Gnaeus Julius Agricola
Gnaeus Julius Agricola was a Gallo-Roman general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain. Written by his son-in-law Tacitus, the De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae is the primary source for most of what is known about him, along with detailed archaeological evidence from northern Britain. Agricola began his military career in Britain, his subsequent career saw. He supported Vespasian during the Year of the Four Emperors, was given a military command in Britain when the latter became emperor; when his command ended in 73, he was made patrician in Rome and appointed governor of Gallia Aquitania. He was made consul and governor of Britannia in 77. While there, he completed the conquest of what is now Wales and northern England, led his army to the far north of Scotland, establishing forts across much of the Lowlands, he was recalled from Britain in 85 after an unusually lengthy service, thereafter retired from military and public life. Agricola was born in the colonia of Gallia Narbonensis.
Agricola's parents were from noted Gallo-Roman political families of senatorial rank, his ancestors were Romanised Gauls of local origin. Both of his grandfathers served as imperial governors, his father, Lucius Julius Graecinus, was a praetor and had become a member of the Roman Senate in the year of his birth. Graecinus had become distinguished by his interest in philosophy. Between August 40 and January 41, the Emperor Caligula ordered his death because he refused to prosecute the Emperor's second cousin Marcus Junius Silanus, his mother was Julia Procilla. The Roman historian Tacitus describes her as "a lady of singular virtue". Tacitus states. Agricola was educated in Massilia, showed what was considered an unhealthy interest in philosophy, he began his career in Roman public life as a military tribune, serving in Britain under Gaius Suetonius Paulinus from 58 to 62. He was attached to the Legio II Augusta, but was chosen to serve on Suetonius's staff and thus certainly participated in the suppression of Boudica's uprising in 61.
Returning from Britain to Rome in 62, he married a woman of noble birth. Their first child was a son. Agricola was appointed as quaestor for 64, which he served in the province of Asia under the corrupt proconsul Lucius Salvius Otho Titianus. While he was there, his daughter, Julia Agricola, was born, he was tribune of the plebs in 66 and praetor in June 68, during which time he was ordered by the Governor of Spain Galba to take an inventory of the temple treasures. During that same, the emperor Nero was declared a public enemy by the Senate and committed suicide, the period of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors began. Galba was murdered in early 69 by Otho, who took the throne. Agricola's mother was murdered on her estate in Liguria by Otho's marauding fleet. Hearing of Vespasian's bid for the empire, Agricola gave him his support. Otho meanwhile committed suicide after being defeated by Vitellius. After Vespasian had established himself as emperor, Agricola was appointed to the command of the Legio XX Valeria Victrix, stationed in Britain, in place of Marcus Roscius Coelius, who had stirred up a mutiny against the governor, Marcus Vettius Bolanus.
Britain had revolted during the year of civil war, Bolanus was a mild governor. Agricola helped to consolidate Roman rule. In 71, Bolanus was replaced by a more aggressive governor, Quintus Petillius Cerialis, Agricola was able to display his talents as a commander in campaigns against the Brigantes in northern England; when his command ended in 73, Agricola was enrolled as a patrician and appointed to govern Gallia Aquitania. There he stayed for three years. In 76 or 77, he was recalled to Rome and appointed suffect consul, betrothed his daughter to Tacitus; the following year and Julia married. Arriving in midsummer of 77, Agricola discovered that the Ordovices of north Wales had destroyed the Roman cavalry stationed in their territory, he moved against them and defeated them. He moved north to the island of Mona, which Suetonius Paulinus had failed to subjugate in 60 because of the outbreak of the Boudican rebellion, forced its inhabitants to sue for peace, he established a good reputation as an administrator, as well as a commander, by reforming the corrupt corn levy.
