The 1280s is the decade starting January 1, 1280 and ending December 31, 1289.

Europe in the 1280s was marked by naval warfare on the Mediterranean Sea and consolidation of power by the major states. Ongoing struggles over the control of Sicily provoked lengthy naval warfare: after the Sicilian Vespers rebellion, the French Angevins struggled against Aragon for control of the island. King Rudolph I of Germany established the Habsburg dynasty in Austria when he invested his two sons with power there. In England, King Edward I of England completed the conquest of Wales and annexed the territory via the Statute of Rhuddlan; he also constructed a series of castles in Wales to suppress any future rebellions. Edward I also established several important legal traditions, including a court system to hear claims on the king's behalf and a codification of the separation of church and state legal powers. The death of King Alexander III of Scotland fomented political wrangling in Scotland which would soon lead to increased English influence over Scotland. In Sweden, King Magnus I of Sweden founded a Swedish nobility.

In Asia, the Mongol Empire continued to expand, although at a slower pace and with less success than in previous decades. Kublai Khan's Yuan dynasty established control over the Khmer empire in Cambodia, the Pagan Empire in Myanmar, and a kingdom of Laos, but failed a second attempted invasion of Japan and was twice defeated in attempted invasions of Vietnam. The Thai kingdoms of Lanna and Sukhothai also exercised power in the region, avoiding conflict with the Mongol Empire to the north. Across the continent in the Middle East, the Mamluk sultanate of Egypt continued to extinguish crusader states under the leadership of Qalawun, capturing Margat, Latakia, and the County of Tripoli. In Anatolia, Osman I became a local chief, or "bey", planting the seed that would eventually grow into the Ottoman Empire.

The 1280s was also a busy decade in culture. In Thailand, King Ramkhamhaeng the Great invented the Thai alphabet. In Holland, the St. Lucia's flood killed 50,000 while creating the Zuider Zee, thus giving Amsterdam the sea access it would later need to rise to prominence as an important port. In legal reforms, King Edward I of England started the use of drawing and quartering as punishment for traitors, King Philip IV of France created the gabelle, an onerous tax on salt, and the Scots Parliament passed laws allowing women to propose marriage to men, but only in leap years. The northern branch of the Grand Canal of China was constructed during the first half of the decade, the Uppsala Cathedral was begun, and a partial collapse set back construction of the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Beauvais in a blow to the aspirations of its Gothic architecture. Colleges at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge were founded. The cities of Al Mansurah, Egypt and Guiyang, China were founded, while Hamburg, Germany burnt to the ground in a catastrophic fire. Jews continued to be persecuted across Europe, while Taoists suffered under Kublai Khan in Mongol China.

War and politics


War and Peace

Continental Europe and the British Isles

*1282 - March - Dafydd ap Gruffydd, brother to Prince of Wales Llywelyn the Last, attacks an English castle; his brother feels compelled to support him despite poor preparation for war, quickly leading to the final English conquest of Wales by King Edward I of England.
*1286 - Prussians settled in exile in Serbia stage a famous uprising.
*1288 - June 5 - John I of Brabant defeats the duchy of Guelders in the Battle of Worringen — one of the largest battles in Europe of the Middle Ages — thus winning possession of the duchy of Limburg. The battle also liberates the city of Cologne from rule by the Archbishopric of Cologne; it had previously been one of the major ecclesiastical principalities of the Holy Roman Empire.
*1288 - August 8 - Pope Nicholas IV proclaims a crusade against King Ladislaus IV of Hungary, who had lost credibility by favoring his semi-pagan Cuman subjects and in general refusing to conform to the social standards of western Europe.

