October 28, 2023

Vespasian: How Rome's Forgotten Emperor Saved The Empire


Little information survives about the government during Vespasian's ten-year rule. He reformed the financial system of the Roman Empire 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. Vespasian is often credited with restoring political stability to Rome following the chaotic reigns of his predecessors. After he died in 79, he was succeeded by his eldest son Titus, thus becoming the first Roman emperor to be succeeded by his natural son and establishing the Flavian dynasty.

. . .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.

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.[citation needed] Only Helvidius Priscus was put to death after he repeatedly affronted the Emperor with studied insults which Vespasian initially tried to ignore. The philosopher Demetrius was banished to an island and when Vespasian heard that 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."

Video Title: Vespasian: How Rome's Forgotten Emperor Saved The Empire | The Path To Power | Real History. Source: Real History. Date Published: April 23, 2022. Description:

Vespasian, one of the Roman Empire's finest emperors remains largely unknown, yet his reign in 1st century AD transitioned a weakening Empire into a period of stability and growth that was the legacy of the other great emperors Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius and Septimius Severus. Vespasian ultimately saved Rome from disaster and made possible the Golden Age of the 2nd century AD.