n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Vespasian : power and presentation
Titus Flavius Vespasianus 9-79 CE

Volume 53, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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The series of papers on the reign of Vespasian (AD 69-79) which appear in this volume of owe their existence to a day-long conference held at the University of Queensland in November 2009. One aim of the conference was to mark the 2000th anniversary of Vespasian's birth in AD 9. A more personal aim for those in attendance was a desire to honour the work of Brian Jones and Bob Milns, whose lifelong interest in Rome's Flavian emperors has greatly influenced many scholars, and in particular those who offered papers on the day. As the day unfolded, discussion centred repeatedly on the ways in which Vespasian presented himself and his sons to the inhabitants of the Empire, and especially to the Senate and people of Rome. It would be no easy task to supersede the Julio-Claudian dynasty, and certainly Vespasian could not rely on armed might alone. His power had to be presented in ways which responded to a variety of tensions and sensibilities. His success in establishing a new dynasty in a difficult environment can hardly be denied, so his management of these tensions deserves credit. In different ways, the six papers which follow may be seen as providing insight into some of these tensions, and into Vespasian's management of them.

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