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Vespasian, bust found at Ostia; in the Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome—AndersonAlinari/Art Resource, New York
(born Nov. 17?, AD 9, Reate, Latiumdied June 24, 79) Roman emperor (69–79), founder of the Flavian dynasty. Although of humble birth, he won military glory in Britain and was awarded a triumph by Claudius. In 63 he became proconsul of Africa. He reconquered Judaea except for Jerusalem (67–68) but stopped fighting on the death of Nero (68). After the murder of Galba, Vespasian was proclaimed emperor by the legions, while Vitellius claimed the title in Cologne; Vespasian's forces soon defeated Vitellius in Italy. Although he claimed absolute power and took every possible office for himself and his sons, he was a popular emperor and lived simply. He increased provincial taxation to pay for the deficits incurred by Nero and the civil wars, built the Temple of Peace and began the Colosseum, and reformed the army and Praetorian Guard. He ended the Jewish war (70) and the Rhineland revolt, adding lands in Germany and Britain and pacifying Wales. He was succeeded by his son Titus.
Variants of VESPASIAN
Vespasian in full Caesar Vespasianus Augustus orig. Titus Flavius Vespasianus
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Vespasian, visit Britannica.com.