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China and the Silk Road - Earliest Development of Civilization and Overland Trade with the West
A Chronology of the Silk Road
Estimated 500 BC - 14Th Century Emergence Maritime Trading Routes
This page was last updated on: December 5, 2018
This page was last updated on: December 5, 2018
A Magnificent Liao Dynasty Era (907 AD -1125 AD) carved Statue of GuanYin, the Goddes of Mercy (Clay on Stone). At the Shanxi Provincial Museum of History, TaiYuan, Shanxi Province.
AD 906-1279: The Silk Road of the Sung Dynasty and the Mongol Empire.
1206 AD: Mongolian tribes unify and begin to conquer Asia under the rule of Genghis Khan.
Silk Road (5c) The T’ang Dynasty (705 AD - 907 AD): The later Tang Dynasty
December 16, 705 AD: Having seen the completion of the landmark Da Cien Pagoda in the southern district of the Capital, the by then truly legendary and equally notorious Empress Wu Zetian (武則天) dies in Luoyang , in Henan Province. Although thoroughly resented by (especially) Confucian Literati who had been marginalized under her Government, she was buried with full Imperial Honors on orders of Wu Zetian's son Emperor Zhongzong. On July 2, of the year 706 she was interred at Liangshan Mountain (梁山) in a joint burial with Emperor Gaozong at the Qianling Mausoleum (乾陵), now a legendary tourist spot in Qian County of Xianyang City in Shaanxi Province . To date both tombs remain unopened and not archeologically excavated. Emperor Zhongzong also buried at Qianling his brother Li Xián (the former Crown Prince murdered on orders of Wu Zetian), son Li Chongrun, and daughter Li Xianhui (李仙蕙) the Lady Yongtai (posthumously honoured as the Princess Yongtai)- all victims of Wu Zetian's cruel rule.
707 AD - 710 AD: In the Jinglong Period (707-710) under the reign of Tang Emperor Zhongzong, 2 years after the Monk Yi Jing (義淨)(Life: 635 AD - 713 AD) had become abbot of Jianfu Temple , the “Jianfu Temple Pagoda” - today better known as the "Small Wild Goose Pagoda" of the city of Xi'An , was built in order to store the some 400 Buddhist scriptures sutras that this monk had brought from India and his journey of some 30 odd countries in south-eastern and southern Asia. When Yi Jing dies in the year 713 AD, he has translated some 56 texts written in 230 volumes and also leaves a biography, which to this date holds vital historic clues about ancient contacts between Chinese and Indian Civilizations and about maritime sea routes in South Asia.
The Small Goose Pagoda, a brick stone tower, has withstood over 70 heavy earthquakes since has many times been damaged, among things losing its top floors, but still stands to this day.
In 837 AD: Halley's Comet may have passed as close as 0.03 AU (3.2 million miles; 5.1 million kilometers) from Earth, by far its closest known approach. Its tail may have stretched 60 degrees across the sky. It was recorded by astronomers in (Tang Dynasty) China , Japan, Germany, the Byzantine Empire, and the Middle East.
25 March, 717 AD: Emperor Theodosios III is deposed after a reign of 1 year and 10 months. He is succeeded by the 32-year-old Leo III the Isaurian, a general (strategos) of the Anatolic Theme (modern Turkey). Theodosios and his son enter the clergy, and he probably becomes bishop of Ephesus. Leo brings an end to the Twenty Years' Anarchy in the Byzantine Empire, which marks the beginning of the so-called Isaurian Dynasty.
With the Dynasty already in complete disarray since prior to his Reign, Emperor Zhaozong of Tang (1st Reign Period: 888 AD - 1 December, 900 AD) descends into depression and (alledged) alcoholism. Apparently mentally instable, he is deposed by a powerful Court Clique ultimately led Eunuch General Liu Jishu. In an attempt to take control of the Dynasty, Liu Jishui and his plotters install son of Zhaozong, Li Yu to the Throne in order to replace the father and salvage the Dynasty. However, the new rule is soon aborted and a counter-coup restores Emperor Tang Zhaozong to the throne to rule until his death by assassination on orders of Liu Jishu in 904 AD. Son of Tang Zhaozong Li Zuo is then made crown prince and subsequently Emperor.
In Mid-March of the year 852 AD Chinese Chronicles record the passing of a bright "star", dragging a 75 degrees tail in the sky. Later scientists determine it was likely a sun grazing comet.
905 AD: In the spring of the year 905 one of the Great Comets in (recorded) human history appears. As recorded in the Chinese Annal named T'ang Hui Yao (dated to 961 AD) and later again in the Qin T'ang Shui (1060 AD) the object is first observed in China on May 18, when it was said to have been as bright as Venus while trailing a tale which took up some 50 degrees in the sky. Subsequently its passing is recorded in Japan, in (Islamic) Iraq (Al Muntazam Fi Al-Ta' Rikh, dated 1201 AD) as well as in Europe. The spectacular comet passing is noted in Byzantium (Constantinople, today: Istanbul, Turkey) where the sighting is immediately linked to the birth of the Holy Roman Emperor Contstantine VII, who had been born into the world earlier on that same day (Later Byzantine texts will hold that both the birth and death of Constantine had been foretold by visiting comets).
Spectacularly, the comet remains visible for months until last being sighted on June 13.
906 AD: Fall of T’ang Dynasty ; rise of Five Dynasties (AD 907-960). At some time during the fall of the Dynasty and its Capital, the Temple of Great Benefaction in the southern district of Chang An burns down to the ground, however its magnificent 7 storey pagoda remains standing amidst the turmoil.
-----> History of the Silk Road :
Map of the Modern Silk Road, connecting Istanbul in Turkey via highways, roads and railways to Beijing in the Far East. Travel beyond that point is possible to Vladivostok, Dalian and Dandong in Liaoning Province, or Pyongyang in North Korea, DPRK.
On the Western side, Istanbul connects via former Yugoslavia to the European Railway network.
YouTube Video: Yang guan - Sun Gate; China's Sun Gate Revives (2013).
9th-10th c.: Silk Road traffic and Khotan both decline as Buddhism begins to wane. Arabs take over Silk Road trade domains and start acting as middlemen, raising prices. As a result the Maritime Routes, the “Sea Silk Route” to China become more economically attractive.
At some time during the 10Th Century, the once might western Gate of the Tang Dynasty Empire (ultimately established during the Han Dynasty (220 BC - 221 AD) , the Yang Guan (Sun Gate) due south west of Dunhuang (Blazing Beacon) already out of function for some time, is abandoned entirely. The Sun Gate Beacon Tower and the mighty Fortress supporting it start a long process of degredation and erosion by the desert winds and sands. What has been to far western border of China for well over a 1000 years disappears. Centuries later the border of China will be reestablished at Jiayuguan 100's of miles eastward during the advent of the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD) .
1006 AD to 1165 AD, the Western Taklamakan Desert City and former Chinese Vasal State, the City of Hotan falls into the hands of the advancing Muslim Kara-Khanid Khanate arising in the West.
The Silk Road southern path along the Taklamakan Desert falls out of control of the Han Chinese and the process of Islamification of the "Xinjiang" region goes through a new stage.
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715 AD: The first encounter between the Tang Chinese and the Umayyad Arabs (Arabic: ٱلْخِلافَةُ ٱلأُمَوِيَّة, trans. Al-Khilāfatu al-ʾUmawiyyah) had occurred in 715 AD when Ikhshid, the king of Fergana Valley, was deposed with the help of the Arabs of the Umayyad Caliphate and a new king Alutar was installed on the throne. The deposed king fled to Kucha (seat of Anxi Protectorate)(in current day Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region ), and sought Chinese intervention. The Chinese sent 10,000 troops under Zhang Xiaosong to Ferghana (in current day Kyrgyzstan ). He defeated Alutar and the Arab occupation force at Namangan and reinstalled Ikhshid on the throne.
717 AD: Having aligned with the Tibetan Empire against the Chinese of the Tang Dynasty, the Umayyad Arabs along with their Turgesh and Tibetan allies besieged the two cities of Buat-ɦuɑn (Aksu) and Dai-dʑiᴇk-dʑiᴇŋ (Uqturpan) in the Aksu region ( Aksu City Prefecture , on the eastern side of the Tianshan Mountains near the border with Kyrgyzstan in Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region) which was under Chinese protection. The commander of China's four Anxi garrisons in Central Asia, Tang Jiahui, sent two armies: one composed of Tang irregular troops led by Jiahui himself and other composed of Karluk horsemen led by Ashina Xin. In the resulting battle, Arab army was heavily defeated and forced to retreat. Many Arab troops were taken prisoner but were subsequently released after the Caliphate paid a ransom in gold for their release. As a result of the battle, the Arabs were expelled from Northern Transoxiana. The Turgesh submitted to the Tang and subsequently attacked the Arabs in Ferghana. For their loyalty, the Tang emperor conferred imperial titles on the Turgesh khagan Suluk and awarded him the city of Suyab in return for his loyalty. With Chinese backing the Turgesh launched punitive attacks into Arab territory eventually wresting all of Ferghana from the Arabs with the exception of a few forts.
Xinjiang Autonomous Region Geographic Map 1A
A Geographic overview Map of the entire Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region and large parts of neighboring Nations of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, The Republic of Mongolia, as well as bordering Chinese Provinces and Territories of Inner-Mongolia AR, Gansu Province, Qinghai Province and Tibet Autonomous Region. This Map Includes Cities and Towns (shown by size), Main Monuments & landmarks of Xinjiang AR, the Taklamakan Desert in South-Central Xinjiang AR, major highways, provincial railroads, a variety of border passes in the Karakoram Mountain Range and the Tian Shan Mt. Range, plus main mountains, waterways, rivers and lakes of this large region.
845 AD : Persecution of Buddhists by Muslims begins in Western and Central China. Anti-Buddhist movement of the 9th century: 4,600 temples reported to be destroyed, with 260,500 monks and nuns defrocked. Large Scale Vandalism of Buddhist Statues at LongMen Caves, near Luoyang in Henan Province.
717 AD: Shortly after the demise of Emperor Theodosios III the Arab–Byzantine War ignites: Muslim general Maslama ibn Abd al-Malik leads his army of 80,000 men from Pergamum to Abydos, where he crosses the Hellespont. To prevent interference by the Bulgars, or by any
Byzantine forces in Thrace, he sends part of his army to a covering position near Adrianople; with his main body, Maslama builds siege lines to blockade Constantinople, which is protected by the massive Theodosian Walls.
August 15, 717: Siege of Constantinople, Capital of the Byzantine Empire, begins. The capital controls the Bosporus which forms the access between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and is defended by a garrison of some 25 thousand men. Leo III orders the granaries to be restocked and siege engines started. The Arab besiegers are suffering immense losses due to disease and the attrition of siege warfare.
September 1, 717 AD: A Muslim armada, consisting of 1,800 ships commanded by Admiral Suleiman, sails into the Sea of Marmara and drops anchor below the sea walls of Constantinople, to supply their forces ashore. Leo III orders the Byzantine fleet to sally forth from their protected harbors with Greek fire, setting alight the thickly-packed Muslim ships. Many vessels burst into flames, while others collide with each other before sinking.
December 24, 717 AD: A destructive earthquake, with six months of aftershocks, affected Syria and Mesopotamia.
Spring of 718 AD: A Muslim supply fleet of 760 ships under Sufyan arrives from Egypt and North Africa, concealing itself along the Asiatic shore. The Byzantines learn of the fleet's location from defecting Christian Egyptians sailors. Emperor Leo III sends the Byzantine navy to intercept the fleet; his Greek fire ships destroy the enemy vessels in the Sea of Marmara and seize their supplies on shore, denying the sieging army vital provisions. On land the Byzantine troops ambush an advancing Arab army, and destroy it in the hills around Sophon, south of Nicomedia (modern Turkey). The Arab besiegers are still suffering from hunger and pestilence.
August 15, 718 AD: Lifting of the Siege of Constantinople: A Bulgar relief force attacks the siege lines at Constantinople, on the west side of the Bosporus. Contemporary chroniclers report that at least 22,000–32,000 Arabs are killed during the Bulgarian attacks. Caliph Umar II is forced to lift the siege after 13 months; the Muslim army attempts to withdraw back through Anatolia, while the rest escapes by sea in the remaining vessels. The Arab fleet suffers further casualties to storms, and an eruption of the volcano of Thera. According to Arab sources 150,000 Muslims perish during the campaign.
In 719 AD: In the Byzantine Empire Ex-Emperor Anastasios II starts a revolt against Leo III with considerable support, including auxiliaries provided by Tervel, emperor (khagan) of the Bulgarian Empire. His attack on Constantinople fails; Anastasios is captured and is put to death (by beheading), on orders of Leo.
720 AD: After a crushing defeat at the battle of Aksu in 717 AD, Umayyad forces achieve the conquest of Transoxiana: The first Turgesh attack on Muslim-Arabs in Transoxiana leads to the siege and relief of the Umayyad garrison at the fortress of Qasr al-Bahili, near Samarkand (in current day Uzbekistan )(or 721).
February 10, 720 AD: Caliph Umar II is poisoned by a servant, and dies in Aleppo (Syria) after a 3-year reign. He is succeeded by his cousin Yazid II. In the same year the Umayyad Caliphate reaches its greatest extent in Spain, controlling all of it except a small region in the north controlled by the Kingdom of Asturias.
