The Flavians

Restoring stability to the empire and aggrandizing an obscure family

Final Phases of the First Jewish War
Vespasian, after his proclamation as emperor, left Titus in charge of the campaign when he left for Egypt Assisted by three competent legionary commanders (one of which was the father of the future emperor Trajan), Titus continued the siege of Jerusalem Jerusalem, divided into three factions, fell when the final fortifications were pierced
Josephus claims that “a Roman soldier” cast a torch into the Temple, exculpating Titus


31. Flavians (combined)


–31. Flavians (combined)


–11/30/2007 Vespasian. 73 and 78 Sons also hold consulship repeatedly (see more below) 11/30/2007 31. Flavians (combined) –2 . 5–6) Inscription preserves much of the text of Vespasian’s enabling law Senate resolution and comitial vote conferred all the formal powers of Augustus Repeated precedents: Augustus. Flavians (combined) 3 Establishing Legitimacy Propaganda Disseminated signs and prophecies Libertas Restituta coin types Joint Jewish triumph with Titus “incubates” in temple of Isis outside the walls Temple of Peace Echoed the Ara Pacis Highlighted the benefits and products of peace Consulships and nobility Had only been consul once prior to accession Holds it every year of his reign except A. first to be consuls Patronized and advanced by the Julio-Claudians Titus a schoolmate of Nero Regularized imperial style Imp. 69 11/30/2007 31.D. Flavians (combined) 4 –31. other interim emperors of A. Tiberius. 69–79 Ignoble background Flavii came from Reate Vespasian and his brother Sabinus first in Senate.D.D. A. Caesar Vespasianus Augustus Titulature mimicked that of Augustus Added only his name to distinguish lex de imperio Vespasiani (packet. Claudius Ignores Gaius and Nero.

D.D. prayer and acts of loving kindness replaced sacrifice 11/30/2007 31. and being excused from public business on the Sabbath—continued Towards Rabbinic Judaism Yohanan ben Zakai. appointed commander of the legion now garrisoning Judea and governor of the reconstituted province began a siege of Masada in A. Flavians (combined) –3 . Flavians (combined) 6 –31. were allowed top continue unimpeded Privileges granted by Julius Caesa —such as exemption from military service. a Jewish sage had been sneaked out of the siege of Jerusalem in a coffin to negotiate with Vespasian Flavians allowed him to establish a rabbinic academy at Jamnia After the fall of Jerusalem and the disbanding of the old Sanhedrin. a group of zealots fled to the fortress and reinforced it. sans the Temple. 73. but its site became a legionary camp Previously five auxiliary cohorts and a cavalry wing had inadequately garrisoned the province The “Jewish Tax” The annual payments that Jewish males used to make to support the Temple where collected and diverted to rebuilding and maintaining the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill in Rome Jewish religious practice. Flavians (combined) 5 Siege of Masada The Herodian fortress of Masada was captured by rebels expelled the Roman garrison in A. 66 When Jerusalem fell in A. building massive earthworks and a ramp up to the fortress When the fortress was about to be taken in A.D.–11/30/2007 Jews under the Flavians Jerusalem was not rebuilt. the zealots committed suicide rather than be captured 11/30/2007 31. 70.D.g. holding it for another three years Flavius Silva. rights of assembly (in synagogue).. this academy made binding rulings on Jewish law—e. 72.

such as inter praetorios or inter consulares) Stoic opposition Senators use philosophical reasons as an excuse for opposing Flavians “on principle” 11/30/2007 31. Flavians (combined) 8 –31. Flavian Amphitheater 11/30/2007 31. had intermarried with the aristocracy. Flavians (combined) –4 . Domitian six during Vespasian’s reign Titus always held the ordinary consulship. temple of divine Flavians. marking him as junior Titus began to receive all necessary powers Received grants of tribunicia potestas and imperium maius Served as his father’s praetorian prefect.–11/30/2007 Vespasian’s Policies Equestrian administration expanded Army Reforms Rebellions in Gaul and Germany (Civilis’ Revolt) forced a policy of posting auxiliary forces away from where they were recruited Legionary recruitment extended to Gaul and Spain Large army groupings—potential threats—divided (see below) Provincial and Border Policies New provinces of Upper and Lower Germany (formerly attached to Belgica) Rhine border rounded off (Agri Decumates) Military roads and frontier (limes) Syrian forces decreased. providing too many potential rivals Building Program Temple of Peace. Flavians (combined) 7 Establishing a Dynasty Renewed emphasis on the imperial house Titus and Domitian receive title princeps iuventitus “foremost of the youth” was a title Augustus had given his intended heirs Gaius and Lucius Caesar Consulships Titus holds seven consulships. new legionary commands in Cappadocia and Judea Municipal Policy Citizenship liberally applied to elites in Gaul and Spain Censorship allows enrollment of new senators Careers jumpstarted through adlection (senators added at higher ranks. usually with Vespasian Domitian usually held the suffect consulship. despite appearances. the first senator to do so Policy of close Flavian endogamy Julio-Claudians.

