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Arch of Titus

Center for Israel Studies

The Arch of Titus Project

The Arch of Titus Project is a multi-faceted exploration of the Arch of Titus, a triumphal arch built in Rome to commemorate the victory of the Roman general, later emperor, Titus, in the Jewish War of 66-74 CE. One of the most significant Roman artifacts to have survived, the Arch of Titus has been of continuing significance for both Jews and Christians for nearly two millennia. The image of the seven-branched menorah that appears on the Arch is now a symbol of the State of Israel.

 

The Arch of Titus in Rome
Arch of Titus Book Cover

The Arch of Titus: From Jerusalem to Rome-and Back

The Arch of Titus (Brill 2021) assembles an international array of scholars to explore the Arch in all of its complexity. This volume celebrates an exhibition mounted at the YU Museum and is the final statement of the Yeshiva University Arch of Titus Project. See more

The Arch of Titus: From Jerusalem to Rome-and Back

Coloring the Arch of Titus

Our coloration of the Arch of Titus in Biblical Archaeology Review May/June 2017. see more

Coloring the Arch of Titus

The Menorah at the Met

Cousera Course

The Arch of Titus: Rome and the Menorah explores one of the most significant Roman monuments to survive from antiquity, from the perspectives of Roman, Jewish and later Christian history and art. see more

Cousera Course

YU logo

International Conference

A symposium on the Arch hosted by YU’s Center for Israel Studies and YU Museum in 2017

Read More

International Conference

Students of Prof. Fine

Menorah Myth Busters

When Yeshiva University senior Ari Rosenberg signed up for a summer school course on the Arch of Titus, he was just trying to fulfill his last history requirement with what sounded like an interesting class taught by Dr. Steven Fine. see more

 

Menorah Myth Busters

The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel

Harvard University Press 2016

The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel

Arch of Titus Book Cover

The Arch of Titus: From Jerusalem to Rome-and Back

The Arch of Titus (Brill 2021) assembles an international array of scholars to explore the Arch in all of its complexity. This volume celebrates an exhibition mounted at the YU Museum and is the final statement of the Yeshiva University Arch of Titus Project. See more

The Arch of Titus: From Jerusalem to Rome-and Back

Coloring the Arch of Titus

Our coloration of the Arch of Titus in Biblical Archaeology Review May/June 2017. see more

Coloring the Arch of Titus

The Menorah at the Met

Cousera Course

The Arch of Titus: Rome and the Menorah explores one of the most significant Roman monuments to survive from antiquity, from the perspectives of Roman, Jewish and later Christian history and art. see more

Cousera Course

YU logo

International Conference

A symposium on the Arch hosted by YU’s Center for Israel Studies and YU Museum in 2017

Read More

International Conference

Students of Prof. Fine

Menorah Myth Busters

When Yeshiva University senior Ari Rosenberg signed up for a summer school course on the Arch of Titus, he was just trying to fulfill his last history requirement with what sounded like an interesting class taught by Dr. Steven Fine. see more

 

Menorah Myth Busters

The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel

Harvard University Press 2016

The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel

The Digital Restoration Project

In June 2012, an international team of scholars organized by the YU Center for Israel Studies assembled at the Arch of Titus and scanned its bas reliefs for evidence of their ancient colors. Using UV-VIS Absorption Spectrometry, our team of international historians and scientists looked for traces of color on the spoils relief so as to digitally restore what the Arch would have looked like in full color.

YU logo at the Arch

Polychromy and Roman Art

Recent developments in the study of the polychromy of Roman art and architecture have transformed  our understanding of the Arch of Titus, and particularly the menorah panel. Using non-invasive UV-VIS Absorption Spectrometry, our team of international historians and scientists looked for traces of color on the spoils relief so as to digitally restore what the Arch would have looked like in full color (image:  Caligula Restored at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts).

Caligula Restored in Color

The Arch of Titus in the Roman Forum

Constructed soon after the death of Emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus in 81 CE, the Arch of Titus commemorates the Roman triumph awarded to Emperor Vespasian and to Titus, his son and heir, for their victory in the Jewish War (66-74 CE). The most historically important element of the Arch’s iconography is the display of spolia from the war, including such sacred vessels from the Jerusalem Temple as the seven-branched menorah and the table of the showbread. The first-century CE Jewish historian Flavius Josephus describes the triumph and the deposition of these artifacts in Rome, and they are also mentioned in later Rabbinic literature. The menorah on the Arch of Titus was chosen as the symbol of the State of Israel in 1949.

The Arch Spoils Relief

OUR TEAM

Steven Fine, Yeshiva University, Project Director | Bernard Frischer, PublicVR, Co-Director, Senior Scientist | Peter Schertz, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Project Co-Director | Donald H. Sanders, VIZIN: The Institute for the Visualization of History | Cinzia Conti, Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici, Rome | Paolo Liverani, University of Florence | Heinrich Piening, State of Bavaria | William Stenhouse, Yeshiva University | Jacob Wisse, Director, Yeshiva University Museum | Jill Joshowitz, Associate Curator, Yeshiva University Museum | Matt Yaniv, YU Communications 

Student Researchers 

Joey Krombach | Jonathan Loffman | Ari Rosenberg | Yitzy Rothenberg | David Silber | Mordechai Friedman | David R. Selis | Yaakov Fine

Our work was made possible by generous funding provided by Yeshiva University and by the support of George Blumenthal of New York, David and Jemima Jeselsohn of Zurich and the International Catacomb Society.

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