Vespasian

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Vespasian (9 A.D. - 79 A.D.) - name in full: Titus Flavius Vespasianus - was the Roman Emperor AD 70-79. He was a Roman general in charge of putting down the Jewish revolt in the later 60s A.D. The Emperor Nero was assassinated (68) and a period of struggle erupted with multiple claimants to the throne (69) vying for the emperorship. On July 1st several legions proclaimed Vespasian as emperor. By the time his forces arrived, out of the four candidates, only he and one other claimant (Vitellius) were left. Vespasian's armies defeated Vitellius at the second battle of Bedriacum and after street fighting in Rome, Vitellius was slain in December and Vespasian's men declared the emperorship for him. The senate, of course, agreed. Vespasian left for Rome, leaving the overseeing of the operations and their final conclusion to his son Titus. He became emperor from 70 to 79 A.D. It was under Vespasian that construction on the Roman Colosseum was begun. Upon his death, his son Titus succeed him as Emperor.

Suetonius considered him to be the "savior that would come out of Judea," and opined as such in his De Vitae Caesarium. It is doubtful the Jews, who were on the receiving end of his military leadership, would have felt the same, but it is interesting to note that even the Romans acknowledged the Jewish belief of the time that a savior would arise from Judea.

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