Erich Lessing

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (Vespasian), son of a tax collector and nephew of a senator, was put in charge by Nero of suppressing a rebellion in Judea. When Nero committed suicide in 68 C.E., Vespasian, backed by the Roman army legions, led a rebellion against the last of Nero’s successors, Vitellius, and was proclaimed emperor by the senate in 69 C.E. In his stead, Vespasian gave the task of calming the Jewish revolt to his son Titus. Vespasian was particularly proud of his son’s conquest of Jerusalem. Accompanied by Titus and his other son, Domitian, Vespasian rode in the procession through Rome with the treasures from the Temple, “in magnificent apparel and mounted on a steed that was in itself a sight to see,” according to the first-century Jewish historian Josephus. To further commemorate the victory, the emperor ordered that a temple be built.