Vespasian, whose full Latin name was Titus Flavius Vespasianus, was born on November 17, 9, near the little town of Reate in the Sabine backcountry of central Italy.
His family was relatively undistinguished. His paternal grandfather, Titus Flavius Petro, was a centurion, who fought at Pharsalus for Pompey in 48 B.C. Vespasian’s father, Titus Flavius Sabinus, worked as a customs official in the province of Asia and became a moneylender on a small scale among the Helvetii. Sabinus married Vespasia Polla.
Sabinus and Vespasia had three children, the eldest of whom, a girl, died in infancy. Vespasian and his brother, Titus Flavius Sabinus, were the first members of the family to reach senatorial rank.