Birthplace of Roman Emperor Vespasian Found

Check out this story about the recent discovery of a large villa at what archaeologists believe was the location of Roman Emperor Vespasian’s birth.

The site is located near a town called Cittareale, about 130 km northeast of Rome, in the Falacrinae Valley.  Marble floors, mosaics, and ceramics number among the many artifacts recovered from the estimated 3,000-4,000 square meter villa.  

Vespasian, or Titus Flavius Vespasianus (9-79 AD), emerged as Roman emperor after a civil war in 69 which erupted following Emperor Nero’s suicide.  Along with his son Titus (who succeeded him as emperor), Vespasian commanded the Roman legions which conquered Judea and destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the First Jewish-Roman War of 66-73 (though, to be clear, it was Titus, and not Vespasian, who was commander in the field at the time of the Temple’s destruction in 70 AD).  Vespasian and Titus also befriended Josephus, the famous chronicler of 1st century Jewish history.

If you’d like to read more about Vespasian and the First Jewish-Roman War, Greensboro Public Library’s holdings include 69 AD:  The Year of Four Emperors by Gwyn Morgan; Jerusalem’s Traitor:  Josephus, Masada, and the Fall of Judea by Desmond Seward; The Jews Against Rome by Susan Sorek; and Josephus:  The Complete Works, translated by William Whiston. 

Also, Lindsey Davis’ series of novels about the adventures of the freelance investigator Marcus Didius Falco are set during Vespasian’s rule.  The preceding Falco link will take you to the author’s website and a list of the Falco books with plot summaries.

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