The 8th Century is one of expansion and conflict across the world.
Huge advances are made in art, science and literature.
Come with us and discover intriguing historical connections between events. Use our more detailed timelines to drill down into content.
This is the century when the Arab world use their superior knowledge of science and maths and art to extend their kingdoms. A Muslim army crosses the Strait of Gibraltar and begins a conquest of Spain.
Religions seek supremacy over each other, Muslims, Christians and Jews face each other in many parts of the world.
In 8th Century Britain, Bede writes his Ecclesiastical History. He beings numbering the years from the time of Christ rather than from the reign of kings – his numbering to be divided between BC and AD. His writings leave us with a rich history of Britain’s Anglo Saxon past.
China, with it’s rich heritage and culture, fails to exploit it’s position and as part of a dynamic shift in the area, Muslims replace the Chinese as the dominant influence along the Silk Road.
The time of Charlemagne and the re-building of the Frankish Empire
Charlemagne overruns the Lombards in northern Italy. He divides Lombard territory with the Pope, creating the Papal States. He begins his war against the Saxons in Germany, with slaughter and forced conversions to Christianity.
Charlemagne, king of the Franks, is learning to read, and he reproaches ecclesiastics for their uncouth language and “unlettered tongues.” In hope of creating an educated clergy he orders every cathedral and monastery to establish a school where clergy and laity can learn to read. In this he has the support of the Anglo Saxon kings.
The Vikings are coming!
Late in the 8th Century the first recorded raid of the Vikings in Britain when they reach the island of Lindisfarne, Scotland. They kill monks and loot the monastery there.
Britain is developing it’s commercial ports, Hamwick in Hampshire and the port at London and is moving towards the establishment of the kingdom of England.
Much of what we know about the 8th Century is based on the works of the chroniclers such as Bede. See our Anglo Saxon timeline to help you connect the pieces of this early history. Visit our site outlining Hampshire’s History to see the Anglo Saxon’s impact on the most ancient county in England.