The Final Timeline


Frankish Dynasties


457 - 752

Salian Frankish dynasty
Ruled "Francia" for 300 years
Founded by Childeric I
Frequent clashes between different branches of the family
Strong when united

Carolingian dynasty

751 - 987

Founded by Pepin the Short in France and Germany
Unlike Merovingians, they disallowed inheritance to illegitimate offspring
Near end, the lack of suitable adults among the Carolingians necessitated the rise of Arnulf of Carinthia, a bastard child of a legitimate Carolingian king.




Muhammad began receiving revelations in Mecca
Key themes of his messages in Mecca were the oneness of God and the rejection of polytheism, generosity towards the poor and the needy, kind treatment and emancipation of slaves, and the equality between men and women before God

Regarded as the holiest city in the religion of Islam
pilgrimage to it known as the Hajj is obligatory for all able Muslims
Mecca was long ruled by Muhammad’s descendants, the sharifs, either as independent rulers or as vassals to larger empires. It was absorbed into Saudi Arabia in 1925.


570 - 632

A religious, political, and military leader from Mecca who unified Arabia into a single religious polity under Islam. Although his name is now invoked in reverence several billion times every day, Muhammad was the most-reviled figure in the history of the West from the 7th century until quite recent times. Because Muhammad is one of the most influential figures in history, his life, deeds, and thoughts have been debated by followers and opponents over the centuries, which makes a biography of him difficult to write. At every turn, both the Islamic understanding of Muhammad and the rationalist interpretation of him by Western scholars, which grew out of 18th- and 19th-century philosophies such as positivism, must be considered. Moreover, on the basis of both historical evidence and the Muslim understanding of Muhammad as the Prophet, a response must be fashioned to Christian polemical writings characterizing Muhammad as an apostate if not the Antichrist. These date back to the early Middle Ages and still influence to some degree the general Western conception of him.


607 - 661

Cousin and son-in-law of Islamic prophet Muhammad
First male convert to Islam
Sunnis consider Ali the fourth and final of the Rashidun (rightly guided Caliphs)
Shias regard Ali as the first Imam and consider him and his descendants the rightful successors to Muhammad, all of which are members of the Ahl al-Bayt, the household of Muhammad. This disagreement split the Ummah (Muslim community) into the Sunni and Shia branches.


609 - 632

Believed by Muslims to have been verbally revealed through angel Gabriel (Jibril) from God to Muhammad gradually over a period of approximately 23 years when Muhammad was 40, and concluding the year of his death
Believed to be the verbatim word of God. It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language.

Five Pillars revealed

610 - 632

5 basic acts in Islam, considered obligatory by believers and are the foundation of Muslim life. These were formed during the period of God revelation of Quran
1.) belief
2.) worship
3.) charitable giving
4.) fasting during the month of Ramadan (sawm)
5.) the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime.



Modern city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia. The Arabic word madinah simply means “city.” Before the advent of Islam, the city was known as Yathrib but was personally renamed by Muhammad.

Burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. Medina is critically significant in Islamic History for being where Muhammad’s final religious base was established after the Hijrah and where he died in 632 AD/11 AH.

Power base of Islam in its first century, being where the early Muslim community (ummah) developed under the Prophet’s leadership, then under the leadership of the first four caliphs of Islam: Abu Bakr, Omar, Othman and Ali. In fact, Year 1 of the Islamic calendar is based on the year of the emigration (or Hijra) of Muhammad and his original followers (Muhajirun) from Mecca to the city of Medina in 622. Similarly to Mecca, entrance to the sacred core of Medina (but not the entire city) is restricted to Muslims only; non-Muslims are permitted neither to enter nor cross through the city center.



A member of the branch of Islam that regards Ali and his descendants as the legitimate successors to Muhammad and rejects the first three caliphs.



The Sunni branch believes that the first four caliphs—Mohammed’s successors—rightfully took his place as the leaders of Muslims. They recognize the heirs of the four caliphs as legitimate religious leaders. These heirs ruled continuously in the Arab world until the break-up of the Ottoman Empire following the end of the First World War.



