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.
532 Jan 13-532 Jan 14, The 2nd Hagia Sophia cathedral burned down in Constantinople during the Nika uprising, which failed leaving some 30-40,000 people dead. Justinian and his wife Theodora had attended festivities at the Hippodrome, a stadium for athletic competition. Team support escalated from insults to mob riots and in the end Constantinople lay in ruins. Justinian proceeded to rebuild the city with extensive commissions for religious art and architecture, including the new Hagia Sophia.
532 Oct 17, Boniface II, 1st “German” Pope, died.
533-565 Justinians armies regained parts of Spain, all of Italy and North Africa.
534 Justinian brought the Vandal king into Constantinople and resurrected the triumphal procession of 71AD.
(SFC, 10/23/06, p.A15)
535 Feb, In Southern China the Nan Shi Ancient Chronicle reported that “yellow dust rained down like snow.”
(WSJ, 5/15/00, p.A46)
535 Apr 30, Amalaswintha, queen of Ostrogoten, was murdered.
535 May 13, St Agapitus I began his reign as Catholic Pope
(SS, Internet, 5/13/97)
535 Feb, There is evidence that the Krakatoa volcano had a major eruption about this time. In 1869 Rangawarsita, a Javanese royal courtier, compiled the Books of Kings, which mentioned an event from the middle of the first millennium that sounded like a major eruption.
(WSJ, 5/15/00, p.A46)(Disc., 7/4/03)
535-536 John of Ephesus, a Syrian bishop, reported that the sun darkened for a period of 18 months with feeble light for only about 4 hours a day.
(WSJ, 5/15/00, p.A46)
536 Apr 22, St. Agapitus I ended his reign as Catholic Pope (535-36).
(HN, 4/22/98)(MC, 4/22/02)
536 Dec 9, Byzantine Count Belisarius entered Rome through the Asinarian Gate at the head of 5,000 troops. At the same time, 4,000 Ostrogoths left the city through the Flaminian Gate and headed north to Ravenna, the capital of their Italian kingdom. For the first time since 476, when the Germanic king, Odoacer, had deposed the last Western Roman emperor and crowned himself “King of the Romans,” the city of Rome was once more part of the Roman empirealbeit an empire whose capital had shifted east to Constantinople. Belisarius had taken the city back as part of Emperor Justinians grand plan to recover the western provinces from their barbarian rulers. The plan was meant to be carried out with an almost ridiculously small expeditionary force. The 5,000 soldiers that General Belisarius led included Hunnish and Moorish auxiliaries, and they were expected to defend circuit walls 12 miles in diameter against an enemy who would soon be back, and who would outnumber them at least 10-to-1.
(HN, 12/9/98)(HNC, 10/1/99)
537 Mar 11, The Goths laid siege to Rome. The Goths cut the aqueducts to Rome in the 6th century.
(HN, 3/11/98)(SFEC, 7/2/00, p.T4)
537 Dec 27, The Hagia Sophia Byzantine cathedral in Constantinople was consecrated. St. Sophia (meaning “the holy wisdom” in Greek) was built by Emperor Justinian. It remained a symbol of Byzantine grandeur until Istanbul was conquered by Muslim armies.
(Sky, 4/97, p.55)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagia_Sophia)
538 Nov 30, St. Gregory of Tours, chronicler and bishop, was born.
538-552 Introduction of Buddhism to Japan from Korea.
(Jap. Enc., BLDM, p. 214)
538-600 Buddhist missionaries introduced the art of flower arranging to Japan. The 1st school of flower arranging, ikenobo, was founded by Ono no Imoko in the early 7th century. Ikebana became the umbrella name for the schools of flower arranging.
(SFEC, 4/23/00, Z1 p.2)
540-560 In Syria the monastery of St. Moses the Abyssinian (Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi) was built in the middle of the sixth century, and belonged to the Syrian Antiochian Rite. The site was abandoned after several hundred years, but was revived in the late 1980s by Italian Jesuit Paolo DallOglio.
