81-96, the second son of Titus Flavius Vespasianus and Flavia Domitilla, twelfth of the Caesars, and third of the Flavian dynasty, was born at Rome on the 24th of October A.D.
After having served with the army in Thrace and been quaestor in Crete and Cyrene, Vespasian rose to be aedile and praetor, having meanwhile married Flavia Domitilla, the daughter of a Roman knight, by whom he had two sons, Titus and Domitian, afterwards emperors.
In the cemetery of St Domitilla, herself a member of the imperial house.
It must suffice to say that the earliest examples are only to be distinguished from the mural decorations employed by their pagan contemporaries (as seen at Pompeii and r Mommsen's chosen example of an ancient burial-chamber, extending itself into a catacomb, or gathering subterranean additions round it till a catacomb was established, is that of the cemetery of St Domitilla, traditionally identified with a granddaughter of Vespasian, and the catacomb of Santi Nereo ed Achilleo on the Appian and Ardeatine way.
- In 1873 was discovered, near the cemetery of St Domitilla, the semi-subterranean basilica of Santi Nereo ed Achilleo, Too ft.
15) and Achilleus, said to have been baptized by St Peter, refused to do the bidding of Domitian as praetorians, and entering the service of Flavia Domitilla, suffered martyrdom with their mistress Petronilla, of the Aurelian family closely connected with the Flavii, and the spiritual daughter of St Peter, who was buried in a sarcophagus with the inscription: [[Avreliae Petronillae Fil Dvlcissimae]] This is now in St Peter's, but was probably originally behind the apse of this basilica, for there is a fresco of her in an arcosolium, with a matron named Veneranda.
Explorations conducted in the cemetery of Domitilla in 1897-1898 brought to light a fine double crypt with frescoes representing Christ seated between six male and female saints; also an inscription relating to a new saint (Eulalius) in a cubiculum of the 3rd century.
In 1902, in that part of the Via Ardeatina which passes between the cemeteries of Calixtus and Domitilla, was discovered a crypt with frescoes and the sanctuary of a martyr: it is thought that this, rather than a neighbouring crypt brought to light in 1847, may prove to be the sepulchral crypt of SS.