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<< 1257 CE | 1251-1260 CE | 1259 CE >>

c. January - One of the largest volcanic eruptions of the Holocene epoch occurs, possibly from a tropical location such as El Chichón, Mexico or Quilotoa, Ecuador. Observed effects of the eruption include the following anecdotal accounts: dry fog in France; lunar eclipses in England; severe winter in Europe; a "harsh" spring in Northern Iceland; famine in England, Western Germany, France, and Northern Italy; and pestilence in London, parts of France, Austria, Iraq, Syria, and South-East Turkey.

Possible climatic effects from the 1258 eruption include “dry fogs” (sulfur) over Europe during 1258 through possibly 1262 that reduced the optical depth of the atmosphere dramatically. There were records of very cold winters and wet summers across Europe during this time period and based on modern tropical eruptions, the pattern of maximum cooling a few years after the eruption was also seen.

§Eastern Asia


The Chinese era Baoyou ends in the Northern Song Dynasty of China.


§Great Britain

Llywelyn the Last declares himself Prince of Wales. He is the final ruler of an independent Wales, before its conquest by the English.

King Henry III of England is forced by seven powerful barons to accept the Provisions of Oxford, effectively ending the absolute monarchy in England by requiring the calling of a parliament.


Civil unrest in northern Italy spawns the medieval musical form of Geisslerlieder, penitential songs sung by wandering bands of Flagellants.

§Papal States

Pope Alexander IV instructed the Inquisition to confine their investigations to cases of heresy. They were to not investigate charges of divination or sorcery unless heresy was also involved.

§Middle East


February 10 - Battle of Baghdad (1258) - Hulagu Khan's Mongol forces overrun Baghdad, then the leading center of Islamic culture and learning and capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. They burn the imperial city to the ground, killing as many as 1,000,000 citizens.



Gissur Thorvaldsson is made Earl of Iceland by King Haakon IV of Norway


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