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{{short description|Ninth Emperor of Ancient Rome, founder of the Flavian dynasty}}{{Other uses}}

| death_place = | issue = Titus Domitilla the YoungerDomitian | full name = Titus Flavius Vespasianus| regnal name = Imperator Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus| father = Titus Flavius Sabinus I| mother = Vespasia Polla| spouse 1 = Domitilla the Elder (died before 69)| spouse 2 = Caenis (mistress and de facto wife c. 65–74)Flavian dynasty>Flavian| burial_place= Rome}}Vespasian ({{IPAc-en|v|ɛ|ˈ|s|p|eɪ|ʒ|(|i|)|ə|n|,_|-|z|i|ə|n}}; ;Classical Latin spelling and reconstructed Classical Latin pronunciation:
{{sqc|TITVS FLÁVIVS CAESAR VESPASIÁNVS AVGVSTVS}} {{IPA-la|ˈtɪtʊs ˈflaːwɪ.ʊs ˈkae̯sar wɛspasɪˈaːnʊs au̯ˈɡʊstʊs|IPA}}. 17 November 9 – 24 June 79 AD)Levick, Vespasian, xxi & 4 was Roman emperor from 69–79, the fourth, and last, in the Year of the Four Emperors. He founded the Flavian dynasty that ruled the Empire for 27 years.
Vespasian was the first emperor who hailed from an equestrian family, and only rose into the senatorial rank as the first member of his family later in his lifetime. Vespasian's renown came from his military success; he was legate of Legio II Augusta during the Roman invasion of Britain in 43Levick, Vespasian, 16. and subjugated Judaea during the Jewish rebellion of 66.Levick, Vespasian, 29–38.While Vespasian besieged Jerusalem during the Jewish rebellion, emperor Nero committed suicide and plunged Rome into a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. After Galba and Otho perished in quick succession, Vitellius became emperor in April 69. The Roman legions of Roman Egypt and Judaea reacted by declaring Vespasian, their commander, emperor on 1 July 69.Levick, Vespasian, 43. In his bid for imperial power, Vespasian joined forces with Mucianus, the governor of Syria, and Primus, a general in Pannonia, leaving his son Titus to command the besieging forces at Jerusalem. Primus and Mucianus led the Flavian forces against Vitellius, while Vespasian took control of Egypt. On 20 December 69, Vitellius was defeated, and the following day Vespasian was declared emperor by the Senate.ODCW, Vespasian (2007).Little information survives about the government during Vespasian's ten-year rule. He reformed the financial system of Rome after the campaign against Judaea ended successfully, and initiated several ambitious construction projects, including the building of the Flavian Amphitheatre, better known today as the Roman Colosseum. Through his general Agricola, Vespasian increased imperial expansion in Britain. After his death in 79, he was succeeded by his eldest son Titus, thus becoming the first Roman emperor to be directly succeeded by his own natural son and establishing the Flavian dynasty.


Vespasian was born in a village north-east of Rome called Falacrinae.Suetonius, Vesp. 2 His family was relatively undistinguished and lacking in pedigree. His paternal grandfather, Titus Flavius Petro, became the first to distinguish himself, rising to the rank of centurion and fighting at Pharsalus for Pompey in 48 BC. Subsequently, he became a debt collector.Morgan (2006), 170–3Petro's son, Titus Flavius Sabinus, worked as a customs official in the province of Asia and became a moneylender on a small scale among the Helvetii. He gained a reputation as a scrupulous and honest "tax-farmer". Sabinus married up in status, to Vespasia Polla, whose father had risen to the rank of prefect of the camp and whose brother became a Senator.Sabinus and Vespasia had three children, the eldest of whom, a girl, died in infancy. The elder boy, Titus Flavius Sabinus, entered public life and pursued the cursus honorum. He served in the army as a military tribune in Thrace in 36. The following year he was elected quaestor and served in Creta et Cyrenaica. He rose through the ranks of Roman public office, being elected aedile on his second attempt in 39 and praetor on his first attempt in 40, taking the opportunity to ingratiate himself with the Emperor Caligula.The younger boy, Vespasian, seemed far less likely to be successful, initially not wishing to pursue high public office. He followed in his brother's footsteps when driven to it by his mother's taunting. During this period he married Flavia Domitilla, the daughter of Flavius Liberalis from Ferentium and formerly the mistress of Statilius Capella, a Roman equestrian from Sabratha in Africa.Suetonius, Vesp. 3They had two sons, Titus Flavius Vespasianus (born 39) and Titus Flavius Domitianus (born 51), and a daughter, Domitilla (born c. 45). His wife Domitilla and his daughter Domitilla both died before Vespasian became Emperor in 69. After the death of his wife, Vespasian's longstanding mistress, Antonia Caenis, became his wife in all but formal status, a relationship that continued until she died in 75.

