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Timeline 1100-1200:


Henry I, (alias "Henry Beauclerc") youngest son of William the Conqueror, becomes the new king of England following the asassination of his older brother, William Rufus. He rules until 1135, and the period is a time of peace and prosperity in Britain marked by legal reforms.

Crusaders claim fiefdoms in Holy Land. Baldwin of Bouillon becomes Count of Edessa in the new Holy Kingdom of Jerusalem. Raymond of Toulouse becomes Count of Tripoli. Bohemund of Otranto becomes Prince of Antioch.

1100-1200: French literature dominates Western Europe.

1100-1250: Icelandic sagas, Grettirsaga, Volsungsaga, etc.

c. 1100 "Play of Saint Catherine" (performed at Dunstable)--first recorded miracle play in England.

c. 1100 Earlier tales in the Welsh Mabinogion written in surviving manuscript forms (but tales probably older than surviving manuscripts)

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1104 Crusaders capture Acre

Henry V becomes Holy Roman Emperor. He rules until 1125.

Henry I defeats Robert, Duke of Normandy. He imprisons Robert for the remainder of Robert's life.

1107 Alexander I becomes King of Scotland. He rules until 1124.
1108 Louis VI becomes King of France. He rules until 1137.
1109 England and France begin war with each other.
1111 Emperor Henry V forces Pope Paschal II to acknowledge power of the emperor.

The Papacy acknowledges the Founding of the Order of Saint John.

Truce between England and France.

1114 Matilda (alias Maud), princess of England, marries Emperor Henry V of Germany.

Stephen II claims the throne of Hungary. He rules until 1131.

Saint Bernard founds the Abbey of Clairvaux in France.

1118 John II Comnenus becomes Emperor of Byzantium. He rules until 1143.
1119 Hugues de Payens founds the Order of the Templar Knights.
1120 Prince William, heir of Henry I of England, drowned in the wreck of the "White Ship" during a storm.
1122 Concordat of Worms: conference of German princes ends the dispute between pope and Holy Roman Emperor over the appointment of Bishops.
1123 Death of Omar Khayyam, Persian poet and writer of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

David I, younger brother of Alexander I, takes the throne of Scotland. He rules until 1153.

c. 1125 Eadmer writes The Life of Anselm

1125 Flourishing of Latin chroniclesi n Britain between 1125-1300.
1126 Alfonso VII becomes ruler of Castille in modern day Spain. He rules until 1157.
1128 Alfonso Henriques becomes Count of Portugal. He works hard to establish Portugal as a kingdom independent of Spain, finally succeeding in 1143.
1130 Empress Matilda, widow of German Emperor Henry V, marries Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou in France. (Geoffrey's nickname is "the Handsome," and the Plantagenet offspring will bear characteristic blond hair that marks them from other dynastic lines in England when the Planatagenets come to power there).
1131 The Almohad Dynasty comes to power in Morocco until 1169.
1135 Stephen of Boulogne seizes the English crown on the death of his uncle, Henry I. Civil war breaks out. Stephen will maintain precarious rule until 1154.
1136 c. 1136, Geoffrey of Monmouth writes the "History of the Kings of Britain," a Latin chronicle. It is the first elaborate account of the Arthurian court.
1137 Louis VII becomes ruler of France. He holds the throne until 1180.

Conrad III becomes Holy Roman Emperor in Germany. He holds imperial power until 1152.

Battle of the Standard: The English defeat David I of Scotland, who fights on behalf of Matilda in the English civil war.


Matilda lands in England.

The Second Lateran Council. This council ends a schism in the Church following the illegal election of Anacletus II as rival to Innocent II.

1140 Battle of Lincoln: Matilda captures Stephen and sets herself up as queen. Her reign causes friction with the general population. An uprising drives her from power, and Stephen is restored to the throne.
1143 Count Alfonso becomes King Alfonso of Portugal when he makes a successful bid for independence from the rest of Spain.
1145 The Almohades begin campaign to conquer Moorish lands in Spain. They conquer the last Moorish lands in 1150.
1147 The Second Crusade begins. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux appeals to nobility of Europe to return their attention to the Holy Land, rousing many knights to battle.

The Crusaders fail to capture Damascus.

Matilda flees England for the last time.


Death of Geoffrey of Anjou.

Collapse of Toltec Empire in Mexico.


Marriage of Louis VII of France and Eleanor of Aquitaine annulled on the questionable basis of blood kinship. Eleanor promptly marries the younger, handsome Henry of Anjou, allying Aquitaine to his lands of Anjou and Normandy, two months after her divorce.

Frederick I (Frederick Barbarossa) becomes Holy Roman Emperor. He rules until 1190.

1153 Malcolm IV, "The Maiden," grandson of David I, becomes ruler of Scotland. He rules until 1165.

Henry II becomes King of England and holder of more than half the lands in France. He rules until 1189, and his Plantagenet descendants will continue through Richard II until 1399. Henry II's court will be a center of literature, learning, history, philosophy, poetry, and theology.

Pope Adrian IV (Nicholas Breakspear) ascends the papal see. He is the first and only English pope. He maintains his seat until 1159.

Last entry appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Peterborough).


Henry II appoints his rowdy, childhood friend Thomas a Becket to the post of Chancellor.

Adrian IV grants Henry II the right to rule Ireland.

