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Emperor Titus
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
Emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus (ad 39–81). Roman emperor, 79–81. Titus was the second Flavian emperor of Rome. Destroyed Jerusalem and the temple during the First Jewish War.In ad 70, Roman soldiers led by Titus sacked Jerusalem and burned down the temple, ending the First Jewish War. This war had begun four years earlier during the reign of Nero, when the Jews revolted against the Romans because of religious tensions and taxation. Thousands of Jews starved to death during the siege of Jerusalem. Josephus claimed that 1,100,000 Jews died in the siege (Josephus, Jewish War, 6.9.3). During the attack, Roman soldiers looted and burned the temple, though Josephus makes the improbable claim that Titus ordered for the temple to be preserved and his soldiers disobeyed (Josephus, Jewish War, 6.4.3). The victorious legions carried many of the temple’s treasures back to Rome—the Arch of Titus in Rome preserves a depiction of Titus’ conquest, along with the looting itself.Titus was the first son of the Roman general Vespasian and was educated in the household of Emperor Claudius. In his early 20s, Titus served as a Roman military officer in Britain and Germany. In ad 66, when the First Jewish War began in Palestine, Titus commanded a legion under his father Vespasian’s supervision. Rome experienced political confusion in ad 69 as various men struggled for the title of emperor in the wake of Nero’s suicide. Vespasian headed back to Rome in order to make his bid for emperor, leaving Titus to finish the campaign in Judaea.Vespasian succeeded in becoming the emperor. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Titus returned to Rome to serve alongside his father. Titus gained a reputation for ruthlessly managing the day-to-day affairs of the state and protecting his father’s interests. It was rumored that he led an extravagant lifestyle and had an affair with Bernice, the Jewish queen.The public opinion of him changed, however, when he became emperor after his father’s death in ad 79. In his brief two years as emperor, Titus was loved by the Roman people because of his generosity and his management of state affairs. He supplied lavish games and entertainment for the population of Rome. He completed and dedicated the Colosseum, which was started by his father. His short reign was marked by two disasters that he managed well.Mount Vesuvius erupted in ad 79, destroying Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae, and Oplontis, and the following year a three-day fire burned a sizable portion of the city of Rome. Titus’ generous and compassionate response to these disasters endeared him to the people.Titus died from a fever at his family’s country home on September 1, ad 81. Not long after he died, the Romans recognized him as a god. Suetonius, the Roman biographer, considered Titus to be one of the good emperors. However, Titus’ favorable reputation may have resulted from a comparison to his brother Domitian whose rule was autocratic and often harsh.
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Titus, Emperor
Titus, Emperor Emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus (ad 39–81). Roman emperor, 79–81. Titus was the second Flavian emperor of Rome. Destroyed Jerusalem and the temple during the First Jewish War.In ad 70, Roman soldiers led by Titus sacked Jerusalem and burned down the temple, ending the First Jewish War.
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Titus (Emperor)
TITUS (EMPEROR). Titus (Titus Flavius Vespasianus), elder son of the emperor Vespasian, was born on Dec. 30, a.d. 39 and became emperor on June 24, 79. Because of the Flavian family’s prominence during Claudius’ reign (41–55), Titus was granted the unusual honor of an education at the imperial court,
Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
Titus the Roman Emperor
Titus the Roman Emperor was called “the delight of men.” (40, 79–81.)“Titus indeed gave one short evening gleam,More cordial felt, as in the midst it spreadOf storm and horror; the delight of men.”Thomson: Liberty, iii.The Arch of Titus commemorates the capture of Jerusalem, a.d. 70.
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Titus, Caesar
TITUS, CAESAR (Tīʹ tŭs) Roman emperor a.d. 79–81, eldest son of Vespasian. Titus, like his father, was a soldier. He served in Germany and Britain and later in the Middle East. When Vespasian left his Middle East command to become emperor in a.d. 69, he left Titus in charge of crushing the Jewish revolt.
Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity
Titus, Emperor
TITUS, emperor (AD 39–81). Titus Flavius Vespasian, Roman emperor from 79 to 81, son of *Vespasian and Flavia Domitilla, as a general in service of his father, he finished the Jewish war with the conquest of *Jerusalem (70). Upon the death of Vespasian (79), he succeeded him, developing his politics