As early supporters of Julius Caesar, the Vespasians have risen with those of the Julian dynasty. As a young man Vespasian served as a quaestor in the city government, but he soon shifted to a military career. As a tribune under Caesar Germanicus he helped quell attempted revolts in Syria and Palestine. Emperor Castor granted him command of a legion, eventually appointing him the imperial legate in Syria, a position he held between 42 and 50.
Since the year 50, Vespasian has lived in Rome and concentrated on senatorial politics. He also has extensive connections with the cult of the Capitoline Triad (Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva), having financed the building of numerous temples throughout the empire. Surprisingly, he has never been elected consul.
The Vespasian family controls major estates throughout Italy, including some of the regions best vineyards. Once fierce rivals of the Flavians, with their recent union the two families now have a near monopoly on wine production in Italy. The Vespasians also indirectly control much of Rome's trade with Syria and Palestine.
Page updated 7/21/99, Scott Martin