724 AD: Having been defeated in Transoxiana in 720 AD, The Turgesh Khaganate (Türügesh, Chinese: 突騎施/突骑施) strikes back by scoring a major victory over the Umayyad Arabs, in the "Day of Thirst" near Khujand (in modern Tajikistan ).
725 AD: In Chang'An, Capital of Tang Dynasty China, Yi Xing (一行)(Life: 683 AD - 727 AD), a Buddhist monk, mechanical engineer and astronomer, becomes the first person in world history to apply a clockwork escapement mechanism, to provide rotating motion to his astronomical armillary sphere.
726 AD: Muslim forces under Maslama ibn Abd al-Malik resume their expedition against Anatolia (modern Turkey) continuing the (Umayyad) Arab-Byzantine War. In a large-scale raid they plunder the fortress city of (Today seat of Kayseri Province in Central Anatolia Region, Turkey).
727 AD: Umayyad Muslim forces under Mu'awiya ibn Hisham (son of Umayyad caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik) penetrate deep into Asia Minor, and sack the fortress city of Gangra, but unsuccessfully lay siege to Nicaea (northwestern Anatolia).
727 AD: Arab–Khazar War: The semi-nomadic Turkic people of Central Asia known as Khazars (Persian: خزر, Azerbaijani: Xəzərlər; Turkish: Hazarlar; Bashkir: Хазарлар; Tatar: Хәзәрләр, Xäzärlär; Hebrew: כוזרים, Kuzarim; Xazar; Ukrainian: Хоза́ри, Chozáry; Russian: Хаза́ры, Hazáry; Hungarian: Kazárok; Xazar; Greek: Χάζαροι, Cházaroi; Latin: Gazari / Gasani) who occupied the Volga-Don steppes to the eastern Crimea and the northern Caucasus drive back the Umayyad Muslim invasion, led by Maslama ibn Abd al-Malik, into Mesopotamia. Reinforced there with Syrian troops, Maslama counterattacks and takes (current day) Georgia, establishing the northern frontier on the Caucasus.
729 AD: Battle of Baykand: The Turkic Turgesh khaganate and its Soghdian allies confront the Umayyad Arab Caliphate at Baykand, a town near Bukhara in Transoxiana (in modern Uzbekistan ). In the event the Umayyad Arabs narrowly escape disaster when being encircled and cut off from water by the Turgesh, but nevertheless manage to push through to reach Bukhara in Transoxiana, laying siege to this city.
729 AD: Siege of Kamarja: While the Umayyad Arab forces campaign across the Oxus River in order to subdue revolting Sogdian Princes supported by the Turgesh, the Turgesh and Sogdians counterattack. A small Arab garrison defends the fortress of Kamarja (near Samarkand) against the Turgesh for 58 days, ending with a negotiated withdrawawal of the Umayyad Arabs to Samarkand .
September and October, 730 AD: Umayyad Caliphate forces continue their war on the Byzantine Empire sacking the Byzantine fortress of Charsianon in central Anatolia region (modern Turkey), which remains a contested stronghold during the next century of Byzantine–Arab warfare.
December 9, 730 AD: Battle of Marj Ardabil: In retaliation for Umayyad Caliphate attacks on their homeland, the Khazars under Barjik (son of the Khazar khagan) invade the provinces of Jibal (Arabic: جبال ; "The Mountains") and Adharybaydjian (Persian: آذربایجان Āzarbāijān ; Azerbaijani: آذربایجان Azərbaycan ; today also known as Iranian Azerbaijan) in current day western Iran. He defeats an Umayyad army (25,000 men) in the plains outside of Ardabil (Iran), killing al-Jarrah ibn Abdallah. The victorious Barjik mounted his head on top of the throne from which he commanded the battles of his Middle Eastern campaign. According to the historian Agapius, the Arabs suffered 20,000 dead and twice that number captured, a figure which probably includes the population of Ardabil and the surrounding territories.Following their victory, the Khazars occupied Ardabil. The next year, however, Barjik led an army to Mosul (in current day northern Iraq (Kurdistan)) and was defeated. According to Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari and other Arab historians, the Muslims were so enraged by Barjik's desecration of their commander's head that they fought with extra vigor. Having been defeated at Mosul the Khazar army withdrew north of the Caucasus Mountains.
731 AD: Battle of the Defile (or Battle of the Pass (Arabic: وقعة الشعب Waqʿat al-Shʿib) is fought at Tashtakaracha Pass (One of the most detailed accounts of the entire Umayyad era survives in the History of al-Tabari which also records the Battle of the Defile in detail.): An Umayyad relief army (28,000 men) led by newly appointed governor of Khurasan, Junayd ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Murri, is sent to Samarkand (in modern Uzbekistan), which is besieged by the Turgesh. On their way to the city, the Umayyad Muslim army is ambushed near the Zarafshan Range, at the Tashtakaracha Pass.
Eventually, the remainder of the Umayyad army manages to reach Samarkand. Junayd remained in Samarkand for about four months, until October 731, allowing his army to recover. The Turgesh meanwhile made for Bukhara , which they besieged. Junayd again resolved to meet them in battle, and managed to inflict some defeats on the Turgesh in early November and raise the siege of Bukhara, which he entered on the day of Mihragan. Junayd and his army then returned to Merv, leaving a token garrison of 800 men behind in Samarkand. Once the Turgesh had withdrawn north for the winter, he evacuated the city of its Muslim inhabitants. The battle of the defile and aftermath result in a Pyrrhic victory for the Umayyad Muslims, with heavy casualties for the Umayyad army, halting Muslim expansion in Central Asia for almost two decades.
734 AD: Death of the Bilge Khagan (Old Turkic: 𐰋𐰃𐰠𐰏𐰀 𐰴𐰍𐰣, Bilge qaγan ; Chinese: 毗伽可汗)(Life: 683 AD - 25 November 734 AD). The Bilge Khan was the Khagan of the Second Turkic Khaganate (also Göktürks or Turgesh)(682 AD - 744 AD). His accomplishments were described in the Orkhon inscriptions. During it's initial years the Turkic Khanganate was centered in Mongolia , however during the (roughly) last 3 decades of the rule of the Bilge Khan it had expanded it's influence westward as far as Samarkand (in current day Uzbekistan ). The rule of the Bilge Khan formed the last highpoint of the Turkic Khanganate, before their loss of territory in the west to the advancing Umayyad Arab forces and the demise of Khanganate in 744 AD. The Bilge Khan was succeeded by his elder son Yollig Khagan (Reign: 734-?), and younger son Tengri Qaghan (Reign: ?-741). Yollig was responsible for at least one of the Orkhon inscriptions. Tengri was a minor and dominated by his mother, Po Beg, and her favorite. Neither khagan could hold the tribes together leading to the ultimate demise of the Turkic Khaganate in 744 AD.
