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Millennium: 2nd millennium
1220 in various calendars
Gregorian calendar1220
Ab urbe condita1973
Armenian calendar669
Assyrian calendar5970
Balinese saka calendar1141–1142
Bengali calendar627
Berber calendar2170
English Regnal yearHen. 3 – 5 Hen. 3
Buddhist calendar1764
Burmese calendar582
Byzantine calendar6728–6729
Chinese calendar己卯年 (Earth Rabbit)
3917 or 3710
    — to —
庚辰年 (Metal Dragon)
3918 or 3711
Coptic calendar936–937
Discordian calendar2386
Ethiopian calendar1212–1213
Hebrew calendar4980–4981
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat1276–1277
 - Shaka Samvat1141–1142
 - Kali Yuga4320–4321
Holocene calendar11220
Igbo calendar220–221
Iranian calendar598–599
Islamic calendar616–617
Japanese calendarJōkyū 2
Javanese calendar1128–1129
Julian calendar1220
Korean calendar3553
Minguo calendar692 before ROC
Nanakshahi calendar−248
Thai solar calendar1762–1763
Tibetan calendar阴土兔年
(female Earth-Rabbit)
1346 or 965 or 193
    — to —
(male Iron-Dragon)
1347 or 966 or 194
Conquests of Genghis Khan and his sons during his reign (r. 1206–1227)

Year 1220 (MCCXX) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


By place[edit]

Fifth Crusade[edit]

  • July – The Crusaders, led by the Knights Hospitaller, raid Burlus, located in the Nile Delta in Egypt. The town is pillaged, but the knights are ambushed on their return, and several Hospitallers, including Grand Master Guérin de Montaigu, are captured. Meanwhile, Sultan Al-Kamil sends an Egyptian squadron down the Rosetta branch of the Nile. It sails to Cyprus, where it finds a Crusader fleet lying off Limassol. During the attack, they sink and capture all the ships, taking many thousands of prisoners.[1]
  • Summer – The Crusader army is trapped by a Nile flood at Damietta. Cardinal Pelagius sends a Venetian squadron to intercept the Egyptian fleet, and attacks the harbours of Rosetta and Alexandria, but to no effect. Lack of money prevents Pelagius from building a sufficient number of ships, and the papal treasury can not spare him anymore. In September more of the Crusaders return home.[2]

Mongol Empire[edit]

  • Spring – The Mongol army (some 100,000 men) led by Genghis Khan crosses the Kyzylkum Desert – a freezing sand-and-tussock wilderness of some 450 kilometers – towards Bukhara. Meanwhile, Muhammad II, ruler of the Khwarazmian Empire, prepares a strong defense around his capital Samarkand. In February, Genghis approaches Bukhara, which is defended by a garrison of some 20,000 men, and begins the Siege of Bukhara. The city leaders open the gates to the Mongols, but Turkish forces who defend the city's citadel hold out for another twelve days.[3] In a speech at the city's Friday Mosque, Genghis declares "I am the punishment of God."[4]
  • March – Mongol forces led by Genghis Khan besiege Samarkand, the city is defended by some 40,000 men, including a brigade of 20 war elephants. On the third day, the garrison launches a counter-attack, the defenders sent out their elephants, which panic, turn and trample their own men before escaping onto the open plain. Muhammad II attempts to relieve Samarkand twice but is driven back. After a week, the remainder of the garrison surrenders. The city's inhabitants, numbering some 100,000 are enslaved or slaughtered.[5]
  • Summer – Muhammad II flees westwards across northern Iran, hoping to find safety in the rugged and isolated region of Mazandaran on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. He is pursued by 20,000 Mongol forces led by Subutai and Jebe (the Arrow). Abandoned by the remnants of his panic-stricken troops, Muhammad seeks shelter on a small island near Astara. There he dies of pleurisy some weeks later. He is succeeded by his son Jalal al-Din Mangburni, who is forced to flee to India after the Mongol invasion (see 1219).[6]
  • Autumn – Genghis Khan moves against the wealthy city of Urgench. He is joined by his eldest son Jochi, now conqueror of half a dozen lesser towns who attacks it from the north. Despite a stout defense, the city is taken after a 5-months siege. The Mongols have to fight for Urgench street by street, razing many houses. Jochi is given the right to loot the city for himself, but prefers to negotiate with the locals to avoid property damage. This is refused by Genghis, who removes Jochi from command and appoints Ögedei instead.[7]
  • November – Genghis Khan dispatches his youngest son Tolui, at the head of an army (around 50,000 men), into the Khwarazmian province of Khorasan. His forces also include 300 catapults, 700 mangonels to discharge pots filled with naphtha, 4,000 storming-ladders, and 2,500 sacks of earth for filling up moats. Among the first cities to fall is Termez (captured after a two-day siege) and later Balkh.[8]

United Kingdom[edit]

  • Spring – King Henry III makes large alterations to the Tower of London including new curtain walls, an improved water-filled ditch, and a water gate, so that he can enter the castle directly from the Thames.
  • May 17 – The 12-year-old Henry III is crowned at Westminster Abbey. He is reminded of his duties as king to maintain peace, defend the rights of the English crown, and the barons swear an oath of fealty.
  • Llywelyn the Great, Welsh prince of Gwynedd, begins raiding Pembrokeshire to retake land that he accuses William Marshal (the Younger) of stealing. This also includes Wiston Castle.



By topic[edit]






  1. ^ Steven Runciman (1952). A History of The Crusades. Vol III: The Kingdom of Acre, p. 139. ISBN 978-0-241-29877-0.
  2. ^ Steven Runciman (1952). A History of The Crusades. Vol III: The Kingdom of Acre, pp. 139–140. ISBN 978-0-241-29877-0.
  3. ^ John Man (2011). Genghis Khan: Life, Death and Resurrection, pp. 193–194. ISBN 978-0-553-81498-9.
  4. ^ According to: Juvaini, Ata-Malik (c. 1260). Tarikh-i Jahangushay تاریخ جهانگشای [History of the World Conqueror] (in Persian). Vol. 1. Translated by Boyle, John Andrew. p. 105.
  5. ^ John Man (2011). Genghis Khan: Life, Death and Resurrection, p. 202. ISBN 978-0-553-81498-9.
  6. ^ David Nicolle and Viacheslav Shpakovsky (2001). Osprey: Kalka River 1223: Genghis Khan's Mongols invade Russia, p. 14. ISBN 1-84176-233-4.
  7. ^ Steven Runciman (1952). A History of The Crusades. Vol III: The Kingdom of Acre, p. 205. ISBN 978-0-241-29877-0.
  8. ^ Steven Runciman (1952). A History of The Crusades. Vol III: The Kingdom of Acre, p. 206. ISBN 978-0-241-29877-0.
  9. ^ Hywel Williams (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History, p. 135. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
  10. ^ Steven Runciman (1952). A History of The Crusades. Vol III: The Kingdom of Acre, p. 144. ISBN 978-0-241-29877-0.
  11. ^ a b Sutton, Ian (1999). Architecture, from Ancient Greece to the Present. London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-20316-3.