Friday, October 13, 2006

Arch of Titus - Roman Forum

Arco di Tito (Arch of Titus) - Roman Forum

This photo of the Arch of Titus is part of one of the panoramic images found on the Tour of Rome. There are over 100 images taken from around Rome linked to an interactive map.

Full 360° panorama of the Arch of Titus

The Arch of Titus stands at the entrance to the Roman Forum on the highest point of the Sacra Via. Standing here you can see all the way down the Forum to the west, while to the east at the bottom of the path sits the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine. Just behind the Arch of Titus is a water fountain, and you are well advised to fill up here on a hot day before wandering around the Roman Forum as there is not a lot of shade among the ruins.

The Arch of Titus was built shortly after the death of Titus by Domitian. It commemorates the sacking of Jerusalem in 70 AD, thus effectively ending the Jewish Wars although Masada did not fall until 73. The inscription across the top reads ‘The Senate and People of Rome to the divine Titus Vespasianus Augustus, son of the divine Vespasian’.

The panels through the arch show the triumphal procession. In one the treasures of the Temple of Jerusalem are being carried on litters (fercula). You can clearly see the seven-branched candelabrum (menorah), silver trumpets, and the table for the shewbread. Two plaques carried aloft would have had the names of conquered cities inscribed on them. After the triumph, the treasures were placed in the Temple of Peace in the Forum of Vespasian.

Opposite this the relief shoes the actual triumphal procession of Titus in a chariot with the winged goddess Victory placing a wreathe on his head. The horsed are being led by a goddess identified as eithr Roma or Valor. Above the main cornice rises a high weighty attic on which is a central tablet bearing the dedicatory inscription

The Arch formed a blue print for many such arches built subsequently since the 16C.

Full panoramic images from the Roman Forum are found on the Rome tour by An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr.

For more articles on Rome see the Rome Index or select one of the labels at the bottom.

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