The 1480s decade ran from January 1, 1480, to December 31, 1489.
- March 6 – Treaty of Toledo: Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain recognize the African conquests of Afonso V of Portugal, and he cedes the Canary Islands to Spain (see Treaty of Alcáçovas).
- July 28
- August 12 - Ottoman invasion of Otranto: Ottoman troops behead 800 Christians for refusing to convert to Islam. The Martyrs of Otranto are canonized in 2013.
- September 27 – Consorts and co-rulers Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile initiate the Spanish Inquisition (looking for heretics and unconverted Jews).
- October – Great Stand on the Ugra River: Muscovy becomes independent from the Golden Horde. The Theotokos of Vladimir icon is credited with saving Moscow.
- The Lighthouse of Alexandria's final remains disappear when Qaitbay, Sultan of Egypt, builds the Citadel of Qaitbay on its site.
- Magdalen College School, Oxford, is established by William Waynflete.
- May 3
- May 21 – Christian I, King of Denmark and Norway, dies and is succeeded by his son John (1481–1513).
- June 21 – The papal bull Aeterni Regis grants all land south of the Canary Islands to Portugal.
- July 24 – Fire destroys the roof and the spires of Reims Cathedral.
- August 29 – John II of Portugal starts to rule in his own right.
- September 10 – Alphonso II of Naples recaptures the city of Otranto.
- December 10 – With the death of Duke Charles IV of Anjou, Anjou reverts to the French crown under Louis XI of France.
- December 26 – Battle of Westbroek: Holland defeats the troops of Utrecht.
- The Constitució de l'Observança is approved by the Catalan Courts, establishing the submission of royal power to the laws of the Principality of Catalonia.
- Ludovico Sforza emerges as Regent of Milan (until 1499).
- Axayacatl, Aztec ruler of Tenochtitlan, dies and is succeeded by his brother Tízoc.
- The Aztec Calendar Stone or Sun Stone is carved.
- Fribourg and Solothurn become Cantons of Switzerland.
- January 19 – A Portuguese fleet, commanded by Diogo de Azambuja, arrives at the mouth of the River Benya on the Gold Coast, where the fort of São Jorge da Mina (Elmina Castle) is erected.
- February 28 –The village of Alhama de Granada in Spain is taken by Christian forces, starting the Granada War to expel the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula back to Africa.
- February – Johann Reuchlin leaves Stuttgart to visit Florence where he meets Marsilio Ficino.
- March 22 – Pope Sixtus IV, in a special bulla, grants self-government rights to the Italian town of Ascoli Piceno.
- March 27 – The death of Mary of Burgundy triggers the first of the Flemish revolts against Maximilian of Austria.
- April 3 – Symeon I succeeds Maximus III as Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.
- August 1 – Anglo-Scottish Wars: Richard, Duke of Gloucester invades Scotland, and captures Edinburgh.
- August 24 – Capture of Berwick: The Scots surrender the border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed to Richard, ending his campaign.
- c. August – Diogo Cão, a Portuguese navigator, becomes the first European to enter the Congo.
- December 23 – Treaty of Arras divides the Burgundian Netherlands between King Louis XI of France and Archduke Maximilian I of Habsburg.
- Ivan III renounces the Mongol Khanate rule over Russia.
- Johannes Trithemius becomes a novice, at the abbey of St. Martin at Sponheim, in the Diocese of Mainz.
- The first edition of Euclid's Elements (Latin translation) is printed, by German printer Erhard Ratdolt in Venice, incorporating geometric diagrams.
- Schreierstoren is erected in Amsterdam (from which Henry Hudson will set sail on April 4, 1609, on the vessel Halve Maen, to bring him to the harbor of New York and the Hudson River).
- January 1 – The Jews are expelled from Andalusia.
- February 11 – The General Council of the Inquisition is created in Spain.
- April 9 – Edward V becomes King of England.
- April 29 – Gran Canaria, the main island of the Canary Islands, is conquered by the Kingdom of Castile, a very important step in the expansion of Spain.
- April 30 – Pluto moves inside Neptune's orbit until July 23, 1503, according to modern orbital calculations.
- April – King Edward V of England and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York reside in the Tower of London. Later this year, rumors of their murders start circulating. By December the rumors have reached France. This is the beginning of the mystery concerning the fates of the two Princes in the Tower.
- June 13 – William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings, is executed, in the first recorded execution at the Tower of London.
- June 20 – The powerful Fernando II, Duke of Braganza is executed in Portugal, followed by more than 80 other noblemen, for his plot against the royal crown.
- June 25 – Before his coronation, King Edward V of England is deposed by his uncle, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who becomes King as Richard III of England.
- July 6 – Richard III is crowned king of England, at Westminster Abbey.
- July 20 – John of Denmark is crowned King of Norway.
- August 9 – The Sistine Chapel opens in the Apostolic Palace in Rome.
- September 3 – The Princes in the Tower, uncrowned 12-year-old Edward V of England and his 10-year-old brother, Richard, Duke of York, are perhaps murdered this night in the Tower of London.
- October – A rebellion by the Duke of Buckingham is crushed by Richard III of England.
- Isaac Abravanel flees Portugal, after being implicated in a plot against the king.
- The Prince of Moscow builds the fortress of Ivangorod, facing Narva.
- Giovanni Bellini is named official painter of the Republic of Venice.
- Flavio Biondo publishes his Historiarum ab inclinatione romanorum imperii.
- March 26 – William Caxton, the first printer of books in English, prints his translation of Aesop's Fables in London.
- May 30 – Charles VIII of France (Charles l'Affable) is crowned.
- June 22 – First known book printed by a woman, Anna Rügerin, an edition of Eike of Repgow's compendium of customary law, the Sachsenspiegel, produced in Augsburg.
- July 6 – Portuguese sea captain Diogo Cão finds the mouth of the Congo River.
- July 22 – Battle of Lochmaben Fair: A 500-man raiding party led by Alexander Stewart, Duke of Albany, and James Douglas, 9th Earl of Douglas, is defeated by forces loyal to Albany's brother James III of Scotland; Douglas is captured.
- August 29 – Pope Innocent VIII succeeds Pope Sixtus IV, as the 213th pope.
- September 21 – Treaty of Nottingham: A three-year truce between the kingdoms of England and Scotland is signed.
- December 5 – Pope Innocent VIII issues the Papal bull Summis desiderantes affectibus, giving the inquisition a mission to hunt heretics and witches in Germany, led by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger.
- The first sugar mill becomes operational in the Gran Canaria.
- The first cuirassier units (kyrissers) are formed in Austria.
- The King of Portugal appoints a commission of mathematicians to perfect tables, to help seamen find their latitude.
- Maximilian I, Duke of Burgundy, orders foreign merchants to leave Bruges. Most merchants move to Antwerp, greatly contributing to its growth as an international trading center.
- Battle of Leitzersdorf: The Imperial Army of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor is defeated by the Hungarians.
- Spring – Multiple earthquakes occur near Taishan, China.
- March 16 – A solar eclipse crosses northern South America and Central Europe.
- June 1 – Matthias of Hungary takes Vienna, in his conquest of Austria (from Frederick III), and makes the city his capital.
- August 5–August 7 – The first outbreak of sweating sickness in England begins.
- August 22 – Battle of Bosworth: King Richard III of England is defeated by (rival claimant to the throne of England) Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond; Richard dies in battle, and Henry Tudor becomes King Henry VII of England (although Henry marks this battle as August 21, so that he can declare all his opponents traitors).
- September 12 – Muscovian forces conquer Tver.
- September 15 – Peter Arbues is assaulted while praying in the cathedral at Zaragoza, Spain; he dies on September 17. He had been appointed Inquisitor of Aragon by the Inquisitor General, Tomás de Torquemada, in the campaign against heresy and crypto-Judaism.
- October 30 – King Henry VII of England is crowned.
- November 2 – The Peace of Bourges stops the Mad War.
- Leon Battista Alberti's De Re Aedificatoria (written 1443–52 and published posthumously) becomes the first printed work on architecture.
- From about this date, Leonardo da Vinci produces a number of designs for flying machines, including the aerial screw or helicopter (probably unworkable).
- January 18 – King Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York are married, uniting the House of Lancaster and the House of York, after the Wars of the Roses.
- February 16 – Archduke Maximilian I of Habsburg is elected King of the Romans at Frankfurt (crowned April 9 at Aachen).
- February 18 – Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is born in Mayapur in the town of Nadia, West Bengal, India, just after sunset. He is regarded as an incarnation, or avatar, of Lord Krsna, and later comes to inaugurate the sankirtana movement, or the chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord. This chanting, or mantra meditation, is first brought to the United States in 1965, by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami.
- April 21 – The adoption of the Sentència Arbitral de Guadalupe ends the War of the Remences, in the Principality of Catalonia.
- Tízoc, Aztec ruler of Tenochtitlan, dies. Some sources suggest that he was poisoned, others that he was the victim of "sorcery" or illness. He is succeeded by his brother Āhuitzotl.
- Sigismund, Archduke of Tyrol, issues Europe's first large silver coin, the guldengroschen, which will later become the thaler.
- Giovanni Pico della Mirandola returns to Florence, and writes Oration on the Dignity of Man.
- The Medici giraffe arrives in Florence.
- Johann Reuchlin begins studying the Hebrew language.
- The first written use of the word football to describe the ball.
- January 29 – Richard Foxe becomes Bishop of Exeter.
- March – Sigismund, Archduke of Austria, largely on the poor advice of his counselors, declares war on Venice, and seizes silver mines in and around the Sugana Valley.
- May 24 – Lambert Simnel is crowned King "Edward VI of England" in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland. He claims to be Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick, and challenges Henry VII for the throne of England, where he lands on June 5.
