Arch of Titus

Type
Attraction, Cultural, Historic
Description
The Arch of Titus (Italian: Arco di Tito; Latin: Arcus Titi) is a 1st-century AD honorific arch, located on the Via Sacra, Rome, just to the south-east of the Roman Forum. It was constructed in c. AD 82 by the Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus's victories, including the Siege of Jerusalem (AD 70). 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.

Walk along the cobbled street of the Via Sacra and you’ll see this imposing triumphal arch, built in the first century AD to commemorate Titus’s military victories. Built on the orders of Domitian after the death of Titus, the arch depicts winged victories and a triumphant Titus being crowned with a laurel wreath. The arch is one of the earliest examples of humans and divinities being portrayed together, rather than in separate scenes. Even the laurel wreath is fictional, as in reality, Titus apparently refused to be crowned, saying that it was not really his victory – he had only been an instrument of God’s wrath.

The south panel of the arch shows spoils from the Siege of Jerusalem, including a menorah and trumpet. A contemporary historian, Josephus, claimed that a million Jews had been killed in Jerusalem. While this estimate is now considered to be greatly exaggerated, there’s no doubt that the Roman armies devastated the city. It was a major victory for Rome, and the Arch of Titus not only celebrated the emperor, but also served as a demonstration of the power of Rome. Illiterate Romans would have looked up at this magnificent monument – once brightly coloured – and read the story of the Roman victory through the sculptures, rather like reading a comic book.
 
Tours
 (2)
  • Colosseum
  • Roman Forum
  • Palatine Hill
  • The Arch of Titus
  • Flavian Palace
  • The Temple of Saturn
Uncover the gladiator combats on our Colosseum tour, explore the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, enjoying breathtaking views.
Language:
English
Max Group Size:
13 people
 (2)
  • The Colosseum, first and second level
  • The Roman Senate
  • The Via Sacra
  • The Temple of Saturn and others in the Roman Forum
  • The Arch of Titus and Septimius Severus
  • Stadium of Domitian on the Palatine Hill
  • Flavian Palace on the Palatine Hill
Discover the highlights of Ancient Rome on this group tour for visitors with limited time in Rome.
Language:
English
Max Group Size:
13 people
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