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Domitian was Roman emperor from 81 to 96 CE. He was a proud and ambitious man, but finding his desire for power often frustrated early in his life he became embittered and jealous. Thus later in his reign he frequently indulged in ruthless and murderous purges whenever he felt his tyranny threatened.

Domitian’s lengthy reign ended, perhaps inevitably, in assassination. Leaving no heir his death closed the Flavian line of emperors, following his father Vespasian and elder brother Titus.

Roman writers such as Tacitus, Pliny the Younger and Suetonius all portrayed Domitian as the archetypal depraved and hypocritical dictator; but recently his efficient administration and realistic foreign policy have led to a more favourable re-evaluation

Location of Original: 

Munich, Residenz 157


Transferred from the Museum für Abgüsse Klassischer Bildwerke, Munich, 29-30 October 1991

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