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Flavian Dynasty (69-96 AD) 

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Vespasian (69–79 AD)

Titus Flāvius Vespasianus rose to power during the civil war of 69 AD, the year of the Four Emperors.   Specifically, he became the fourth of these Emperors when he defeated Vitellius.  The Senate acclaimed him as Augustus on 21st December 69 AD, although he dated his his tribunician years from 1 July of that year, the date on which he had been acclaimed by his army.

His son, Titus continued his campaign to suppress the Jewish rebellion of 66 AD and  famously executed the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

Vespasian helped rebuild Rome after the civil war: he built the Templum Pacis (Temple of Peace); rebuilt the Temple of Divus Claudius, which Nero had destroyed; and he began the construction of the amphitheatre that  is now known as the Colosseum.

He died of natural causes in 79 AD, insistent that his sons should succeed him.  His deification seems to have been delayed by some six months after his death.  Consecration coins issued by Titus (RIC II, Part 1 (second edition) Titus 257 - 9 and 517) are dated to 80/1 AD.

Titus (79–81 AD)

Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus was the first Roman Emperor to succeed his natural father.  His short reign  was plagued by disasters that included the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, soon followed by plague and fire in Rome.

Cassius Dio recorded described the consequences of the fire of 80 AD, which:

  1. “... spread over very large sections of Rome while Titus was absent in Campania attending to the catastrophe that had befallen that region.  It consumed:

  2. the temple of Serapis;

  3. the temple of Isis;

  4. the Saepta;

  5. the temple of Neptune;

  6. the Baths of Agrippa;

  7. the Pantheon;

  8. the Diribitorium;

  9. the theatre of Balbus;

  10. the stage building of Pompey's theatre;

  11. the Octavian buildings together with their books; and

  12. the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus;

  13. with their surrounding temples.  Hence the disaster seemed to be not of human but of divine origin; for anyone can estimate, from the list of buildings that I have given, how many others must have been destroyed”, (Roman History’, 66: 24).

Domitian (81–96 AD)

Titus Flavius Domitianus conspicuously lacked his brother’s military prowess. 

His first act as Emperor was the deification of Titus and the completion the Arch of Titus.

To further commemorate the military triumphs of the Flavian family, he ordered the construction of the Templum Divorum and the Templum Fortuna Redux.

He also deified his infant son and his niece, Julia Flavia, this creating the first dynastic imperial cult.

He erected a dynastic mausoleum (the Templum Gentis Flaviae) on the site of Vespasian's former house on the Quirinal,and completed the Temple of Vespasian and Titus dedicated to his deified father and brother.

He undertook a massive programme of public works, much of it after the fire of 80 AD.  According to the so-called ‘Chronica Minora’ (4th century AD):

  1. “Domitian ruled 17 years, 5 months and 5 days.  He gave a largess of 75 denarii.  While he was ruling many public works were carried out:

  2. 7 palaces;

  3. the pepper warehouses (where now is the Constantinian Basilica) and the Vespasian grain warehouses;

  4. the temple of Castor and Minerva;

  5. the Capena gate;

  6. the temple of the Flavian gens [above];

  7. the temple of the gods [Pantheon];

  8. the temple of Isis and Serapis;

  9. the temple of Minerva of Chalcis;

  10. the Odeum;

  11. the Minuciam veterem;

  12. the stadium;

  13. the baths of Titus;

  14. the amphitheatre [now called the Colosseum], up to the roof [above];

  15. the temple of Vespasian and Titus [above];

  16. the Capitol;

  17. the Senate;

  18. 4 schools; and

  19. the two turning posts. 

  20. He was killed in the palace”.

Flavian rule came to an end on September 18, 96 AD, when Domitian was assassinated and subjected to damnatio memoriae.

Flavian Dynasty (69-96 AD):  Main Page    Domitian's Temples to Jupiter    
Flavian Dynasty: Haterii Temple/ Temple of Jupiter Stator       Literary Sources

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