Rome Arch of Titus 81CE

Rome Arch of Titus 81CE

The inscriptions in the frieze which mean 'The Roman Senate and People to Deified Titus, Vespasian Augustus, son of Deified Vespasian' were originally in bronze. The reliefs were also colored and the arch was topped by a bronze quadriga.

Arch of Titus
In 66 AD Jewish Zealots started a revolt against the Roman occupation of Judea. Vespasian was sent from Rome to suppress the revolt. After Vespasian became emperor, his son Titus took over command of the besieging troops.

Emperor Titus

In 79 AD Titus became emperor of the Roman Empire. He died just two years later, in September 81 AD. The popular emperor was soon deified by the Roman Senate. Emperor Domitian, Titus's brother and successor, commissioned the construction of the Arch of Titus that same year both to honor his brother and to commemorate the victory in the Jewish War. The arch was dedicated in 85 AD with large festivities.

Rome Arch of Titus 81CE

Detail of Titus


Rome Arch of Titus 81CE, 
The Spoils of Jerusalem

context and iconography

menorah, Hanukah, Chanuka

also spelled MENORA, multibranched candelabrum used by Jews in rites during the eight-day festival of Hanukka which is  a Jewish observance commemorating the rededication (164 BC) of the Second Temple of Jerusalem after its desecration three years earlier by order of Antiochus IV Epiphanes; the Syrian king.  It has taken many forms throughout the ages, but its essential feature has always been eight receptacles for oil or candles (one lit the first day, two the second, etc.) and a further receptacle for the shammash ("servant") light, which is set apart and used for kindling the other lights.

This menorah is an imitation of the seven-branched golden candelabrum of the Tabernacle, which signified, among other things, the seven days of creation. The cup atop the central shaft, which is somewhat elevated to signify the Sabbath, was flanked by three lights on each side. The seven-branched menorah is mentioned in the Talmud and has long been used in art as an iconographic symbol signifying Judaism.