Last updated

Millennium: 2nd millennium
1346 in various calendars
Gregorian calendar 1346
Ab urbe condita 2099
Armenian calendar 795
Assyrian calendar 6096
Balinese saka calendar 1267–1268
Bengali calendar 753
Berber calendar 2296
English Regnal year 19  Edw. 3   20  Edw. 3
Buddhist calendar 1890
Burmese calendar 708
Byzantine calendar 6854–6855
Chinese calendar 乙酉(Wood  Rooster)
4042 or 3982
丙戌年 (Fire  Dog)
4043 or 3983
Coptic calendar 1062–1063
Discordian calendar 2512
Ethiopian calendar 1338–1339
Hebrew calendar 5106–5107
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat 1402–1403
 - Shaka Samvat 1267–1268
 - Kali Yuga 4446–4447
Holocene calendar 11346
Igbo calendar 346–347
Iranian calendar 724–725
Islamic calendar 746–747
Japanese calendar Jōwa 2
Javanese calendar 1258–1259
Julian calendar 1346
Korean calendar 3679
Minguo calendar 566 before ROC
Nanakshahi calendar −122
Thai solar calendar 1888–1889
Tibetan calendar 阴木鸡年
(female Wood-Rooster)
1472 or 1091 or 319
(male Fire-Dog)
1473 or 1092 or 320

Year 1346 ( MCCCXLVI ) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. It was a year in the 14th century, in the midst of a period known in European history as the Late Middle Ages. In Asia that year, the Black Plague came to the troops of the Golden Horde Khanate; the disease also affected the Genoese Europeans they were attacking, before spreading to the rest of Europe. In Central and East Asia, there was a series of revolts after Kazan Khan was killed in an uprising, and the Chagatai Khanate began to splinter and fall; several revolts in China began what would eventually lead to the overthrow of the Yuan dynasty. The Indian kingdom of Vijayanagara won several victories over Muslim conquerors in the north in this year as well.

Roman numerals Numbers in the Roman numeral system

The numeric system represented by Roman numerals originated in ancient Rome and remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe well into the Late Middle Ages. Numbers in this system are represented by combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet. Roman numerals, as used today, employ seven symbols, each with a fixed integer value, as follows:

A common year starting on Sunday is any non-leap year that begins on Sunday, 1 January, and ends on Sunday, 31 December. Its dominical letter hence is A. The most recent year of such kind was 2017 and the next one will be 2023 in the Gregorian calendar, or, likewise, 2018 and 2029 in the obsolete Julian calendar, see below for more. Any common year that starts on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday has two Friday the 13ths. This common year contains two Friday the 13ths in January and October.

The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in 46 BC, was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on 1 January 45 BC, by edict. It was the predominant calendar in the Roman world, most of Europe, and in European settlements in the Americas and elsewhere, until it was refined and gradually replaced by the Gregorian calendar, promulgated in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.


In Eastern Europe, Stefan Dušan was proclaimed Tsar of Serbia on April 16 (Easter Sunday) at Skopje. In the nearby Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman emir Orhan married Byzantine princess Theodora as part of an alliance between her father John VI Kantakouzenos and the Ottomans. Ongoing civil wars in both Bulgaria and Byzantium continued. Denmark sold its portion of Northern Estonia to the Livonian Order of the Teutonic Knights after finally quelling the St. George's Night Uprising. In Central Europe, Charles IV of Luxembourg was elected Roman King on July 11. A number of banking families in Italy, including the Bardi family, faced bankruptcy in this year, and much of Italy suffered a famine. The Hundred Years' War between the Kingdom of France and the Kingdom of England continued in Western Europe, as Edward III of England led an invasion onto the continent and won a number of victories.

Byzantine Empire Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire and Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe. Both the terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical exonyms created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire, or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans".

Orhan bey of the nascent Ottoman Empire

Orhan Gazi was the second bey of the nascent Ottoman Sultanate from 1323/4 to 1362. He was born in Söğüt, as the son of Osman Gazi and Malhun Hatun. His grandfather was Ertuğrul.

