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Populusque Romanus
divo Tito divi Vespasiani f(ilio)
Vespasiano Augusto


Titus'  Triumphal Arch, Rome Italy

The Arch of Titus or in latin "Arcus Titi" was erected in 81 CE after Titus' death to commemorate his victory in Judea in 70 CE. where he fought together with his father Vespasiano. Jewish people defended themselves from the Roman attack but more than six hundreds thousands people died and survivors started what we call jewish diaspora. Titus anyway is considered today the last good emperor of the ancient Rome and many historians remembered Titus as a merciful person. So what is the truth? We believe a very important thing to understand the situation in Palestina and the fact that Roman Empire was not in a perfect shape since the Augusto's death. Most of emperors of family Giulia-Claudia died murdered and many of them were remembered not certainly as good people. The civil war nearly was a normal daily fact both in Rome and Italy and many provinces strongly wanted to obtain their indipendence. Jewish certainly was not the strongest or the most warlike population in that time but they never accepted any domination willingly during the past as others populations did accepting Roman lays and even becoming cityzens of the empire. This was not the case of Jewish, they were considered by Romans a sort of religious fanatics. And the truth was not very far from here. At the beginning Titus tried to find a compromise with Jewish hoping they finally accepted to be included in the Roman Empire. But on the other side the oath was already done: fighting till the victory or the death. They were in short fighting a religious war. Romans never accepted this kind of behaviour by their opponents in their history. The motto for them was "kill superbs and forgive won people" but here the opponent did not want to give up so the final decision was the Jewish slaughter and the demolition of Jerusalem and the Temple. The siege lasted many days and we have a precise descripition of the facts by Joseph Matatias who was captured in the besieged city of Jotopata and later lived in Rome where changed his name in Giuseppe Flavio to thanks the Flavi dinasty. During the siege Titus sent Giuseppe many times at the bottom of Jerusalem walls to persuade rebels to accept the surrender in exchange of life but all the times they refused. The hunger did the worst part of the job: sons died before parents, rebels killed people for a piece of bread and those who managed to flee from the city once arrived to the Roman field immediately died after eating as their stomaches were not accostumed anymore to the food. Then Romans, after many attempts entered in Jerusalem destroying everything and killing all the population. All the houses were demolished as well as the temple and the walls of the city. Only a wall was left, the famous "Tears Wall" still visible today. The leaders of the rebellion were brought to Rome and beheaded during the triumph held in Rome in 71 CE. Titus later became emperor in 79 CE just for two years. During his government he never passed death sentence and Pompei was destroyed by famous eruction of Vesuvius in 79 CE. When he died entire Rome cried but Domiziano (81-96 CE), his brother.


Titus' Arch
Titus' Arch
Titus' Arch
The Arch of Titus or in latin "Arcus Titi" was erected on the "Via Sacra" in 81 CE after Titus' death to commemorate his victory in Judea in 70 CE. where he fought with his father Vespasiano. It's one of the three arches lasted in the Roman Forum and probably the most well preserved although it was incorporated in the S. Maria Nova convent in the middle age. Pope Pio VII wanted its restoration made in 1822 by Valadier. It's possible to see also its foundations as the floor dates back to Augusto's period so a hundred years before the construction of this arch. The arch reports the inscription Senatus Populusque Romanus divo Tito divo Vespasiani f(ilio) Vespasiano Augusto that means Senate and People of Rome to divus Titus Vespasiano Augusto son of Vespasiano. The arch is 15.4 m high and has some important elements as the union between Ionic and Corinthian style of the columns. Many bas-reliefs commemorate the victory of Titus on Jewish people. The side looking the Coliseum is better preserved but is the inner part of the arch to show the best reliefs as the one representing some Romans taking the treasure of the temple among those are visible the seven arms candelabra and silver trumpets.
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