Titus was an Emperor of Rome who reigned from 79 to 81 AD. After his biological father, he was the first Roman emperor to ascend to the throne. Titus was a member of the Flavian dynasty who served in the military before ascending to the position of Emperor. During the First Jewish Roman War, he was the military commander. Titus was put in charge of putting an end to the Jewish insurrection after his father was appointed Emperor of Rome. He conquered Jerusalem and annihilated the city and its inhabitants. He is known as the Conqueror of Jerusalem as a result of this. His appointment as Roman Emperor followed his father’s death in 79 AD. Titus’s reign as Emperor was brief. He is remembered, however, as a good ruler. His generosity was shown during two natural disasters, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the fire in Rome, when he generously contributed to the relief of the victims. Titus was Emperor for a short time and oversaw the completion of the Flavian Amphitheatre, which had begun under Vespasian. The magnificent structure not only supplied Romans with amazing entertainment, but it also served as a memorial to the Flavians’ military victories throughout the Jewish wars. He was succeeded by his younger brother Domitian after his death.
Childhood and Adolescence
Titus was born to Titus Flavius Vespasianus and Domitilla the Elder on December 30, 39 AD. He was the eldest of three siblings, with sister Domitilla the Younger and brother Titus Flavius Domitianus as his other siblings.
Except for the fact that he was brought up at the imperial court in the company of Britannicus, Emperor Claudius’ son, little is known about Titus’ early life.
Titus excelled at both Greek and Latin as a child. He possessed both lyrical and oratory abilities. On the battlefield, Titus was brave and showed potential.
The Reign & Accession
Titus served in the military in Germania and Britannia from 57 to 59 AD. Following that, he was given command of the fifteenth legion in Judaea, which was tasked with suppressing the uprising by his father. Titus excelled in his duty as a commander, earning the title of skilful general.
There was a period of emptiness inside the Roman Empire after Nero’s untimely death in 66 AD. Galba and Otho, two of Nero’s successors, lived only a few years. While Galba was killed by the attackers, Otho was defeated and committed suicide as a result. On July 1, 69 AD, Titus’ father, Vespasian, was proclaimed Roman Emperor by the army professionals.
Vespasian immediately entrusted the Jewish War to his son Titus after his enthronement as Roman Emperor. Titus’ military might was demonstrated when he quickly took control of Jerusalem. More least 1,100,000 people were killed in the war, while many more were abducted and enslaved. Jerusalem was captured but entirely destroyed by the end of the siege.
He returned to Rome amid lavish festivities after his triumph in Jerusalem. He was warmly received by the population, who eagerly anticipated the magnificent procession, which featured enormously rich items recovered from the war and the Temple of Jerusalem, as well as military re-enactments and Jewish prisoners.
Titus and his younger brother were given the title of Caesar upon their return. During his father’s reign, he held seven consulships. He was also made the commander of the Praetorian Guard. Titus’ image as a commander was tarnished when he ordered the execution of traitors based not only on evidence but also on suspicion.
Titus became as the true heir to the Roman Empire after his father died on June 23, 79 AD. Despite fears that he would follow in the footsteps of former emperor Nero, Titus proved to be a capable ruler.
Following his succession to the throne, Titus immediately abolished all treason trials. As a result, the practice of pursuing people on slander and libel charges, which began under Emperor Augustus, came to an end. After that, no senators were put to death during Titus’ reign.
Furthermore, he prohibited a person’s offence from being tried under separate laws for the same offense.
Titus’ rule was fraught with difficulties. During his reign, the Roman Empire was struck by a severe calamity in the shape of Mount Vesuvius’ eruption, which destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
A fire broke out in Rome, engulfing a large portion of the city and destroying famous buildings and monuments, just as relief efforts were underway. The situation was made worse by a disease outbreak that killed many people.
While natural disasters wreaked havoc, a resurgent conflict in Britannia posed a further challenge to his rule. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Terentius Maximus, a phony Nero, attempted a revolt but was put down. Titus’ brother also posed a threat to his authority by scheming against him.
The Flavian Amphitheatre, which had begun under Vespasian in 70 AD, was completed under Titus’ reign. In the year 80 AD, the massive monument was finally opened to the public. Apart from offering great entertainment for Romans, the structure also served as a memorial to the Flavians’ military victories throughout the Jewish wars.
During his reign, the Bath of Titus was built as a public bathhouse. It was situated close to the amphitheatre.
The first games at the Flavian Amphitheatre lasted 100 days and featured lavish activities including as gladiatorial combat, simulated naval battles, animal fights, and so on.
The foundation of the Temple of Vespasian and Titus was laid during Titus’ reign. However, under Domitian’s reign, the two monuments were eventually built.
Personal History and Legacy
Titus married Arrecina Tertulla in 63 AD after returning to Rome from military service in Britain and Germany. She was the daughter of a former Praetorian Guard Prefect. Following Tertulla’s death in 65 AD, the marriage fell apart.
Titus wedded Maria Furnilla, a member of an illustrious family, after his first wife died. Titus divorced Furnilla because her family had significant ties to the opposition and was implicated in the failed Pisonian conspiracy. Titus had a number of daughters, but only Julia Flavia lived to adulthood.
Titus fell in love with Berenice, Agrippa II’s sister, during the Jewish wars. Despite the fact that she freely confessed her love for him and even moved in with him, Titus was mindful of the Romans’ disdain of an eastern queen and thus expelled her.
Titus was at the first posting station in Sabine territory after the inaugural games at the Flavian Amphitheatre when he fell ill. On September 13, 81 AD, he died of a fever. Domitian, his younger brother, took over as his successor.
Titus’ victory in the fight against the Jews is commemorated by the Arch of Titus, which still exists on the Via Sacra south-east of the Forum Romanum in Rome.
His life has been memorialized by authors and artists all across the world through writing, paintings, and depictions, among other things.
Estimated Net Worth
Estimated net worth of Titus is unknown.