Emperor Domitian

notes from the richard alston textbook

  • Created by: rosie
  • Created on: 25-10-14 12:13
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  • Domitian
    • The Imperial Court
      • good emperors were supposed to consult a wide range of people but Domitian was depicted as secretive and as concentrating power in the court
      • Domitian continued to promote his family although unlike his father not only the men
      • his niece was rumoured to be his lover
      • spent a lot of time at Alba not in Rome
      • Domitian surrounded himself with experienced and politically astute men
      • Conflict between the senate and Domitian led to paranoia.
      • many people close to the Emperor were exiled, killed etc.
        • Conflict between the senate and Domitian led to paranoia.
        • for example Sabinus was killed soon after an attendant got confused and hailed Sabinus as emperor instead
      • Persecution of philosophers
      • There was probably an atmosphere of paranoia during the later years of his reign and possibly earlier as well
    • War and Military Policy
      • the campaign led by Agricola in Britain was quite successful
        • However they had to withdraw troops due to conflict in Germany
      • Continued his father’s policy of expansion in Germany and Britain.
      • Led some campaigns in Germany himself.
      • Battles with the Dacians quite unsuccessful, although peace was finally achieved the frontier was still not secure
    • Image
      • he tried to win favour with exhibitions of largess
      • collected taxes from jewish people quite harshly
      • prosecuted people for being atheists (as it could show a refusal to believe he is emperor)
      • wanted to be adressed as 'deus et dominus'
      • Generous to the plebs
        • he tried to win favour with exhibitions of largess
      • Had ambitious building plans e.g. completed temple to his father and made himself a new palace
    • Assasination
      • Domitian's increased paranoia and killings of people close to him probably led his to be assassins to feel they would be safer with him dead
      • his assassin's were some of his freedmen, although later Domitia and Nerva were also rumoured to be involved
    • Finance
      • Good
        • 'bad' emperors are often accused of being greedy or bad with finance
        • the disasters in Titus' reign had cost a lot
        • he seems to have ad a fairly relaxed attitude towards debts
      • Bad
        • is accused of having senators killed to get their money
        • collection of taxes severe
        • had to reduce level of silver content in coins
        • Vespasian had left a full treasury
        • Taxes on inheritance were raised


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