ROMAN EMPIRE "VESPASIAN" 69-79 AD "CAESAR" COLOSSEUM AV DENARIUS ~ NGC CH XF 5x5 ~
ROMAN EMPEROR from AD 69 to 79 and ruled for 27 years! Before becoming Emperor he served as a general at an outpost in Jerusalem.
The experienced and unassuming general Vespasian was given the task of crushing the rebellion in Judaea province. His son Titus was appointed as second-in-command. Given four legions and assisted by forces of King Agrippa II, Vespasian invaded Galilee in 67. Avoiding a direct attack on the reinforced city of Jerusalem, which was defended by the main rebel force, the Romans launched a persistent campaign to eradicate rebel strongholds and punish the population. Within several months Vespasian and Titus took over the major Jewish strongholds of Galilee and finally overran Jodapatha. Vespasian was called to Rome and appointed as Emperor in 69. With Vespasian's departure, Titus moved to besiege the center of rebel resistance in Jerusalem in early 70. This War is referred to as "The Great Revolt." It spanned from 66-70AD, and began over Greek and Jewish religious tensions, then escalated due to anti-taxation protests. The Romans responded by plundering the Jewish Temple and executing up to 6,000 Jews in Jerusalem, which of course prompted a full scale rebellion. When Vespasian left to go back to take the throne in Rome, he took Jewish artifacts and relics from the Temples of Jerusalem to finance the building of the famous Colosseum. His Son Titus (who succeeded Vespasian as emperor upon his fathers death stayed in Jerusalem until the end of the war (as a general). Vespasian also took with him 12,000 Jews as slaves to help build the Colosseum.
While Vespasian besieged Jerusalem during the Jewish Rebellion, emperor NERO committed suicide (cutting his own throat ~ his last words "What an artist dies within me."). Nero's suicide plunged Rome into a year of civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors." Galba and Otho perished in quick succession and Vitellius became emperor after Otho in April of 69; quickly after (July 1st 69AD) Vespasian became the Emperor. Vespasian is best known for building the Flavian Amphitheater, better known as the "COLOSSEUM." He built this colosseum for his people (he was certainly known to be a man of the people and a polar opposite of the tyrant Nero), over the extravagant "House of GOLD" that Nero had built for himself (over a 4 yr period). Of course the Colosseum was state of the art project, even including such advances as using the previous underground pool from Nero's house as a way to flood the colosseum and literally have Roman Naval ships reenact Battles. Unfortunately, Vespasian died before the completion and his natural son TITUS (who was the very first natural son to succeed a Roman Emperor) finished the colosseum and held a grand opening of incredible proportions!
VESPASIAN became very ill and returning to Rome (from Campania) he left for Aquae Cutiliae at once, and the country around Reate, where he spent every summer. His illness became so severe (according to Seutonius, author of "The 12 Caesars") that he was ready to faint and cried out,
"An Emperor ought to die standing upright." In endeavoring to rise, he died in the hands of those who were helping him up. He was succeeded by his eldest son Titus.
(*note: Vespasian's grandfather, Titus Petro, rose to the rank of Centurion and fought at Pharsalus for the POMPEY in 48 B.C)
OFFERED AT: $1,250