The Short and Exemplary Reign of Titus

Following up on the success of Vespasian would be no easy task, and while ancient accounts of Titus are somewhat mixed, he for the most part was remembered with the highest praise. Perhaps his short yet continuing stable reign after his father, followed by the terrifying reign of Domitian, left people with a certain feeling of regret and nostalgia for the 'better' son.


Titus Flavius Vespasianus, the same namesake as his father, was born December 30, AD 39 in Rome under relatively modest circumstances. His mother, Domitilla was of moderate station, the daughter of a treasury clerk, while Vespasian's star was soon to be on the rise under the administration of Claudius. While Vespasian became entrenched with Claudius, Titus too helped nurture the relationship. He developed a close friendship with Claudius' son Britannicus that would last until the prince's death/murder in AD 55. The rise of Nero would force the Vespasianus family to distance themselves from the Claudian faction but Britannicus memory was preserved through Titus years later in statues erected in his honor. Ironic that had Britannicus lived and ascended to the 'throne' rather than Nero, Vespasian and Titus themselves may never have done so. However, they certainly would've continued on a prominent path in the Roman political and social order.

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