The newly-created Muslim empire expanded into the region of Iraq, which at the time was part of the Persian Empire. Muslim armies, under the command of Khalid ibn Waleed, moved into the region and defeated the Persians.
City’s roots date back to ancient Babylon, a settlement as far back as 1800 B.C. However, its fame as a center for commerce and scholarship began in the 8th century A.D.

Ummayad Dynasty

661 - 750

This was the first dynasty of Arab caliphs (661-750)
Capital: Damascus
Umayyad family had first come to power under the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan (r. 644–656), but the Umayyad regime was founded by Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, long-time governor of Syria, after the end of the First Muslim Civil War in 661.

Abbasid Dynasty

770 - 1258

Abbasid Caliphate, was the third of the Islamic caliphates
It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region. An Abbasid was any caliph of the dynasty that ruled the Muslim empire from Baghdad and claimed descent from Abbas, uncle of Mohammad

Formation of the Medieval World

Medieval Cities

400 - 1400

"Stadtluft macht frei” = “City air makes free” (if you run away to the city for a year & a day, peasants would become free).
Most medieval cities were very small by modern (& ancient) standards with around 5,000 inhabitants. London & Bruges had 40,000 while some Italian cities like Florence had 100,000.

4 groups of people in the Middle Ages:
1. Kings
2. Members of the Church
3. Peasants/working class
4. The Bourgeoisie


500 - 1000

The system by which the Lord of the Manor exploited the serfs or tenants who worked his estate, or fief. It was the transition from the 2-field to the 3-field system of agriculture
*Few peasants owned their own land. Instead, they worked land owned by the lord of the manor & supervised by a STEWARD or bailiff. Peasants owed labor serviced, a percentage of their produce, & fees for certain activities.
*The Lord could take your stuff; he’d get a percentage of your chicken eggs; pay him for the privilege of using mill to make grain & other resources.
*A percentage also went to the church
*1 story: 1 peasant did not pay his dues before death, so he got sent to hell, but not even Satan would let him through the gates because he smelled so bad.

Truce of God

1000 - 1200

In the Middle Ages, an attempt by the Catholic church to limit private warfare between feudal lords.When to kill: don’t kill on Sundays! It is related to the peace of God, which exempted clergy, women, children, and peasants from battle or attacks.


1000 - 1400

*The alienation of royal rights from above
*The submission of lesser folk to lords for protection
*Lord > Vassal > Knight
*Emperor > King
*1 person could be vassal to 2 different lords; served as a problem when 2 kingdoms went to war


1000 - 1400

Medieval lords & ladies had feasts (higher echelon of nobility)

Stadtluft macht frei


"City air makes free"

Customary law that a city resident was free after one year and one day. After this he could no longer be reclaimed by his employer and thus became bound to the city. Serfs could flee the feudal lands and gain freedom in this way.

Peace of God

1000 - 1100

A movement led by the medieval church, and later by civil authorities, to protect ecclesiastical property and women, priests, pilgrims, merchants, and other noncombatants from violence. It was decreed that knights should not kill women, children, & unarmed men; knights should only kill other knights.


1200 - 1800

Maker’s industry; there were 3 levels in every guild:
1. Apprentices: entry level position
2. Journeymen
3. Master: master pieces were presented to enter the top echelon

Centralization in Church & State

Otto I

936 - 973

Also known as Otto the Great, was the founder of the Holy Roman Empire, reigning from 936 until his death in 973. The oldest son of Henry I the Fowler and Matilda of Ringelheim, Otto was "the first of the Germans to be called the emperor of Italy.

Hugh Capet

987 - 996

First “King of the Franks” of the eponymous Capetian dynasty from his election to succeed the Carolingian Louis V in 987 until his death. Hugh’s reign was marked by the unavailing efforts of Charles of Lorraine (imprisoned 991) to assert himself and by continual conflict between Eudes I, count of Blois, and Fulk Nerra of Anjou, whom Hugh later supported. In 993 Eudes was aided by the bishop of Laon in an unsuccessful conspiracy to deliver Hugh and his son Robert over to Otto III.

Henry IV

1056 - 1105

King of the Romans and Holy Roman Emperor. He was the third emperor of the Salian dynasty and one of the most powerful and important figures of the 11th century. His reign was marked by the Investiture Controversy with the Papacy and several civil wars over his throne both in Italy and Germany. He died of illness, soon after defeating his son’s army in Lorraine.