Military and political career

{{more citations needed|date=February 2011}}File:NAF-21013 f191 Vespasien marchant contre les Juifs.jpg|thumb|Vespasian leading his forces against the Jewish revolt, a miniature in a 1470 illuminated manuscript version of the history of JosephusJosephus

Early career

In preparation for a praetorship, Vespasian needed two periods of service in the minor magistracies, one military and the other public. Vespasian served in the military in Thracia for about three years. On his return to Rome in about 30 AD, he obtained a post in the vigintivirate, the minor magistracies, most probably in one of the posts in charge of street cleaning.Levick, Vespasian. His early performance was so unsuccessful that Emperor Caligula reportedly stuffed handfuls of muck down his toga to correct the uncleaned Roman streets, formally his responsibility.During the period of the ascendancy of Sejanus, there is no record of Vespasian's significant activity in political events. After completion of a term in the vigintivirate, Vespasian was entitled to stand for election as quaestor; a senatorial office. But his lack of political or family influence meant that Vespasian served as quaestor in one of the provincial posts in Crete, rather than as assistant to important men in Rome.Next he needed to gain a praetorship, carrying the Imperium, but non-patricians and the less well-connected had to serve in at least one intermediary post as an aedile or tribune. Vespasian failed at his first attempt to gain an aedileship but was successful in his second attempt, becoming an aedile in 38. Despite his lack of significant family connections or success in office, he achieved praetorship in either 39 or 40, at the youngest age permitted (30), during a period of political upheaval in the organisation of elections. His longstanding relationship with freedwoman Antonia Caenis, confidential secretary to Antonia Minor (the Emperor's grandmother) and part of the circle of courtiers and servants around the Emperor, may have contributed to his success.

Invasion of Britannia (43)

Upon the accession of Claudius as emperor in 41, Vespasian was appointed legate of Legio II Augusta, stationed in Germania, thanks to the influence of the Imperial freedman Narcissus. In 43, Vespasian and the II Augusta participated in the Roman invasion of Britain, and he distinguished himself under the overall command of Aulus Plautius. After participating in crucial early battles on the rivers Medway and Thames, he was sent to reduce the south west, penetrating through the modern counties of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall with the probable objectives of securing the south coast ports and harbours along with the tin mines of Cornwall and the silver and lead mines of Somerset.Vespasian marched from Noviomagus Reginorum (Chichester) to subdue the hostile Durotriges and Dumnonii tribes,A History of Britain, Richard Dargie (2007), p. 20 captured twenty oppida (towns, or more probably hill forts, including Hod Hill and Maiden Castle in Dorset). He also invaded Vectis (now the Isle of Wight), finally setting up a fortress and legionary headquarters at Isca Dumnoniorum (Exeter). During this time he injured himself and had not fully recovered until he went to Egypt. These successes earned him triumphal regalia (ornamenta triumphalia) on his return to Rome.

