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In addition to being a sensible ruler, Vespasian is also credited with being a humble and straightforward person.

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He was born on 17 November, AD 9 in the Sabine village of Falacrina, to a family of only local note, and it is said that his mother had to prod him into pursuing a senatorial career through sarcastic insults. He struggled early in his career, including losing his first election to the aedileship, and later, when he governed Africa under Claudius, his honourable decision not to enrich himself at the expense of the province forced him to mortgage his property to his brother and fund himself by going into business as a muleteer, a decidedly lowly occupation for a man who would one day rule the Roman Empire.

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Although his later career was somewhat more successful — consul in 51, and tasked under Nero with putting down the Jewish rebellion — his unremarkable career and background seems to have encouraged Vespasian not to take himself too seriously or let his ego get the better of him, even as emperor.

We are told that he was generally tolerant of criticism and jokes at his expense, choosing to respond in kind rather than attack the offender. Moreover, he avoided ordering the deaths of senators and giving in to rumours and fears of plots against him.

The exception to this rule was Helvidius Priscus, a high profile member of the so-called Stoic opposition, a group of nobles who followed the Stoic philosophy, held republican views and set their faces against the imperial system. Vespasian ruled for almost ten years, when he fell ill and died.

Vespasian had occupied the imperial throne for almost ten years, and at his death it passed to his eldest son Titus, thus establishing the Flavian dynasty. Indeed, Suetonius tells us that Vespasian declared to the senate that either his sons would succeed him or no one would. Posted in Denarius Roman. Post a comment.


Cancel reply. The legions in Judea followed in the wake of the Egyptian legions and also proclaimed him emperor. Vespasian decided to remain in Egypt for some time to prevent grain from being sent to Rome.

Gradually, all the army commanders and their legions went over to Vespasian; the last opposition was in Rome. However, the Praetorian guard which fought on the side of Vitellius was subdued, Vitellius was killed, and Vespasian was recognized as emperor by the Senate. In 69 he proceeded to Rome and began to bring order into the state which had been in a chaotic condition since the death of Nero.

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In 71 Vespasian arranged a magnificent triumph over conquered Judea and closed the doors of the temple to the god Janus as a sign that peace had returned to the state. The building of the temple of the god of peace, Pax, served the same purpose.