- June 16 – Battle of Stoke Field: The rebellion of pretender Lambert Simnel, led by John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, and Francis Lovell, 1st Viscount Lovell, is crushed by troops loyal to Henry VII.
- August – Bartolomeu Dias leaves Lisbon, on his voyage to the Cape of Good Hope.
- August 13 – The Siege of Málaga (1487) ends, when the Spanish take the city.
- September 9 – Hongzhi becomes Emperor of China (Ming Dynasty).
- November 30 – Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria promulgates the Reinheitsgebot, specifying three ingredients – water, malt and hops – for the brewing of beer.
- Afonso de Paiva and Pêro da Covilhã travel overland from Lisbon, in search of the Kingdom of Prester John (Ethiopia).
- The witch-hunters' manual Malleus Maleficarum, written by Heinrich Kramer with Jacob Sprenger, is published at Speyer in the Holy Roman Empire.
- Aztec emperor Ahuitzotl dedicates the Great Temple Pyramid of Tenochtitlán, with thousands of human sacrifices.
- Italian architects work on the Moscow Kremlin.
- Leonardo da Vinci creates his Vitruvian Man drawing (approximate date).
- Stockport Grammar School is founded, in the north of England.
- January 8 – The Royal Netherlands Navy is formed, by the decree of Maximillian of Austria.
- February 3 – Bartolomeu Dias of Portugal lands in Mossel Bay, after rounding the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of Africa, becoming the first known European to travel this far south, and entering the Indian Ocean.
- February 28 – Choe Bu (1454–1504), the Korean Commissioner of Registers for the island of Cheju, shipwrecks on the south east coast of China in Taizhou, Zhejiang, during the Ming Dynasty. From then until July 12, he and his crew are hosted by Chinese military courier officers to travel along the Grand Canal of China, all the way to Beijing, and then finally back across the Yalu River into Korea. His written commentary on Chinese customs, foreign and domestic trade, and transport in places such as Hangzhou and Suzhou, are valuable records of Ming era culture and commerce.
- June 11 – Battle of Sauchieburn: James IV of Scotland becomes king.
- July 28 – Battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier: Troops loyal to King Charles VIII of France defeat rebel forces, led by the Dukes of Orleans and Brittany, in the main engagement of the Mad War.
- September 9 – Anne of Brittany becomes Duchess of Brittany at the age of 11. Her marriage to King Charles VIII in 1491 effectively ends Breton independence from France.
- Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford, takes possession of Cardiff Castle.
- Michelangelo Buonarroti becomes apprentice to Domenico Ghirlandaio.
- The city of Bikaner in western India is founded by Rao Bika.
- Rathbornes Candles is established in Dublin; the company is still trading in the 21st century.
- March 14 – The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to the Republic of Venice.
- March 26 – The Treaty of Medina del Campo between England and Spain includes provision for a marriage between Arthur, the son of King Henry VII of England, and Princess Catherine of Aragon.
- June 29 – King James IV granted Andrew, Lord Gray, the lands and Barony of Lundie [RGS.II.1860]
- July 17 – Delhi Sultanate: Sikandar Lodi succeeds Bahlul Khan Lodi as sultan.
- November 29 – Arthur Tudor is named Prince of Wales.
- December 11 – Jeannetto de Tassis is appointed Chief Master of Postal Services in Innsbruck; his descendants, the Thurn und Taxis Family, later run much of the postal system of Europe.
- Typhus first appears in Europe, during the Siege of Baza.
- A gold coin equal to one pound sterling, called a sovereign, is issued for Henry VII of England.
- King Henry VII of England gives a city charter to Southwold.
- Lucas Watzenrode becomes bishop of Warmia.
- Johannes Widmann publishes his mercantile arithmetic Behende und hüpsche Rechenung auff allen Kauffmanschafft in Leipzig, containing the first printed use of plus and minus signs, to indicate trading surpluses or shortages.
- "Mehmed II | Ottoman sultan". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-09-24.
- "Christian I | Scandinavian king". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-09-24.
- Phillips, William D.; Phillips, Carla Rahn (1993-02-27). The Worlds of Christopher Columbus. Cambridge University Press. p. 187. ISBN 9780521446525.
- "Carlo Crivelli. Annunciation with St Emidius. From the collection of the National Gallery, London. From the series Masterpieces from museums of the world in the Hermitage". Hermitage Museum. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 132–135. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Weir, Alison. The Princes in the Tower. p. 157.
- NASA Eclipse site Visited June 4, 2015
- Hart, Clive (1972). The Dream of Flight: aeronautics from classical times to the Renaissance. New York: Winchester Press.
- "Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: His Life and Precepts" by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura August 20, 1896
- Irby, Beverly; Brown, Genevieve H.; LaraAiecio, Rafael; Jackson, Dr Shirley A. (2013). Handbook of Educational Theories. IAP. p. 47. ISBN 9781617358678.
- Registrum magni sigilli regum Scotorum - The Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, Entry 1860.