Arch of Titus

Last updated

Coordinates: 41°53′27″N12°29′19″E / 41.890717°N 12.488585°E / 41.890717; 12.488585

Contents

Arch of Titus
Arch Titus, Forum Romanum, Rome, Italy.jpg
The Arch of Titus, showing the "Spoils of Jerusalem" relief on the inside arch
Location X Palatium
Built inc. AD 81
Built by/for Emperor Domitian
Type of structure honorific arch
Related Titus, Roman triumph, First Jewish–Roman War
Roma Plan.jpg
Roma Plan.jpg
Blue pog.svg
Arch of Titus

The Arch of Titus (Italian : Arco di Tito; Latin : Arcus Titi) is a 1st-century AD honorific arch, [1] located on the Via Sacra, Rome, just to the south-east of the Roman Forum. It was constructed in c. 81 AD 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. [2] The arch contains panels depicting the triumphal procession celebrated in 71 AD after the Roman victory culminating in the fall of Jerusalem, [2] and provides one of the few contemporary depictions of artifacts of Herod's Temple.[ citation needed ] 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. [3]

The arch has provided the general model for many triumphal arches erected since the 16th centuryperhaps most famously it is the inspiration for the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France. [4]

History

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 ]

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"]. [5] [6]

During the Middle Ages, the Frangipani family added a second story to the vault, converting it into a fortified tower; [7] beam holes from the construction remain in the panels. [8] Pope Paul IV (papacy 1555–1559) made it the place of a yearly oath of submission.[ citation needed ]

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. [7] [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. [10] [11] [12] The arch was never mentioned in Rabbinic literature. [13]

Description

Architecture

Detail of the central soffit coffers Arch of Titus Detail.jpg
Detail of the central soffit coffers
Front view of the Arch of Titus TitusbogenFront.jpg
Front view of the Arch of Titus
South inner panel, close-up of relief showing spoils from the fall of Jerusalem Rom, Titusbogen, Triumphzug 3.jpg
South inner panel, close-up of relief showing spoils from the fall of Jerusalem
South inner panel, close-up 2 Carrying off the Menorah from the Temple in Jerusalem depicted on a frieze on the Arch of Titus in the Forum Romanum.JPG
South inner panel, close-up 2
North inner panel, relief of Titus as triumphator TitusNorthDetail.jpg
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. [14]

Size

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. [15]

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. [14]

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. [16] 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. [14] These spoils were likely originally colored gold, with the background in blue. [14] In 2012 the Arch of Titus Digital Restoration Project discovered remains of yellow ochre paint on the menorah relief. [17]

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. [14] The juxtaposition is significant in that it is one of the first examples of divinities and humans being present in one scene together. [14] This contrasts with the panels of the Ara Pacis, where humans and divinities are separated. [14]

The sculpture of the outer faces of the two great piers was lost when the Arch of Titus was incorporated in medieval defensive walls. [14] The attic of the arch was originally crowned by more statuary, perhaps of a gilded chariot. [14] The main inscription used to be ornamented by letters made of perhaps silver, gold or some other metal.

Inscriptions

Original inscription

The inscription Arch.of.Titus-Inscription.jpg
The inscription

The original inscription is attached to the east side of the Arch. It is written in Roman square capitals and reads:

SENATVS

POPVLVSQVE·ROMANVS
DIVO·TITO·DIVI·VESPASIANI·F(ILIO)

VESPASIANO·AVGVSTO

(Senatus Populusque Romanus divo Tito divi Vespasiani filio Vespasiano Augusto) [18] , which means

"The Senate and the Roman people (dedicate this) to the deified Titus Vespasian Augustus, son of the deified Vespasian." [19]

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 · MONVMENTVM

VETVSTATE · FATISCENS
PIVS · SEPTIMVS · PONTIFEX · MAX(IMVS)
NOVIS · OPERIBVS · PRISCVM · EXEMPLAR · IMITANTIBVS
FVLCIRI · SERVARIQVE · IVSSIT

ANNO · 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:

See also

External video
Nuvola apps kaboodle.svg Smarthistory - Arch of Titus [20]
Related to the Jewish revolt
Related to Roman triumph and the Arch

Related Research Articles

Menorah (Temple) seven-branched candelabrum, Jewish symbol

The menorah is described in the Bible as the seven-lamp ancient Hebrew lampstand made of pure gold and used in the portable sanctuary set up by Moses in the wilderness and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. Fresh olive oil of the purest quality was burned daily to light its lamps. The menorah has been a symbol of Judaism since ancient times and is the emblem on the coat of arms of the modern state of Israel.

