The Emperor Domitian
Domitian, Emperor of Rome AD 81-96, has traditionally been portrayed as a tyrant and his later years on the throne as a reign of terror; his death bringing a restoration of liberty and inaugurating the glorious rule of the five good emperors'. It is less well known that he was an able, meticulous administrator, a reformer of the economy, with a building programme designed to ensure that Rome not only was the capital of the world but looked like it as well. Brian Jones's biography of the emperor, the first ever in English and the first in any language for nearly a century, offers a balanced interpretation of the life of Domitian. In taking into account recent scholarship and new epigraphic and archaeological discoveries, The Emperor Domitian proposes that Domitian was a ruthless but efficient autocrat with a sound foreign policy, and rejects the traditional view that dismisses him as a vicious tyrant. His harshness was felt by a comparatively minute, but highly vocal section of the population, who included those who wrote the history of his reign.
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