Roman EmpireThe Antonine Wall is retaken by Roman legions.
Arts and sciencesIn Rome, the manufacturing of soap containing grease, lime and ashes begins.
Appian writes Ρωμαικα, known in English as the Roman History, in which he includes the history of each nation conquered up until the moment of its conquest.
ReligionThe first Buddhist monks arrive in China.
Roman EmpireMarch 7
Emperor Antoninus Pius dies and is succeeded by Marcus Aurelius who shares imperial power with Lucius Verus, although Marcus retains the title Pontifex Maximus.
Marcus Aurelius, a Spaniard like Trajan and Hadrian, is a stoical, disciple of Epictetus, and an energetic man of action. He pursues the policy of his predecessor and maintains good relations with the Senate. As a legislator, he endeavours to create new principles of morality and humanity, particularly favouring women and slaves.
The weight of a goldpiece, the aureus, is reduced from 7.81 grams under Aurelius to 7.12 grams.
The Parthians invade Armenia and install their own candidate on the throne. Destruction of a legion, perhaps Legio IX Hispana at Elegia.
Arts and sciencesGaius' Institutiones are published.
CommerceThe silver content of the Roman denarius falls to 68 percent under emperor Marcus Aurelius, down from 75 percent under Antoninus Pius.
Roman EmpireLucius Verus begins a war with the Parthians, due to the invasion of Syria and Armenia by Vologases IV of Parthia.
The Antonine Wall is largely decommissioned.
Arts and sciencesArrian publishes Indica, a work on India and its people.
EuropeStatius Priscus reconquers Armenia; Artaxata is ruined.
EuropeThe governor of Syria, Avidius Cassius, one of Lucius Verus' generals, crosses the Euphrates and invades Parthian territory.
Ctesiphon is captured by the Romans, but returned to the Parthians after the end of the war.
The Antonine Wall in Scotland is abandoned by the Romans.
A law is passed protecting property brought into a marriage by the wife.
Marcus Aurelius gives his daughter Lucilla in marriage to his co-emperor Lucius Verus.
Seleucia on the Tigris is destroyed.
Roman EmpireA Roman military operation under Avidius Cassius is successful against Parthia, capturing Artaxata, Seleucia on the Tigris, and Ctesiphon. The Parthians sue for peace.
A pandemic known as the Antonine Plague breaks out in Rome after the Roman army returns from Parthia. The plague significantly depopulates the Roman Empire.
Legio II Italica is levied by emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Dura-Europos is taken by the Romans.
The Romans establish a garrison at Doura Europos on the Euphrates, a control point for the commercial route to the Persian Gulf.
Avidius Cassius takes Nisibis and conquers the north of Mesopotamia.
Marcus Aurelius creates four legal districts (iuridici) in Italy (5 if Rome is included).
ReligionThe philosopher Justin of Nablus is executed in Rome as a Christian.
Discourse to the Greek (Oratio ad Graecos), by the Syrian Tatian, is the first treatise on the evils of paganism in Christian literature.
Roman EmpireDacia is invaded by barbarians.
Conflict erupts on the Danube frontier between Rome and the Germanic tribe of the Marcomanni.
Emperor Marcus Aurelius appoints his sons as Caesars, while he and Lucius Verus travel to Germany.
End of the war with Parthia: The Parthians leave Armenia and eastern Mesopotamia, which both become Roman protectorates.
A plague (possibly small pox), comes from the East and spreads throughout the Roman Empire, lasting for roughly twenty years.
The Lombards invade Pannonia (modern Hungary). They are quickly dispatched by the Roman Army.
AsiaKing Chogo of Baekje succeeds to the throne of Baekje in the Korean peninsula.
Scholars who have denounced eunuchs are arrested, killed or banished from the capital and official life in Han Dynasty China. This was the first of the Disasters of the Partisan Prohibitions, which ended in 184.
A Roman envoy arrives by sea in Rinan commandery in southern China (central Vietnam). He travels to the Chinese capital Luoyang and is greeted by Emperor Huan of the Han Dynasty.
ReligionPope Soter succeeds Pope Anicetus as the twelfth pope.
Laurence succeeds Alypius as Patriarch of Constantinople.
Roman EmpireImperator Lucius Aurelius Verus Augustus and Marcus Ummidius Quadratus Annianus become Roman Consuls.
The Marcomanni tribe wages war against the Romans at Aquileia. They destroy aqueducts and irrigation conduits. Marcus Aurelius repels the invaders, ending the Pax Romana (Roman Peace) that has kept the Roman Empire free of conflict since the days of emperor Augustus.
The Vandals (Astingi and Lacringi) and the Sarmatian Iazyges invade Dacia. To counter them, Legio V Macedonica, returning from the Parthian War, moves its headquarters from Troesmis in Moesia Inferior to Potaissa in Dacia Porolissensis.
The Germans devastate the Balkans and ransack the sanctuary of Eleusis, near Athens.
AsiaChange of era name from Yanxi to Yongkang of the Chinese Han Dynasty.
King Chogo of Baekje wages war against Silla in the Korean peninsula.
Roman EmpireEmperor Marcus Aurelius and his adopted brother Lucius Verus leave Rome, and establish their headquarters at Aquileia.
The Roman army crosses the Alps into Pannonia and subdue the Marcomanni at Carnuntum north of the Danube.
AsiaChange of Han Huandi to Han Lingdi of Han Dynasty; first year of Jianning era.
Roman EmpireMarcomannic Wars: Germanic tribes invade the frontiers of the Roman Empire, specifically the provinces of Raetia and Moesia.
Northern African Moors invade what is now Spain.
Marcus Aurelius becomes sole Roman Emperor upon the death of Lucius Verus.
Marcus Aurelius forces his daughter Lucilla into marriage with Claudius Pompeianus.
Galen moves back to Rome for good.
ChinaConfucian scholars who had denounced the court eunuchs are arrested, killed or banished from the capital of Luoyang and official life during the second episode of the Disasters of Partisan Prohibitions, which does not formally end until 184 with the onslaught of the Yellow Turban Rebellion.
ReligionPertinax succeeds Alypius as Patriarch of Constantinople.
Theophilus of Antioch becomes Patriarch of Antioch.
Arts and sciencesLucian demonstrates the absurdity of fatalism.
Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor
Lucius Verus, Roman Emperor
Commodus (b. 161)
Lucius Aurelius Commodus, better known as Commodus. Born in 161, he would eventually become a Roman emperor.
Marcus Opellius Macrinus, better known as Macrinus. Born c. 165, he would eventually become a Roman emperor.
Marcus Clodius Pupienus Maximus, better known as Pupienus. Born c. 165 or c. 170, he would eventually become a Roman emperor.
Antoninus Pius, Roman emperor. Died in 161.
Lucius Verus, Roman emperor. Died in 169.