Titus Augustus

Titus was Roman emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, thus becoming the first Roman emperor to come to the throne after his own biological father.

Second Temple Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BC and 70 AD

The Second Temple was the Jewish holy temple which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period, between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced Solomon's Temple, which was destroyed by the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 586 BCE, when Jerusalem was conquered and part of the population of the Kingdom of Judah was taken into exile to Babylon.

Triumphal arch monumental structure in the shape of an archway

A triumphal arch is a monumental structure in the shape of an archway with one or more arched passageways, often designed to span a road. In its simplest form a triumphal arch consists of two massive piers connected by an arch, crowned with a flat entablature or attic on which a statue might be mounted or which bears commemorative inscriptions. The main structure is often decorated with carvings, sculpted reliefs, and dedications. More elaborate triumphal arches may have multiple archways.

First Jewish–Roman War The first of three major rebellions by the Jews against the Roman Empire

The First Jewish–Roman War, sometimes called the Great Revolt, or The Jewish War, was the first of three major rebellions by the Jews against the Roman Empire, fought in Roman-controlled Judea, resulting in the destruction of Jewish towns, the displacement of its people and the appropriation of land for Roman military use, besides the destruction of the Jewish Temple and polity.

Flavian dynasty Roman dynasty

The Flavian dynasty was a Roman imperial dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 69 AD and 96 AD, encompassing the reigns of Vespasian (69–79), and his two sons Titus (79–81) and Domitian (81–96). The Flavians rose to power during the civil war of 69, known as the Year of the Four Emperors. After Galba and Otho died in quick succession, Vitellius became emperor in mid 69. His claim to the throne was quickly challenged by legions stationed in the Eastern provinces, who declared their commander Vespasian emperor in his place. The Second Battle of Bedriacum tilted the balance decisively in favour of the Flavian forces, who entered Rome on December 20. The following day, the Roman Senate officially declared Vespasian emperor of the Roman Empire, thus commencing the Flavian dynasty. Although the dynasty proved to be short-lived, several significant historic, economic and military events took place during their reign.

Arch of Constantine triumphal arch in Rome

The Arch of Constantine is a triumphal arch in Rome dedicated to the emperor Constantine the Great. The arch was commissioned by the Roman Senate to commemorate Constantine’s victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in AD 312. Situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill, the arch spans the Via triumphalis, the route taken by victorious military leaders when they entered the city in a triumphal procession. Dedicated in 315, it is the largest Roman triumphal arch, with overall dimensions of.21 m high, 25.9 m wide and 7.4 m deep. It has three bays, the central one being 11.5 m high and 6.5 m wide and the laterals 7.4 m by 3.4 m each. The arch is constructed of brick-faced concrete reveted in marble.

Bar Kokhba revolt rebellion led by Simon bar Kokhba against the Roman Empire

The Bar Kokhba revolt was a rebellion of the Jews of the Roman province of Judea, led by Simon bar Kokhba, against the Roman Empire. Fought circa 132–136 CE, it was the last of three major Jewish–Roman wars, so it is also known as The Third Jewish–Roman War or The Third Jewish Revolt. Some historians also refer to it as the Second Revolt of Judea, not counting the Kitos War, which had only marginally been fought in Judea.

Emblem of Israel Official insignia of the State of Israel

The Emblem of the State of Israel shows a menorah surrounded by an olive branch on each side, and the writing "ישראל" below it. Most commonly light blue and white, the coat of arms does appear in different colour combinations depending on the use.

Siege of Jerusalem (70 CE) Siege of Jerusalem by Roman army in 70 CE

The Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 CE was the decisive event of the First Jewish–Roman War, in which the Roman army captured the city of Jerusalem and destroyed both the city and its Temple. The Roman army, led by the future Emperor Titus, with Tiberius Julius Alexander as his second-in-command, besieged and conquered the city of Jerusalem, which had been controlled by Judean rebel factions since 66 CE, following the Jerusalem riots of 66, when the Judean provisional government was formed in Jerusalem.

Giuseppe Valadier Italian architect

Giuseppe Valadier was an Italian architect and designer, urban planner and archeologist, a chief exponent of Neoclassicism in Italy.

Arch of Trajan (Benevento)

The Arch of Trajan is an ancient Roman triumphal arch in Benevento, southern Italy. It was erected in honour of the Emperor Trajan across the Via Appia, at the point where it enters the city.

