Eastern Hemisphere at the beginning of the 8th Century.
The 8th century is the period from 701 to 800 in accordance with the Julian calendar. The coast of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula quickly come under Islamic Arab domination. The westward expansion of the Umayyad Empire was famously halted at the Siege of Constantinople by the Byzantine Empire and the Battle of Tours by the Franks. The tide of Arab conquest came to an end in the middle of the 8th century.
In Europe, late in the century, the Vikings, seafaring peoples from Scandinavia, begin raiding the coasts of Europe and the Mediterranean, and go on to found several important kingdoms.
In Asia, the Pala Empire is founded in Bengal. The Tang dynasty reaches its pinnacle under Chinese Emperor Xuanzong. The Nara period begins in Japan.
- 711: Tariq ibn Ziyad crosses the Straits of Gibraltar. With the creation of Al-Andalus, most of the Iberian Peninsula is conquered by Arab and Berber Muslims, thus ending the Visigothic rule, and beginning almost eight centuries of Muslim rule.
- 712: Liutprand, King of the Lombards begins his reign (until 744).
- c. 712: Metropolitan episcopal see is established by the Church of the East in Chinese capital of Chang'an.
- 712 – 756: Emperor Xuanzong reigned, the time was considered one of China's high points.
- 712 – 740: Caliphate campaigns in India
- 713: Death of Dajian Huineng, sixth and last Patriarch of Chán Buddhism.
- 717 – 718: Siege of Constantinople. The Bulgarians and the Byzantines decisively defeat the invading Arabs, thus halting the Arab advance toward Europe.
- 718: Sri Indravarman King of Srivijaya send a letter to the Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz of the Umayyad Caliphate in Damascus, signing early ancient Indonesian official contact with Islamic world in the Middle East.
- 726: Byzantine Emperor Leo III the Isaurian destroys the icon of Christ above the Chalke Gate in the capital city of Constantinople, beginning the first phase of the Byzantine Iconoclasm.
- 731: Bede completes his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People).
- 732: Battle of Tours. Near Poitiers, France, leader of the Franks Charles Martel and his men defeat a large army of Moors under the governor of Cordoba, Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, who is killed during the battle. The Battle of Tours halts the advance of Islam into Western Europe and establishes a balance of power between Western Europe, Islam and the Byzantine Empire.
- 732: The Sanjaya dynasty is founded around this time according to the Canggal inscription.
- 738: Quiriguá declares independence from Copan
- 740: Battle of Akroinon. Byzantines win their first large-scale victory in a pitched battle against the Arabs.
- 742: For the municipal census of the Tang-dynasty Chinese capital city Chang'an and its metropolitan area of Jingzhou Fu (including small towns in the vicinity), the New Book of Tang records that in this year there were 362,921 registered families with 1,960,188 persons.
- 748: The Chinese Buddhist monk Jian Zhen writes in his Yue Jue Shu of the international sea traffic coming to Guangzhou, ships from Borneo, Persia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and others bringing tons of goods.
- 750: The last Umayyad Caliph Marwan II (744–750) is overthrown and executed by the first Abbasid Caliph, Abu al-Abbas al-Saffah. The Caliphate is moved to Baghdad which would later develop into a centre of trade and culture. The Ghana Empire begins in western Africa.
- mid-8th century - Great Wild Goose Pagoda at Ci'en Temple, Xi'an, Shanxi, is rebuilt.
- c. mid-8th century - Camel Carrying a Group of Musicians, from a tomb near Xi'an, Shanxi, is made. Tang dynasty. It is now kept at Museum of Chinese History, Beijing.
- 751: Arabian armies defeat Chinese Tang dynasty troops in the Battle of Talas, in the high Pamirs near Samarkand, and conquer Central Asia completely.
- 752: The Hindu Medang (Mataram) kingdom flourishes and declines. (to 1045)
- 755 – 763: The An Shi Rebellion devastates China during the mid Tang dynasty.
- 757: King Offa of Mercia becomes dominant ruler in England.
- 758: Arab and Persian pirates and travelers burn and loot the Chinese city of Guangzhou, while the Tang Dynasty authorities shut the port down for the next five decades.
- 760: The construction of Borobudur started.
- 768: Pepin dies; Charles becomes king at Noyan and his brother Carloman becomes king at Soissons.
- 770's – 780's: Java launched series of naval raids on ports of Dai Viet, Champa and Cambodia; Sontay in Tonkin (767); Nha Trang (774); captured Indrapura in Cambodia (770); Phan Rang (787). The naval raids was probably launched by Sailendran-Srivijayan Maharaja Dharmasetu or Dharanindra.
- 772 – 804: Charlemagne invades what is now northwestern Germany, battling the Saxons for more than thirty years and finally crushing their rebellion, incorporating Saxony into the Frankish Empire and the Christian world.
- 778: Kalasan temple constructed according to Kalasan inscription.
- 781: Nestorian Monument is erected in China.
- 782: Buddhist monk Prajna reaches Chang'an and translates the sutras into Chinese.
- 785: The Tang dynasty begins landing regular maritime missions on the coast of East Africa, cutting out middlemen Arab sea merchants.
- 785 – 805: Chinese geographer Jia Dan describes large lighthouse pillars built in the Persian Gulf, which is confirmed a century later by al-Mas'udi and al-Muqaddasi.
- 787: The Empress Irene of Athens convenes the Seventh Ecumenical Council, ending the first phase of Byzantine Iconoclasm.
- 792: Battle of Marcelae. The Bulgarian victory over the Byzantines marks the end of the half-century political instability in Bulgaria.
- 792: The Manjusrigrha (Sewu) temple is completed according to Manjusrigrha inscription.
- 793: The first written account of a Viking raid carried out on the abbey of Lindisfarne in northern England.
- 793: The Frisian–Frankish wars come to an end with the last uprising of the Frisians.
- 794: Emperor Kanmu moves the capital to Heian-kyō (present day Kyoto), initiating the Heian period of Japan.
- 800: Beginning of the ancient West African state of Takrur or Tekrour, which flourished roughly parallel to the Ghana Empire.
- 800: On Christmas Day, Charlemagne is crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III.
- 800: The agriculturally based Buddhist Sailendra kingdom flourishes and declines. (to 832)