The Global Eighth Century

This article first appeared in ISAW Newsletter 14, Winter 2016.

A Comparative Assessment of Socio- economic and Political Developments in the Eighth Century CE Across Eurasia

Workshop, organized by Erik Hermans, ISAW PhD Student
April 15, 10:30am-5:30pm; April 16, 9:00am-1:00pm

In a damaged illustration, a large figure sits cross-legged, surrounded by smaller figures. Illumination of the proclamation of first Abbasid Caliph As-Saff ah (750-754 CE) in a manuscript of the 10th century Persian history titled “Tarikh-e Bal’ami.” Public domain via Wikimedia Commons Around the middle of the eighth century CE different societies in Eurasia experienced important changes. The Carolingian revolution in Western Europe, the Abbasid revolution in the Middle East and the An Lushan rebellion in China practically coincided with the sudden relocations of the capital of Japan. The eighth century in general seems to be a period of simultaneous socio-economic upswing in societies as far apart as Southeast Asia and Northwestern Europe. This workshop will investigate these simultaneous developments by bringing together specialists on the history of the eighth century in Western Europe, Byzantium, the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, China, Japan and Southeast Asia.