Temple of Vespasian and Titus temple

The Temple of Vespasian and Titus is located in Rome at the western end of the Roman Forum between the Temple of Concordia and the Temple of Saturn. It is dedicated to the deified Vespasian and his son, the deified Titus. It was begun by Titus in 79 after Vespasian's death and Titus's succession. Titus’ brother, Domitian, completed and dedicated the temple to Titus and Vespasian in approximately 87.

Arch of Augustus, Rome former triumphal arch in Rome, Italy

The Arch of Augustus was the triumphal arch of Augustus, located in the Roman Forum. It spanned the Via Sacra, between the Temple of Castor and Pollux and the Temple of Caesar, near the Temple of Vesta, closing off the eastern end of the Forum. It can be regarded as the first permanent three-bayed arch ever built in Rome.

Arch of Titus (Circus Maximus)

The lesser-known Arch of Titus was a triple bay arch erected at the eastern end of the Circus Maximus by the Senate in A.D. 81, in honour of Titus and his capture of Jerusalem in the First Jewish–Roman War. Few traces remain. The inscription, quoted by an 8th-century Swiss monk known only as the "Einsiedeln Anonymous", makes it clear that this was Titus' triumphal arch. Sculptural fragments of a military frieze have been attributed to the arch.

The Center for Israel Studies at Yeshiva University reflects the longstanding relationship between Yeshiva University and Israel.

Judaea Capta coinage

Judaea Capta coins were a series of commemorative coins originally issued by the Roman Emperor Vespasian to celebrate the capture of Judaea and the destruction of the Jewish Second Temple by his son Titus in 70 AD during the First Jewish Revolt. There are several variants of the coinage. The reverse of the coins may show a female seated right in an attitude of mourning at the base of a palm tree, with either a captive bearded male standing left, with his hands bound behind his back, or the standing figure of the victorious emperor, or the goddess Victoria, with a trophy of weapons, shields, and helmets to the left.

Beth Alpha is a sixth-century AD synagogue located at the foot of the northern slopes of the Gilboa mountains near Beit She'an, Israel. It is now part of Bet Alfa Synagogue National Park and managed by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

Magdala stone

The Magdala stone is a carved stone block unearthed by archaeologists in a Galilean synagogue in Israel, dating to before the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the year 70.

References

  1. It was not a triumphal arch; Titus's triumphal arch was in the Circus Maximus.
  2. 1 2 "The Arch of Titus". exhibitions.kelsey.lsa.umich.edu. Retrieved 2017-07-06.
  3. Mishory, Alec. "Israel National Symbols: The State Emblem". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2014-07-30.
  4. Diana Rowell (23 August 2012). Paris: The 'New Rome' of Napoleon I. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 43–. ISBN   978-1-4411-2883-6.
  5. In English https://archive.org/stream/marvelsromeorap00nichgoog#page/n50/mode/2up; 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 4
  6. For 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 274–291
  7. 1 2 A Let's Go City Guide: Rome , p. 76, Vedran Lekić, 2004; ISBN   1-4050-3329-0.
  8. De la Croix, Horst; Tansey, Richard G.; Kirkpatrick, Diane (1991). Gardner's Art Through the Ages (9th ed.). Thomson/Wadsworth. p.  232. ISBN   0-15-503769-2.
  9. The Buildings of Europe: Rome, page 33, Christopher Woodward, 1995; ISBN   0-7190-4032-9.
  10. Sotto l' arco di Tito la festa degli ebrei, la Repubblica, 23 December 1997. Accessed 27 July 2019.
  11. 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.
  12. 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: Satin, Morton (2013-12-01). "One Man's Campaign Against the Arch of Titus — and How It Changed Italy's Jews". The Forward . Retrieved 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!
  13. 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"
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Artus, Paul (2006). Art and Architecture of the Roman Empire. Bellona Books. pp. 45–48. ISBN   978-0-9582693-1-5.
  15. "Arch of Titus, Rome - Building Info". Aviewoncities.com. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  16. Ermengem, Kristiaan Van. "Arch of Titus, Rome". A View On Cities. Retrieved 2017-07-06.
  17. "Center for Israel Studies | Yeshiva University". Yu.edu. Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  18. CIL 6.945
  19. 1 2 3 4 5 Dr. Jeffrey Becker. "The Arch of Titus". Khan Academy website. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  20. "Arch of Titus". Smarthistory at Khan Academy. Retrieved December 19, 2012.

Further reading