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Key information:


Birthdate: November 17, 9 CE.

(Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 2)

Birthplace: Falacrina, Italy.

(Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 2)

Reign: Declared emperor by the Roman senate on December 21, 69 CE after his forces defeated those of Vitellius.

(Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 7) (Cassius Dio, Roman History, 65. 1)


Domitilla the Elder (38 – ? CE)
(Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 3)

Caenis (? -74 CE)
(Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 3)


Titus (son by Domitilla)
(Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 3)

Domitilla the Younger (daughter by Domitilla)
(Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 3)

Domitian (son by Domitilla)
(Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 3)

Death: Died on June 24, 79 CE of natural causes.

(Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 24)

Bust of Vespasian, Musei Capitolini, Rome, November 2018.
Portrait of Vespasian, Palazzo Altemps, Rome, December 2018.
Portrait of Vespasian in a 17th Century Bust, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Napoli, October 2019.

Famous facts and dates

Vespasian commanded Roman forces in the First Jewish–Roman War from 66-69 CE.
(Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 7) (Cassius Dio, Roman History, 65.1)
Vespasian came to power in 69 CE after winning a civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors." He would go on to establish the Flavian dynasty, which ruled Rome until 96 CE.
(Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 4)
Vespasian introduced a urine tax on public toilets.
(Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 23)
Construction of the Flavian Amphitheater began under Vespasian around 72 CE. Today, it is known as the Colosseum.
(Suetonius, Life of Vespasian, 9)

Related monuments in Rome

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Cite this page as: Darius Arya, The American Institute for Roman Culture, “Vespasian” Ancient Rome Live. Last modified 05/09/2021.


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