Battle of Hastings


Battle between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy and the English army under King Harold II. It took place at Senlac Hill, northwest of Hastings, close to the present-day town of Battle, East Sussex, and was a decisive Norman victory

William the Conqueror

1066 - 1087

William was duke of Normandy and, as William I, the first Norman king of England. He defeated and killed the last Anglo-Saxon king of England at the Battle of Hastings. The arrival and conquest of William and the Normans radically altered the course of English history. Rather than attempt a wholesale replacement of Anglo-Saxon law, William fused continental practices with native custom. By disenfranchising Anglo-Saxon landowners, he instituted a brand of feudalism in England that strengthened the monarchy.

Pope Gregory VII

1073 - 1085

One of the great reforming popes, he is perhaps best known for the part he played in the Investiture Controversy, his dispute with Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor that affirmed the primacy of papal authority and the new canon law governing the election of the pope by the College of Cardinals

Dictatus Papae


Dictatus papae is a compilation of 27 statements of powers arrogated to the Pope that was included in Pope Gregory VII’s register under the year 1075. he principles expressed in Dictatus papae are those of the Gregorian Reform, which had been initiated by Gregory decades before he ascended the throne as Gregory VII. The axioms of the Dictatus advance the strongest case of papal supremacy

Investiture Controversy

1075 - 1122

Most significant conflict between Church and state in medieval Europe. In the 11th and 12th centuries, a series of Popes challenged the authority of European monarchies over control of appointments, or investitures, of church officials such as bishops and abbots. Although the principal conflict began in 1075 between Pope Gregory VII and Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, a brief but significant struggle over investiture also occurred between Henry I of England and Pope Paschal II in the years 1103 to 1107, and the issue played a minor role in the struggles between church and state in France as well. The entire controversy was finally resolved by the Concordat of Worms in 1122.

Domesday Book


Record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086. The survey was executed for William I of England (William the Conqueror): While spending the Christmas time of 1085 in Gloucester, William had deep speech with his counselors and sent men all over England to each shire to find out what or how much each landholder had in land and livestock, and what it was worth. One of the main purposes of the survey was to determine who held what and what taxes had been liable under Edward the Confessor; the judgment of the Domesday assessors was final—whatever the book said about who held the material wealth or what it was worth was the law, and there was no appeal. It was written in Latin, although there were some vernacular words inserted for native terms with no previous Latin equivalent, and the text was highly abbreviated. The book was known by the English as “Domesday”, that is the Day of Judgment:


Conquest of Bagdad


The Seljuk conquest of Persia marked the triumph of the Sunni over Shii but without a decline in Persian culture. The Seljuks eventually adopted the Persian culture. They are remembered as patrons of Persian culture, art, literature, and language.

Seljuk Turks

1060 - 1307

The House of Seljuq was a Turkish Sunni Muslim dynasty that gradually adopted Persian culture and contributed to the Turko-Persian tradition in the medieval West and Central Asia.

Battle of Mazikert


Fought between the Byzantine Empire and Seljuq Turks led by Alp Arslan on August 26, 1071 near Manzikert. The decisive defeat of the Byzantine army and the capture of the Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes played an important role in undermining Byzantine authority in Anatolia and Armenia, and allowed for the gradual Turkification of Anatolia.

Urban II and the Councli of Clermont


Mixed synod of ecclesiastics and laymen of the Catholic Church
held from November 18 to November 28, 1095 at Clermont, France. Pope Urban II’s speech on November 27 was the starting point of the First Crusade. Urban discussed Cluniac reforms of the Church, and also extended the excommunication of Philip I of France for his adulterous remarriage to Bertrade of Montfort.

Promoted Western Christians’ fight against the Muslims who had occupied the Holy Land and were attacking the Eastern Roman Empire.

Conquest of Jerusalem


Crusaders stormed and captured the city from Fatimid Egypt. The Siege is notable for the massacre that followed, during which much of Jerusalem’s population was slaughtered.

Knights of the Temple


The first donation of land was given to the Templars in 1127 by Count Thybaud of Champagne at Barbonne-Fayel, fifty kilometres north-west of Troyes. The temple was the first round church and consisted of gardens, orchard, boundary ditch and cemetery.


