1108 (The People's Chronology)
France's Philippe I dies at Melun the night of July 29 at age 56 after a reign of nearly 48 years. His extreme obesity has rendered him inactive, and he is succeeded by his 27-year-old son, who has administered the kingdom since 1104 and will reign until 1137 as Louis VI. The new king faces insurrections from feudal brigands and rebellious barons, and it will take him 24 years to root out the robber barons who depend for their livelihood on plundering travelers en route to and from Paris.
Bohemond of Otranto lands a large army at Avlona in a challenge to the Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus. Bohemond married the French princess Constance in the spring of 1106, having met with the pope at Rome the previous September, and he hopes to expand his territories, which extend from Apulia to Antioch, but Alexius defeats Bohemond at Durazzo in what later will be Albania and makes him a vassal, giving him Antioch and other Greek cities in return for ending hostilities.
Regents for the Japanese boy emperor Toba engage samurai Masamori Taira to eliminate a member of the Minamoto family who has occupied an area along the Inland Sea. Unaccustomed to fighting in coastal areas, the Minamoto prove no match for Taira, who is allowed by the emperor to settle with his family in western Japan, where they can enrich themselves in the China trade and increase their power.
Spanish Christians assassinate the diplomat-statesman Solomon ibn Ferruziel May 3 as he is returning to Toledo after an important mission to Aragon. A nephew of the physician and royal adviser Joseph ibn Ferruziel, who is known as Cidellus, Solomon is eulogized by Navarre-born poet-philosopher Judah (Yehuda ben Shemuel) ha-Levi, 33, who had composed a long poem to be read at his reception. The official elegy ends with a curse against the "Daughter of Edom," meaning Christianity (see literature 1140).