John VI Kantakouzenos Byzantine emperor

John VI Kantakouzenos, Cantacuzenus, or Cantacuzene was a Greek nobleman, statesman, and general. He served as Grand Domestic under Andronikos III Palaiologos and regent for John V Palaiologos before reigning as Byzantine emperor in his own right from 1347 to 1354. Usurped by his former ward, he retired to a monastery under the name Joasaph Christodoulos and spent the remainder of his life as a monk and historian.


Black Death Pandemic in Eurasia in the 1300s

The Black Death, also known as the Great Plague, the Black Plague, or the Plague, was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia and peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351. The bacterium Yersinia pestis, which results in several forms of plague, is believed to have been the cause. The Black Death was the first major European outbreak of plague, and the second plague pandemic. The plague created a number of religious, social and economic upheavals which had profound effects on the course of European history.

Crimea peninsula in the Black Sea

Crimea is a peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe that is almost completely surrounded by both the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast. It is located south of the Ukrainian region of Kherson, to which it is connected by the Isthmus of Perekop, and west of the Russian region of Kuban, from which it is separated by the Strait of Kerch though linked by the Crimean Bridge. The Arabat Spit is located to the northeast, a narrow strip of land that separates a system of lagoons named Sivash from the Sea of Azov. Across the Black Sea to its west is Romania and to its south Turkey.

March 18 is the 77th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 288 days remaining until the end of the year.


Western Asia

The Golden Horde's siege of Kaffa continued through 1346, despite a number of obstacles. They were struck with the Black Plague and forced to retreat, although not until the following year. As one Russian historian records:

Golden Horde Mongol Khanate

The Golden Horde was originally a Mongol and later Turkicized khanate established in the 13th century and originating as the northwestern sector of the Mongol Empire. With the fragmentation of the Mongol Empire after 1259 it became a functionally separate khanate. It is also known as the Kipchak Khanate or as the Ulus of Jochi.

Citizens of Tournai bury plague victims. Miniature from "The Chronicles of Gilles Li Muisis" (1272-1352). Bibliotheque royale de Belgique, MS 13076-77, f. 24v. Doutielt3.jpg
Citizens of Tournai bury plague victims. Miniature from "The Chronicles of Gilles Li Muisis" (1272–1352). Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, MS 13076-77, f. 24v.

In the same year [1346], God's punishment struck the people in the eastern lands, in the town Ornach , and in Khastorokan, and in Sarai, and in Bezdezh, and in other towns in those lands; the mortality was great among the Bessermens, and among the Tartars, and among the Armenians and the Abkhazians, and among the Jews, and among the European foreigners, and among the Circassians, and among all who lived there, so that they could not bury them. [11]

The many areas and peoples listed here represent much of Western Asia and the Caucasus. The "European foreigners" are those fighting with the Tartars in the Mongol-led siege of Kaffa. These Europeans would return to Europe the following year, carrying the plague with them. Travellers returning from the Crimea also carried the plague to Byzantium and Arabia, according to Greek and Arab scholars of the time. [11]

Caucasus region in Eurasia bordered on the south by Iran, on the southwest by Turkey, on the west by the Black Sea, on the east by the Caspian Sea, and on the north by Russia

The Caucasus or Caucasia is an area situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and occupied by Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus mountain range, which has historically been considered a natural barrier between Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

Another account of the events in the Crimea reads:

It seemed to the besieged Christians as if arrows were shot out of the sky to strike and humble the pride of the infidels who rapidly died with marks on their bodies and lumps in their joints and several part, followed by putrid fever; all advice and help of the doctors being of no avail. Whereupon the Tartars, worn out by this pestilential disease, and falling on all sides as if thunderstruck, and seeing that they were perishing hopelessly, ordered the corpses to be placed upon their engines and thrown into the city of Kaffa. Accordingly were the bodies of the dead hurled over the walls, so that the Christians were not able to hide or protect themselves from this danger, although they carried away as many dead as possible and threw them into the sea. But soon the whole air became infected, and the water poisoned, and such a pestilence grew up that scarcely one out of a thousand was able to escape. [12]

