Flavians - Roman Emperors - Flavian Dynasty
Welcome to Quatr.us Study Guides!

Flavians

stone head of a fat white man
Vespasian

October 2016 - Vespasian finally left West Asia and sailed to Rome in the spring of 70 AD, when it was safe to travel on the Mediterranean, after the winter storms were over. Vespasian turned out to be a pretty good emperor, though he was always more interested in the army than anything else, and he favored the army stationed in West Asia, that he had commanded. Vespasian was popular because he lived very simply, and didn't throw big parties or spend a lot of money like the Julio-Claudian emperors. So the empire had a lot of money in the treasury. Vespasian was emperor for ten years, until he died in bed in 79 AD. When he died, he is supposed to have said "Oh my God, I think I'm becoming a god!"

stone head of a white man
Titus

When Vespasian died, his older son Titus took over. Everyone was happy to avoid another civil war. Almost immediately Titus had to deal with the volcanic eruption that buried Pompeii. Soon Titus ran into some trouble with the Senate because he fell in love with a Jewish woman named Berenice, who was a princess in West Asia, but not Roman. Titus also crushed a Jewish revolt in Israel and destroyed the big Jewish temple in Jerusalem, which he reminded Romans about with a big stone triumphal arch. Still he is mostly remembered as a good emperor. He died young, in 81 AD, after ruling less than three years.

bronze head of a young man
Domitian

Titus had no sons, so Titus' younger brother Domitian became emperor. He built a huge palace as a headquarters for all the business of the Roman Empire and made government more efficient. But Domitian had always felt that his father, Vespasian, liked Titus better, and this feeling made him angry and mean. He even tried to organize revolts against Titus when Titus was emperor. As emperor, Domitian was convinced that everyone was plotting to kill him, and he had many senators and other people killed because he suspected them. He also may have persecuted some early Christians. He also made people call him "Lord and God" (Dominus et Deus). In the end people couldn't stand this sort of behavior, and he was really assassinated in 96 AD. (This story has something in common with the story of the Athenian tyrant Hippias, doesn't it?)

Learn by doing: Build an arch
More about the First Jewish Revolt
More about Domitian's palace
The Five Good Emperors

Bibliography and further reading about the Flavians:

Classical Rome, by John Clare (1993). For kids, the whole political history from beginning to end.

The Romans: From Village to Empire, by Mary Boatwright, Daniel Gargola, and Richard Talbert (2004). Okay, it's a little dry, but it is up to date and has all the facts you could want.

The Roman Empire, by Colin Wells (1984). More readable. Alternates chapters on political and social history. Unfortunately, he stops at the third century crisis.

Vespasian, by Barbara Levick (1999). The only biography of Vespasian in English. Mainly for academics.

The Emperor Domitian, by Brian Jones (1992). Makes Domitian seem like not such a bad guy. Jones also has written a biography of Titus, but it's out of print.

Suetonius: The Flavian Emperors : A Historical Commentary, by Brian Jones and Robert Milns (2003). Academic commentary on the Roman historian Suetonius' account of these emperors.

The Five Good Emperors
More Roman history
Ancient Rome
Quatr.us home


Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Check out our new ebook: Short and Simple: Ancient Greek Myths! - just out! Twenty-five easy to read, illustrated stories, from Pandora to Medea, Icarus, and the Trojan Horse (you can read these online as samples). Get it this week for just $14.99, five dollars off the regular price of $19.99.
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Quatr.us Study Guides
  • Publisher: Quatr.us
  • Date Published:
Did you find what you needed? Ask your teacher to link to this page so other people can use it too! Send it in and win a Quatr.us "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article
Quatr.us is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Quatr.us Study Guides, . Web. 24 October, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT