Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.
Flavius Domitianus was an effective emperor who spent much of his time in the provinces preserving order. Despite his effectiveness, he was extremely unpopular with the senatorial class at Rome. He appointed persons from the lower classes to positions of authority. When asked to prohibit execution of senators without a trial by peers he declined, thus dispelling the old illusions of republican government and exposing the true autocracy of his rule. Domitian 's reign was marred by paranoia and cruelty in his latter years and he executed many Senators. In 96 A.D. he was stabbed to death in a plot, allegedly involving his own wife Domitia.
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DOMITIANUS (Flavius), the younger of the two sons of Vespasian, by Flavia Domitilla, was born at Rome, the 24th of October, in the year U. C. 804 (A.D. 51), when his father was consul designatus, and about entering upon office in the following month. This was the first consulate of Vespasian, still a private citizen; and it was a consulatus suffectus, held during the two last months of the above named year. Vespasian, having been proclaimed imperator by the legions of the east, Domitian, who was left at Rome, finding himself exposed to the vengeance of the partizans of Vitellius, took refuge in the capitol, with his uncle Sabinus, at the end of December. And, after that building had been besieged and set fire to, eventually made his escape, disguised as a priest of Isis, his hiding-place being sought for in every other direction. (Suctonius, chap. i. Tacitus Hist. iv.)—Vitellius having been put to death, about the 20th of December, 822 (A.D. 69), Domitian issued from his retreat, and was hailed as Caesar by the army. The choice of the soldiers wsa confirmed by the Senate, who, in addition, decreed to Domitian the pretorship of the city, and the consular dignity. In January, 823 (A.D. 70), he entered upon the government of the city, and discharged its functions in an unprincipled manner, distributing capriciously the public offices; insomuch as to cause the absent Vespasian to express his surprise, that his son did not send out some one to supersede himself. He set out with Muchianus against the Galli, Batavi, and Germani, who were in revolt; but, hearing by the way that success had attended the operations of Petilius Cerealis, he stopped at Lugdunum (Lyon). Same year, he married Domitia Longina, whom he took away by force from her husband AEmilianus.
824 (A. D. 71).—This year, consul suffectus, and afterwards consul designatus for the second time, he assisted at the triumph of his father and brother, for the capture of Jerusalem—an object of notice on that occasion from being mounted on a white horse.
MINTAGES OF DOMITIAN
"The medals of this emperor (as Capt. Smyth observes), are abundant and cheap, and are prized according to their preservation, and the degree of interest attached to their reverses.—Many of them were struck in the life-time of his father."—With the exception of medallions in gold, silver, and brass, and some reverses, in each metal, of the usual size, all are common. On these he is styled IMPerator CAESAR DOMITIANVS GERManicus AVGusti Filius (viz. the son of Vespasian) Pater Patriae. On a silver coin, struck A.D. 69, when Vespasian was reigning, and Titus and Domitian were both only Caesars, we see the respective bare heads of the two brothers facing each other, as in token of that fraternal concord which the latter never sincerely manifested a desire to maintain.—Other denarii, for a like purpose, exhibit them both seated on a curule chair, holding olive branches, and with the legend TITVS ET DOMITianus CAESares PRINcipes IVVENtutis. (Morell, Impp. Roman. TAB. vii. figs. 17 & 18).