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1143CE

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§Central Asia

Yelü Dashi, who established the Kara-Khitai empire and led 100,000 Khitans into Central Asia from Manchuria, died and was followed by his wife, Xiao Tabuyan, as regent for their son, Yelü Yiliu.

§Europe

§England

Stephen was besieged by Robert of Gloucester at Wilton Castle, an assembly point for royal forces in Herefordshire. Stephen attempted to break out and escape, resulting in the Battle of Wilton. Once again, the Angevin cavalry proved too strong, and for a moment it appeared that Stephen might be captured for a second time. On this occasion, however, William Martel, Stephen's steward, made a fierce rear guard effort, allowing Stephen to escape from the battlefield. Stephen valued William's loyalty sufficiently to agree to exchange Sherborne Castle for his safe release—this was one of the few instances where Stephen was prepared to give up a castle to ransom one of his men.

In late 1143, Stephen faced a new threat in the east, when Geoffrey de Mandeville, the Earl of Essex, rose up in rebellion against the king in East Anglia. Stephen had disliked the baron for several years, and provoked the conflict by summoning Geoffrey to court, where the king arrested him. Stephen threatened to execute Geoffrey unless the baron handed over his various castles, including the Tower of London, Saffron Walden and Pleshey, all important fortifications because they were in, or close to, London. Geoffrey gave in, but once free he headed north-east into the Fens to the Isle of Ely, from where he began a military campaign against Cambridge, with the intention of progressing south towards London. With all of his other problems and with Hugh Bigod still in open revolt in Norfolk, Stephen lacked the resources to track Geoffrey down in the Fens and made do with building a screen of castles between Ely and London, including Burwell Castle.

Robert of Ketton makes the first European translation of the Qur'an, into Latin

§Germany

The exploration of the uncharted eastern parts of Germany begins and results in the founding of cities such as Lübeck

§Papal States

September 26 - Pope Celestine II succeeds Pope Innocent II as the 165th pope.

§Portugal

October 5 - Portugal is recognized by the Kingdom of Leon as an independent kingdom although it had acted like one since the battle of June 24 of 1128 (Battle of São Mamede)

§Middle East

Baldwin III crowned King of Jerusalem, succeeding his father Fulk.

§Ongoing

Civil war in England and Normandy between 1135 and 1153, which resulted in a widespread breakdown in law and order known as the Anarchy.

§Sources

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