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Eighth Century History

700 – 749

700 The concept of Zero introduced (although it might have been used by early Babylonians). Porcelein introduced. Fingerprinting in use in China as a means of identifying people. Celts arrive in Ireland from parts of Gaul and Britain.

702 The Taiho Code is introduced in Japan, ruling the emperor as supreme moral authority and introducing a national tax system.

710 The capital of Japan is moved from Osaka to the city of Nara.

711 Moslem conquest of Spain. Jews welcome them as liberators.

717 Caliph Omar II grants tax exemption to all Muslim believers.

718 Leo the Isaurian, Emperor Leo III, holds off Muslim attacks on Constantinople for more than a year.

726 Byzantine Emperor Leo III forbids the worship of icons in an attempt to limit the powers of the monastaries.

730 Pope Gregory II excommunicates Leo III for his iconoclasm.

731 Anglo-Saxon scholar monk Bede writes Ecclesiastical History of the English People at his monastery in Jarrow. He numbers the years from the time of Christ rather than from the reign of kings, dividing between BC and AD (or BCE and CE).

732 The word Europe first mentioned. Frankish forces led by Charles Martel halt the Muslim advance into Europe in the Battle of Tours.

735 England’s second archbishopric is established in York; Egbert serves as its first archbishop. Small pox epidemic in Japan; over a period of two years wiping out a third of the population.

738 Boniface begins missionary work among Germanic peoples.

741 Charles Martel dies, succeeded by his two sons, Carloman and Pepin (Pepin the Short). Carloman would abdicate to become a monk, leaving Pepin as sole ruler of the Kingdom of the Franks.

748 First printed newspaper appears in Peking, China.