You wouldn't find this location in guidebooks and probably not even in a google search.
I always wondered where his bedroom assassination took place when I visited the Palatine Hill.
Last year on a ContextRome tour their archaeologist pointed out this location that some archaelogists and historians believe was Domitian's bedroom.
Below is a trip report I wrote using historical guidebooks and google searches.
But you can always find different minor variations of events but overall I tried to follow what seemed to be the most logical and truthful.
I'm a terrible writer and a worst proofreader and between WebTv and this Forum it will probably run my paragraphs all together. So if you're interested just copy it and space it out yourself.
Personally I believe it is the site of Domitian's assassination, all the pieces just seem to fit that location. Of course the conspiracy within the conspiracy is from my own warped mind along with the little sex scandals. Regard, Walter
'Titus Flavius Domitianus'
(51-96AD) better known as Domitian.
Son of Emperor Vespasian and younger brother (by ~11yrs) of Emperor Titus.
Who were by Roman standards good emperors and very respected Generals. After Nero's suicide Rome had 3 emperors in ~18 months (2 were killed in the Forum and 1 committed suicide), it was a Civil War in which Vespasian finally won and became emperor (69AD). With Titus as heir to the throne.
Domitain was given official jobs and titles under his father and brother but no real power.
Vespasian had Titus succeed him (79AD) on his death but Titus died a couple of years later with no son or adopted heir to the throne. Rumors were Domitian had Titus killed but he most likely died of natural causes.
It's fairly certain than both his father and brother never expected or wanted Domitian to become emperor (81AD).
A loner as a child and always in the shadow of his father and brother it seems he tried to advance himself politically in his youth but offering himself sexually to older men in power. Nerva who was twice his age and a politically powerful man had an affair with him. And oddly enough succeeded him as emperor.
And another power player named Clodius Pollio used to show around (as a joke and probably to slam his father Vespasian) a sexually explicit love letter Domitian had written him.
But later as emperor he came out with anti-homosexual decrees. In ancient Roman society the submissive partner was always looked down upon (no pun intended ) in these relationships, so he might(?) have been trying cover-up his past by being seen as anti-gay. He also had a rep for being a big womanizer in his adult life. He kind of reminds me of the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover (gay with an anti-gay political agenda) and also Senator Joseph McCarthy in his witch-hunts of the Vestal Virgins.
Domitian had 2 possibly 3 Vestal Virgins killed in 83AD and the Chief Vestal killed in 90AD.
The Vestals should have been tried by the Pontifex Maximus and his Priests but Domitian held his own trials which he presided over. Domitian isn't the 1st or last ruler to blame the Vestals when things go wrong or to just condemn them to make themselves look good. The emperor becomes the hero by rooting-out the non-virgin Vestals and saving Rome (a Vestal losing her chastity is just inviting catastrophe to befall Rome, the wraith of the Gods type). Financially he wasn't a bad emperor and he had quite a few building projects, the impressive remains of his Palace is a major site on the Palatine Hill today and the Piazza Navona was built upon his stadium. But he did go overboard on gold and silver statues of himself and a few triumphal arches. He also took credit for bldgs that he only restored by re-dedicating them it his name alone.
He remained a solitary person in his adult life and always felt slighted by his father and brother. And he believed that it was thru him that they became emperors which was pure fantasy. His favorite palace pastime was catching flies by stabbing them with a sharpened stylus (a long metal inkpen). When an aide would ask the guards at the door if the emperor was alone they would answer 'Yes, not even with a fly" .
A few omens and prophesies preceeded Domitian's death. The famed astrologer Ascletario predicted Domitian's downfall. When Domitian heard of this (thru informers) he had Ascletario brought before him.
Domitian asked him if he could predict his own end. Ascletario said "I will die soon and my body will be ripped apart by dogs". Domitian figured that if he could negate this prophesy then his other prophesy concerning him wouldn't come to pass.
Domitian ordered him killed, his body burned and then buried. After they lit the funeral pyre a sudden powerful gust of wind put out the flames. Suddenly a pack of dogs ran to the pyre and starting ripping Ascletario's half-burnt body to shreds.
When Domitian heard that Ascletario's prophesy came true, he was certain that his end was also near.
