473 An ancient king in Sri Lanka constructs an impenetrable fortress atop a giant rock that rises 200 yards above the plains. The site is called Sigiriya.
(WSJ, 8/3/95, p.A-8)
474 Jan 18, Leo I, Roman Byzantine Emperor (457-74), died. He was succeeded by his grandson Leo II.
474 Nov 17, Leo II (b.467), Roman Byzantine Emperor, died.
476 Aug 28, The western Roman Empire formally ended at Ravenna as the barbarian general Odoacer deposed the last of the Roman emperors, the young boy Romulus Augustus.
(ATC, p.32)(PC, 1992, p.52)
477 In Sri Lanka the usurper King Kasyapa I founded Sigiriya and built his castle atop a 550-foot outcrop. He had murdered his father Dhatusena.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.D)(Arch, 7/02, p.32)
477 Harisena, emperor of Central India dies.
(LSA., p. 12)
480 Boethius (d.524) was born in Rome about this time. He acquired an important post under the Ostrogoth King Theodoric, but later fell into disfavor and was imprisoned. In prison he wrote his famous The Consolation of Philosophy.
480 Hun invasions began to weaken the Gupta Dynasty in India.
483 Mar 13, St. Felix began his reign as Catholic Pope.
484 The Church of Mary Theotokos was built over the presumed site of a Samaritan Temple that is believed to be a copy of the Second Temple of Jerusalem at Mt. Gerizim in the Israeli occupied West Bank.
(SFC, 5/23/95, p.A-10)
484 The Armenians signed a treaty in the village of Nuwarsak with the Persians and Vahan Mamikonian was appointed marzban of Armenia.
485 Apr 17, Proclus (b.411), Greek mathematician, died in Athens.
(WUD, 1994 p.1147)(MC, 4/17/02)
485-505 In Armenia Vahan Mamikonian began his rule with services at the Cathedral of Dvin with the Catholicos Hovhan I Mandakuni presiding.
490 Oct 29, Petrus Mongus, patriarch of Alexandria, died.
492 Mar 1, St. Felix III ended his reign as Catholic Pope.
492 Mar 1, St Gelasius I began his reign as Catholic Pope (492-496).
(PTA, 1980, p.98)(SC, 3/1/02)
493 Mar 3, Odovacar, the Herulian leader, surrendered Ravenna to Theodorik, king of the Ostrogoths. Theodorik invited Odovacar to dinner and had him murdered. Theodorik united Italy as an Ostrogoth kingdom until 554. [see Mar 15]
(PCh, 1992, p.52)(V.D.-H.K.p.88)(SC, 3/3/02)
493 Mar 15, Theodoric the Great beat Odoacer of Italy. Odoacer, German army leader, King of Italy (476-93), died. [see Mar 3]
495 May 3, Pope Gelasius asserted that his authority was superior to Emperor Anastasius.
PTA, 1980, p.98)(HN, 5/3/98)
496 Nov 21, Pope Gelasius, an African by birth or descent, died. He changed the mid-February lottery rules for young Roman men so that they drew names of Catholic Saints to emulate instead of young girls for play. The Lupercalia pagan rite had been revived to bring good luck to the city following a plague. He named Feb 14 as St. Valentines Day.
(PTA, 1980, p.98)(SFEM, 2/9/97, p.11)(SSFC, 2/11/01, DB p.40)
496 In China the Shaolin Temple was built in the foothills of Mount Songshan in Henan province. It was later considered as the birthplace for Shaolin boxing, a combination of Buddhism and Chinese martial arts that evolved into kung fu (gongfu).
(SFC, 9/26/02, p.B3)
496 Clovis, king of the Salian or Merovingian Franks, became the first of the pagan barbarians to adopt Catholicism.
498 Nov 19, Anastasius II, Pope (496-98), (Dante Inferno XI, 8-9), died.
500 The northern California Emeryville Shellmound, CA-Ala 309, dates to about this time.
(Buckeye, Winter 04/05)
500 Chinas Grand Canal between Beijing and Hangzhou was finished about this time.
(Econ, 10/12/13, p.16)
500 In England, the Anglo-Saxons brought Futhark from continental Europe in the 5th century and modified it into the 33-letter “Futhorc” to accommodate sound changes that were occurring in Old English, the language spoken by the Anglo-Saxons. An early offshoot of Futhark was employed by Goths, and so it is known as Gothic Runes. It was used until 500 CE when it was replaced by the Greek-based Gothic alphabet.
500 About this time the Ridgeway, the oldest road in Europe, wandered along empty, open ridges over Wiltshires Marlborough Downs in England. Invading Saxons gave this ancient track its present name: The Ridgeway,” but even then it was already old beyond all memory. Fifty centuries earlier, Stone Age traders probably followed this track to barter stone axe heads with farmer folk in the valleys. These Neolithic merchants picked up The Ridgeway at the Thames River ford at Goring, then followed it westward and southward along the crest of the Downs, into what would become the counties of Berkshire and Wiltshire in the times of the Wessex kings. Since those first Neolithic peddlers, 200 generations have found their own good reasons to tramp along the Ridgeway track.
