Flavius, Clemens°

views updated


FLAVIUS, CLEMENS ° (d. 95 c.e.), son of *Vespasian's elder brother, T. Flavius Sabinus. His sons were designated as successors to the childless emperor Domitian. In 95 c.e. he served as consul together with the emperor. Domitian, however, formally accused Clemens and his wife domitilla, herself a granddaughter of Vespasian and a niece of *Titus and Domitian, of atheism (άθεοτης) which resulted in the execution of Clemens and the banishment of Domitilla. The earliest source, Dio Cassius (67:14, 1–2), expressly describes this heresy as a conversion to Judaism. Some scholars connect Flavius' conversion with the journey to Rome of R. *Gamaliel and his followers while others have depicted the couple as Christian martyrs.


Schuerer, Gesch, 3 (1909), 168 n. 57; H. Vogelstein, Rome (1940), 70ff.; H.J. Leon, Jews of Ancient Rome (1960), 33–35, 252; E.M. Smallwood, in: Classical Philology, 51 (1956), 8; M. Stern, in: Zion, 29 (1964), 161–2; Alon, Toledot, 1 (1958), 74–75; G. Townend, in: Journal of Roman Studies, 51 (1961), 58; New Catholic Encyclopedia, 4 (1967), 994–5.

[Isaiah Gafni and

Uriel Rappaport]