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1598 (MDXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar, the 1598th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 598th year of the 2nd millennium, the 98th year of the 16th century, and the 9th year of the 1590s decade. As of the start of 1598, the Gregorian calendar was 10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
- August 14 – Battle of the Yellow Ford in Ireland: Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, gains victory over an English expeditionary force under Henry Bagenal, in the Nine Years' War against English rule.
- September 13 – Philip III of Spain starts to rule, on the death of his father.
- September 25 – Battle of Stångebro at Linköping in Sweden: The Catholic King Sigismund of Sweden and Poland is defeated in his attempt to resume control of Sweden by the Protestant forces of his uncle, Charles. Sigismund is deposed shortly thereafter.
- Autumn – Second Dutch Expedition to Indonesia: After being separated from the main Dutch fleet of Admiral Wybrand Van Warwyck, three ships under Jacob Corneliszoon van Neck land on the island which they name Mauritius, after Maurice, Prince of Orange, and sight the dodo.
- December 16 (November 19 (lunar calendar)) – Battle of Noryang: An allied Korean and Chinese fleet under Korean Admiral Yi Sun-sin and Chinese Admiral Chen Lin defeats the Japanese navy, ending the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–98).
- December 21 – Battle of Curalaba: The revolting Mapuche, led by cacique Pelantaro, inflict a major defeat on Spanish troops in southern Chile; all Spanish cities south of the Bío Bío River eventually fall victim to the Destruction of the Seven Cities by the Mapuches, and all conquest of Mapuche territories by Europeans practically ceases, until the later 19th century Occupation of Araucanía.
- July 6 – Kirsten Munk, Danish noble, spouse of King Christian IV of Denmark (d. 1658)
- July 29 – Henricus Regius, Dutch philosopher (d. 1679)
- July 31 – Alessandro Algardi, Italian high-Baroque sculptor active in Rome (d. 1654)
- August 7 – Georg Stiernhielm, Swedish civil servant (d. 1672)
- September 11 – Imre Thurzó, Hungarian noble (d. 1621)
- September 23 – Eleonora Gonzaga, Holy Roman Empress, married to Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1655)
- September 24 – Giovanni Francesco Busenello, Italian librettist (d. 1659)
- September 27 – Robert Blake, English admiral (d. 1657)
- October 14 – Nicolas de Neufville de Villeroy, Marshal of France (d. 1685)
- October 17 – Jørgen Knudsen Urne, Danish noble (d. 1642)
- October 19 – Isaac Commelin, Dutch historian (d. 1676)
- October 27 – Lars Stigzelius, Swedish Lutheran archbishop (d. 1676)
- November 3 – Christian I, Count Palatine of Birkenfeld-Bischweiler (1600–1654) (d. 1654)
- November 4 – Ernst Adalbert von Harrach, Austrian Catholic cardinal (d. 1667)
- November 7 – Francisco de Zurbarán, Spanish painter (d. 1664)
- November 28 – Hans Nansen, Danish statesman (d. 1667)
- December 7 – Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Italian sculptor (d. 1680)
- December 20 – Ottavio Farnese, Italian noble (d. 1643)
- December 22 – Henri de La Trémoille, French general and noble (d. 1674)
- December 24 – Margaret Stuart, Scottish princess (d. 1600)
- Bonaventura Cavalieri, Italian mathematician (d. 1647)
- Marmaduke Langdale, Royalist in the English Civil War (d. 1661)
- Baldassarre Longhena, Venetian architect (d. 1682)
- Jean Nicolet, French explorer (d. 1642)
- Jean-Armand du Peyrer, Comte de Tréville and French officer (d. 1672)
- Gilbert Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1677)
- William Strode, English parliamentarian (d. 1645)
- Åke Henriksson Tott, Swedish soldier and politician (d. 1640)
- Mary Bankes, a Royalist in the English Civil War, who defended Corfe Castle (d. 1661)
- Francis Leigh, 1st Earl of Chichester, English politician (d. 1653)
- Guðríður Símonardóttir, Icelandic woman known as a victim of the Turkish abductions (d. 1682)
- January 16 or January 17 – Tsar Feodor I of Russia (b. 1557)
- January 8 – John George, Elector of Brandenburg, Margrave and Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia (b. 1525)
- January 9 – Jasper Heywood, English classicist and translator (b. 1553)
- February 10 – Anne of Austria, Queen of Poland (b. 1573)
- March 4 or March 5 – Lucas Maius, Lutheran Reformation pastor, theologian and playwright (b. 1522)
- March 28 – Michele Bonelli, Italian Catholic cardinal (b. 1541)
- April 8 – Ludwig Helmbold, German classical singer (b. 1532)
- April 10 – Jacopo Mazzoni, Italian philosopher (b. 1548)
- April 19 – Hans Fugger, German businessman (b. 1531)
- May 3 – Anna Guarini, Italian singer (b. 1563)
- May 18 – Philipp of Bavaria, German Catholic cardinal (b. 1576)
- June – Emery Molyneux, English maker of globes and instruments (date of birth unknown)
- June 28 – Abraham Ortelius, Flemish cartographer and geographer (b. 1527)
- June 25 – Giacomo Gaggini, Italian artist (b. 1517)
- August 4 – William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, English statesman (b. 1520)
- August 9 – Andreas Angelus, German pastor, teacher, chronicler of the Mark of Brandenburg (b. 1561)
- September 13 – Philip II of Spain (b. 1527)
- September 18 – Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Japanese warlord (b. 1537)
- October 11 – Joachim Camerarius the Younger, German scientist (b. 1534)
- November 12 – Johannes Schenck von Grafenberg, German physician (b. 1530)
- December 6 – Paolo Paruta, Italian historian (b. 1540)
- December 15 – Philips of Marnix, Lord of Saint-Aldegonde, Dutch writer and statesman (b. 1538)
- December 16 – Yi Sun-sin, Korean naval leader (b. 1545)
- December 31 – Heinrich Rantzau, German humanist writer, astrologer, and astrological writer (b. 1526)
- date unknown