Vespasian was the son of a businessman and tax collector. By
befriending people in high places, he gained a foothold in the Senate and
eventually was appointed as Proconsul of Africa in 63 A.D. From there he became
more of a VIP under Nero and was put in charge of suppressing certain revolts in
Israel. During this period civil war broke out following the Nero's death and he
took the opportunity to have himself named Emperor. He then took his troops
towards Rome where he defeated Vitellius, the last of the pretenders to the
throne and a former colleague and friend.
He spent the rest of his reign rebuilding the wreck that was left of Rome
following the troubles of 69 and rebuilding the Roman economy. He also expanded
the empire's borders within Britain and granted citizenship to the inhabitants
of vast sections under Roman control.
AE Tetradrachm 69--79 A.D.
Syria, Antioch, Year B=2 69--70 A.D.
14.28 g., 25 mm.
Obv. Laureate head right
Rev. Eagle standing front on thunderbolt, head right, palm branch to right, B in upper right
McAlee, AJN 7-8, 1995-1996, no. 3, pl. 15 (same dies). "Rare," Wruck 75b