|Centuries:||12th century – 13th century – 14th century|
|Decades:||1230s 1240s 1250s – 1260s – 1270s 1280s 1290s|
|Years:||1258 1259 1260 – 1261 – 1262 1263 1264|
|1261 by topic|
|State leaders – Sovereign states|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births – Deaths|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Establishments – Disestablishments|
|Art and literature|
|1261 in poetry|
|Ab urbe condita||2014|
|Bahá'í calendar||−583 – −582|
|English Regnal year||45 Hen. 3 – 46 Hen. 3|
|Chinese calendar||庚申年 (Metal Monkey)
3957 or 3897
— to —
辛酉年 (Metal Rooster)
3958 or 3898
|- Vikram Samvat||1317–1318|
|- Shaka Samvat||1183–1184|
|- Kali Yuga||4362–4363|
|Japanese calendar||Bun'ō 2 / Kōchō 1
|Minguo calendar||651 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||1804|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1261.|
- January – Pope Alexander IV probibits the Flagellants.
- June 12 – King Henry III of England obtains a papal bull releasing him from his oath to maintain the Provisions of Oxford, setting the stage for the Second Barons' War (1263–1267).
- July 23 – At the Battle of Callann, the Normans, under John FitzGerald, 1st Baron Desmond, are defeated by the Gaelic forces of Fínghin Mac Carthaigh, King of Desmond.
- July 25 – The city of Constantinople is recaptured by Nicaean forces under the command of Alexios Strategopoulos, thus re-establishing the Byzantine Empire.
- August 15 – Michael VIII Palaiologos is crowned Byzantine emperor in Constantinople.
- August 29 – Pope Urban IV succeeds Pope Alexander IV as the 182nd pope, the last man to do so without being a cardinal first.
- December 25 – The 11-year-old John IV Laskaris is blinded by order of his cousin and nominal co-ruler of the Byzantine Empire, Michael VIII Palaiologos, in Nicaea to render him ineligible for the throne and he is exiled.
- The population of Greenland accepts the overlordship of the King of Norway.
- The Japanese Bun'ō era ends, and the Kōchō era begins.
- The Convent of Wurmsbach is established in Switzerland.
- Baibars establishes a puppet caliphate in Cairo.
- Béla IV of Hungary repels a Tatar invasion.
- Kublai Khan, who became a Khagan claimant in the previously year, releases 75 Song Dynasty Chinese merchants from captivity after they had been captured along the border of his Empire and the Southern Song Dynasty of China. This is an act to increase his reputation amongst the Chinese, shore up his legitimacy as a just ruler, and to gain more defectors from the Southern Song Dynasty.
- The earliest extant Chinese illustration of 'Pascal's triangle' is from Yang Hui's book Xiangjie Jiuzhang Suanfa, published in this year, although knowledge of Pascal's Triangle existed in China by at least 1100.
- February 1 – Walter de Stapledon, English bishop (d. 1326)
- February 11 – Otto III, Duke of Bavaria (d. 1312)
- October 9 – King Denis of Portugal (d. 1325)
- date unknown
- Bohemond VII, Count of Tripoli, prince of Antioch (d. 1287)
- Prince Daniel of Moscow, son of Alexander Nevsky (d. 1303)
- Konoe Iemoto, Japanese kugyō (d. 1296)
- Albertino Mussato, statesman and writer (d. 1329)
- Władysław I the Elbow-high, King of Poland (d. 1333)
- Constantine Palaiologos, Byzantine prince and general (d. 1306)
- February 28 – Henry III, Duke of Brabant
- May 25 – Pope Alexander IV
- July 8 – Adolf IV of Holstein, Count of Schauenburg
- September – Plaisance of Antioch, queen of Cyprus
- September 18 – Konrad von Hochstaden, Archbishop of Cologne
- November 9 – Sanchia of Provence, queen consort of Germany
- An-Nasir Dawud, Ayyubid sultan of Damascus and Emir of Kerak
- Philip Berruyer, archbishop of Bourges
- Bettisia Gozzadini, scholar (b. 1209)
- Qin Jiushao, Chinese mathematician of the Song Dynasty (b. 1202)
- Patriarch Nicephorus II of Constantinople