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The First Millenium

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It is currently 985.


Having successfully murdered two Popes, Pope Boniface VII dies. His naked body is dragged through the streets of Rome and left out in public.

John XV begins his eleven year reign as Pope. He had a lot of trouble with Crescentius the Younger, ruler of the Roman nobility, who eventually seized Rome. Crescentius was later deposed and executed. Heavily engaged in Roman politics, John supported reformation but could not break free of Germany’s control of the Papacy.

Spanish Moslems sack Barcelona but are unable to hold it.

In Sweden, Erik the Victorious leads his troops in a victory over the Vikings.
 
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It's 986, and you know what that means:

Have you ever heard of Bjarni Herjólfsson? He was a Norwegian merchant ship captain who sailed to Iceland to visit his father, only to learn that his parents had moved to Greenland. So he sailed to Greenland but got blown off course, winding up off the Canadian coast. So now the Norwegians claim that they discovered America. Years later, Leif Erickson will buy his ship and take 35 colonists to Canada.

Eight years after completing one massive literary compilation, the Chinese do it again (with many of the same editors). The “Finest Blossoms in the Garden of Literature†is 1,000 volumes, has over 19,000 pieces of literature, and includes over 2,200 authors, preserving a new set of ancient Chinese writings.

It's a rough year for the Chinese and the Vikings. The Chinese launch a simultaneous three-front attack on the Khitan Empire and lose on all three fronts. The Vikings invade Norway and get beaten.

Louis the Lazy becomes King of France, dying one year later without accomplishing anything.
 
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It is 987 time!

French nobles elect Hugh the Great as their king. With over a dozen languages and about 150 fiefdoms, France was impossible to unite. Hugh made Paris his power base, thus beginning modern France. His descendants would rule for the next three and a half centuries, steadily extending their power from the borders of Paris.

Christian counts in Portugal are forced to submit tot he Moslems, who are unable to control the area otherwise. You might remember that steep mountains separate Portugal from Spain.

In Mexico, Chichen Itza is a major Mayan city. It appears to have been conquered by The Feathered Serpent this year. It is not clear if this is a person or a religion. But it grows steadily more important as a result.

With civil war breaking out, the Byzantine Emperor gives his sister to the ruler of the Kiev Rus, in exchange for his becoming a Christian. His envoys convince him that Islam is a sad religion with no beauty, and that the neighboring pagan religions are worthless. But the Orthodox Church is full of beauty, so he agrees to convert.
 
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Will things be great in 988?

It's a rough year for Catholic Spain, as Moslems continue to seize territory and destroy cities.

Having converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church, the ruler of the Kiev Rus begins vigorously destroying idols and forcing the Rus to convert.
 
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Will things go fine in 989?

Moslems found Sankore University in western Africa. Beginning as a mosque in Timbuktu, a major trading center, the university began accumulating books from throughout the world, thus becoming a center of learning. It eventually expanded into having highly-qualified professors and still exists.

Haley's Comet appears.

Having just converted to Orthodoxy, the Kiev Rus send a 6,000 man army to help Byzantium put down a rebellion.
 
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Prepare yourself for the year 990.

Chichen Itza, one of the largest cities in Mexico, has a variety of architectural styles, probably because it is a major regional center. This year, the Toltecs capture it. The Toltecs, a blend of people from southern Mexico and Central America, will go on to conquer central Mexico and will eventually be replaced by the Aztecs.

Egyptians begin construction of "The Enlightened Mosque." Noted for its park-like atmosphere and beautiful minarets, it has been improved on for centuries. Today it is a tourist attraction and public park, as well as a worship center.

In southern France, the Catholic Church issues laws protecting civilians during warfare.

Ghana has become a powerful non-Moslem kingdom south of the Sahara. Expanding through both trade and warfare, Ghana begins seizing Berber territory this year.
 
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991 is a year to fear.


Venice, an independent city in northern Italy, signs a commercial treaty with the Arabs.

Arnulf, Archbishop of Rheims, was heavily involved in both state and Church politics. When Pope John XV rules against him, Arnulf declares Pope John to be the Antichrist.

English King Aethelred the Unready leads his troops to defeat against the Vikings at the Battle of Maldon. The Catholic Church then persuades him to pay tribute so the Vikings will leave.
 
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992 finally gets its chance.

Aoudaghost is an oasis city on the southern end of a Sahara trade route. A prosperous and wealthy Berber city, it is captured by Ghana this year.

With the death of his father, Boleslaw the Brave becomes ruler of Poland for the next 33 years. A brilliant ruler, he allied himself with the Holy Roman Emperor while expanding Polish territory in the other three directions. He eventually invaded the HRE itself, forcing them to sign a peace treaty. He established stability and the first Polish monetary system. He was a great builder, including churches, bridges, and castles in his list of accomplishments. Two months before his death, he threw off the last of HRE control, declaring himself the first King of Poland.

Viking settlers begin minting silver pennies at Dublin, Ireland.

Last year, Venice had signed a trade treaty with the Arabs. This year, Venice signs a trade treaty with the Byzantine Empire.
 
