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Titus Flavius Domitian

a.d.51-96. Roman emperor from a.d. 81. Son of Vespasian, he succeeded his brother Titus and at first ruled well. After the failure of his campaigns (87) against the Dacians and Marcomanni, however, he became cruel and, among other things, demanded that he be worshiped as Dominus et Deus (Lord and God). Christians and Jews were persecuted for their refusal to give him divine honors. Tradition declares that one who was banished for his faith was the Apostle John, who then wrote the Apocalypse on the island of Patmos as a message to his suffering brethren. Domitian's behavior became so intolerable even to pagans that a conspiracy was formed against him, and he was assassinated.