The Arch of Titus - triumphal arch in Rome
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Arch of Titus

a stone arch with carved decoration
Arch of Titus, Rome

February 2017 - The Roman emperor Domitian built the Arch of Titus at one end of the Roman Forum in the 80s AD to remind people about his brother, the Emperor Titus' victories in the war against the Jews in Israel. It is part marble and part travertine.

closeup of the same arch so you can see the inscription carved on it

Titus was actually already dead when the arch was built, but Titus' younger brother Domitian was emperor, and he wanted people to remember his brother Titus. So the inscription has Titus' name on it. (It says, the Senate and the People of Rome, to the Divine Titus, son of the Divine Vespasian, Vespasian Augustus). The letters were originally picked out in shining bronze letters, but the bronze has been stolen away and melted down.

Learn by doing: make an arch
More about the Arch of Titus
Arch of Septimius Severus
Arch of Constantine

Bibliography and further reading about the Arch of Titus:

The Colosseum & the Roman Forum, by Martyn Whittock (2002). Easy reading.

The Roman Forum, by Michael Grant (1970). Out of date, but Michael Grant is an entertaining writer with a simple style which teenagers may appreciate.

Ancient Roman Art, by Susie Hodge (1998). Easy reading.

Roman Art: Romulus to Constantine, by Nancy and Andrew Ramage (4th Edition 2004). The standard textbook.

More about the Flavian emperors
Ancient Rome
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
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