The Emperor Of The Flavian Dynasty

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Domitian was a Roman emperor from 81 to 96, and was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty. Domitian 's early career was spent in the shadow of his brother Titus. This continued under the rule of his father Vespasian, who became emperor in 69 following the civil war, which is known as the Year of the Four Emperors. While Titus held many offices under the rule of his father, Domitian received honors but no responsibilities. When Vespasian died in 79 he was succeeded by Titus, whose own reign came to an unexpected end when he was struck by a fatal illness in 81. The following day Domitian was declared Emperor by the Praetorian Guard, beginning his reign that lasted fifteen years. As Emperor, Domitian strengthened the economy by…show more content…
After Domitian died, the senate tried to erase all memory of his existence, while senatorial authors like Suetonius published histories making Domitian seem like a cruel tyrant. Modern history has rejected these views, instead characterizing Domitian as a ruthless but efficient autocrat whose cultural, economic and political program provided the foundation of the peaceful 2nd century. Early Life Domitian was born in Rome on October 24, 51, and was the youngest son of Titus Flavius Vespasianus, commonly known as Vespasian. He had an older sister, Domitilla the Younger, and brother, also named Titus Flavius Vespasianus. The Flavians rose to prominence in just four generations, acquiring wealth and status under the emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Domitian 's great-grandfather, Titus Flavius Petro, had served as a centurion under Pompey during Caesar 's civil war. However, his military career ended in disgrace when he fled the battlefield at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. Petro managed to improve his status by marrying the extremely wealthy Tertulla, whose fortune guaranteed the upwards mobility of Petro 's son Titus Flavius Sabinus I, Domitian 's grandfather. Sabinus gained further wealth and possible equestrian status through his services as tax collector in Asia and banker in Helvetia. By marrying Vespasia Polla he allied the Flavian family to the more prestigious gens Vespasia, ensuring the elevation of his sons Titus Flavius Sabinus II and Vespasian to
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