- Europe's populatioin was ~85 million. (Spielvogel)
- January 1- Scotland adopts January 1st as being New Year's Day
- July 2 - Battle of Nieuwpoort: Dutch forces under Maurice of Nassau defeat Spanish forces under Archduke Albert in a battle on the coastal dunes.
- October 6 - Jacopo Peri's Euridice, the earliest surviving opera, is premiered in Florence.
- October 8 - San Marino gains its written constitution.
- October 21 - Battle of Sekigahara in Japan, in which Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated Ishida Mitsunari, setting the stage for the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate. End of the Azuchi-Momoyama period and beginning of the Edo period.
- Girolamo Aleandro the Younger's Gaii, veteris juris consulti Institutionum fragmenta, cum commentario is published.
- William Gilbert publishes De Magnete which describes the Earth's magnetic field and is the beginning of modern geomagnetism.
- Fabritio Caroso's Nobiltą de dame is published.
- Battle of Suceava - Prince Sigismund Bathory of Transylvania is defeated by the Voivode Michael the Brave of Moldavia as part of the internecine conflict in Hungary and the Danubian Principalities.
- December 31 - British East India Company is chartered
- Spielvogel -- Western Civilization -- Volume II: Since 1500 (5th Edition), p.401