735 AD: Completion of the erection of the Orkhon Tablets (Khöshöö Tsaidam Monuments, today part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape) in the Orkhon River (Mongolian: Орхон гол, Orkhon gol) Valley in Mongolia (Bilge had already erected Kül Tigin's monument and Bilge's son erects Bilge's monument.).
737 AD: In the Second Arab–Khazar War (722 AD - 737 AD): The Khazars led by Hazer Tarkhan defeat the Umayyad Muslims near the Volga River, and force them to retreat. By holding the Caucasus against Islamic aggression, the Khazars delay the Islamic conquest of Eastern Europe, and thwart the Umayyad desire to attack the Byzantine Capital of Constantinople from the north.
722 AD: Start of the second Second Arab–Khazar War (722 AD - 737 AD).
September 30, 737 AD: While the Second Arab–Khazar War (722 AD - 737 AD) sees its final stage, Battle of the Baggage takes place between the Turkic Khazar and Umayyad Muslim Forces: The Turgesh led by their Khan Suluk drive back an Umayyad invasion of Khuttal, pursue them south of the River Oxus (northern Afghanistan ), and capture their baggage train. In the winter, the Turgesh (Turkic) and their Transoxianan allies launch a major counter-invasion, but are halted.
Around the year 737 AD: The Tang Dynasty Emperor Xuan Zong (Life: 8 September 685 AD - 3 May 762 AD) discards the policy of conscripting men into the Chinese army to be replaced every three years, replacing them with long-service soldiers who are more battle-hardened and efficient, there after making the Chinese Forces much more effective in the field.
738 AD: Death of Suluk (also Sul-lu or Sulu), Turkic ruler (Khagan) of the Turgesh, who had split off from the Turkic Khaganate following the defeat of the Western Turks by the Tang Dynasty in 658 AD. Elected as the new Khan of the Turgesh in 717 by the tribal chiefs, Suluk was the main Turkic tribe leader and a warlord who defended Transoxiana against the invasion of the Umayyad Arab armies in the early 8th century. Suluk died at the hands of Baga Tarkhan, one of his relatives after which the Turkish Khaganate descended into civil war, which divided the Turgesh into two rival factions: the Yellow Turgesh and Black Turgesh. Bilge Khagan, the last of the able Turkic Khagans, was already dead, and with the death of Suluk, Transoxiana was opened to Arabic conquest. Around this time there was a power shift in the Caliphate, as the Ummayad Dynasty was supplanted by the Abbasid Dynasty creating the Abbasid Caliphate (Arabic: ٱلْخِلافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّة al-Khilāfatu al-‘Abbāsiyyah)(Officially 750 AD - 1258 AD). The policy of the Abbasid Caliphs was more peaceful than that of the Ummayads and Arab control of Transoxiana was limited to the occupation of a few forts.
740 AD: Umayyad Arab-Byzantine War continues with the Battle of Akroinon: Following the disastrous Battle of Sebastopolis (see 692), Emperor Leo III has largely confined himself to a defensive strategy, while the Umayyad armies regularly launch raids into Byzantine-held Anatolia. Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik assembles an expeditionary force (90,000 men) under his son Sulayman ibn Hisham. One of these armies, 20,000 men strong under Abdallah al-Battal, is defeated at Akroinon (modern-day Afyon) by the Byzantines, led by Leo and his son, the future emperor Constantine V. About 6,800 Muslim Arabs, however, resist and manage to conduct an orderly retreat to Synnada (Phrygia). On October 26 of 740 AD an earthquake strikes Constantinople and the surrounding countryside, causing destruction to the city's land walls and buildings.
Around 740 AD: Much to the delight of the citizens of Chang'an, the Chinese government of the Tang Dynasty (618 AD - 907 AD) orders fruit trees to be planted along every main avenue of the city, which enriches not only the diets of the people but also the surroundings.
740 AD: The Khazars (Persian: خزر, Azerbaijani: Xəzərlər; Turkish: Hazarlar; Bashkir: Хазарлар; Tatar: Хәзәрләр, Xäzärlär; Hebrew: כוזרים, Kuzarim: Xazar; Ukrainian: Хоза́ри, Chozáry; Russian: Хаза́ры, Hazáry; Hungarian: Kazárok; Xazar; Greek: Χάζαροι, Cházaroi; Latin: Gazari /Gasani), the semi-nomadic nation of Turkic Peoples of the Black Sea steppe, though not ethnically Jewish, voluntarily convert to Judaism.
June 18, 741 AD: Emperor Leo III ("the Isaurian") dies of dropsy at Constantinople, after a 24-year reign that has saved the Byzantine Empire and delivered Eastern Europe from the threat of an Arab conquest. He is succeeded by his son Constantine V, who invades Syria, but has to withdraw to deal with a civil war in Asia Minor.
741 AD: Artabasdos, Byzantine general (strategos) of the Armeniac theme, defeats the new Emperor Constantine V and advances on Constantinople, where he is crowned emperor deposing Constantine V. He secures the support of the themes of Thrace and Opsikion, and abandons Leo's religious policy of iconoclasm. Constantine seeks the support of the Anatolic theme.
742 AD: Tang Emperor Emperor Xuan Zong (Life: Born 8 September 685 AD in Luoyang - 3 May 762 AD)(Reign: September 713 AD - 12 August 756 AD) begins to favor Taoism over Buddhism, adopting the new reign title Tianbao ("Heavenly Treasures" (742 AD - 756 AD)), to indicate his divine mandate. The Tianbao reign period however is regarded by historians as far less successful as the previous Kaiyuan Reign period under the same Emperor Xianzong. As Emperor Xuanzong turned his attention to pleasure-seeking with his favorite concubine Yang Guifei (simplified Chinese: 杨玉环; traditional Chinese: 楊玉環; pinyin: Yáng Yùhuán)(Life: 26 June, 719 AD - 15 July 756 AD) and her family, he paid less and less attention to the running of his empire, and much of his power fell into the hands of the corrupt Li Linfu (who was succeeded by Lady Yang's dissolute cousin Yang Guozhong) and the eunuch Gao Lishi. The total number of enlisted troops in the Tang armies has risen to about half a million, due to Xuan Zongs's earlier military reforms. In that same year the municipal census of the Chinese capital city Chang'an and its metropolitan area of Jingzhou (including small towns in the vicinity), the New Book of Tang records that in this year there are 362,921 registered families with 1,960,188 persons, making the Tang Capital likely the largest city in the world.
