May 23 – Battle of Dandanaqan: Seljuk Turks defeat the Ghaznavids.
June 17 – Harthacanute lands at Sandwich and reclaims the English throne.
August 15 – King Duncan I is killed in battle against his first cousin and rival Macbeth, who succeeds him as King of Scotland.
Weihenstephan Abbey (Kloster Weihenstephan, in German), founds the oldest brewery.
The Shalu Monastery is founded in Tibet.
Woodblock printing is invented in China (approximate date).
AfricaThe Zirid dynasty rejects Shi'ite obedience and Fatimid domination, and recognizes the Abbasids as their overlords.
EuropeMarch 17 – Battle of Olivento (near the river Olivento in Apulia in the Catepanate of Italy): Normans and Lombards, led by William Iron Arm, are victorious against the Byzantine Empire's army, led by Michael Dokeianos, Catepan of Italy, and Harald Hardrada.
May 4 – Battle of Montemaggiore (by the river Ofanto near Cannae in Apulia in the Catepanate of Italy): Normans and Lombards, led by William Iron Arm, are again victorious against the Byzantine forces, led by Michael Dokeianos, Catepan of Italy.
December 10 – Zoe Porphyrogenita, Empress Consort of Byzantium, elevates her adoptive son to the throne of the Byzantine Empire, as Michael V Kalaphates, on the death of her husband Michael IV the Paphlagonian.
The inland city of Worcester in England rebels against the naval taxes of King Harthacnut.
Edward the Confessor returns from exile in Normandy, to become the heir of his half-brother Harthacnut, as King of England. He reduces the Navy from 60 to 32 ships this year, due to the tax burden.
AsiaThe number of enlisted soldiers in the Song Dynasty Chinese military reaches well over 1,250,000 troops, an increase since 1022, when there were a million soldiers.
April 18 or April 19 – Emperor Michael V of the Byzantine Empire attempts to remain sole emperor, by sending his adoptive mother and co-ruler Zoe of Byzantium to a monastery.
April 19 – Michael V of the Byzantine Empire is deposed by popular revolt. Zoe, Empress of the Byzantine Empire with co-rulers since 1028, becomes reigning empress with her sister Theodora.
June 8 – Edward the Confessor becomes King of England.
June 11 – Empress Zoe marries for the third time, and elevates her husband to the throne as Constantine IX.
George Maniaces, Byzantine general in Sicily, revolts against Constantine IX.
Harald III of Norway, at this time leader of the Varangian Guard in the Byzantine Empire, returns to Norway, possibly because of his involvement in Maniaces' revolt.
Magnus I of Norway becomes King of Denmark.
The Normans in Italy move their capital to Melfi.
Abad II succeeds his father to the throne of Sevilla.
Incursions by the Western Xia, and the threat of further Liao Dynasty military actions against the Song Dynasty, force an increase in tribute payments to the Liao.
The Almoravids, led by Abdullah Ibn Yasin, invade Morocco.
Byzantine-Arab Wars: The Byzantines conquer Edessa, returning it to Christian hands, after 400 years of Islamic rule.
Vladimir of Novgorod wages a campaign against the Tavastians (yem).
April 3 – Edward the Confessor is crowned King of England, at Winchester Cathedral.
October 31 – Venus occults Jupiter.
November 21 – Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor, marries Agnes of Poitou at Ingelheim am Rhein.
Rus'–Byzantine War (1043).
The revolt of George Maniakes against Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX ends, when Maniakes is killed in battle near Thessalonica.
The Ziyarid Dynasty of Persia is crushed by the Seljuks.
In Song dynasty China, the statesmen Ouyang Xiu and Fan Zhongyan put forth the Qingli Reforms, which are halted by 1045.
The Norman brothers, William Iron Arm and Drogo de Hauteville, assume power in Apulia.
The first king of the Kingdom of Nri, Eze Nri Ìfikuánim, is installed in West Africa.
September – Pope Benedict IX is forced out of office, and Sylvester III is elected to succeed him.
King Anawrahta seizes the throne of Pagan in Myanmar.
The Chinese military treatise of the Wujing Zongyao is written and compiled by scholars Zeng Gongliang (曾公亮), Ding Du (丁度), and Yang Weide (楊惟德), during the Song Dynasty. It is the first book in history to include formulas for gunpowder, and its use for various bombs (thrown by sling or trebuchet catapult). It also describes the double-piston pump flamethrower and a thermoremanence compass, a few decades before Shen Kuo wrote of the first known magnetic mariners compass. Although emphasizing the importance of many weapons, it reserves high respect for the crossbow, and the ability of crossbowmen to fell charging units of nomadic cavalrymen.
