Cultural depictions of Domitian

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Domitian was Roman emperor from 81 to 96.


  • The Roman Actor (1626), a play by Philip Massinger that features Domitian as the main character.
  • Josephus and the Emperor (1942; earlier Der Tag wird kommen), historical novel by Lion Feuchtwanger, in which a cruel and hypocritical Domitian suggests the tyranny of Adolf Hitler.
  • The Ravishers (1980), a historical romance by Jeanne Duval, about a Gallic princess who is enslaved in Rome and survives the Year of the Four Emperors
  • The Marcus Didius Falco series of crime novels (1989— ) by Lindsey Davis, set during the reign of Vespasian. Domitian appears as a peripheral character, and is named as the primary suspect in the murder being investigated in the first novel, Silver Pigs.
    • The companion series, featuring Falco's adoptive daughter, Flavia Albia, takes place during the reign of Domitian.
    • Master and God (2012), a historical novel by Davis centers around the reign of Domitian.
  • The Light Bearer (1994), a historical novel by Donna Gillespie.
  • Domitia and Domitian (2000), a historical novel by David Corson based on the works of Brian Jones and Pat Southern, revolving around the title characters.
  • The Roman Mysteries series of young adult novels by Caroline Lawrence features Domitian as a peripheral character, in which he is depicted as indolent and cruel, and responsible for several plots to undermine his brother Titus's popularity;
  • Mistress of Rome (2010), a historical novel by Kate Quinn where Domitian's skills as an emperor are tarnished by his personal cruelty and suspicion towards those around him.
  • Roman Hell (2010), a historical novel by Mark Mellon, fictionalizes the rise and fall of Domitian and suggests he may have had a role in his brother's death.
  • Roman Games: A Plinius Secundus Mystery (2010), a crime novel by Bruce Macbain, featuring Pliny the Younger;
  • Blood of Caesar, a crime novel by Albert Bell, Junior, featuring Pliny as detective with the historian Tacitus as his sidekick, during Domitian's reign;
  • Empire (2010), an epic novel of imperial Rome by Steven Saylor depicting four generations of a Roman family and their relationships with every emperor from Augustus to Hadrian, with Domitian as a major character.
  • "Los Asesinos del Emperador" (2011), a novel (in Spanish) by Spanish writer Santiago Posteguillo.

Film and television[edit]