Later political career (51–66)

File:The Emperor sends Vespasian with an army to destroy the Jews (f. 177v) Cropped.jpg|thumb|upright|Roman Emperor NeroNeroHis success as the legate of a legion earned him a consulship in 51, after which he retired from public life, having incurred the enmity of Claudius' wife, Agrippina. He came out of retirement in 63 when he was sent as governor to Africa Province. According to Tacitus (ii.97), his rule was "infamous and odious" but according to Suetonius (Vesp. 4), he was "upright and, highly honorable". On one occasion, Suetonius writes, Vespasian was pelted with turnips.Vespasian used his time in North Africa wisely. Usually, governorships were seen by ex-consuls as opportunities to extort huge amounts of money to regain the wealth they had spent on their previous political campaigns. Corruption was so rife that it was almost expected that a governor would come back from these appointments with his pockets full. However, Vespasian used his time in North Africa making friends instead of money, something that would be far more valuable in the years to come. During his time in North Africa, he found himself in financial difficulties and was forced to mortgage his estates to his brother. To revive his fortunes he turned to the mule trade and gained the nickname mulio (muleteer).Suetonius, Vesp. 4–5Returning from Africa, Vespasian toured Greece in Nero's retinue, but lost Imperial favor after paying insufficient attention (some sources suggest he fell asleep) during one of the Emperor's recitals on the lyre, and found himself in the political wilderness.

Great Jewish Revolt (66–69)

File:Sestertius - Vespasiano - Iudaea Capta-RIC 0424.jpg|thumb|300px|Vespasian sestertius, struck in 71 to celebrate the victory in the first Jewish-Roman war. Obverse: IMP. CAES. VESPASIAN AVG. P. M., TR. P., P. P., COS. III. The legend on the reverse says: IVDEA CAPTA, "Judaea conquered" - S. C.]]In 66 AD, Vespasian was appointed to suppress the Jewish revolt underway in Judea. The fighting there had killed the previous governor and routed Cestius Gallus, the governor of Syria, when he tried to restore order. Two legions, with eight cavalry squadrons and ten auxiliary cohorts, were therefore dispatched under the command of Vespasian while his elder son, Titus, arrived from Alexandria with another.During this time he became the patron of Flavius Josephus, a Jewish resistance leader captured at the Siege of Yodfat, who would later write his people's history in Greek. Ultimately, thousands of Jews were killed and the Romans destroyed many towns in re-establishing control over Judea; they also took Jerusalem in 70. Vespasian is remembered by Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews, as a fair and humane official, in contrast with the notorious Herod Agrippa II whom Josephus goes to great lengths to demonize.While under the emperor's patronage, Josephus wrote that after the Roman Legio X Fretensis, accompanied by Vespasian, destroyed Jericho on 21 June 68, Vespasian took a group of Jews who could not swim (possibly Essenes from Qumran), fettered them, and threw them into the Dead Sea to test the sea's legendary buoyancy. Indeed, the captives bobbed up to the surface after being thrown in the water from the boats.Josephus (as well as Tacitus), reporting on the conclusion of the Jewish war, reported a prophecy that around the time when Jerusalem and the Second Temple would be taken, a man from their own nation, viz. the Messiah, would become governor “of the habitable earth”. Josephus interpreted the prophecy to denote Vespasian and his appointment as emperor in Judea.Josephus, War of the Jews 6.5.4Tacitus, Histories 5.13

Year of the Four Emperors (69)

