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The Emperor Domitian


Was Domitian a despot? Jones argues that the Court rather than the Senate was the centre of Domitian's power and of his cultural ambitions. This is the first biography of the ruler ever to appear in English.

Titus Flavius Domitianus (24 October 51 – 18 September 96), commonly known as Domitian, was Roman Emperor from 81 to 96. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.

As emperor, Domitian strengthened the economy by revaluing the Roman coinage, expanded the border defenses of the empire, and initiated a massive building program to restore the damaged city of Rome. Significant wars were fought in Britain, where his general Agricola attempted to conquer Scotland, and in Dacia, where Domitian was unable to procure a decisive victory against king Decebalus. Domitian's government exhibited totalitarian characteristics; he saw himself as the new Augustus, an enlightened despot destined to guide the Roman Empire into a new era of brilliance. Religious, military, and cultural propaganda fostered a cult of personality, and by nominating himself perpetual censor, he sought to control public and private morals. As a consequence, Domitian was popular with the people and army but considered a tyrant by members of the Roman Senate.

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Tags: Domitian, Emperor, October, September, Flavius, Domitianus