1137 - 1193

First Sultan of Egypt and Syria and the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty
Led Islamic opposition against the European Crusaders in the Levant. At the height of his power, his sultanate included Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Hejaz, Yemen, and parts of North Africa.

Sack of Constantinople


Destroyed parts of the capital of the Byzantine Empire as the city was captured by Western European and Venetian Crusaders. After the capture the Latin Empire was founded and Baldwin of Flanders was crowned Emperor Baldwin I of Constantinople in the Hagia Sophia.

Twelfth-Century Renaissance

St. Anselm

1034 - 1109

Worked in Cathedral schools:began in the Early Middle Ages as centers of advanced education, some of them ultimately evolving into medieval universities. Throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, they were complemented by the monastic schools. Some of these early cathedral schools, and more recent foundations, continued into modern times.
Scholar who wrote some innovative books & said, “I believe in order that I may understand.”
Said we should start with what is revealed in Bible scripture & use reason & logic to supplement revelation

Peter Abelard

1079 - 1149

Member of Cathedral Churches; he was part of a group of gifted teachers/mobile teachers
Socrates of the Middle Ages
Dialectal Method—draws in a lot of students
"By doubting we come to inquiry, though inquiry to the truth.”

Bernard of Clairvaux

1090 - 1153

1st man to join the Cistercians—1 of most influential members of this time
Helped organize under King Louis of France
Harsh critic of Abelard



Reform movement within the Benedictine Order of Monasteries.
Emphasis of Cistercian life is on manual labour and self-sufficiency

Peter Lombard’s Book of Sentences


He took the Dialectal Method applying it to Theology
Old monastic traditions continue, but mostly dialectical method is used in Universities.
At same time Crusades are going on

Gratian's Decretum


Collection of Canon law compiled and written in the 12th century as a legal textbook by the jurist known as Gratian. It forms the first part of the collection of six legal texts, which together became known as the Corpus Juris Canonici

High Middle Ages



Corporations organized during the High Middle Ages for the purposes of higher learning. The Carolingian Renaissance led to scientific and philosophical revival of Europe. First universities were established in Bologna, Salerno, Paris and Modena.

St. Dominic

1170 - 1221

Founder of the Order of Friars Preacher (1216), was born at Calaruega in Old Castile, and studied at Palencia

St. Francis of Assisi

1181 - 1226

Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis for men and women not able to live the lives of itinerant preachers followed by the early members of the Order of Friars Minor or the monastic lives of the Poor Clares. Though he was never ordained to the Catholic priesthood, Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.

Pope Innocent III

1198 - 1216

One of the most powerful and influential popes
Exerted a wide influence over the Christian regimes of Europe, claiming supremacy over all of Europe’s kings. Pope Innocent was central in supporting the Catholic Church’s reforms of ecclesiastical affairs through his decretals and the Fourth Lateran Council. This resulted in a considerable refinement of the Western canon law. Pope Innocent is notable for using interdict and other censures to compel princes to obey his decisions, although these measures were not uniformly successful. Innocent called for Christian crusades against Muslims in Spain and the Holy Land and against heretics in southern France (Albigensian Crusade). One of Pope Innocent’s most critical decisions was organizing the Fourth Crusade.

Thomas Aquinas

1225 - 1274

Italian Dominican priest, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the “Dumb Ox”, “Angelic Doctor”, “Doctor Communis”, and “Doctor Universalis”.

His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived in development or refutation of his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory.

Late Middle Ages

Boniface VIII vs Philip IV

1295 - 1303

The story of Pope Boniface VIII and King Philip IV of France represents one of the more dramatic clashes between the forces of Church and State.

Unam Sanctam


One of the most extreme statements of Papal spiritual supremacy ever made.
The main propositions of the Bull are the following: First, the unity of the Church and its necessity for salvation are declared and established by various passages from the Bible and by reference to the one Ark of the Flood, and to the seamless garment of Christ. The pope then affirms that, as the unity of the body of the Church so is the unity of its head established in Saint Peter and his successors. Consequently, all who wish to belong to the fold of Christ are placed under the dominion of Peter and his successors.

