Titus Flavius Sabinus (consul AD 69)

Last updated
See also Titus Flavius Sabinus (disambiguation) for other men of this name.

Titus Flavius Sabinus was a Roman senator who was active in the first century AD. He was twice consul suffectus, first in the nundinium of April through June of 69 with his brother Gnaeus Arulenus Caelius Sabinus, and again in May and June of 72 as the colleague of Gaius Licinius Mucianus. [1]


Gavin Townend has identified Sabinus as a nephew of the emperor Vespasian, and the son of Titus Flavius Sabinus, consul in 47, [2] a thesis that has come to be accepted by other scholars. [3] Townend further argued that Sabinus was the father of Titus Flavius Sabinus consul in 82, and Titus Flavius Clemens consul in 95. [4]


Little is known of Sabinus' activities before his consulate. According to Tacitus, Sabinus and his brother were appointed consuls for the second nundinium of the year 69, the Year of the Four Emperors, an arrangement that Otho did not change. [5] However Townend, citing the evidence of an Egyptian papyrus, argued that both Sabini were intended by Nero to have been the consules ordinarii for that year, but Galba had moved them from that prestigious position in the calendar to the nundinium immediately following. [6]

That same year, Sabinus served as a general for Otho, assuming command of a group of gladiators who had been pressed into service on Otho's side and placed under the command of Martius Macer, but had been defeated by a detachment of soldiers supporting Vitellius. Tacitus writes that "the soldiers were delighted by this change of generals, while the generals were led by these continual outbreaks to regard with disgust so hateful a service." [7] Following the defeat and suicide of Otho, Sabinus submitted to Vitellius. [8] As the brothers Sabini had already begun their nundinium as suffect consuls when the decisive First Battle of Bedriacum was fought, Vitellius allowed the brothers to complete their term of office. [9]

Townend also suggests that Sabinus was appointed governor of Pannonia between his two consulates. [10] "Sabinus must have had some claims to be considered a vir militaris," Townend argues in a footnote, "if only as legatus legionis, to be given an active commission by Otho (Hist. II, 36), when so many distinguished soldiers were available on the staff." Other scholars of the period have not been quick to accept this possibility.

Flavian family tree

See also

Related Research Articles

Domitian Roman emperor from 81 to 96

Domitian was Roman emperor from 81 to 96. He was the son of Vespasian and the younger brother of Titus, his two predecessors on the throne, and the last member of the Flavian dynasty. During his reign, the authoritarian nature of his rule put him at sharp odds with the Senate, whose powers he drastically curtailed.

Galba Roman emperor from AD 68 to 69

Servius Sulpicius Galba, born as Lucius Livius Ocella Sulpicius Galba, was a Roman emperor who ruled from AD 68 to 69. He was the first emperor in the Year of the Four Emperors and assumed the position following emperor Nero's suicide.

Vespasian Roman emperor from AD 69 to 79

Titus Flavius Vespasianus, was a Roman emperor, who reigned from 69 to 79 AD. The fourth and last emperor who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors, he founded the Flavian dynasty that ruled the Empire for 27 years. His fiscal reforms and consolidation of the empire generated political stability and a vast Roman building program.

AD 69 Calendar year

AD 69 (LXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Augustus and Rufinus. The denomination AD 69 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Titus Roman emperor from AD 79 to 81

Titus Caesar Vespasianus was Roman emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death.

Year of the Four Emperors Four emperors ruled the Roman Empire in succession in AD 69

The Year of the Four Emperors, AD 69, was the first civil war of the Roman Empire, in which four emperors ruled in succession: Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian. It is considered an important interval, marking the transition between the Julio-Claudians, the first imperial dynasty, to the Flavian dynasty. The period witnessed several rebellions and claimants, with shifting allegiances and widespread turmoil in Rome and the provinces.

Flavian dynasty Roman imperial dynasty (r. AD 69–96)

The Flavian dynasty ruled the Roman Empire between AD 69 and 96, encompassing the reigns of Vespasian (69–79), and his two sons Titus (79–81) and Domitian (81–96). The Flavians rose to power during the civil war of 69, known as the Year of the Four Emperors. After Galba and Otho died in quick succession, Vitellius became emperor in mid 69. His claim to the throne was quickly challenged by legions stationed in the Eastern provinces, who declared their commander Vespasian emperor in his place. The Second Battle of Bedriacum tilted the balance decisively in favour of the Flavian forces, who entered Rome on December 20. The following day, the Roman Senate officially declared Vespasian emperor of the Roman Empire, thus commencing the Flavian dynasty. Although the dynasty proved to be short-lived, several significant historic, economic and military events took place during their reign.