Modern scholars consider this one of the earliest, and most deadly, biological attacks in world history, though in the end the Mongols were forced to retreat. [13] Early sources state that the plague began its spread in the spring of 1346 at the River Don near the Black Sea, then spread throughout Russia, the Caucasus, and the Genovese provinces within the year. [14]

Further south in Georgia, King George the Brilliant died and was succeeded by King David IX. King George V had managed to increase the Georgian realm to all of Transcaucasia. However, after 1346 the Kingdom began to decline, caused by George's death and the devastating spread of the plague throughout the area soon afterwards. [15]

Central and East Asia

Central Asia was marked in 1346 by the continued disintegration of the Mongol's domains, as well as by Muslim expansion. Kazan Khan, emperor of the Chagatai Khanate, was killed by the forces of Qazaghan in this year, putting an end to the Chagtai Khanate's status as a unified empire. Qazghan was the leader of the group of Turkish nobles opposed to Mongol rule. Qazghan had been wounded by Kazan's forces earlier in the year, but rather than taking advantage of his opponent's weakness, Kazan retreated and many of his troops abandoned him. [16]

To the east, Kashmir was conquered by Shah Mir, the first Muslim to rule the area. [17] [18] Kathmandu was also conquered in this year. [19] However, Muslim expansion did suffer some defeats in southern India. The Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagara in India conquered the Hoysalas and celebrated its "festival of victory", strengthening their status as a legitimate Hindu empire in opposition to Muslim rule in the north. The Delhi Sultanate in Northern India, Muhammad bin Tughluq, had a particular disdain for Hinduism, and the Deccan culture of the south. Telugu chieftains gathered in opposition to the Sultan in this year and celebrated victory. [20] [21]

Further east, Ibn Battuta traveled from Southeast Asia to Khanbaliq (Beijing) in China. Although the Muslim leaders there extended him a warm welcome, they advised him to leave the city soon. A civil war had caused the Khan to flee the city, and riots were becoming more and more widespread. [22] Meanwhile, T'aigo Wangsa, a Korean Buddhist monk, traveled to China to receive training under the guidance of Buddhist leader Shih-wu. T'aigo later founded the T'aigo sect of Korean Buddhism. [23]



In 1346 Denmark sold Northern -Estonia (Danish Estonia) to the Teutonic Knights following the end of an uprising and conflict between the pro-Danish party (bishop Olaf of Lindanise) and the pro-German party (captain Marquard Breide), called the St. George's Night Uprising. The Danish dominions in were sold for 10,000 marks to the Livonian Order, ignoring the promise by Christopher II in 1329 never to abandon or sell its Estonian territories. The King of Denmark even made a public statement "repenting" for that broken promise, and asked forgiveness from the pope. [24]

The Ottoman emir Orhan married Byzantine princess Theodora in 1346 Orhan I.jpg
The Ottoman emir Orhan married Byzantine princess Theodora in 1346

Balkans and Asia Minor

In the Balkans, on April 16 (Easter Sunday), Stefan Dušan was crowned in Skopje as Tsar of the new Serbian Empire, which now occupied much of southeastern Europe. [3] Also in 1346, both Bulgaria and Byzantium (which at this time covered most of Greece) were in the middle of a series of civil wars. At the same time, the Christian-held islands and possessions around the Aegean Sea were subject to Turkish raids. [25]

Orhan, the Ottoman Turkish prince of Bithynia was married to Theodora, daughter of Emperor John VI Kantakouzenos. [26] The Greek clergy believed that the marriage of a Christian princess and a prominent Muslim would increase the region's power. Orhan already had several other wives, and although Theodora was permitted to keep her religion, she was required to spend the rest of her life in an Islamic harem. Kantakouzenos hoped that Orhan would become his ally in any future wars, but Orhan, like his fellow Turks, became his enemy in the Genoese war. As part of the alliance, the Ottoman prince was permitted to sell the Christians he had captured at Constantinople as slaves in the public market. [26] [27]


