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Millennium: 2nd millennium
1261 in various calendars
Gregorian calendar1261
Ab urbe condita2014
Armenian calendar710
Assyrian calendar6011
Balinese saka calendar1182–1183
Bengali calendar668
Berber calendar2211
English Regnal year45 Hen. 3 – 46 Hen. 3
Buddhist calendar1805
Burmese calendar623
Byzantine calendar6769–6770
Chinese calendar庚申年 (Metal Monkey)
3957 or 3897
    — to —
辛酉年 (Metal Rooster)
3958 or 3898
Coptic calendar977–978
Discordian calendar2427
Ethiopian calendar1253–1254
Hebrew calendar5021–5022
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat1317–1318
 - Shaka Samvat1182–1183
 - Kali Yuga4361–4362
Holocene calendar11261
Igbo calendar261–262
Iranian calendar639–640
Islamic calendar659–660
Japanese calendarBun'ō 2 / Kōchō 1
Javanese calendar1170–1171
Julian calendar1261
Korean calendar3594
Minguo calendar651 before ROC
Nanakshahi calendar−207
Thai solar calendar1803–1804
Tibetan calendar阳金猴年
(male Iron-Monkey)
1387 or 1006 or 234
    — to —
(female Iron-Rooster)
1388 or 1007 or 235

Michael VIII Palaiologos (1223–1282)

Year 1261 (MCCLXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


By place[edit]

Byzantine Empire[edit]

  • March 13Treaty of Nymphaeum: Emperor Michael VIII (Palaiologos) signs a trade and defense agreement with the Republic of Genoa, to counterweight the Venetian presence in the region. Genoa agrees to ally with the Empire of Nicaea, by providing a fleet of up to 50 galleys during the projected Nicaean siege of Constantinople, while 16 galleys are to be immediately sent against the Latin Empire.[1]
  • July – Michael VIII (Palaiologos) sends his general Alexios Strategopoulos with a small advance force of 800 soldiers, most of them Cumans, to keep watch on the Bulgarians and scout the defending positions of the Latin forces in the surroundings of Constantinople. When they reach the village of Selymbria, Strategopoulos is informed by local farmers that the entire Latin garrison and the Venetian fleet, are absent conducting a raid against the Nicaean island of Daphnousia. He decides not to lose such a golden opportunity and makes plans (without the consent of Michael) to retake the capital.[2]
  • July 25Reconquest of Constantinople: Alexios Strategopoulos and his men hide at a monastery near the city gates, before entering through a secret passage. After a short struggle, the guards who are completely taken by surprise are killed and the Venetian quarter is set ablaze. Panic spreads through the capital and Emperor Baldwin II rushes out to save his life, evacuating along with many other Latins with the help of the Venetian fleet. Baldwin manages to escape to the still Latin-held parts of Greece, but Constantinople is lost for good.[3]
  • August 15 – Michael VIII (Palaiologos) enters Constantinople in triumph and is crowned as emperor of the Byzantine Empire at the Hagia Sophia. To solidify his claim, the legitimate ruler, John IV (Laskaris), is blinded on Michael's orders on his 11th birthday. He banishes him to a monastery and marries his two sisters to lesser Latin and Bulgarian nobles in an attempt to wipe out the Laskarid Dynasty.[4]

Mongol Empire[edit]

  • Kublai Khan releases 75 Chinese merchants, who were captured along the border of the Mongol Empire. By doing this, Kublai hopes to bolster his popularity and depend on the cooperation of his Chinese subjects to ensure that his army receives more resources.[5]




  • February – The Japanese Bun'ō era ends and the Kōchō era begins during the reign of the 11-year-old Emperor Kameyama (until 1264).

By topic[edit]


  • The earliest extant Chinese illustration of "Pascal's Triangle" is from Yang Hui's (or Qianguang) book Xiangjie Jiuzhang Suanfa, published this year.





  1. ^ Steven Runciman (1952). A History of The Crusades. Vol III: The Kingdom of Acre, p. 240. ISBN 978-0-241-29877-0.
  2. ^ Bartusis, Mark C. (1997). The Late Byzantine Army: Arms and Society, 1204–1453, pp. 40–41. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-1620-2.
  3. ^ Nicol, Donald M. (1993). The Last Centuries of Byzantium, 1261–1453, p. 35 (Second ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-43991-6.
  4. ^ Hackel, Sergei (2001). The Byzantine Saint, p. 71 (2001 ed.). St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. ISBN 0-88141-202-3.
  5. ^ Rossabi, Morris (1988). Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times, p. 51. Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-06740-0.
  6. ^ Lock, Peter (2013). The Routledge Companion to the Crusades. Routledge. p. 112. ISBN 9781135131371.
  7. ^ Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 144–146. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
  8. ^ BBC History, July 2011, p. 12.