1048 (The People's Chronology)
The Japanese warrior Yorinobu Minamoto dies June 1 at age 79 (approximate), having helped bring the Seiwa branch of his clan to power by serving the Fujiwara family.
Seljuk Turks under the command of Togrul make their first raids into Armenia, contesting Byzantine control of the region (see 1045; 1064).
Persian scholar and scientist Abu ar-Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni dies at Ghazna (later Ghazni), Afghanistan, December 13 at age 75, having made accurate calculations of latitude and longitude, concurred in the theory that the Earth rotates on its axis, advanced the idea that the Indus Valley was once a seabed, explained natural springs by the laws of hydrostatics, and determined with astonishing accuracy the specific weights of 18 precious stones and metals. Able to converse in Farsi, Turkish, Sanscrit, Hebrew, and Syriac as well as in the Arabic that he used for his voluminous writings on a variety of subjects, al-Biruni corresponded with the philosopher Avicenna and tempered his Shiite Muslim faith with a degree of agnosticism.
The Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich III orders the expulsion of Pope Benedict IX and nominates the Bavarian bishop Poppo of Brixen to succeed the late Clement II. The bishop is elected July 19 as Damasus II but dies of malaria at Palestrina August 9 after a 23-day reign and is succeeded by the Alsatian bishop Bruno, Graf von Egisheim und Dagsburg, 47, who is appointed pope by the emperor but insists on being elected by the Roman clergy and populace (see 1049).