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This article is about the year 856. For the number, see 856 (number).
|Centuries:||8th century – 9th century – 10th century|
|Decades:||820s 830s 840s – 850s – 860s 870s 880s|
|Years:||853 854 855 – 856 – 857 858 859|
|856 by topic|
|State leaders – Sovereign states|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births – Deaths|
|Establishment and disestablishment categories|
|Establishments – Disestablishments|
|Ab urbe condita||1609|
|Chinese calendar||乙亥年 (Wood Pig)
3552 or 3492
— to —
丙子年 (Fire Rat)
3553 or 3493
|- Vikram Samvat||912–913|
|- Shaka Samvat||777–778|
|- Kali Yuga||3956–3957|
|Japanese calendar||Saikō 3
|Minguo calendar||1056 before ROC
|Seleucid era||1167/1168 AG|
|Thai solar calendar||1398–1399|
- March 15 – Emperor Michael III overthrows the regency of his mother Theodora with support of the Byzantine nobility. He appoints his uncle Bardas as the de facto regent and co-ruler of the Byzantine Empire.
- King Charles the Bald cedes the county of Maine to Erispoe, ruler (duke) of Brittany—this in return for an alliance against the Vikings.
- King Ordoño I of Asturias is said to have begun the repopulation of the town of León in the northwest of Spain (approximate date).
- October 1 – King Æthelwulf of Wessex marries the 12- or 13-year-old Judith, daughter of Charles the Bald, at Verberie (Northern France). She is crowned queen and anointed by Hincmar, archbishop of Reims. The marriage is a diplomatic alliance between Wessex and the West Frankish Kingdom.
- Winter – Æthelwulf returns to Wessex to face a revolt by his eldest son Æthelbald, who usurps the throne. Æthelwulf agrees the give up the western part of his kingdom in order to avoid a civil war. He keeps control over Sussex, Surrey, Essex and Kent, over which prince Æthelberht has presided.
- November – An earthquake in Corinth (modern Greece) killing estimated 45,000 people (approximate date).
- December 22 – Another earthquake strikes Damghan (modern Iran) killing estimated 200,000 people.
- January 7 – Aldric, bishop of Le Mans
- February 4 – Rabanus Maurus, archbishop of Mainz
- August 16 – Theutbald I, bishop of Langres
- Ali ibn Ismail, Muslim 7th Imam (b. 752)
- Florinus of Remüs, Frankish priest and martyr
- Fujiwara no Nagara, Japanese statesman (b. 802)
- Godfrid Haraldsson, Viking chieftain (approximate date)
- Guerin, Frankish nobleman (or 845)
- Ilyas ibn Asad, Muslim emir (approximate date)
- Muhammad I Abu 'l-Abbas, Muslim emir