Domitian was nearly 18 when his father was proclaimed emperor by the legions in the east, and his brother Titus suppressed the Jewish uprising. For several months before his father came to the capital, the young member of the imperial line became the de facto master of the capital.
Domitian had miraculously survived the rule of Vitellius hidden in Rome – between the proclamation of his father as emperor and the battle of Cremona (69 CE). His father’s long and slow journey gave Domitian plenty of time to rule freely. It was then that he could taste power for the first time, and he revelled in its enormity. He appointed many new officials and headed the army to Germany to put down the rebellion on the Rhine, which, as it turned out, had long since ended.
Upon his return, Vespasian publicly reprimanded his son, and as punishment removed him from important offices. Ancient sources say that supposedly to relieve himself, he locked himself in a room for several hours and killed flies with a burin.