Good and Efficient Governance

Emperor Domitian’s biggest accomplishment was that he governed his empire in an honest and righteous manner.

He personally issued edicts regarding the smallest details of everyday life and law. He took great interest in enforcement of taxation and public morals.

Unlike his father emperor Vespasian and brother emperor Titus, Domitian did not practice nepotism and rarely favored his family members in the distribution of public offices.

Emperor Domitian had suspicious and very demanding nature, which helped his empire in maintaining historically low corruption among provincial governors and elected officials.

Emperor Domitian Accomplishments
Emperor Domitian Accomplishments

Though he reduced the power and privileges of Rome, he constantly interfered in the affairs of the Senate. He even expelled those senators who he deemed unworthy from the Senate.

Massive Construction Projects

Just 20 km outside Rome, Domitian built a vast and luxurious palace. He used this villa as his primary residence.

After the fire of 79 AD, many buildings were destroyed in the Field of Mars. Emperor Domitian decided to build a stadium in place of the destroyed building.

Emperor proclaimed this stadium as a gift to the people of Rome and made it a permanent venue for competitive athletics.

As Rome suffered from successive fire and civil war, emperor Domitian incurred lots of expense in extensive reconstruction of Rome.

Populist Policy

Emperor Domitian spent large sums of money as donatives (cash gifts) in order to appease the people of Rome. The Emperor  also revived the practice of organizing large public buffets.

The Emperor also revived the practice of public banquets, which had been reduced to a simple distribution of food under Nero, while he invested large sums on entertainment and games. In 86 AD, the emperor started the Capitoline Games.

It was the quadrennial contest comprising athletic displays, chariot racing, and competitions for oratory, music and acting.

Good Economic Policies

As emperor, Domitian strengthened the economy by revaluing the Roman coinage.

He maintained good spending discipline and always spent around one-third of state income in maintaining the Roman army. Timely payment increases the morale and efficiency of the Roman army.

Increased Defensive Capability of the Army

Emperor Domitian restored and expanded the border defenses of the empire. He also launched campaigns in Scotland and Dacia to decrease the threat of foreign invasion or raids. Though in Dacia Emperor Domitian was unable to procure a decisive victory against King Decebalus.

Emperor Domitian’s accomplishments made him very popular with the people and army, but members of the Roman Senate considered him a tyrant.

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