{{more citations needed|date=February 2011}}{{Year of Four Emperors}}After the death of Nero in 68, Rome saw a succession of short-lived emperors and a year of civil wars. Galba was murdered by supporters of Otho, who was defeated by Vitellius. Otho's supporters, looking for another candidate to support, settled on Vespasian.According to Suetonius, a prophecy ubiquitous in the Eastern provinces claimed that from Judaea would come the future rulers of the world. Vespasian eventually believed that this prophecy applied to him, and found a number of omens, oracles, and portents that reinforced this belief.Cassius Dio Roman History LXV.1File:Roman Empire 69.svg|thumb|Map of the Roman Empire during the Year of the Four Emperors (69). Blue areas indicate provinces loyal to Vespasian and Gaius Licinius Mucianus. {{Dubious|Incorrect map|date=December 2011|reason=Incorrect, see discussion on (:commons:File talk:Roman Empire 69.svg#Dacia? Moesia?|image talk page)}}]]He also found encouragement in Mucianus, the governor of Syria; and, although Vespasian was a strict disciplinarian and reformer of abuses, Vespasian's soldiers were thoroughly devoted to him. All eyes in the East were now upon him. Mucianus and the Syrian legions were eager to support him. While he was at Caesarea, he was proclaimed emperor (1 July 69), first by the army in Egypt under Tiberius Julius Alexander, and then by his troops in Judaea (11 July according to Suetonius, 3 July according to Tacitus).Nevertheless, Vitellius, the occupant of the throne, had Rome's best troops on his side — the veteran legions of Gaul and the Rhineland. But the feeling in Vespasian's favour quickly gathered strength, and the armies of Moesia, Pannonia, and Illyricum soon declared for him, and made him the de facto master of half of the Roman world.While Vespasian himself was in Egypt securing its grain supply, his troops entered Italy from the northeast under the leadership of Marcus Antonius Primus. They defeated Vitellius' army (which had awaited him in Mevania) at Bedriacum (or Betriacum), sacked Cremona and advanced on Rome. Vitellius hastily arranged a peace with Antonius, but the Emperor's Praetorian Guard forced him to retain his seat. After furious fighting, Antonius' army entered Rome. In the resulting confusion, the Capitol was destroyed by fire and Vespasian's brother Sabinus was killed by a mob.On receiving the tidings of his rival's defeat and death at Alexandria, the new emperor at once forwarded supplies of urgently-needed grain to Rome, along with an edict assuring he would reverse the laws of Nero, especially those relating to treason. While in Egypt, he visited the Temple of Serapis where he reportedly experienced a vision. Later, he was confronted by two labourers, who were convinced that he possessed a divine power that could work miracles.

Emperor (69–79)

