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Headword: Δομετιανός
Adler number: delta,1352
Translated headword: Domitian, Domitianus, Dometianos
Vetting Status: high
Emperor of [the] Romans, brother of Titus, whose successor he became. He emulated not his father's or his brother's habit of good government, but, on the contrary, the appetite for iniquity of Tiberius and Nero. He canvassed every form of evil, and having had his fill of murder, woman-craziness and even man-craziness he, though godless, finally made himself into a god. Then that wretched man, having proved himself to be hateful to all, and despised on account of his murderous nature and the beastliness of his polluted mind, quite appropriately brought upon himself the rewards of his own malevolence, and brought an end to his depraved and obscene life with the most shameful of fates.[1]
This man, under the influence of some demonic bewitchment, grew spiteful of his brother and did away with him by poison, out of his passion for power. And although the affairs of the Romans were in a wretched state, he did not curtail any of his forms or pursuits of savagery, greed, murderous activity or anything else, along with his lack of self control and discipline as regards matters of the body. He also exiled Nerva on the charge that he was plotting to obtain the principate, and he arrested Apollonius of Tyana as a friend of Nerva and had him shorn and brought into court in fetters. And when the philosopher did not relent in his ridicule of the things that had happened on account of him and in his criticism of the things that had been done, out of shame he ordered him taken away. It was then, they say, that Apollonius uttered that famous remark -- "You will not kill me, since, I assure you, I am not mortal" -- and thereupon immediately disappeared.[2]
This man banished even the philosophers and the mathematicians from Rome. In his reign also John the Evangelist was exiled to Patmos. And he ordered those from the family of David to be executed, and many Christians were martyred under him. Nerva released John the Theologian from exile. Hadrian, who was a restorer in many respects, also installed a king over the Lazoi or Kolchoi.[3] But it was ill-advised when he withdrew from Mesopotamia (which had been annexed by the Romans under Trajan) at the request of the Persians, making the Euphrates the border of the empire.[4]
This man [Domitian], being universally hated on account of his murderousness and beastliness, was assassinated at the hands of members of his household who had conspired against him. They arranged to send in Stephanos the freedman with a dagger; and he fell upon Domitian while he was sleeping in the middle of the day and struck him, not, in fact, at the right time, but when he had already leapt up from bed.[5]
Greek Original:
Δομετιανός, βασιλεὺς Ῥωμαίων, ἀδελφὸς Τίτου, οὗ διάδοχος γενόμενος οὐ τὴν πατρικὴν καὶ ἀδελφικὴν ἐζήλωσεν ἄριστον πολιτείαν, ἀλλὰ τὴν Τιβερίου καὶ Νέρωνος ἀνοσιουργίαν ἐκ διαμέτρου. καὶ δὴ πᾶν εἶδος κακίας ἐπελθὼν μιαιφονίας τε καὶ γυναικομανίας ἅμα καὶ ἀνδρομανίας ἀνάπλεως γενόμενος ἑαυτὸν ὁ ἄθεος τελευταῖον ἀπεθέωσε. κἀντεῦθεν οὖν ἔχθιστον ἅπασι καὶ ἀπόβλητον διὰ τὸ φονικόν τε καὶ θηριῶδες τῆς μιαρᾶς γνώμης ἑαυτὸν ὁ τάλας ἀποφήνας, εἰκότως μάλα τὰ ἐπίχειρα τῆς οἰκείας δυσμενείας κομισάμενος αἰσχίστῳ μόρῳ τὸν μυσαρὸν καὶ βέβηλον καταστρέφει βίον. οὗτος