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Year 756 (DCCLVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 756 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
- Byzantine-Bulgarian War: Emperor Constantine V builds a series of fortifications along the Byzantine frontier on the Danube, and starts settling Christian Armenians and Syrians in the Thracesian Theme. In response, Kormisosh, ruler (khagan) of the Bulgarian Empire, demands the payment of tribute. Constantine refuses, and the Bulgars raid into Thrace, reaching the Anastasian Wall stretching between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara (near the outskirts of Constantinople).
- Battle of Marcellae: Constantine V sends a Byzantine expeditionary force (500 ships and 6,000 cavalry) to Thrace, and defeats the Bulgars around the Danube Delta and near the fortress city of Markeli (modern Bulgaria). Kormisosh is forced to accept a peace treaty, and confirms the existing frontier. Due to the constant political crisis, the Bulgarian Empire is on the verge of destruction. Kormisosh is deposed during a palace coup and succeeded by Vinekh, a member of the Vokil clan.
- Ibn al-Muqaffa', Muslim writer and thinker, is tortured at Basra (modern Iraq), on orders from Caliph al-Mansur. His limbs are severed and he is thrown, still alive, into a burning oven (approximate date).
- January – An Lushan Rebellion: The Chinese eastern capital of Luoyang falls to the 200,000-strong army of the rebel general An Lushan, who defeats loyalist forces under Feng Changqing. The rebels cross the Yellow River, and march on to capture the cities Chenliu and Yingyang (modern Zhengzhou, Henan).
- Battle of Yongqiu: A Tang garrison (2,000 men), under Zhang Xun, successfully defend their fortress against the rebel army at Yongqiu. Zang achieves a victory after a 4-month siege, and prevents the rebels from capturing the fertile Tang territory south of the Huai River.
- February 5 – An Lushan declares himself emperor at Luoyang, establishing a new empire, called the Great Yan. He pushes on towards the primary Tang capital at Chang'an (now Xi'an). An decides to seize southern China, to cut off loyalist reinforcements. Meanwhile, numerous soldiers join the rebellion.
- May – Emperor Xuan Zong hires 4,000 Muslim mercenaries to help defend Chang'an against the rebels. Loyalist forces take defensible positions in the mountain passes, but chancellor Yang Guozhong gives orders for them to leave their posts. An Lushan crushes the Tang troops, leaving the capital wide open.
- July 14 – Xuan Zong flees (along with the imperial court) the capital of Chang'an for Sichuan, as rebel forces advance through the Tongguan Pass toward the city. Meanwhile, An Lushan is ailing, perhaps with diabetes. He is nearly blind and suffers from extreme irascibility.
- July 15 – Xuan Zong is ordered by his Imperial Guards to execute Yang Guozhong, by forcing him to commit suicide or face a mutiny. He permits his consort Yang Guifei to be strangled by his chief eunuch. An Lushan also has other members of the emperor's family killed.
- August 12 – Xuan Zong abdicates the throne after a 44-year reign. He is succeeded by his son Su Zong, as emperor of the Tang Dynasty. He hires 22,000 Muslim mercenaries to reinforce his decimated army at Lingzhou.
- June 4 – Sh?mu, emperor of Japan (b. 701)
- July 15 – Yang Guifei, consort of Xuan Zong (b. 719)
- Aistulf, duke of Friuli and king of the Lombards
- Cuthred, king of Wessex (approximate date)
- Dantidurga, founder of the Rashtrakuta Empire (b. 735)
- Feng Changqing, general of the Tang Dynasty
- Forggus mac Cellaig, king of Connacht (Ireland)
- Gao Xianzhi, general of the Tang Dynasty
- Ibn al-Muqaffa', Muslim writer (approximate date)
- Wang Changling, Chinese poet and official (b. 698)
- Yang Guozhong, chancellor of the Tang Dynasty
- ^ Runciman S., A History of the First Bulgarian Empire, London G.Bell & Sons, 1930, pp. 37, 289.