Mediterranean Europe

*1281 - Pope Martin IV authorizes the Ninth Crusade against the newly re-established Byzantine Empire in Constantinople; French and Venetian expeditions set out toward Constantinople but are forced to turn back in the following year.
*1281 - An offensive by the Byzantine Empire significantly reduces the size of the Kingdom of Albania, as it recaptures land seized from the Despotate of Epirus by Charles I of Sicily ten years earlier.
*1282 - March 30 - The Sicilian rebellion known as the Sicilian Vespers begins against the rule of Angevin King Charles I of Sicily; over the next six weeks, thousands of French are killed. The rebellion forces Charles to abandon the Ninth Crusade while still en route to the target city of Constantinople, and allows King Peter III of Aragon to take over rule of the island from Charles (which in turn leads to Peter's excommunication by Pope Martin IV).
*1283 - July 8 - At the naval Battle of Malta at Valletta, an Angevin fleet sent to help put down a rebellion on Malta is defeated by the fleet of Roger of Lauria.
*1284 - King Charles II of Naples is captured in a naval battle off Naples by Roger of Lauria, admiral to King Peter III of Aragon.
*1284 - The Italian city-state of Genoa defeats its rival Pisa in the naval Battle of Meloria, ending Pisa's marine power and hastening the city's decline in power.
*1285 - September 4 - Roger of Lauria defeats King Philip III of France in a naval battle off of Barcelona.
*1287 - January 17 - King Alfonso III of Aragon captures the island of Minorca from the Moors.

Political entities

*1284 - The Statute of Rhuddlan is created, formally incorporating Wales into England in the entity England and Wales.
*1284 - Stefan Dragutin, king of Serbia, receives Belgrade, Syrmia, and other territories from Hungary when his son marries the king of Hungary's cousin.

Political reform

*1280 - King Magnus I of Sweden founds a Swedish nobility by enacting a law accepting a contribution of a cavalry-member in lieu of ordinary tax payments.
*1280 - King Edward I of England forms the Court of King's Bench to hear petitions for justice instead of the king hearing them himself.
*1285 - The writ Circumspecte Agatis, issued by King Edward I of England, defines the jurisdictions of church and state in England, thereby limiting the church's judicial powers to ecclesiastical cases only.

People and dynasties

*1280 - The Asen dynasty of tsars of Bulgaria ends.
*1282 - Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph I of Germany invests his sons Albert I of Germany and Rudolph II of Austria as co-rulers of the duchies of Austria and Styria, thus founding the Habsburg dynasty in those territories.
*1283 - June 1 - The young Duke Rudolph II of Austria is forced to yield his claim on the Duchies of Austria and Styria to his elder brother, Albert I of Germany, under the Treaty of Rheinfelden.
*1286 - March 19 - King Alexander III of Scotland dies in a horse accident with Queen Yolande de Dreux's unborn child and the 3-year-old Margaret, Maid of Norway as heirs; this sets the stage for the First war of Scottish Independence and increased influence of England over Scotland.

The Mongol Empire sphere of influence

The Yuan dynasty: east Asia

*1281 - August 15 - The second Mongol invasion of Japan is foiled at the Battle of Kōan (or Battle of Hakata Bay) as a large typhoon — famously called a "kamikaze", or divine wind — destroys much of the combined Chinese and Korean fleet and forces, numbering over 140,000 men and 4,000 ships.
*1281 - The Mon kingdom of Haripunchai falls as its capital Lamphun (in present-day Thailand) is captured by King Mengrai's Lannathai kingdom.
*1283 - Kublai Khan's Mongol Empire invades the Khmer empire of present-day Cambodia; King Jayavarman VIII decides to pay tribute rather than fight the invasion, buying peace and preserving the empire.
*1285 - Tran Hung Dao leads Vietnamese forces in victory over an invading Yuan dynasty Mongol army.
*1286 - In Laos, King Panya Leng is overthrown in a coup d'etat led by his son Panya Khamphong, which is likely to have been supported by the regionally dominant Mongol Empire (Yuan dynasty of China).
*1286 - Kublai Khan plots a final Mongol invasion of Japan, but aborts the plan due to a lack of necessary resources.
*1287 - Kings Mengrai of the Lanna kingdom and Ramkhamhaeng the Great of the Sukhothai kingdom agree to a peace pact in their region of southeast Asia (present-day Thailand).
*1287 - The Theravada Buddhist kingdom at Pagan, Myanmar falls to the invading Mongol Empire in the Battle of Pagan.
*1288 - Vietnamese general Tran Hung Dao sinks the entire fleet of an invading Yuan dynasty Mongol army by placing steel-tipped bamboo stakes in the Bach Dang River, near Halong Bay.
*1289 - Franciscan friars begin missionary work in China.