500 By this time the Chalchihuites culture (New Mexico) engaged in extensive turquoise mining and exporting raw turquoise to West Mexican centers like Alta Vista.
(Arch, 1/05, p.28)
500 By this time the Kaaba at Mecca housed more than 360 idols of the gods of various tribes. Protection of the Kaaba was organized by the Quraysh tribe, who encouraged other tribes to deposit their idols their for protection and a fee. During four months of each year the Quraysh forbade fighting and raiding along the trade routes and this allowed both merchants and travelers make their pilgrimages in peace for a fee.
500 The Manteno people inhabited the area of northern Ecuador about this time. It was believed that they ran a vast maritime empire and traded with the Aztecs in Mexico and made voyages of 3,000-4,000 miles. In 1998-99 a team led by John Haslett (34) attempted to duplicate their maritime voyages with a 20-ton, 60-foot balsa raft.
(SFC, 1/6/99, p.A8
500 About this time Nubians turned from their Egyptian-influenced religion to Christianity. A thousand years later the people of their region will convert heavily to Islam.
(MT, 10/95, p.10-11)
500 About this time the Indian monk Bodhidharma hit on the idea of Zen after staring at a wall for nine years.
(WSJ, 10/23/96, p.A1)
c500 The first settlers of Madagascar began arriving from the Malay Archipelago in the middle of the first millennium. DNA studies in 2012 indicated that the number of women in the first group of settlers numbered about 30.
(Econ, 3/24/12, p.84)
500 Teotihuacan people built a 60-foot pyramid about this time in what later became known as Iztapalapa, Mexico. It was abandoned after about 300 years, when the Teotihuacan culture collapsed. Archeologists began to unveil the site in 2004.
500 In Nigeria evidence of urbanization at the Yoruba city of Ife dated back to about this time.
500 In Peru a Moche pyramid from about this time at Dos Cabezas contained tombs that archeologists found in 1997. The tombs revealed people of unusual height along with miniatures of the deceased and the tombs contents.
(SFC, 2/15/01, p.A7)
500 Ancient Turks are believed to have originated in Mongolia about this time.
(Arch, 1/06, p.17)
500-600 Arabs about this time brought back home from India the numerals we refer to as Arabic numbers.
(SFEC, 1/23/00, Z1 p.2)
500-600 The Arabian city of Ubar, disappeared in the early 6th century. The event was later cited by Muhammad in the Quran. In 1992 a team of investigators announced the discovery of the long lost Arabian city of Ubar. George Hedges (1952-2009), a Hollywood litigator, and filmmaker Nicholas Clapp, participated in the find. Clapp later authored The Road to Ubar: Finding the Atlantis of the Sands” (1999).
(WSJ, 3/20/09, p.A12)
500-600 In England the 6th century Gildas was the only historian whose work survived. He made no mention of King Arthur. He described the Picts as Loathsome hordes, dark swarms of worms that emerge from the narrow crevices of their holes when the sun is high, preferring to cover their villainous faces with hair rather than their private parts and surrounding areas with clothes.
(WSJ, 3/27/98, p.W10)(AM, 11/04, p.41)
500-600 The monastic complex of David Gareja was founded in the 6th century by David (St. David Garejeli), one of the thirteen Assyrian monks who arrived in Georgia at the same time. His disciples Dodo and Luciane expanded the original lavra and founded two other monasteries known as Dodo’s Rka (literally, “the horn of Dodo”) and Natlismtsemeli (“the Baptist”). Part of the complex is also located in the Agstafa rayon of Azerbaijan and thus became subject to a border dispute between Georgian and Azerbaijani authorities.
500-600 The historical Bodhidharma (known as Daruma in Japan) was an Indian sage who lived sometime in the fifth or sixth century AD. He is commonly considered the founder of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, and credited with Chan’s introduction to China. Darumas philosophy arrived first in China, where it flowered and was called Chan Buddhism. Only centuries later did it bloom in Japan, where it is called Zen.
500-600 The rulers of Ghana stored grain in mud huts on high, steep land.
500-600 About this time Irish monks brought an alembic from the Middle East that was initially used to distill perfumes. They soon applied it to spirits and produced Uisce Beatha (water of life), better known as whiskey.
(WSJ, 8/14/02, p.D8)
500-600 In Laos a local legend describes a military celebration for which the stone jars of the Plain of Jars were created to ferment and store alcohol.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.E)
500-600 El Pital, a Maya regional hub on the gulf coast since c300 BC, suddenly became inactive. It was later suspected that a catastrophic flood hit the area.
(SFC, 9/14/00, p.C8)
500-600 The Picts of Scotland developed a script about this time made up of 30 symbols. In 2005 it still defied interpretation.