Aftermath of the civil war

Vespasian was declared emperor by the Senate while he was in Egypt on 21 December 69; the Egyptians had declared him emperor in June. In the short-term, administration of the empire was given to Mucianus who was aided by Vespasian's son, Domitian. Mucianus started off Vespasian's rule with tax reform that was to restore the empire's finances. After Vespasian arrived in Rome in mid-70, Mucianus continued to press Vespasian to collect as many taxes as possible.Cassius Dio, Roman History, LXV.2Vespasian and Mucianus renewed old taxes and instituted new ones, increased the tribute of the provinces, and kept a watchful eye upon the treasury officials. The Latin proverb "Pecunia non olet" ("Money does not stink") may have been created when he had introduced a urine tax on public toilets.Before Vespasian, this tax was imposed by Emperor Nero under the name of “vectigal urinae” in the 1st century AD. However the tax was removed after a while, it was re-enacted by Vespasian around 70 AD in order to fill the treasury.WEB,weblink Feeling Overtaxed? The Romans Would Tax Your Urine, 2016-04-14, National Geographic News, 2019-03-04, WEB,weblink Money Does Not Stink: The Urine Tax of Ancient Rome, Hill, Bryan, Ancient Origins, en, 2019-03-04, Vespasian's policy was not well received by his son. Writing about Vespasian in their history books, Dio Cassius and Suetonius mentioned “When [Vespasian's] son Titus blamed him for even laying a tax upon urine, he applied to his nose a piece of the money he received in the first installment, and asked him if it stunk. And he replying no, 'And yet,' said he, 'it is derived from urine”. Since then, this phrase "Money does not stink” has been used to whitewash dubious or illegal origin of money.WEB,weblink The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, by C. Suetonius Tranquillus;,, 2019-03-04, WEB,weblink Dion Cassius: Histoire Romaine : livre LXVIII (bilingue),, 2019-03-04, WEB,weblink At Least You Don’t Pay Urine Tax… (1st C AD) - Ancient History Blog, en-US, 2019-03-04, WEB,weblink ItalianNotebook - Vespasian's Legacy,, en-US, 2019-03-04, WEB,weblink The Romans created a tax on urine, HeritageDaily, 2016-05-04, HeritageDaily - Archaeology News, en-US, 2019-03-04, In early 70 Vespasian was still in Egypt, the source of Rome's grain supply, and had not yet left for Rome. According to Tacitus, his trip was delayed due to bad weather.Tacitus, Histories IV Modern historians theorize that Vespasian had been and was continuing to consolidate support from the Egyptians before departing.Sullivan, Phillip, "A Note on Flavian Accession", The Classical Journal, 1953, p. 67-70 Stories of a divine Vespasian healing people circulated in Egypt.Cassius Dio, Roman History LXV.8-9 During this period, protests erupted in Alexandria over his new tax policies and grain shipments were held up. Vespasian eventually restored order and grain shipments to Rome resumed.In addition to the uprising in Egypt, unrest and civil war continued in the rest of the empire in 70. Judea had been rebelling since 66. Vespasian's son, Titus, finally subdued the rebellion with the capture of Jerusalem and destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70. According to Eusebius, Vespasian then ordered all descendants of the royal line of David to be hunted down, causing the Jews to be persecuted from province to province. Several modern historians have suggested that Vespasian, already having been told by Josephus that he was prophesied to become emperor whilst in Judaea, was probably reacting to other widely known Messianic prophecies circulating at the time, to suppress any rival claimants arising from that dynasty.e.g., Paul Barnett, Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity p. 31; 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, "JEWS".In January of the same year, an uprising occurred in Gaul and Germany, known as the second Batavian Rebellion. This rebellion was headed by Gaius Julius Civilis and Julius Sabinus. Sabinus, claiming he was descended from Julius Caesar, declared himself Emperor of Gaul. The rebellion defeated and absorbed two Roman legions before it was suppressed by Vespasian's brother-in-law, Quintus Petillius Cerialis, by the end of 70.

Arrival in Rome and gathering support

In mid-70, Vespasian first came to Rome, dating his tribunician years from 1 July 69. Vespasian immediately embarked on a series of efforts to stay in power and prevent future revolts. He offered gifts to many in the military and much of the public.Cassius Dio, Roman History LXVI.10 Soldiers loyal to Vitellius were dismissed or punished.Suetonius, Vesp. 8 Vespasian also restructured the Senatorial and Equestrian orders, removing his enemies and adding his allies.Suetonius, The Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Vespasian 9 Regional autonomy of Greek provinces was repealed.Suetonius, Vesp. 8; Philostratus II, Life of Apollonius 5.41 Additionally, Vespasian made significant attempts to control public perception of his rule.