Charles IV, elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1346 Karl IV. (HRR).jpg
Charles IV, elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1346

On July 11, Charles IV of Luxembourg was elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. In consequence of an alliance between his father and Pope Clement VI, the relentless enemy of the emperor Louis IV, Charles was chosen Roman king in opposition to Louis by some of the princes at Rhens. He had previously promised to be subservient to Clement, he confirmed the papacy in the possession of wide territories, promised to annul the acts of Louis against Clement, to take no part in Italian affairs, and to defend and protect the church. [4]

Charles IV was at this time in a very weak position in Germany. Owing to the terms of his election, he was derisively referred to by some as a "priest's king" (Pfaffenkönig). Many bishops and nearly all of the Imperial cities remained loyal to Louis the Bavarian. Charles further endangered his high position when he backed the losing side in the Hundred Years' War. He lost his father and many of his best knights at the Battle of Crécy in August 1346. He himself was wounded on the same field. [4]

Meanwhile, in Italy a number of banks in Florence collapsed due to internal problems in Florence, contributed by King Edward III of England defaulting on some of his loans. Most notably, the Bardi family went bankrupt in this year. [28] [29] [30] Italy also suffered a famine, making it difficult for the Papacy to recruit troops for the attack on Smyrna. [30] [31] The Venetians, however, organized an alliance uniting several European parties (Sancta Unio), composed notably of the Knights Hospitaller, which carried out five consecutive attacks on İzmir and the Western Anatolian coastline controlled by Turkish states. [25] In the realm of technology, papermaking reached Holland, [32] and firearms made their way to Northern Germany in this year. The earliest records in the area place them in the city of Aachen. [33] [34]

Western Europe

On or around July 7, King Edward III crossed the English Channel to Normandy with 1,600 ships. He took the ports of La Hogue and Barfleur with overwhelming force and continued inland towards Caen, taking towns along the way. The French mounted a defence at Caen, but were ultimately defeated. The French had been planning to cross the channel and invade England with a force of about 14,000 led by Jean le Franc, but Edward's attack forced them onto the defensive. [35]

Battle of Crecy, 1346 Battle of crecy froissart.jpg
Battle of Crecy, 1346

The French king, Phillippe, destroyed several bridges to prevent Edward's advance, but the English took the town of Poissy in August and repaired its bridge in order to advance. The French king mounted a defence near the forest at Crécy, which ended in another English victory. Edward then proceeded to Calais, laying siege to the city from September 4. Meanwhile, Jean de France, King Phillippe's son, besieged the city of Aigullon, but with no success. King Phillippe also urge the Scots to continue the fight against England to the north. The Scots, believing that the English were preoccupied with Calais, marched into England toward Durham in October, but were met and defeated by an English force of knights and clergymen at the Battle of Neville's Cross, and King David of Scotland was captured. The Irish also mounted a brief resistance, but were similarly defeated. Before the end of the year, Edward also captured Poiters and the towns surrounding Tonnay-Charente. [35] [36]

For his role in the Battle of Crécy, Edward, the Black Prince honoured the bravery of John I, Count of Luxemburg and King of Bohemia (also known as John the Blind) by adopting his arms and motto: "Ich Dien" or "I Serve". John's decades of fighting had already made his name widely known throughout Europe, and his death at Crécy became the legendary subject of several writings, including this passage by Froissart: [37]

... for all that he [John I] was nigh blind, when he understood the order of the battle, he said to them about him: ...'Sirs, ye are my men, my companions and friends in this journey: I require you bring me so far forward, that I may strike one stroke with my sword.' ... they tied all their reins of their bridles each to other and set the king before to accomplish his desire, and so they went on their enemies ... The king ... was so far forward that he strake a stroke with his sword, yea and more than four, and fought valiantly and so did his company; and they adventured themselves so forward, that they were there all slain, and the next day they were found in the place about the king, and all their horses tied each to other.



