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- Emperor Titus completes and inaugurates the Colosseum with 100 days of games.
- The earliest stage of Lullingstone Roman villa is built.
- The Roman occupation of Britain reaches the River Tyne–Solway Firth frontier area. Gnaeus Julius Agricola creates a fleet for the conquest of Caledonia; he finally proves that Britannia is an island.
- Legio II Adiutrix is stationed at Lindum Colonia (modern Lincoln). The city is an important settlement for retired Roman legionaries.
- The original Roman Pantheon is destroyed in a fire, along with many other buildings.
- The Eifel Aqueduct is constructed to bring water 95 km (59 mi) from the Eifel region to Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensum (modern Cologne).
- An epidemic afflicts Rome.
- Some 30,000 Asian tribesmen migrate from the steppes to the west with 40,000 horses and 100,000 cattle, joining with Iranian tribesmen and with Mongols from the Siberian forests to form a group that will be known in Europe as the Huns.
- King Pasa becomes ruler of the Korean kingdom of Silla.
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- September 14 – Domitian succeeds his brother Titus as emperor. Domitian is not a soldier like his two predecessors, and his administration is directed towards the reinforcement of a monarchy. By taking the title of Dominus ("lord"), he scandalizes the senatorial aristocracy. Romanisation progresses in the provinces, and life in the cities is greatly improved. Many provincials – Spanish, Gallic, and African – become Senators.
- The Arch of Titus is constructed.
- Pliny the Younger is flamen Divi Augusti (priest in the cult of the Emperor).
- The silver content of the Roman denarius rises to 92% under emperor Domitian, up from 81% in the reign of Vitellius.
- Possible date of the First Epistle of Peter.
- Emperor Domitian becomes Roman Consul.
- Gnaeus Julius Agricola raises a fleet, and encircles the Celtic tribes beyond the Forth; the Caledonians rise in great numbers against the Romans. They attack the camp of Legio IX Hispana at night, but Agricola sends his cavalry in, and puts them to flight.
- Calgacus unites the Picts (30,000 men) in Scotland, and is made chieftain of the Caledonian Confederacy.
- Dio Chrysostom is banished from Rome, Italy, and Bithynia, after advising one of the Emperor's conspiring relatives.
- Domitian levies Legio I Minervia.
- Possible date of the Battle of Mons Graupius (AD 83 or 84). According to Tacitus, 10,000 Britons and 360 Romans are killed.
- Emperor Domitian fights the Chatti, a Germanic tribe. His victory allows the construction of fortifications (Limes) along the Rhine-frontier.
- The Roman fort Inchtuthil is built in Scotland.
- Domitian is, again, also a Roman Consul.
- Possible date that Demetrius of Tarsus visits an island in the Hebrides populated by holy men, possibly druids.
- In Rome, the castration of slaves is prohibited.
- Possible date of the Battle of Mons Graupius (AD 83 or 84), in which Gnaeus Julius Agricola defeats the Caledonians.
- Emperor Domitian recalls Agricola back to Rome, where he is rewarded with a triumph and the governorship of the Roman province Africa, but he declines it.
- Pliny the Younger is sevir equitum Romanorum (commander of a cavalry squadron).
- The construction of the limes, a line of Roman fortifications from the Rhine to the Danube, is begun.
- Through his election as consul for ten years and censor for life, Domitian openly subordinates the republican aspect of the state to the monarchical.
- Domitian increases the troops' pay by one third, thus securing their loyalty.
- Dacians under Decebalus engage in two wars against the Romans from this year to AD 88 or 89.
- Emperor Domitian repulses a Dacian invasion of Moesia.
- Domitian appoints himself censor for life, which gives him the right to control the Senate. His totalitarian tendencies put the senatorial aristocracy firmly in opposition to him.
- Baekje invades the outskirts of Silla in the Korean peninsula. The war continues until the peace treaty of 105.
- Emperor Domitian introduces the Capitoline Games.
- Roman general (and future emperor) Trajan begins a campaign to crush an uprising in Germany.
- Germany is divided into two provinces, Germania Inferior and Germania Superior (approximate date).