He introduced Romanising measures, encouraging communities to build towns on the Roman model and educating the sons of the native nobility in the Roman manner. Agricola expanded Roman rule north into Caledonia. In the summer of 79, he pushed his armies to the estuary of the river Taus interpreted as the Firth of Tay unchallenged, established some forts. Though their location is left unspecified, the close dating of the fort at Elginhaugh in Midlothian makes it a possible candidate. In 81, Agricola "crossed in the first ship" and defeated peoples unknown to the Romans until then. Tacitus, in Chapter 24 of Agricola, does not tell us what body of water he crossed, although most scholars believe it was the Clyde or Forth, some translators add the name of their preferred river to the text. T
Caledonia is the Latin name given by the Romans to the land north of their province of Britannia, beyond the frontier of their empire corresponding to modern-day Scotland. The etymology of the name is from a P-Celtic source, its modern usage is as a poetic name for Scotland as a whole. The original use of the name, by Tacitus, Ptolemy and Pliny the Elder, referred to the area known as Pictavia or Pictland in what is now Scotland, to the north of Hadrian's Wall; the name may be related to that of a large central Pictish tribe, the Caledonii, one amongst several in the area and the dominant tribe, which would explain the binomial Caledonia/Caledonii. The name of the Caledonians may be found in toponymy, such as Dùn Chailleann, the Scottish Gaelic word for the town of Dunkeld meaning "fort of the Caledonii", in that of the mountain Sìdh Chailleann, the "fairy hill of the Caledonians". According to Historia Brittonum the site of the seventh battle of the mythical Arthur was a forest in what is now Scotland, called Coit Celidon in early Welsh.
According to Zimmer, Caledonia is derived from the tribal name Caledones, which he etymologises as "'possessing hard feet', alluding to standfastness or endurance", from the Proto-Celtic roots *kal- "hard" and *φēdo- "foot". Moffat suggests the name is related to the Welsh word caled, "hard", which could refer to the rocky land or the hardiness of the people. Keay and Keay state that the word is "apparently pre-Celtic"; the exact location of what the Romans called Caledonia in the early stages of Britannia is uncertain, the boundaries are unlikely to have been fixed until the building of Hadrian's Wall. From onwards, Caledonia stood to the north of the wall, to the south was the Roman province of Britannia. During the brief Roman military incursions into central and northern Scotland, the Scottish Lowlands were indeed absorbed into the province of Britannia, the name was used by the Romans, prior to their conquest of the southern and central parts of the island, to refer to the whole island of Great Britain.
Once the Romans had built a second wall further to the north and their garrisons advanced north the developing Roman-Britons south of the wall had trade relations with the Picts north of the wall, as testified by archaeological evidence, much of it available at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. The modern use of "Caledonia" in English and Scots is either as a historical description of northern Britain during the Roman era or as a romantic or poetic name for Scotland as a whole; the name has been used by organisations and commercial entities. Notable examples include Glasgow Caledonian University, ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne, the now-defunct British Caledonian airline and Caledonian Railway; the Caledonian Sleeper is an overnight train service from London to Scottish destinations. The Inverness Caledonian Thistle F. C. is a professional football club. In music, "Caledonia" is a popular folk ballad written by Dougie MacLean in 1977 and published in 1979 on an album of the same name.
The web series Caledonia and associated novel is a supernatural police drama that takes place in Glasgow, Scotland. Ptolemy's account referred to the Caledonia Silva, an idea still recalled in the modern expression "Caledonian Forest", although the woods are much reduced in size since Roman times; some scholars point out that the name "Scotland" is derived from Scotia, a Latin term first used for Ireland and for Scotland, the Scoti peoples having originated in Ireland and resettled in Scotland. Another, post-conquest, Roman name for the island of Great Britain was Albion, cognate with the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland: Alba. Battle of Mons Graupius Caledonian Ocean New Caledonia Scotland during the Roman Empire Bede, the Venerable Saint. McClure, Judith; the Ecclesiastical History of the English People. World's Classics. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-283866-0. Bennet, Donald J. ed.. The Munros. Glasgow: Scottish Mountaineering Trust. ISBN 0-907521-13-4. Hanson, William S.. "The Roman Presence: Brief Interludes".
