1154 (The People's Chronology)
Roger II of Sicily dies at Palermo February 26 at age 58 after a 42-year reign and is succeeded by his fourth son William, who will reign until 1156.
England's King Stephen dies after a short illness at Dover, Kent, October 25 at age 57 (approximate) and is succeeded by Henry of Anjou, who is crowned at age 21 and will reign until 1189 as Henry II, inaugurating a Plantagenet dynasty that will rule England until 1399 (see 1153). Eleanor of Aquitaine, formerly queen of France, becomes queen of England.
Damascus surrenders April 23 to the sultan Nur ad-Din of Aleppo.
Melissande of Jerusalem and her son Baldwin III end their hostilities and will rule together until her death in 1160 at the convent that she has founded at Bethany.
Pope Anastasius IV dies December 3 after a 17-month reign in which he has settled a dispute between the Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa and the see of Magdeburg, and another dispute between Bishop William of York and his see. Anastasius is succeeded by Nicholas Breakspear, who is elected as the first (and only) English pope; he will reign until 1159 as Adrian IV and try to end the anarchy that has persisted in Rome.
Iceland's Mount Hekla erupts as it did 50 years ago, and word spreads through the Catholic world that Hekla's craters are the entrance to Hell.
England's domestic wine industry begins to decline as cheap French wines are introduced by Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of the new king Henry II.