(http://tinyurl.com/kudtzxa)(Econ, 8/10/13, p.42)
541-543 Plague swept Asia Minor.
(AM, 11/04, p.38)
541-750 The beginning of a pandemic of plague that swirled around the Mediterranean for more than two centuries. It killed as many as 40 million people and weakened the Byzantine Empire. “The bodies of the sick were covered with black pustules… the symptoms of immediate death,” wrote Procopius, historian of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. At its peak in Constantinople, he reported, the plague killed 10,000 people a day.
(NG, 5/88, p.678)
542 The St. Columbas monastery was founded on Iona. [see 563]
(SSFC, 8/12/01, p.T8)
543 Mar 21, Benedict of Nursia died. Some sources put his death on March 21, 547. He had founded twelve communities for monks at Subiaco, Lazio, Italy (about 40 miles (64 km) to the east of Rome), before moving to Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy.
544 In northern Guatemala a Mayan altar dated to this year depicts La Corona ruler Chak Took Ich’aak conjuring two local gods from a shaft in the form of a double-headed snake. In 2017 the altar was found encased in the roots of a tree in a collapsed temple. Archaeologists said the altar suggests the Mayan dynasty of Kaanul, known as the Snake Kings, acted like its namesake in slowly squeezing the rival kingdom of Tikal.
(AP, 9/15/18)(AP, 9/18/18)
544 In India about this time Pulakeshin I instituted the Chalukyan kingdom and his son established Vatapi, identified as Badami, as the capital.
546 Colmcille, an Irish saint, founded a monastery at Derry.
(SFC, 12/1/97, p.A14)
546 Totila the Goth besieged Rome.
(PTA, 1980, p.120)
547 Mar 21, St. Benedict (b.450), Italian monk, died (see March 21, 543). He lived for years as a hermit near the ruins of Nero’s palace above Subiaco, 40 miles east of Rome. He established the monastery of Monte Cassino, the founding house of the Benedictine order. His rules and standards of communal life are known as the rules of St. Benedict.
548 In Ireland St. Kieran founded a monastery at Clonmacnoise, an Irish phrase meaning “the meadow of the sons of Nos.”
(SFEC, 8/1/99, p.T8)
549 Jerusalem held to a Jan 6 date for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus until this year. In the end the West added the Epiphany and the East added the Dec 25 nativity to their liturgical calendars.
(WSJ, 12/18/98, p.W15)
550 Native peoples in southwest Colorado began building pit houses. Found the world over, these are rooms dug in the ground with roofs of mud and logs. To get in or out, people used a ladder through a hole in the roof that doubled as a smoke vent-unpleasant for humans but a good way to keep animals out. You can see several excavated pit houses at the National Park.
550 Aryabhata (b.476), Indian astronomer and mathematician, died. The Aryabhatiya, an astronomical treatise, is the magnum opus and only extant work of Aryabhata.
c550 Japanese rulers allow their subjects to practice the Buddhist faith.
550 Persians reasserted control over all of what is now Afghanistan. Revolts by various Afghan tribes followed.
550-577 The Northern Qi dynasty ruled in China. A wall parallel to the Great Wall in the Jinshanling area is attributed to their rule.
(SFC, 2/9/06, p.E4)
550-730 Ancient Turkic people flourished in Mongolia during this period.
(Arch, 1/06, p.19)
550-1200 The period of Irish Monasticism.
552 Jul 10, Origin of Armenian calendar.
552 Aug 5, In Italy snow fell in the town of Panicale in Umbria. The Church of the Virgin of Snows commemorated the rare event.
(SFEM, 10/12/97, p.49)
552 Agents from Byzantium impersonating monks smuggled silkworms and mulberry leaves out of China in hollow canes.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R50)(Econ, 8/23/08, p.51)
553-578 Moon-Jaguar, the tenth Mayan ruler of Copan, reigned over this period.