Statue of the famous and notorious lady Yang Kuei-Fei at the main pond of the Huaqing leisure Palace in Lintung, the place where she used to spend her time with the Emperor Xuanzong. The modern day statue is set in the large pond of the restored place in front of a backdrop of Palace Pavilions and the Tiger Mountain.
Also in 742: Li Bai (李白)(also Li Po or Li Bo and Li Taibai (太白))(Life: 701 AD (in Suyab (碎葉) of ancient Chinese Central Asia (present-day Kyrgyzstan ) - 762 AD (Dangtu, Anhui Province ), Chinese poet, is summoned by Xuan Zong to attend the imperial court. He and his friend the poet Du Fu (Chinese: 杜甫)(Life: 712 AD – 770 AD) become the two most prominent figures in the flourishing of Chinese poetry, during the mid-Tang Dynasty. Du Fu will go on to become recognised as the greatest of all poets in Chinese history.
February 6, 743: Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik dies after a 19-year reign, in which the Arab expansion in Europe has been stopped and the Umayyad Caliphate has come under pressure from the Turks in Central Asia and Berbers in North Africa. He is succeeded by his nephew Al-Walid II (Arabic: الوليد بن يزيد)(Life: 709 AD - 17 April 744 AD), who has Khalid al-Qasri (Arabic: خالد بن عبد الله القسري), former Governor of Mecca and later of Governor of Iraq with a reputation for un-Islamic beliefs, support for Christianity and even atheism (zindiq), imprisoned and tortured twice. Khalid al-Qasri succumbs to his treatment and dies later in that same year.
744 AD: Ignoring messages about a planned assassination plot against his person, Caliph Al-Walid II (Arabic: الوليد بن يزيد)(Life: 709 AD - 17 April 744 AD) finds himself besieged in his castle outside the city of Damascus. He is defeated and killed by Arab forces under Sulayman ibn Hisham. Al-Walid is succeeded by his cousin Yazid III, who dies shortly after of a brain tumor. In December Marwan ibn Muhammad (Arabic: مروان بن محمد بن مروان بن الحكم)(Life: 691 AD - 6 August 750 AD) rebels against Yazid's designated successor Ibrahim ibn al-Walid, defeats the Umayyad forces under Sulayman ibn Hisham, and then becomes Caliph Marwan II and the last Umayyad ruler to rule the united Caliphate before the Abbasid Revolution toppled the Umayyad Dynasty (661 AD - 750 AD).
Around the year 745 AD: Bubonic plague in Asia Minor kills 1/3 of the population, and subsequently sweeps through the Peloponnese (Balkan Peninsula).
745 AD: While China has accomplishments in poetry, painting and printing, its monarchical system tends toward failure. Emperor Xuan Zong has fallen under the spell of his son's wife Yang Guifei (one of the Four Beauties of Ancient China), a Taoist priestess. He is ignoring the economy and the Tang Dynasty is declining. Meanwhile local military Governors gain more powers leading to virtual local fiefdoms.
745 AD: While Tang Emperor Xuan Zong dables in Chang'An the second Turkic Khaganate is replaced by the newly founded Uyghur Khaganate (also Uyghur Empire or Toquz Oghuz Country) which controls most of the former Turkic Khaganate territory, creating an empire that extends from Lake Balkash (modern Kazakhstan ) to Lake Baikal (Mongolia/ Today: Siberia, Russian Federation). Having rebelled in 742 AD (together wit the Karluks, and Basmyls), In 745 the Uyghurs killed the last Khagan of the Göktürks, Baimei Kagan Cooloon bey, and sent his head to the Tang Emperor. The Uyghur are in alliance with the Tang and nominally subject to Chinese suzerainty (approximate date).
742 AD: The Uyghurs, Karluks, and Basmyls rebelled against the Second Turkic Khaganate.
744 AD: The Basmyls captured the Turk capital of Otukan and killed the reigning Özmiş Khagan. Later that year a Uyghur-Karluk alliance formed against the Basmyls and defeated them. Their khagan was killed and the Basmyls ceased to exist as a people. Hostilities between the Uyghurs and Karluks then forced the Karluks to migrate west into Zhetysu and conflict with the Turgesh, whom they defeated and conquered in 766 AD.
746 AD: Umayyad Arab–Byzantine Wars: Taking advantage of discontent among the Muslim Arabs, Emperor Constantine V invades Syria, and captures Germanikeia (modern Turkey). He organises the resettlement of part of the local Christian population in Thrace. In the same year the Byzantine navy scores a crushing victory over the Umayyad Egyptian fleet at the Battle of Keramaia (a harbor of Cyprus). As a result Egypt ceased to be a major base for naval expeditions against Byzantium during the century after Keramaia.
746 AD: In the Umayyad Caliphate: Battle of Kafartuta: Caliph Marwan II defeats and kills Al-Dahhak ibn Qays al-Shaybani, leader of the Kharijites (Arabic: الخوارج, al-Khawārij, singular خارجي, khāriji), Kharijites, or the ash-Shurah (Arabic: الشراة, translit. ash-Shurāh "the Exchangers"), in Upper Mesopotamia. The rebels withdraw across the River Tigris, escaping destruction.
747 AD: Umayyad Arab–Byzantine War: Emperor Constantine V destroys the Arab fleet off Cyprus, with the aid of ships from the Italian city-states, breaking the naval power of the Umayyad Caliphate.
June 9, 747 AD: Abbasid Revolution: Abu Muslim Khorasani, Persian military leader from Khorasan (a historical region lying in northeast of Greater Persia, including part of Central Asia and Afghanistan), begins an open revolt against Umayyad rule, which is carried out under the sign of the Black Standard. Close to 10,000 Muslims, primarily Khorasani Persians are under his command, when the hostilities officially begin in Merv (modern Turkmenistan ).
747 AD: Chinese Tang Dynasty forces under Gao Xianzhi (a Korean in Tang employ) defeat the Arabs and Tibetans in the West by means of rapid military expeditions over the Pamir Mountains and Hindu Kush. About 72 local Indian and Sogdian kingdoms become Tang vassals. Over the next two years he establishes complete control in East Asia for the Emperor Xuanzong. Around this time, Emperor Xuan Zong abolishes the death penalty in Tang Dynasty China.
February 14, 748 AD: In the ongoing Abbasid Revolution which will topple the Umayyad Arab Dynasty, the Hashimi rebels under Abu Muslim Khorasani take Merv (Today in Turkmenistan), capital of the Umayyad province Khorasan (modern Iran), marking the consolidation of the Abbasid revolt. Qahtaba ibn Shabib al-Ta'i takes the cities Nishapur and Rey, defeating an Umayyad army (10,000 men) at Gorgan.
