Vespasian in Roman Biography

Vespasian, vis-pa'zhe-an, [Lat. Vespasia'nus; Fr. Vespasien, vJs'pi'zg-^N' ; It. Vespasiano, ves-pa-sea'no,] or, more fully, Ti'tus Fla'vius Vespasia'nus, Emperor of Rome, was born near Reate in 9 a.d. He served as military tribune in Thrace, and held the offices of quaestor of Crete and Cyrene, under Caligula. He was afterwards made praetor ; and, having distinguished himself by several important victories in Britain, he was appointed proconsul of Africa about 60 A.D. As commander of the forces against the revolted Jews in 66 A.D., he subjected nearly the whole of Judea in less than two years. In 69 A.D. Vespasian was proclaimed emperor by Tiberius Alexander, prefect of Egypt, in opposition to Vitellius, who was soon after put to death by the Roman soldiers. The principal events of the reign of Vespasian were the conquest of Jerusalem by Titus, in 70 A.D., the victories of Agricola in Britain, and of I'etilius Cerealisover the Batavi, commanded by Civilis. Under his wise and beneficent rule Rome enjoyed a high degree of prosperity ; he patronized learning and the arts, introduced important reforms into the army and courts of justice, and repaired the ravages caused by civil war. He also restored the Capitol, built the magnificent Temple of Peace, and began the erection of the amphitheatre, afterwards called the Colosseum, and also the Flavian Amphitheatre, from his name Flavius. He died in 79 A.D. See Suetonius, " Vespasianus ;" A. W. Cramer, " Flavins Vespasianus," 1785 ; Tacitus, " History of Rome :" Berneggbr, "Vita Imperatoris Vespasiani," 1625; Hhimbrod, " Flavii Vespasiani Iniperatoris Vita," 1S33; Tillemont, "Histoire des Empereurs :" Mkrivalk, " History of the Romans under the Empire;" "Nouvelle Biographie G&ierale."

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