Arch of Titus
The Arch of Titus (Italian: Arco di Tito; Latin: Arcus Titi) is a 1st-century CE honorific arch, located on the Via Sacra, Rome, just to the south-east of the Roman Forum. It was constructed in c. 81 CE by the Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus's official deification or consecratio and the victory of Titus together with their father, Vespasian, over the Jewish rebellion in Judaea.
The arch contains panels depicting the triumphal procession celebrated in 71 CE after the Roman victory culminating in the fall of Jerusalem, and provides one of the few contemporary depictions of artifacts of Herod's Temple. It became a symbol of the Jewish diaspora, and the menorah depicted on the arch served as the model for the menorah used as the emblem of the state of Israel.
The south inner panel (inspect) depicts the spoils taken from the Temple in Jerusalem. The golden candelabrum or Menorah is the main focus and is carved in deep relief. Other sacred objects being carried in the triumphal procession are the Gold Trumpets, the fire pans for removing the ashes from the altar, and the Table of Shewbread. These spoils were likely originally colored gold, with the background in blue.
The north inner panel depicts Titus as triumphator attended by various genii and lictors, who carry fasces. A helmeted Amazonian, Valour, leads the quadriga or four horsed chariot, which carries Titus. Winged Victory crowns him with a laurel wreath. The juxtaposition is significant in that it is one of the first examples of divinities and humans being present in one scene together. This contrasts with the panels of the Ara Pacis, where humans and divinities are separated.
While the western stretch of the Via Sacra (Sacred Street) which runs through the Forum follows the original ancient route of the road, the eastern stretch between the end of the forum and the Colosseum, which passes underneath the Arch of Titus, is a redirection of the road built after the Great Fire of Rome in 64 CE.
The original inscription is attached to the west side of the Arch. It is written in Roman square capitals and reads:
Translation: "The Senate and the Roman people (dedicate this) to the deified Titus Vespasian Augustus, son of the deified Vespasian."
- "The Arch of Titus". exhibitions.kelsey.lsa.umich.edu. Retrieved 2017-07-06.
- Diana Rowell (23 August 2012). Paris: The 'New Rome' of Napoleon I. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 43–. ISBN 978-1-4411-2883-6.
- In English https://archive.org/stream/marvelsromeorap00nichgoog#page/n50/mode/2up; in Latin: "Arcus septem lucernarum Titi et Vespasiani, ubi est candelabrum Moysi cum arca habens septem brachia in piede turris cartulariae", Mirabilia Urbis Romae, page 4
- Élisabeth Chevallier, Raymond Chevallier, Iter Italicum: les voyageurs français à la découverte de l'Italie ancienne, Les Belles Lettres, 1984, ISBN 9782251333106, pages 274–291
- A Let's Go City Guide: Rome, p. 76, Vedran Lekić, 2004; ISBN 1-4050-3329-0.
- De la Croix, Horst; Tansey, Richard G.; Kirkpatrick, Diane (1991). Gardner's Art Through the Ages (9th ed.). Thomson/Wadsworth. p. 232. ISBN 0-15-503769-2.
- The Buildings of Europe: Rome, page 33, Christopher Woodward, 1995; ISBN 0-7190-4032-9.
- Sotto l' arco di Tito la festa degli ebrei, la Repubblica, 23 December 1997. Accessed 27 July 2019.
- Festa di Channoukà: Celebrazione dei 50 anni dello Stato d'Israele presso l'Arco di Tito alla presenza delle autorità e della Comunità israelitica romana. On Radio Radicale website, 23 December 1997. Accessed 27 July 2019.
- Morton Satin, a division director at the Food and Agriculture Organization published an article in The Forward, stating that he had successfully "stirred up had triggered considerable deliberation within Rome's Jewish community" for a public end to the ban: Satin, Morton (2013-12-01). "One Man's Campaign Against the Arch of Titus — and How It Changed Italy's Jews". The Forward. Retrieved 2014-07-30. According to an ancient ban placed on the monument by Rome's Jewish authorities, once a Jewish person walks under the arch, he or she can no longer be considered a Jew... the chief rabbi of Rome had told the Israeli Embassy that the original ban was no longer valid, since an independent State of Israel had been established. Unfortunately, no one who knew about the ban had ever been informed of its abrogation!
- Steven D. Fraade, The Temple as a Marker of Jewish Identity Before and After 70 CE: The Role of the Holy Vessels in Rabbinic Memory and Imagination, p. 246. "the Arch of Titus is never mentioned in rabbinic sources... there are several references to second-century rabbinic viewings of captured Temple objects in Rome".
- Artus, Paul (2006). Art and Architecture of the Roman Empire. Bellona Books. pp. 45–48. ISBN 978-0-9582693-1-5.
- Dr. Jeffrey Becker. "The Arch of Titus". Khan Academy website. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
- "Arch of Titus". Smarthistory at Khan Academy. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
- Mishory, Alec. "Israel National Symbols: The State Emblem". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2014-07-30.