Related Research Articles

Battle of Poitiers A battle during the Hundred Years War

The Battle of Poitiers was a major English victory in the Edwardian phase of the Hundred Years' War. It was fought on 19 September 1356 in Nouaillé, near the city of Poitiers in Aquitaine, western France. Edward, the Black Prince, led an army of English, Welsh, Breton and Gascon troops, many of them veterans of the Battle of Crécy. They were attacked by a larger French force led by King John II of France, which included allied Scottish forces. The French were heavily defeated; an English counter-attack captured King John II along with his youngest son and much of the French nobility.

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Edward III of England 14th-century King of England and Duke of Aquitaine

Edward III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from January 1327 until his death; he is noted for his military success and for restoring royal authority after the disastrous and unorthodox reign of his father, Edward II. Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His long reign of 50 years was the second longest in medieval England and saw vital developments in legislation and government, in particular the evolution of the English parliament, as well as the ravages of the Black Death.

Battle of Crécy An English victory during the Hundred Years War

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Philip VI of France King of France

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Oriflamme battle standard of the King of France in the Middle Ages, or a similarly-shaped banner

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The Battle of Caen on 26 July 1346 was the assault on the French-held town by elements of an invading English army under King Edward III as a part of the Hundred Years' War. Elements of the English army of 12,000–15,000, nominally commanded by the Earls of Warwick and the Northampton, prematurely attacked the town. Caen was garrisoned by 1,000–1,500 soldiers and an unknown, but large, number of armed townsmen, commanded by Raoul, the Count of Eu, the Grand Constable of France. The town was captured in the first assault; 5,000 of the ordinary soldiers and townspeople were killed and a small number of nobles were taken prisoner. The town was then sacked for five days.

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The Battle of Bergerac was fought between Anglo-Gascon and French forces at the town of Bergerac in Gascony, in August 1345 during the Hundred Years' War. In early 1345 Edward III of England decided to launch a major attack on the French from the north, while sending smaller forces to Brittany and Gascony, the latter being both economically important to the English war effort and the proximate cause of the war. The French focused on the threat to northern France, leaving comparatively small forces in the south west.

Battle of Calais (1349) A battle during the Hundred Years War

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Gascon campaign of 1345 A military campaign during the Hundred Years War

Between August and November 1345 Henry, Earl of Derby, conducted the energetic Gascon campaign of 1345 in Gascony, an English-controlled territory in south west France. The campaign was part of the Hundred Years' War, and Derby, commanding an Anglo-Gascon force, oversaw the first successful land campaign of the war. He twice defeated large French armies in battle, taking many noble and knightly prisoners. They were ransomed by their captors, greatly enriching Derby and his soldiers in the process. Following this campaign, morale and prestige swung England's way in the border region between English-occupied Gascony and French-ruled territory, providing an influx of taxes and recruits for the English armies. As a result, France's ability to raise tax money and troops from the region was much reduced.

Siege of Aiguillon A siege during the Hundred Years War

The Siege of Aiguillon, an episode in the Hundred Years' War, began on 1 April 1346 when a French army commanded by John, Duke of Normandy, laid siege to the Gascon town of Aiguillon. The town was defended by an Anglo-Gascon army under Ralph, Earl of Stafford.

Lancasters <i>chevauchée</i> of 1346 A campaign from the Hundred Years War

Lancaster's chevauchée of 1346 is the name given to a series of offensives directed by Henry, Earl of Lancaster, in south western France during autumn 1346, as a part of the Hundred Years' War.

Chevauchée of Edward III (1346) Crecy campaign

The Chevauchée of Edward III of 1346, sometimes called the Crécy Campaign, which began on 12 July 1346, with the landing of English troops in Normandy and ended with the beginning of the siege of Calais on 4 September 1346. This expedition devastated a large part of Normandy, Vexin, Beauvaisis, Vimeu, Ponthieu, Boulonnais and the Boulogne. The chevauchée was a decisive victory for England, with the flower of French nobility decimated during the Battle of Crécy on 26 August 1346. The capture of Calais allowed the English to secure a strong and powerful base in the north of France, close to England.


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