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Seventh Century History

600 – 649

601 The earliest dated English words are ‘Town’ and ‘Priest’, both recorded in the Laws of Ethelbert.

604 Prince Shôtoku writes The Seventeen Articles, the Constitution of Japan. The emphasis is on the prevention of dispute instead of the resolve of disputes as found in Western law. Pope Gregory the Great dies.

609 ? The prophet Mohammed begins to preach the religion of Islam openly in Mecca (a holy city before the existence of Islam). (Some sources claim year to be 613AD)

618 Emperor Kao Zu founds China’s Tang Dynasty.

622 Mohammed, founder of Islam, initially hoped that the Jews would recognise him as their prophet but when they did not. Mecca’s leaders, who find Mohammed’s teachings objectionable, force the prophet to flee to Medina. The flight will be known as the Hegira.(Muhammad and his followers refused bowing toward Jerusalem and began bowing toward Mecca; Muhammad abandoned Saturday as the Sabbath and made Friday his special day of the week.) From Medina, he would try to drive Jewish tribes from Arabia. Mohammed’s daughter, Fatima, dies. Her two sons, Hassan and Hussein, will establish the Fatimid Dynasty.

628 Byzantine soldiers bring sugar from India to Constantinople.

629 Dagobert becomes King of the Franks. Mohammed returns to Mecca with the Koran (recitation), the holy book of Islam, which records the religion’s principles. Islam’s Sharia (legal system) forbids the consumption of pork and alcohol. Mohammed’s followers circumvent the prohibition against wine by boiling it and adding honey and spices.

630 Muhammad wins his war with Mecca. People view it as a symbol of the power of his god and convert to Islam. Muhammad adds Mecca’s army to his own conquers the rest of Arabia.

632 Muhammad the Prophet dies.

634 Islam’s first caliph to succeed Muhammad, Abu Bakr, declares a holy war on Mesopotamia.

638 Moslem conquest of Jerusalem. Jews allowed to return.

644 A new religion Tokoyonomushi is introduced in Japan, promoting worshipping a worm, drinking sake, dancing in the streets, and giving away money.