Return to the Twelve Caesars Home Page


November 17, 9 CE – June 24, 79 CE

Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus was Emperor from 69 to 79 CE. He established the Flavian dynasty that ruled Rome for 27 years. His fame came from a career of military successes. He was legate of Legio II Augusta during the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 CE and he subjugated Judaea during the Jewish Rebellion in 66 CE. Despite Vitellius becoming emperor on April 16, 69, the legions of Egypt and Judaea were firmly in Vespasian’s camp and declared him Emperor in July.

After defeating Vitellius, Vespasian was officially named Emperor by the Roman Senate on December 21, 69. He reformed the Roman financial system and initiated numerous construction projects, including the Flavian Amphitheater, better known today as the Colosseum. He was emperor from 16 April 69 to 24 June 79 and was one of the few Caesars fortunate enough to die from natural causes.

Coincidentally or not, he was also known for his humility and sense of humor. Vespasian was one of perhaps the rarest kinds of autocrat: one who can laugh at himself.

Timeline of Important Events During the Reign of Vespasian

69 – Vespasian proclaimed emperor, and while consolidation of power would continue for six months into his reign, his ascent would mark the end of the civil wars.
70 – Titus, the son of Emperor Vespasian, captured Jerusalem after a four-month siege.
76 – Birth of Emperor Hadrian in Rome.
79 – Vespasian dies at the age of 79. Titus assumes the throne.

Previous Vitellius    —–     NextTitus

Gold and Silver Coins Available from

Vespasian Gold Aureus NGC CH XF

Augustus AR Tetradrachm of Antioch, Syria NGC XF