December 9, 748 AD: Nasr ibn Sayyar, Arab governor of Khorasan, dies after a 10-year administration in which he has fought vigorously against dissident tribes, Turgesh neighbors, and the Abbasids. Nasr had imposed poll taxes (jizya) on non-Muslims, and introduced a system of land taxation for Muslim Arabs.
748 AD: The city of Baalbek (modern Lebanon) is sacked with great slaughter.
748 AD: An earthquake strikes the Middle East from northern Egypt to northwestern Mesopotamia, destroying many remnants of Byzantine culture (approximate date).
749 AD: In the ongoing Abbasid Revolution Muslim forces under Qahtaba ibn Shabib al-Ta'i defeat a large Umayyad army (50,000 men) at Isfahan (in modern day Iran), and go on to invade Iraq , taking the city of Kufa. On October 28, 749 AD Abdullah ibn Muhammad is proclaimed Caliph at Kufa by his supporters and adopts the title of as-Saffah (the "Slaughterer of Blood" or "The Blood Shedder").
749 AD or 750 AD: Abdallah ibn Abd al-Malik, Umayyad prince, is executed by crucifixion on orders of the first Abbasid Caliph, Abdullah ibn Muhammad, at Al-Hirah.
January 18, 749 AD: Galilee earthquake: Palestine and eastern Transjordan are devastated by an earthquake. in the earthquake the cities of Tiberias, Beit She'an, Hippos and Pella are largely destroyed and many other cities of the Levant were heavily damaged. Historical sources report tsunami's in the Mediterranean Sea and say that casualties in Jerusalem numbered in the 1000's while many buildings, among them the Al-Aqsa Mosque, were severely damaged. The total number of lives lost must have been well over 10 thousand.
January 25, 750 AD: Battle of the Zab: Abbasid forces under Abdallah ibn Ali defeat the Umayyads near the Great Zab River. Members of the Umayyad house are hunted down and killed. Defeated by his rivals, Caliph Marwan II flees westward to Egypt, perhaps attempting to reach Al-Andalus (Iberian Peninsula), where there are still significant Umayyad armies. On the 6th of August, Marwan II is caught and killed at Faiyum (Arabic: الفيوم El Fayyūm ; Coptic: ̀Ⲫⲓⲟⲙ or Ⲫⲓⲱⲙ Phiom or Phiōm) some 100 kilometers south-west of Cairo by supporters of the Abbasid Caliph As-Saffah. Almost the entire Umayyad Dynasty is assassinated; only Prince Abd al-Rahman I escapes to Al-Andalus. The Abbasids assume control of the Islamic world and establish their first capital at Kufa.
June, 751 AD: In the Byzantine Empire, Leo IV, son of Emperor Constantine V, is crowned co-Emperor at Constantinople. Only a year or so after his mother Irene died, Constanstine's second wife Maria dies at approximately the same time as Leo's coronation.
751 AD: Battle of Talas (Battle of Artlakh)(Chinese: 怛羅斯戰役; Arabic: معركة نهر طلاس): The First recorded encounter (and the last) between Abbasid Arab Forces (allied with the Tibetan Empire) and Chinese forces takes place at the Talas River (Chinese: Daluosi (怛羅斯, Talas), west of the Tianshan ("Heavenly") Mountains. The rulers of Tashkent and Ferghana are both nominal vassals of the Tang Dynasty; the Chinese have intervened on behalf of Ferghana in a conflict between the two; the Abbasid Caliphate, competing with the Chinese for control of Central Asia, has become involved. Arab forces from Samarkand have marched to challenge a Chinese army (30,000 men) under Gao Xianzhi. Gao has had a series of military victories in the region, but his Turkish contingent, Karluk mercenaries, defects vastly tipping the scales in favour of the Abbasid Arabs. Out of 10,000 Tang troops, only 2,000 manage to return from the Talas River to China. The Arabs triumph, and they will remain the dominant force in Transoxiana for the next 150 years. The westward expansion of the Tang Dynasty is abruptly halted and the Battle of the Talas River for control over the Syr Daria Region will be remembered as a historic turning point for the fortunes of the Chinese Tang Dynasty.
751 AD: As an interesting by product of the Battle of the Talas River, Abbasid Arabs acquire the skill of paper making, which they put to good use shortly after the Battle and from the year 751 AD forward. Soon The first paper mill in the Islamic world begins production at Samarkand. Captured craftsmen, taken at the Battle of Talas River, have by some accounts revealed the technique of papermaking (although paper may have arrived from China much earlier via the Silk Road). Arab scholars will use paper to produce translations of Ancient Greek and Roman writings which in turn greatly helps advances in science, geography and learning in the Abbasid Arab Empire.
June 10, 754 AD: Caliph as-Saffah dies of smallpox after a 4-year reign. He is succeeded by his brother al-Mansur, as ruler of the Abbasid Caliphate. Only a few months later, in November 754 AD, Abdallah ibn Ali, governor of Syria and uncle of as-Saffah, launches a claim for the Caliphate, but is defeated by forces loyal to al-Mansur, under Abu Muslim, at Nisibis (Nusaybin (pronounced [nuˈsajbin] ; Akkadian: Naṣibina; Classical Greek: Νίσιβις, Nisibis; Arabic: نصيبين, Kurdish: Nisêbîn; Syriac: ܢܨܝܒܝܢ, Nṣībīn; Armenian: Մծբին, Mtsbin)(in Mardin Province, South East Anatolia Region of modern Turkey).
Around 754 AD: A Tang Dynasty in China census shows that 75% of the Chinese live north of the Chang Jiang (Yangtze) River. The capital of Chang'an has a population of 2 million and more than 25 other cities have well over 500,000 citizens.
February 754 AD: Council of Hieria: Emperor Constantine V summons a Christian council in the palace of Hieria in Constantinople. The council, under the presidency of Bishop Theodosius of Ephesus, supports the policy of Iconoclasm and condemns the use of religious images (icons) in the Byzantine Empire. Constantine increases the persecution of the monasteries; hundreds of monks and nuns are mutilated or put to death.
