TITUS FLAVIUS SABINUS VESPASIANUS, Emperor of Rome. was the eldest son of Vespasianus (q.v.) and Flavia Domitilla, and was born at Rome, Dec. 30, 40 A.D. Brought up at the court of Nero along with 13ritannicus, the son of the emperor Claudius, he received an excellent training both of body and mind, became an adept in manly exercises, and an accomplished scholar; and subsequently, as trentnus snilitnm in Ger many and Britain, and commander of a legion in Judaea under his father, proved qualities as a soldier and a general. On his father's elevation to the imperial throne, Titus was left to prosecute the Jewish war, which he brought to a close by the cap ture of Jerusalem after a long siege. The news of the success was received with the. utmost joy, and Vespasian's too suspicious temper was awakened. However, Titus. by returning to Rome, and laying the trophies of victory at the emperor's feet, removed his unfounded jealousy, and father and son obtained the honor of a joint triumph (71 A.D.). About this time Titus became his father's colleague in the empire, and the impres sion which the conduct of the young conqueror made upon the Roman people was, and with just reason, very unfavorable. He gave himself up to the pursuit of pleasure in all its forms, put to death various suspected persons very summarily, and even caused one of his guests, whom he justly suspected of conspiracy, to be assassinated as he. left the palace. His liaison with Berenice, the daughter Of Herod Agrippa I. (q.v)., was also very distasteful to the Romans; and on the death of his father (79 A.D.), whom he was at that time believed by a few to have poisoned, the Romans had satisfied themselves as to the advent of a second Nero. But Titus's behavior after his hand grasped an undi vided scepter completely belied their anticipations. The very first act of his reign was
to put a stop to all prosecutions for Mesa majestas, which had abounded since the time Tiberius (q.v.); informers were scourged in the forum, dragged along in front of the theaters, and then either sold as slaves or banished. The ancient and venerated build ings of Rome were repaired; new ones, as the Colosseum (see AuPIII-THEA'TER) and the baths which bear his name, were erected; and the prominent tastes of the populace were abundantly gratified by games on the most stupendous scale, which lasted for 100 days. Titus's beneficence was unbounded, and it so happened that during his brief reign there was the most urgent need of its exercise. In 79 A.D. occurred the eruption of Vesuvius, which overwhelmed Herculaneum and Pompeii, and ruined numerous other towns and villages; in 80 A.D., a fire broke out in Rome, which raged for three days, destroying the capitol, Augustus's library, Pompey's theater, and numerous houses; and in the tracks of these calamities followed a dreadful pestilence, Titus dealt out gifts with lavish hand to the houseless and ruined sufferers; he even despoiled his palaces of their valuable ornaments, to obtain money for distribution, and schemed and planned to fur nish occupation for them. He was now the idol of his subjects, the "love and delight of the human race;" but, unfortunately for that part of the human race over which he ruled, in the commencement of the third year of his reign he became suddenly ill, and died at his patrimonial villa in the Sabine country (Sept. 13, 81), not without the sus picion that he had been poisoned by Domitian, his younger brother.