In Edwards, Kevin J.. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0-7486-1736-1. Haverfield, Francis. "Caledonia". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 4. Cambridge University Press. P. 987. Keay, John. Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-255082-2. Koch, John T.. Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. 1. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1-85109-440-7. Lacy, Norris J.. The Arthurian Handbook. Garland. ISBN 0-8153-2082-5. Moffat, Alistair. Before Scotland: The Story of Scotland Before History. London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05133-X. Smout, T. C.. A History of the Native Woodlands of Scotland, 1500 — 1920. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-3294-7. Watson, William J.. The Celtic Placenames of Scotland. Edinburgh: Birlinn. ISBN 1-84158-323-5. Zimmer, Stefan. "Some Names and Epithets in Culhwch ac Olwen". Studi Celtici. 3: 163–179. The dictionary definition of Caledonia at Wiktionary Anglia Scotia et Hibernia - 1628 map of the region by Mercator and Hondius
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Wales is a country, part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Bristol Channel to the south, it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit; the country has a changeable, maritime climate. Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century; the whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party.
Welsh national feeling grew over the century. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, development of the mining and metallurgical industries transformed the country from an agricultural society into an industrial nation. Two-thirds of the population live in South Wales, including Cardiff, Swansea and the nearby valleys. Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector and service industries and tourism. Although Wales shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, a majority of the population in most areas speaks English as a first language, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is bilingual. Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west.
From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition. At many international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Rugby union is seen as an expression of national consciousness; the English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root, itself derived from the name of the Gaulish people known to the Romans as Volcae and which came to refer indiscriminately to all non-Germanic peoples. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Britons in particular, Wēalas when referring to their lands; the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. In Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain and places in Anglo-Saxon territory associated with Britons, as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans, such as the walnut.
The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales. These words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning "fellow-countrymen"; the use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, different from other peoples. In particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage and language to the Welsh; the word came into use as a self-description before the 7th century. It is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. In Welsh literature, the word Cymry was used throughout the Middle Ages to describe the Welsh, though the older, more generic term Brythoniaid continued to be used to describe any of the Britonnic peoples and was the more common literary term until c. 1200. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh.
Until c. 1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of these names, Cambrian and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales and the Welsh people. Examples include the Cambrian Mountains, the newspaper Cambrian News, the organisations Cambrian Airways, Cambrian Railways, Cambrian Archaeological Association and the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. Outside Wales, a related form survives as the name Cumbria in North West England, once a part of Yr Hen Ogledd; the Cumbric language, thought to
Caratacus was a 1st-century AD British chieftain of the Catuvellauni tribe, who led the British resistance to the Roman conquest. Before the Roman invasion Caratacus is associated with the expansion of his tribe's territory, his apparent success led to Roman invasion, nominally in support of his defeated enemies. He resisted the Romans for a decade, mixing guerrilla warfare with set-piece battles, but was unsuccessful in the latter. After his final defeat he fled to the territory of Queen Cartimandua, who captured him and handed him over to the Romans, he was sentenced to death as a military prisoner, but made a speech before his execution that persuaded the Emperor Claudius to spare him. The legendary Welsh character Caradog ap Bran and the legendary British king Arvirargus may be based upon Caratacus. Caratacus's speech to Claudius has been a common subject in art. Caratacus is named by Dio Cassius as a son of the Catuvellaunian king Cunobelinus. Based on coin distribution Caratacus appears to have been the protégé of his uncle Epaticcus, who expanded Catuvellaunian power westwards into the territory of the Atrebates.
After Epaticcus died in about AD 35, the Atrebates, under Verica, regained some of their territory, but it appears Caratacus completed the conquest, as Dio tells us Verica was ousted, fled to Rome and appealed to the emperor Claudius for help. This was the excuse used by Claudius to launch his invasion of Britain in the summer of 43; the invasion targeted Caratacus's stronghold of Camulodunon the seat of his father Cunobelinus. Cunobelinus had died some time before the invasion. Caratacus and his brother Togodumnus led the initial defence of the country against Aulus Plautius's four legions, thought to have been around 40,000 men using guerrilla tactics, they lost much of the south-east after being defeated in two crucial battles, the Battle of the River Medway and River Thames. Togodumnus was killed and the Catuvellauni's territories were conquered, their stronghold of Camulodunon was converted into the first Roman colonia in Britain, Colonia Victricensis. We next hear of Caratacus in Tacitus's Annals, leading the Silures and Ordovices of Wales against Plautius's successor as governor, Publius Ostorius Scapula.
