Domitian: The End of The Flavian Dynasty



This article will cover the life of the Roman Emperor Domitian. We will briefly cover Domitian’s early life, character, reign as Emperor, the downfall of the Flavian dynasty, and death.

Domitian’s Early Life

Domitian was born on the 24th of October, 51CE. This was the same year his father, Vespasian, became Consul of Rome. Domitian was born to the Flavian dynasty at a point in time when their influence in Rome had already grown substantially. He was given the name Titus Flavian Domintianus, but we also know him as the younger brother of Titus.

During his mid-teen years, his mother and sister passed away. This caused him to live primarily absent from his male relatives since they were busy with their accomplishments.

Domitian was mainly given a minor role throughout the reigns of his father and older brother. This would build a coldness between the two brothers.



He was considered a realist like his father, although Domitian could not match his father’s control over his temper. Historians seem to think Domitian was jealous of his older brother. Some clear evidence is that Titus died from a fever in 81 CE at the same camp their father died at in 79 CE. Domitian didn’t visit Titus or send help before his death.

Domitian just left him for dead and started the process of becoming Emperor of Rome. He would continue the sibling rivalry even after Titus passed away.

In his public life, contemporary historians often considered Domitian a tyrant. However, It is thought that he was also paranoid and power-hungry in his personal life.


Roman Emperor Domitian

He has been described as “a ruthless but efficient autocrat.” As Emperor, he enacted many reforms in an attempt to improve the city and the Empire. Similar to his father and brother, he built many buildings throughout Rome. Some of these include the Villa of Domitian and the Palace of Domitian.

Domitian was even still repairing parts of Rome that were destroyed during the great fire that occurred during the reign of Emperor Nero.

As for Rome’s economy, he preferred controlling every little detail and decision(micro-managing). This approach paid off for him. His annual income from his taxation policies was around 1.2 billion sestertii.


Downfall Of The Flavian Dynasty

Domitian would be the last Emperor of the Flavian Dynasty. The Flavian Dynasty ruled Rome from 71 CE until 96 CE. A total of 28 years. While one of the shorter Dynasty, they made up some of Rome’s most significant achievements. They constructed one of the most recognizable buildings in Rome (The Collesium, also known as The Flavian Amphitheater). Domitian’s approach to politics significantly contributed to the Flavian Dynasty’s downfall.

While Rome prospered, the dynasty was on a downward trajectory. The Flavian dynasty’s peak was in the years following the fall of Jerusalem. Most of the history from Vespasian’s reign from this time is lost to history.

The Temple’s destruction, perpetrated by the Flavian Dynasty, shook the Jewish people so profoundly and in a way that wouldn’t be repeated on such a scale until the Holocaust of the 20th century.

Roman Emperor Titus early life, death, Flavian Dynasty
The legacy of the Flavian Dynasty.

Domitian’s Death

Due to his temper and violence. He had grown a following that wanted him dead. A conspiracy was formed and successfully assassinated Domitian on the 18th of September, 96 CE. The Senate was ecstatic when they heard the news of Domitian’s death since he had been a true nightmare for them.

His 15-year reign was the longest since Emperor Tiberius. After his death, a man named Nerva took over the throne.

This started the Nerva – Antonine dynasty, which would include respected emperors, such as Trajan, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius. These leaders would lead Rome to its golden age.


Roman Denarius

Each coin has a unique history attached to it. Coin collectors love the Roman Denarius. We carry Roman Denarius from various periods in the Roman Republic/Empire. Under his reign, Domitian increased the silver purity of the denarius from 90% to 98% silver. Click the link below to see if we have a Roman Emperor Domitian denarius currently in stock.

Denarius Showing Roman Emperor Domitians portrait.

Published by Invest in History Co.

We specialize in high-quality gold and silver coins. Focusing on Middle East, Eastern European, and Ancient coins. We carry Roman, Greek, Parthian, Phoenician, Celtic, Byzantine, Russian, Jewish, Islamic, and many other culture's coins.

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