Although the Roman empire by the 9th century was as good as gone, its spiritual successor, Byzantium, was still alive and well, ensconced behind stout walls and treacherous seas on the Bosphorus, and vastly rich, given its control of the trade routes into Europe from the Middle East and distant China. There was competition, however: to the north lay the Russian states, which were growing in strength which each day, and to the south the Muslims, although disunited, would be soon reunited once more under the rule of several able caliphs.
All this, however, was nothing compared to the state of affairs in Europe and Asia. There, the many barbarian tribes that had split the Roman empire apart were beginning to coalesce into different kingdoms and while they may have remained small, weak and disunited, they were already showing signs of being potential competitors. Chief of these was the so-called Carolignian Empire, which covered most of Northern Europe and stretched south across the Alps into northern Italy.
In Asia, the Tang still continued to rule China and remained the most eminent power in the Far East, although it was increasingly coming under the strain of having to fend off incursions by Turkic tribes, which were now making their presence felt in both continents.
- 800: Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor at Rome by Leo; rise of native Muslim Aghlabid empire in present-day Tunisia.
- 802: Egbert, a refugee at Charlemagne's court, installed as King of Wessex in England.
- 809: Sardinia a part of Aghlabid Empire.
- 810: Krum of Bulgaria defeated and killed Emperor Nikephoros of Byzantium.
- 812–813: Baghdad devastated during Abbasid civil war.
- 814: Charlemagne died.
- 819: Emergence of Ziyadid dynasty in Yemen.
- 827-901: Aghlabid Empire of Tunisia invaded Italy and Southern France.
- 828: Egbert first king of England.
- 836: Abbasid capital moved to Samarra, Iraq.
- 843: Louis the Pious died, causing the disintegration of the Carolingian Empire. His title of Holy Roman Emperor since then was not invoked frequently until 962.
- 846: Aghlabid invaders sacked Rome.
- 862: Rurik the Varangian established the Rurikid dynasty at Novgorod, Russia.
- 852: Boris first Christian king of Bulgaria, until 884.
- 858: Canals in Northern China flood, devastating crops and drowning many.
- 865-904: Russian fleets threaten Constantinople on 2 separate occasions.
- 873: Famine struck Tang China.
- 874-881: Huangchao Rebellion terrorised China.
- 877: Egyptian Tulunid Empire invaded Syria.
- 905: Abbasids retook Fertile Crescent.
- 907: A military governer, Zhu Wen deposed Emperor Ai of Tang in China and styled himself Emperor Taizu of later Liang Dynasty. China became a nation divided.
- 908: Emergence of Liao in north-east China.
- 909: Fatimid dynasty established in North Africa.
- 912: Rollo (also known as Rolf the Ganger) first duke of Normandy in northern France.
- 913: Prince Igor became Prince of Kiev.
- 919: Henry the Fowler elected King of Germany.
- 928: Persian Samanids crushed Alid dynasty but then lost northern Iran to Ziyarids.
- 928–969: "Macedonian Renaissance" of Byzantium: Byzantines dominant in several cities in southern Italy and the Middle East.
- 929: Hamdanids dominant in Syria and Iraq; Abdurrahman III dominant in Andalus.
- 932: Buyids seceded from Ziyarids and conquered Western Iran. Norse colonists in Iceland established the Althing, today Europe's oldest legislative council.
- 936: Henry the Fowler was succeeded by his son, Otto I.
- 945: Igor slain in battle.
- 955: Olga of Kiev, Igor's widow baptised as first prominent Christian ruler.
- 957: Battle of Arbaq — Muizz ad-Dawla crushed a rebel army in Iraq.
- 959: Hasanwahid dynasty dominant in Kordestan.
- 960: Emergence of Song dynasty in China.
- 962: Otto I of Germany crowned Holy Roman Emperor; Ghaznavids active in eastern Iran, Afghanistan and Punjab.
- 972: Cairo made Fatimid capital.
- 978: Prince Vladimir unites Russia.
- 987: Hugh Capet founded Capetian dynasty in France. Norse colonisation of Greenland, the first colonisation of the Western Hemisphere by Europeans to be historically recorded.
- 988: Vladimir converted to Christianity.
- 999: Turkic Kara Khans defeated Samanids.
