Year 181 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Cethegus and Tamphilus (or, less frequently, year 573 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 181 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Dominicalendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Pharnaces I of Pontus decides to attack both Eumenes II of Pergamum and Ariarathes IV of Cappadocia and therefore invades Galatia with a large force. Eumenes leads an army to oppose him, however, hostilities are soon suspended following the arrival of Roman deputies, who have been appointed by the Roman Senate to inquire into the matters in dispute. Negotiations take place at Pergamum but are inconclusive, with Pharnaces' demands being rejected by the Romans as unreasonable. As a consequence, the war between Pontus and Pergamum and Cappadocia is renewed.