12th Century
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12th Century
Eastern Hemisphere at the beginning of the 12th century.
The Ghurid Empire converted to Islam from Buddhism.
Drawing of a bearded man in Arabic garb
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 12th century is the period from 1101 to 1200 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 experienced a significant development, particularly in Islamic Spain.

In Song dynasty China an invasion by Jurchens caused a political schism of north and south. The Khmer Empire of Cambodia flourished during this century, while the Fatimids of Egypt were overtaken by the Ayyubid dynasty. Following the expansions of the Ghaznavids and Ghurid Empire, the Muslim conquests in the Indian subcontinent took place at the end of the century.


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


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



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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