Borobudur belongs to the history of the period stretching across the 8th and 9th centuries, a time when Europe saw the blossoming of the Frankish Carolingian rule, namely the legitimization of Charles's rule over the former Roman empire in Western Europe (finalizing the split with the Byzantine empire), and that empire's subsequent dismemberment in the hands of his heirs. It was a period when the great deeds of Roland ("Chanson de Roland") were lauded. A time heading towards the gradual rise of the German Ottonian dynasty (936-1002). Important developments were taking place further south as well: the advent of Islamization. In Sicily, the famous mosques were being built which later, in Norman times, would be transformed into churches (such as the Church of St. John of the Hermits in Palermo). Islamization proceeded to take place across the Mediterranean region, notably in Egypt. In short, Borobudur fits in chronologically with the Cairo mosque Ibn Touloun, with the Palatine chapel built by Charlemagne at Aix-la-Chapelle, and with the first Ottonian constructions in Italy (namely the famous S. Italy Apulia region châteaux).
In the East, India was witnessing the first signs of decline of the rival Pallava and Chalukya dynasties. Thus Borobudur coincides with Mahabalipuram where, under the patronage of the Pallava dynasty, numerous temples were carved, and with the Mallikarjuna Temple of Pattadakal erected by the Chalukya kings. Meanwhile, China's T'ang dynasty was coming to its end: Borobudur dates from when the T'ang Empress Wu Zetian had the Pagoda of the Wild Goose built at Xian, the T'ang dynasty's western capital.

Of course the magnificence of Borobudur goes far beyond any historical delimitations ...