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date: 25 March 2023


, Roman emperor


, Roman emperor
  • Brian Campbell


Domitian (Titus Flavius Domitianus), son of the emperor *Vespasian, was born on 24 October 51 ce, and remained in Rome during his father's campaign against A. *Vitellius. Surrounded on the Capitol with his uncle, *Flavius Sabinus, he managed to escape and on Vitellius' death was saluted as Caesar by the Flavian army, though the real power lay in the hands of C. *Licinius Mucianus until Vespasian's arrival. In 71 he participated in the triumph of Vespasian and *Titus, and between 70 and 80 held seven consulships, being twice ordinary consul (73 and 80). Although Domitian exercised no formal power, he was clearly part of the dynastic plan, and there is no convincing evidence that he was kept in the background or consumed by jealousy of his brother, whom he succeeded smoothly in 81.The literary sources, especially *Tacitus (1) and *Pliny (2) the Younger, represent a senatorial tradition hostile to Domitian.


  • Roman History and Historiography

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