As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was the century which lasted from 1401 to 1500.
- 1403: The Settle of the Canary Islands signals the beginning of the Spanish Empire.
- 1402: Ottoman and Timurid Empires fight at the Battle of Ankara resulting in Timur's capture of Bayezid I.
- 1402: Sultanate of Malacca founded by Parameshwara.
- 1403: The Yongle Emperor moves the capital of China from Nanjing to Beijing.
- 1405–33: Zheng He of China sails through the Indian Ocean to India, Arabia, and East Africa.
- 1410: The Battle of Grunwald was the decisive battle of the Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War leading to the downfall of the Teutonic Knights.
- 1410–13: Foundation of St Andrews University in Scotland
- 1415: Henry the Navigator leads the conquest of Ceuta from the Moors marking the beginning of the Portuguese Empire.
- 1415: Battle of Agincourt fought between the Kingdom of England and France
- 1415: Jan Hus is burned at the stake as a heretic at the Council of Constance.
- 1420: Construction of the Chinese Forbidden City is completed in Beijing.
- 1420–34: Hussite Wars in Bohemia
- 1424: James I returns to Scotland after being held hostage under three Kings of England since 1406
- 1429: Joan of Arc ends the Siege of Orléans and turns the tide of the Hundred Years' War.
- 1438: Pachacuti founds the Inca Empire.
- 1440s: The Golden Horde breaks up into the Siberia Khanate, the Khanate of Kazan, the Astrakhan Khanate, the Crimean Khanate, and the Great Horde.
- 1440–69: Under Moctezuma I, the Aztecs become the dominant power in Mesoamerica.
- 1441: Portuguese navigators cruise West Africa and reestablish the European slave trade with a shipment of African slaves sent directly from Africa to Portugal.
- 1441: Eton College founded by Henry IV.
- 1444: The Albanian league is established in Lezha, Skanderbeg is elected leader
- 1444: Ottoman Empire under Sultan Murad II defeats the Polish and Hungarian armies under Władysław III of Poland and János Hunyadi at the Battle of Varna.
- 1445: Kazan Khanate defeats Grand Duchy of Moscow at the Battle of Suzdal
- 1446: King Sejong the Great published a hangul, the native phonetic alphabet system for the Korean language.
- 1449: Esen Tayisi leads an Oirat Mongol invasion of China which culminate in the capture of the Zhengtong Emperor at Battle of Tumu Fortress.
- 1453: The Fall of Constantinople marks the end of the Byzantine Empire and the beginning of the Growth of the Ottoman Empire.
- 1453: The Battle of Castillon is the last engagement of the Hundred Years' War.
- 1454–66: After defeating the Teutonic Knights in the Thirteen Years' War, Poland annexes Royal Prussia.
- 1455–85: Wars of the Roses - English civil war between the House of York and the House of Lancaster.
- 1456: The Siege of Belgrade halts the Ottoman's advance into Europe.
- 1462: Sonni Ali Ber, the ruler of the Songhai (or Songhay) Empire, along the Niger River, conquered Mali in the central Sudan by defeating the Tuareg contingent at Tombouctou (or Timbuktu) and capturing the city. He developed both his own capital, Gao, and the main centres of Mali, Timbuktu and Djenné, into major cities. Ali Ber controlled trade along the Niger River with a navy of war vessels.
- 1462: Mehmed the Conqueror is driven back by Wallachian prince Vlad III Dracula at the Night Attack.
- 1467: Uzun Hasan defeats the Black Sheep Turkoman leader Jahān Shāh.
- 1467–1615: The Sengoku period is one of civil war in Japan.
- 1469: The marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile leads to the unification of Spain.
- 1469: Birth of Guru Nanak Dev. Beside followers of Sikhism, Guru Nanak is revered by Hindus and Muslim Sufis across the Indian subcontinent.
- 1471: The kingdom of Champa suffers a massive defeat by the Vietnamese king Lê Thánh Tông.
- 1474–77: Burgundy Wars of France, Switzerland, Lorraine and Sigismund II of Habsburg against the Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy.
- 1478: Muscovy conquers Novgorod.
- 1480: After the Great standing on the Ugra river, Muscovy gained independence from the Great Horde.
- 1481: Spanish Inquisition begins in practise with the first auto de fe.
- 1485: Henry VII defeats Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth and becomes King of England
- 1492: The death of Sunni Ali Ber left a leadership void in the Songhai Empire, and his son was soon dethroned by Mamadou Toure who ascended the throne in 1492 under the name Askia (meaning "general") Muhammad. Askia Muhammad made Songhai the largest empire in the history of West Africa. The empire went into decline, however, after 1528, when the now-blind Askia Muhammad was dethroned by his son, Askia Musa.
- 1492: Boabdil's surrender of Granada marks the end of the Reconquista and Al-Andalus.
- 1492: Jews expelled from Spain.
- 1492: Christopher Columbus founds Spain's first New World colony on Hispaniola.
- 1494: Spain and Portugal sign the Treaty of Tordesillas and agree to divide the World outside of Europe between themselves.
- 1494–1559: The Italian Wars lead to the downfall of the Italian city-states.
- 1497–1499: Vasco da Gama's first voyage from Europe to India and back.
- 1499: Ottoman fleet defeats Venetians at the Battle of Zonchio.
- Abu Sa'id al-Afif, a Samaritan physician.
- Afonso de Albuquerque (1453 - 1515) was a Portuguese nobleman, naval general officer whose military and administrative activities conquered and established the Portuguese colonial empire in the Indian ocean. Generally considered as a world conquest military genius by means of his successful strategy.
- Constantine XI, Last Byzantine Emperor (1404–1453).
- Matthias Corvinus of Hungary, Renaissance ruler (1443–1490).
- Ferdinand II of Aragon, co-ruler of Spain with Isabella of Castile and responsible with her for the unification of Spain (1452–1516).
- Johannes Gutenberg, European inventor of printing with movable type (c.1398–1468)
- Henry the Navigator Infante Henrique, Duke of Viseu (1394 – 1460); infante (prince) of the Portuguese House of Aviz and an important figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire, being responsible for the beginning of the European worldwide explorations.
- Henry V of England, the English King who won the famous Battle of Agincourt in 1415 (1387–1422).
- Henry VII of England, English King and founder the Tudor dynasty (1457–1509).
- The Princes in the Tower, Edward V of England (1470 – 1483?) and his brother, Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York (1473 – 1483?), two sons of Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville.
- John Hunyadi, Regent of Kingdom of Hungary, won the Siege of Belgrade in 1456 (1387–1456)
- Jan Hus, Bohemian religious thinker and reformer (c. 1369–1415).
- Isabella of Castile, co-ruler of Spain with Ferdinand II of Aragon and responsible for the unification of Spain and the discovery of the New World (1451–1504).
- Joan of Arc, national heroine of France (1412–1431).
- Gjergj Kastrioti, Skenderbeg - Albanian Prince who resisted the Ottomans for almost 30 years in the name of the Albanian people and Catholic faith (1443–1468).
- Kazimierz IV Jagiellon King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (1427–1492).
- Louis XI, King of France (1423–1483).
- Mehmed II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and Conqueror of Constantinople (1432–1481).
- Guru Nanak, founder of the Sikh Religion (1469 ).
- Sejong the Great of Joseon, a Korean monarch who developed hangul, the native Korean alphabet (1397–1450).
- Stephen III of Moldavia, also known as Stephen the Great, ruler of Moldavia, national hero of Romanians for long resistance to the Ottomans (1437–1504)
- Richard III of England, last English King of the House of York, last of the House of Plantagenet (1452–1485).
- Mir Chakar Khan Rind (1468–1565), a Baloch king.
- Vlad III Dracula, Prince of Wallachia who led the defense of his territory against the expanding Ottoman Empire (1431–1476).
Visual artists, architects, sculptors, printmakers, illustrators
- Bartolomé Bermejo (c. 1440 - 1498), Spanish painter who adopted Dutch painting techniques and conventions.
- Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450 – 1516), Early Netherlandish painter. Many of his works depict sin and human moral failings.
- Dirk Bouts (c. 1410/1420 - 1475), Early Netherlandish painter.
- Filippo Brunelleschi (1377–1446), invents one-point perspective, leads innovation in Italian architecture.
- Robert Campin (c. 1375 – 1444), the Master of Flémalle, first great master of Early Netherlandish painting.
- Petrus Christus (c. 1410/1420 – 1475/1476), Early Netherlandish painter.
- Gerard David (c. 1460 – 1523), Early Netherlandish painter and manuscript illuminator known for his brilliant use of color.
- Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528) was a German painter, printmaker and theorist from Nuremberg, Germany.
- Barthélemy d'Eyck ; (ca.1420–after 1470) was an Early Netherlandish artist who worked in France and probably in Burgundy Early Netherlandish painter and manuscript illuminator. He was active between about 1440 to about 1469.
- Hubert van Eyck (c. 1366–1426), Flemish painter and older brother of Jan van Eyck.
