1. Spain and Portugal unite under one crown following the death of Portugal's Cardinal Henrique at Almeirim January 31 (his 68th birthday) after a 2-year reign as king. He has left no designated successor, and Spanish forces under the aging Fernando, duque de Alva, invade his country with help from a fleet under the command of Alvaro de Bazán, marqués de Santa Cruz, 53; they prevail at the Battle of Alcantara near Lisbon August 25, and Spain's Felipe II is proclaimed Portugal's Felipe I. Felipe's wife, Anne of Austria, dies at age 31, having given birth to five children, four of whom died in childhood.
2. Nonfiction:Essais by French writer Michel Eyquem de Montaigne is published in its first two volumes. Now 47, Montaigne served as a judge at Bordeaux from 1555 to 1570, he retired to Montaigne in 1570 and began work on his essays 2 years later. While he will insist that "I do not teach, I recount," his pursuit of truth expressed in vernacular style reveals extraordinary insight into the human condition: "No man profiteth but by the loss of others" (I. xxi); "Women are not altogether in the wrong when they refuse the rules of life prescribed to the World, for men only have established them and without their consent"; "The daughter-in-law of Pythagoras said that a woman who goes to bed with a man ought to lay aside her modesty with her skirt, and put it on again with her petticoat."
On the Demon Worship of Sorcerers (Démonomanie des sorciers) by Jean Bodin, who writes, "All authorities on witchcraft have made it clear that for every male witch there are fifty female witches . . . Satan makes use of wives in order to ensnare their husbands;" Chronicles of England (initially Annales of England) by John Stow.
Fiction:Euphues and His England by John Lyly continues his 1578 book. Dedicated to his patron Edward de Vere, 17th earl of Oxford, Lyly's didactic romance is intended to reform education and manners.
Poet Luis de Vaz Camoes dies at his native Lisbon June 10 at age 55 (approximate).
3. Architect Andrea Palladio dies at Venice August 19 at age 71, but his books will spread his influence throughout the world. He has designed Vicenza's Teatro Olimpico, which will be completed by Vincenzo Scamozzi.
4. March 1 - Michel de Montaigne signs the preface to his most significant work, Essays. They are published later the same year.
5. 1580-1764 First session of Jewish Waad (Sejm of 4 countries) in Lublin, Poland. 70 delegates of Jewish local kahals met to discuss taxations and other issues important to Jewish communities.
Portugal loses independence to Spain following the death without heirs of king Henry of Portugal. The Habsburg rule would last until 1640.
Yermak entered Siberia with a band of 1636 men. Russia begins the conquest of Siberia.