Arch of Titus

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Arch of Titus
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{{About|the main arch of Titus on the Via Sacra|the one by the Circus Maximus|Arch of Titus (Circus Maximus)}}{{short description|Triumphal arch in Rome}}{{coord|41.890717|N|12.488585|E|type:landmark|display=title}}{{Ancient monuments in Rome|name = Arch of Titus|label_name = Arch of Titus
thumb|caption = The Arch of Titus, showing the "Spoils of Jerusalem" relief on the inside arch4126.58121218.906type:landmark_region:IT|display=inline}}14 regions of Augustan Rome>X Palatium''|date = {{circa}} AD 82Domitian>Emperor Domitiantriumphal arch>honorific arch|wiki articles= Titus, Roman triumph, First Jewish–Roman War}}The Arch of Titus (; ) is a 1st-century AD honorific arch,It was not a triumphal arch; Titus's triumphal arch was in the Circus Maximus. located on the Via Sacra, Rome, just to the south-east of the Roman Forum. It was constructed in {{circa}} 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.WEB,weblink The Arch of Titus,, 2017-07-06, 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.{{fact|date=July 2019}} 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.WEB, Mishory, Alec,weblink Israel National Symbols: The State Emblem, Jewish Virtual Library, 2014-07-30, The arch has provided the general model for many triumphal arches erected since the 16th century—perhaps most famously it is the inspiration for the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France.BOOK, Diana Rowell, Paris: The 'New Rome' of Napoleon I,weblink 23 August 2012, Bloomsbury Publishing, 978-1-4411-2883-6, 43–,


Based on the style of sculptural details, Domitian's favored architect Rabirius, sometimes credited with the Colosseum, may have executed the arch. Without contemporary documentation, however, attributions of Roman buildings on basis of style are considered shaky.{{citation needed|date=August 2014}}The medieval Latin travel guide Mirabilia Urbis Romae noted the monument, writing: "the arch of the Seven Lamps of Titus and Vespasian; [where Moses' candlestick is having seven branches, with the Ark, at the foot of the Cartulary Tower"].In Englishweblink 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 4For a review of historical references to the Arch of Titus, see: Élisabeth Chevallier, Raymond Chevallier, Iter Italicum: les voyageurs français à la découverte de l'Italie ancienne, Les Belles Lettres, 1984, {{ISBN|9782251333106}}, pages 274–291In a later era, Pope Paul IV (papacy 1555-1559) made it the place of a yearly oath of submission.{{cn|date=October 2018}}The Frangipani family turned it into a fortified tower in the Middle Ages.(Let's Go City Guide|A Let's Go City Guide: Rome), p. 76, Vedran Lekić, 2004; {{ISBN|1-4050-3329-0}}. It was one of the first buildings sustaining a modern restoration, starting with Raffaele Stern in 1817 and continued by Valadier under Pius VII in 1821, with new capitals and with travertine masonry, distinguishable from the original marble. The restoration was a model for the country side of Porta Pia.The Buildings of Europe: Rome, page 33, Christopher Woodward, 1995; {{ISBN|0-7190-4032-9}}.At an unknown date, a local ban on Jews walking under the arch was placed on the monument by Rome's Chief Rabbinate; this was rescinded on the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948, and at a Hanukkah event in 1997 the change was made public.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: WEB, Satin, Morton,weblink One Man's Campaign Against the Arch of Titus — and How It Changed Italy's Jews, The Forward, 2013-12-01, 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!, The arch was never mentioned in Rabbinic literature.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"



File:Arch of Titus Detail.jpg|thumb|left|Detail of the central soffit coffercoffer(File:TitusbogenFront.jpg|thumb|Front view of the Arch of Titus)File:Rom, Titusbogen, Triumphzug 3.jpg|thumb|South inner panel, close-up of relief showing spoils from the fall of Jerusalem ]](File:Carrying off the Menorah from the Temple in Jerusalem depicted on a frieze on the Arch of Titus in the Forum Romanum.JPG|thumb|South inner panel, close-up 2)(File:TitusNorthDetail.jpg|thumb|North inner panel, relief of Titus as triumphator)The arch is large with both fluted and unfluted columns, the latter being a result of 19th-century restoration.