(Nat. Hist., 4/96, p.28)
554 Aug 14, Ravenna became the seat of the Byzantine military governor in Italy.
555 Jun 7, Vigilius ended his reign as Catholic Pope (537-555).
(PTA, 1980, p.118)(SC, 6/7/02)
556 Feb 21, Maximianus van Ravenna, bishop (Basilica S Stefano), died.
556 Apr 16, Pelagius I began his reign as Catholic Pope.
c556 Dionysius Exiguus, Scythian monk, died. He devised the current system of reckoning the Christian era.
(WUD, 1994, p.405)
558 May 7, The dome of the church of St. Sophia in Constantinople collapsed. Its immediate rebuilding was ordered by Justinian.
560 Emperor Justinian about this time returned the treasure of Jerusalem, plundered by the Romans in 70AD, to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
(SFC, 10/23/06, p.A15)
561 Mar 4, Pelagius I, Italian Catholic Pope (556-61), died.
(PTA, 1980, p.120)
561 Jul, John III was consecrated Pope.
(PTA, 1980, p.122)
562 Belisarius stood trial in Constantinople on a charge of corruption. The charge is presumed to have been trumped-up and modern research suggests that his former secretary Procopius of Caesarea may have judged his case. Belisarius was found guilty and imprisoned but not long after, Justinian pardoned him, ordered his release, and restored him to favor at the imperial court. Belisarius and Justinian, whose partnership had increased the size of the empire by 45 percent died within a few months of each other in 565.
562 Tikal in Guatemala was conquered possibly by the Mayans of Calakmul city in Mexico. Calakmul is one of the largest of Mayan cities with more than 6,000 structures. It was the capital of a widespread hegemony of Lowland Maya kingdoms during the Late Classic (600-900).
(AM, May/Jun 97 suppl. p.G)(Arch, 9/00, p.27)
562 Mayans from the city of Ah Witz Na, in what is now Belize, conquered Tikal.
(SFEC, 6/1/97, p.T3)
563 The Irish Catholic monk Columba (Colum Cille) arrived on the Scottish island of Iona. [see 542]
(SFC, 2/10/99, p.A10)(AM, 7/01, p.51)
563 A tsunami devastated Geneva. It was generated by a massive rockfall on what was called Mount Tauredunum.
(Econ, 11/3/12, p.79)
563-594 In northern Peru a 30-year mega el nino weather period began that caused major flooding in areas populated by the Moche people.
565 Mar, Flavius Belisarius (b.c500), military commander of the Byzantine Empire, died. He was instrumental in the reconquest of much of the Mediterranean territory of the former Western Roman Empire, which had been lost less than a century before.
565 Aug 22, St. Columba reported seeing a monster in Loch Ness.
565 Nov 14, Justinian I, [Petrus Sabbatius], Byzantine emperor (527-565), died at age 83.
570 Jan 19, Mohammed (d.632), “The Prophet”, founder of Islam and speaker in the Koran,” was born into the Quraysh tribe in Makkah. He was orphaned at an early age and found work in a trade caravan. He married a wealthy widow and this gave him the freedom to visit Mount Hira each year to think. His birthday is observed on the 12th day of Rabi ul’Awwal, the 3rd month of the lunar calendar, in a festival known as Mawlid-al-Nabi. The Koran was probably not fixed for the 1st two centuries after the emergence of Islam.
(ATC, p.59)(SFC, 7/6/98, p.A14)(WSJ, 11/15/01, p.A16)(Econ, 4/28/07, p.97)
570 John Philoponus (b.490), a Christian and Aristotelian commentator (aka John of Alexandria or John the Grammarian), died.
