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Year 1512 (MDXII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.
- António de Abreu discovers Timor Island, and reaches the Banda Islands, Ambon Island and Seram.
- Francisco Serrão reaches the Moluccas.
- Juan Ponce de León discovers the Turks and Caicos Islands.
- Pedro Mascarenhas discovers Diego Garcia, and reaches Mauritius in the Mascarene Islands.
- Moldavia becomes a vassal of the Turkish Empire, on the same conditions as Wallachia: the voivode will be designated by the Turks, but will be Eastern Orthodox Christians. Also, the Turks are not allowed to build mosques, to be buried, to own land or to settle in the country.
- The Florentine Republic is dismantled, and the Medici Family comes back into power.
- The word masque is first used to denote a poetic drama.
- Wolverhampton Grammar School is founded by Sir Stephen Jenyns, in England.
- Giggleswick School is founded by Reverend James Carr, in England.
- Paracelsus moves to Ferrara.
- Possible date - Nicolaus Copernicus begins to write Commentariolus, an abstract of what will eventually become his heliocentric astronomy De revolutionibus orbium coelestium; he sends it to other scientists interested in the matter by 1514.
- January 13 – Gaspar de Quiroga y Vela, General Inquisitor of Spain (d. 1594)
- January 17 – Sibylle of Cleves, electress consort of Saxony (d. 1554)
- January 31 – Henry, King of Portugal and Cardinal (d. 1580)
- February 3 – John Hamilton, archbishop of St Andrews (d. 1571)
- February 22 – Pedro Agustín, Spanish Catholic bishop (d. 1572)
- March 5 – Gerardus Mercator, Flemish-German cartographer (d. 1594)
- April 10 – James V of Scotland, King of Scots (d. 1542)
- April 23 – Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel, Chancellor of the University of Oxford (d. 1580)
- April 30 – George II, Duke of Münsterberg-Oels, Count of Glatz (d. 1553)
- July 5 – Cristoforo Madruzzo, Italian Catholic cardinal (d. 1578)
- July 25 – Diego de Covarubias y Leyva, Spanish jurist, Roman Catholic prelate, Archbishop of Cuenca (d. 1577)
- August 27 – Friedrich Staphylus, German theologian (d. 1564)
- November 4 – Hu Zongxian, Chinese general (d. 1565)
- November 9 – Jon Simonssøn, Norwegian humanist (d. 1575)
- November 11 – Marcin Kromer, Prince-Bishop of Warmia (d. 1589)
- December 21 – Boniface IV, Marquess of Montferrat, Italian nobleman (d. 1530)
- date unknown
- January 2 – Svante Nilsson, regent of Sweden since 1504 (b. 1460)
- January 30 – Reinhard IV, Count of Hanau-Münzenberg (1500–1512) (b. 1473)
- February 2 – Hatuey, Puerto Rican Taíno chief
- February 22 – Amerigo Vespucci, Italian merchant and cartographer, discoverer of the New World (b. 1454)
- March 29 – Lucas Watzenrode, Prince-Bishop of Warmia (b. 1447)
- April 11
- May 21 – Pandolfo Petrucci, ruler of Siena (b. 1452)
- May 26 – Bayezid II, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1447)
- June 20 – Goto Yujo, swordsman, artisan (b. 1440)
- August 2 – Alessandro Achillini, Italian philosopher (b. 1463)
- August 15 – Imperia Cognati, Italian courtesan (b. 1486)
- September 15 – John Stewart, 1st Earl of Atholl, Scottish peer (b. 1440)
- September 29 – Johannes Engel, German doctor, astronomer and astrologer (b. 1453)
- October 5 – Sophia Jagiellon, Margravine of Brandenburg-Ansbach, Polish princess (b. 1464)
- October 31 – Anna of Saxony, Electress of Brandenburg (b. 1437)
- ^ Grun, Bernard (1991). The Timetables of History (3rd ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 229. ISBN 0-671-74919-6.
- ^ Gingerich, Owen (2004). The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus. New York: Walker. ISBN 0-8027-1415-3.
- ^ Koyré, Alexandre (1973). The Astronomical Revolution: Copernicus – Kepler – Borelli. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-0504-1.
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