|Covid-19|January 17 – Cesare Borgia returns triumphantly to Rome from Romagna.
March 25 – Portuguese navigator João da Nova probably discovers Ascension Island. It is definitely sighted and named on May 20, 1503 (Feast of the Ascension) by Afonso de Albuquerque.
Mid-April: Rebellion of the Alpujarras ended with the surrender of last Muslim insurgents in the Alpujarra mountains, who were given the choice of expulsion or conversion to Christianity.
May 15 – Harmonice Musices Odhecaton, the first printed collection of polyphonic music, is published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.
July – Ismail I is enthroned as Shah of Azerbaijan, choosing Tabriz as his capital, founding the Safavid dynasty in northern Iran. He declares Shi'ism the official and compulsory religion under penalty of death.
July 21 – Portuguese explorer Pedro Cabral returns to Lisbon from his expedition to Calicut (Nicolau Coelho having arrived on June 23).
July 27 – Copernicus is formally installed as canon of Frauenberg Cathedral.
John, King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden is deposed from the Swedish throne.
The Florentine political theorist, statesman, and writer Niccolò Machiavelli marries Marietta Corsini, who will bear him six children.
August 27 – Battle of the Siritsa River: The Livonian Order, supporting the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the Second Muscovite–Lithuanian War and commanded by Wolter von Plettenberg, defeats an army of the Grand Duchy of Moscow and Pskov Republic.
October 13 – Treaty of Trente: Maximilian of Austria and Louis XII of France sign the treaty, with Austria recognizing all French conquests in the northern territories of Italy.
October 30 – The Banquet of Chestnuts is purportedly held by Cesare Borgia in the Papal Palace of Rome. It should be noted, however, that this account is not historical fact and could be attributed to enemies of Alexander VI.
November 1 (All Saints) – Amerigo Vespucci discovers and names Baía de Todos os Santos in Brazil.
Battle of Mstislavl (Second Muscovite–Lithuanian War): Grand Prince Ivan's Southern Muscovite army defeats the forces of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
Philip and Joanna of Castile leave for Spain.
November 12 – Sten Sture the Elder is elected Regent of Sweden for the second time.
November 14 – Arthur, Prince of Wales, marries the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon.
November 24 – A large army of the Grand Duchy of Moscow overruns Livonia during the Second Muscovite–Lithuanian War.
December 12 – Alexander Jagiellon becomes King of Poland.
The Swiss cantons of Basel and Schaffhausen join the Old Swiss Confederacy.
Gaspar Corte-Real, Portuguese navigator, makes the first documented European landing in North America since c. 1000 A.D.
Rodrigo de Bastidas, sailing westward from Venezuela in search of gold, becomes the first European to explore the Isthmus of Panama.
Amerigo Vespucci maps the two stars Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri, as well as the stars of the constellation Crux, which are below the horizon in Europe.
Michelangelo returns to his native Florence to begin work on the statue David.
Italic type (cut by Francesco Griffo) is first used by Aldus Manutius at the Aldine Press in Venice, in an edition of Virgil.
Martin Luther enters the University of Erfurt.
January 16 – Anthony Denny, confidant of Henry VIII of England (d. 1559)
January 17 – Leonhart Fuchs, German physician and botanist (d. 1566)
January 24 – Jacob Milich, German astronomer and mathematician (d. 1559)
February 1 – Queen Munjeong, Korean queen (d. 1565)
February 24 – Sixt Birck, German humanist (d. 1554)
March 21 – Anne Brooke, Baroness Cobham, English noble (d. 1558)
March 23 – Pietro Andrea Mattioli, Italian scientist (d. 1577)
May 6 – Pope Marcellus II (d. 1555)
May 17 – Stanisław of Masovia, Polish duke (d. 1524)
June 26 – Cho Shik, Korean Confucian scholar and politician (d. 1572)
July 18 – Isabella of Burgundy, queen of Christian II of Denmark (d. 1526)
August 17 – Philipp II, Count of Hanau-Münzenberg (d. 1529)
September 18 – Henry Stafford, 1st Baron Stafford, English Baron (d. 1563)
September 24 – Gerolamo Cardano, Italian mathematician, physician, astrologer and gambler (d. 1576)
September 26 – Gian Gabriele I of Saluzzo, Italian abbot, Marquess of Saluzzo (d. 1548)
November 14 – Anna of Oldenburg, Regent of East Frisia from 1540 to 1561 (d. 1575)
Yi Hwang, Korean Confucian scholar (d. 1570)
Girolamo da Carpi, Italian painter (d. 1556)
Dawit II of Ethiopia (d. 1540)
Bauck Poppema, Dutch noble and heroine
Anne Boleyn, Second Queen of Henry VIII of England (born this year or 1507; d. 1536)
Murakami Yoshikiyo, Japanese nobleman (d. 1573)
Nicholas Heath, archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor (d. 1578)
Garcia de Orta, Portuguese physician (d. 1568)
Hilaire Penet, French composer
January 3 – Alisher Navoi, Central Asian poet (b. 1441)
January 5 – John Dynham, 1st Baron Dynham, English baron and Lord High Treasurer (b. 1433)
February 1 – Sigismund of Bavaria (b. 1439)
April – John Doget, English diplomat
April 7 – Minkhaung II (b. 1446)
April 22 – Domenico della Rovere, Catholic cardinal (b. 1442)
May 3 – John Devereux, 8th Baron Ferrers of Chartley, English Baron (b. 1463)
May 7 – Giovanni Battista Zeno, cardinal
May 20 – Columba of Rieti, Italian Dominican tertiary Religious Sister (b. 1467)
June 8 – George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly, Earl of Huntly and Lord Chancellor of Scotland (b. 1440)
June 17 – John I Albert of Poland (b. 1459)
August 15 – Constantine Lascaris, Greek scholar and grammarian
Agostino Barbarigo, Doge of Venice
Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset, stepson of Edward IV of England (b. 1457)
September 29 – Andrew Stewart, Scottish bishop (b. 1442)
November 19 – Amalia of Saxony, Duchess of Bavaria-Landshut (b. 1436)
probable – Gaspar Corte-Real, Portuguese explorer (b. 1450)
Year 1501 (MDI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.