One of our favorite travel destinations in the world is the Foro Romano, in Ancient Rome, Italy. Here is the place where Roman citizens gathered to make policy, plan wars, and enjoy life. The grandeur of the place is mesmerizing; it is the cradle of Western Civilization. Every one should see it once in his or her lifetime. The Roman Colosseum stands to the side of the Foro, in all its magnificence.
However, if you are a student of history, the place has many sides to this story to tell if you do the research. One of these is the Arch of Titus, or the Titus Arch.
Wikipedia states, “The Arch of Titus (Italian: Arco di Tito; Latin: Arcus Titi) is a 1st-century AD honorific arch, located on the Via Sacra, Rome, just to the south-east of the Roman Forum. It was constructed in c. AD 82 by the EmperorDomitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus’s victories, including the Siege of Jerusalem (AD 70).”
Many people do not realize, but you can read about it as you walk through the passenger corridors on the outside of the Colosseum, that the massive outdoor amphitheater and stadium was actually built from treasure stolen from the Second Temple of Jerusalem when it was destroyed during the Roman conquest.
Reliefs of the history can be seen inscribed inside the arch.
Wikipedia again writes, “The Arch provides one of the few contemporary depictions of Temple period artifacts. It became a symbol of the Jewish diaspora, and the menorah depicted on the Arch served as the model for the menorah used on the emblem of the state of Israel.”
For anyone that believes the Jews do not belong in Jerusalem, this is evidence the Palestinians will have a hard time erasing.
The first time I visited Rome there still was a fence around the base of the Arch of Titus to keep foot traffic out, which had been erected at the request of the Israeli government so that no one might walk though it and symbolically celebrate the sacking of the Temple.
However, this pillaging was a standard Roman practice and nothing particularly anti-Semitic. The better part of Trajan’s Forum was financed through a war against Dacia waged with the primary aim of stealing their rather sizeable stockpile of gold, so Trajan could build a monument suitable to his ego.
It was a great empire built on the suffering of others.