One thousand nine hundred and forty six years ago today, on the 13th of September 64, Marcia Furnilla gave birth to Flavia Julia Titi (aka Jullia Flavia or “little Titi”). Maria’s marriage to Titi’s father was short and her displeasing Nero when Titi was still an infant would finally end it in 65.
Titi would be her father’s favorite little girl. For her sixth birthday (September 13th 70) her father sacked Jerusalem and destroyed “the second temple”. In addition to the estimated 1 million dead Titus captured a purported 97,000 many of whom were no doubt taken to Rome to be marched through the streets in Titi’s father’s triumphant victory parade. I can relate to a father that just wants everything for his little girl.
But Titi’s father Titus found more than bodies and slaves in Jerusalem. The 30 year old Roman officer discovered love. Forty-one year old Julia Berenice was no stranger to love. Her string of marriages and affairs set the Jewish world’s gossip lines ablaze. Titus could not resist her. From that moment on they lived for each other. Neither would marry again.
Amid constant pressure for taking JB as his Jewish mistress Titus was separated from her at various times. When he took the throne as emperor of Rome in 79 he had to send her back to Judea. Legend has it that he planned on sending for her when the racist furor over her presence in Rome had died down, but he never got the chance.
While celebrating little Titi’s seventeenth birthday, on the 13th of September 81, Titus died.
According to the Babylonian Talmud an insect had flown up Titus’s nose and ate his brain.
After he died he was turned into a god.