1174 (The People's Chronology)
The Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa purchases Tuscany, Sardinia, Corsica, and Spoleto from Heinrich the Lion's uncle, Welf VI (see 1167; 1176).
England's Henry II does penance at Canterbury for the murder in 1170 of Thomas Becket, who was canonized last year as Saint Thomas Becket. Henry forces Scotland's William I (the Lion) to sign the Treaty of Falaise, acknowledging the English king as his feudal lord (but see 1189); he then crosses the Channel and captures his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, as she tries to flee Poitiers disguised as a man. She has been conspiring with French lords on behalf of her sons Richard and Geoffrey, whom Henry is unable to catch, but she will be imprisoned in various castles for the next 15 years.
His embittered courtiers form a conspiracy against the grand prince of Rostov-Suzdal Andrei I and murder the 63-year-old prince in June at Bogolyubovo, outside Vladimir. The principality has reached its zenith of political and cultural development in the 17 years of his rule and will retain its dominance in the region through much of the next century.
Georgia's Giorgi III defeats his great-nephew Demna, the rightful ruler, in battle at Hereti and has him blinded and then castrated (see 1178).
The Syrian emir Nur ad-Din (Nureddin) dies at Damascus May 15 at age 56 after a 28-year reign in which he has fought Crusaders; annexed Egypt; and used the riches plundered by his armies to build mosques, schools, hospitals, and caravansaries. His Egyptian grand vizier Saladin moves into Syria with a small but well-disciplined army to rule as regent for Nur ad-Din's young son but soon gives up that objective and will work until 1186 to make himself ruler of a united Muslim empire extending from northern Mesopotamia to Egypt, using military force when he cannot achieve his goal through diplomacy. Saladin's call for a jihad (holy war) against the Christian "infidels" will attract a huge following (see 1176).
Monks at Engelberg monastery cut woodblocks for printing elaborate capital letters in manuscripts.
The earliest known English horse races are held.
Marie, countess of Champagne, issues a proclamation. Daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Louis VII, she says: "We declare and we hold as firmly established that love cannot exert its powers between two people who are married to each other, for lovers give each other everything freely, under no compulsion or necessity, but married people are in duty bound to give in to each other's desires and deny themselves to each other in nothing."
Architecture, Real Estate
The Leaning Tower of Pisa has its beginnings in a campanile (bell tower) built by architect Bonnano Pisano. The 177-foot tower will tilt until it is more than 18 feet off the perpendicular (see science [Galileo], 1592).