In 51, Scapula managed to defeat Caratacus in a set-piece battle somewhere in Ordovician territory, capturing Caratacus's wife and daughter and receiving the surrender of his brothers. Caratacus himself escaped, fled north to the lands of the Brigantes where the Brigantian queen, handed him over to the Romans in chains; this was one of the factors that led to two Brigantian revolts against Cartimandua and her Roman allies, once in the 50s and once in 69, led by Venutius, who had once been Cartimandua's husband. With the capture of Caratacus, much of southern Britain from the Humber to the Severn was pacified and garrisoned throughout the 50s. Legends place Caratacus's last stand at either Caer Caradoc near Church Stretton or British Camp in the Malvern Hills, but the description of Tacitus makes either unlikely: resorted to the ultimate hazard, adopting a place for battle so that entry, everything would be unfavourable to us and for the better to his own men, with steep mountains all around, wherever a gentle access was possible, he strewed rocks in front in the manner of a rampart.
And in front too there flowed a stream with an unsure ford, companies of armed men had taken up position along the defences. Although the Severn is visible from British Camp, it is nowhere near it, so this battle must have taken place elsewhere. A number of locations have been suggested, including a site near Brampton Bryan. Bari Jones, in Archaeology Today in 1998, identified Blodwel Rocks at Llanymynech in Powys as representing a close fit with Tacitus's account. After his capture, Caratacus was sent to Rome as a war prize to be killed after a triumphal parade. Although a captive, he was allowed to speak to the Roman senate. Tacitus records a version of his speech in which he says that his stubborn resistance made Rome's glory in defeating him all the greater: If the degree of my nobility and fortune had been matched by moderation in success, I would have come to this City as a friend rather than a captive, nor would you have disdained to receive with a treaty of peace one sprung from brilliant ancestors and commanding a great many nations.
But my present lot, disfiguring as it is for me, is magnificent for you. I had horses, men and wealth: what wonder if I was unwilling to lose them? If you wish to command everyone, does it follow that everyone should accept your slavery? If I were now being handed over as one who had surrendered neither my fortune nor your glory would have achieved brilliance, it is true that in my case any reprisal will be followed by oblivion. On the other hand, if you preserve me safe and sound, I shall be an eternal example of your clemency, he made such an impression that he was allowed to live in peace in Rome. After his liberation, according to Dio Cassius, Caratacus was so impressed by the city of Rome that he said "And can you who have got such possessions and so many of them, covet our poor tents?" Caratacus's name appears as both Caratacus and Caractacus in manuscripts of Tacitus, as Καράτακος and Καρτάκης in manuscripts of Dio. Older reference works te
Roman Britain was the area of the island of Great Britain, governed by the Roman Empire, from 43 to 410 AD. It comprised the whole of England and Wales and, for a short period, southern Scotland. Julius Caesar invaded Britain in 54 BC as part of his Gallic Wars. According to Caesar, the Britons had been overrun or culturally assimilated by other Celtic tribes during the British Iron Age and had been aiding Caesar's enemies, he received tribute, installed a friendly king over the Trinovantes, returned to Gaul. Planned invasions under Augustus were called off in 34, 27, 25 BC. In 40 AD, Caligula assembled 200,000 men at the Channel on the continent, only to have them gather seashells according to Suetonius as a symbolic gesture to proclaim Caligula's victory over the sea. Three years Claudius directed four legions to invade Britain and restore an exiled king over the Atrebates; the Romans defeated the Catuvellauni, organized their conquests as the Province of Britain. By the year 47, the Romans held the lands southeast of the Fosse Way.