Propaganda campaign

File:Vespasian aureus Fortuna.png|thumb|Roman aureus depicting Vespasian as Emperor. The reverse shows the goddess (Fortuna]]. Caption: IMP. CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG. / FORTVNA AVG.)We know from Suetonius that the "unexpected and still quite new emperor was lacking auctoritas [] and a certain maiestas []".Suet., Vesp. 7.2. Many modern historians note the increased amount of propaganda that appeared during Vespasian's reign.M. P. Charleswroth, "Flaviana", Journal of Roman Studies 27 (1938) 54–62 Stories of a supernatural emperor who was destined to rule circulated in the empire. Nearly one-third of all coins minted in Rome under Vespasian celebrated military victory or peace.Jones, William "Some Thoughts on the Propaganda of Vespasian and Domitian", The Classical Journal, p. 251 The word vindex was removed from coins so as not to remind the public of rebellious Vindex. Construction projects bore inscriptions praising Vespasian and condemning previous emperors.Aqueduct and roads dedication speak of previous emperors' neglect, CIL vi, 1257(ILS 218) and 931 A temple of peacewas constructed in the forum as well. Vespasian approved histories written under his reign, ensuring biases against him were removed.Josephus, Against Apion 9Vespasian also gave financial rewards to writers.Suetonius, Vesp. 18 The ancient historians who lived through the period such as Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus and Pliny the Elder{{cn|reason=I wouldn't be surprised to see this claim, but Pliny doesn't appear to be mentioned in the cited source.|date=May 2019}} speak suspiciously well of Vespasian while condemning the emperors who came before him."Otho, Vitellius, and the Propaganda of Vespasian", The Classical Journal (1965), p. 267-269 Tacitus admits that his status was elevated by Vespasian, Josephus identifies Vespasian as a patron and savior, and Pliny dedicated his Natural Histories to Vespasian's son, Titus.Tacitus, Histories I.1; Josephus, The Life of Flavius Josephus 72; Pliny the Elder, Natural Histories, preface.Those who spoke against Vespasian were punished. A number of Stoic philosophers were accused of corrupting students with inappropriate teachings and were expelled from Rome.Cassius Dio, Roman History LXVI.12 Helvidius Priscus, a pro-Republic philosopher, was executed for his teachings.Cassius Dio, Roman History LXVI.13 Numerous other philosophers and writers have had their works seized, destroyed and denounced for being deemed too critical of Vespasian's reign, some even posthumously.

Construction and conspiracies

File:Pompeii Temple of Vespasian altar close-up.jpg|thumb|Relief depicting an animal sacrifice, from an altar of the Temple of Vespasianus in PompeiiPompeiiBetween 71 and 79, much of Vespasian's reign is a mystery. Historians report that Vespasian ordered the construction of several buildings in Rome. Additionally, he survived several conspiracies against him.Vespasian helped rebuild Rome after the civil war. He added the temple of Peace and the temple to the Deified Claudius. In 75, he erected a colossal statue of Apollo, begun under Nero, and he dedicated a stage of the theater of Marcellus. He also began construction of the Colosseum, using funds from the spoils of the Jewish Temple after the Siege of Jerusalem.JOURNAL, ALFÖLDY, GÉZA, Eine Bauinschrift Aus Dem Colosseum, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 1995, 109, 195–226, Suetonius claims that Vespasian was met with "constant conspiracies" against him.Suetonius, Vesp. 25 Only one conspiracy is known specifically, though. In 78 or 79, Eprius Marcellus and Aulus Caecina Alienus attempted to kill Vespasian. Why these men turned against Vespasian is not known.

Roman expansion in Britain (78–79)

In 78, Agricola was sent to Britain, and both extended and consolidated the Roman dominion in that province, pushing his way into what is now Scotland.

Death (79)

In his ninth consulship Vespasian had a slight illness in Campania and, returning at once to Rome, he left for Aquae Cutiliae and the country around Reate, where he spent every summer; however, his illness worsened and he developed severe diarrhea.Feeling death coming on, he reportedly called out "Vae, puto deus fio." ("Dear me, I think I'm becoming a god").Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 23:4 Then, according to Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars:{{bq|text=In his ninth consulship he had a slight illness in Campania, and returning at once to the city, he left for Cutiliaeº and the country about Reate, where he spent the summer every year. There, in addition to an increase in his illness, having contracted a bowel complaint by too free use of the cold waters, he nevertheless continued to perform his duties as emperor, even receiving embassies as he lay in bed. Taken on a sudden with such an attack of diarrhoea that he all but swooned, he said: "An emperor ought to die standing," and while he was struggling to get on his feet, he died in the arms of those who tried to help him, on the ninth day before the Kalends of July, at the age of sixty-nine years, seven months and seven days..| author=Suetonius| title=Lives of the Twelve Caesars| source="Life of Vespasian" §24WEB,weblink C. Suetonius Tranquillus, Divus Vespasianus, chapter 24,, 29 September 2017, }} He was succeeded by his son Titus.


