Belly Dance Time Line

. . . Continued, page 2 of 5

28 A.D • Salome, the daughter of Herodias does a dance that so moved Herod he offers her anything. She requests the head of the Holy man (John the Baptist)

206 AD
• Papyrus confirms the existence in Egypt of a highly organized troupe of dancers.

300 AD • Closing of goddess temples begins under the Byzantine emperor Constantine. By the 4th century Christianity is the only religion tolerated in the Roman Empire.

375-425 AD • Attila the Hun invades various parts of Europe

380 AD • Theodosius closes three goddess temples in Rome

391- 415 • AD With the Fall of the Roman Empire came another destruction of the Alexandria Library under the rule of Theophilus and Cyril.

415 AD • The philosopher Hypatia, reputed to be one of the most intelligent women ever born. She was the daughter of Theon the geometer, and the wife of the philosopher Isidorus. She authored many great works, thus inciting the envy of some male Christian Alexandrian colleagues who brutally beat, murdered, mutilated and burned her. She was the last of the Alexandrian librarians.

450- AD • The Parthenon of the Acropolis, formerly a sacred shrine of the Goddess religion, is adopted as a Christian church.

476 AD • Fall of the Roman Empire. Eastern wing of the Roman Empire survives as the Byzantine Empire until 1493.

500 AD • Closing of the last goddess temple.

527 AD • A celebrated oriental dancer, actress, and alleged courtesan, becomes the Empress Theodora, wife of the Byzantium Emperor Justinian. The de facto ruler of Byzantium, she enacts laws protecting women’s rights. New Byzantium converts were accustomed to dance as a central part of worship so the church incorporated and absorbed their dances into the Christian rituals just as they did with many other myths, symbols, and holidays that predated Christ. Record of dance at this time is found on sculpture, and miniatures, but rarely was written about.

572 AD
• Muhammad, revered as the Prophet of Islam and messenger of God, is born

612 AD
• Muhammad’s fight in the medina (the Hegira); beginning of the Moslem calendar.

622 AD • Muhammad forbids forbid the painting of living beings as only God is the creator. He marries many wives. Beginning of the Moslem conquests.

630 AD • Muhammad destroys pagan idols and Goddess statues in Mecca.

632 AD • Death of Muhammad

640 AD • Omar destroys the remains of the Alexandria Library.

690 AD • Arabs invade North Africa. Berber queen, Dahia Al-Kahina, is a fierce warrior priestess/prophetess from the Aures Mountains in East Algeria. She leads a determined and successful resistance for many years. In 701 the North Africans were defeated and upon her deathbed, she instructs the tribes to adopt Islam. The Berbers, to this day, preserve their ancient tribal traditions alongside Islam.

711-714 AD • Moorish conquests in Spain

786 AD • Haroun er' Rashed, hero of the tales of the 1001 Nights, becomes Caliph of Baghdad. The Barameke (Barmrecide) family alleged ancestors of the Gawazee/Gypsies serve as his viziers.

c. 850 AD • In Prairies of Gold, descriptions of the qualities of a good dancer are recorded as told by a scholar to the Caliph Mu’tamid.

875 AD • Amazed Western travelers to China find toilet paper

923 AD • The Chinese refine block printing

950 AD • Women in a Chinese harem invent playing cards

970 AD • Chinese foot binding of young girls begins in the court of Sung emperor, Li Hou-chen. The same process is used in bookbinding. Invention of first printing process allows Chinese to introduce paper money and books.

1096-1300 AD
• The crusades of Christian Europe vs. the Moslem Middle East. Middle Eastern dancing girls, brought by returning soldiers, become influential in Europe.

1100 AD
• Inca Empire

1200s AD • Jellaludin Rumi, the Sufi saint of the whirling dervishes of Konya, Turkey, gives birth to the Mathnawi Books of ecstatic poetry. He is a 13th century version of St. Francis of Assisi and is a modern day patron saint of the ecology movement.

1231 AD • Spanish Inquisition begins. Pope Gregory IX publishes a decree, life imprisonment with solitary penance for heretics who confessed and repented, and death for those who persisted. The secular authorities carried out the executions. Pope Gregory relieved the Dominican bishops and archbishops of this duty, though many inquisitors were members of other orders or of the secular clergy. Within a decade, The Inquisition was an institution in all of the Pope-dominated lands; by the end of the 13th century, an extensive bureaucracy supported the Inquisition.

1271 AD • Marco Polo travels to China

1300 AD • Lal Ded, also known as Lalah of Cashmere, was an ecstatic heart. After reaching a state of enlightenment, she discarded all her clothing, sang, danced, and recited poetry. She was dearly loved by the people and accepted in her nakedness. It is said there are two things the people of Cashmere know: Allah and Lalah.

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