Flavia gens Roman families

The gens Flavia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Its members are first mentioned during the last three centuries of the Republic. The first of the Flavii to achieve prominence was Marcus Flavius, tribune of the plebs in 327 and 323 BC; however, no Flavius attained the consulship until Gaius Flavius Fimbria in 104 BC. The gens became illustrious during the first century AD, when the family of the Flavii Sabini claimed the imperial dignity.

Titus Flavius T. f. T. n. Clemens was a Roman politician and cousin of the emperor Domitian, with whom he served as consul from January to April in AD 95. Shortly after leaving the consulship, Clemens was executed, allegedly for atheism, although the exact circumstances remain unclear. Over time, he came to be regarded as an early Christian martyr.

Titus Flavius T. f. T. n. Sabinus was a Roman politician and soldier. A native of Reate, he was the elder son of Titus Flavius Sabinus and Vespasia Polla, and brother of the Emperor Vespasian.

See also Titus Flavius Sabinus (disambiguation) for other men of this name.

Cornelius Fuscus was a Roman general who fought campaigns under the Emperors of the Flavian dynasty. During the reign of Domitian, he served as prefect of the imperial bodyguard, known as the Praetorian Guard, from 81 until his death in 86 AD. Prior to this appointment, Fuscus had distinguished himself as one of Vespasian's most ardent supporters during the civil war of 69 AD, known as the Year of the Four Emperors.

The gens Vitellia was a family of ancient Rome, which rose from obscurity in imperial times, and briefly held the Empire itself in AD 69. The first of this gens to obtain the consulship was Aulus Vitellius, uncle of the emperor Vitellius, in AD 32.

Lucius Junius Quintus Vibius Crispus was a Roman senator and amicus or companion of the Emperors, known for his wit. He was a three-time suffect consul.

Sabinus is an ancient Roman cognomen originally meaning "Sabine"; that is, it indicated origin among the Sabines, an ancient people of Latium. It was used by a branch of the gens Flavia, of the gens Calvisia, and several others, and is by far the most common of the cognomina indicating ethnic origin that were in use during the Republican and Augustan eras. Sabine heritage carried a positive stereotype of traditional values and trustworthiness, and since the cognomen may have been appropriated by some politicians for its aura of uprightness, it should not always be taken as a mark of authentic Sabine origin.

Lucius Junius Caesennius Paetus was a Roman senator active during the Flavian dynasty. He was suffect consul for the nundinium of March-June 79 with Publius Calvisius Ruso as his colleague.

Gaius Calpetanus Rantius Quirinalis Valerius Festus was a Roman senator, general, and amicus to each of the Flavian emperors. He proved his value to the Flavians when, as legatus legionis, or commander, of Legio III Augusta stationed in Africa, he assassinated the proconsul, who favored a rival of Vespasian during the Year of Four Emperors. He maintained his loyalty through the reigns of his sons Titus and Domitian, but fell out of favor during the latter's reign and was forced to commit suicide.

Aulus Marius Celsus was a Roman senator who held several offices in the emperor's service during the first century AD, as well as playing a role in the Year of Four Emperors. He was suffect consul of the nundinium of July to August 69 as the colleague of Gnaeus Arrius Antoninus.

Aulus Ducenius Geminus was a Roman senator active in the first century AD. Geminus is best known as Galba's appointment as Urban prefect of Rome during the Year of Four Emperors.

Gnaeus Arulenus Caelius Sabinus was a Roman senator, who was active during the Year of Four Emperors. He was suffect consul in the nundinium of April through June of 69 AD as the colleague of his brother Titus Flavius Sabinus.


  1. Paul Gallivan, "The Fasti for A. D. 70-96", Classical Quarterly , 31 (1981), pp. 188, 213
  2. Gavin Townend, "Some Flavian Connections", Journal of Roman Studies , 51 (1961), pp. 55f
  3. For example, Brian W. Jones, The Emperor Domitian (London: Routledge, 1992), p. 45
  4. Townend, "Some Flavian Connections", pp. 55-57
  5. Tacitus, Histories , i.77
  6. Townend, "The Consuls of A. D. 69/70", American Journal of Philology , 83 (1962), p. 118
  7. Tacitus, Histories, ii.36
  8. Tacitus, Histories, ii.51
  9. Townend, "Consuls of A. D. 69/70", pp. 120f
  10. Townend, "Some Flavian Connections", pp. 60f


Political offices
Preceded by
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Gnaeus Arulenus Caelius Sabinus
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Vespasian IV,
and Titus II

as Ordinary consuls
Suffect consul of the Roman Empire
with Gaius Licinius Mucianus II,
followed by Marcus Ulpius Traianus
Succeeded by

as Suffect consuls