1185 (The People's Chronology)
Portugal's Afonso Henriques dies at age 76 after a reign that has founded the Portuguese monarchy. He is succeeded by his son, 31, who will reign until 1211 as Sancho I, building roads and cities.
A great Bulgarian insurrection that will lead to the creation of an independent Bulgaria begins under the boyars Ivan and Peter Asen, who gain support from the Cumans against the extortions of Byzantine revenue agents from Constantinople. Much of the Greek population of the Balkans will be annihilated in the revolt, and much of the region will be desolated (see 1186).
Norman forces under the command of Sicily's William II cross Macedonia in June and attack the Byzantine Empire, whose emperor Andronicus I Comnenus has asserted the independence of the Eastern Church, thereby antagonizing Western Christians. The Normans take Durazzo, march through Greece, storm Thessalonika with an army and navy, and massacre the Greek inhabitants of the Byzantine city that is second in size only to Constantinople. Led by Isaac Angelus, the Greek nobility deposes the Byzantine emperor Andronicus I Comnenus, who is tortured and executed by the mob at Constantinople August 12 at age 67. The Byzantine general Alexius Branas ambushes the Normans when their fleet is in sight of Constantinople and defeats them at Demetritsa. Isaac is proclaimed emperor and will reign until 1196 as Isaac II Angelus, restoring the corruption that Andronicus had begun to eliminate, and the empire will begin to disintegrate (see 1186).
The sultan Saladin seizes Mosul and begins to conquer Mesopotamia (see 1183; 1187).
The Japanese emperor becomes the puppet that he will remain until 1868 as the shuns (generals) assume power. Led by Yoritomo Minamoto's half brother Yoshitsune, Minamoto forces defeat the Taira clan at the Battle of Danoura April 24 on the Inland Sea. The emperor Antoku is drowned April 25 at age 6, and the imperial sword lost. Tokimasa Ho has allied his forces with those of the Minamoto family; the 5-year-old Gotoba reigns without the sword and with no real power, and Japan enters a centuries-long period of civil wars among the feudal lords (daimyo), who rule under the shuns with support from retainer-knights (samurai).
The Chronicle of Novgorod records a May 1 solar eclipse with a description of what will be called solar prominences (see sunspots, 1128): "In the evening there was an eclipse of the sun. It was getting very gloomy and stars were seen . . . The sun became similar in appearance to the moon and from its horns came out something like live embers."
The Indian mathematician Bhaskara II dies at age 73 (age and year approximate), probably at Ujjain, where he has headed an astronomical observatory. His written works The Beautiful (Lilavati), Seed Counting (Bijaganita), and others have been the first fully to employ the decimal number system. He has used letters to represent unknown quantities (see Cardano, 1545), pioneered an understanding of the meaning of division by zero (see Sridhara, 1000), reduced quadratic equations to a single type and solved them, and by investigating regular polygons up to those having 384 sides obtained a good approximation of the value of pi (3.141666) (see Aryabhata I, 499).
The Knights Templar order founded at Jerusalem in 1120 establishes itself at London (see 1128).
Pope Lucius III dies at Verona November 25 at age 88 (approximate) after a 4-year reign in which he has been obliged to leave Rome because its inhabitants declared it a republic free of papal interference. Lucius is succeeded by the Milanese-born cleric Uberto Crivelli, who is elected unanimously by the cardinals meeting at Verona and will reign until 1187 as Urban III.
Japan's Kyoto is a city of 500,000 and is larger than any city in the west with the possible exception of Córdoba or Constantinople.