|1161 by topic|
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|Births – Deaths|
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|Establishments – Disestablishments|
|Art and literature|
|1161 in poetry|
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- The Battle of Tangdao (November 16) and Battle of Caishi (November 26–27) on the Yangtze river, during the Jin–Song Wars between the Jin Dynasty and the Song Dynasty in China, result in two pivotal Song naval victories.
- December 15 – The Prince of Hailing is assassinated while on campaign. He is succeeded by Emperor Shizong.
- c. April – Bartholomew Iscanus becomes Bishop of Exeter in England.
- Godfrey Ua Raghallaigh, king of East Breifne in Ireland, dies; his son Cathal succeeds him.
- Eric Jedvardsson's murderer Magnus Henriksen is himself murdered by Karl Sverkersson, who then becomes king of Sweden.
- A Muslim offensive against the young Portuguese kingdom reaches Almada.
- The Cross of Euphrosyne, commissioned by Saint Euphrosyne of Polotsk, is created by craftsman Lazar Bohsa (The cross later went missing during World War II, and has not been recovered).
- September 20 – Emperor Takakura of Japan (d. 1181)
- date unknown
- February 3 – King Inge I of Norway (b. 1135)
- April 18 – Theobald of Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury
- June 14 – Emperor Qinzong of Song (b. 1084)
- September 11 – Melisende, Queen of Jerusalem (b. 1105)
- November 23 – Adam, Abbot of Ebrach
- December 15 – Wanyan Liang, Jurchen emperor (b. 1122)
- date unknown