- 1000: Spontaneous celebrations in Rome, as people were relieved to discover that the world had not ended yet at the onset of the new year. This event would mark the beginning of the end of the Dark Age.
- 1000s: Kara Khans became Selcuk vassals. Gunpowder began making appearance as a weapon in China by this time.
- 1001–1024: Ghazanavid empire invaded northwest India.
- 1015: Vladimir died, breaking up the Kievan realm.
- 1016: Cnut king of Denmark, Norway and England.
- 1031: Umayyad overthrown in Andalus, causing 1st Taifa period.
- 1036: Jaroslav the Lawgiver reunited Kievan Rus.
- 1037: St Sophia Cathedral of Kiev completed under Jaroslav's patronage.
- 1040: Almoravids dominant in Maurentania.
- 1043: A Russian fleet threatened Constantinople.
- 1050–1057: Nomadic Banu Hilal tribe migrated to Libya, Tunis.
- 1054: Jaroslav died, spitting Kievan Rus again.
- 1066: Harold Godwinsson killed in battle at Hastings, leaving William the Bastard the sole ruler of England. William would then thereafter be known with the epithet of "William I the Conqueror".
- 1070: A bishop from France completed construction of the White Tower of London on commission from William.
- 1071: Selcuk dominant in Middle East. Battle of Melasgird.
- 1076: Almoravids overthrew Kingdom of Ghana.
- 1084: Robert Guiscard sacked Rome.
- 1085: Toledo in Castillian hands.
- c1086-90: Almoravids dominant in Andalus.
- 1087-1099: See of Pope Urban II.
- 1095: Urban II declared 1st Crusade at Clermont.
- 1096: Massacre of People's Crusade in Asia Minor.
- 1097: First Crusade in Syria
- 1099: Godfrey of Boullion took Jerusalem.
- 1113: Vladimir Monomakh Grand Prince of Kiev.
- c1120: Rise of Almohads in Morocco.
- 1125: Vladimir Monomakh died. His death would see the end of the golden age of Kiev.
- 1145–1147: Almohads overthrew Almoravid, breaking up Muslim Iberia. 2nd Taifa period in Spain.
- 1147: 2nd Crusade; first recorded mention of Moscow in history on the Moskva river.
- 1169: Saladin sultan of Egypt.
- 1172: Almohads dominant in Andalus.
- 1176: Friedrich Barbarossa acknowledged superiority of Papacy at Venice.
- c1185: The Lay of Igor's Campaign composed. This would be Russia's first national epic.
- 1180–1185: Outbreak of Gempei War. Japanese monarchy weakened and Kamakura shogunate established.
- 1189: Third Crusade.
- 1198–1216: See of Innocent III. Friedrich II Hohenstaufen, who was then aged 4, became his ward.
- c1200: Rise of Islamic Mandenka kingdom in present-day Mali.
- 1202: 4th Crusade diverted to Constantinople.
- 1204: Latin occupation of Constantinople: Byzantine empire temporarily sundered.
- 1206: Temüjin united the Mongols and accepted the name of Genghis Khan.
- 1212: Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa: Christian forces defeated the Almohads.
- 1214: Genghis Khan took Beijing.
- 1223: Russo-Cuman army smashed by Mongols at Battle of the Kalka.
- 1226: Death of St Francis Assisi, founder of the Franciscan monastic order.
- 1227: Death of Genghis Khan. Mongol Empire inherited by Ugedey Khan.
- 1227–30: Collapse of Almohad authority.
- 1228 So-called "6th Crusade" — Jerusalem ceded by Al-Kamil of Egypt to Friedrich II Hohenstaufen for 10 years.
- 1236–48: All Andalus except Granada fell to Christians.
- 1237–40: Batu Khan conquered Russia.
- 1240: Mongols razed Kiev. in that same year however, Alexander, Prince of Novgorod, crushed Swedes at the Battle of the Neva, earning himself the epithet Alexander Nevsky.
- 1241 Mongol defeats of Polish forces at Legnica and Silesia.
- 1242: Battle of Lake Peipus — Russians under Alexander Nevsky broke a Teutonic Knight incursion.
- 1250: Friedrich II Hohenstaufen died, causing an interregnum; Marinid dynasty dominant at Fez.
