Hello everyone and thanks for coming back. Today let’s get right back to Domitian. We left off where the rumor was he killed his brother Titus, and we know so far that he was in his brother’s presence while they were traveling together at the time Titus fell ill with a fever.
Gossip also ran rampant that the new emperor had at one point even plotted to overthrow his brother and take the throne for himself. Whether or not he had a hand in Titus’s death, Domitian did not wait for his brother to die. He quickly returned to Rome and the Praetorian camp to be proclaimed emperor. Mystery, however, surrounded the last minutes before Titus’s death. There is some disagreement on the meanings of Titus’s last words: “I have made but one mistake.” Suetonius wrote he “gazed up at the sky, and complained bitterly that life was being undeservedly taken from him, since a single sin lay on his conscience.” He added, “… this enigmatic remark has been taken as referring to incest with Domitian’s wife, Domitia, she herself solemnly denied the allegation.” Suetonius did not believe this was the case because if she had, had an affair, she would have bragged about it. Some, those not overly found of the new emperor, took a more negative view of these words – Titus meant he should have killed Domitian when he had the chance. (ancient.eu)
For reference: Suetonius, was Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, a Roman historian belonging to the equestrian order who wrote during the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire.
So we see, there is no hard evidence to show if Domitian really killed his brother or not. Two things however really stand out. One, he had a motive, and that motive was to gain emperor of Rome, he had a taste for power when his father Vespasian was battling in the eastern provinces, Domitian was the temporary representative of the Flavian family; he was even hailed by Roman citizens as “Caesar.” So this gave him a feel for power early in his life. But the real kicker is this, Domitian left to proclaim himself emperor before his brother had died. How did he know that Titus was going to die from the fever? Probably because he knew that the poison he used was a sure bet, and that first fever came and then death. So is there hard evidence to Domitian killing his brother as John Foxe made it sound? The answer, no, but it is very plausible that he committed the murder. Was Titus on his death bed regretting not killing Domitian? Did Titus feel that Domitian wanted him dead and out of the way, so he could rise to power? This we can never know. I searched high and low for the resource or resources that John Foxe may have used, but I could not find any information on that at all. I’m not in anyway saying John Foxe lied and made his statement sound like fact, when in fact it may not have been. I’m just saying I personally could not find his resource. That’s why it’s so important to search out everything for yourself, so you can make an accurate decision based on the information you have gathered, to decide what you are going to believe. This goes for Pastors, Sunday School Teachers, radio preachers, television preachers, YouTube videos or even me, etc. it may sound like what you want to hear, but it may not have any factual foundation, and therefore may not be the truth. This my friends is exactly how people get deceived, and begin to believe a lie, they don’t do the research. From my research, do I think Domitian killed his brother Titus? Yes I do. I think his motive was clear, and his actions suspicious enough, for me to conclude for myself that he more than likely killed his brother, but I cannot say that with one hundred percent fact, therefore I will not.
The next statement John Foxe wrote, was that Domitian then raised the second persecution of Christians, and put to death some of the Roman senators, so let’s now take a look at that.
I will start with the senators. This again will be from the writings of Suetonius, I prefer to use historians of or near the time, the allegations are made against someone, or an event or events occurred, because as we all know, truth a lot of times slowly disappears or covered up, and is replaced with hearsay, or fables, or lies overtime.
Domitian put many senators to death on the most trivial charges: among them a group of ex-Consuls, three of whom, Civica Cerealis, Achius Glabrio, and Salvidienus Arfritus, he accused of conspiracy; Cerealis was executed while governing Asia; Glabrio (executed) while in exile on another charge. Aeolus Lamia lost his life as a result of some harmless witticisms at Domitian’s expense, made several years previously: he had been robbed of his wife by Domitian.(from The Twelve Caesars By Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus @ ourcivilisation.com)
Well that’s good enough for me on that one, John Foxe nailed it. Now let’s look at the Christian persecutions. Here I will be looking at the writings of Eusebius of Caesarea. There are many other writings from early Christian historians that one can read, and Eusebius mentions some, however for the sake of time, I will refer to Eusebius.
Eusebius of Caesarea: Born 260/265 Died 339/340 (age 74/79). Was also called Eusebius Pamphili, (flourished 4th century, Caesarea Palestine), Bishop, exegete, polemicist, and historian whose account of the first centuries of Christianity, in his Ecclesiastical History, is a landmark in Christian historiography. The writings that follow are from his book III, chapter XVII. Titled, The Persecutions Under Domitian.
Domitian, having shown great cruelty toward many, and having unjustly put to death no small number of well-born and notable men at Rome, and having without cause exiled and confiscated the property of a great many other illustrious men, finally became a successor of Nero in his hatred and enmity toward God. He was in fact the second that stirred up a persecution against us, although his father Vespasian had undertaken nothing prejudicial to us.
So by this account, we can conclude that there was an historical record of Christian Persecution that occurred during Domitian’s reign. Now I want to warn you, that during your own research in this matter, you may encounter a new theology that some are throwing out there. Some believe that the book of Revelation had already came to pass at the burning and destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by Titus, Domitian’s brother in AD 70. And that the persecutions that is mentioned had to be under Nero, this is ludicrous, to say the least. There is so much evidence that proves otherwise, that I’m not going to take the time to cover it now, that won’t come till way later in this study when I cover the fourth beast system under antichrist, but I did want to warn you, do your research carefully, don’t be confused by these new theologies, they are put in place to deceive people by satan, to take away the importance of the prophecy of Revelation, so we are not deceived on what is still future, and putting it away in the past, like it already occurred, this is heresy.
Next John Foxe wrote about Domitian commanded all the lineage of David be put to death. This is very interesting because this is an attack on the lineage of Jesus, so I wanted to look into this also, and this is what I found. The following is from Eusebius’s Book III, Chapter XII. Titled, Vespasian Commands the Descendants of David to Be Sought.
He also relates (Hegesippus) that Vespasian after the conquest of Jerusalem gave orders that all that belonged to the lineage of David should be sought out, in order that none of the royal race might be left among the Jews; and in consequence of this a most terrible persecution again hung over the Jews.
Here we find Emperor Vespasian tried to begin the total annihilation of the lineage of David. Why? Because he did not want a king to rise up in opposition to his kingdom. Somehow he had knowledge that a king was to rise up out of the lineage of David, but obviously didn’t understand or believe that this king he feared, that would rise to power, had already came in the flesh, but because Jesus did not come the first time as the King He is, but as a sacrifice, Jesus was not recognized by this pagan emperor. But somehow Vespasian knew a great king would rise from the lineage of David. How did he know? I have no idea, but this I do know, satan hates the lineage of David, so satan obviously used Vespasian as a tool to try and eliminate the entire remnant of David’s lineage. Yes you caught that didn’t you, I wrote remnant, but that’s way later in this study, so keep coming back. It is possible that Vespasian just hated the lineage Jesus came from, but that really isn’t mentioned so it’s very hard to say. Ok next is from the writings of Eusebius’s Book III, Chapter XIX. Titled, Domitian Commands the Descendants of David to Be Slain.
But when this same Domitian had commanded that the descendants of David should be slain, an ancient tradition says that some of the heretics brought accusation against the descendants of Jude ( said to have been a brother of the Saviour according to the flesh), on the ground that they were of the lineage of David and related to Christ himself.
To be continued my friends, until next time, may the Lord bless your search for truth, leaving no stone unturned.