Abd al-Malik paying tribute). He removes from Lebanon 12,000 Christian Maronites, who continually resist the Arabs. Justinian reinforces the Byzantine navy on Cyprus and transfers cavalry troops from Anatolia to the Thracesian Theme (Balkan Peninsula).
- Battle of Tertry: King Theuderic III of Neustria is defeated by Pepin of Herstal, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, near Péronne (modern France) at the River Somme. Theuderic withdraws to Paris and is forced to sign a peace treaty. Pepin becomes "de facto" ruler of the Frankish Kingdom and begins calling himself Duke of the Franks. He establishes a base for future rise of the Pippinids and Carolingian dynasty. Pepin appoints Nordebert as Duke of Burgundy, and puts him in charge of Neustria and Burgundy (as a sort of regent).
- King Erwig dies after a 7-year reign and is succeeded by his son-in-law Ergica as ruler of the Visigothic Kingdom.
- King Mul of Kent and 12 companions are burnt to death during a Kentish uprising. His brother, king Cædwalla of Wessex ravages the kingdom in revenge.
- Adomnán, Irish abbot of Iona, visits the court of king Ecgfrith to ransom Irish captives (60 Gaels who has been captured in a Northumbrian raid).
- Cuthbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, resigns his office and retires to his hermitage on Inner Farne (Northumberland) where he dies, after a painful illness.
- September 21 – Pope Conon I dies at Rome after a 1-year reign and is succeeded on December 15 by by Sergius as the 84th pope of the Catholic Church.
- Approximate date – Construction of the Dome of the Rock, located on the Temple Mount, is started in Jerusalem.
- Byzantine–Bulgarian War: Emperor Justinian II carries out a Balkan campaign and marched through Thrace where he restores Byzantine rule. He establishes a theme administration, and migrates many Bulgars and Slavs to the Opsician Theme (Asia Minor).
- King Perctarit of the Lombards is assassinated by a conspiracy after a 17-year reign. He is succeeded by his son Cunipert who is crowned ruler of the Lombard Kingdom in Italy.
- Alahis, duke of Brescia, starts a civil war in Northern Italy. He besieges Cunipert on an island in Lake Como (Lombardy), who breaks out with Piedmontese troops.
- King Caedwalla of Wessex abdicates the throne and departs on a pilgrimage to Rome, possibly because of his wounds he has suffered while fighting on the Isle of Wight. The power vacuum is filled by Ine, son of his second cousin, sub-king Coenred of Dorset.
- King Æthelred of Mercia establishes Mercian dominance over most of Southern England. He installs Oswine, minor member of the Kentish royal family (second cousin of king Eadric), as king of Kent. Prince Swæfheard of Essex is given West Kent.
- Eadberht is appointed bishop of Lindisfarne (Northumbria). He founds the holy shrine to his predecessor Cuthbert, a place that becomes a centre of great pilgrimage in later years.
- Byzantine–Bulgarian War: Emperor Justinian II defeats the Bulgars of Macedonia and recaptures Thessalonica, the second most important Byzantine city in Europe. He resettles the subdued Slavs in Anatolia (modern Turkey), where they are required to provide 30,000 men to the Byzantine army.
- Battle of Coronate: The Lombards under king Cunipert defeat the army of duke Alahis at the River Adda (Lombardy). He executes the rebel leaders; Alahis is captured his head and legs are cut off. The southern Lombard duchies take advantage of Cunipert's distraction and extend their territories.
- Battle of Dorestad: The Frisians under king Radbod are defeated by the Frankish mayor of the palace, Pippin of Herstal. The Rhine delta and Dorestad (modern Netherlands) becomes Frankish again, as the castles of Utrecht and Fechten (approximate date).
- The Asuka Kiyomihara Code, a collection of governing rules, commenced in 681 under emperor Tenmu is promulgated in Japan.
- Cædwalla of Wessex arrives in Rome and is baptised by pope Sergius I, taking the name Peter. He dies 10 days later and is buried at the St. Peter's Basilica.
- Prince Oswald, brother of king Osric of Hwicce, founds Pershore Abbey in Worcestershire (approximate date).
- Bury, pp. 333–334
- Kirby (1992), p. 119
- Gordon (2005), pp. 144–146
- Collier & Barham 1840, p. 250
- Schieffer pp. 76–77; pp. 103–105
- Norwich, p. 326
- Kazhdan, p. 501
- Dumbarton Oaks, p. 513
- Bury, p. 308
- Bury, p. 309
- Spencer C. Tucker (2010). A Global Chronology of Conflict: "From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East", p. 205. ISBN 978-1-85109-672-5
- Canduci, p. 198
- Chaney, William A. (1970). The Cult of Kingship in Anglo-Saxon England: the transition from paganism to Christianity. Manchester University Press. p. 168. ISBN 0-7190-0372-5.
- Bede, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum
- Kazhdan, p. 1084
- Alec Hamilton-Barr. In Saxon Sussex. The Arundel Press, Bognor Regis, p. 21
- A Chronicle of England (B.C. 55–A.D. 1485), by James. E. Doyle (1864). "The Saxons", p. 37
- The Events of the Tang Dynasty: "Time line of the Tang Dynasty" (Tang Zhong Zong 684–685 A.D)
- Blair 1990, p.178
- Plummer, Bedae Opera Historica, Vol. 1, p. 12
- John Reassessing , Anglo-Saxon England, pp. 34–35
- Bury, p. 321
- Farmer, David Hugh (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Saints. Oxford University Press. p. 120. ISBN 0-19-280058-2.
- John V.A. Fine, Jr (1991). "The Early Medieval Balkans": A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century. Chapter 2: "The Slavic Invasions": Justinian II's Balkan Campaign of 688/689, p. 71. ISBN 978-0-472-08149-3
- Yorke, Barbara (1990), "Kings and Kingdoms of Early Anglo-Saxon England", London: Seaby, ISBN 1-85264-027-8
- Ostrogorsky, pp. 116–122
- Hodgkin, Thomas (1895). "Italy and her Invaders", volume 6. Oxford
- Blok, D.P. (1968), "De Franken, hun optreden in het licht der historie", pp. 32–34