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|Centuries:||8th century – 9th century – 10th century|
|Decades:||820s 830s 840s – 850s – 860s 870s 880s|
|Years:||850 851 852 853 854 855 856 857 858 859|
|Births – Deaths – By country
Establishments – Disestablishments
This is a list of events occurring in the 850s, ordered by year.
- Louis II is crowned co-emperor with his father Lothair I.
- First recorded Viking attack on the Welsh coast.
- Vikings of Rorik conquer Utrecht and keep the city for 70 years. The bishop of Utrecht takes refuge in Deventer.
- Vikings plunder London and Canterbury.
- Charles the Bald, Louis the German and Lothar meet in Meersen.
- Garcia Iñiguez succeeds his father Iñigo Arista as king of Navarra.
- August 22 – Battle of Jengland. Erispoe, king of Brittany and son of Nominoe, defeats the Franc king Charles the Bald in Jengland-Beslé near Grand-Fougeray in Brittany. This is considered as the birth of the Breton state.
- September – Treaty of Angers. Charles the Bald acknowledges Erispoë as king of Brittany. He lets him have the County of Nantes, the County of Rennes and the County of Retz which become part of the Breton nation. The King of Brittany takes the oath to the King of France (but not an hommage lige which would be an allegiance). To mark the sovereignty of the Breton state, the Dukes of Brittany are since then crowned as "Duke, king in their lands".
- Oldest known mention of the Andaman Islands.
- Bagrat II Bagratuni, "Prince of Princes" of Arminiya, is captured by the Abbasid Caliphate and taken to Samarra.
- The Arab merchant Suleiman al-Tajir visits Tang Dynasty China, observing the manufacturing of Chinese porcelain at Guangzhou and writes of his admiration for its transparent quality. He also describes the mosque at Guangzhou, its granaries, its local government administration, some of its written records, and the treatment of travellers, along with the use of ceramics, rice-wine, and tea.
- Saint Swithun becomes Bishop of Winchester, England.
- Boris I Michael succeeds the duumvirate of Malamir and Presian as monarch of Bulgaria.
- Duke Trpimir I, successor to prince Mislav and founder of the Trpimirović dynasty issues the first exactly dated state document of all Slavonic peoples. In this Latin document duke Trpimir refers to himself as the duke of the Croats (dux Chroatorum) and to his country as the state of the Croats (regnum Chroatorum).
- Charles the Bald, Louis the German and Lothar meet at Attigny.
- Horik II succeeds Horik I as king of Denmark.
- Cyngen of Powys makes the first known pilgrimage to Rome of a Welsh ruler.
- Viking chieftain Ubba winters in Milford Haven with 23 ships.
- First written record of Novgorod.
- Louis II succeeds Lothar as Western Emperor. Two other sons, Lothar II and Charles, also get parts of the kingdom.
- The Slavic alphabet is created by Saints Cyril and Methodius.
- Edmund becomes king of East Anglia.
- September 29 – Pope Benedict III succeeds Pope Leo IV as the 104th pope.
- Anastasius is made anti-pope by Lothair.
- Æthelwulf of Wessex grants churches in the kingdom of Wessex the right to receive tithes.
- Ethelbald usurps the throne of Wessex from his father Ethelwulf.
- Ordoño I of Asturias is said to have begun the repopulation of the town of León.
- Bardas becomes regent for the Byzantine Emperor Michael III.
- November – An earthquake in Corinth, Greece, kills an estimated 45,000.
- Michael III of Byzantium, under the influence of his uncle Bardas, banishes his mother Theodora. Bardas becomes the most powerful person in the empire.
- Louis the German invades West Francia, hoping to secure Aquitaine from his brother Charles the Bald, but fails.
- Invading Vikings set fire to the earliest church on the site of Chartres Cathedral.
- Donald I succeeds the throne of Scotland.
- Emperor Seiwa ascends the throne of Japan.
- An enormous flood along the Grand Canal of China inundates large tracts of the North China Plain, killing tens of thousands of people and adding to the further decline of the Tang Dynasty.
- April 24 – Pope Nicholas I succeeds Pope Benedict III as the 105th pope.
- Patriarch Ignatius is imprisoned and (December 25) deposed to be succeeded by Patriarch Photius I.
- January 15 – Battle of Saint-Quentin, Aisne: Humfrid defeats Louis the German.
- Iberian peninsula: Battle of Abelda: the Asturians defeat the Muslims.. The same year, Viking raiders attack the region and burn the mosques of Sevilla and Algesiras, they also sack the western coasts of Spain (known as al-Sharq al-Andalus) and the Balearic Islands.
- The Russian city of Novgorod is first mentioned in the chronicles.
- The University of Al Karaouine is founded in Fes, Morocco (recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest university in the world).
- Charles the Bald
- Louis the German
- Ethelwulf of Wessex
- Kenneth I of Scotland
- Halfdan the Black
- Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi