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Domitian Becomes Emperor of Rome (81 CE) Options
Daemon
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Domitian Becomes Emperor of Rome (81 CE)

The son of Roman Emperor Vespasian, Domitian was second in line for the throne, yet he was only given positions of nominal importance prior to succeeding his older brother Titus, whom he most likely had killed. Though his laws were severe and increasingly despotic, his administration was ostensibly egalitarian, and he is said to have governed the empire well. Still, defeats in Britain and Germany undermined his leadership. About which of his physical traits was he reportedly extremely sensitive? More...
raghd muhi al-deen
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Domitian
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Related to Domitian: Trajan
For other people named Domitian, see Domitian (disambiguation).
Domitian
Domiziano da collezione albani, fine del I sec. dc. 02.JPG
Bust of Domitian, in the Musée du Louvre, Paris
11th Emperor of the Roman Empire
Reign 14 September 81 –
18 September 96
Predecessor Titus, brother
Successor Nerva
Born 24 October 51
Rome
Died 18 September 96 (aged 44)
Rome
Burial Rome
Wife

Domitia Longina (70–96)

Issue son (80–83)
Full name
Titus Flavius Domitianus
(from birth to 69);
Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus (from 69 to accession);
Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus Augustus (as emperor);
Imperator Caesar Domitianus Augustus Germanicus
(imperial name)[1]
Dynasty Flavian
Father Vespasian
Mother Domitilla

Domitian (/dəˈmɪʃən, -iən/; Latin: Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus Augustus;[2] 24 October 51 – 18 September 96) was Roman emperor from 81 to 96. He was the younger brother of Titus and son of Vespasian, his two predecessors on the throne, and the last member of the Flavian dynasty. During his reign, his authoritarian rule put him at sharp odds with the senate, whose powers he drastically curtailed.

After the death of his brother, Domitian was declared emperor by the Praetorian Guard. His 15-year reign was the longest since that of Tiberius.[3] As emperor, Domitian strengthened the economy by revaluing the Roman coinage, expanded the border defenses of the empire, and initiated a massive building program to restore the damaged city of Rome. Significant wars were fought in Britain, where his general Agricola attempted to conquer Caledonia (Scotland), and in Dacia, where Domitian was unable to procure a decisive victory against king Decebalus. Domitian's government exhibited totalitarian characteristics; he saw himself as the new Augustus, an enlightened despot destined to guide the Roman Empire into a new era of brilliance. Religious, military, and cultural propaganda fostered a cult of personality, and by nominating himself perpetual censor, he sought to control public and private morals. As a consequence, Domitian was popular with the people and army, but considered a tyrant by members of the Roman Senate.

Domitian's reign came to an end in 96 when he was assassinated by court officials. He was succeeded the same day by his advisor Nerva. After his death, Domitian's memory was condemned to oblivion by the Roman Senate, while senatorial authors such as Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, and Suetonius propagated the view of Domitian as a cruel and paranoid tyrant. Modern revisionists instead have characterized Domitian as a ruthless but efficient autocrat whose cultural, economic, and political programs provided the foundation of the peaceful second century.

Family and background
The Flavian family tree, indicating the descendants of Titus Flavius Petro and Tertulla.

Domitian was born in Rome on 24 October 51, the youngest son of Titus Flavius Vespasianus—commonly known as Vespasian—and Flavia Domitilla Major.[4] He had an older sister, Domitilla the Younger, and brother, also named Titus Flavius Vespasianus.[5]

Decades of civil war during the 1st century BC had contributed greatly to the demise of the old aristocracy of Rome, which a new Italian nobility gradually replaced in prominence during the early part of the 1st century.[6] One such family, the Flavians, or gens Flavia, rose from relative obscurity 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. His military career ended in disgrace when he fled the battlefield at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC.[4]

Nevertheless, 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.[7] Sabinus himself amassed further wealth and possible equestrian status through his services as tax collector in Asia and banker in Helvetia (modern Switzerland). 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 senatorial rank.[7]


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