previous next

Titus Flavius Sabīnus Vespasiānus

A Roman emperor, A.D. 79-81, commonly called by his praenomen Titus. He was the son of the emperor Vespasianus and his wife Flavia Domitilla. He was born on the 30th of December, A.D. 40. When a young man, he served as military tribune in Britain and in Germany with great credit. After having been quaestor, he had the command of a legion, and served under his father in the Jewish Wars. Vespasian returned to Italy, after he had been proclaimed emperor on the first of July, A.D. 69; but Titus remained in Palestine to prosecute the siege of Jerusalem, during which he showed the talents of a general with the daring of a soldier. The siege of Jerusalem was concluded by the capture of the place on the 8th of September, 70. Titus returned to Italy in the following year (A.D. 71), and triumphed at Rome with his father. He also received the title of Caesar, and became the associate of Vespasian in the government. His conduct at this time gave no good promise, and his attach

Titus. (Bust in the British Museum.)

ment to Berenicé, the sister of Agrippa II., also made him unpopular; but he sent her away from Rome after he became emperor. Titus succeeded his father in 79, and his government proved an agreeable surprise to those who had anticipated a return of the times of Nero. During his whole reign Titus displayed a sincere desire for the happiness of the people, and he did all that he could to relieve them in times of distress. He assumed the office of Pontifex Maximus after the death of his father, and with the purpose, as he declared, of keeping his hands free from blood, a resolution which he kept. The first year of his reign is memorable for the great eruption of Vesuvius, which desolated a large part of the adjacent country, and buried with lava and ashes the towns of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Titus endeavoured to repair the ravages of this great eruption; and he was also at great care and expense in repairing the damage done by a great fire at Rome, which lasted three days and nights. He completed the Colosseum, and erected the baths which were called by his name. He died on the 13th of September, A.D. 81, after a reign of two years, two months, and twenty days. He was in the 41st year of his age; and there were suspicions that he was poisoned by his brother, Domitian. See Stange, De Titi Vita (1870); and Beulé, Tite et sa Dynastie (1872).

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: