A Brief History
This article presents a timeline of The Dark Ages!
On September 28, 235, Pope Pontian became the first pope to resign his office, only to live out his days exiled to the mines of Sardinia!
On September 25th, Catholics remember the death of Spanish Saint Fermin, the first bishop of Pamplona, in 303 A.D…and the miracles that followed!
On October 27, 312, the night before the Battle of Milvian Bridge against the Roman Emperor Maxentius, the Emperor Constantine the Great adopted as his motto the Greek phrase “ἐν τούτῳ νίκα” after having a vision of a Christogram in the sky.
On September 14, 326, Helena of Constantinople made one of the greatest discoveries in Christian history when she discovered the location of the Holy Sepulchre (the crypt where Jesus was entombed) and the True Cross in Jerusalem.
On May 31, 455, Western Roman Emperor Petronius Maximus was stoned to death by an angry mob.
On March 10, 483, the Bishop of Rome, Pope Simplicius, died after a 15 year reign on “the Throne of St. Peter.”
On August 28, 489, the king of the Ostrogoths, Theodoric, defeated the forces under Odoacer, King of Italy, at the Battle of Isonzo, thus opening the route into the heart of Italy.
On October 4, 610, Heraclius arrived by ship from Africa at Constantinople, overthrew Byzantine Emperor Phocas on one of the most badass coups in history, and became Emperor.
On August 28, 632, Fatimah bint Muhammad, the youngest and possibly the only daughter of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, beloved by Muhammad and by Muslims throughout the world, died under disputed circumstances.
On May 30, 727, we mourn the passing of one of the great characters in history, one of our favorite Saints, Saint Hubert, also known as Hubertus, the first bishop of Liège in what is now Belgium.
On October 19, 727, Saint Frithuswith, also spelled Frideswide, passed away after a king made a disastrous decision to try to marry her!
On May 3, 752, the Mayan King Bird Jaguar IV began his reign. Not only do we not know what the heck a bird jaguar is, but there were three of them before this one! On April 23 we told you people used to have goofy names. Well, they still do, coming up with new ones all the time.
On September 24, 787, church leaders of the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church met at the Church of Hagia Sophia in Iznik, province of Nicaea ( province of Bursa in modern Turkey) in a conference known as the Second Council of Nicaea.
On August 29, 798 (AD), Japan minted copper coins for the first time in their history.
On September 14, 919, a united coalition of native Irish fought an epic battle against the Dublin based Vikings that had colonized Ireland, a battle known as Battle of Islandbridge.
On November 7, 921, the Treaty of Bonn was signed by 2 Frankish kings, Charles the Simple and Henry the Fowler.
On October 27, 939, King Æthelstan of England died, the throne then going to his half-brother, Edmund I.
On November 6, 963, Holy Roman Emperor Otto I called a council in Rome to depose the current Pope, John XII, on charges of leading an armed rebellion against Otto, as well as conducting his secular affairs in a corrupt and immoral manner.
On June 11, 980, Vladimir the Great was proclaimed the ruler of all Kievan Rus’, having consolidated an empire consisting of the lands from what is now Ukraine in the East to the Baltic Sea in the West, the White Sea in the North, and to the Black Sea in the South.
On August 10th or 11th, 991, a Viking invasion of England resulted in The Battle of Maldon, fought in Essex near the River Blackwater.
On November 13, 1002, English king Æthelred II the Unready ordered the killing of all Danes in England, known today as the St. Brice’s Day massacre.
On April 12, 1012, Jaromir, Duke of Bohemia, was deposed by the Duke Oldřich of Bohemia.
On April 23, 1016, Edmund Ironside was crowned King of England, replacing his father Aethelred the Unready.
On November 30 1016, Edmund Ironside, also known as Edmund II or even Ēadmund Isernside (in Old English), was murdered on his “throne,” stabbed to death multiple times as he attended to “business.”
On July 10, 1040, Lady Godiva is supposed to have ridden naked on horseback to force her husband, the Earl of Mercia, to lower taxes. Since Lady Godiva’s legendary ride, many other women have made great impressions on culture, society and history mainly because they were in the buff.
On May 19, 1051, Anne of Kiev, also known as Anna Yaroslavna, married the King of France, Henry I.
On September 28, 1066, a warrior leader known as William the Bastard invaded England from Normandy in what is now France. Perhaps you know him better as William the Conqueror, a much catchier name.
On October 14, 1066, the Normans under William the Conqueror defeated the English at the Battle of Hastings. This date is one that you might find on a high school or college history test, or perhaps on the television trivia show, Jeopardy. Certain battles in history are associated with a date (or a particular year) that many people remember or are reminded of, regardless of the importance of the battle.
On April 11, 1079, Bishop Stanislaus of Kraków, Poland, later Saint Stanislaus, was executed either by the order of or perhaps by the direct hand of King Bolesław II of Poland.
On October 17, 1091, a tornado with a strength thought to be about T8/F4, which means a severely devastating tornado with winds over 200 miles per hour, struck the heart of London, England.
On December 12, 1098, in what is now Syria, Crusaders massacred 20,000 Muslims and ate some of them!
On July 15, 1099, during the First Crusade, Christian soldiers take the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem after the final assault of a difficult siege.
On February 15, 1113, the reigning Pope of the Catholic Church, Pope Paschal II, issued a Papal Bull titled “Pie Postulatio Voluntatis,” recognizing the Order of Hospitallers, a military order of Catholic knights that had existed in the Holy Land since about 1099.
On September 21, 1170, invading Normans, Vikings that had settled in France, captured the Kingdom of Dublin and established their own Irish kingdom replacing a previous Viking kingdom in Ireland from the 9th Century called Dyflin.
On July 18, 1290, King Edward I of England, also known as “Edward Longshanks” or alternatively “The Hammer of the Scots,” issued the Edict of Expulsion, a royal decree ordering all Jews out of England.
On March 28, 1930, the Turkish cities of Constantinople and Angora changed their names to Istanbul and Ankara. You may remember Constantinople as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire and the capital of the Ottoman Empire (as well as the Latin Empire and Byzantine Empire), but if you are not familiar with Angora/Ankara you are hereby informed that this city is the capital of Turkey. Many cities, countries, and even regions have undergone name changes throughout history for many different reasons.
On July 5, 2009, in an English field near the village of Hammerwich, a man looking for curios with a metal detector in a freshly plowed field found gold and silver objects dating back to the 7th Century.
Question for students (and subscribers): Were the Dark Ages really that “dark”? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Oman, Charles. The Dark Ages – Book I of III. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017.
Wickham, Chris. The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000 (The Penguin History of Europe). Penguin Books, 2010.