Learn about the battles of the Roman Empire, examine the detailed carvings or just admire the skills required to build this ancient symbol of victory.
The Arch of Titus is a large honorific arch commemorating Emperor Titus and his victories in battle. Find the arch just beside the Roman Forum and get familiar with it great historical significance.
Take a walk up the Via Sacra to fully appreciate the size of this arch as you approach it. Although the monument has received restorations over the years, ponder the fact that this vast arch was originally built just after the death of Titus in A.D. 81. The arch was built in honor of Emperor Titus by his brother Emperor Domitian. The arch stands 50 feet (15 meters) in height and is 44 feet (13 meters) wide, with the inner arch reaching 27 feet (8 meters) in height.
Take your time studying the finer details of the carvings on the inside of the arch. These depict the huge and celebratory parade that followed the return of Titus and his Roman army after their victory in Judea. Look for the relief panel showing Titus proceeding on his chariot drawn by four horses. Other panels show men carrying prized religious icons taken from the Temple of Jerusalem.
For centuries parades of triumph passed along the route on which the arch was built. Imagine being here in Roman times, when this arch was first built, and think about the religious power struggles it depicts. The parades were always major events because the festivities not only celebrated the safe return of the army but also the rise of the Roman Empire.
Bring yourself back to the present day by taking a few steps back to take in the shape and size of the restored arch. Believed to be one of the first triumphal arches, the Arch of Titus is believed to have inspired many others, including the famous Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile in Paris and the similar India Gate in Delhi.
Being a public structure, the Arch of Titus is free to visitors and accessible any time. The monument is located near the Roman Forum and Colosseum and fits in well with a tour to these iconic sights.