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|Centuries:||15th century – 16th century – 17th century|
|Decades:||1490s 1500s 1510s – 1520s – 1530s 1540s 1550s|
|Years:||1520 1521 1522 – 1523 – 1524 1525 1526|
|1523 by topic|
|Arts and science|
|Lists of leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2276|
|English Regnal year||14 Hen. 8 – 15 Hen. 8|
— to —癸未年十一月廿五日
|- Vikram Samvat||1579–1580|
|- Shaka Samvat||1445–1446|
|- Kali Yuga||4624–4625|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||523–524|
|Japanese calendar||Daiei 3
|Juche calendar||N/A (before 1912)|
|Julian calendar||1523 MDXXIII|
|Minguo calendar||389 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2066|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: 1523|
- April – Martin Luther helps Katharina von Bora, his eventual wife, escape from the Nimbschen convent by placing her and 12 other nuns in herring barrels.
- June 6 – Gustav Vasa is elected king of Sweden, finally establishing its full independence from Denmark, marking the end of the Kalmar Union.
Date unknown 
- The Ming Dynasty Chinese navy captures two Western ships with Portuguese breech–loading culverins aboard, which the Chinese call a fo–lang–ji (Frankish culverin). According to the Ming Shi, these cannons are soon presented to the Jiajing Emperor by Wang Hong, and their design is copied in 1529.
- Martin Luther translates the New Testament into German.
- Wijerd Jelckama, a Frisian warlord and military commander is executed in Leeuwarden. His death ends the successful Frisian rebellion fought by the Arumer Black Heap.
- The first Flemish Lutherans are burned in Brussels.
- April 5 – Blaise de Vigenère, French diplomat and cryptographer (d. 1596)
- June 5 – Margaret of France, Duchess of Berry (d. 1574)
- September 22 – Charles, Cardinal de Bourbon, French church leader and pretender to the throne (d. 1590)
- October 18 – Anna Jagiellon, daughter of Sigismund I of Poland (d. 1596)
- date unknown
- February 4 – Thomas Ruthall, Chancellor of the University of Cambridge
- May 7 – Franz von Sickingen, German knight (b. 1481)
- May 23 – Ashikaga Yoshitane, Japanese shogun (b. 1466)
- May 24 – Henry Marney, 1st Baron Marney, English politician (b. 1447)
- July 1 – Johann Esch and Heinrich Voes became the first Lutheran martyrs, burned at the stake by Roman Catholic authorities in Brussels
- August 13 – Gerard David, Flemish artist (b. c. 1455)
- August 29 – Ulrich von Hutten, Lutheran reformer (b. 1488)
- September 14 – Pope Adrian VI (b. 1459)
- October – William Cornysh, English composer (b. 1465)
- date unknown