Marvels

Arch of Titus

The Palatine

At the foot of the Palatine, where the Clivus Palatinus begins its climb towards the hill, stands the Arch of Titus. The arch was constructed by Domitian, final emperor of the Flavian dynasty, in memory of his brother Titus, already deified — as can be read in the inscription located on the side of the arch facing the Colosseum —, to celebrate his triumph in the Jewish-Roman War of 70 AD. The arch, built in Pentelic marble and composed of a single archway, is richly decorated. Its external faces bear a small continuous frieze depicting a triumphal procession and two winged Victories in the spandrels on the upper left and right of the arch; in the inner archway, the coffered vaulting presents at its center a relief of the apotheosis of Titus being borne aloft by an eagle, while the archway’s walls include panels illustrating the key moments of the emperor’s triumph. In one of these panels, the imperial quadriga rides forward, led by the goddess Roma, with Titus being crowned by a winged Victory; the other panel depicts the Roman soldiers carrying off the spoils taken from the Temple of Jerusalem: silver trumpets, the Table of Shewbread and the Menorah.