left Judea in 69
to become emperor, he left his oldest son &
namesake [Titus Flavianus Vespasianus the
younger] to finish the conquest of Jerusalem.
After a long siege & campaign that claimed the lives of close to
a million Jews & left the temple in ruins (70
returned to Rome (71 CE)
to assume command of the Praetorian guard.
As Vespasian's most trusted lieutenant Titus became virtually his
father's imperial partner, serving as co-consul & sharing in the
emperor's public accolades. Yet, he alienated many Romans by keeping
a Jewish princess, [Herod
Agrippa II's sister, Berenice],
as his mistress. Just before his father's death, he had to suppress
a conspiracy. But after he became sole emperor he became a popular
hero by his liberal use of his own as well as public funds for
reconstruction projects after twin disasters, the eruption of Mt.
Vesuvius (79 CE) & a fire that destroyed much of Rome
He celebrated the grand opening of the Colosseum with more than 100
days of public ceremonies.
His brief reign is best known to
later history for his graphic commemoration of his victory over the
Jews with a triumphal arch that still stands at the entrance to the
Roman forum. But he became himself a victim of sibling rivalry.
Since he did not give his younger brother, Domitian,
the same honors
his father had given him, his brother was widely rumored to have
hastened his premature death.
Cassius Dio, Roman
4-9, 12-16; 66.17-20,
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