By Brian W. Jones
Domitian, Emperor of Rome advert 81–96, has often been portrayed as a tyrant and his later years at the throne as a ‘reign of terror’, together with his dying bringing a recovery of liberty and inaugurating the fantastic rule of the ‘five strong emperors’. it's lesswell recognized that he was once an capable, meticulous administrator, a reformer of the economic system, with a development programme designed to make sure that Rome not just used to be the capital of the realm yet seemed it as well.Brian Jones’s biography of the emperor, the 1st ever in English and the 1st in any language for almost a century, bargains a balanced interpretation of the lifetime of Domitian. In bearing in mind fresh scholarship and new epigraphic and archaeological discoveries, The Emperor Domitian proposes that Domitian used to be a ruthless yet effective autocrat with a valid international coverage, and rejects the conventional view that dismisses him as a vicious tyrant. His harshness was once felt by means of a relatively minute, yet hugely vocal component to the inhabitants, who incorporated those that wrote the background of his reign.Brian Jones argues that his dating with the court docket instead of with the senate is principal to knowing his rules and in explaining his popularity. The publication extra demanding situations some of the assumptions relating Domitian’s reference to the persecutionof the early Christians.Domitian continues to be probably the most vital and interesting of the Roman rulers. Roman historians should take account of this new biography which partly represents a rehabilitation of Domitian.
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Extra resources for The Emperor Domitian
3), but, unfortunately, have nothing nearly as accurate for the other four. On the basis of what we do know, though, he could well have spent the best part of three years or 20 per cent of his reign outside Rome and Italy. The court at Alba But a considerable amount of his time seems to have been spent at his ‘villa’ at Alba, some 20 kilometres out of the city on the Via Appia. The massive size of his ‘retreat’ (secessus: Dom. 1), and both Tacitus (Agr. e. the ‘Alban citadel’, with the clear implication that it was the abode of a tyrant.
25 On the other hand, evidence shows that he did not impose his preferences in cultural matters. Consider the Cancelleria Reliefs, found near the Palazzo della Cancelleria in Rome between 1937 and 1939. 27 So, it is argued, if apparently Domitianic sculpture is inconsistent with modern canons of what his taste must have been, then it is not proper to regard it as Domitianic and better to consign it to a more suitable28 period. The whole topic deserves more detailed treatment than can legitimately be given here, but it is relevant to an assessment of the atmosphere of the court itself, a court where, surprisingly, individuality had some scope.
50). Less clear is the effect that these journeys had on his reputation. According to Pliny, they were like plundering forays, like the attacks of the very barbarians from whom he was fleeing (Pan. 4), with property being destroyed and houses emptied to provide forced lodgings. Now, in view of Domitian’s well-attested concern for the provinces (Dom. 2), one is tempted to dismiss Pliny’s claims as nonsense, and nonsense they may well be. But the terms (or, rather, the implications) of Domitian’s mandata to his Syrian procurator Claudius Athenodorus ought to be borne in mind, in particular the provision that force was not to be used contrary to the emperor’s wishes, or that an imperial diploma was needed before requisitioning anything:16 perhaps it would be over-cynical to interpret this as authorizing official robbery.