Millennium: 1st millennium
Centuries: 9th century · 10th century · 11th century
Decades: 900s 910s 920s 930s 940s
950s 960s 970s 980s 990s
Categories: BirthsDeaths

As a means of recording the passage of time, the 10th century was that century which lasted from 901 to 1000.


The tenth century is usually regarded as a low point in European history. In China it was also a period of political upheaval. In the Muslim World, however, it was a cultural zenith, especially in Spain. Also it was the zenith for the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires.

Medievalist and historian of technology Lynn White said that "to the modern eye, it is very nearly the darkest of the Dark Ages", but concluded that ". . . if it was dark, it was the darkness of the womb."[1] Similarly, Helen Waddell wrote that the tenth century was that which "in the textbooks disputes with the seventh the bad eminence, the nadir of the human intellect."[2] Even in the fifteenth century, Lorenzo Valla described it as the Century of Lead and Iron.


This statue of a yogini goddess was created in Kaveripakkam in Tamil Nadu, India, during the 10th century.

The Bulgarian victory at Anchialos.

Significant people[]

Half-section of the Night Revels of Han Xizai, by Chinese artist Gu Hongzhong, 10th century. A women is seen entertaining guests with a pipa on the right-hand side.

Inventions, discoveries, introductions[]

Earliest known representation of a gun (a fire lance) and a grenade (upper right), from the cave murals of Dunhuang, China, 10th century.

Decades and years[]


  1. ^ Quoted in The Tenth Century: How Dark the Dark Ages?, edited by Robert Sabatine Lopez. Holt, Reinhart and Winston: 1959.
  2. ^ The Wandering Scholars. Constable and Co: London, 1927.

Further reading[]

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