arco tito

The arch of Titus. The triumphal arch, a monument witnessing the conquests of ancient Rome.

The arch of Titus was built sometime between the year 81 and the year 100 AD

The inscription on the attico (the side facing the hole) shows a dedication to the emperor Tito by the senate: “senatus populus que romanus divo tito divi vespasiani f vespasiano augusto” therefore, the monument was certainly erected after his death in the year 81 AD

It is a triumphal arch that commemorates the capture of Jerusalem by Titus in the year 70 AD The arch is built with a single arch and square pentelic marble work, the inner core is in cement and the plinth in travertine.

It is flanked by composite half-columns, the central ones with fluted stems and those at the corners with a smooth shaft. Above the columns rests an entablature with an Ionian epistyle, which represents a sacrifice, a frame with dentils and shelves, all surmounted by a high attico.

In the vault, you can admire a beautiful coffered decoration where an eagle is depicted leading the deified to heaven after their death. The two reliefs of the inner walls show the moment of triumph over the Jews.

On the south side, we can see a representation of the procession as it passes the triumphal gate with the bearers who raise the sacred objects of the Jewish ritual taken from the temple of Jerusalem: the two silver trumpets which call the faithful to prayer, the table with sacred vessels and the seven-branched gold candlestick.

On the north side, the emperor is triumphantly depicted on the quadriga, while a winged victory crowns him with the armed goddess Rome accompanying him towards the capitol. On the right, the half-naked character, who is perhaps another allegory, is the genius of the Roman people.

The monument has survived in excellent condition because it was incorporated in the Middle Ages into the Frangiane Fortress and integrated into travertine in 1822 by Valdieri. The arch of Titus is so well known that there’s even a sonnet that illustrates it masterfully.

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