The Arch of Titus measures: 15.4 meters (50 ft) in height, 13.5 meters (44 ft) in width,4.75 meters (15.5 ft) in depth.The inner archway is 8.3 (27 ft) meters in height, and 5.36 (17.5 ft) in width.WEB,weblink Arch of Titus, Rome - Building Info,, 2018-04-05,

Decorative sculpture

The spandrels on the upper left and right of the arch contain personifications of victory as winged women. Between the spandrels is the keystone, on which there stands a female on the east side and a male on the west side.The soffit of the axial archway is deeply coffered with a relief of the apotheosis of Titus at the center. The sculptural program also includes two panel reliefs lining the passageway within the arch. Both commemorate the joint triumph celebrated by Titus and his father Vespasian in the summer of 71.The south inner panel depicts the spoils taken from the Temple in Jerusalem. The golden candelabrum or Menorah is the main focus and is carved in deep relief.WEB,weblink Arch of Titus, Rome, Ermengem, Kristiaan Van, A View On Cities, en-us, 2017-07-06, 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.BOOK
, Paul
, Artus
, 2006
, Art and Architecture of the Roman Empire
, Bellona Books
, 978-0-9582693-1-5
, 45–48,
These spoils were likely originally colored gold, with the background in blue. In 2012 the Arch of Titus Digital Restoration Project discovered remains of yellow ochre paint on the menorah relief.WEB,weblink Center for Israel Studies | Yeshiva University,, 2018-04-05, 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.The sculpture of the outer faces of the two great piers was lost when the Arch of Titus was incorporated in medieval defensive walls. The attic of the arch was originally crowned by more statuary, perhaps of a gilded chariot. The main inscription used to be ornamented by letters made of perhaps silver, gold or some other metal.


Original inscription

(File:Arch.of.Titus-Inscription.jpg|thumb|The inscription)The original inscription is attached to the west side of the Arch. It is written in Roman square capitals and reads:SENATVSPOPVLVSQVE·ROMANVSDIVO·TITO·DIVI·VESPASIANI·F(ILIO)VESPASIANO·AVGVSTO(Senatus Populusque Romanus divo Tito divi Vespasiani filio Vespasiano Augusto)CIL 6.945, which means "The Senate and the Roman people (dedicate this) to the deified Titus Vespasian Augustus, son of the deified Vespasian."

1821 inscription

The opposite side of the Arch of Titus received new inscriptions after it was restored during the pontificate of Pope Pius VII by Giuseppe Valadier in 1821. The restoration was intentionally made in travertine to differentiate between the original and the restored portions.The inscription reads:INSIGNE · RELIGIONIS · ATQVE · ARTIS · MONVMENTVMVETVSTATE · FATISCENSPIVS · SEPTIMVS · PONTIFEX · MAX(IMVS)NOVIS · OPERIBVS · PRISCVM · EXEMPLAR · IMITANTIBVSFVLCIRI · SERVARIQVE · IVSSITANNO · SACRI · PRINCIPATVS · EIVS · XXIIII (Insigne religionis atque artis, monumentum, vetustate fatiscens: Pius Septimus, Pontifex Maximus, novis operibus priscum exemplar imitantibus fulciri servarique iussit. Anno sacri principatus eius XXIV), which means(This) monument, remarkable in terms of both religion and art, had weakened from age: Pius the Seventh, Supreme Pontiff, by new works on the model of the ancient exemplar ordered it reinforced and preserved. • In the 24th year of his sacred rulership. •

Architectural influence

Works modelled on, or inspired by, the Arch of Titus include, chronologically:


{{Gallery|title=The Arch in Art
c.1740 by Giovanni Paolo Panini1744 by Canaletto1748-74 by Giovanni Battista Piranesi1839 by Constantin Hansen}}

See also

{{external media |width= 210px |align= right |video1=Smarthistory - Arch of TitusWEB, Arch of Titus, Smarthistory at Khan Academy,weblink December 19, 2012, }}
Related to the Jewish revolt

Related to Roman triumph and the Arch



Further reading

  • R. Ross Holloway. "Some Remarks on the Arch of Titus". L’antiquité classique. 56 (1987) pp. 183–191.
  • M. Pfanner. Der Titusbogen. Mainz: P. von Zabern, 1983.
  • L. Roman. "Martial and the City of Rome". The Journal of Roman Studies 100 (2010) pp. 1–30.
  • WEB,weblink You searched for 'arch of titus', Jewish Telegraphic Agency,

External links

{{Library resources box |by=no |onlinebooks=yes |others=yes |about=yes |label=Arch of Titus |viaf= |lccn= |lcheading= |wikititle= }}{{wikisource|Philoctetes (Sophocles)|Philoctetes}}{{commons|Arch of Titus}} {{Roman Forum}}{{Monuments of Rome}}

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