573 Aug 20, Gregory of Tours was selected as the bishop of Tours.
573 In Copan the Rosalila structure on the Acropolis culminated a period of intense construction
(NG, 12/97, p.92)
574 Jul 13, Pope John III died.
(PTA, 1980, p.122)
574 Prince Shotoku was born in Japan. He later brought the Kongo family from Korea to Osaka and had them build a Buddhist temple. The temple took 15 years to build and the Kongo family became established as the premier temple builders in Japan.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R46)
575 Jun 2, Benedict I began his reign as Catholic Pope.
578 Oct 5, Justinus II, Byzantine emperor (565-78), died.
578 The family business Kongo Gumi was founded in Japan by a Korean in Osaka to build Buddhist temples. The company continued to flourish in 2010 as general builder.
(Econ, 12/18/04, p.104)(Econ, 11/20/10, SR p.9)
579 Jul 30, Pope Benedict I died.
(PTA, 1980, p.124)
580 Pope Pelagius left married priests alone if they kept their wives and children from inheriting church property.
(SFC, 3/16/02, p.A3)
580-728 Pallava kings ruled in southern India, later Tamil Nadu state. The port town of Mahabalipuram was the capital of their ancient kingdom.
581-618 The Sui Dynasty ruled in China. The “Sui Shu” are the annals of the Sui Dynasty and mention of cormorant fishing in Japan is made.
(Jap. Enc., BLDM, p. 214)(SFEC, 8/11/96, Z1, p.6)(NH, 10/98, p.69)
587 Nov 28, Treaty of Andelot: King Guntram took cousin Childebert II as heir.
589 Mar 1, Saint David (b.~500), Welsh Bishop, died about this time. He was later regarded as a saint and as the patron saint of Wales. The Annales Cambriae has his death at 601, which would move his birth date forward. His mother was Non (also Nonna or Nonnita), according to Christian tradition.
589 Japanese official diplomatic delegations were sent to China (during the Sui dynasty) to learn Chinese culture, including Chinese court music, Gagaku (elegant music).
590 Feb 7, Pelagius II, Gothic Pope (579-90), died from plague.
590 Sep 3, St. Gregory I began his reign as Pope. Gregory the Great reigned until 604 and established the popes as the de facto rulers of central Italy, and strengthened the papal primacy over the Churches of the West.
(CU, 6/87)(MC, 9/3/01)
590 St. Elijah’s Monastery, aka Dair Mar Elia, was completed in Mosul. It was named after Assyrian Christian monk St. Elijah, who began the construction in 582. In 2014 the Christian monastery was destroyed by the Islamic State.
(AP, 1/20/16)(SFC, 1/21/16, p.A4)
590 Pope Gregory said he spotted an angel atop Hadrians Mausoleum. The site was then reconfigured as a fortress called Castel SantAngelo. In 1925 it became a national museum.
(SSFC, 5/1/05, p.F8)
590 Pope Gregory I revised an earlier list to form the more common Seven Deadly Sins, by folding sorrow/despair into acedia, vainglory into pride, and adding extravagance and envy, while removing fornication from the list (Anger, Envy, Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Pride, Sloth). In the order used by both Pope Gregory and by Dante Alighieri in his epic poem The Divine Comedy, the seven deadly sins are as follows: 1. luxuria (extravagance/lust) 2. gula (gluttony) 3. avaritia (avarice/greed) 4. acedia (acedia/discouragement/sloth) 5. ira (anger/wrath) 6. invidia (envy) 7. superbia (pride).
592-710 The Asuka Period of Japanese history.
593-622 The Regency of Prince Shotoku on Japan.
(Jap. Enc., BLDM, p. 214)
594 In Japan wood for the five-storey pagoda of the Temple of the Flourishing Law in Nara prefecture was felled about this time. Construction of the temple is believed to have begun soon after. In 2016 it was one of the worlds oldest wooden buildings.
(Econ, 9/10/16, p.66)
594 In Peru a 30-year drought began about this time that followed years of flooding in areas populated by the Moche people.
598-658 Chu Suilang: Tang Dynasty calligrapher.
(SFC, 5/14/03, p.D1)