Early Muslim Conquests (622-656 CE)
Islam arose as a religious and socio-political force in Arabia in the 7th century CE (610 CE onwards). The Islamic Prophet Muhammad (l. 570-632 CE), despite facing resistance and persecution, amassed a huge following and started building...
Famous Grammarians & Poets of the Byzantine Empire
In the wake of the downfall of the Western Roman Empire and the intellectual collapse of Athens, Byzantine scholars engaged in preserving the Classical Greek language and its literature. Thus they became the guardians of a vanished culture...
Yazdegerd III (r. 632-651 CE) was the last monarch of the Sassanian Empire (224-651 CE), ruling – or attempting to rule – amidst the chaos of its final decline and fall to the invading Muslim Arabs. He was the son of the prince...
The Mongol Empire (1206-1368) was founded by Genghis Khan (r. 1206-1227), first Great Khan or 'universal ruler' of the Mongol peoples. Genghis forged the empire by uniting nomadic tribes of the Asian steppe and creating a devastatingly effective...
Timbuktu (Timbuctoo) is a city in Mali, West Africa which was an important trade centre of the Mali Empire which flourished between the 13th and 15th centuries CE. The city, founded c. 1100 CE, gained wealth from access to and control of...
Edessa (modern Urfa), located today in south-east Turkey but once part of upper Mesopotamia on the frontier of the Syrian desert, was an important city throughout antiquity and the Middle Ages. A city within the Seleucid Empire, then capital...
Division of the Byzantine Empire, 1204 CE.
A map indicating the division of the Byzantine Empire following the sack of Constantinople in 1204 CE during the Fourth Crusade.
Ardashir I (l. c. 180-241 CE, r. 224-240 CE) was the founder of the Persian Sassanian Empire (224-651 CE) and father of the great Sassanian king Shapur I (r. 240-270 CE). He is also known as Ardashir I Babakan, Ardeshir I, Ardashir the Unifier...
Alboin (r. 560-572 CE) was a king of the Lombards who led his people into Italy and founded the Kingdom of the Lombards which lasted from 568-774 CE. His father was Audoin, King of the Lombards, and his mother Queen Rodelinda. He was most...
Tyrian purple (aka Royal purple or Imperial purple) is a dye extracted from the murex shellfish which was first produced by the Phoenician city of Tyre in the Bronze Age. Its difficulty of manufacture, striking purple to red colour range...