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This article is about the year 1538.
|Centuries:||15th century – 16th century – 17th century|
|Decades:||1500s 1510s 1520s – 1530s – 1540s 1550s 1560s|
|Years:||1535 1536 1537 – 1538 – 1539 1540 1541|
|1538 by topic|
|Arts and science|
|Lists of leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2291|
|Bahá'í calendar||−306 – −305|
|English Regnal year||29 Hen. 8 – 30 Hen. 8|
|Chinese calendar||丁酉年 (Fire Rooster)
4234 or 4174
— to —
戊戌年 (Earth Dog)
4235 or 4175
|- Vikram Samvat||1594–1595|
|- Shaka Samvat||1460–1461|
|- Kali Yuga||4639–4640|
|Japanese calendar||Tenbun 7
|Minguo calendar||374 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2081|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1538.|
- February 24 – Treaty of Nagyvárad: Peace is declared between Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and the Ottoman Empire. John Zápolya is recognized as King of Hungary (Eastern Hungarian Kingdom), while Ferdinand retains the northern and western parts of the Kingdom, and is recognized as heir to the throne.
- April 26 – Battle of Las Salinas: Almagro is defeated by Francisco Pizarro, who then seizes Cusco.
- June 18 – Truce of Nice: Peace is declared between Emperor Charles V and Francis I of France.
- August 6 – Bogotá, Colombia is founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada.
- September 28 – Battle of Preveza: The Ottoman fleet of Suleiman the Magnificent under the command of Hayreddin Barbarossa defeats the Holy League of Emperor Charles V under the command of Andrea Doria.
- October 28 – The first university of the New World, the Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino, is founded.
- November 30
- Michelangelo starts work on the Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill).
- Bisham Abbey is dissolved.
- The first in a decade-long series of severe famines and epidemics sweep central and southeastern China during the Ming Dynasty, made worse by a previous decision in 1527 to cut back on the intake of grain quotas for granaries.
- During the Ming Dynasty of China, a tsunami floods over the seawall in Haiyan County of Zhejiang province, inundating the agricultural crop fields with saltwater and ruining many acres of crops. This drives up the price of foodstuffs and many are forced to live off of tree bark and weeds (as one Wang Wenlu stated in his writing of 1545).
- Paracelsus visits Villach.
- January 10 – Louis of Nassau, Dutch general (d. 1574)
- January 15 – Maeda Toshiie, Japanese samurai and warlord (d. 1599)
- March 25 – Christopher Clavius, German mathematician and astronomer (d. 1612)
- April 26 – Gian Paolo Lomazzo, Italian painter (d. 1600)
- September 29 – Joan Terès i Borrull, viceroy of Catalonia (d. 1603)
- October 2 – Saint Charles Borromeo, saint and cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church (d. 1584)
- October 31 – Caesar Baronius, Italian cardinal and historian (d. 1607)
- November 16 – Saint Turibius of Mongrovejo, Spanish Grand Inquisitioner and missionary Archbishop of Lima (d. 1606)
- date unknown
- January 8 – Beatrice of Portugal, Duchess of Savoy (b. 1504)
- February 12 – Albrecht Altdorfer, German painter (b. c. 1480)
- April 3 – Elizabeth Boleyn, Countess of Wiltshire (b. 1480)
- April 4 – Elena Glinskaya, Regent of Russia
- May 8 – Edward Foxe, English churchman (b. 1496)
- May 22 – John Forest, English Franciscan friar (martyred) (b. 1471)
- June 30 – Charles II, Duke of Guelders (b. 1467)
- July 8 – Diego de Almagro, Spanish conquistador (b. 1475)
- September 14 – Henry III of Nassau-Breda, Baron of Breda (b. 1483)
- October 20 – Francesco Maria I della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, condottiero (b. 1490)
- November 22 – John Lambert, English Protestant martyr (burned at stake)
- date unknown – Pierre Gringoire, French poet and playwright (b. 1475)