Control over Wales was delayed by reverses and the effects of Boudica's uprising, but the Romans expanded northward. The conquest of Britain continued under command of Gnaeus Julius Agricola, who expanded the Roman Empire as far as Caledonia. In the summer of 84, Agricola faced the armies of the Caledonians, led by Calgacus, at the Battle of Mons Graupius. Battle casualties were estimated by Tacitus to be around the 10,000's on the Caledonian side and about 360 on the Roman side; the bloodbath at Mons Graupius concluded the forty-year conquest of Britain, a period that saw between 100,000 and 250,000 Britons killed. In the context of pre-industrial warfare and of a total population of Britain of c.2 million, these are high figures. Under the 2nd-century emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, two walls were built to defend the Roman province from the Caledonians, whose realms in the Scottish Highlands were never controlled. Around 197, the Severan Reforms divided Britain into two provinces: Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior.
During the Diocletian Reforms, at the end of the 3rd century, Britannia was divided into four provinces under the direction of a vicarius, who administered the Diocese of the Britains. A fifth province, Valentia, is attested in the 4th century. For much of the period of the Roman occupation, Britannia was subject to barbarian invasions and came under the control of imperial usurpers and imperial pretenders; the final Roman withdrawal from Britain occurred around 410. Following the conquest of the Britons, a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged as the Romans introduced improved agriculture, urban planning, industrial production, architecture; the Roman goddess Britannia became the female personification of Britain. After the initial invasions, Roman historians only mention Britain in passing. Thus, most present knowledge derives from archaeological investigations and occasional epigraphic evidence lauding the Britannic achievements of an emperor. Roman citizens settled in Britain from many parts of the Empire.
Britain was known to the Classical world. The Greeks referred to the Cassiterides, or "tin islands", placed them near the west coast of Europe; the Carthaginian sailor Himilco is said to have visited the island in the 5th century BC and the Greek explorer Pytheas in the 4th. It was regarded with some writers refusing to believe it existed at all; the first direct Roman contact was when Julius Caesar undertook two expeditions in 55 and 54 BC, as part of his conquest of Gaul, believing the Britons were helping the Gallic resistance. The first expedition was more a reconnaissance than a full invasion and gained a foothold on the coast of Kent but was unable to advance further because of storm damage to the ships and a lack of cavalry. Despite the military failure it was a political success, with the Roman Senate declaring a 20-day public holiday in Rome to honour the unprecedented achievement of obtaining hostages from Britain and defeating Belgian tribes on returning to the continent; the second invasion involved a larger force and Caesar coerced or invited many of the native Celtic tribes to pay tribute and give hostages in return for peace.
A friendly local king, was installed, his rival, was brought to terms. Hostages were taken, but historians disagree over whether any tribute was paid after Caesar returned to Gaul. Caesar conquered no territory and left no troops behind but he established clients and brought Britain into Rome's sphere of influence. Augustus planned invasions in 34, 27 and 25 BC, but circumstances were never favourable, the relationship between Britain and Rome settled into one of diplomacy and trade. Strabo, writing late in Augustus's reign, claimed that taxes on trade brought in more annual revenue than any conquest could. Archaeology shows. Strabo mentions British kings who sent embassies to Augustus and Augustus's own Res Gestae refers to two British kings he received as refugees; when some of Tiberius's ships were carried to Britain in a storm during his campaigns in Germany in 16 AD, they came back with tales of monsters. Rome appears to have encouraged a balance of power in southern Britain, supporting two powerful kingdoms: the Catuvellauni, ruled by the descendants of Tasciovanus, the Atrebates, ruled by the descendants of Commius.
This policy was followed until 39 or 40
Vespasian was Roman emperor from 69–79, the fourth, last, in the Year of the Four Emperors. He founded the Flavian dynasty. Vespasian was the first emperor who hailed from an equestrian family, only rose into the senatorial rank as the first member of his family in his lifetime. Vespasian's renown came from his military success. While Vespasian besieged Jerusalem during the Jewish rebellion, emperor Nero committed suicide and plunged Rome into a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. After Galba and Otho perished in quick succession, Vitellius became emperor in April 69; the Roman legions of Roman Egypt and Judaea reacted by declaring Vespasian, their commander, emperor on 1 July 69. In his bid for imperial power, Vespasian joined forces with Mucianus, the governor of Syria, Primus, a general in Pannonia, leaving his son Titus to command the besieging forces at Jerusalem. Primus and Mucianus led the Flavian forces against Vitellius. On 20 December 69, Vitellius was defeated, the following day Vespasian was declared emperor by the Senate.
