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6th Century

The years from 501 to 600, or the sixth century, are marked by several events that had prominent impact on the various civilizations of the world. 6th CenturyArguably one of the most important deals with record-keeping as it pertains to dates: Dionysius Exiguus, a monk who lived in Rome, invented the Anno Domini calendar, using the year Jesus Christ was believed to have been born as its origin. Famed emperor Justinian I assumed power as Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire in 527. Ten years later, King Arthur of Britain would fight his last battle, the Battle of Camlann. In the western hemisphere, Ah Suytok Tutul Xiu founded the Mayan city of Uxmal. In terms of religious developments, several occurred during this time period. In the early part of the century, Zen Buddhism spread from China to Vietnam; by mid-century, it had also permeated Japan. In 570, the prophet Muhammad is born in Mecca; he would later be the founder of the Islamic faith.

Several notable inventions can also be traced to the 6th century. In Persia, backgammon emerges as a new form of entertainment; chess also reaches India during this century, and is adapted slightly to form a new game, called shatranj. The Byzantine Empire acquires silk from China for the first time in the 6th century. Finally, China, too, sees prominent inventions in this era, most notably the first recorded use of toilet paper in 589, and the invention of matches in 577.

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