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On this page: Vespasius Pollio

1248

VESPASIANUS.

getting money and niggardliness in personal mat­ters are by no means inconsistent with bountiful outlay for great and noble objects.

In A. d. 71 Vespasiaims was consul for the third time with M. Cocceius Nerva, the same probably who was afterwards emperor, for his colleague. The senate had decreed a triumph to Vespasian and Titus separately, for the conquest of the Jews ; but Vespasian thought that one triumph was enough for both, and for the first time, it is said, in the history of Rome, a father and a son triumphed together. Vespasian was very weary of the pompous ceremony before it was over. The temple of Janus was closed as the signal of war being ended, and the emperor commenced the erection of a temple of Peace. Titus at this time began to assist his father in the administration, and undertook the important functions of Praefectus Praetorio. In A. d. 72 Caesennius Paetus, whom Vespasian had made governor of Syria in place of Mucianus, informed the emperor that Antiochus, king of Commagene, and his son Epiphanes, were in treaty with the Parthian king and preparing to revolt. Whether the charge was true or false, Vespasian gave Paetus full powers to act, and the governor entered Commagene and took possession of the country. Antiochus was ultimately settled at Rome, where his two sons joined him, and Commagene was made a Roman province. [antiochus IV., king of Commagene.]

Petilius Cerealis, who had terminated the war with the Batavi at the close of a. d. 70, was after­wards sent into Britain, and reduced to subjuga­tion a large part of the Brigantes. Julius Frontinus, after him, subdued the Silures, or people of South Wales. Frontinus was succeeded by Julius Agri-cola in the command in Britain.

A great disturbance at Alexandria (a. d. 73) is recorded by Eusebius, but little about it appears in other writers. It was at this time that Achaea, Lycia, Rhodes, B3rzantium, Cilicia, and other places, which were up to this time either con­sidered as free states or governed by kings, were all subjected to a Roman governor, on the ground that their liberty was only used for the purposes of disturbance. (Pausan. vii. 17. §4.)

The execution of Helvidius Priscus [ priscus] took place under the reign of Vespasian, and by his order ; but the extravagant behaviour of Priscus and the mild temper of Vespasian justify us in con­cluding that the emperor's conduct in this affair may have had a reasonable justification. Priscus was a Stoic, who carried his doctrines to an absurd excess ; and he and others of the same sect seem to have aimed at exciting insurrection. Vespasian banished the philosophers, as they were called, from Rome, with the exception of Musonius Rufus. Demetrius, one of these rabid sages, tried the em­peror's patience by insulting him in the streets of Rome. (Sueton. Vespas. 13.) In a. d. 74 Ves­pasian and Titus made a census or enumeration of the Roman citizens, the last that was made. The conversation which is the subject of the Dialogus de Oratoribus [tacitus] is represented as having taken place in the sixth year of Vespasian, a. d.

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In the year a. d. 77, the eighth consulship of Vespasianus aird the sixth of Titus Caesar, Plinius addressed to Titus his great compilation, intitled Naturalis Historia. In the same year Eusebius records a pestilence at Rome.

VESPILLO.

In A. b. 78 Agricola was sent to Britain, and he reduced to submission North Wales and the island of Anglesey, which had before been subjected by the Romans, but had revolted under the adminis­tration of Suetonius Paullinus, The following year (a. d. 79) Vespasian was guilty of an act of cruelty which marks his character with a stain. Julius Sabinus, who had assumed the title of Caesar in Gaul at the beginning of a. d. 70, was at last dis­covered, after nine years' concealment, and brought to Rome with his wife Epponina. The faithful de­votion of Epponina during these years of conceal­ment and alarm, has immortalised her name. When she was carried before Vespasian, she threw her­self at his feet with the two children whom she had borne to her husband, whom she used to visit in his hiding-place. Vespasian, though moved to tears, condemned both Sabinus and his wife to die. The two children were preserved. (Tacit. Hist. iv. 55, 67.) The story is told at length by Plu­tarch. [sabinus, julius.]

Alienus Caecina and Marcellus, both of whom had received favours from Vespasian, conspired against him. The evidence was said to be complete. Titus invited Caecina, against whom he had some cause of complaint, to sup with him, and as he was leaving the palace, he ordered him to be put to death. This irregular proceeding, whatever may have been the guilt of Caecina, is a reproach to the memory of Titus and his father. Marcellus was tried by the Senate and condemned. He cut his throat.

In the summer of this year Vespasian, whose health was failing, went to spend some time at his paternal house in the mountains of the Sabini. By drinking to excess of cold water he damaged his stomach, which was already disordered. But he still attended to business, just as if he had been in perfect health ; and on feeling the approach of death he said that an emperor should die standing ; and in fact he did die in this attitude on the 24th of June A. d. 79, being 69 years of age, seven months and seven days. He reigned ten years all but six days, for his reign is dated from his pro­clamation as emperor at Alexandria on the first of July a. d. 69.

COIN OF VESPASIANUS.

VESPASIUS POLLIO. [pgllio.] VESPILLO, the name of a family of the Lu-cretia gens. 1. lucretius vespillo, aedile b.c. 133, is said to have thrown the corpse of Tib.

The wife of Vespasian died before her husband's elevation to the imperial dignity, and also her daughter Domitilla. After his wife's death he co­ habited with a freed woman named Caenis, whom, after he became emperor, he had, says Suetonius, almost as a lawful wife. A marriage with Caenis would not have been a Roman marriage, and she was a concubine, in the Roman sense. Caenis is accused of selling places under the emperor. (Sue­ tonius, Vespasianus; Tacitus, Hist. ; Dion Cas- sius, Ixvi. ; Tillemont, Histoire des Empereurs, vol. ii.) [G. L.]

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