April 19 – Battle of Callinicum: A Byzantine army (20,000 men) under command of Belisarius is defeated by the Persians at Raqqa (northern Syria). Emperor Justinian I negotiates an end to the hostilities and Belisarius is hailed as a hero.
Some members of the Blue and Green chariot racing factions in Constantinople are imprisoned for murder, precipitating the Nika riots the next year.
The building of the Hagia Sophia (Constantinople) is begun, and is completed in 537.
The Franks under King Chlothar I march against the Thuringii with his nephew Theudebert I. The Kingdom of Thuringia comes under Frankish domination.
Hermanafrid, last king of the Thuringii, is defeated by the Franks near the Unstrut River. During negotiations he is pushed from the town walls of Zülpich.
King Childebert I receives pleas from his sister Clotilde, wife of King Amalaric, that she is abused by her husband. Childebert invades Septimania (Gaul).
Childebert I defeats the Visigoths and conquers the capital Narbonne. Amalaric flees south to Barcelona, where he is assassinated by his own men.
Clotilde returns with the Frankish army and dies on the journey home. She is buried in Paris alongside her father Clovis I.
Theudis, sword-bearer of former king Theodoric the Great, succeeds Amalaric as new ruler of the Visigoths.
King Kavadh I, age 82, dies after a 43-year reign. Khosrau I, his favourite son, is proclaimed successor over his elder brothers.
The reign of Chang Guang Wang, ruler of Northern Wei, ends. Gao Huan, Chinese general, begins a rebellion and declares another member of the imperial clan, An Ding Wang, emperor.
Ankan, age 66, succeeds his father Keitai as the 27th emperor of Japan.
Major volcanic eruption.
Li Delin, Chinese official and writer (d. 591)
Waldrada, Lombard princess (d. 572)
Yan Zhitui, Chinese scholar and official (d. 591)
May 30 – Xiao Tong, prince of the Liang Dynasty (b. 501)
Amalaric, king of the Visigoths (assassinated)
Clotilde, Visigoth queen and daughter of Clovis I
Drest IV, king of the Picts (approximate date)
Keitai, emperor of Japan (b. 450)
Xiao Zhuang Di, emperor of Northern Wei (b. 507)
Hermanafrid, king of the Thuringii (murdered)
Kavadh I, king of the Persian Empire (b. 449)
Maine mac Cearbhall, king of Uí Maine (or 537)
Year 531 (DXXXI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year after the Consulship of Lampadius and Probus (or, less frequently, year 1284 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 531 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
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