σὺν τῷ βασκάνῳ δαίμονι νεμεσήσας τῷ ἀδελφῷ τοῦτον ἀναιρεῖ φαρμάκῳ, ἔρωτι τῆς ἀρχῆς. καὶ πονηρῶς τὰ πράγματα Ῥωμαίων διαθεὶς οὐδὲν ὠμότητος οὐδὲ πλεονεξίας οὐδὲ φονικῆς ἐνεργείας ἢ ἑτέρου τινὸς παραλέλοιπεν εἶδος ἢ σπούδασμα, μετὰ τοῦ καὶ ἀκρατὴς εἶναι καὶ ἀκόλαστος τὰ περὶ τὸ σῶμα. οὗτος καὶ Νέρβαν μετέστησεν ὡς ἐπιβουλεύοντα τῇ βασιλείᾳ, καὶ Ἀπολλώνιον τὸν Τυανέα ὡς φίλον Νέρβᾳ, συλλαβὼν ἀπέκειρε καὶ δέσμιον εἰς δικαστήριον ἤγαγε. καὶ ἐπεὶ ὁ φιλόσοφος οὐκ ἐνεδίδου ἐπεγγελῶν τὰ γινόμενα παρ' αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐπιπλήττων τοῖς πραττομένοις, αἰσχυνθεὶς διαφῆκεν αὐτόν. τότε φασὶ καὶ τὸ πολυθρύλητον ἔπος εἰπεῖν τὸν Ἀπολλώνιον: οὐ μέν με κτενέεις, ἐπεὶ οὔ τοι μόρσιμός εἰμι: ἄφαντον γενέσθαι παραχρῆμα. οὗτος καὶ τοὺς φιλοσόφους καὶ μαθηματικοὺς ἐφυγάδευσεν ἀπὸ Ῥώμης. ἐπὶ τούτου καὶ Ἰωάννης ὁ Εὐαγγελιστὴς εἰς Πάτμον ἐξορίζεται. καὶ τοὺς ἀπὸ τοῦ γένους Δαβὶδ ἀναιρεῖσθαι προσέταξε, καὶ Χριστιανοὶ πολλοὶ ἐπ' αὐτοῦ μαρτυροῦσι. Νέρβας δὲ ἀπολύει τῆς ἐξορίας Ἰωάννην τὸν Θεολόγον. Ἀδριανὸς δὲ πολλὰ ἀνορθώσας καὶ Λαζοῖς ἤτοι Κόλχοις βασιλέα ἐπέστησεν. οὐκ εὐβούλως δὲ τῆς Μεσοποταμίας παραχωρεῖ Πέρσαις δεηθεῖσιν αὐτοῦ, κτηθείσης ὑπὸ Τραιανοῦ Ῥωμαίοις, καὶ τὸν Εὐφράτην ὅρον ποιεῖται τῆς ἀρχῆς. οὗτος διὰ τὸ φονικὸν καὶ θηριῶδες ἔχθιστος ὢν πρὸς τῶν οἰκείων συστάντων ἐπ' αὐτῷ κατακτείνεται καὶ παρασκευασαμένους εἰσπέμψαι ξὺν ξιφιδίῳ Στέφανον τὸν ἀπελεύθερον: καὶ τοῦτον προσπεσόντα Δομετιανῷ καθεύδοντι τὸ μεθημερινὸν πατάξαι μέν, οὐ μὴν καιρίαν, ἀναπηδήσαντος γοῦν ἐκείνου.
Titus Flavius Domitianus, emperor 81-96; OCD(4) 472-3; De Imperatoribus Romanis entry by John Donahue at web address 1; and already delta 1351.
[1] George the Monk, Chronicon 2.444.1-11.
[2] cf. Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 8.8, where A. quotes Apollo's taunt to Achilles from Homer, Iliad 22.13. (On Apollonius see generally alpha 3420.)
[3] For 'Lazoi or Kolchoi' cf. kappa 1979, and see generally OCD(4) s.v. Colchis. The king here was the Arsacid Volog(a)eses II.
[4] cf. Eutropius, Breviarium 8.6.
[5] John of Antioch fr.107 FHG (4.579ff.), now 190.1 Roberto.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; Christianity; chronology; daily life; epic; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; historiography; history; law; medicine; philosophy; poetry; proverbs; religion
Translated by: William Hutton on 2 November 2002@09:40:26.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added notes and link) on 3 November 2002@00:37:28.
David Whitehead (augmented notes; cosmetics) on 3 November 2002@05:52:50.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 3 October 2005@09:35:22.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 3 January 2006@10:27:15.
David Whitehead (tweaking) on 16 July 2012@06:02:57.
David Whitehead on 16 July 2012@06:04:10.
David Whitehead (expanded n.2; another keyword) on 27 May 2013@05:49:26.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 27 May 2013@05:54:05.
David Whitehead (updated 2 refs) on 3 August 2014@05:43:27.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 7 November 2014@02:06:07.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note) on 28 November 2014@12:02:50.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 29 November 2014@03:14:54.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 29 January 2015@08:07:54.


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