World 750 CE

Between them, two enormous empires span the entire Eurasian landmass between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. They house the leading civilizations of the day.

Read on

Subscribe for more great content – and remove ads

Subscribe for more great content – and remove ads

4300BCE 3900BCE 3500BCE 3100BCE 2700BCE 2300BCE 1900BCE 1500BCE 1100BCE 700BCE 300BCE 100CE 500CE 900CE 1300CE 1700CE 2021CE

World history in the year 750 - the early medieval world

The rise of Islam

The outstanding development in world history at this time has been the rise of Islam. This has been the work of Arab armies, whose conquests have reshaped the map of the Middle East and beyond.

Every neighboring region has been affected by this development, to a greater or lesser extent. The Arabs have brought a vast territory under their control, with chunks of both Europe (in Spain and Portugal) and the Indian sub-continent (most of modern-day Pakistan) falling to them. West Africa is beginning to feel the impact of Islam as Muslim merchants bring their faith with them to the region, and Muslim armies have penetrated deep into Central Asia. Here they are encountering an expansionist Chinese empire. The clash between the two great powers of the period will result in the spread of a key technology in world history, when Chinese captives pass on the technology of paper-making to their Muslim captors.

East Asia

The other great empire of the period is that ruled by the Tang dynasty of China. Under the Tang, China has been reunified and reinvigorated. This is a period of great artistic and literary achievement, and China acts as a powerfully attractive exemplar of civilization for its neighbors. Japan especially is experiencing a great cultural flowering at this time.

Europe

In western Europe, a simpler, less literate society has replaced the sophisticated urban civilization of Rome. The Christian Church now dominates the religious and cultural life of the region.

The Americas

In the Western Hemisphere, the Mayan civilization of Central America continues to thrive, and in South America two new centers of power have arisen in the Andes, Tiwanaku and Huari.

North America has seen the rise of the Pueblo culture in its dry south west, and in the Amazon basin of South America, an increasingly complex network of chiefdoms is emerging.

The Asian Steppes

On the steppes of eastern Europe and central Asia, the struggles between competing Turkic groups caused some to move westward, where they have posed a threat to the more settled societies of central and southern Europe. The Avars and the Bulgars are the most notable of these hordes.

In the mid-6th century, much of the steppes of central Asia fell under the sway of a Turkish confederacy. This extended its power right across from China to Europe. It soon divided into Eastern and Western halves, and on the western steppes a Turkic people called the Khazars seized the leadership in the early 7th century. The Khazars have had to fight hard to stop Arab armies from pushing into the steppes. Perhaps because of this their rulers have recently converted to the Jewish faith.

The Eastern Turkish confederacy lasted until 734, when it disintegrated into warring groups.

Africa

Africa has seen the emergence of kingdoms on the West African savannah south of the Sahara desert. Their wealth and power is based in control of the trade routes crossing the grasslands and reaching down into the forests to the south. On an island off the same continent, Madagascar, a group of settlers arrive who are related to the Polynesians of the Pacific. Their ancestors took to their boats thousands of years before, sailing from the coast of China – one of the most remarkable migrations in global history.

South Asia, South East Asia, and Oceania

India is now divided amongst numerous regional kingdoms. Culturally, the states of southern India are coming to the fore.

In South East Asia, a maritime power now dominates many of the coasts and islands of the region. This is the Srivijaya empire.

In Oceania, the Polynesians have completed their colonization of the central Pacific Islands by now.

Next map: the world in 979 CE

Dig Deeper

World history

The Steppe peoples of Central Asia

For details of the different civilizations, click on the relevant timeline above. 

More ‘Dig Deeper’ links may be found in the regional maps. To access, click on the markers in the world map.

Premium Units

Darkness and Light – Medieval Europe I

Medieval kingdoms of India

China – the Middle Dynasties

 

Subscribe for more great content – and remove ads

What else is happening in the rest of the world...

Ancient Middle East II: Age of Empire history 950BCE

In the late 13th century BCE, population movements in Europe caused groups to take to the sea and raid the coasts of the eastern Mediterranean. These groups appeared in the records as the “Sea Peoples”. Their impact was devastating. By the end of the century the Hittite empire had been destroyed. Several Indo-European groups such […]

The Classical Age of China history 500BCE

The decline of the Zhou kingdom In northern China, kings of the Zhou dynasty came to power in the 11th century BCE. Their kingdom expanded over an ever-larger area of China. To help them govern their growing realm, the Zhou kings divided it into many districts, each under a powerful local lord. These lords served […]

Greece and Persia history 585BCE

The Middle East In 585 BCE the Assyrian Empire, which had dominated the region for centuries, had been replaced by three large states. These were the Babylonian Empire, ruled by the famous king Nebuchadnezzar; the empire of the Medes, an Indo-European speaking people who had come down from central Asia and settled in Iran; and […]

The Classical Age of India history 500BCE

The Indus Valley civilization vanished over a thousand years before this date. Since then, Aryan tribes have been spreading out across northern India. The Indus Valley civilization This civilization flourished between about 2700 to 1800 BCE (see the Premium Unit Early Civilizations). After that time, it vanished. Modern scholars do not understand the reasons for […]

Subscribe for more great content – and remove ads