Emperor Go-Reizei ascends the throne of Japan.
Edward the Confessor marries Edith of Wessex, and begins construction of Westminster Abbey in England.
January 20 – Pope Sylvester III becomes the 146th pope, succeeding Benedict IX, who abdicated during the previous year.
April – Pope Sylvester III is deposed (election deemed invalid); Pope Benedict IX is elected once more, becoming the 147th pope.
May 5 – Pope Gregory VI becomes the 148th pope, following the resignation of Pope Benedict IX in exchange for money. There are growing allegations that simony is taking place during Gregory VI's reign.
Movable type printing is invented by Bi Sheng in China.
The Lingxiao Pagoda of China is built, during the Song Dynasty.
The Qingli Reforms, put forth by the Chinese statesmen Ouyang Xiu and Fan Zhongyan in 1043, are halted by their conservative ministerial peers, but will later influence reform efforts under Wang Anshi.
March 5 – Nasir Khusraw begins his seven-year Middle Eastern journey, which he later describes in the book Safarnameh.
July – Ex-Pope Benedict IX gives up a renewed attempt to reclaim the papal throne.
December 20 – Pope Gregory VI is accused of simony at the Council of Sutri, and abdicates as pope.
December 25 – Pope Clement II succeeds Pope Gregory VI as the 149th pope, and crowns Henry III as Holy Roman Emperor.
The first contact occurs between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuks.
Vatha Pagan Revolt in Hungary: Gerard of Csanád is martyred in Buda.
Munjong is crowned 11th King of Goryeo (Korea).
Ealdred, Bishop of Worcester, leads troops from England on an unsuccessful punitive raid against Welsh leaders Gruffydd ap Rhydderch, Rhys ap Rhydderch and Gruffydd ap Llywelyn.
The original Hildesheim Cathedral is largely destroyed by fire.
Song Dynasty Chinese judge and magistrate Bao Zheng (Bao Qingtian) writes a memorial to the throne, warning about governmental corruption and a foreseeable bankruptcy of the Chinese iron industry, if increasingly poorer families continued to be listed on the register for iron-smelting households (while more rich households avoid being listed for fear of financial calamity). Apparently the government heeds the warning, and produces more iron product by the year 1078 than China ever had before.
August 10 – Battle of Val-ès-Dunes: William, Duke of Normandy, with assistance from King Henry I of France, secures control of Normandy by defeating rebel Norman barons at Caen.
September 25–28 – Rebel general Leo Tornikios, having proclaimed himself Byzantine emperor, besieges Constantinople. Troops led personally by Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos repel him.
October – Pope Clement II is succeeded by Pope Benedict IX, as the 150th pope.
October 25 – Harald Hardrada becomes sole king of Norway, on the death of his uncle Magnus the Good; the crown of Denmark passes to Sweyn II.
November – The usurping Pope Benedict IX seizes the Lateran Palace in Rome.
AsiaSeptember 10 or September 18 – Battle of Kapetrou: Seljuks defeat a force of Byzantines and Georgians.
EuropeByzantines fail to reconquer Malta.
The last Viking raid is made on the Kingdom of England; unsuccessful raiders flee to Flanders.
King Edward the Confessor of England goes to war against Flanders, blockading the English Channel with a fleet based at Sandwich, Kent.
Approximate date – The city of Oslo is founded by King Harald Hardrada of Norway.
ReligionJuly 16 – Pope Benedict IX is driven from Rome by German troops, ending his third and final pontificate.
July 17 – Pope Damasus II succeeds Benedict IX, as the 151st pope.
AfricaBanu Hilal invasions begin in the Maghrib. They are organized by the Egyptian Fatimid dynasty to punish their former Zirid vassals.
AsiaA truce is declared between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Turks.
Construction of the large Iron Pagoda in Kaifeng, China, is completed during this year of the Song Dynasty.
EuropeThe Republic of Pisa successfully completes the conquest of Sardinia from the Andalusian occupiers.
Viking Irish raiders ally with Gruffydd ap Rhydderch of Gwent, in raiding along the River Usk. Ealdred, Bishop of Worcester, is unsuccessful in driving them off.
ReligionFebruary 12 – Pope Leo IX succeeds Pope Damasus II, as the 152nd pope.
King Macbeth of Scotland (d. 1057)
Godwin, Earl of Wessex (d. 1053)
El Cid (b. 1040)
Yaroslav I the Wise
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