Domitian was Roman emperor from 81 AD to 96 AD. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.  His youth and early career were largely spent in the shadow of his brother Titus, who gained military renown during the First Jewish–Roman War.

As Emperor, Domitian strengthened the economy by revaluing the Roman coinage, expanded the border defenses of the Empire, and initiated a massive building program to restore the damaged city of Rome. Domitian’s government exhibited totalitarian characteristics; he saw himself as the new Augustus, an enlightened despot destined to guide the Roman Empire into a new era of brilliance. Religious, military, and cultural propaganda fostered a cult of personality, and by nominating himself perpetual censor, he sought to control public and private morals.

Domitian’s reign came to an end in 96 AD when he was assassinated by court officials. The same day he was succeeded by his advisor Nerva. After his death, Domitian’s memory was condemned to oblivion by the Roman Senate, while senatorial authors such as Tacitus, Pliny the Younger and Suetonius published histories propagating the view of Domitian as a cruel and paranoid tyrant.