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The future Emperor Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus was born near Rome in 9 AD. When Rome invaded Britain in 43AD, Vespasian commanded the Second Augusta Legion and led their victorious advance across Southern Britain. conquering, we are told, "over twenty oppida and two powerful tribes'.

Vespasian became a consul in 51 AD. 

He was appointed the proconsul of Africa in 63 AD. A post he held until 66 AD when the emperor Nero appointed him to command the Roman army in Judea fighting to suppress the Jewish uprising

His son Titus assumed command of the army when his father was acclaimed Emperor by the army at Alexandria in 69 AD. 

Vespasian was Emperor of Rome from 69 - 79 AD and founder of the Flavian dynasty.


Vespasian and Joseph of Arimathea

'An additional reason for believing the story of St. Joseph of Arimathea's coming to Britain is not a mere invention is provided by the following facts: apocryphal literature and the Grail legend both connect the name of St. Joseph with Vespasian and Titus. De Borron incorrectly makes Titus the father of Vespasian, i.e. older than Vespasian. It has been supposed that the connection of these emperors with St. Joseph originated in the account of the historian Josephus, of his own meeting with the two Roman generals and his subsequent liberation from prison in Palestine shortly before Titus sacked Jerusalem. De Boron's fantastic claim that Vespasian became a convert to Christianity might lend weight to the supposition that the whole story is based on error. But, in fact, the claim is not so fantastic as it at first appears. Vespasian was a comparatively humble Roman officer commanding the Second Augusta Legion in Britain at about the time when St. Joseph of Arimathea would have arrived in this island, so it is just possible that a meeting did take place. Vespasian's elder brother Titus Flavius Sabinus was serving under him in Britain [Dio Bk. LX< 19] and even Dio on one occasion confused Vespasian's elder brother Titus with his famous son the Emperor Titus. There is reason to believe that Titus Flavius Sabinus did become a Christian. Certainly his son Flavius Clemens died a Christian martyr. The conversion of this branch of the family is discussed in 'The Early Church in the Light of Monuments' by A. S. Barnes. It is not impossible, therefore, that the legend of a connection between St. Joseph of Arimathea and a Christian 'Titus' may be founded on truth'  from 'The Ancient Secret' p.133 fn..


"According to the Vindicta Salvatoris Vespasian, son of the Roman emperor, was converted as a result of the miraculous cure effected by the sight of Veronica's veil, in which was imprinted the face of Christ. [This would have been after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.] He promptly set out to avenge the death of Jesus, assembled the Jews, and, learning from their own lips their responsibility for the Crucifixion, caused a number of them to be executed. One, however, tried to save his life by revealing where Joseph was incarcerated. Vespasian had himself lowered into the dungeon and found him still alive. When Joseph expounded the doctrines of the Fall and the Redemption, Vespasian was convinced and delivered the prisoner." - Roger Sherman Loomis, The Grail, From Celtic Myth to Christian Symbol

'Another tradition, though slight, could carry the story back into apostolic times. When St. Paul was arrested at Jerusalem he claimed his right as a Roman citizen to be tried in Rome. He was sent their by ship, in charge of Julius, a centurion in the 'Band of Augustus'; it has been suggested that the 'Band of Augustus' was the second legion, the Augusta- the Augustan or Imperial. The evidence is doubtful, for the Vulgate translation of the Bible, made when men were familiar with the Imperial organisation, described Julius as a centurion of the cohort (not the legion) of Augustus. It is at least possible, however, that officers of the Second Legion had been in daily contact with Paul and had learned from him of the new religion. from Arthur Roman Britain's Last Champion. p29


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