|Centuries:||5th century – 6th century – 7th century|
|Decades:||490s 500s 510s – 520s – 530s 540s 550s|
|Years:||518 519 520 – 521 – 522 523 524|
|521 by topic|
|State leaders – Sovereign states|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births – Deaths|
|Establishment and disestablishment categories|
|Establishments – Disestablishments|
|Ab urbe condita||1274|
|Chinese calendar||庚子年 (Metal Rat)
3217 or 3157
— to —
辛丑年 (Metal Ox)
3218 or 3158
|- Vikram Samvat||577–578|
|- Shaka Samvat||442–443|
|- Kali Yuga||3621–3622|
|Iranian calendar||101 BP – 100 BP|
|Islamic calendar||104 BH – 103 BH|
|Minguo calendar||1391 before ROC
|Seleucid era||832/833 AG|
|Thai solar calendar||1063–1064|
Year 521 (DXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Sabbatius and Valerius (or, less frequently, year 1274 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 521 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.
- Future Byzantine emperor Justinian, age 39, is appointed consul. He later becomes Commander-in-chief of the army of the East.
- Ma`adikarib Ya`fur becomes king, supported by the Aksumites, he begins a military campaign against the Arabian tribes.
- February 22 – Samson of Dol is ordained as bishop in Brittany on the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter.
- Ecclesius becomes a bishop of Ravenna.
- Agericus, bishop of Verdun (approximate date)
- December 7 – Columba, Gaelic Irish missionary monk (d. 597)
- Gao Cheng, high official and regent of Eastern Wei (d. 549)
- November 29 – Jacob of Serugh, Syrian poet and theologian
- July 17 – Magnus Felix Ennodius, bishop and Latin poet