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Headword: Δομετιανός
Adler number: delta,1351
Translated headword: Domitianos, Domitianus, Domitian
Vetting Status: high
Emperor of [the] Romans, younger brother of Titus,[1] similar in manner to Nero and Caligula and Tiberius,[2] who all ruled in a very shameful and base fashion, rather than to his father and brother.[3] For when he had managed the beginning of his reign with moderation, he fell straight to both more and absurd faults of judgement: he was sick with both boundless greed and licentiousness, was both immoderate of temper and inexorable in his punishments,[4] was a lover both of quarrels and of money as much as anyone was. Indeed, he quickly attracted the hatred of everyone so as to extinguish the fame of his brother and father. For, through the murders of distinguished members of the senate,[5] he daily defiled the city. Pursuing honors equal to his betters, he did not allow anyone to set up statues for him on the Capitolium unless they were made of gold and silver.[6] Nor did he refrain from killing his kin but brought his impure hand against all those of his blood,[7] neither revering his family gods nor justice, but disdaining both the divine and the human alike.[8]
Greek Original:
Δομετιανός, βασιλεὺς Ῥωμαίων, ἀδελφὸς Τίτου νεώτερος, Νέρωνι καὶ Καλλιγούλᾳ καὶ Τιβερίῳ, τοῖς αἴσχιστα καὶ φαυλότατα προστᾶσι τῆς ἡγεμονίας, ἤπερ τῷ πατρὶ καὶ τἀδελφῷ προσεοικὼς τὸν τρόπον. μετρίοις γὰρ δὴ τῆς ἀρχῆς προοιμίοις χρησάμενος εὐθὺς ἐς πλείονά τε καὶ ἄτοπα τῆς γνώμης ἐκπίπτει μειονεκτήματα, πλεονεξίαν τε νοσῶν ἄμετρον καὶ ἀσέλγειαν, θυμοῦ τε ἀκρατὴς ὢν καὶ ἀπαραίτητος ἐν ταῖς κολάσεσι, φιλαπεχθήμων τε καὶ φιλάργυρος εἰ καί τις ἕτερος. ταχέως γοῦν τὸ πρὸς ἁπάντων μῖσος ἐφειλκύσατο ὡς τό τε τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ καὶ τοῦ πατρὸς ἀποσβέσαι κλέος. σφαγαῖς τε γὰρ τῶν ἐπισήμων τῆς βουλῆς ἑκάστης ἡμέρας ἐμίαινε τὴν πόλιν, τάς τε ἴσας τοῖς κρείττοσι μεταδιώκων τιμὰς οὐχ ὑπέμενεν ἑτέρων αὐτῷ γενέσθαι κατὰ τὸ Καπιτώλιον ἀνδριάντων στάσιν ἐκ χρυσοῦ τε καὶ ἀργύρου πεποιημένων. ἀπείχετο δὲ οὐδὲ τοῦ τῶν συγγενῶν φόνου, ἀλλ' ἐπὶ πάντας τοὺς ἀφ' αἵματος τὴν ἀνοσίαν ἤγαγε δεξιάν, οὔτε θεοὺς ὁμογνίους οὔτε δίκην αἰδούμενος, ἀλλ' ὁμοῦ τά τε θεῖα περιφρονῶν καὶ τὰ ἀνθρώπινα.
T. Flavius Domitianus, reigned 81-96 CE. See also delta 1352, and generally J.B. Campbell's article in OCD(4) s.v. Domitian, as well as the De Imperatoribus Romanis entry (John Donahue) at web address 1. (The Suda has the Dome- spelling, but cf. delta 1354.)
[1] tau 691.
[2] See nu 254 (Nero), kappa 216 (Caligula), and tau 51 and tau 552 (Tiberius).
[3] The "rather" here has to be understood from the comparative idea in "ἤπερ ". (Domitian's father was Vespasian: omicron 833.)
[4] He could not be begged off by any manner of deprecation.
[5] cf. Suetonius, Domitian 10.
[6] cf. Suetonius, Domitian 13.2 "statuas sibi in Capitolio non nisi aureas et argenteas poni permisit ac ponderis certi." and Cassius Dio 67.8.1. There is a problem with the Greek text here because the sense wants something like an "" before "ἐκ χρυσοῦ ".
[7] Suetonius implies that Domitian had his brother Titus killed (Dom. 2) and records that he had his cousin Flavius Clemens executed (Dom. 15).
[8] This passage on Domitian = (with minor variations) John of Antioch fr. 106 FHG (4.579), now 10.189 Roberto. The most important of these variations is the which precedes ἐκ χρυσοῦ providing the needed sense. The passage may go back to Eutropius, Breviarium 7.23, which has a similar description of Domitian; and Eutropius himself is thought to have based the early imperial portion of his brief history on an epitome of Suetonius (see OCD(4) s.v. Eutropius).
Jones, Brian W. The Emperor Domitian, London: Routledge, 1992
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: art history; biography; economics; ethics; historiography; history; religion; trade and manufacture
Translated by: Abram Ring on 27 November 2004@21:47:11.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (restored vetting level) on 28 November 2004@04:49:18.
Abram Ring (standardized bibliography, tweaked wording in head note, italicized modern titles) on 27 March 2006@09:38:41.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 16 July 2012@05:56:11.
Catharine Roth (tweaked notes) on 25 August 2013@21:15:52.
David Whitehead (updated 2 refs) on 3 August 2014@05:41:15.
Catharine Roth (expanded note) on 28 November 2014@12:04:00.
David Whitehead (tweaked and updated final note) on 13 November 2015@03:42:12.


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