Triumphal Arch of Titus
The triumphal arch of Titus in the capital of Italy is considered the ancestor of all subsequent triumphal arches not only in Italy, but throughout the world. This is the pride of the country. By the way, the famous arch in Paris also originates from this ancient Italian structure.
History of the Triumphal Arch of Titus
The Triumphal Arch of Titus is located at the entrance to the Roman Forum, on the border of the Old Road and was erected in honor of Titus Flavius, who captured Jerusalem. True, the triumphant himself did not live to see its opening: in the 11 years that passed from the moment of its planning until the completion of the work, the emperor managed to die. But his ashes were buried in the depths of the structure, which even in those days was considered a very honorable and extremely rare occurrence.
It is believed that the construction of the Triumphal Arch of Titus was carried out by captive Jews, and the majestic structure itself is located on the site of the former “Golden Palace” of Nero, destroyed by representatives of the Flavian family. For a long time, the arch was decorated with statues of Titus and the goddess Victoria standing on a Roman chariot, but over the past centuries they have disappeared in an unknown direction.
In the Middle Ages, the arch was slightly altered: in those days it was part of the defensive line, and therefore had to repel the onslaught of enemies. During one of the battles for the Eternal City, part of the arch was destroyed. The Triumphal Arch of Titus was reconstructed only in 1821, decorated with travertine, while the arch was originally famous for its beautiful white marble, quarried in Attica. It is noteworthy that during the restoration the structure was almost completely dismantled and reassembled.
The majestic structure of the Triumphal Arch of Titus is an open gate through which especially distinguished commanders passed with honor.
The laconic forms of the arch at first glance may seem too boring and uninteresting to some. But it is precisely in such emphasized modesty that the special solemnity of the structure is manifested, drawing attention to the bas-reliefs of the architectural masterpiece. Carved on the stone are scenes of the triumphal procession of the commander, led by the patroness of Rome herself, the transfer of captured treasures (including a giant seven-candle candlestick), Titus, on whose head the goddess of Victory places a laurel wreath, a dying commander who is reborn into a deity and ascends to Heaven as a huge eagle.
The height of the Triumphal Arch of Titus is more than 15 meters, the width is 13.5 meters. The lovely half-columns framing the facade are the very first example of composite art.
Two dedicatory inscriptions on both sides of the arch give thanks to Titus Vespasian Augustus and Pope Pius VII, who ordered the structure to be restored to its original beauty and grandeur. Of course, the second inscription appeared much later, during the restoration.