File:Colosseum in Rome, Italy - April 2007.jpg|thumb|Construction of the Flavian Amphitheatre, better known as the ColosseumColosseum{{Refimprove section|date=April 2016}}Vespasian was known for his wit and his amiable manner alongside his commanding personality and military prowess. He could be liberal to impoverished Senators and equestrians and to cities and towns desolated by natural calamity. He was especially generous to men of letters and rhetors, several of whom he pensioned with salaries of as much as 1,000 gold pieces a year. Quintilian is said to have been the first public teacher who enjoyed this imperial favor. Pliny the Elder's work, the Natural History, was written during Vespasian's reign, and dedicated to Vespasian's son Titus.Plin., HN pref.Vespasian distrusted philosophers in general. It was the talk of philosophers, who liked to glorify the Republic, that provoked Vespasian into reviving the obsolete penal laws against this profession as a precautionary measure. Only one, Helvidius Priscus, was put to death after he had repeatedly affronted the Emperor by studied insults which Vespasian had initially tried to ignore.Suetonius, Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Vespasian 15 The philosopher Demetrius was banished to an island and when Vespasian heard Demetrius was still criticizing him, he sent the exiled philosopher the message: "You are doing everything to force me to kill you, but I do not slay a barking dog."Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book XVI, 13According to Suetonius, Vespasian "bore the frank language of his friends, the quips of pleaders, and the impudence of the philosophers with the greatest patience". Although Licinius Mucianus, a man of questionable reputation as being the receiver in homosexual sex, treated the Emperor with scant respect, Vespasian never criticised him publicly but privately uttered the words: "I, at least, am a man."Suetonius, Vesp. 13 He was also noted for his benefactions to the people. Much money was spent on public works and the restoration and beautification of Rome: the Temple of Peace, {{Citation needed span|a new forum, the public baths|date=October 2015}} and the great show piece, the Colosseum.Gunderson 2003: 640Vespasian debased the denarius during his reign, reducing the silver purity from 93.5% to 90% – the silver weight dropping from 2.97 grams to 2.87 grams.WEB,weblink Archived copy, 4 December 2018,weblink" title="">weblink 1 November 2008, dead, dmy-all, In modern Romance languages, urinals are still named after him (for example, vespasiano in Italian, and vespasienne in FrenchWEB,weblink Plus de 3 M$ pour une douzaine de " vespasiennes " modernes, Zone Politique -,,, 29 September 2017, ), probably in reference to a tax he placed on urine collection (useful due to its ammoniac content; see Pay toilet).


File:Head of Vespasianus in Palazzo Massimo (Rome).jpg|Portrait bust of Vespasian wearing the civic crown, Palazzo Massimo, RomeFile:Vespasian, from Ostia, 69-79 CE, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome (13643233603).jpg|Portrait bust of Vespasian from Ostia, 69–79 AD, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, RomeFile:Vespasianus03 pushkin.jpg|Bust of Vespasian, Pushkin Museum, MoscowFile:Vespasiano, 80 dc ca, s.n..JPG|Bust of Vespasian, c. 80 AD, Farnese Collection, Naples National Archaeological Museum

See also






  • {{EB1911|wstitle=Vespasian|volume=27}}


Primary sources

Secondary sources
  • Lissner, I. (1958). "Power and Folly: The Story of the Caesars". Jonathan Cape Ltd., London.
  • Courtney, H. (1999). Vespasian (Roman Imperial Biographies), Routledge. {{ISBN|0-415-16618-7}} (hbk). {{ISBN|0-415-33866-2}} (pbk.).
  • BOOK, 170–173, 69 A. D. The Year of the Four Emperors, Morgan, G., OUP, 2006, London, 9780195124682, registration,weblink
  • BOOK, Vespasian (Roman Imperial Biographies), Levick, B., 1999, Routledge, Oxford, 978-0-415-16618-8,
  • Roberts, J. (ed.) (2007). 'Vespasian' in Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World (e-reference edition). Oxford University Press

Further reading

External links

  • {{Commons category inline|Vespasianus|Vespasian}}

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