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. The Jews objected to being part of the Roman Empire and wanted to be independent. They were leading the First Jewish Revolt to try to get free. But Titus defeated them.
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. The arch is part marble and part travertine.
The inside of the arch has relief (raised) carvings showing the victory parade when Titus got back to Rome.
You can see the Roman soldiers carrying a huge menorah (candlestick) which they had taken from the Jews. They are about to go under a triumphal arch. The actual Arch of Titus hadn’t been built yet, so the one in the carving is probably a temporary wooden arch that Titus put up just for the victory parade.
On the other side of the Arch of Titus, the Emperor Titus (whose head is missing now) rides in a chariot drawn by four horses.
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 Out of date, but Michael Grant is an entertaining writer with a simple style which teenagers may appreciate.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.