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The first group of people claiming to be an ambassadorial mission of Romans to China was recorded in 166 AD by the Hou Hanshu.[102] The embassy came to Emperor Huan of Han China from "Andun", "king of Daqin" (Rome). As Antoninus Pius died in 161, leaving the empire to his adoptive son Marcus Aurelius (Antoninus), and the envoy arrived in 166, confusion remains about who sent the mission given that both Emperors were named 'Antoninus'. The Roman mission came from the south (therefore probably by sea), entering China by the frontier province of Jiaozhi at Rinan or Tonkin (present-day northern Vietnam). It brought presents of rhinoceros horns, ivory, and tortoise shell, probably acquired in Southern Asia. The text specifically states that it was the first time there had been direct contact between the two countries



According to the historian Eutropius, the Emperor Marcus Aurelius began his three year battle against the Marcomannic confederation at the fortress of Carnuntum in Pannonia. Eutropius compared the war, and Marcus Aurelius' success against the Marcomanni and their allies, to the Punic Wars. The comparison was apt in that this war marked a turning point and had significant Roman defeats; it caused the death of two Praetorian Guard commanders. The war until Marcus Aurelius' death in 180. It would prove to be only a limited success for Rome; the Danube river remained as the frontier of the Empire for its duration.

§Roman Empire

  • Dacia 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. On October 12, 166, Commodus was made Caesar together with his younger brother Marcus Annius Verus.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • King 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 Partisan Prohibitions, which ended in 184.

§Middle East


Cassius' army returned to the field in 166, crossing over the Tigris into Media.


Soter becomes pope until 175 CE or 174 CE

Soter is known for declaring that marriage was valid only as a sacrament blessed by a priest and he also formally inaugurated Easter as an annual festival in Rome.

Laurence succeeds Alypius as Patriarch of Constantinople.


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