1041 (The People's Chronology)
Hungary's Peter Orseolo is driven out by the usurper Samuel Aba, brother-in-law of his late uncle Stephen (István) I, and takes refuge with the German king Heinrich.
The German king Heinrich mounts an invasion of Bohemia, whose Bretislav I has conquered Moravia and Silesia, captured Kraków, Poznan, and Gniezno, and threatens to create a greater West Slav nation. He defeats Bretislav, makes him give up all of his Polish conquests except Silesia (which will later be returned to Poland), and forces him to pay homage.
Eardwulf, earl of Northumbria, is murdered by the Danish husband of his niece, who makes himself earl of Northumbria and will reign until 1055 as Siward the Strong.
A Norman-Lombard (German) force under the command of William, Drogo, and Humphrey de Hauteville defeats a Byzantine army near Melfi (see 1051).
The Byzantine emperor Michael IV the Paphlagonian dies in the autumn and is succeeded by his nephew, who will reign for 4 months as Michael V Kalaphates (the caulker).
Movable type for printing will be used in the next 8 years by the Chinese alchemist Pi Sheng, who will employ hundreds of baked clay-and-glue blocks bearing Chinese ideograms (see paper money, 1107). He will compose texts by placing the blocks side by side on an iron plate coated with a mixture of paper ash, resin, and wax; heating the plate; letting it cool to solidify the type. Then, after the impression has been made, he will reheat the plate to facilitate removal of the type so that it may be used again (see 1313).
English crops wither and cattle die as a result of bad weather throughout the year.