Titus Flavius Vespasianus, commonly known as Titus (December 30, 39 – September 13, 81), was a Roman Emperor who briefly reigned from 79 until his death in 81. Titus was the second emperor of the Flavian dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 69 and 96, encompassing the reigns of Titus's father Vespasian (69–79), Titus himself (79–81) and his younger brother Domitian (81–96).
Prior to becoming emperor, Titus gained renown as a military commander, serving under his father in Judaea during the First Jewish-Roman War, which was fought between 67 and 70. The campaign came to a brief halt with the death of emperor Nero on June 9, 68, launching Vespasian's bid for the imperial power during the Year of the Four Emperors. When Vespasian was declared emperor on July 1, 69, Titus was left in charge of ending the Jewish rebellion, which he did in 70, successfully besieging and destroying the city and the Temple of Jerusalem. For this achievement Titus was awarded a triumph; the Arch of Titus commemorates his victory to this day.
Under the rule of his father, Titus gained infamy in Rome serving as prefect of the Roman imperial bodyguard, known as the Praetorian Guard, and for carrying on a controversial relationship with the Jewish queen Berenice. Despite concerns over his character, however, Titus ruled to great acclaim following the death of Vespasian on June 23, 79, and was considered a good emperor by Suetonius and other contemporary historians. In this role he is best known for his public building program in Rome—completing the Flavian Amphitheatre, otherwise known as the Colosseum— and for his generosity in relieving the suffering caused by two disasters, the Mount Vesuvius eruption of 79 and the fire of Rome of 80. After barely two years in office, Titus died of a fever on September 13, 81. He was deified by the Roman Senate and succeeded by his younger brother Domitian.
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