(AM, 11/04, p.43)
500-700 A Babylonian earthenware demon bowl from Seleucia-on-Tigris dated to this period.
(MT, 3/96, p.5)
500-700 The clay Lydenburg Heads from southern Africa, dated to this period. These earliest know South African sculptures were later exhibited at the Guggenheim.
(NYT, 6/7/96, p.B9)
500-700 Chronicles of the 8th century record the peaceful arrival of immigrants from Korea in the 6th and 7th centuries.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.38)
500-700 Evidence in 2005 suggested that Polynesians visited California during this period and transferred their canoe building technology to the local Chumash and Gabrielino Indians.
(SFC, 6/20/05, p.A5)
500-800 Curse tablets are widely used in this era. “Lead scrolls, used to place curses against lawyers, lovers, and horses, have been discovered in a Roman-era well at King Herods palace in Israel.”
(USAT, 10/28/94, 1A)
c500-1100 The Sinagua people lived in the area of Sunset Crater, Az.
(AM, 3/04, p.48)
500-1315 The Fremont Indians lived in Utahs Range Creek Canyon during this period and etched into rock designs of animals and people.
(WSJ, 1/31/06, p.B6)
502-557 In China the Liang stele dates to this time.
(WSJ, 2/19/98, p.A20)
508 The Franks, led by Clovis, took Paris and made it their capital. Under Charlemagne, the capital was moved to Aachen and Paris waned, raided repeatedly by Norsemen during the 9th and 10th centuries.
508 Clovis, king of the Franks (later France), defeated the Visigoths and pushed into Spain.
510 Boethius began the translation of the works of Aristotle from Greek into Latin. He only completed the “Organon,” or works on logic.
511 Nov 11, Clovis (45), king of Salische France and founder of Merovingians, died. [see Nov 27]
511 Nov 27, Clovis, king of the Franks, died and his kingdom was divided between his four sons. [see Nov 11]
515 Boethius in his treatise on the Trinity writes “As far as you are able, join faith to
520 St. Benedict founded the Benedictine Order at Monte Cassino. From there monks went forth and created a network of monasteries all over Europe. The monks taught the values of agricultural living to the nomadic barbarians.
520 Guptas invent the decimal system in India.
521-597 St. Columba, Irish missionary in Scotland. The Irish monks of Columba preceded the Benedictines in Northern Europe, but their ascetic otherworldliness did not meet the needs of the practical barbarian people.
(CU, 6/87)(WUD, 1994, p.292)
523 May 6, Thrasamunde, king of Vandals (496-523), died.
524 Jun 21, Battle at Vezerone: Burgundy beat France.
525 By this time the Hun invaders have conquered India. The Gupta Dynasty ends.
526 May 18, St. John I, Catholic Pope (523-526), died.
(HN, 5/18/98)(SC, 5/18/02)
526 May 20, An earthquake killed 250,000 in Antioch, Turkey. This was the capital of Syria from 300-64BCE. [see May 29]
526 May 29, Antioch, Turkey, was struck by an earthquake and about 250,000 died. [see May 20]
(AM, 11/00, p.69)(SC, 5/29/02)
526 Aug 30, Theodorik the Great (72), King of Ostrogoths, died of dysentery. He was succeeded by his grandson Athalaric (10), who reigned until 534 with his mother Amalasuntha as regent.
(PC, 1992, p.54)
527 Apr 1, Emp. Justin named Justinianus co-emperor of Byzantium. [see Apr 4]
(OTD)(PC, 1992 ed, p.54)
527 Apr 4, In Constantinople, Justin, seriously ill, crowned his nephew Justinian as his co-emperor. [see Apr 1]
527 Aug 1, Justinus I, Byzantine emperor (518-27), died.
(PC, 1992 ed, p.54)
527-548 Empress Theodora, considered the most powerful woman in Byzantine history, ruled with her husband Justinian.
527-565 Justinian ruled the Byzantine Empire.
(WSJ, 4/5/02, p.W12)
527-565 Emperor Justinian built the St. Catherine monastery in Egypts Sinai Desert to house the bones of St. Catherine of Alexandria, who was tortured to death for converting to Christianity. The site was thought to be the place where Moses saw the Miracle of the Burning Bush.
(SFEC, 8/28/98, p.T6)(http://interoz.com/egypt/Catherines.htm)
528 Justinian assigned 10 men the task of condensing the 1,600 books of classic Roman law.
529 Justinian, ruling from Constantinople (517-565), promulgated the Codex Constitutionum, the chief source and authority of Roman law.
529 The new Justinian Code was composed of 4,652 laws. It extended the rights of women, children and slaves, and also called for harsher penalties for crime.
529 Justinian closed the Platonic academy at Athens.
529 The Monte Cassino monastery in Italy was founded by St. Benedict (450-547).
(V.D.-H.K.p.107)(NW, 10/28/02, p.16)
530 Oct 14, Dioscurus, anti-Pope (530), died.