|Centuries:||2nd century – 3rd century – 4th century|
|Decades:||250s 260s 270s – 280s – 290s 300s 310s|
|Years:||281 282 283 – 284 – 285 286 287|
- The Bagaudae, a group of peasants, revolt in Gaul against the Roman Empire. The Dardani, a region in Illyria, becomes a Roman province.
- Emperor Numerian travels through Bithynia (Asia Minor). He is murdered on his way home to Rome.
- November 20 – Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus, age 39, is made emperor.
- Sabinus Julianus, Roman usurper against Emperor Carinus, revolts in Pannonia. He attacks northern Italy and makes himself emperor.
- Winter – Diocletianus moves with his army across the Balkans.
- Patriarch Rufinus I succeeds Patriarch Dometius as Patriarch of Constantinople.