1156 Civil wars ravage Japan until 1185.
1158 Alfonso VIII becomes ruler of Castille. He holds the throne until 1214.
1161 Explosives used in China during the Ts'ai-shih battle.
1162 Henry II promotes Thomas a Becket to the position of Archbishop of Canterbury. Soon after, Thomas a Becket begins to quarrel with Henry II over ecclesiastical legal rights.
1164 Constitutions of Clarendon restate laws governing the trial of church officials in England. Becket is forced to flee to France.
1165 William the Lion, younger brother of Malcolm IV, becomes ruler of Scotland. He rules until 1214.
1167 Amalric, king of Jerusalem, captures Cairo.
1168 Arabs recapture Cairo, driving out Christian crusaders.

The Almohad Dynasty falls from power in Morocco.

Salah-al Din Yusuf ibn-Ayyub (Saladin) becomes vizier of Egypt until 1193 and holds power as sultan over Muslim forces from 1174 onward.


Henry II reaches reconciliation with Thomas a Becket, allowing him to return to England. When Becket is in Canterbury, he is murdered by four knights (Richard Brito, Hugh de Morville, William Tracy, and Reginald Fitzurse) after Henry asks in a temper, "Will no man rid me of this meddlesome priest?"

c. 1170 Poema Morale

1171 Henry II formally annexes Ireland.
1173 Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine leads Henry's eldest sons, Henry, Richard, and Geoffrey, in a plot to overthrow King Henry II. The plot fails.

Saladin, in addition to his position as vizier of Egypt, becomes supreme sultan over Muslim forces fighting against the Christian crusaders.

Saladin conquers Syria.

1177 Baldwin IV of Jerusalem defeats Saladin at Montgisard.

Grand Assize of Windsor increases power of royal courts in England.

Saladin besieges city of Tyre.


Saladin and Baldwin IV arrange a truce between them.

Philip II becomes ruler of France. He will hold the throne until 1223.

Alexius II Comnenus becomes Emperor of Byzantium. He will rule until 1183.

1182 Philip II banishes the Jews from France.
1183 Andronicus I becomes Emperor of Byzantium. He rules until 1185.

Sancho I becomes ruler of Portugal. He remains king until 1211.

Kamakura period begins in Japan (1185-1333).

Isaac II becomes Emperor of Byzantium. He rules until 1195.

c. 1185-1190 Giraldus Cambrensis writes his "Itinerary" and description of Wales.

1187 Saladin captures Jerusalem.
1189 Richard I (Richard Lionheart or Coeur de Lion) eldest surviving son of Henry II, becomes ruler of England. He will be king until 1199.

Death of Frederick I (Frederick Barbarossa)

c. 1190 Nigel Wireker writes the Speculum Stultorum (Latin), "The Mirror of Fools"

1191 Richard Lionheart captures Jaffa, fashions a peace-treaty with Saladin. On the way home to England, he is captured by his enemy, Duke Leopold of Austria.

Death of Saladin.

Leopold hands Richard Lionheart over to Emperor Henry VI, who greedily demands a ransom for his return.

Muslim forces capture Bihar and Bengal.

Al-Aziz Imad al-Din becomes successor to Saladin. Al-Aziz rules until 1198.

1196 Marimid Dynasty in Morocco. Dynasty founded at Fez, lasts until 1464.

Ottakar I becomes ruler of Bohemia. He will rule as king until 1230.

The death of Emperor Henry VI in Germany causes outbreaks of civil war in the Holy Roman Empire.


Otto IV becomes emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. He will rule until 1212.

Pope Innocent III ascends the papal see. He will be pope until 1216.

1199 Death of Richard Lionheart. John Lackland, youngest son of Henry II, becomes ruler of England. His inept rule will continue until 1216 and will be a period of corruption, political decay, and diminishing British power.

Morocco's Muslim government grants special privileges to Jews in order to encourage trade and education.

Hunac Ceel revolts against the Maya of Chichén Itzá. He establishes a new capital at Mayapán.

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These timelines are intended as a rough guide for students seeking historical context rather than an authoritative research source. I consulted the following works while preparing this list. When sources differed on estimated dates, I used my best judgment to select an accurate date, but I will bow to the correction of professional historians.


  • Baugh, A. C. and Thomas Cable. A History of the English Language. 3rd edition. NJ: Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1978. [Now superseded by a sixth edition]
  • Cooke, Jean et al. History's Timeline: A 40,000 Year Chronology of Civilization. Ed. Fay Franklin. NY: Barnes and Noble, 1981. Updated 1996.
  • Crow, Martin and Virginia E. Leland. "A Chronology of Chaucer's Life and Times." As condensed and reproduced in Larry Benson's The Canterbury Tales, Complete. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000. xxiii-xxv.
  • Englebert, Omer. The Lives of the Saints. Trans. Christopher and Anne Fremantle. NY: Barnes and Noble, 1994.
  • Haywood, John. The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings. London: Penguin Books, 1995.
  • Lau, D. C., ed. "Chronological Table." Tao Te Ching. London: Penguin Books, 1963.
  • McEvedy, Colin. The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History. London: Penguin Books, n. d.
  • Schafer, Edward H. Ancient China. Ed. Russelll Bourne, et al. Great Ages of Man Series. NY: Time-Life Books, 1967. Reprint 1976.
  • Urban, Linwood. A Short History of Christian Thought. Revised edition. NY: Oxford University Press, 1995.



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