Christian Persecution Under Emperor Domitian (81-96)

Domitian ruled as emperor for fifteen years, from 81 to 96. He was the son of emperor Vespasian and the brother of Titus, the conquerors of Jerusalem in 70. Domitian was a ruthless dictator and the first
emperor to call himself “Lord and God.” Under Domitian, local Roman officials throughout Asia Minor (modern Turkey) were empowered to persecute and kill Christians.

Although Domitian did not implement a systematic campaign against Christians, most Bible teachers believe that it was during his reign, and the construction of Ephesus’ Temple of Domitian, that the apostle John was exiled to Patmos by the governor of Ephesus, where he wrote the book of Revelation. Domitian was murdered by an ex-slave.