–11/30/2007 Flavian Dynasty Arch of Titus –31. Flavians (combined) –5 .

particularly paintings and statues were displayed Many of these may have come from the Domus Aurea Products of the empire. were showcased Included a great public library. Bibliotheca Pacis Ruins of the Flavian Amphitheater or “Colosseum” c. A. 72-80 –31. such as cinnamon and other spices.D.D. 75 Built with the spoils of the Judean War No longer survives.–11/30/2007 Temple of Peace (Forum Pacis) Begun in A. known from the so-called Severan Map or “Marble Plan” and literary references Meant to illustrate the benefits of peace Compare with Augustus’ Ara Pacis Works of great Greek artists. 71. Flavians (combined) –6 .D. dedicated in A.

Doric. remaining walls Models of the Flavian Amphitheater Each level sports a different order of column: Lower level. Corinthian. –31.–11/30/2007 Flavian Amphitheater. Ionic. Note awning poles at the top: a large tent sheltered spectators from the sun. middle level. Flavians (combined) –7 . third level.

” Imp. . sister/wife of Herod Agrippa II Vespasian’s enforcer A surprising transformation “the darling of mankind” Perhaps the result of his short reign and the contrast with his brother’s that followed Actually witnessed a series of disasters Plague Vesuvius eruption Preservation of Pompeii Fire at Rome 11/30/2007 31.D. note passageways and substructures that were under the arena floor Titus. . Titus Caesar Vespasianus Augustus Early reputation was mixed Playboy image Affair with Berenice.–11/30/2007 Interior of the Flavian Amphitheater today. Flavians (combined) 16 –31. A. Flavians (combined) –8 . 79-81 Vespasian’s death “I think that I am becoming a god .

Flavians (combined) –9 . Flavians (combined) 17 Palace of Domitian: a return to Neronian luxury? 11/30/2007 31. 81–96 Imp.–11/30/2007 Domitian.D. Agri Decumates. A. father-in-law of Tacitus His “jealousy” of successful commanders Tac. Agricola 41–42 (see Mellor2. flattery of Martial Mistreated the Senate Also like Tiberius. like that of Tiberius Kleinreich versus Großreich Small verses large empire Modified Augustan frontier policy Rounded off borders. slight advance into Scotland System of limes (fortified frontier road and line of forts) perfected Increased autocracy Dominus et deus. Flavians (combined) 18 –31. but with the viciousness of a Gaius Restrictions on expansion curtailed the ambitions of leading senators Example of Iulius Agricola. 447–448) Be careful of the bias of senatorial historiography! 11/30/2007 31. Caesar Domitianus Augustus Competent Administration.

95. Saturninus’ attempt to seize power and conspiracies at Rome lead to Domitian’s “reign of terror” Senate alienated further. Palace coup Domitia Longina (wife). and Stephanus (chamberlain) 11/30/2007 31. and his wife was the emperor’s niece) and parents of the heirs presumptive Associated with Judaism and/or Christianity in some way Even the imperial family was not safe! A. Flavians (combined) –10 . Flavians (combined) 19 Flavian Dynasty 11/30/2007 31. Flavians (combined) 20 –31. 88. 85.D.D. Execution of Flavius Clemens and Flavia Domitilla Close relatives of Domitian (Clemens was first cousin once removed of Domitian. Petronius Secundus (praetorian prefect). 96.–11/30/2007 Increasing Tyranny and Overthrow A. increasing “Stoic opposition” A.D. Domitian censor perpetuus A.D.

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