Why did Emperor Domitian banish all the philosophers in Rome in around 93 A.D.?

By Sunil Kumar

According to historians; Titus Flavius Domitianus or Domitian was hated by the aristocracy; and is mainly known for the reign of terror in the final years of his reign.

Writers Tacitus and Pliny the Younger claim that cruelty and showing off were the main reasons for his unpopularity; rather than the stock reasons in the ancient world; military or political incompetence.

After several high-handed measures; his major opponents included excessively doctrine-devoted senators; who were friends of the writers mentioned before and were headed by Helvidius Priscus; a guy whose father had been executed by the Emperor Vespasian.

Their Stoic or rather detached, strict views were unpalatable to the worldly, materially driven Domitian who is “speculated” to have used this excuse to banish his opponents and all philosophers from Rome “two” times.

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