Battle of the Volturnus: In the spring Buccelin marches north; the Frankish army (infected by dysentery) is reduced to about 30,000 men. The Byzantine army, with 18,000 men (including a contingent of Goths under Aligern), marches south to meet them at Casilinum (on the banks of the River Volturno). Narses sends a cavalry force under Chanaranges to destroy the supply wagons of the Franks. Outmanoeuvring Buccelin, he chooses a disposition similar to that at Taginae. After a frontal assault on the Byzantine centre, the Franks and the Alamanni are annihilated. Meanwhile, in the north, Lothair and his army are struck by an epidemic.
End of the Gothic War: Narses garrisons in Italy an army of 16,000 men. The recovery of the Italian Peninsula has cost the empire about 300,000 pounds of gold.
August 13 – Emperor Justinian I rewards Liberius for his long and distinguished service in the Pragmatic Sanction, granting him extensive estates in Italy.
Byzantine forces under Liberius seize Granada (Andalusia) and occupy the old province of Baetica. Justinian I calls Belisarius out of retirement, to complete the consolidation of reconquered regions of Southern Spain.
Athanagild is crowned as king of the Visigoths and succeeds Agila I. He acknowledges the suzerainty of the Byzantine Empire.
Al-Mundhir III ibn al-Nu'man is defeated and killed by the Ghassanids under al-Harith ibn Jabalah, at the battle of Yawm Halima; 'Amr III ibn al-Mundhir succeeds as king of the Lakhmids.
Gong Di succeeds his brother Fei Di as emperor of Western Wei. He is deposed by general Yuwen Tai and puts him to death.
The province of Jiangling (Central China) is captured; 100,000 inhabitants are enslaved and distributed to generals and officials.
Wei Shou completes compilation of the Book of Wei.
Baekje and the Gaya Confederacy wage war upon Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, but are defeated.
Muqan Qaghan succeeds his brother Issik Qaghan as emperor (khagan) of the Göktürks.
The second and larger of the two Buddhas of Bamyan is erected in central Afghanistan.
Cassiodorus, Roman statesman, founds the Monastery at Vivarium (approximate date).
Fei Di, emperor of the Chen Dynasty (d. 570)
Suiko, empress of Japan (d. 628)
Wendelin of Trier, hermit and abbot (approximate date)
Agila I, king of the Visigoths
Al-Mundhir III ibn al-Nu'man, king of the Lakhmids (Iraq)
Fei Di, emperor of Western Wei
Liberius, Roman aristocrat (approximate date)
Seong, king of Baekje (Korea)
Yuwen, empress of Western Wei (approximate date)
Year 554 (DLIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 554 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.