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This article is about the year 1578.
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|Centuries:||15th century – 16th century – 17th century|
|Decades:||1540s 1550s 1560s – 1570s – 1580s 1590s 1600s|
|Years:||1575 1576 1577 – 1578 – 1579 1580 1581|
|1578 by topic|
|Arts and science|
|Lists of leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Ab urbe condita||2331|
|English Regnal year||20 Eliz. 1 – 21 Eliz. 1|
|Chinese calendar||丁丑年 (Fire Ox)
4274 or 4214
— to —
戊寅年 (Earth Tiger)
4275 or 4215
|- Vikram Samvat||1634–1635|
|- Shaka Samvat||1500–1501|
|- Kali Yuga||4679–4680|
|Japanese calendar||Tenshō 6
|Minguo calendar||334 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2120–2121|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1578.|
- January 31 – Battle of Gembloux: Spanish forces under Don John of Austria and Alexander Farnese defeat the Dutch. Alexander Farnese begins to recover control of the French-speaking Southern Netherlands.
- April 27 – The Duel of the Mignons claims the lives of two favorites of Henry III of France and two favourites of Henry I, Duke of Guise.
- May 31 – Martin Frobisher sails from Harwich, England to Frobisher Bay, Canada, on his third expedition.
- July – Martin Frobisher holds the first celebration of Thanksgiving by Europeans in North America on Newfoundland. He ships ore which proves to be valueless fool's gold which can only be used as road metal in London.
- August 4 – Battle of Alcácer Quibir in North Africa: The Moors defeat King Sebastian of Portugal who is killed, leaving his elderly uncle, Cardinal Henry, as his heir, initiating a succession crisis in Portugal.
- August 20–September 6 – Francis Drake, during his circumnavigation of the globe, passes through the Strait of Magellan in his ship, the newly renamed Golden Hind.
- October 1 – Alessandro Farnese succeeds Don John as Governor of the Spanish Netherlands.
- October 21 - Battle of Wenden: The Russians are defeated by the Swedes, who proceed to take Polotsk.
- Battle of the Spoiling Dyke at Trumpan in northwest Scotland: the Clan MacLeod are victorious over the MacDonalds of Uist.
- The Ottoman Empire conquers Abkhazia.
- Sarsa Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia, kills Bahr negus Yeshaq, finally ending his rebellion.
- Sonam Gyrso receives from prince Atlan Khan the title of Talaï, and becomes the third Dalai Lama of Tibet.
- Last outbreak of the sweating sickness occurs in England.
- March 2 – George Sandys, English traveller (d. 1644)
- April 1 – William Harvey, English physician (d. 1657)
- April 14 – King Philip III of Spain (d. 1621)
- May 16 – Everard Digby, English conspirator (d. 1606)
- July 9 – Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1637)
- July 31 – Countess Catharina Belgica of Nassau, regent of Hanau-Münzenberg (d. 1648)
- August 5 – Charles d'Albert, duc de Luynes, first duke of Chaulnes (d. 1621)
- August 17 – Francesco Albani, Italian painter (d. 1660)
- October 4 – Giovanni Francesco Guidi di Bagno, Italian cardinal (d. 1641)
- October 17 – Dmitry Pozharsky, Russian prince (d. 1642)
- December 2 – Agostino Agazzari, Italian composer (d. 1640)
- date unknown
- Giambattista Andreini, Italian actor and playwright (d. 1650)
- Yamada Arinaga, Japanese retainer of the Shimazu clan (d. 1668)
- Benedetto Castelli, Italian scientist (d. 1643)
- Thomas Coventry, 1st Baron Coventry, English lawyer (d. 1640)
- Iwasa Matabei, Japanese painter (d. 1650)
- Samuel Jordan, American colonial legislator (d. 1623)
- Grzegorz IV Radziwiłł, Polish magnate (d. 1613)
- François Ravaillac, killer of Henry IV of France (d. 1610)
- Ambrose Rookwood, English Gunpowder Plot conspirator (d. 1606)
- Francis Manners, 6th Earl of Rutland (d. 1632)
- Horio Tadauji, Japanese daimyo (d. 1604)
- January 5 – Giulio Clovio, Dalmatian painter (b. 1498)
- January 25 – Mihrimah Sultan, Sultan Suleiman's daughter (b. 1522)
- February 5 – Giovanni Battista Moroni, Italian painter (b. 1510)
- March 3
- March 7 – Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox (b. 1515)
- March 29
- April 14 – James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, consort of Mary, Queen of Scots (b. 1535)
- April 19 – Uesugi Kenshin, Japanese samurai and warlord (b. 1530)
- June 20 – Thomas Doughty, English explorer (executed)
- July 27 – Jane Lumley, English translator (b. 1537)
- August 4
- August 8 – Amago Katsuhisa, Japanese nobleman (b. 1553)
- August 11 – Pedro Nunes, Portuguese mathematician (b. 1502)
- September – Pierre Lescot, French architect (b. 1510)
- October 1 – Don John of Austria, military leader (b. 1547)
- December – Nicholas Heath, Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor of England (b. 1501)
- date unknown
- "Voyage of the Golden Hind". The Golden Hind. Brixham. 2012. Retrieved 2013-09-02.