Titus was born to an upper class family. His grandfather had married strategically for wealth and position, eventually rising to the patrician class. His son, Vespasian became a consul in AD 51, when his son Titus was just eleven. The family barely managed to dodge being caught up in the intrigues and assassinations that accompanied the ambitious rulers of Rome.
In AD 66, a Jewish rebellion in the Middle East broke out over a number of issues, from taxes to profaning the Temple. Vespasian was dispatched by Nero to Judea to quell the “Great Revolt.” The Jews had been troublesome from the beginning of Roman rule and the empire had to keep two legions in the area on a regular basis. The Roman XII Legion was virtually destroyed by the Jewish rebels and more than 6,000 massacred. Romans always responded in kind and to greater measure. The V, X, and XV Legions—the first two led by Vespasian and the third by his son Titus, a total of 60,000 men—laid siege to Jerusalem after a bitter two-year campaign across the region.