- First Battle of Tapae: Roman legions face disaster in Dacia, when Roman general Cornelius Fuscus launches a powerful offensive that becomes a failure. Encircled in the valley of Timi, he dies along with his entire army. Rome must pay tribute to the Dacians in exchange for a vague recognition of Rome's importance.
- The Roman Julius Maternus explores western Africa (approximate date).
- Lyon, a city in Gaul, has a population of over 100,000 citizens (approximate date).
- Sextus Julius Sparsus gains power in the Roman Senate (approximate date).
- Two Egyptian obelisks are erected in Benevento in front of the Temple of Isis, in honour of Emperor Domitian.
- Quintilian retires from teaching and from pleading, to compose his great work on the training of the orator (Institutio Oratoria).
- The First Dacian War ends: Decebalus becomes a client king of Rome, he receives money, craftsmen and war machines to protect the borders (limes) of the Roman Empire.
- Emperor Han Zhangdi dies at age 31 after a 13-year reign in which Chinese military forces have become powerful enough to march against tribes who threaten their northern and western borders. Having used intrigue as well as armed might to achieve his ends, Zhangdi and his General Ban Chao have reestablished Chinese influence in Inner Asia, but court eunuchs have increased their power during the emperor's reign. Zhangdi is succeeded by his 9-year-old son Zhao, who will reign until 105 as emperor Han Hedi, but he will be a virtual pawn of Empress Dou (adoptive mother) and scheming courtiers who will effectively rule the Chinese Empire.
- Last year (4th) of yuanhe era and start of zhanghe era of the Chinese Eastern Han Dynasty.
- January 1 – Lucius Antonius Saturninus incites a revolt against Emperor Domitian (it is suppressed by January 24).
- Legio XIII Gemina is transferred to Dacia, to help in the war against King Decebalus.
- Aquincum (old Budapest, Óbuda) is founded (approximate date).
- First year of Yongyuan era of the Chinese Han Dynasty.
- June – Battle of Ikh Bayan: The Han Chinese army under Dou Xian, allied with the southern Xiongnu, is victorious over the Northern Xiongnu.
- Aspasius, Greek philosopher and writer (approximate date)
- Aśvaghoṣa, Indian philosopher and poet (d. c. 150)
- Yin, Chinese empress of the Han Dynasty (d. 103)
- Marcion of Sinope, Greek theologian and founder of Marcionism (d. 160)
- Vibia Matidia (the Younger), Roman noblewoman (approximate date)
- Kujula Kadphises, Kushan prince (approximate date)
- Lucius Vipstanus Messalla, Roman politician
- Philip the Apostle, Roman bishop and martyr
- Talhae of Silla, Korean ruler of Silla
- Vologases II, king of the Parthian Empire
- Zhao Xi, Chinese politician (b. AD 4)
- Luke the Evangelist, Greek physician and martyr
- Titus Flavius Sabinus, Roman consul and married with Julia Flavia (executed)
- Gaius Oppius Sabinus, Roman politician and governor
- Lucius Mindius, Roman politician and aristocrat
- Titus Atilius Rufus, Roman politician and governor
- Dou Gu, Chinese general of the Han Dynasty
- Gaius Vettulenus Civica Cerealis, Roman politician
- Han Zhangdi, Chinese emperor of the Han Dynasty (b. AD 57)
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- Ronald Syme, Some Arval brethren (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), pp. 20f
- "List of Rulers of Korea". www.metmuseum.org. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
- Zeiner, Noelle K. (2005). Nothing Ordinary Here: Statius as Creator of Distinction in the Silvae. Psychology Press. p. 67. ISBN 9780415970983.
- Shen, Raphael (1997). The Restructuring of Romania's Economy: A Paradigm of Flexibility and Adaptability. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 2. ISBN 9780275956943.
- "Domitian | Roman emperor". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-02-22.
- "Ashvaghosha - Indian philosopher and poet". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
- "Antoninus Pius | Roman emperor". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
- "BBC - History - Historic Figures: Titus (39 AD - 81 AD)". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 7 April 2019.