Hundred Years War

1337 - 1453

Between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France for control of the French throne. Many allies of both sides were also drawn into the conflict. The war had its roots in a dynastic disagreement dating back to the time of William the Conqueror, who became King of England in 1066 while retaining possession of the Duchy of Normandy in France. As the rulers of Normandy and other lands on the continent, the English kings owed feudal homage to the king of France. In 1337, Edward III of England refused to pay homage to Philip VI of France, leading the French king to claim confiscation of Edward’s lands in Aquitaine.

Black Death

1348 - 1350

One of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe & killing between 75 million and 200 million people.

Council of Constance

1414 - 1418

The council ended the Three-Popes Controversy, by deposing or accepting the resignation of the remaining Papal claimants and electing Pope Martin V. The Council also condemned and executed Jan Hus and ruled on issues of national sovereignty, the rights of pagans, and just war in response to a conflict between the Kingdom of Poland and the Order of the Teutonic Knights. The Council is important for its relationship to ecclesial Conciliarism and Papal supremacy.

Battle of Agincourt


The battle occurred on Friday, 25 October 1415 (Saint Crispin’s Day), near modern-day Azincourt, in northern France. Henry V’s victory at Agincourt, against a numerically superior French army, crippled France and started a new period in the war, during which, first, Henry married the French king’s daughter and, second, his son, Henry VI, was made heir to the throne of France (although Henry VI later failed to capitalise on his father’s battlefield success). Henry V led his troops into battle and participated in hand-to-hand fighting. The French king of the time, Charles VI, did not command the French army himself as he suffered from severe, repeating illnesses and moderate mental incapacitation. Instead, the French were commanded by Constable Charles d’Albret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party.

Renaissance and Reformation


1304 - 1374

Italian scholar, poet, and humanist, a major force in the development of the Renaissance. Petrarch was regarded as the greatest scholar of his age, who combined interest in classical culture and Christianity and left deep influence on literature throughout Western Europe. The majority of his works Petrarch wrote in Latin, although his sonnets and canzoni composed in Italy were equally influential. Petrarch was known as a devoted student of antiquity, who had a passion for finding and commenting on the works of the ancients. In his letter to posterity he confessed that he always disliked his own age: “I would have preferred to have been born in any other time than our own.” Attempts have been made to identify her, but all that is known is that Petrarch met Laura in Avignon, where he had entered the household of an influential cardinal. She is generally believed to have been the 19-year-old wife of Hugues de Sade. Petrarch saw her first time in the church of Saint Claire. According to several modern scholars, it is possible that Laura was a fictional character.

Lorenzo Valla

1407 - 1457

He was an Italian humanist, rhetorician, and educator. He is best known for his textual analysis that proved that the Donation of Constantine was a forgery.


1466 - 1536

Classical scholar who wrote in a pure Latin style. He was a proponent of religious toleration, and enjoyed the sobriquet “Prince of the Humanists”; he has been called “the crowning glory of the Christian humanists”. Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament. These raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation.

Martin Luther

1483 - 1546

German monk, former Catholic priest, professor of theology and seminal figure of a reform movement in sixteenth century Christianity, subsequently known as the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God’s punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.

John Calvin and the Institutes

1509 - 1664

Influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530. After religious tensions provoked a violent uprising against Protestants in France, Calvin fled to Basel, Switzerland, where he published the first edition of his seminal work The Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536: seminal work on Protestant systematic theology. Highly influential in the Western world and still widely read by theological students today.

Henry VIII

1509 - 1547

He was king of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was lord, and later king, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France. Henry was the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, succeeding his father, Henry VII.
Besides his six marriages, Henry VIII is known for his role in the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. Henry’s struggles with Rome led to the separation of the Church of England from papal authority, the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and his own establishment as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. Yet he remained a believer in core Catholic theological teachings, even after his excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church. Henry oversaw the legal union of England and Wales with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542.

Diet of Worms


Imperial diet, or assembly, of the Holy Roman Empire held in Worms, Germany at the Heylshof Garden. It is most memorable for the Edict of Worms (Wormser Edikt), which addressed Martin Luther and the effects of the Protestant Reformation. It was conducted from 28 January to 25 May 1521, with Emperor Charles V presiding. (A “diet” is a formal deliberative assembly.)