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Population: 508 Million*
  • Entertainment: Writers include Pierre de Tonsard (poems on religious wars), Hsu Wei (first classic Chinese novel), Francesco Patrizi (philosophy of history)
    Art includes Tintoretto "Susannah and the Elders"
  • Fashion: Visiting cards used for first time by German students in Italy
  • Religion: Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) founded
    Pruitan movement begins
    Counter-reformation introduces reforms in Catholic Church
  • Deaths: Sculptor Baccio Bandinelli, Reformer and humanist Philipp Melanchthon, King Gustavus I of Sweden, King Francis II of France, Author Joachim du Bellay,


  • West: Portuguese establish embassies in Timbuktu
    Turkish galleys rout Spanish fleet under Duke of Medina off Tripoli


  • Spanish begin missions in New World
  • Brazil: Smallpox


  • China: End of Wu painting
    Hsu Wei creates first classic novel "Ching P'Ing mei"


  • General: Tobacco plant imported to western Europe by Jean Nicot
    Treaty of Edinburgh among England, France and Scotland
  • England: Start of Puritanism in England
    Westminster School in London founded
    First Puritans – English went aborad to escape reign of Mary I
    Treaty of Berwick between Elizabeth I and Scottish reformers
  • France: French wars of religion begin for 30 years - Huguenot conspiracy at Amboise – liberty of worship promised to France
    Death of King Francis II (François) of France – succeeded by brother Charles IX with Catherine de' Medici his mother as regent - Catherine gives civil rights to Huguenots but Cardinal Guise and Catholics challenge policy
  • Holy Roman Empire: Orlando di Lasso made court Kapellmeister in Munich
  • Italian States: The Uffizi at Florence founded
    First scientific society founded at Naples by Giambattista della Porta
  • Russia: Completion of St. Basil's cathedral in Moscow
  • Scotland: Reformation Parliament establishes Protestantism as Scotland's religion (Church of Scotland) – championed by John Knox
    Church of Scotland founded (Presbyterian) by John Knox
  • Spain: Madrid becomes capital of Spain
    King Philip of Spain - who ruled Netherlands - faces growing opposition to an anti-catholic movement
  • Sweden: Death of King Gustavus I Vasa

Middle East

  • Ottoman Empire: Turkish galleys rout Spanish fleet under Duke of Medina off Tripoli
    Plague outbreak in Turkey