12th century

The 12th century is the period from 1101 (MCI) through 1200 (MCC) in accordance with the Julian calendar. In the history of European culture, this period, is considered part of the High Middle Ages and is sometimes called the Age of the Cistercians. The Golden Age of Islam kept experiencing significant developments, particularly in Islamic Spain, Seljuk and Ghurid territories. Most of the Crusader states including the Kingdom of Jerusalem fell to the Ayyubid dynasty founded by Saladin, who overtook the Fatimids. In Song dynasty of China faced an invasion by Jurchens, which caused a political schism of north and south. The Khmer Empire of Cambodia flourished during this century. Following the expansions of the Ghaznavids and Ghurid Empire, the Muslim conquests in the Indian subcontinent till Bengal began to place in the end of the century.

Millennium: 2nd millennium
State leaders:
Categories: Births – Deaths
Establishments – Disestablishments
Eastern Hemisphere at the beginning of the 12th century.
The Ghurid Empire converted to Islam from Buddhism.
Averroes in a 14th-century painting by Andrea di Bonaiuto
A Black and White Photo of the 12th century Cuenca Cathedral (built from 1182 to 1270) in Cuenca, Spain


The temple complex of Angkor Wat, built during the reign of Suryavarman II in Cambodia of the Khmer Era.

Inventions, discoveries and introductions by year

The Liuhe Pagoda of Hangzhou, China, 1165

Political events by year



  • 1111: On April 14, during Henry V's first expedition to Rome, he is crowned Holy Roman Emperor.
  • 1113: Paramavishnulok is crowned as King Suryavarman II in Cambodia. He expands the Khmer Empire and builds Angkor Wat during the first half of the century. He establishes diplomatic relations with China.
  • 1115: The Georgian army occupies Rustavi in the war to free Georgia from the Muslims.
  • 1115: In Java, King Kamesvara of Kadiri ascends to the throne. Janggala ceases to exist and comes under Kadiri domination, highly possible under royal marriage. During his reign Mpu Dharmaja writes Kakawin Smaradahana, a eulogy for the king which become the inspiration for the Panji cycle tales, which spread across Southeast Asia.[5]
  • 1116: The Byzantine army defeats the Turks at Philomelion.
  • 1116: Death of doña Jimena Díaz, governor of Valencia since 1099 to 1102.
  • c. 1119: The Knights Templar are founded to protect Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem.






Richard I of England, or Richard the Lionheart.



Eastern Hemisphere at the end of the 12th century


  • 1190: On June 10, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa drowns in the River Salef, leaving the Crusader army under the command of the rivals Philip II of France and Richard I of England, which ultimately leads to the dissolution of the army.
  • 1191: Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI attacked Kingdom of Sicily from May to August but fails and withdraws, with Empress Constance captured (released 1192).
  • 1191: On September 7, Saladin is defeated by Richard I of England at the Battle of Arsuf.
  • 1192: In April, Isabella I begins her reign as Christian Queen of Jerusalem
  • 1192: In the Battle of Jaffa, King Richard the Lionheart defeats Saladin.
  • 1192: In June, the Treaty of Ramla is signed by Saladin and Richard Lionheart. Under the terms of the agreement, Jerusalem will remain under Muslim control. However, the city will be open to Christian pilgrims. The Latin Kingdom is reduced to a coastal strip that extends from Tyre to Jaffa.
  • 1192: Minamoto Yoritomo is appointed Sei-i Taishōgun, "barbarian-subduing great general, shōgun for short, the first military dictator to bear this title.
  • 1193: Nalanda, the great Indian Buddhist educational centre, is destroyed.
  • 1193: Sultan Shahābuddin Muhammad Ghori, establishes the first Muslim empire in India by defeating Prithviraj Chauhan
  • 1193: the first known merchant guild is established.
  • 1194: Emperor Henry VI conquers Kingdom of Sicily.
  • 1195: On June 16, the struggle of Shamqori. Georgian forces annihilate the army of Abu Baqar.
  • 1198: The brethren of the Crusader hospital in Acre are raised to a military order of knights, the Teutonic Knights, formally known as the Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. Mary of the Teutons in Jerusalem.
  • 1199: Pope Innocent III writes to Kaloyan, inviting him to unite the Bulgarian Church with the Roman Catholic Church.

Significant people

A 15th-century depiction of Saladin
Illumination from the Liber Scivias showing Hildegard von Bingen receiving a vision and dictating to her scribe and secretary


Consorts of Rulers

Theologians and Saints


Sciences and Philosophy


  • Opizars, Beshqen and Beqa, celebrated Georgian gold-smiths.


Visual Arts


  1. Warren 1961, p. 129.
  2. Warren 1961, p. 159.
  3. Warren 1961, p. 60-61.
  4. Le Goff, Jacques (1986). The Birth of Purgatory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226470822.
  5. Soekmono, R, Drs., Pengantar Sejarah Kebudayaan Indonesia 2, 2nd ed. Penerbit Kanisius, Yogyakarta, 1973, 5th reprint edition in 1988 p.57
  6. Enn Tarvel (2007). Sigtuna hukkumine. Haridus, 2007 (7-8), p 38–41
  7. Notice sur les Arabes hilaliens. Ismaël Hamet. p. 248.


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