First Millenium AD
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Items in normal text indicate South African non-theatrical events and activities Items printed in bold indicate South African theatre and performance events. All items in italics refer to international (i.e. non-South African) events or international theatre and performance events
Plays of Seneca written and performed. Presumed date of birth for Jesus Christ, who would become the founder and focus of the Christian religion in its many forms. Caligula and Nero rule Rome. Destruction of Jerusalem. Buddhism migrates from India to China. The Roman Empire extends to Scotland. Boreholes 2000 feet deep drilled in salt mines at Szechwan, China. Paper invented in China. Early Mayan style temples and pyramids in Uaxatún and Tikal, Maya Region. First library in Rome.
The Circensian Games evolve. Astronomical instruments enable prediction of eclipses and the water clock and writing paper developed in China. Ptolemy: Geographica, Galenus: Diversity of Temperaments. The Pantheon built. Romans explore China. Germanic invasions of the Roman Empire. Hadrian becomes emperor of Rome. Jewish insurrection in Egypt.
Hsieh Ho’s "Six Canons of Painting" laid down in China. Monte Alban and Teotihuacan in Mexico become classical cities. Development of fully fledged Mayan culture. The Basilica built in Rome. The Edict of Milan signed. Water powered stone saws developed.
Roman Empire gradually split between East and West, as Constantinople is made the capital by absolute ruler Constantine (330AD). Visigoths conquer Rome (378AD)
St Augustine of Hippo writes "City of God". Stained glass windows. "Kama Sutra" and first chess game evolved in India. Mayan astronomical calendar. 1st Catholic "Index of Prohibited Books" (495AD)
The Vandals and the Visogoths enter Europe and Rome is sacked by the Visogoths (410AD). Saxons, Angles, and Jutes invade Britain (±450AD). Atilla becomes king of the Huns, invades Italy and dies there. Rome is sacked by the Vandals (455AD). Last Roman emperor deposed by Odovar the Ostrogoth (476). Frankish Empire established by Ciovis.
Monasticism begun by St Benedict at Mt.Cassino, Italy (±529). Code of Justinian adopted (529) Hagia Sophia and underground cisterns built in Constantinople (532). Silkworms arrive in Europe. Sanskrit dictionary. First books printed in China. Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh (or Mohammed) born in Mecca in 570AD. Gregory the Great becomes pope in Rome (590AD)and the Bishopric of Canterbury established (598AD).
Justinian becomes Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire (527) and brings Italy under the rule of the Eastern Empire. King Arthur and his Round Table.
DEVELOPMENT OF CATTLE, SHEEP AND GOAT FARMING IN SOUTHERN AFRICA.
Mohammed establishes Islam in 610AD, year 622AD becomes the first year of the Islamic calendar, in 630AD Mecca becomes its spiritual centre and by 632AD it was the dominant and uniting religion in the Arabian world. The Koran was published in 653 and by 696AD Arabic was the official administrative language of Islam. In China Buddhism is made Japanese state religion and in England church jurisdiction shifts from Ireland to the Church of Rome (633AD) and Anglo-Saxon missionaries begin work in Europe. Organ used in Church services (660AD).
Mosaic art and book illustration evolves, an observatory built in Korea, porcelain developed in China.
Jerusalem captured by the Persians (614AD). Beginning of Tang Dynasty in China (618-907AD) Mecca is conquered (630AD). Under the first four Caliphs, Islam begins its military expansion (±633-640AD). The Arabs attack Persia (635AD), Egypt (641AD), Byzantium (649AD). Arabs attack Constantinople (673AD). Carthage falls to Arabs and they control North Africa (697AD).
PHOENICIAN SAILORS IN EMPLOY OF EGYPT SAIL AROUND THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE FROM EAST TO WEST ON A THREE YEAR VOYAGE (ACCORDING TO HERODOTOS)
Printing from wood blocks evolves in China and huge printing presses built. Gunpowder invented and used in pyrotechnical displays. The Arabs learn papermaking from Chinese prisoners (751). Baghdad is founded by Caliph el Mansur (762)
Conquest of Spain begun by Moslems from North Africa (±711).
Emperor Ming Huang’s theatre academy in the Pear Garden (China).
Late Iron Age. Charlemagne builds his famous chapel at Aachen. Preservation of classical literature undertaken during Carolingian rennaissance. Carolingian form of minuscule handwriting adopted by Franks. Caliph Ma’mun founds the “House of Wisdom” in Baghdad (830AD). In China astronomical clocks are developed and Chinese porcelain wins recognition for its excellence throughout Asia.
Charlemagne is crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III (800AD). Charlemagne crowned Emperor of the West. Charlemagne dies (814AD) and the Viking invasions of Europe and England increase again. King Alfred the Great king of Wessex.
Emergence of masked dance drama in Japan
IVORY-WORKING BEGINS AMONG THE BANTU-SPEAKERS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA. DEVELOPMENT OF LARGER SETTLEMENTS OF BANTU-SPEAKING AGRICULTURAL VILLAGE-STATES AND OF TRADE (PROBABLY WITH INDIA).
The feudal system begins to take shape in Europe. The Burgundian monastry at Cluny founded (910AD). The Moslem influence extends into Spain, North Africa, Russia, Turkey and Persia. Decline of classical Mayan culture.
Hroswitha writes 6 Christian plays modelled on Terence. Quem Quaeritis trope (970AD)
COPPER MINING AND GOLD AND IVORY TRADE EVOLVES IN SOUTHERN AFRICA.
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