|Centuries:||16th century – 17th century – 18th century|
|Decades:||1570s 1580s 1590s – 1600s – 1610s 1620s 1630s|
|Years:||1598 1599 1600 – 1601 – 1602 1603 1604|
|1601 by topic:|
|Arts and Science|
|Architecture - Art - Literature - Music - Science|
|Lists of leaders|
|Colonial governors - State leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births - Deaths|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Establishments - Disestablishments|
|Ab urbe condita||2354|
|English Regnal year||43 Eliz. 1 – 44 Eliz. 1|
— to —辛丑年十二月初八日
|- Vikram Samvat||1657–1658|
|- Shaka Samvat||1523–1524|
|- Kali Yuga||4702–4703|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||601–602|
|Japanese calendar||Keichō 6
|Juche calendar||N/A (before 1912)|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 10 days|
|Minguo calendar||311 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2144|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: 1601|
Year 1601 (MDCI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Thursday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar. January 1 of this year (1601-01-01) is used as the base of file dates and of Active Directory Logon dates by Microsoft Windows. It is also the date from which ANSI dates are counted and were adopted by the American National Standards Institute for use with COBOL and other computer languages. This epoch is the beginning of the 400-year Gregorian leap-year cycle within which digital files first existed; the last year of any such cycle is the only leap year whose year number is divisible by 100. All versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system from Windows 95 onward count units of one hundred nanoseconds from this epoch.
- January 1 – The first day of the 17th century.
- January 17 – France gains Bresse, Bugey and Gex from Savoy, ceding Saluzzo in exchange.
- February 8 – Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, longtime favorite of Queen Elizabeth I of England, rebels against the queen; his revolt is quickly crushed.
- February 25 – Robert Devereux is beheaded.
- Spring – Possible first performance of William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet.
- December 24 (Julian Calendar; January 3, 1602 according to the Gregorian Calendar used by the Irish and Spanish forces in the battle) – The Battle of Kinsale ends the siege of Kinsale, Ireland (begun in autumn 1601).
Date unknown 
- Dutch troops drive the Portuguese from Málaga.
- The Jesuit Matteo Ricci becomes the first European to enter the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, during the Ming Dynasty.
- A bad harvest occurs in the Tsardom of Russia, due to a rainy summer, causing the Russian famine of 1601–1603.
- A famine (ending in 1603) kills about half the Estonian population.
- By 1601 - Martin Möller is accused of Crypto-Calvinism.
- January 8 – Baltasar Gracián y Morales, Spanish prose writer (d. 1658)
- May – Spencer Compton, 2nd Earl of Northampton (d. 1643)
- May 2 – Athanasius Kircher, German Jesuit scholar (d. 1680)
- August 17 – Pierre de Fermat, French mathematician (d. 1665)
- August 22 – Georges de Scudéry, French novelist, dramatist and poet (d. 1667)
- September 13 – Jan Brueghel the Younger, Flemish painter (d. 1678)
- September 22 – Anna of Austria, queen of Louis XIII of France and regent (d. 1666)
- September 27 – King Louis XIII of France (d. 1643)
- date unknown
- January 11 – Scipione Ammirato, Italian historian (b. 1531)
- January 19 – Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, English statesman (b. 1534)
- February 7 – Martin Garzez, 53rd Grandmaster of the Knights Hospitaller (b. 1526)
- February 25 – Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, English politician (b. 1566)
- February 27 – Anne Line, English saint
- April 10 – Mark Alexander Boyd, Scottish poet and soldier of fortune (b. 1562)
- May 19 – Costanzo Porta, Italian composer (b. 1528)
- August 9 – Mihai Viteazul, Prince of Wallachia (b. 1558)
- October 24 – Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer (b. 1546)
- date unknown
- Microsoft Windows technical note on file dates, referencing year 1601. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/188768
- Microsoft Windows technical note on file dates, referencing year 1601. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/scriptcenter/topics/win2003/lastlogon.mspx
- Decimal Time.net
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 166–168. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Edwards, Phillip, ed. (1985). Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. New Cambridge Shakespeare. Cambridge University Press. p. 8. ISBN 0-521-29366-9. "Any dating of Hamlet must be tentative." Scholars date its writing as between 1599 and 1601.