Europe 74 AD: Vespasian’s reorganization of the East
In the 70s AD Vespasian reorganized the eastern Roman Empire, primarily to strengthen the frontier provinces of Syria and Cappadocia. Galatia was added to Cappadocia, Lycia and Pamphylia were combined, and the client states of Rhodes, Commagene, and Emesa were annexed.
70 AD Roman Rhodes▲
In 70 AD (early in the reign of Vespasian) the client state of Rhodes fell under direct Roman rule and was annexed to the senatorial province of Asia. Except for a few brief interludes, Roman rule in the island would last until the 13th century.
70–111 AD Galatia et Cappadocia▲
Following his victory in the civil wars of 69 AD, the Roman emperor Vespasian upgraded Cappadocia to a senatorial province, making its governor equal in rank with that of Syria. The neighboring province of Galatia was absorbed into Cappadocia to form the province of Galatia et Cappadocia—a state of affairs which would last until the provinces were separated again under Trajan in the 110s.
72 AD Alan invasion of Parthia▲
By the 70s AD Parthia seems to have fallen into civil war, although details are unclear. In 72 a horde of Alans—arriving from east of the Caspian Sea—allied with the king of Hyrcania, who allowed them passage through his land to invade the Parthian Empire. Plundering Media Atropatene and prompting King Pacorus to flee the country, the Alans advanced on through Armenia, where they defeated and almost killed King Tiridates before returning to their homeland.
73–79 AD Roman conquest of Cambria▲
In 73/74 AD Julius Frontinus succeeded Quintus Petilius Cerialis as governor of Britain and led a number of expeditions against the Silures and other hostile tribes of Cambria (now Wales). Frontinus secured his conquests—and Cambria’s mineral wealth—by establishing a network of forts in the region, most notably at Isca Augusta (Caerleon). In 78 Frontinus retired from Britain, later becoming water commissioner of Rome and writing a definitive work on Roman aqueducts. He was replaced by Gnaeus Julius Agricola, who completed the pacification of Cambria by suppressing the resurgent Ordovices.
73–74 AD Siege of Masada▲
Following the Roman capture of Jerusalem in 70 AD, some 960 Sicarii—a fanatical Jewish sect—continued to hold out in the remote mountain stronghold of Masada. In 73–74 AD the Romans advanced on the fortress, surrounding it with a circumvallation wall and building a massive ramp from which to assault the Sicarii. According to Josephus, the Sicarii chose death by murder-suicide to avoid capture and enslavement; regardless, Masada fell to the Romans, bringing an end to the Great Jewish Revolt.
73? AD Roman Emesa▲
In 73 AD Priest King Sohaemus of Emesa (54–73) died and was succeeded by his son Gaius Julius Alexion (73–78). Although Alexion and his descendants continued to rule in Emesa, it seems that at some point during Alexion’s reign the kingdom ceased to be a Roman client state and became part of the province of Syria.
74 AD Lycia et Pamphylia▲
In 74 AD Vespasian removed Pamphylia from the province of Galatia et Cappadocia, uniting it with Lycia to create the new province of Lycia et Pamphylia. The new province was governed from Attalia (Antalya) in Pamphylia.