|Centuries:||2nd century – 3rd century – 4th century|
|Decades:||200s 210s 220s – 230s – 240s 250s 260s|
|Years:||235 236 237 – 238 – 239 240 241|
|238 by topic|
|State leaders – Sovereign states|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births – Deaths|
|Establishment and disestablishment categories|
|Establishments – Disestablishments|
|Ab urbe condita||991|
|Chinese calendar||丁巳年 (Fire Snake)
2934 or 2874
— to —
戊午年 (Earth Horse)
2935 or 2875
|Coptic calendar||−46 – −45|
|- Vikram Samvat||294–295|
|- Shaka Samvat||160–161|
|- Kali Yuga||3339–3340|
|Iranian calendar||384 BP – 383 BP|
|Islamic calendar||396 BH – 395 BH|
|Minguo calendar||1674 before ROC
|Seleucid era||549/550 AG|
|Thai solar calendar||780–781|
Year 238 (CCXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Pius and Pontianus (or, less frequently, year 991 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 238 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.
- Emperor Maximinus Thrax campaigns against the Carpians on the Danube in Moesia (Balkans). In spite of the payment of a tribute, the Romans fail to persuade the Goths and the Germanic tribes.
- March 22 – Roman subjects in Africa revolt against Maximinus and elect Marcus Antonius Gordianus (Africanus) as emperor. He is a rich descendant of the Gracchi and the late emperor Trajan. Gordianus yields to public demand that he succeed Maximinus and rules jointly with his 46-year-old son Gordian II.
- April 12 – Battle of Carthage: Numidian forces loyal to Maximinus invade Africa with support of Legio III Augusta. Gordian II is killed and after a siege of 36 days, Gordian I commits suicide by hanging himself with his belt.
- April 22 – Year of the Six Emperors: The Senate outlaws Maximinus for his bloodthirsty proscriptions in Ancient Rome and nominates two of its members, Pupienus and Balbinus, to the throne.
- Maximinus advances to the town Aquileia in northern Italy, his army suffers from famine and disease, while the city is besieged. Soldiers of Legio II Parthica killed him in his tent, along with his son Maximinus (who is appointed co-emperor). Their corpses are decapitated and their heads carried to Rome.
- July 29 – The Praetorian Guard stormed the palace and capture Pupienus and Balbinus. They are dragged naked through the streets of Rome and executed. On the same day Gordian III, age 13, is proclaimed new emperor. Timesitheus becomes his tutor and advisor.
- Future Roman Emperor Valerian becomes princeps senatus.
- The Colosseum is restored after being damaged.
- The Goths, coming from Ukraine, cross the Danube and devastate the Roman Empire up to the border with Anatolia.
- In North Africa, Legio III Augusta, is dissolved. Until its reconstitution in 253, Africa is defended by auxiliary forces only.
- The Cao Wei general Sima Yi destroys the outlying northeastern Chinese warlord Gongsun Yuan in his Liaodong campaign.
- The silver content of the Roman denarius falls to 28 percent under emperor Gordianus III, down from 35 percent under Alexander Severus.
- Empress Yang Yan, first wife of Emperor Wu (d. 274)
- Wen Yang, general of the Kingdom of Wei (d. 291)
- April 12 – Roman emperors Gordian I (suicide; b. c. 159) and Gordian II (killed in battle; b. c. 192)
- June 24 – Maximinus Thrax, Roman Emperor
- Maximinus the Younger, Roman Emperor
- July 29 – Pupienus and Balbinus, Roman Emperors
- Gongsun Yuan, warlord of Liaodong
- Lun Zhi, general of Liaodong
- Jia Fan, advisor Liaodong