AD 79 was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Titus and Vespasianus. The denomination AD 79 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.
- Vespasianus Augustus and Titus Caesar Vespasianus become Roman Consuls.
- June 23 - Emperor Vespasian dies of fever from diarrhea; his last words on his deathbed are: "I think I'm turning into a god." Titus succeeds his father as Roman emperor. Titus' Jewish mistress, Berenice, comes to join him in Rome, but he exiles her to please the Senate.
- August 25 - Eruption of Mount Vesuvius: Mount Vesuvius erupts, destroying Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae, and Oplontis. The Roman navy commanded by Pliny the Elder – evacuates refugees. Pliny dies after inhaling volcanic fumes.
- Roman conquest of Britain: Gnaeus Julius Agricola campaigns in Britain:
- * Chester is founded as a castrum or Roman fort with the name Deva Victrix. The fortress is built by Legio II Adiutrix and contains barracks, granaries, military baths and headquarters.
- * Mamucium is founded as a frontier fort and settlement in the North West of England, a distance to the north of Chester.
- * Agricola enters Caledonia but is resisted by the natives.
- A commission of scholars canonizes the text of works of Confucius and his school.
- He of Han, Chinese emperor
- Ma Rong, Chinese poet and politician
- Titus Flavius Agrippa, Roman Jewish aristocrat
- June 23 - Vespasian, Roman emperor
- August 16 - Ma, Chinese empress of the Han Dynasty
- August 25 - Caesius Bassus, Roman poet
- August 25 - Drusilla, daughter of Herod
- August 25 - Pliny the Elder, Roman writer and scientist
- Apollinaris of Ravenna, Syrian bishop and martyr
- Aulus Caecina Alienus, Roman general and politician
- Drusilla, Greek princess of Mauretania
- Tiberius Claudius Balbilus, Roman politician and astrologer
- Titus Clodius Eprius Marcellus, Roman politician