Titus Flavius Domitianus, born in Rome in A.D.51, was the younger son of Vespasian, officially serving as Caesar to his father and then his brother Titus. However, he took no real interest in government until his own accession in A.D.81. Despite a promising start to his reign, Rome soon began to suffer ever more humiliating military defeats under Domitian. The emperor, in a misguided attempt to consolidate his own power chose to rule more and more autocratically. Autocracy turned to tyranny, culminating in a series of executions of prominent politicians and members of his own family. These actions had the opposite effects to those desired, and Domitian was soon viewed as a paranoid madman. He was murdered in his bedroom on 18th September, A.D.96.