Titus (Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus) [key], a.d. 39–a.d. 81, Roman emperor (a.d. 79–a.d. 81). Son of Emperor Vespasian, Titus was closely associated with his father in military campaigns, and after a.d. 71 he acted as coruler with the emperor. He served in Britain and in Germany and captured and destroyed Jerusalem in a.d. 70. On succeeding his father he pursued a policy of conciliation and sought popular favor. A benevolent ruler, he stopped prosecutions for treason and was lavish with gifts to his subjects, a practice that caused financial difficulties for his successor. He completed the Colosseum and built a luxurious bath. During his reign there occurred two disasters—a great fire in Rome and the eruption of Vesuvius, which buried Pompeii and Herculaneum. On both occasions Titus was active in lending aid to the distressed. Although Titus was not friendly with his brother and successor, Domitian, there is no reason to believe the rumor that it was Domitian who arranged his death. The Arch of Titus, now restored and standing outside the ancient entrance to the Palatine, was erected by Domitian to commemorate Titus' conquest of Jerusalem.
See biography by B. W. Jones (1984).
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