1003 (The People's Chronology)
The new Umayyad vizier Hisham II forces the Leónese to participate in his campaign against the Catalans.
The Danish king Sweyn I Forkbeard (Svend Tveskaeg) plunders the English coast and exacts tribute in retaliation for last year's massacre of Danish settlers by Ethelred (Aethelred) II. The raids will continue almost annually until 1014.
Norse mariner Thorfinn Karlsefni leaves Greenland with three ships for a 3-year visit to the northern continent of the Western Hemisphere (see Leif Eriksson, 1001). His attempts at settlement will not be successful, nor will any other attempt for nearly 600 years (see Corte-Real, 1500).
Pope Sylvester II (Gerbert of Aurillac) dies at Rome May 12 at age 57 (approximate) after a 4-year reign. He is succeeded June 16 by the Rome-born deacon John Sicco, who was married and fathered three sons before taking holy orders. A puppet of the Crescentii family, the new pope reigns as John XVII until his death December 6 and is succeeded by another Crescentii family nominee who will reign until 1008 as John XVIII.