755 AD: Trisong Detsen (Tibetan: ཁྲི་སྲོང་ལྡེ་བཙན, Wylie: khri srong lde btsan, Lhasa dialect IPA: ʈʂʰisoŋ tetsɛ̃)(Reign: 755 AD - 797 AD (or 804 AD)) becomes the 38th Emperor of Tibet. During his reign he plays a pivotal role in the introduction of Buddhism, and the establishment of the Nyingma or "Ancient" school of Tibetan Buddhism. Among things, having been crowned Emperor he invited various influential Buddhist teachers to come from India to Tibet, thus dispensing the latest versions of the Buddhist beliefs and knowledge to the Tibetan Nation. As a result, under his rule and the guidance of the Indian Buddhist teachers, the first Gompa (Religious School) was established at Samye (Tibetan: བསམ་ཡས་, Wylie: bsam yas, Chinese: 桑耶寺) at Dranang Town in Lhoka (Tibetan: ལྷོ་ཁ།; Chinese: 洛卡; literally: "south of the mountains")(in modern times renamed by Chinese invaders as Shannan City Prefecture, (in T.A.R.) in Tibet. Later, around the year 761 AD and 763 AD, Trisong Detsen also sponsors expeditions to bring in Buddhist knowledge from Tang Dynasty China to Tibet. The expeditions reach what in current times is Chengdu, Sichuan Province where they receive Buddhist Teachings and scriptures. Through documents and personal knowledge Chan Buddhism is transmitted to Tibet. For his important role in establishing Buddhism across the Nation Trisong Detsen becomes immortalised as the second of the Three Dharma Kings (Tibetan: Chosgyal) of Tibet (The Three Dharma Kings were Songtsen Gampo, Trisong Detsen, and Ralpacan).
December 16, 755 AD: Tensions within the Tang Empire Elite come to a boiling point. After a long period of careful preparation, General An Lushan, who made his careeras defender of the Northern Frontiers against the Khitans and other nomadic tribes establishing a militarily powerful fiefdom, begins the Anshi Rebellion against Emperor Xuan Zong of the Tang Dynasty (China). Having declared himself Emperor of Yang, his army surges down from Fanyang (near modern Beijing), and moves rapidly along the Grand Canal. While the powerful rebellious army makes quick headway, Tang Emperor Xuan Zong sends Feng Changqing, governor of Fanyang, to build up defenses at the eastern capital of Luoyang. It was the beginning of a long and devastating civil war which lasted until the year 763, when the rebellious Yan State collapsed.
756 AD or 759 AD: In the Abbasid Caliphate Ibn al-Muqaffa' (Arabic: ابن المقفع)(also Abū Muhammad ʿAbd Allāh Rūzbih ibn Dādūya (Arabic: ابو محمد عبدالله روزبه ابن دادويه), born Rōzbih pūr-i Dādōē Persian: روزبه پور دادویه), Muslim writer and thinker, having written a letter in defence of his rebellious uncle Abdullah Ibn Ali which has offended the Caliph Al-Mansur, is tortured at Basra (modern Iraq ), on orders from Caliph al-Mansur. His limbs are severed and he is thrown, still alive, into a burning oven. For having allegedly written a defense of Manichaean dualism and a few lines of prose written in imitation of the Quran (these historic documents have been ascribed to him) he is remembered as a heretic.
January 756 AD: In the next phase of the An Lushan Rebellion, the rebel army crosses the Yellow River (Huang He) subsequently the Chinese eastern capital of Luoyang falls to the 200,000-strong army of the rebel general An Lushan, who defeats loyalist forces under Feng Changqing. Turning eastward, the armies march on to capture the cities Chenliu and Yingyang (modern Zhengzhou, Henan Province).
January to April 756 AD: In the Battle of Yongqiu (雍丘之戰, pinyin: Yōngqiū zhī zhàn) in current day Qi County (Chinese: 杞县; pinyin: Qǐ Xiàn) near Kaifeng City, a Tang garrison (2,000 men), under Zhang Xun, successfully defend their fortress against the rebel army at Yongqiu. Zang achieves a victory after a 4-month siege, and prevents the rebels from capturing the fertile Tang territory south of the Huai River (Huai He) .
February 5, 756 AD: Having seized the old Tang Capital of Luoyang, An Lushan declares himself emperor at Luoyang, establishing a new empire, called the Great Yan. He pushes on towards the primary Tang capital at Chang'an (now Xi'an). An ddecides to seize southern China, in order to cut off loyalist reinforcements. Meanwhile, numerous soldiers join the rebellion.
May, 756 AD: Emperor Xuan Zong hires 4,000 Muslim mercenaries to help defend Chang'an against the rebels. Loyalist forces take defensible positions in the mountain passes, but chancellor Yang Guozhong gives orders for them to leave their posts. An Lushan crushes the Tang troops, leaving the capital wide open to rebel attack.
July 14, 756 AD: As rebel forces advance through the strategic Tongguan Pass toward the city of Chang'An, Tang Emperor Xuan Zong flees (along with the imperial court) for safety in the direction of Sichuan Province. Meanwhile, The opposing Rebel Emperor of Yan, General An Lushan is ailing (, as is later determined possibly suffering from diabetes). He is nearly blind and suffers from extreme irascibility. July 15, 756: a day into the flight of the Emperor his loyalists and troops force the Emperor Xuanzong to execute Yang Guozhong, who after his order to the troops to abandon their defencesof Chang'An is labelled as a traitor of the worst kind. The Imperial troops present the Xuan Zong Emperor with an ultimatum; either force Yang Guozhong to commit suicide or face an open mutiny. At the same time, the tide finally turns against the Emperor's favourite concubine Yang Guifei, who, envied and unpopular since long, is also blamed forecourt intrigue and the general the demise of the Tang Empire. The fate of Yang Guozhong is sealed. Xuanzong reluctantly permits his consort Yang Guifei to be strangled by his chief eunuch. As the Tang Capital falls to the rebels, An Lushan also has other members of the emperor's family killed.
A ugust 12, 756 AD: Tang Emperor Xuan Zong abdicates the throne after a 44-year reign, the longest single reign period in Tang History. He is succeeded by his son Su Zong, as emperor of the Tang Dynasty. Su Zong immediately hires 22,000 Hui and Uyghur Muslim mercenaries to reinforce his decimated army at Lingzhou ( current day Lingwu (simplified Chinese: 灵武市; traditional Chinese: 靈武市; pinyin: Língwǔ Shì), in Yinchuan City Prefecture, Capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region) .
January 29, 757 AD: Following the successful victory over the Tang Capital Chang'An, ambitions and insecurities about the succession to the throne of leading General An Lushan divide the Rebel Yan Dynasty. As a result, the ailing rebel General An Lushan, leader of the revolt and emperor of Yan, is murdered through a plot of one of his own sons, An Qingxu (安慶緒), Prince of Jin, at Luoyang. Instead of the designated crownprince An Qing'en (安慶恩),(Son of the secondary wife of An Lushan and by then the favourite), An Qingxu claims the position of his father, succeeding him as second Emperor of Yan, and appoints Shi Siming as his deputy. In the aftermath of the murder and change of rulers, the military armies, who have regrouped in Ningxia and Sichuan are able to retake both of the capitals at Chang'An and at Luoyang. The rebel army is forced to retreat eastward and eventually the new Yan Emperor An Qingxu finds himself cornered and besieged.
