What’s Domitian’s problem, anyway? Well, his problems were myriad, but he was a very devout person, to the best of his abilities. He was strongly devoted to Minerva, the Roman incarnation of Athena, goddess of wisdom and battle. The Julio-Claudio-Antonian line of former emperors claimed to be descended from Venus, and Julius Caesar himself expanded worship of Venus in the city of Rome.

I use “Julio-Claudio-Antonian” instead of the usual phrase “Julio-Claudian.” The Romans had not forgotten the bloodline of Marcus Antonius was represented in their first set of divine rulers.