- 1251: Mongke Khan Great Khan; Kublai Khan Mongol governor of China.
- 1258: Hulagu sacked Baghdad, ushering the decline of the Islamic world.
- 1260: Kublai Khan Great Khan.
- 1261: Greeks retook Constantinople from Latins.
- 1263: Death of Alexander Nevsky, he left Moscow to his youngest son Daniel.
- 1273: Rudolf Habsburg elected emperor. Emergence of the Swiss nation.
- 1280: Kublai Khan founded Yuan dynasty.
- 1292: Kublai Khan died.
- 1293: Robert Bacon, the prophet of experimental science, died.
- 1299-1358: Marinids at war with Ziyarids of Algeria.
- 1324: War of Saint-Sardos in Gascony deprived English crown of inheritance in France, thus sparking off the Hundred Years' War.
- 1337–40: French navy raided southern England before being destroyed at Battle of Sluys.
- 1348: The Great Plague.
- 1360: Chinese people rebelled against Mongols, establishing Zhu Yuanzhang as their Emperor eight years later.
- 1377: Gregory IX returned back to Rome.
- 1378: Great Schism: Urban VI in Rome; Clement VII in Avignon.
- 1415: Rise of European imperialism. Ceuta became a Portuguese colony.
- 1414–18: Council of Constance. Jan Hus is burned at the stake for heresy, unleashing the Hussite Wars.
- 1417: End of the Great Schism.
- 1430: Khanate of the Crimea seceded from the Mongol Empire.
- 1438: Khanates of Astrakhan, Kazan and Sibir seceded from the Mongol Empire.
- 1438–39: Council of Florence held to attempt to reconcile Eastern Christians with Catholics.
- 1450: Height of Songhai empire of Africa.
- 1453: Fall of Constantinople to Ottoman Turks, whose sultan, Mehmet II, then gained the epithet "Fatih" or "conqueror". Russia was then the only bastion of the Orthodox religion.
- 1467–1477: Onin War in Japan threatened the Ashikaga shogunate.
- 1480 Ivan III, Grand Duke of Moscow, threw off Mongol allegiance.
- 1481 Death of Mehmet II "Fatih" while preparing for conquest of Italy.
- 1486 Bartlomeu Diaz rounded the Cape of Good Hope.
- 1492: Granada conquered by Spanish who then invaded North Africa. In that same year, Christopher Columbus summoned to Valladolid to discuss exploration of the far side of the Atlantic Ocean.
- 1498: Vasco da Gama sailed round the Cape to India.
- 1499: Birth of the Swiss Confederacy with the signing of the Peace of Basel.
- 1500: Charles V of Spain born.
- 1509: Henry VIII crowned king of England.
- 1513: Leo X elected as pope; Francis I crowned king of France.
- 1516: Portuguese active in the South China Sea and the East Indies.
- 1517: The Reformation. Martin Luther, a cleric and university professor, disputed religious validity of indulgences with Johann Tetzel, a Papal commissioner.
- 1518: Luther's 95 Theses translated from Latin to German, granting a greater spread of Protestantism throughout Europe.
- 1519: Hernan Cortéz arrived in Central America.
- 1520: Süleyman, later given the epithets "the Great"; and "the Lawgiver"; was installed as Ottoman emperor. Charles V was also elected as Holy Roman emperor.
- 1523: Reformation in Sweden. Gustav Vasa seized all church lands and asserted prerogative to elect high-ranking church officials.
- 1525: Battle of Panipat. Babur became lord of India
- 1527: Rome sacked by German troops of the Count of Bourbon.
- 1519: 1st Siege of Vienna.
- 1530: Charles V crowned Holy Roman Emperor; Henry VIII of England began his quarrels with the Papacy.
- 1539: Society of Jesus founded.
- 1542: Viceroyalty of Peru imposed by Spanish crown.
- 1545: Death of Martin Luther.
- Wallace R, & Krieger L (ed); Rise of Russia; (1967) Time and Life Books, New York
- Wells HG et al; A short history of the world (1967 rev ed); Penguin Books
- Nicolle D & McBride A; The Armies of Islam: 7th–11th Centuries; (2008), Osprey Publishing
- Nicolle D & McBride A; The Moors: The Islamic West 7th–15th Centuries AD; (2001), Osprey Publishing