The Roman people kind of liked him, he puts on many spectacular games in the Colosseum (he loved to watch women and dwarf gladiators fight), Circus Maximus, Stadium of Domitian, Naumachiae (sea battles on artificial lakes) and also oratory/music/acting competitions. He was also pretty liberal with food and money allowances to the common people. But he's not loved enough for them to riot in the streets over his murder.
The army loved him even though he was a terrible General but he kept them *well paid* (a 33% pay raise buys alot of loyality).
The Senate mostly hated him, he had a bad habit of killing Senators and Consuls for real or imaginary threats.
But when he puts those in his inner circle in fear of their lives...that was his fatal mistake.
There were a couple of plots against Domitian in 87 & 89AD, the Senators and Knights involved were either killed or banished. So I guess he had reason to be paranoid .
He had the walls of porticoed courtyard where he was fond of walking finished in a stone that would reflect his image and that of anyone sneaking-up behind him.
He also slept with a dagger under his pillow.
His wife Domitia Longina was very possibly in on the successful 96AD plot. Domitia was already married but Domitian made her divorce her husband and marry him (70AD). During the marriage Domitia has an affair with an actor named Paris, Domitian finds out and has Paris killed and Domitia exiled (83AD).
A few months later Domitian takes his niece (Titus's daughter) Julia Flavia as his live-in mistress. She was just recently married but that's not a problem when you're the emperor, you just make her a widow .
Domitian misses Domitia (although he tells her and everyone else, it's the Roman people that miss their empress) and recalls her from exile to live with him again as his wife. But still with Julia on the side of course .
Julia becomes pregnant, Domitian orders an abortion which causes her death (91AD). Domitian has her deified.
In 96AD Domitia is in her late-40's and they've been married 26yrs. Perhaps(?) she no longer held sway over her husband and figured there was either a fatal accident, accusation or exile in her future?
The assassination is carried out by palace employees close to the emperor and a Gladiator from the Imperial School.
But for the conspiracy buffs , there were perhaps those in high places pulling the strings? Domitian's wife Domitia, already been exiled once and she's gettin' 'long in the tooth'. And then we have a seemingly loyal (he was a lawyer after all ) Nerva waiting in the wings, who becomes emperor after the assassination. Also alot of Senators would jump on this bandwagon in a heartbeat. Then we have the 2 new 'Prefects of the Praetorian Guard', Norbanus and Petronius, well the Prefects they replaced had been dismissed and accused by Domitian, so they're likely waiting for their own axe to eventally fall.
Domitian makes a mistake of having 2 of his courtiers killed (Sept'96). One is his cousin Flavius Clemens and the other is an old and trusted freedman Epaphroditus.
Flavius is married to Domitian's niece Domitilla who he has exiled for atheism possibly because she became a Christian. And Epaphroditus was Nero's Freedman and who remained the only person loyal to his emperor. They fled the city together and when they knew that capture was imminent he helped Nero commit suicide. He was a loyal servant to Vespasian, Titus and Domitian.
Now! the bureaucratic boys in Domitian's inner circle know that *no one* is safe and by the middle of the month Domitian will be murdered.
The plotting begins, the 2 main conspirators are Parthenius who is Domitian's most trusted Chamberlain and allowed to wear a sword around the emperor.
The other is Stephanus who will be the lone assassin although others will be nearby in case things go wrong...and they do. Stephanus, is a freedman and Steward to the exiled Domitilla whose husband Domitian just killed. Some say he volunteered out of revenge and loyality to Domitilla.
But many say Domitian's wife asked him to kill the emperor. I don't know, being in on the plot is one thing but *volunteering* to be the person to actually plunge the knife into the most powerful man in the World as a favor or out of loyality?
Well it also seems that at this time Stephanus was being accused of embezzling from Domitilla. An ex-slave turned freedman stealing from his patron is bad enough but from the Emperor's niece! Even if she is on his #@$% list you just can't have *those people* stealing from the royal family, he'd be lucky to get off with a simple beheading .
Whether Domitian lives or dies, he will still have to face this charge.
Now *I* wonder, could he have been offered a deal by someone in (Domitia?) or coming into power (Nerva, Senators, etc)? Well we'll never know, it seems that he was the only one *conveniently* killed after the assassination. Nothing like a dead patsy to blame the murder on esp if things went wrong. And any possible ties to other VIP conspirators will die with him also.
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You wouldn't find this location in guidebooks and probably not even in a google search.