Roman Empire Titus Denarius 79 - 81 AD

Obv: Laureated head r "IMP TITUS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M"
Rev: Curule chair on which is wreath "TRP IX IMP XV COS VIII PP"

. Metal: Silver 3.55 grams, 18 mm diameter. Condition: VF - nicely centered

<Colosseum Ruins>

History of Titus

Titus was born in 39 AD and was brought up in the emperial court of Claudius along with Claudius' son "Britannicus". Once a physiognomist who was called to tell Britannicus' future, prophesised that Britannicus would never become emperor, whereas Titus (who was present) would someday become emperor.

Titus' carreer accelerated when he was 27 and joined his father "Vespasian" in the war against Judea first as commander of legion XV and later in 69 AD as sole commander when Vespasian became occupied with the rebellion against Vitellius. Upon "Vespasian's" elevation to Emperor, Titus and his younger brother Domitian were both hailed as Caesars. Titus finished the war in Judea and returned to Roman and participated in a triumph along with his father in early 71 AD.

In Rome, Titus was given command of the praetorian guard. As Caesar, Titus was not popular as his intellectual, physical and musical attributes reminded people of Nero. Also adding to his unpopularity was his ruthless suppression of the two leaders of a plot against his father.and his love affair with the princess "Berenice". When Vespasian died on 23 June 79 AD, Titus' succession went smoothly.

Titus' brief reign was marked by many accomplishments and some unfortunate natural disasters including the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on 24 August 79 AD. There was also a serious fire and an outbreak of plague in Rome in 80 AD. In June 80 AD Titus dedicated the Colosseum. His relation with the senate was cordial and he refused to put any of them to death or to confiscate any property. Thus, Titus reversed his previous unpopularity.

Titus died on 13 September 81 AD of a fever and for all the good Titus had done for the state and the people of Rome he was not entirely guilt-free, for on his deathbed he is said to have uttered the words "I have made but one mistake". Historians have debated what this mistake was ever since.