1008 (The People's Chronology)
The Umayyad caliph al-Muzaffar of Córdoba dies after a 6-year dictatorship, and his death precipitates a civil war that will result in nearly two dozen factions (taifa) setting up little kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula. The caliphate will become a puppet of the feuding kings.
The Afghan sultan Mahmud of Ghazna defeats Hindu forces at Peshawar as he works to extend his Afghan kingdom from the Tigris to the Ganges (see 1001). The two armies have faced each other for 40 days between Und and Peshawar, and the sultan has finally lured the Indians into attacking him. Some 30,000 Khokar tribesmen charge the Afghan lines. Mahmud is about to signal a retreat, but the Punjabi rajah Anandpal's elephant flees in panic. The rest of the Indian army believes that their leader has deserted them, and they take flight, leaving the battlefield littered with dead and dying warriors and enabling Mahmud to continue his advance. He will annex the Punjab and return to Ghazna with great stores of plunder (see 1026).
Pope John XVIII retires to a monastery outside Rome's walls in June after a 6-year reign in which he has been less dependent on the Crescentii family than his predecessor; he is succeeded July 31 by the Luna-born cleric Pietro Buccaporriti, bishop of Albano, who will reign until 1012 as Sergius IV.