Year 537 (DXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Second year after the Consulship of Belisarius (or, less frequently, year 1290 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 537 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.

Millennium: 1st millennium
537 in various calendars
Gregorian calendar537
Ab urbe condita1290
Assyrian calendar5287
Balinese saka calendar458–459
Bengali calendar−56
Berber calendar1487
Buddhist calendar1081
Burmese calendar−101
Byzantine calendar6045–6046
Chinese calendar丙辰(Fire Dragon)
3233 or 3173
    — to —
丁巳年 (Fire Snake)
3234 or 3174
Coptic calendar253–254
Discordian calendar1703
Ethiopian calendar529–530
Hebrew calendar4297–4298
Hindu calendars
 - Vikram Samvat593–594
 - Shaka Samvat458–459
 - Kali Yuga3637–3638
Holocene calendar10537
Iranian calendar85 BP – 84 BP
Islamic calendar88 BH – 87 BH
Javanese calendar424–425
Julian calendar537
Korean calendar2870
Minguo calendar1375 before ROC
Nanakshahi calendar−931
Seleucid era848/849 AG
Thai solar calendar1079–1080
Tibetan calendar阳火龙年
(male Fire-Dragon)
663 or 282 or −490
    — to —
(female Fire-Snake)
664 or 283 or −489
The combat of King Arthur and Mordred


By placeEdit

Byzantine EmpireEdit

  • March 2Siege of Rome: The Ostrogothic army (45,000 men) under King Vitiges begins the siege of the city. Belisarius conducts a delaying action outside the Flaminian Gate; he and a detachment of his bucellarii are almost cut off.[1]
  • Vitiges sets up seven camps, overlooking the main gates and access routes to the city, in order to starve it out. He blocks the Roman aqueducts that are supplying Rome with water, necessary both for drinking and for operating the corn mills.[2]
  • March 21 – Vitiges attempts to assault the northern and eastern city walls with four siege towers, but is repulsed at the Praenestine Gate, known as the Vivarium, by the defenders under the Byzantine generals Bessas and Peranius.[3]
  • April – The Goths capture the Portus Claudii at Ostia; the harbor is left unguarded by the Romans. Belisarius is forced to unload his supplies at Antium (modern Anzio); he sends urgent messages for reinforcements to Constantinople.[4]
  • April 9 – Belisarius receives his promised reinforcements: 1,600 cavalry, mostly of Hunnic or Slavic origin and expert bowmen. He starts, despite shortages, raids against the Gothic camps and Vitiges is forced into a stalemate.[5]
  • June – In Rome, famine brings the city to despair; Belisarius sends his secretary Procopius to Naples for more reinforcements and supplies. Vitiges arranges a three-month armistice for Gothic envoys to travel to Constantinople.[6]
  • November – Belisarius brings his long-awaited reinforcements, namely 3,000 Isaurians and 1,800 cavalry embarked in Ostia, along with a supply convoy, safely to Rome. The Goths are forced to abandon the Portus Claudii.[7]
  • December – Belisarius sends John "the Sanguinary" with a force of 2,000 men towards Picenum, to plunder the east coast of Italy. He arrives at Ariminum (Rimini), where he is welcomed by the local Roman population.[8]
  • December 27 – The construction of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (begun in 532) is completed.




  • Eastern Wei sends an advance guard of three army columns through the Tong Pass, to attack Western Wei. The Western army under Yu-Wen Tai defeats one of the columns while the others retreat. Yu-Wen follows up, but runs into the main Eastern army (200,000 men). The Westerners are pushed back through the pass, and the Eastern army emerges from the mountains. Unexpectedly they are charged in the flank by 10,000 Western cavalry, and 6,000 Easterners are killed and 70,000 captured.[10]
  • John Cottistis starts a short-lived rebellion against Justinian I. He is declared emperor at Dara, but is killed four days later by conspiring soldiers.[11]


By topicEdit


  • The Aqua Virgo aqueduct is destroyed by the Goths; they try to use the underground channel as a secret route to invade Rome.[12]





Notes and referencesEdit


  1. ^ Famine is described as "AI537.1, Failure of bread" in the Annals of Inisfallen.[13]


  1. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XIX, p. 182–183
  2. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XIX, p. 185
  3. ^ Procopius, De Bello Gothico I.XXIII
  4. ^ Procopius, De Bello Gothico I.XXVII
  5. ^ Bury (1923), Ch. XIX, p. 188
  6. ^ Procopius, De Bello Gothico II.VI
  7. ^ Procopius, De Bello Gothico II.V
  8. ^ Procopius, De Bello Gothico, II.VII
  9. ^ Bury 1958, pp. 144–145
  10. ^ Imperial Chinese Armies (p. 42). C.J. Peers, 1995. ISBN 978-1-85532-514-2
  11. ^ Martindale, Jones & Morris 1992, pp. 639–640
  12. ^ Procopius, De Bello Gothico II.IX
  13. ^ Mac Airt 2000–2008, pp. AI537.1.

Secondary sourcesEdit