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Monuments: Arch of Titus

The Arch of Titus was dedicated in AD 81-2 in honour of the recently deceased Titus. It is a single span arch and is now heavily restored. Built into a castle in the Medieval period only the central portion of the arch is original, the rest having been restored in the nineteenth century. The arch is carved in Pentelic marble, the blocks of which are a wide range of sizes. More

The main decorative reliefs are on the walls of the archway itself. These depict two scenes from the triumph that Titus held with his father in Vespasian in AD 71, following his victories in Judaea. On the south, a detail of the triumphal procession is depicted: booty taken from Jerusalem is paraded on litters, among them the menorah from the sacked Great Temple. On the north, meanwhile, Titus is shown on his chariot, crowned by Victory and accompanied by representations of the Genii of the Senate and People of Rome, Roma or perhaps Honos and Virtus. Above both scenes, among the coffers on the underside of the arch Titus is shown riding to heaven on the back of an eagle. The theme of these scenes is repeated on what is left of the arch's exterior. Running around the whole monument at the level of the first entablature is a continuous frieze depicting the triumphal procession again. The spandrels are decorated with Victories while the keystones above the archway depict Roma and the Genius of the People.

Holloway, R. R. (1987). ‘Some remarks on the Arch of Titus’, L'antiquite classique 56: 183–91.

Pfanner, M. (1983). Der Titusbogen (Beiträge zur Erschliessung hellenistischer und kaiserzeitlicher Skulptur und Architektur 2). Mainz.

About

Type
Architecture
Material
Pentelic Marble (Archaeometric identification)  
Date
circa ad 81 - circa ad 82 
Sub-Parts

Location

Current
Rome 

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