Domitian

Reece Period attributed: Period 4

Obverse image of a coin of Domitian

Member of the The Flavians dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from 81 until 96.

Titus Flavius Domitianus was born in AD 51 and spent a poverty-stricken youth in Rome. He laid low during the war with Vitellius and enjoyed an appointment as city praetor when his family emerged victorious. He planned an unnecessary expedition into Gaul to try to win popularity and honour on par with his brother Titus, and engaged in affairs with many women.

When Titus died, Domitian did little to honour his memory and instead turned to providing extravagant entertainment in the amphitheatre and Circus. He sought to improve public morals and took his duties of justice very seriously, but was also cruel and cunning towards rivals and enemies. His high-handed behaviour led his friends, freedmen, and wife to conspire for his murder, and he died at the hands of a servant in September of AD 96.

Suetonius describes Domitian as tall and well-made, with large weak eyes and a modest expression. He was very self-conscious of being bald.

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Record: WMID-1FDBA8
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A copper alloy sestertius of Domitian (AD
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Record: SWYOR-7DCF37
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A copper alloy Roman coin; an as of Domiti…
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Record: BERK-E2F789
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A Broken half of a silver denarius of Domi…
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Record: DEV-FD9239
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A Roman silver denarius of Domitian (AD 81…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

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Information from Wikipedia

  • Preferred label: Domitian
  • Full names:
    • (imperial name)
    • Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus (from 69 to accession);
    • Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus Augustus (as emperor);
    • Titus Flavius Domitianus
    • Imperator Caesar Domitianus Augustus Germanicus
    • (from birth to 69);
    • Domitian
  • Title: Consul of the Roman Empire
  • Predecessor: Titus
  • Successor: Nerva
  • Definition: Domitian (/dəˈmɪʃən, -iən/; Latin: Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus Augustus; 24 October 51 – 18 September 96) was Roman emperor from 81 to 96. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty. Domitian's youth and early career were largely spent in the shadow of his brother Titus, who gained military renown during the First Jewish–Roman War. This situation continued under the rule of his father Vespasian, who became emperor in 69 following the civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. While Titus held a great many offices under the rule of his father, Domitian was left with honours but no responsibilities. Vespasian died in 79 and was succeeded by Titus, whose own reign came to an unexpected end when he was struck by a fatal illness in 81. The following day Domitian was declared Emperor by the Praetorian Guard, commencing a reign that lasted fifteen years – longer than any man who had ruled since Tiberius. 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. The same day he was succeeded 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 have instead characterized Domitian as a ruthless but efficient autocrat whose cultural, economic and political program provided the foundation of the peaceful 2nd century.
  • Parents:
  • Birth place: Rome
  • Death place:
  • Spouse:
  • Other title(s):
    • Consul of the Roman Empire
    • List of Roman Emperors
  • Came After:
    • Came before:
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