Titus Flavius Sabinus, older brother of Vespasian and Prefect of
Rome in 64 AD. He was converted to Christianity by his wife, St.
St. Petronilla, possibly the daughter of Pomponia Graecina, convert
of St. Peter. The Roman martyrology calls St. Petronilla, St.
Flavius Clemens, son of Titus Flavius Sabinus, and nephew to the
Emperor Vespasian. Consul for 95 AD;
Flavia Domitilla, granddaughter of Vespasian and wife of Flavius
The children of Flavius Clemens and Flavia Domitilla, who were
both Christians, and at the ages of six and five respectively were
declared successors to the childless Domitian in 90 AD;
Clement, slave of the household of Flavius Clemens, and future
Acilius Glabrio and his family. Acilius was Consul for 91 AD. His
family were certainly Christian;
M. Arrecinus Clemens, a relative of Flavius Clemens and Consul
for 93 AD;
Titus Flavius Sabinus III, son of Titus Flavius Sabinus, brother of
Flavius Clemens and the husband of Domitians niece.
It seemed that within less than two generations after the resurrection of
Christ, the Roman Empire was on the verge of having a Christian Emperor.
How the history of the world would have been different! But it was to be an
aborted dream. After nine years of reasonable rule, a sudden and ugly
change came over the Emperor Domitian around the year 90 AD. To pay
for his extravagances, Domitian extended the tax paid by the Jews to all
who lived like Jews, and began a search for religious innovators and
atheists. He also began to call himself Dominus et Deus (Lord and
God) and demand the same from others. Naturally, when the Christians
around him refused to comply, Domitian moved against them. One after
another, Christian members of his family, even those appointed to the
annual consulate, were eliminated: Acilius Glabrio, M. Arrecinus Clemens,
Titus Flavius Sabinus III and Flavius Clemens were all executed in 91, 93,
94 and 95 AD respectively. The wife of Flavius Clemens, Flavia Domitilla,
was exiled to the rocky island of Pandataria. Charges included novelties,
atheism, Jewish practices and disrespect towards Roman institutions.