Exhibition: Vespasian and the Flavian Dynasty

The Flavian Dynasty (69-96 AD) brought us the Colosseum, one of Rome’s most popular attractions, which was initiated by Vespasian and completed under the reign of Titus to mark their achievements and successes of the Jewish War.

Starting next week in Rome, a new exhibit at the Colosseum will highlight the reign of Vespasian and the Flavian line by examining the mark they left on anciet Rome and the ancient world, a legacy that is often forgotten in relation to the other dynasties of Ancient Rome.

The Flavian emperors began with Vespasian and concluding with his sons, Titus and Domitian. It was a time when the Roman world needed a strong hand to guide it after the tumultuous leadership of Nero and then a civil war, a fight for power among Rome’s mpost powerful generals (of which Vespasian was one), a succession of four emperors in one year…Rome was due for a change and certainly in need of stability after years of chaos and upheaval.

The exhibit is spread out over Rome, with sections on the Roman Forum and on the Palatine Hil across two halls: the Curia in the Roman Forum, and the Criptoportico (Cybele’s temple) on the Palatine, a remnant of the reign of Nero. Purchase of admission allows you to visit both. There are also open air monuments that can be seen throughout Rome: Arch of Titus, the Domus Flavia (Flavian Palace), the Temple of the Divine Vespasian and the Temple of Pace. Read more about the exhibit by visiting the exhibition’s web site (there are a good number of pages in English).

The exhibition runs until January 10, 2010 and is open every day except Christmas and New Years Day. Entry to the exhibition costs 12 euro (there are reduced and free admissions — ask at the ticket office for details). If you purchase a Roma Pass, it can be used to visit this exhibit. You can save time and avoid the long lines by purchasing your entrance to the exhibit online through OmniTicket. There is also the Archeologia Card, which gives you admittance to the exhibit and other archeological sites around Rome. Read more about that here. Remember that the ticket office closes an hour before the exhibit! The hours of the exhibition are a bit strange so I’ll try to summarize them for you.

  • Good Friday (Venerdì Santo), April 10: 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM
  • Republica Day (Festa Della Repubblica), June 2: 1:30 PM to 7:15 PM
  • The last Sunday in March until August 31: 8:30 AM to 7:15 PM
  • September 1st to September 30th: 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM
  • October 1st to the last Saturday in October: 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM
  • Last Sunday in October until the close of the exhibition: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM


Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Triumph of Titus, 1885 (oil on canvas)