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There's big news in 993!

Korea wages the first of its three wars against the Khitans. A new group of nomads in Mongolia and China, the Khitans are remnants of the Turks and other fallen kingdoms.

At a Roman synod held in the Lateran on 31 January 31 993, John XV solemnly canonized Bishop Ulrich of Augsburg, an event which the Pope announced to the French and German bishops in a papal bull dated 3 February. This was the first time in history that a solemn canonization had been made by a Pope. Previous saints had been chosen by popular acclaim.
A German bishop who had died a natural death twenty years earlier, Ulrich had personally supervised the construction of new churches and repairs and rebuilding of old ones, making church more accessible to the common people. Rigidly moral, he demanded the same moral conduct from the priests, thus gaining the confidence of the common people, whose increased respect boosted church attendance.

It is claimed that Hogwarts, the fictional school attended by Harry Potter, is founded this year. However, I can find no trace of it.
 
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It's 994, and the end of this thread draws nigh!

Otto III, who became Holy Roman Emperor at the age of three, now assumes the throne from his regents.

The Byzantines lose 5,000 men when their army is routed by a Moslem coalition in Syria.
 
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It's 995, and the end of this thread is about to arrive!

The Moslems have Aleppo, Syria's second-largest city under siege. But Byzantium rushes its entire army to the scene and defeats them.

The Scots have declared that any son of a former king is eligible to become the next king, so there are quite a few cousins and sons fighting for the throne. Constantine III successfully murders his way to the throne this year, holding it for two years.

Olaf I, a successful pirate and warrior, becomes King of Norway. He quickly builds Norway's first known Christian church and begins a policy of forced conversion that includes torture and death.
 
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996 now takes center stage.

Sixteen year old Holy Roman Emperor Otto III places his twenty-four year old cousin on the Papal Throne as Pope Gregory V. The new Pope quickly crowns Otto III as Holy Roman Emperor. Gregory worked diligently with the Emperor to keep the French Church under Roman (and German) control.

I should remind you that Germany and the Holy Roman Empire are about the same thing. Centered in Germany, the HRE included other nations and parts of other nations, but it was German-ruled.

Hugh the Great, the founder of modern France, dies and is succeeded by his son Robert the Pious, who will rule for 35 years. Despite his devout Catholicism, Robert went through a few political marriages and divorces. Much of his reign included civil wars, as he tried to expand his control over semi-independent areas of France.

In Bejing, Chinese Moslems construct the Niujie Mosque, which still stands. The outside is traditional Chinese architecture, while the inside is strictly Moslem. It has been rebuilt once and improved on several times.
 
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997


A Chinese monk completes "The Handy Mirror in the Dragon Shrine," an outstanding dictionary in the common language that has enabled scholars to translate Chinese documents of this period.

With the assistance of Portuguese Christian knights, Spanish Moslems sack three Spanish Catholic cities but are unable to hold them.

Pope Gregory V crowns Samuel of Bulgaria, "invincible in power and unsurpassable in strength," as King of Bulgaria. A very successful general against the Byzantines and others, he rules until 1014, and Byzantium quickly conquers all of Bulgaria after his death.

Shortly after Otto III returns to Germany, Roman leaders rebel and violently remove Pope Gregory V, replacing him with Pope John XVI.
 
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998 is a rough year for antipopes.

The Holy Roman Empire captures Pope John XVI, cuts off his ears, nose, tongue, and eyes, and breaks all of his fingers. Then they send him to a monastery. Pope Gregory V is then restored to his throne.

Vladimir the Great, King of the Kiev Rus, orders the entire Kiev nation to be baptized. He is later made a saint. Christianity had been present in pagan Kiev before this, but under the preaching of various Orthodox bishops, the Rus generally are happy to convert.
 
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It's 999, and this thread is running out of time!

It is estimated that 4% of the world population is Moslem.

Poland seizes, and still holds, Silesia, a semi-independent nation between them and Germany.

The Faroe Islands, located halfway between Denmark and Iceland, as well as Iceland itself, accept Christianity.

A brilliant scientist and mathematician, Sylvester II becomes the first French Pope. During his four year reign he diligently fights corruption and supports science and scholarship, leading his enemies to accuse him of being in league with demons. Having written several advanced mathematical papers, he improves the abacus, making it popular in Europe. Realizing that the Hindu-Arabic numbers (which we use today) are better than Roman Numerals, he furthered their use, improving future mathematical and scientific work. Incredibly, he couldn’t comprehend “zero,†leaving it out of his abacus.
He invented the modern globe, getting the equator and some zones exactly correct, but being a little off on the polar regions. He used this globe to chart the stars so accurately that the globe could predict when and where different constellations would first become visible as the earth revolved around the Sun.
On December 31, 999, he nervously celebrated Mass, fearing that the world would end during the ceremony, but nothing happened.

But while the world did not come to an end after 999, this thread did. I want to thank the dozen or so people who have been following along. Tomorrow, from scratch, I will start a new thread entitled, "The Second Millennium."
 
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