Little information survives about the government during Vespasian's ten-year rule. He reformed the financial system of Rome after the campaign against Judaea ended and initiated several ambitious construction projects, including the building of the Flavian Amphitheatre, better known today as the Roman Colosseum. Through his general Agricola, Vespasian increased imperial expansion in Britain. After his death in 79, he was succeeded by his eldest son Titus, thus becoming the first Roman emperor to be directly succeeded by his own natural son and establishing the Flavian dynasty. Vespasian was born in a village north-east of Rome called Falacrinae, his family was undistinguished and lacking in pedigree. His paternal grandfather, Titus Flavius Petro, became the first to distinguish himself, rising to the rank of centurion and fighting at Pharsalus for Pompey in 48 BC. Subsequently, he became a debt collector. Petro's son, Titus Flavius Sabinus, worked as a customs official in the province of Asia and became a moneylender on a small scale among the Helvetii.
He gained a reputation as a scrupulous and honest "tax-farmer". Sabinus married up in status, to Vespasia Polla, whose father had risen to the rank of prefect of the camp and whose brother became a Senator. Sabinus and Vespasia had the eldest of whom, a girl, died in infancy; the elder boy, Titus Flavius Sabinus, pursued the cursus honorum. He served in the army as a military tribune in Thrace in 36; the following year he was served in Creta et Cyrenaica. He rose through the ranks of Roman public office, being elected aedile on his second attempt in 39 and praetor on his first attempt in 40, taking the opportunity to ingratiate himself with the Emperor Caligula; the younger boy, seemed far less to be successful not wishing to pursue high public office. He followed in his brother's footsteps. During this period he married Flavia Domitilla, the daughter of Flavius Liberalis from Ferentium and the mistress of Statilius Capella, a Roman equestrian from Sabratha in Africa, they had two sons, Titus Flavius Vespasianus and Titus Flavius Domitianus, a daughter, Domitilla.
His wife Domitilla and his daughter Domitilla both died before Vespasian became Emperor in 69. After the death of his wife, Vespasian's longstanding mistress, Antonia Caenis, became his wife in all but formal status, a relationship that continued until she died in 75. In preparation for a praetorship, Vespasian needed two periods of service in the minor magistracies, one military and the other public. Vespasian served in the military in Thracia for about three years. On his return to Rome in about 30 AD, he obtained a post in the vigintivirate, the minor magistracies, most in one of the posts in charge of street cleaning, his early performance was so unsuccessful that Emperor Caligula stuffed handfuls of muck down his toga to correct the uncleaned Roman streets, formally his responsibility. During the period of the ascendancy of Sejanus, there is no record of Vespasian's significant activity in political events. After completion of a term in the vigintivirate, Vespasian was entitled to stand for election as quaestor.
But his lack of political or family influence meant that Vespasian served as quaestor in one of the provincial posts in Crete, rather than as assistant to important men in Rome. Next he needed to gain a praetorship, carrying the Imperium, but non-patricians and the less well-connected had to serve in at least one intermediary post as an aedile or tribune. Vespasian failed at his first attempt to gain an aedileship but was successful in his second attempt, becoming an aedile in 38. Despite his lack of significant family connections or success in office, he achieved praetorship in either 39 or 40, at the youngest age permitted, during a period of political upheaval in the organisation of elections, his longstanding relationship with freedwoman Antonia Caenis, confidential secretary to Antonia Minor and part of the circle of courtiers and servants around the Emperor, may have contributed to his success. Upon the accession of Claudius as emperor in 41, Vespasian was appointed legate of Legio II Augusta, stationed in Germania, thanks to the influence of the Imperial freedman Narcissus.
In 43, Vespasian and the II Augusta participated in the Roman invasion of Bri