The Ilkhanate: southwest Asia

*1281 - Second Mongol invasion of Syria. Defeated by mamluks near Homs.
*1287 - Mongol Ilhan Arghun Khan dispatches Rabban Bar Sauma to the leaders of Europe to negotiate an alliance against Muslim states, specifically the Mamluk sultanate of Egypt.

The Golden Horde: Eastern Europe

*1285 - Second Mongol raid against Hungary, led by Nogai Khan.
*1287 - Third Mongol raid against Poland.

The Mamluk Sultanate sphere of influence: the Middle East

*1280 - Syria attempts to secede from the Mamluk sultanate of Egypt, but Qalawun defeats the rebels and keeps Syria within the Egyptian sultanate.
*1281 - October 29 - Mamluk sultan Qalawun defeats an invasion of Syria by Mongol Ilkhan Abaqa Khan at the Battle of Homs.
*1281 - Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire, becomes "bey" of the Sögüt tribe in central Anatolia; in 1299 he will declare independence from the Seljuk Turks, marking the birth of the Ottoman Empire.
*1284 - Mamluk sultan of Egypt Qalawun signs a ten-year truce with the Crusader city of Acre; he will violate the truce on pretexts in 1290.
*1285 - April 25 - Mamluk sultan Qalawun begins a siege of the Crusader fortress of Margat (in present-day Syria), a major stronghold of the Knights Hospitaller thought to be impregnable; he captures the fortress a month later.
*1287 - Mamluk sultan Qalawun captures the port city of Latakia in present-day Syria.
*1289 - April 27 - Mamluk sultan Qalawun captures the County of Tripoli (in present-day Lebanon) after a month-long siege, thus extinguishing the crusader state.


Natural events

*1280 - The Wolf minimum of solar activity begins (approximate date).
*1282 - The most recent eruption of Larderello, a volcano in southern Tuscany, is observed.
*1287 - December 14 - A fringing barrier between the North Sea and a shallow lake in Holland collapses during a heavy storm, causing the fifth largest flood in recorded history which creates the Zuider Zee inlet and kills over 50,000 people; it also gives sea access to Amsterdam, allowing its development as an important port city.
*1287 - The English city of Old Winchelsea on Romney Marsh is destroyed by catastrophic flooding during a severe storm; a new town of the same name is later constructed some two miles away on higher ground.

cience, literature, and industry

*1280 to 1283 - The E codex of the Cantigas de Santa Maria, a collection of Portuguese musical manuscripts, is dated to between 1280 and 1283.
*1282 - The technology of watermarks is introduced by paper manufacturers of Bologna, Italy.
*1283 - The Libro de los juegos, an early European treatise on board games (including chess, dice, and a version of backgammon), is commissioned by King Alfonso X of Castile between 1251 and 1283.
*1283 - King Ramkhamhaeng the Great of the Sukhothai kingdom creates the Thai alphabet, according to tradition.
*1284 - Jean de Meun translates Vegetius' 4th century military treatise De Re Militari from Latin into French.
*1285 - The English romantic poem "The Lay of Havelok the Dane" is written (approximate date).
*1289 - The 5,452 meter (17,887 feet) high volcano Popocatépetl is first ascended by members of the Tecuanipas tribe in present-day Mexico.

Civic laws and institutions

*1280 - The second of two main surveys of the Hundred Rolls, an English census seen as a follow up to the Domesday Book completed in 1086, is completed; it began in 1279.
*1282 - The form for the Trial of the Pyx, during which it is confirmed that newly-minted coins conform to required standards, is established.
*1283 - October 3 - Death by drawing and quartering is first used as a form of capital punishment (for the newly created crime of high treason) by King Edward I of England in his execution of Dafydd ap Gruffydd, the last ruler of an independent Wales.
*1284 - The Republic of Venice begins coining the ducat, a gold coin that is to become the standard of European coinage for the following 600 years.
*1285 - The Second statute of Westminster is passed in England, reforming various laws; it includes the famous clause "de donis conditionalibus", considered one of the fundamental institutes of medieval law in England.
*1286 - King Philip IV of France imposes the gabelle — a tax on salt in the form of a state monopoly — which would become immensely unpopular and grossly unequal, but persist until 1790.
*1288 - The Scottish Parliament creates a law allowing women to propose marriage to men during leap years; men who refuse such proposals are required to pay a fine to the spurned bride-to-be.

