Happy Birthday to the Emperor Domitian – My Favorite Roman Emperor

October 24, 51 CE marks the birth of my favorite Roman Emperor – Domitian. He was the youngest son of the Emperor Vespasian and was the third, and last, of the Flavian Emperors.

Domitian was infamous for his ruthless method of controlling the aristocracy and senatorial class of Rome as well as his extreme paranoia. However, given that he was in fact killed by a familial conspiracy, perhaps “paranoia” is an unfair characterization.

In spite of the fact that he was loathed by the Upper Classes and demonized by the successive dynasty (whose right to rule was dependent on Domitian’s unfit ability to reign), the historical evidence suggests that he was a skilled economic manager and that Empire enjoyed a thriving economy.

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