at first preferred to remain prudently non-committal.
Vespasian was born in A.D. 9 at Reate in the Sabine country. Although of an undistinguished family, he had received a good education : he could read, quote and jest in Greek. He had held a number of important offices, especially in the military sphere, and he had distinguished himself as a soldier in Thrace, Germany, Britain and Judaea. Entering Rome as Emperor at the age of sixty-one, he brought with him the native shrewdness of the Central Italian husbandman rather than the intellectual brilliance of the city-dweller. Even his wit, more marked though it was than that of any other Emperor, was rustic rather than urban.