Art and architecture

*1280 - Construction on the northern section of the Grand Canal of China is begun; it is completed in 1283.
*1280 - The final expansion of the Lincoln Cathedral is completed.
*1283 - Construction of Caernarfon castle, Conwy Castle (completed in 1289), and Harlech Castle is begun in Wales by King Edward I of England as a system of defenses against possible future Welsh uprisings.
*1284 - Construction on the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Beauvais is interrupted by a partial collapse of the choir; the event unnerves French masons working in the Gothic style.
*1286 - In Glasgow, the wooden Glasgow Bridge is constructed to span the River Clyde.
*1287 - The Altar of St. James at the Cathedral of San Zeno in Pistoia, Italy — a masterwork of the silversmithing trade containing nearly a ton of silver — is begun; it will not be completed for nearly 200 years.
*1287 - Construction on the Cathedral of Uppsala is begun; it will not be completed until 1435.
*1288 - The oldest surviving bell in the clocks atop the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome dates to 1288.
*1289 - Construction of the Belaya Vezha tower in Belarus is completed.

Cities and institutions

*1280 - The Egyptian city of Al Mansurah is founded.
*1282 - Hertford College is founded at the University of Oxford.
*1283 - The city of Guiyang is founded in China.
*1284 - The German city of Hamburg is destroyed by a fire.
*1284 - Peterhouse, the oldest college at the University of Cambridge, is founded by Hugo de Balsham as "The Scholars of the Bishop of Ely".
*1289 - Pope Nicholas IV formally constitutes the University of Montpellier in France by papal bull, combining various existing schools under the mantle of a single university.



*1285 - January 6 - Archbishop Jakub Świnka orders all priests subject to his bishopry in Poland to deliver sermons in Polish rather than German, thus further unifying the Catholic Church in Poland and fostering a national identity.
*1286 - March 7 - The Catholicon, a religious Latin dictionary, is completed by John Balbi of Genoa.


*1282 - The Archbishop of Canterbury orders all synagogues of London to close, and forbits Jewish doctors from practicing on non-Jews.
*1283 - King Philip III of France causes a mass migration of Jews when he outlaws their residence in the small villages and rural localities of France.
*1286 - King Rudolph I of Germany declares all Jews to be "serfs of the Treasury", thus negating all their political freedoms.
*1287 - King Edward I of England arrests the heads of Jewish households, and demands their communities pay hefty ransoms for their release.
*1289 - Jews are expelled from Gascony and Anjou in France.


*1281 - Kublai Khan orders the burning of sacred Taoist texts, resulting in the reduction in number of volumes of the Dao Zheng (Taoist Canon) from 4,565 to 1,120.


*1282 - Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1347)
*1284 - April 25 - King Edward II of England (d. 1327)
*1285 - William of Ockham, English Franciscan to whom Occam's Razor is attributed (approximate date; d. 1349)
*1286 - Duke Frederick I of Austria (d. 1330)
*1286 - Odoric of Pordenone, famous traveller (approximate date; d. 1331)
*1288 - Gersonides, Jewish philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer (d. 1344)
*1289 - October 4 - King Louis X of France (d. 1316)


*1280 - November 15 - Albertus Magnus, German philosopher (b. c. 1193)
*1280 - King Magnus VI of Norway
*1282 - October 13 - Nichiren, founder of Nichiren Buddhism (b. 1222)
*1282 - December 11 - Llywelyn the Last, last independent Prince of Wales (b. c. 1228)
*1282 - December 11 - Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus of the Byzantine Empire (b. 1225)
*1282 - Abaqa Khan, Mongol Ilkhan (b. 1234)
*1284 - April 4 - King Alfonso X of Castile (b. 1221)
*1285 - October 5 - King Philip III of France (b. 1245)
*1285 - Emperor Yekuno Amlak of Ethiopia
*1286 - March 19 - King Alexander III of Scotland (b. 1241)
*1288 - Ibn Nafis, Arabic scientist (b. 1210)

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