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Titus Flavius Vespasianus

Emperor / Military Leader

Born: 30 December 39
Died: 13 September 81
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Best known as:

Roman emperor, 79-81 A.D.

Titus Flavius Vespasianus led the siege that razed Jerusalem in 70 A.D., then went on to succeed his father Vespasian as Roman emperor. Titus was the eldest son of Vespasian, who ruled as emperor from 69-79. Titus spent his early career on military campaigns in Britain and Germany, but he became a Roman hero after he destroyed Jerusalem and put down the Jewish revolt. He returned to Rome in 71 and his father made it clear Titus would be the next ruler of a Flavian dynasty. Titus became emperor after the death of Vespasian, but ruled for just two years. It was an eventful reign. Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79, and the next year pestilence and a three-day fire had Rome in a shambles. By contemporary accounts, Titus responded swiftly and was generous to the disaster victims. The Colosseum was also completed during Titus's reign, and he built baths in the city and hosted large public spectacles. He was succeeded by his younger brother, Domitian, and though there have been rumors that Domitian somehow did away with Titus, most historians agree Titus probably died of natural causes.

Extra credit:

While putting down the revolt in Judaea, Titus began a relationship with the Jewish princess Berenice, the sister of Herod Agrippa II. She followed Titus to Rome in 75, but having a Jewish girlfriend was a political liability and she was sent packing when Titus became emperor.

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