April 759 AD: Having lost Chang'An and Luoyang, as well as the Shan Commandery (陝郡, roughly modern Sanmenxia, Henan Province) to advancing Tang Forces in alliance with troops of the Uyghur Khanate (Huige), The Yan Emperor has been forced on the retreat towards Yecheng (in current day Handan City Prefectur e of Hebei Province) where he finds himself cornered and besieged. After a complicated battle resulting in the lifting of the siege of Yecheng, Yan Emperor An Qingxu finds himself confronting the General Shi Siming, who earlier in the same year had submitted himself to the Tang, but now has regained strength and has gone rogue. Facing superior forces and a superior leader An Qingxu tries to offer the throne of Yan to Shi Siming. The latter however declines. Yet, not much later (April 10) Shi Siming accuses the Yan Emperor An Qingxu of cowardice, murder of his father and usurping of the Yan throne, after which Shi then executed An Qingxu as well as his four brothers, Gao, Sun, and Cui. He took over An's territory and troops and soon claimed for himself the title of emperor of Yan.
March 9, 757 AD: A major earthquake strikes Palestine and Syria.
757 AD: Battle of Suiyang: A Tang garrison (7,000 men) under Zhang Xun defend their fortress against the rebel army at Suiyang. Zhang makes multiple attempts to get food from nearby fortresses, but this is refused. After a desperate 10-month siege, Suiyang is overrun by rebel forces who take the city. Because of famine an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 citizens are cannibalized, only 400 people are left.
Summer / Fall, 757 AD: The Tang prince Li Chu the Prince of Guangping (the son of Li Heng, who by this point had taken imperial title as Emperor Suzong), with aid from Huige, was able to recapture Chang'An in early fall. Tang forces under Li Chu and Huige (Uyghur Khanate) forces then advanced east, toward Luoyang which city fell about a month later. In the aftermath, not only the city of Luoyang is pillaged the Huige (Uyghur Khanate) soldiers (as reluctantly agreed to by the Tang Emperor Suzong), but the Capital of Chang'An suffers likewise. Although the Huge Forces temporarily have the upper hand in negotiations, these actions by the Huige will have consequences for the Uyghur Khanate in the not too distant future.
December 8, 757 AD: Du Fu, the Chinese poet, returns to Chang'An as a member of Emperor Xuan Zong's court, after having escaped the city during the An Lushan Rebellion.
Winter, 757 AD: R ebel Emperor of Yan, An Qingxu put together his forces and sent them, under Yan Zhuang's command, to defend Shan Commandery (陝郡, roughly modern Sanmenxia, Henan). When Yan forces engaged Tang forces, however, they saw that Huige forces were on Tang's side, and, in fear, they collapsed. Yan Zhuang and Zhang Tongru (張通儒) fled back to Luoyang to inform An, and An, after executing some 30 Tang generals who had been captured, abandoned Luoyang and fled north, to Yecheng, which he converted to Ancheng Municipality.
Winter, 758 AD: Tang generals Guo Ziyi, Lu Jiong (魯炅), Li Huan (李奐), Xu Shuji (許叔冀), Li Siye, Ji Guangchen (季廣琛), Cui Guangyuan (崔光遠), Dong Qin (董秦), Li Guangbi, and Wang Sili (王思禮), were gathering at Yecheng and putting it under siege. An Qingxu tried to fight out of the siege, but was defeated by Tang forces, and his brother An Qinghe (安慶和) was killed. Meanwhile, with Shi recently having again rebelled against Tang, An sent the general Xue Song to Fanyang to seek aid from Shi, offering the throne to him. Shi thus advanced south toward Yecheng.
June, 758 AD: Abbasid Arabs and Uyghur Turks arrive simultaneously at the Tang capital of Chang'an, in order to offer tribute to the imperial court. The Arabs and Turks bicker and fight over diplomatic prominence at the gate, to present tribute before the other. A settlement is reached when both are allowed to enter at the same time, but through different gates to the palace.
In 759 AD: Caliph al-Mansur of the Abbasid Caliphate launches the conquest of Tabaristan (from Middle Persian: ---, Tapurstān), also known as Tapuria (land of Tapurs)(Today: Mazandaran, a province in northern Iran on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea). Its ruler, Khurshid (erroneously also known as Khurshid II by early scholars), flees into the mountainous region of Daylam.
759 AD: With rebel Yan Emperor An Qingxu dead and replaced by Shi Siming, the An Lushan Rebellion enters a new phase. Pushing back rebel forces to their Capital and main base, Tang forces led by General Guo Ziyi (formally Prince Zhōngwǔ of Fényáng (汾陽忠武王)) lay siege to the city of Yanjing (Northern China) as they increase their efforts to end the rebellion. The fighting creates such a shortage of food within its walls that rats sell at enormous prices.
760 AD: After a careful plot to convince Emperor Suzong that has father retired Emperor Xuanzong was plotting against him in order to regain the Tang Throne, Former Emperor Xuanzong is placed under house arrest by the eunuch official Li Fuguo (李輔國)(Life: 704AD - November 8, 762 AD), with the tacit and not explicit support of Xuanzong's son, Suzong (Life: 9 October 711 AD - 16 May 762 AD), who later is said to have regretted hos decisions and the offending of his father. The intrigant plotter Li Fuguo is appointed commander of the Imperial Guards, there after possesing nearly absolute power during Suzong's reign, which however only lasts for two more years. He has Xuanzong's loyalists Eunuch official Gao Lishi (Duke of Qi), General Wang Zhongsi, eunuch Wei Yue (魏悅), and Ru exiled.
761 AD: Alike his father the (retired) Xuanzong Emperor, Tang Dynasty Emperor Suzong suffers from a mysterious illnessand grows weaker and weaker. While preparing to recapture Chang'An ( Xi'An ), the rebel Yan Dynasty Emperor Shi Shiming is captured and not much later killed by his own (oldest) son who then becomes Yan Emperor Shi Chaoyi (史朝義). The Rebel Yan retreat to Luoyang.
A geographic overview Map of Tibet, the Tibetan Plateaux and relevant adjoining regions and territories. Map includes a large part of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (PRC), Kashmir, North-West Pakistan, Northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and the culturally associated region of Myanmar (Burma). A small part of Yunnan Province of China is also depicted.
This Map clearly defines disputed borders and territories, Nations (except for Tibet), Provinces and Regions, as well as geographical features such as main mountain ranges, main rivers & lakes of the region, basins and plains, plus the locations and names of main cities, towns, monuments and landmarks.
Browse the Map and follow the Links where available to access more maps, information and photos on each location and landmark.
Schematic Map of the many sub-pathways of the Silk Road in China clearly showing the one-unavoidable pathway of the Hexi Corridor.
Qilian Mt Range