|Centuries:||11th century – 12th century – 13th century|
|Decades:||1150s 1160s 1170s – 1180s – 1190s 1200s 1210s|
|Years:||1178 1179 1180 – 1181 – 1182 1183 1184|
- Jayavarman VII defeats the Cham and assumes control of the Khmer kingdom.
- The word Albigensians first used by chronicler Geoffroy du Breuil of Vigeois to describe the inhabitants of Albi, France.
- September 1 — Pope Lucius III succeeds Pope Alexander III as the 171st pope.
- Chinese and Japanese astronomers observe what has since come to be understood as a supernova. One of only eight supernovae in the Milky Way observed in recorded history, it appeared in the constellation Cassiopeia and was visible in the night sky for about 185 days. The radio source 3C58 is thought to be the remnant from this event.
- Beginning of the Yowa era in Japan. The era is marked by famine.
- Saint Francis of Assisi, Italian founder of the Franciscan Order (died 1226)
- Saint Teresa of Portugal
- Jayavarman VII, king of the Khmer (died 1219)
- January 30 — Emperor Takakura of Japan (b. 1161)
- March 17 — Henry I of Champagne
- June 30 — Hugh de Kevelioc, 3rd Earl of Chester, English politician (b. 1147)
- August 30 — Pope Alexander III (b. c. 1100–1105)
- Taira no Kiyomori, Japanese warlord (b. 1118)
- As-Salih Ismail al-Malik, ruler of Syria (b. 1163)