|Millennium:||1st millennium BC|
|171 BC by topic|
Year 171 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Crassus and Longinus (or, less frequently, year 583 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 171 BC 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.
- Epirus joins Macedonia in the latter's fight against Rome. However, the Greek leagues remain neutral.
- Thanks to the efforts of Eumenes II of Pergamum while in Rome, the Romans declare war on Macedonia and send troops to Thessaly, thus beginning the Third Macedonian War. In the resulting Battle of Callicinus the Macedonians, led by their king, Perseus, are victorious over a Roman force led by consul Publius Licinius Crassus.
- The first Roman colony outside Italy is founded at Carteia in southern Hispania after Iberian-born descendants of Roman soldiers appear before the Roman Senate to request a town to live in and are given Carteia, which is named Colonia Libertinorum Carteia.
- Lucius Postumius Albinus is sent by Rome as an ambassador to King Masinissa of Numidia, and to the Carthaginians in order to raise troops for the war against Perseus of Macedonia.