- Jan van Eyck (before c. 1395 – before 1441), Early Netherlandish painter, considered one of the best Northern European painters of the 15th century.
- Juan de Flandes (1460-1519), Early Netherlandish painter who was active in Spain from 1496 to 1519 at the court of Isabella of Castile.
- Jean Fouquet (1420 - 1481) French painter of both panel painting and manuscript illumination, inventor of the portrait miniature.
- Nicolas Froment (c. 1435 – c. 1486), French painter.
- Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378 – 1455) was an Italian artist of the early Renaissance best known for works in sculpture and metalworking.
- Hugo van der Goes (?c. 1440 – 1482 or 1483), Early Netherlandish painter.
- Jean Hey (ca. 1475 – ca. 1505), now generally identified with the artist formerly known as the Master of Moulins, Early Netherlandish painter.
- Hans Holbein the Elder (c. 1460 – 1524), German painter, woodcut artist, illustrator of books and church window designer.He and his brother Sigismund Holbein painted religious works in the late Gothic style.
- Limbourg brothers, (Herman, Paul, and Johan; 1385 – 1416), Dutch Renaissance miniature painters from the city of Nijmegen.
- Simon Marmion (c. 1425 - 1489) French, or Burgundian, painter of panels and illuminated manuscripts.
- Hans Memling (c. 1430 – 1494), Early Netherlandish painter, born in Germany.
- Enguerrand Quarton (c. 1410 - c. 1466) was a French painter and manuscript illuminator.
- Leonardo da Vinci, (1452–1519), Italian polymath, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer.
- Rogier van der Weyden (1399/1400 – 1464), considered one of the greatest exponents of Early Netherlandish painting.
See links above for Italian Renaissance painting and Renaissance sculpture.
- Leon Battista Alberti (1404 – 1472) was an Italian author, artist, architect, poet, linguist, philosopher, and cryptographer, and general Renaissance humanist polymath.
- Joseph Albo (Hebrew: יוסף אלבו) (c. 1380 – 1444) was a Jewish philosopher and rabbi who lived in Spain. The author of Sefer ha-Ikkarim ("Book of Principles"), the classic work on the fundamentals of Judaism.
- Marsilio Ficino, Significant translator of Plato's works (1433–1481).
- John Lydgate (c. 1370 – c. 1451) was a monk and poet, born in Lidgate, Suffolk, England.
- Sir Thomas Malory (c. 1405 – March 14, 1471) was an English writer, the author or compiler of Le Morte d'Arthur.
- Count Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463 - 1494), Italian Renaissance philosopher. He is famed for the events of 1486, when at the age of twenty-three, he wrote the famous Oration on the Dignity of Man which has been called the "Manifesto of the Renaissance", and a key text of Renaissance humanism.
- Thomas Occleve (c. 1368 – 1426), English poet.
- Reginald Pecock (c. 1395 - 1460), was an English prelate and writer.
- Christine de Pizan, French writer (1364–1430).
- François Villon, French poet (c. 1431–1474).
Musicians and Composers
- Adrien Basin (c. 1457 – 1476; died after 1498), Franco-Flemish composer, singer, and diplomat of the Burgundian school of the early Renaissance.
- Gilles Binchois, (c. 1400 – 1460), Franco-Flemish composer, one of the earliest members of the Burgundian School.
- Antoine Busnois (c. 1430 – 1492), French composer and poet of the early Renaissance Burgundian School.
- Guillaume Dufay, (c. 1397 – 1474), Franco-Flemish composer and music theorist.
- John Dunstaple (c. 1390 – 1453), English composer of polyphonic music.
- Hayne van Ghizeghem (c. 1445 – 1472 or possibly later; New Grove says he died between 1472 and 1497), Flemish composer of the early Renaissance Burgundian School.
- Nicolas Grenon (c. 1375 – 1456), French composer of the early Renaissance.
- Robert Morton (c.1430 – 1479), English composer of the early Renaissance.
- Johannes Ockeghem, (ca. 1410–1497), Flemish composer.
- Leonel Power (c. 1370 to 1385 – 1445), English composer of the late Medieval and early Renaissance eras.
- Johannes Tapissier (c.1370 – 1408 to 1410), French composer and teacher of the late Middle Ages.
- Jacobus Vide (c. 1405 – 1433), Franco-Flemish composer of the transitional period between the medieval period and early Renaissance.
Science, invention and philosophy
Inventions, discoveries, introductions
List of 15th century inventions
Eyck, Barthélemy d'. In The Oxford Companion to Western Art
(2001). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-866203-3. .
Decades and years