Arch of Titus

Arch of Titus

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About Arch of Titus

The Arch of Titus is a historical landmark and is a must-see for anyone interested in Roman history. Plus, it's conveniently located right next to the Colosseum, so you can kill two birds with one stone! The arch was commissioned by the Roman Emperor Domitian to commemorate the victory of his brother Titus in the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The arch was completed in 85 AD and has served as a model for numerous other triumphal arches since then.

The Arch of Titus is an excellent example of Roman architecture and is one of the most well-preserved monuments from the ancient world. The Arch of Titus is also significant for its historical value, as it provides insight into the Roman Empire's military campaigns and religious beliefs.

But that's not it. It's also famous for its architectural value. It is considered to be one of the best-preserved examples of a Roman triumphal arch, and it has served as a model for many other triumphal arches that were built subsequently, including the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and Wellington Arch in London. If you are interested in history or Roman architecture, then the Arch of Titus is definitely worth a visit.

Explore The Arch of Titus

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The Roman triumph

The Triumph of Titus AD 71 is a painting by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. The painting depicts the Roman emperor Titus returning to Rome after his victory in the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The painting is set against the backdrop of the Arch of Titus, which was built to commemorate Titus' victory. The use of light and shadow creates a sense of movement and drama, while the carefully rendered details bring the viewer into the midst of the action.

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Victory in Judea

In the summer of 71 C.E., the Roman emperor Vespasian and his eldest son Titus returned to Rome after quelling a dangerous revolt in Judea. The quelling of this revolt put an end to the last vestiges of serious resistance to Rome in Judea and secured Rome's rule in the province. The victory was commemorated by the erection of the Arch of Titus Rome.

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Topography and the triumph

The arch is located in Summa Sacra Via, the highest point of the Sacra Via, Rome’s “Sacred Way” that operated as its primary processional street. By parading through the streets of Rome, the emperor was able to show off his power and wealth to the people. The route also served as a way to visually connect the different parts of Rome. The street leading from the valley of the Flavian amphitheatre to the valley of the Forum Romanum was lined with statues and other monuments. This helped to create a sense of connection between these two important parts of Rome.

The Arch of Titus Rome played a particularly important role in this connection. The arch was located at a key point along the route, and it served as a visual link between the two valleys. Beyond that, it also linked Rome's past glory with its present power.

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The attic inscription

The Attic inscription on the Arch of Titus is a key piece of evidence for understanding the Roman public's opinion of Titus. The simple statement tells us a few important things. It shows that Titus was held in high esteem by the Roman people. This is significant because it demonstrates that the Roman people were willing to support Titus even after he had been defeated in battle. Ultimately, this willingness to support Titus and Vespasian demonstrates the strength of the Roman state even in times of crisis.

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Relief sculpture

The relief of the apotheosis of Titus is a Roman relief panel that originally decorated the Arch of Titus in Rome. The relief depicts Titus being crowned by the Roman god Jupiter after his victory over the Judeans in the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE.

The Spoils of Jerusalem Relief is a sculptural relief panel on the Arch of Titus showing Titus in a triumphal four-horse chariot, with slaves and booty surrounding him. The relief is significant not only for its artistic value, but also for its historical value; it is one of the few surviving depictions of the Roman sack of Jerusalem.

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Restoration and current state

During the 11th century, the arch was integrated into a fort by the Frangipani family in Rome, resulting in damage to the panel reliefs that are still noticeable today.

In 1821, Giuseppe Valadier embraced a momentous modification of the structure. The western side of the attic got another engraving during this stage of restoration. Canaletto's popular painting of the arch gives a perspective on the landmark's condition preceding Valadier's restoration.

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History of Arch of Titus

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The Arch of Titus is located in the Roman Forum, in Rome, Italy and was erected in 81 CE by Titus Flavius Vespasianus to commemorate the victory of his brother Titus in the Jewish-Roman wars and the destruction of Jerusalem in 66 to 74 CE. The Arch of Titus is considered one of the best preserved examples of Roman architecture and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome. It is also an important historical site, as it provides a rare glimpse into the Roman Empire's attitude towards its Jewish subjects.

The arch is decorated with reliefs that depict scenes from the siege of Jerusalem, including the display of spolia from the war, including such sacred vessels from the Jerusalem Temple as the seven-branched Menorah and the Table of the Showbread. The reliefs on the arch are considered to be some of the finest examples of Roman art. The Arch of Titus has been restored several times over the centuries, most recently in 2012. It is currently open to the public and can be visited free of charge.

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Plan Your Visit

Essential Information
Know Before You Go

  • Opening Hours: Open all week from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

  • Location: Via Sacra, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

How to Reach:

  • By Metro: The Arch of Titus is located on the Via Sacra, just to the southeast of the Roman Forum. It can be reached easily by taking the Metro to the Colosseum stop. You can travel from the metro line B to reach the arch.

Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit The Arch of Titus Rome is between October and May. This is when the weather is cooler and there are fewer crowds.

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What is unique about the Arch of Titus?

The Arch of Titus is unique in that it is one of the few standing Roman triumphal arches that have survived to the present day. It is also unique in that it is the only known arch to depict a Roman Triumphal Procession, in which the Roman soldiers return from battle with their spoils, including the Menorah, the seven-branched candelabrum from the Jewish Temple.

Who actually designed the Arch of Titus?

Based on the technique and sculptural details of the arch, scholars believe Domitian favoured architect Rabirius for the mission of designing the arch. He has also designed the enormous Flavian Palace on Palatine Hill and the Alban Villa at present-day Castel Gandolfo.

Is the Arch of Titus worth visiting?

The Arch of Titus is an important piece of Roman history and is definitely worth visiting if you are interested in learning more about the Roman Empire or are interested in learning about grandiose architecture.

What is the best time to visit the Arch of Titus?

The best time to visit the Arch of Titus is early morning or late afternoon, when there are fewer crowds. However, it is worth noting that the arch is located in a busy area, so even at these times you may find yourself fighting for space to take a photo. For this reason, we recommend arriving early or staying late if you want to avoid the crowds completely.

What is the best way to reach the Arch of Titus?

By Metro: The easiest way to reach the Arch of Titus Rome is by taking the Metro Line B (the blue line) to the Colosseum stop. From there, it is a short walk to the Via Sacra and the Arch of Titus.

What are the best attractions nearby Arch of Titus?

  • The Basilica di Santa Francesca Romana: This church is right next to the Arch of Titus and has a beautiful baroque façade. It’s definitely worth a visit!

  • The Roman Forum: The Forum is a large archaeological site that includes the ruins of several ancient government buildings. It’s a great place to learn more about the history of Rome!

  • The House of the Vestal Virgins: This was the home of the Vestal Virgins, who were priestesses who tended to the goddess Vesta’s temple. It’s a fascinating place to learn more about Roman religion!

  • The Arch of Constantine: This arch was built to celebrate Constantine’s victory over Maxentius in 312 AD. It’s one of the most well-preserved Roman monuments!

  • The Colosseum: Of course, no visit to Rome would be complete without seeing the Colosseum! This huge amphitheatre was built for gladiatorial games and other public entertainment.

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