Monday, March 20, 2017

Another Arch of Titus

EXCAVATION: Second Monumental Arch of Titus Celebrating Victory over Jews Found in Rome. Arch unearthed at the entrance of the Circus Maximus was built by Titus' brother Domitian, boasting of how the Romans had done the undoable and 'subdued the Jews' (Ariel David, Haaretz).
It wasn’t enough for the Romans to enslave the Jews, plunder Judea, conquer Jerusalem, destroy the Temple and then erect a massive triumphal arch to commemorate those feats of war for millennia to come: They had to build a second, even larger monument to celebrate their victory.

Archaeologists in Rome have uncovered the remains of a second triumphal arch dedicated to the emperor Titus and his success in putting down the Great Revolt of the Jews in the first century C.E.

There isn't much left of it. The inscription survives only in a much later transcription:
As much is confirmed by the arch’s dedicatory inscription, which has not survived, but was transcribed into the account of an anonymous ninth-century pilgrim. The text bombastically proclaimed how Titus, “following the advice and direction of his father, subdued the Jewish people and destroyed Jerusalem, something which all other generals, kings and peoples before him had not even attempted or had failed to accomplish.”
Beyond that:
Today, only a few broken fluted columns, the plinths on which the arch stood and fragments of the decorations have been recovered amongst the ruins of the Roman bleachers and a later medieval fortification. We do not know what scenes from the Great Revolt or Titus’ triumph decorated this arch. The only figurative decoration recovered is fragments showing the legs of some combatants, and the face of a Roman soldier.
I have posted photos of the first Arch of Titus here. That one is mentioned in many PaleoJudaica posts, for example, recently, here and here and links.