1156 (The People's Chronology)
The Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa makes the margravate of Austria a duchy after 180 years of rule by the Babenberg family and gives it special privileges (see 1246). He makes Bohemia a hereditary kingdom.
William of Sicily destroys the Byzantine fleet May 28 at Brindisi and recovers Bari from Greek barons who have been encouraged by Pope Adrian IV to revolt. William and Adrian come to terms at Benevento June 18, and William is confirmed as king.
The Venetian doge Domenico Morosini dies after an 8-year reign in which he has consolidated Venice's power and extended it to Istria, Dalmatia, and the Adriatic. His family gained prominence in the 10th century when it destroyed the rival Caloprino family for planning to surrender the city to the Holy Roman Emperor Otto II.
The Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa is married June 9 at Würzburg to Beatrix, daughter of the late count of Upper Burgundy, Renaud III, and adds Upper Burgundy (Franche Comte) to his domain.
The former Swedish king Sverker I Kolsson is murdered at Alvastre, Smäland, December 25 at age 61.
The former Japanese emperor Toba dies at age 53 in the midst of a struggle over the succession in what will be called the Hogen Disturbance (see 1155). His son Sutoku, who reigned from 1123 to 1141, obtains help from Tameyoshi Minamoto, now 62, and Tadamasa Taira, and they rise in July against Sotoku's half brother, the new emperor Goshirakawa, 28, who is in turn supported by Minamoto's son Yoshitomo Minamoto and Taira's nephew Kiyomori Taira, now 38. Yoshitomo Minamoto is ordered to execute his father, Tameyoshi, but refuses; another Minamoto officer performs the act August 17 rather than allow a Taira to do it, and Yoshitomo is exiled to the island of Izo-no-Oshima, south of Edo. Sutoku fails in his attempt to take over and is exiled to Sanuko on the island of Shikoku in the Inland Sea, Goshirakawa remains as emperor, and the Taira clan consolidates its power (see 1158).
The first foreign-exchange contracts are issued, permitting repayment in Byzantine bezants of debts made in Genoese pounds.
Architecture, Real Estate
The grand prince of Kiev Yuri Dolgoruky erects Moscow's first wooden kremlin and adds a church within the settlement (see 1147).