Millennium: 1st millennium
Centuries: 8th century · 9th century · 10th century
Decades: 800s 810s 820s 830s 840s
850s 860s 870s 880s 890s
Categories: BirthsDeaths

As a means of recording the passage of time the 9th century was the century that lasted from 801 to 900.

Europe in 9th century

Western European[]

This earthenware dish was made in 9th century Iraq. It is housed in the Freer Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington

"Dark Ages" applied later to this period[]

Starting about 400 years after the period, influential figures in the early phases of the Renaissance would refer back to these times, and the 3 centuries previous, as the "Dark Ages." The reference based on the eclipse of the Western Roman Empire, after AD 476, and the general loss of classical art forms, reduction of urban centers, and diffusion of political power to a petty level. Regional enities never grew to the level of nationhood, let alone empire. Only the Roman Catholic Papacy had true international power, and this was somewhat limited due to poor communications between the regions of Europe. Classical civilization's former record was preserved by the efforts of Catholic monks hand copying manuscripts, but since only a tiny percentage of the populace could read and write, little information or knowledge was disseminated. Most western people were engaged in rural agriculture, and the Roman cities were largely in ruins. Still, certain arts, related to the Church and the ruling class, led to at least a small degree of support to artisans. There is a legacy of brass and gold objects preserved in the world's museums from Europe's "Dark Ages."

Art of the "Dark Ages"[]

First and foremost, art existed because the Church required it. The basic tools of the Roman Catholic mass, thousands of golden art objects were made. Sacred cups, vessels, reliqueries, crucifixes, rosaries, altar pieces, and statues of the Virgin and Child or Saints all kept the flame of art from dying out in the period. Architecture began to revive to some extent by the 9th century. It took the form of Church facilities of all kinds, and the first castle fortifications since Roman times began to take form in simple "moat and baily" castles, or simple "strong point" tower structures, with little refinement.

Worldwide Events[]

File:Brass "Griffin" Beverage Urn.jpg

Brass Griffin beverage urn from 9th century

3D red_cyan glasses recommended for your viewing pleasure

The Three Pagodas of Dali, Yunnan province, China, 9th and 10th centuries.

  • The Arab merchant Shulama wrote that Chinese junk ships could carry 600 to 700

passengers aboard for sailing missions into the Indian Ocean. He wrote that the draft of Chinese ships was too deep for entering the Euphrates River (modern-day Iraq), which forced them to land small boats on the banks of the river for passengers and cargo instead.

Significant people[]

Saint Clement of Ohrid

Inventions, discoveries, introductions[]

Decades and years[]


  1. ^ The Guinness Book Of Records, Published 1998, ISBN 0-5535-7895-2, P.242

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