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The Flavian Emperors. The Roman Empire. Principal Roman Emperors. Year of the 4 Emperors AD 68- AD 69. Four men claimed the throne after Nero’s death Galba, Otho , Vitellius , Vespasian All generals Vespasian defeated the others and became emperor

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year of the 4 emperors ad 68 ad 69
Year of the 4 EmperorsAD 68- AD 69
  • Four men claimed the throne after Nero’s death
    • Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian
      • All generals
      • Vespasian defeated the others and became emperor
      • Vespasian founded the Flavian Dynasty
flavian emperors
Flavian Emperors
  • Called the “Flavians” after their family name (Flavius)
  • Father and two sons:
    • Vespasian (father)
    • Titus (older son)
    • Domitian (younger son)
  • Ruled 69 AD-79 AD
  • Lived from 9 AD-79 AD (69 years)
  • Birth name: Titus Flavius Vespasianus
  • His father was a tax collector
  • As emperor, he had many financial reforms

Most famous: tax on urine

  • Helped rebuild Rome after Nero’s bad rule
  • Personal life:
    • Married once: Domitilla
    • Two sons and one daughter
    • Wife and daughter died before he became emperor
    • Antonia Caenis: his “wife in all but name”
      • Freedwoman/secretary of Emp. Claudius’ mother
      • May have helped Vespasian advance in his early career
      • A senator and freedwoman could not legally marry
  • Remembered for:
    • Military campaign in Judea which led to the destruction of Jerusalem (by Titus)
    • Restoring the empire financially
    • Easy-going manner, dry wit
    • Very lenient toward opposition
    • Modern Italian word for public toilets: vespasiano (French: vespasienne) 
  • Died of illness on June 23, AD 79
  • Asked to be stood up before he died: “An emperor should die on his feet.”
  • Last words: “Vae, putodeusfio!”
  • “Oh, I think I’m becoming a god!”
  • Lived 39 AD-81 AD
  • Ruled AD 79-AD 81
  • Had an excellent military career in Germany and Britain
  • Best remembered for destroying Jerusalem and the Jewish temple during the Jewish Revolt in AD 70
  • First emperor to succeed his own father to the throne
  • Major events during his reign:
    • Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79
    • He made 2 trips to the damaged area and coordinated relief efforts, including donating personal money
    • Dedication of Colosseum in AD 80
    • Fire and plague in Rome in AD 80
  • Personal Life:
    • Married twice: first wife died, divorced second wife
    • Had at least one daughter who survived to adulthood, perhaps more daughters
    • Carried on a very public love affair with Queen Bereniceof Judea before becoming emperor
  • As emperor, said to be generous and enjoyed doing at least one “good deed” every day
  • Died suddenly of illness on Sept. 13, 81 AD
  • Final words: “I have made but one mistake.”
  • Lived from AD 51- AD 96
  • Ruled from AD 81-AD 96
  • Youngest child of emperor Vespasian
  • Held mostly ceremonial positions during the reigns of his father and brother
  • Remembered for:
    • Dedicating the Arch of Titus
    • Strengthening the economy
    • Expanding the Empire’s border defenses
    • Was somewhat ruthless as an emperor, but highly effective
    • Liked by the people and the army; hated by the Senate
  • Personal life: married once
  • DomitiaLongina(c. AD 53- c. AD 130)
  • Domitian persuaded her current husband to divorce her so they could marry in AD 71
  • They had one son, who died as a child
  • Assassinated on Sept. 18, AD 96 by court officials
  • The Senate decreed him damnatiomemoriae: condemnation of the memory
    • All references to Domitian were to be erased from public buildings, etc.
    • His widow, however, still referred to herself as “wife of Domitian” 25 years 